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Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts

21 September 2014

The Most Important Words In Science

Huh, I didn't expect that!

Unexpected results advance things farther and faster than experiments that confirm expectations.

It's because you've found something new.

01 September 2014

Oddities

I was just reading that the flight of a bullet gives of an rf signal that a radio can pick up.

That's neat!

I guess the copper of the round passing through the earth's magnetic field is responsible.

Attempts to Google more information have hit the typical wall...

25 August 2014

Tea Leaves

Ever see someone doing DNA testing?

They squirt fluids into vials and stuff.

Then a pattern emerges.

Viola!  DNA match! or not.

I am not going to pretend I understand the process, what it looks like more than in general or how it works.  I do know that it's repeatable.  I've seen enough of it explained that I can grasp the idea of what's going on even if I don't know the details.

Someone from the 18th century would call you a witch because what's going on is apparently no different from reading tea leaves.

What's that old line?  Something about sufficiently advanced technology?

This sort of thing is what divides the Tech Levels in games.

16 July 2014

Extreme Prevention

Castration prevents male pattern baldness if the procedure is done before you begin to lose your hair.

20 June 2014

Organic

When you get right down to it, crude oil is organic.

Kinda takes the wind out of organic food don't it?

01 April 2014

Cow Farts

This is how you tell that the environmentalists are focusing on the mental part of it.

If global warming was man-made then the only emissions we need worry about are those outside the carbon cycle.

Anything alive is inside the cycle so the net emissions are zero.

So, cow farts won't.  The methane produced will break down and be absorbed and used by plants, then animals...  It's a cycle.  Circle of life.  Blah blah blah.

By the way, greenies...

It's looking like the permian extinction was caused by the atmosphere going all CO2 from volcanism.  If CO2 is so completely bad... why is there life now?  Where did all that carbon dioxide go?  Even more fun: Where did it come from since Man had nothing to do with it?

14 February 2014

Coefficient

Blah!

I say again BLAH!

Ballistic coefficients are based on a bullet form factor.

The traditional form is known as the G1.

A newer form that more accurately reflects the shape of modern boat-tail bullets is G7.

In general, if you see an unlabeled BC you are looking at the G1 number.

A problem arises when the bullet maker uses what I'm going to call a G1 proxy.  The stated BC doesn't calculate to either G1 or G7 value, but if the proxy is entered into a ballistics calculator instead of G1 the trajectory matches measured empirical data.

I'm looking at YOU Barnes.

If you enter their BC number in the G1 spot in the calculator, you get an accurate trajectory that's confirmed by people actually going to the range and shooting.  It does not match the G1 as calculated and any G7 derived from thinking the published BC is the G1 is wrong.  Way wrong.

Hat-Tip to Phil for borrowing his aero-E calculus rocket-scientist brain.  When I'm a zombie, I'm eating his brain first!

16 January 2014

Gravitas

The place to kill off Matt Kowalski was when they were making the unpowered approach to the damaged ISS.

Serves the plot in the same manner as the unexplained acceleration at the end of the tether and doesn't have unexplained acceleration!

Killing him with an impact also would explain why she doesn't even try eliminates her attempting a rescue with the remaining Soyuz.  It's not like he could get too far away by the time she cycled the lock and started pre-flight checks!

Never mind that orbital mechanics just don't work as shown.  The Chinese did blow up one of their satellites and there was a lot of concern about the debris cloud.  And it took hours for the bloom to spread and develop so that the danger could be assessed (Remember: Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.) To this day nearly all off that debris is still pretty much in the same orbit as the satellite started in.  Why?  Because there's been nothing applying any force to the parts once the impactor hits the satellite.  Yes, parts are smashed loose and spread away from the target but the speed of a bullet is not that fast when you're talking about orbital separations.

Then there's the bit that the ISS, Shuttle and Hubble are in very low orbits compared to most satellites.  For something higher to come down and intersect gives it one hell of an elliptic shape.  Elliptic enough to make one pass on one of the three habitats before hitting atmo.

I am not pulling this out of my ass, I am laymanizing from very detailed analyses (which themselves have been dumbed down because CALCULUS and ORBITAL PHYSICS be all full of maths).

