* Posts by Sweep

256 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Aug 2007


Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket


Re: Bah!

Only because the trees are above the centre of your camera's field of view.

Point your camera higher and they will curve outwards.

You can use a fisheye lens to make the earth look spherical (point the camera below the horizon) or as if we're on the inside of a cylinder (point the camera above the horizon). Incidentally in all the pictures of mountaineers summiting Everest with the curvature of the Earth visible the apparent curvature is entirely due to lens distortion.

(not a flat earther but you need to go higher than Everest to be able to see the curvature of the Earth. Apparently it was visible from Concorde which flew higher than other commercial airliners with a flat horizon visible).

Starliner snafu could've been worse: Software errors plague Boeing's Calamity Capsule


Re: This is why the Shuttle never had a software problem that killed people

"the challenger on (e) wasn't (avoidable) as soon as the boosters fired."

I don't see your point.

The problems with Starliner were also unavoidable, once it had launched with shoddy code......

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming


Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

There are two AoA sensors but only one is in use by the flight control computer at any one time...

Champagne corks undocked as SpaceX brings the Crew Dragon back to Earth


Re: Congratulations

How about the recovery ship Meatfucker :)

Big data at sea: How the Royal Navy charts the world's oceans


Re: PO Coleman-Smith needs to be keel hauled and given history lessons.

Different HMS Hood.


Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly


Re: GPS accuracy

I'll take your word for it!

Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch


Re: blow torch... pfft

Australia has a couple of snake bite fatalities a year. Meanwhile, snakes kill 45,000+ people a year in India.

Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh


Re: My wife would tend to agree with the more negative reactions

I worked in a cheapo sausage factory (not producing snags for Greggs but for several supermarket "Value" ranges) during one of my holidays from uni. It's not blood that adds the pink colouring- that comes from the tub of food colouring and additives that's chucked into the big vat full of bones, gristle and fat.

EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out


Comments like this are why I still read The Register despite the unfortunate decline in its science reporting

Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt


Re: Hmm

I think Musk would be happy to see anyone put humans on Mars. That's my take on it.

Danish Navy expert finds no trace of exhaust gas in private submarine


Re: Seems unlikely

I speak Norwegian, not Danish, but they're similar enough.

From the original language article:

""Der var intet CO, CO2 eller NOX i luften, hvilket der ville have været, hvis den havde kørt med udstødningsgasser", siger Ditte Dyreborg." = "there was no CO, CO2 or NOX in the air, which there would have been if it had been run with exhaust gases, says Ditte Dyreborg".

She does appear to say that there is no (intet literally means nothing/ zero) CO etc in the air but she does presumably mean that there weren't the levels expected if the story hadn't been bollox.

Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said


Re: Spineless of them to give in

Comedy central chickened out of showing him in one episode, not the creators. He had already appeared uncensored in a previous episode.

Blade Runner 2049 review: Scott's vision versus Villeneuve's skill


Re: Arrival? good?

In the theatrical release you hardly see the alien and it's much better for it. In the Director's cut it is much more apparent that's it's a slow moving prop/ guy in a rubber suit. The DC also has that weird scene with 2 of the crew turning into eggs which throws the pacing off near the end (it was left out of the theatrical cut for good reason).

Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook


Re: skirmish site

yon's a dump

Life began after meteorites splashed into warm ponds of water, say astronomers


Re: Why highlight meteorites?

From behind the paywall:

"One solution is that the nucleobases were delivered by interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteorites. During these early times, these bodies delivered ∼6× 10(to the power)7 and ∼2× 10(to the power)3 kg⋅y of intact carbon, respectively"

Those figures are taken from a 1992 paper co-authored by Carl Sagan so that's billions and billions of kgs of carbon.

Geoboffins claim to find oldest trace of life in rocks 4bn years old


Re: Torngat Mountains

Polar bears, not grizzlies

RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war


Re: Different honours.

Worsley has a bust in his hometown in NZ.

McNish is the one I feel sorry for: he was the ship's carpenter and as well as making the sea journey with Shackleton to S Georgia he modified and strengthened the boat they used (the James Caird) to make it seaworthy. Without him the journey would have failed and the rest of the crew would have starved to death on Elephant Island.

