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    Kerm Telegraph Maintenance Engineer
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    The North Grove, Duna.

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  1. Also - and I think this is probably less likely here - it’s relatively easy to slide a magnet along a surface than it is to pull it off that surface. Having the heat shield buckle because the tiles start sliding and riding up over each other at max Q is probably a suboptimal outcome.
  2. Green button. One species (well two if you count the pond scum aftermath of pressing the red button) vs countless millions? That’s an easy choice even if the one species is mine. Get rid of the planet trashing murder hobos and hope something more intelligent evolves next time around. I find it telling that the green goo tastes of chicken.
  3. Why not stick with tradition and go with tulip bulbs?
  4. …expialiadocious. Even though its exotherm is something quite atrocious. Do try not to sneeze near it, or you’ll wind up on Venus… hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane… …expialiadocious.
  5. Bill & Ted I and II with my best friend's kids. Luckily, they enjoyed them rather than just rolling their eyes. Then we watched Bill & Ted III as well and... yeah. Two old dudes. Life didn't go the quite the way they figured it would but they're still hanging in there, still friends, still listening to the same music and enjoying the same stuff, even if the long hair is turning a mite grey. Only now with kids in tow. Talk about art mirroring life.
  6. That looks very interesting - cheers! Will give it a go and see if I get along with it. Finished Chapter 7 of Quenta last night. Suspect I'll need to find a map of First Age Middle-earth (and probably re-read whilst making notes) to make more sense of which group of Elves went where and what they've decided to call themselves. Also, Feanor needs a slap. Pity there aren't many around who would dare. Skilled and mighty he may be but he's also one arrogant SOB. Edit: Moving back on topic, I'm thinking that Meteor Man is a new character, probably some other Maiar, and will play a similar role in the Second Age to the one that the Istari did in the Third. He might be Gandalf but if that turns out to be the case, please remind me to take an internet break for a week or two because the commentary will be heading (further) south in a hurry.
  7. Nope - and thank Jeb that I've finally found somebody else who likes it too! I know Lord of the Rings reasonably well but the times I've tried to read the Silmarillion I bounced off it. Rings of Power has inspired me to give it another go. So no, I don't know all the First Age lore, but I do know, for example, how Celebrimbor is likely to fit into all of this. And incidentally, whoever is playing him in RoP has got the character down cold in my opinion. The Celebrimbor we see on screen seems like exactly the kind of person that would... well do the stuff he does in the source material. For that matter, I can totally see RoP's Elendil going on to do what he does in the source material. I thought the sets and CGI for Numenor were great. Very much their own thing but tying in nicely (aesthetically speaking) to Minas Tirith from the Peter Jackson films. Which makes sense of course but it didn't have to be that way and it's nice that it was. I liked the way the Harfoot storyline progressed in Part III. And yes, I thought it was entirely consistent with the 'everyone stays on the track, nobody gets left behind' mantra from the previous parts. I liked the reason why Durin was so salty in Part II and watching Elrond come to terms with that reason and apologise. I'm quite comfortable with RoP being an adaptation given the length of time that's passed since the source material was written and the amount that society has changed since then. Besides: "Yet some things there are that they cannot see, neither alone nor taking counsel together; for to none but himself has Iluvatar revealed all that he has in store, and in every age there come forth things that are new and have no foretelling, for they do not proceed from the past." If it's good enough for the Ainur, it's good enough for me. Thanks for the opportunity to enthuse about the show, folks. The wider internet has been distinctly depressing in that regard so far.
  8. Apologies for the messed up formatting - this site isn’t the easiest on mobile devices. Serious question though - assuming that a market for point-to-point human transport by rocket does open up - why bother going orbital? I’d have thought that a series of sub-orbital hops be easier? At first sight it would be a lot less operationally challenging in terms of vehicle design, be a lot more forgiving in terms of vehicle dry mass, and probably be safer because your vehicle (and passengers) don’t have to re-enter from orbital speeds on every journey. The decline (and failure to rebuild) of supersonic air travel is a pretty good indicator that there’s not a big enough market for ‘need to be there right this hour’ passengers to justify the costs. By analogy, I’m not convinced that there would be enough demand for true ‘anywhere to anywhere in one hop’ travel to justify an orbital point-to-point service.
  9. Yeah, it was the Civil War subs that I was thinking of, which seemed like deathtraps on a good day. I read a very interesting book (by Rachel Lance - it's referenced in the Wikipedia article) about the Hunley which succeeded in its mission but the crew died under mysterious circumstances, still at their posts with no obvious sign of panic or distress. Lance made the case in her book that they were killed by blast trauma from the torpedo detonation. I think the book referred to a couple of times where torpedo ramming did work but I'd have to re-read it to be sure. In any case, it's a pretty good warts-and-all popular science version of her investigation - can recommend if you're interested in such things.
  10. Ramming with submarines was a thing for a while too, back when a torpedo was a large explosive charge attached to a spar.
  11. I haven’t watched much Trek beyond Next Generation but ‘teching the tech’ does sound awfully familiar. I recall a lot of reprogramming the deflector array to emit the Particle of the Week. To answer the original question - I don’t think it would work because that absorbed heat has to go somewhere afterwards. So the good news is that the Enterprise survived the nuke. The bad news is that the crew were summarily cooked by the structural integrity fields.
  12. Go go, go go Fever! Mighty ‘Splodin’ go go Fever!
  13. Fair. Telling other folks what to spend their money on (or not) is a fools errand, even if I have... views, on what they're spending it on. In this particular example, I have definite views on overpriced designer gear, the fashion industry in general, disposable fashion in particular, and everything else that goes with that. But this is neither the place or the time for that digression. As for "it's the science fiction world I want to live in", I've read enough science fiction to find that a less than comforting reason for an arch-capitalist to do anything. Having a new life available in the off-world colonies didn't stop it royally sucking back on Earth. But hey - if the Mars colony runs into real trouble, there's always Soylent Green to fall back on.
  14. I know of a great many charities, NGOs, research institutes and other worthy causes who would be very glad of a piece of that chump change. I'm betting you do too, although we may well differ in our definitions of a worthy cause. And clearly, for those cases, governments aren't spending to do X, or at least they're not spending so much that they're squeezing out all the charities etc. in the process. But anyway - you're probably right re. the billionaire spending. A Mars colony though is going to require vastly more money than even Bezos or Musk can dig out from behind the couch cushions. And that level of money could, and should be better spent on Earth IMO. It probably won't be though.
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