* Posts by Snerdguy

5 posts • joined 21 Nov 2013

Look out, Titan. Plutonium robots from Earth are on their way


Titans need not worry.

While fifteen years may not seem like a long time in science, in politics it's enough time for another administration to redirect the funding. Just as the whole 'return to the Moon' fiasco is the Republican party's means of funneling government contracts and money to their big campaign contributors, the aerospace companies, that could all change if they fall out of control. If the Democrats take over, that money may end up going toward building roads or other infrastructure. So, it's best to say 'maybe' NASA will send a drone to Titan.

Have they accomplished anything toward building this drone besides an idea on a piece of scrap paper? Where are they even getting a plutonium core as it's a product of atomic bomb manufacturing which hasn't been done in decades? I thought the stuff was pretty scarce,

BOFFINS: Oxygen-free, methane-based ALIENS may EXIST on icy SATURN moon Titan


It's just a theory. Which means "maybe". We just don't know what is possible in those conditions because we can't accurately simulate the expanse of time and we barely know just some of the chemicals that exist on Titan. We will eventually send probes there that will give us a more detailed understanding. But, then we run into the real threat of contaminating the areas we explore. Nobody really knows what to expect. So, lets just say "maybe" and be very careful about how we explore these places. We have already left a considerable mess on the moon in our haste to get there. Do we really want to trash up every place we go?

Nvidia flops out teraflop X1 for self-aware cars


The most important application of this chip seems to escape notice. It can save lives. Lots of them. Imagine cars in the future being able to avoid accidents no matter how how impaired their drivers are. This chip foresees a time when the car will correct the mistakes of the intoxicated, the elderly, the texting and the just plain inexperienced drivers on the road. The other features, while notable, most certainly pale in comparison. We may never get bad drivers off of the road. But, a car that refuses to be driven badly is doable.

Cow flatulence, gas emissions much worse than thought - boffins


I find it hard to believe that the amount of cow methane can be measured with any accuracy. It sounds like little more than an alarmist theory. I suppose someone will ask farmers to add pilot lights to both ends of the poor cow to burn off the offending methane. Then someone else will decide that cows blowing fire are dangerous and make the farmers paint them with warnings to the public to stay back 50 feet. Of course these cows will be blamed for countless prairie and barn fires and there's the smoke problem and the ASPCA will certainly gripe about the occasional exploding cow. It will turn into such a complicated mess. So, I think maybe I'll just tolerate the cows farting and belching for now.

Space tourist Dennis Tito begs US to BANKROLL HIS manned Mars flyby


A Wasteful Stunt

Sending a couple of human beings to orbit around Mars and return is a waste of resources even if it is private money. Far better things could be done with that kind of money to benefit mankind instead just allowing a guy to make a name for himself. If he wants to invest in space exploration, maybe he could build schools to produce more scientists that build robots, energy systems, water purification technologies that are needed to do the exploration. Much of the technology needed to settle other worlds is also needed to solve human needs on this world. Our plans to do this exploration should be tied directly improving the human condition.


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