Despite this he was denied a polar medal (he had briefly rebelled against Shackleton shortly after the Endurance was lost) and died homeless and destitute in New Zealand.

Signs of ground ice found on ancient protoplanet asteroid Vesta


Re: Ground Ice

They really do look like Quavers...


She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base


Re: Genuine question

"stupidly expensive aircraft."

Latest (that I could find) cost per unit (January 2017):

F-35B (the version we're getting): $122.8 million

F-35C (the cat and trap version): $121.8 million.


We're getting 138 planes so for cats and traps to be cost effective off the bat would require BAe Systems to install cats and traps to both ships for under $138 million. Does that seem likely to you?

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY


Re: Proper rashers please

As a skint student I did a couple of shifts in a factory making cheap "value"supermarket snags (the kind that lose their shape if defrosted). I don't mind the less appetising parts of an animal and the sausages were mostly made up of colourless fat and gristle. It was the amount of chemicals added (to make them pink etc) and "filler" that swore me off the cheap ones.

Chap behind Godwin's law suspends his own rule for Charlottesville fascists: 'By all means, compare them to Nazis'


Re: The thin line between right and wrong

"Look up the whole Linnnaean (or other) taxonomic system. There are zero mentions of "race"."

There are zero mentions of "population", "form" or "morph" either. Do they not exist?

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts


Re: We are all monkeys...

Actually AC you're wrong. In cladistics (biological classification) apes ARE monkeys.

If you don't consider apes to be monkeys then you're left with a paraphyletic grouping consisting of old- and new-world monkeys with apes (which evolved after these 2 groups split) stuck in the middle.

In cladistics you can't have paraphyletic groups which is why you now see Tyrannosaurs referred to as "non-avian dinosaurs".

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars


Re: School boy mistake

If gorillas are apes, and humans are apes, then it follows that our common ancestor was also an ape.

And actually he did say, in The Descent of Man;

"If the anthropomorphous apes be admitted to form a natural sub-group, then as man agrees with them.....we may infer that some ancient member of the anthropomorphous (ape) sub-group gave birth to man."

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution


Re: £875 per household per year!

'Polar bear numbers are increasing.'

Possibly true, but then polar bear numbers have been below the carrying capacity of their habitat for decades, due to hunting. As hunting has mostly ceased it would not be that surprising if numbers were now increasing. As Mike says it is also very difficult to estimate the size of polar bear populations as they spend most of their time at sea and range over vast distances. There is also an argument that polar bear numbers are less dependent on summer sea ice than previously thought- some populations live onshore during the summer and those that do go on the ice during the summer are still probably mostly dependent on fat reserves built up during the spring.

Just because there are more polar bears it does not follow that Arctic temperatures aren't increasing or that the extent summer sea ice is decreasing. Polar bears (and bears generally) are remarkably adaptable animals and I think their outlook is fairly good even with global warming. However I would like the generations that follow to be able to see polar bears hunting seals on sea ice like I have rather than raiding the municipal rubbish dump for scraps.

Comet 67P's oxygen could be a breath of fresh air


Re: "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux" at FauxScienceSlayer


30,000 London gun owners hit by Met Police 'data breach'


Re: Now now...

"they're becoming a real pest as the population grows (because less people are hunting them!)"

Do you have a source for that?

I agree that the deer population is growing/ has grown but AFAIK hunting (and I'm talking about hunting/ stalking specifically rather than culling) has little impact on overall deer numbers- bucks are favoured by trophy hunters rather than breeding-age females.

If you want to reduce deer numbers (and I think we should, they have a serious impact on attempts at regenerating the Caledonian forest) then it would require a large-scale targeted cull, probably indefinitely even if we reintroduced predators (lynx, wolf, bear). This has been known for years but nothing is done as it would cost too much money. The Kiwis basically machine gun them from helicopters but I don't believe that would be acceptable in the UK unfortunately.

I don't understand why there isn't a large-scale commercial hunt in this country- during the stalking season in parts of the highlands butchers buy venison from the estates very cheaply (it is basically a very tasty byproduct), then sell it over the counter at exorbitant prices (under the counter is a different matter :)).

NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself


Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

Removing shore material is actually illegal, at least in the UK. So no, you wouldn't own it.