I know it's a drama, but dammit; can't there still be drama where the laws of physics are retained.  Once you break physical laws, you may as well dump all pretense at hard science an go with throttle up on the reactionless drive.

28 November 2013

Proof

Evolution is a contentious topic.

There's been a rash lately attempting to say that it doesn't exist because we both do not know exactly we went from puddles of reducing chemicals to life AND that we can't duplicate the feat.

But not knowing where life started and exactly how does not nullify evolution.

Do you have a dog?

Notice that most dogs don't look a thing like a wolf.  Yet just 33,000 or so years ago there was just wolf.  And for many years after the split, dogs looked lots like wolves.

Now there are pekinese and chihuahuas.

Selective breeding and domestication prove evolution using artificial selection to achieve a desired goal.

Evolution is simply natural selection working on the genes of the wild animals.

That's it.

We can back-track a really long ways through the fossil record and we can, indeed, show evolution working its magic.

Just because we don't have a record from before a certain date, doesn't mean that it only began once we can study fossils.  The falsification is to find earlier fossils that continue the regression or that all fossils from before are identical.

And stop blaming/crediting Darwin for the idea!  His contribution was noticing that isolated populations of birds were adapting to take over niches they didn't fill on the main-land.

22 October 2013

The Juice


And pollution!

First off, let's kick the pollution thing in the fucking balls.

Go check the EPA's indices for air quality from 1977 through today.  Actually, we can't use today for two reasons.  First, the shutdown has the website off. (Can you tell when I wrote this?) Second [T]hey added carbon dioxide to the list of things that were pollution.  I remember it being 2010 but most sources say 2012.

Until we got our panties in a bunch about CO2, air quality was steadily improving, and this is despite steadily increasing use of all forms of fossil fuel.  Gas, Diesel, Natural Gas and Coal!

So burning more gasoline didn't increase air pollution with regards to oxides of nitrogen, sulfur compounds, and particulates.  All of those things went down.  We can thank computer controlled fuel injection for most of it.  Precision fuel metering that comes with fuel injection is just one small part of the massive improvement too!  The largest improvement from an emissions point of view is there's no gas washing the walls of the cylinder of lubrication (called wash-down).  This lets the rings seal the piston better so there's much less gas escaping into the crankcase and nearly no oil getting up into the combustion chamber where it doesn't do any good for anyone.  Catalytic convertors that don't choke the engine and are thereby left in place keep those oxides of nitrogen and nasty sulfur compounds in check.

What we've managed to do, in my lifetime, is get engine exhaust to very nearly be JUST water vapor and carbon monoxide.  The really nasty things have been reduced to traces instead of significant parts.

What's that got to do with energy storage?

Petroleum is an energy source.  Gasoline has excellent energy density and is relatively easy to store and handle.

Batteries and hydrogen are not sources of energy.

Hydrogen has lots of handling and storage issues and has a much smaller energy density than gas, so you can't go as far on a given fuel volume.  It's main disadvantage is that you have to expend energy to make it.  More than you get back in a perfect reaction let alone adding in the inefficiencies of a motor vehicle.

Batteries are even worse about density and the losses from generation and storage.

Where does the power we're storing in batteries or hydrogen come from?  Power plants.  Power plants which at present are mainly coal fired.  Burning no gas and replacing that use with burning coal doesn't really change pollution.

The greenies are working hard on eliminating coal fired power plants by declaring pollution standards with no basis in engineering let alone science.

The same greenies have already all but killed fission power plants.

So where are we going to get this energy?  Wind and solar are proving to be the shitty pipe dreams that only a greenie or politician could keep saying are truly alternatives to fossil fuels.

Science and engineering don't care how you feel.

The source of all this stupid whining about burning things for fuel comes from the effects of carbon dioxide on the climate.  Since the temperatures are tracking with the output from the sun not the energy consumption rates of man; don't even try blaming man.

But while we're talking about pollution, let's talk about batteries.  Nickel and lithium are dirty to mine and refine.  And nobody talks about how making plastic consumes both energy and petroleum and we're not even getting to use the left over aromatic portion of the crude if we can't use it for powering our cars.

