We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, October 31. 2012
I mean just going to Mars.
That's from this delightful little piece.
Yet every other day you see this rubbish:
The point is, we've had half a century to work on this problem, and apart from slapping a few treadmills around, not only have they not gained any ground, but the problems are only getting worse. As durations in space last longer and longer, more and more problems arise. Blindness occurring later in life is the latest small snag.
Then there was the day I broke so many hearts by reporting that mermaids don't exist. Rarely have I been so cruel.
Now here's the latest little dream to be shattered like glass:
Yeah, well, welcome to the Hollywood Curse. Probably 50 million people believe the global warming horrors they saw in The Day After Tomorrow are real. Another 50 mil probably think the government can watch your every step via spy satellite as in Enemy Of The State. Another 50 mil probably believe President Kennedy wasn't assassinated by a lone gunman thanks to Oliver Stone's JFK. The list goes on and on.
But still, no horrific velociraptors eviscerating us with their 6-inch talons in the noonday sun, spilling our entrails onto the ground as they enjoy a tasty little snack?
It's sad, sometimes, when life doesn't imitate art.
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You've eviscerated our dreams! What's left for us? Just one...on Nov 6th !
P.s. Hope all is well with you.
I'll still believe in Mermaids no matter what you say. (P.s. when I checked out the link I was warmed to see how Marianne Matthews put you in your place...again. Hard to think she's no longer on this plane. Her spirit will watch over you, Merc).
I bet if Oliver Stoned did something on Mermaids we could all be believers again. More blackberry brandy please!
I happen to know that mermaids DO have space travel, doing battle among the stars with evil dinosaurs based on Mars.
So stick THAT in your pipe and inhale it! :P
Come on Mitt! :D
A Google search for "mermaids DO have space travel, doing battle among the stars with evil dinosaurs based on Mars." yielded 86,200 hits. So whatever you're on, you're in good company. :)
Really Doc - you'd almost think you were a Democrat. Hmmm - maybe you ARE a Democrat.
Just because we're not at the point where ion drives, artificial gravity and other various and sundry technical innovations aren't available doesn't mean that they WON'T be available at some point allowing for space travel.
According to one of those articles, $500 billion over 30 years - we spend more than that on failed solar energy projects last year alone.
What does myth-busting have to do with political affiliations?
"at some point"
Well, you're right about that. At some point, pretty much anything might be possible. You've really got arguing down to a science.
For my next project, I've been thinking of taking a pic of the Int'l Space Station and showing how tiny it is compared to the space ships in the movies. And it took almost a decade to build.
"Good news, Mr. President! We just invented the ion drive."
"Excellent work! So, how long will it take to build a space ship to visit the nearest star with inhabitable planets?"
'Oh, roughly about a three hundred years, give or take."
"Let's get crackin'!"
I'd suggest we not hold our collective breath.
You just gotta believe man. There was a time when it was accepted science that man couldn't travel over 25 mph because he wouldn't be able to breathe at that speed.
It's all about the quantum baby - quantum.
Quantum, baby, won't solve the muscle deterioration problem, nor solve how incredibly slow things are to build in space.
At even at light speed, the nearest destinations would still be hundreds of years away, so in order to solve that you have to defy Einstein.
That's a pretty big chaw.
One does not have to defy Einstein as one can play with the space/time entities to make things theoretically happen. One would also have to assume that if a warp drive can be made (which by the way would, in theory, exceed the speed of light) would all be part that scientific advancement.
But, giving them a substitute for the loss of gravity will. Spin Habs are a start, but more research into gravatics (okay, okay, geeky scifi mumbo-jumbo....), or something else, could solve this.
I remember when they said the Ion and warp drive engines were mere pulp dreams. From a bunch of egg-heads, warping space may not be too unreachable, and, we do have an Ion drive working in space. Heck, they laughed at Kirk and his flip communicator and Spock's tricorder. Sometimes, I think my Android phone is getting close...
What was the product of imagination, is slowly moving to reality...
There's a form of the Hollywood Curse that we can lay at the feet of Walt Disney: The Bambi Syndrome.
As we all know, woodland animals live happy, carefree lives, or at least they would if it weren't for evil hunters (like Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, and Dick Cheney).
We ain't got velociraptors, but we got chickens, and that suits me just fine.
We have ion drives today. And a sort of artificial gravity: centrifugal force.
"The point is, we've had half a century to work on this problem,"
Meaningless. What matters is how much effort we've put into working on these problems, and the answer to that question is not much at all. Much like the fusion problem in that respect. Fifty years ago, controlled fusion was said to be twenty years away. Today, controlled fusion is still said to be twenty years away -- because the technology involved is staggeringly expensive, so researchers working on controlled fusion reactors get only small amounts of funding and can only afford to build one or two bigger and better 'experimental reactors' at a time.
Likewise, I'm sure, with the issue of physical deterioration in zero-g. We could solve it if we put the needed resources into it. We haven't done that, so of course it isn't solved. This is a symptom of the larger problem with the manned space program: we haven't really put much money, materiel, or manpower into it in at least forty years. If we had maintained the level of commitment that made Project Apollo a reality, we'd be all over the solar system already, and building colonizer starships to make generation voyages to the nearest star(s).
Doc? Has your body been taken over by the ghost of Zachriel?
(No, if it had, he'd lie about it.)
It was always going to be like this.
In reality, in the age of space travel, you will have terrestrial dwellers, space travelers, and planet colonists.
Transitioning through gravity will be a fairly rare and limiting activity.
This will, necessarily, present fascinating challenges for morality and societal reward structures for our race.
Don't succumb to Clarke's Law. We'll have all of these things in the course of time, the biological ones in the course of this century, and a cure for aging also.
Scientific progress is nonlinear, and we are on the edge of a revolution in biotechnology.
Travel to Alpha C is further out. We probably have to find a low energy pathway to produce anti-matter to get enough energy to make the trip. Let's say in the year 2100-2200 range.
Well, I ask again, what about Einstein? The claim that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light was recently semi-proved again by the experiment that claimed it had -- then was promptly debunked.
I'm not saying he's right -- but you and others and claiming he's wrong. There's a difference.
I'm assuming Einstein is correct, and we're not going to find any whizbang warp drive or wormholes. If we find a pathway to convert matter to anti-matter without great energy cost, we can make a propulsion system that gets up to 0.2c to 0.4c and gets us to AlphaC in 10 to 15 years, all within the bounds of relativity.
The only big "if" is finding that pathway, and I'm reasonably confident that we will, as our understanding of nuclear physics matures over the next century or so. Failing to find the pathway, we would probably have to fall back to fusion drives, and that might make the trip 10 or more times as long, but still doable.
What we won't have in the foreseeable future is the Star Trek/Star Wars bop about the galaxy, tea on Rigel 4, nighty night under the moons of Arcturus 7, and zero to superlight speed in one second without the crew getting plastered all over the back wall of the spaceship.
We'll spread through this arm of the galaxy one system at a time, expensive and risky one-way colonizing trips. Short of a collapse of civilization, which I'll leave to the eeyores to ruminate, how could we possibly not do this?
I'm glad you didn't say anything about sparkly vampires. If you tell me sparkly vampires don't exist, I'm gonna flip out!