Boaty McBoatface sinks in South Atlantic on her maiden deployment


Re: ..writing about yellow submarines

Correct. Dog foods used to use ground bone as filler whereas now they mostly use rice or corn to bulk it out.

Hyena poo is usually white though so if anyone's feeling nostalgic, just head to Africa. Or get a hyena.

Get it while it's hot: NASA's Space Poo contest winners wipe up $30k


On the Starboard Bow

But can it deal with Klingons?

High tides: Boffins spy on dolphins baked on poisonous piscines


Re: Further study required!

Actually, the more I think about this the less sense it makes (the Aztecs drinking dogs' piss)- I can see the point with shamans drinking reindeer piss- "oh look that reindeer is wasted, quick, get a bucket!" as the reindeer are more likely to find the mushrooms before the reindeer herders....but why would you intentionally force feed perfectly edible (yes I know they taste horrible but they're more palatable than fucking dogs' piss) cactus and mushrooms to dogs?


Re: Further study required!

None of the poisonous Amanitas look anything like A. muscaria. I would expect the Sami to be perfectly capable of identifying poisonous mushrooms anyway.

I would really like to know what the first shaman to get high on reindeer piss was actually expecting to happen though...

And did the lesser priests also become high priests after drinking the high priests' high piss?

Make America, wait, what again? US Army may need foreign weapons to keep up


Re: Translations

Oh fuch off

'Ancient' Mac backdoor discovered that targets medical research firms


Re: Quimitchin

Who put sand in their vaginas?

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch


Re: Well done SpaceX

Could do with having the Police Squad theme dubbed over it.

Google's neural network learns to translate languages it hasn't been trained on


Danish sounds like a Swede trying to talk while being sick.

Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China


Re: Here you go, girly will help you

I have very almost no knowledge of IT and I've just replied to an article on an exploit in android phones (I wasn't googling TOWIE though).

And what's "googling"? You can't just make up words you know.

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag


Environmentally friendly

If they were that committed to the environment they wouldn't patent their environmentally friendly bag...

Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it


Re: Secret Tunnels


Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report


Re: Waste of time

"cars going at 74mph cover a lot more distance per unit of time than many people realise"

I guesstimate that a car going at 74mph will cover around 74 miles per hour.

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung


Re: I will watch it and probably enjoy it

There's talk of him doing a Dredd series....

Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020


Re: Precoolers

A rocket engine is a type of jet engine. In common usage though a "jet" engine normally refers to an airbreathing engine that generates thrust by jet propulsion, exactly like SABRE.....

Brexit threatens Cornish pasty's racial purity


Re: Heathens!!

The Picts were Celts too.

Hobbits really did exist – and endured erectus shrinkage, say boffins


Re: Have you noticed?

There are Komodo dragons on Flores, no need to go there and back again


It would be more surprising if they had half the body mass of their H. erectus cousins and the same brain capacity...brain size is generally positively correlated to body mass in mammals;


Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?


Re: Braiiinssss

"Can anyone provide input about the 999 services being able to pinpoint a mobile phone - in the scenario that the first responder is alone with a patient?"

Calls from a mobile can be triangulated using the cell towers but I believe it's to within up to several square kms- in rural areas the area would be bigger. Probably a more accurate trace is possible but would require a special request etc.

Newer smartphones (2014 onwards) use the phone's GPS to send a text to the network operator as soon as you dial 999. As accurate as your phone's GPS (I imagine).

I'm not sure if the same system works with the emergencySMS service and I would actually be quite interested in finding out.

I work at a large university and we have a massive problem with ambulances not being able to find their way around campus buildings as the whole campus shares the same postcode.

I would recommend everyone in the UK register for the emergencySMS service btw.

US 5th graders have a pop at paper plane record


Re: "Equivalent to year 6 in the UK"

Me neither, and I live in the UK.

Czech Republic to rebrand


Re: This is not rebranding

All Slavic nations? Erm, no- it's not even how the Czechs themselves refer to it....

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone


Re: "Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms."

And you see absolutely no difference between a gun used to control pests/ vermin, and a handgun disguised as a smartphone?

Guns can be used as tools (I currently have a rifle permit for polar bear protection) but the sole purpose of a handgun like this is to put holes in other human beings.

Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California


Re: Bus vs. meat bag

Nice bit of victim-blaming you have there.