06 August 2013

More Real World Comparison

I mentioned how a Fat Merchant compared to the C-5M and 747 cargo variants.

What about the Shuttle?

The cargo capacity of the Space Shuttle is around 50,000 lbs or 25 sTon.  The actual amount of cargo varies a great deal depending on the mission and orbit, but we're going to use 50k lbs.  The volume of the cargo bay is near 10,426.15 cu ft or 20.85 dTons.  0.83 sTon per dTon.  Much lower density than the assumed break-bulk cargo capacity of any Traveller ship.

It's earth to orbit time is going to stomp most Traveller cargo ships since the solids and mains give between 1.5 to 2.5g during their run and the mains alone build from 1 to just over 3g after dumping the solids.  Of course, it's tossing away a huge hunk of the ship in the process of making orbit.

Even the lowliest of small craft in Traveller stomp the living guts out of anything actually flown when you attempt to get past low earth orbit.  There's no coasting on a trip to the moon in a 20 ton launch (LBB-2). It runs full acceleration all the way to turn over then full acceleration to make lunar orbit.  A whole three and a half hours instead of the Apollo 75.8.

That same launch gets to Pluto in 17.91 days and stops there.  It can get there for a flyby in 8.96 days.  Our best time to Pluto is nine freaking years and that's sending a robot to take pictures as it flings past (no chance of stopping).  We're not going and we don't have the means of going.

All Traveller does to get this amazing performance is to break physics.  I'm jealous, I'll tell you what.

Traveller Tuesday officially belongs to Erin, I'm just dangling from her coat tails on the idea.

24 April 2013

Experiment

I have a take-home project for y'all.

For a week, when someone is rude to you, be rude right back at them.

When someone is clueless and slams into you, don't say "excuse me", say "watch where you're going."

Wait for the other party to cross the politeness Rubicon, but once crossed give 'em Hell.

I think you're going to be shocked.

I've been doing this experiment for several months.  Most people actually seem to recognize they're being something of an ass and apologize when confronted.  There's a small fraction whose lives seem to depend on being jerks and taking advantage of our ingrained politeness.

I started this because of a bit of game theory I stumbled upon.  What have I to gain from being unfailingly polite to people who are being rude either through accident or design?

Turns out the only gain from being nice to people who are being rude is there's no confrontation about it.  There's apparently lots to gain from being rude though and by not confronting the transgressor you are allowing them that gain at your expense.

12 December 2012

More Statistics

I just noticed something about the gun statistics.

If crime was directly related to the number of guns that are legally owned then there should be a direct correlation between the UK and Florida for gun crime.

FL, 17,385,430 people 4,249,430 to 15,299,178 guns.  24.5 to 88 guns per hundred persons.  883 murders.  548 with a gun.

UK, 63,142,700 people, 4,162,675 guns.  6.6 guns per 100 persons.  722 murders.  19 with a gun.


If guns cause crime then Florida should have 3.71 to 13.33 more gun murders and it should line up exactly.  The UK has a gun murder rate of 0.03 gun murders per 100,000 persons.  Florida has 3.15.

13.33 times 0.03 is 0.4; not 3.15.

The overall murder rates per 100,000 persons is 5.08 for FL and 1.14 for UK.  Florida has 4.46 times the rate that the UK has.  That's in the 3.71-13.33 range, but that breaks because hardly any murders are committed in the UK with a gun.

Florida has 105 times the rate of gun murder than the UK and just 4.46 times the overall rate.  We have at least four times the guns, perhaps more.

I picked Florida for the comparison because that's what Mr Clarkson used and I live here.

What about other developed nations?

Switzerland?  About 8,000,000 people.  45.7 guns per 100 persons.  3,656,000 guns.  0.58 gun murders per 100,000 people (1998).  Their rate is not half of the US (88.8 guns per 100 ppl) it's also not eight times that of the UK.  Switzerland has an overall murder rate of 0.7 per 100k.

Russia?  143,300,000 people.  8.9 guns per 100 persons (Hey!  Similar to Jolly Ole!)  I don't have the numbers for gun murders, but the overall murder rate is 10.1 per 100,000...  Oops.  That's WORSE than the US!  Double the murders with 1/10 the guns!

Canada is a developed nation, right?  35,005,000 people.  30.8 guns per 100.  10,781,540 guns.  0.76 gun murders per 100k.  Overall murder rate 1.6 per 100k.  Overall rate is very similar to England, isn't it?  Culturally similar people too.  Six times the guns and ten times the gun rate.

I am starting to see that making guns available means murderers will use a gun not some other weapon.  But I am not seeing how having lots of guns around makes it more likely you'll be murdered; note that the Swiss have a lower overall murder rate than the UK and almost eight times the firearm density.

This is just like suicide.  The means does not determine the why.  Put another way, they've decided WHAT they are going to do, the HOW follows from what's available.

16 April 2012

Let's Keep Israel Around, Shall We?

What's Israel gotta do, cure cancer?

Um, looks like someone in Tel Aviv might have.

I am noticing that it didn't come out if Iran or Saudi.  Just sayin'.

04 April 2012

The Real Reason

The real reason the Pluto is no longer a planet is because the International Astronomical Union lost against Disney over rights to the name.

If Pluto had remained a planet they would not have been able to afford the royalties.

15 March 2012

Lead

It's an element.

Plumbum.  Pb.

It's pretty damned inert.

It tends to just sit where it's deposited and do nothing more.

It's been shown time and time again.

I have a further proof.

There's a bird, an extinct bird, called a passenger pigeon.  They were eradicated by hunters.  Hunters using pure lead shot.  A lot of it.  Everywhere.

In fact, there was no such thing as jacketed ammunition, let alone lead-free ammo, until 1882.

If lead from bullets was causing all of the horrible things the eco-whackos claim;  why is the evidence so thin and how did animal life survive for more than 200 years of hunting with pure lead in North America?  Shouldn't the effects be even more pronounced in Europe where the gun was used longer and is smaller geographically?

Shouldn't there be more evidence of the effects of lead on animals in New England where there have been guns longer than anywhere else on the continent?

Well, there is but it's not poisoning; it's kinetic energy that's killed all that game.

The terror of lead is not from elemental lead or even lead alloys.

The terror is from lead compounds!  Lead based paint is a compound.  Not a mixture, not an alloy, not pure lead.  Compounds react differently than the elements they are composed of.

Simple examples...

Water is vastly different from both hydrogen and oxygen in their pure forms.

I double dog dare you to eat one teaspoon of pure sodium and an equal amount of chlorine if you don't believe me.  I will eat two teaspoons of table salt and we'll see who gets sicker.

19 August 2011

Torn

I learned that the process of making scotch starts with making what is essentially beer.

The beer is then distilled to get the alcohol out.

HOW CAN THEY DO THAT TO BEER?  Poor beer.

But you get scotch.

Does this mean that in every beer there's a scotch trying to get out?

How can we NOT?

I am so confused.

I don't know why this baffles me so, I've known for years that this is how brandy is made.  You make wine and then boil the alcohol out.

I think I will have a shot of rye with my beer tonight to celebrate what could have been.

05 July 2011

Ballistics

And science fiction...

Reading about the travails of the developments that lead from the 1:14 on the AR-15 R601 through today's 1:7 M855A1 and Mk 262 I wondered about a few things.

The change from 1:14 to 1:12 was brought about by testing outside a tropical climate.  The air was just too thick for the 55gr round that becomes the M193 to stabilize turning once every 14 inches.

Likewise 1:9 was the original twist for the SS109 round.  A pity then that the L110 wouldn't fly straight when fired through the soup that passes for air in northern Norway in January.

This got me to thinking...

We're talking about a change in temperature here and not a change in the composition of the gases.  It's still air in both Norway and Vietnam.

What do you do when the partial pressure of a given component is different, and it should be from world to world.  A gun that fires fine on Earth might not on Bootes IV just because the density of the atmosphere is too different.

Also the effect of differing gravity on the sights....