Blue

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Blue last won the day on August 3 2012

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About Blue

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    Coincidences are spiritual puns.
  • Birthday February 17

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    Milky Way, Orion Arm, Local Cluster, Sol, Earth (Sol 1c), 49.2N,122.6W
  • Personal Motto
    Romans 8:31
  • Interests
    Space, Movies with happy endings, Baroque, Gregorian, Contemporary, Tintinnabulation Classical music, Fiction Physics, Kerbal Space Program

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  1. I have been thinking about prosthetic limbs, as a byproduct of one of the characters in a story I'm writing. Reaction time, precision, and body-device interfaces present major engineering challenges that are still very difficult to overcome. Imagine you've lost your non-dominant arm. It is totally possible to make a limb that is very similar to the one you lost that can open-close the hand, once you've trained a muscle elsewhere on your arm stump or shoulder to trigger some kind of ligament-like attachment. But fine control (individual finger movements, flinging, snapping, hand-signals) are all gone. It is also still a major engineering problem to solve the ability to have dexterous fingers AND a functioning wrist at the same time, unless you're shelling out several thousand dollars for a motorized unit. Continuing with this imagined scenario with the replacement arm: how is it attached? One of the ways to do it is to have strapping that ties around your stump, or shoulder. Obviously this would take getting used to. A scenario I put in my story is that a metal attachment rod is literally screwed into the character's humerus bone.The prosthetic is then hard-mounted to the rod. That sounds all fine and good until you think about how much the screwing operation would compromise the bend and tensile strength of the bone: it would be painful to lift or move anything more than a fraction of your regular arm strength. Imagine getting severe joint paint if you lift more than 20 pounds. It is a matter of ongoing interdisciplinary research how to make better biomechanical interfaces. But simply put the most effective effectors for the human body are its own exisiting parts. Nearly every kind of augmentation you can think of is going to trade something for something else, and is not going to be a unilateral improvement. Technology isn't there, probably won't be for another 20 years, and likely may never improve truly, on the human form.
  2. New urbanism. Which is to say, 'urban' but without car dependency. Suburban is made by and for the service of automobiles, and I do not consider them a necessary ingredient to my independence or work. Relevant meme, Traffic Control Alignment
  3. I think that we need realtors. Realtors provide a useful value-added commercial service in the modern economy. It is completely impossible for buyers, sellers, and real-estate lawyers to navigate the treacherous waters of land sales alone, and it would be extremely harmful to the general public if there was transparent information on building history available for free, stored on some kind of digital database.
  4. Tachyons are a theoretical particle that may always be travelling in a sense 'faster than light' and cannot slow down to lightspeed. As you can probably imagine, models that suggest their existence make observation of them, even indirectly, extremely difficult.
  5. Anthromorphist interpretation of car fronts will lead oneself to notice that higher performance vehicles built within the past 30 years have trended to look angry, increasingly so.
  6. My uncle got badly shocked twice while trying to repair an appliance. An unfortunately foolhardy thing to do for a guy who's had open-heart surgery! His excuse was that he couldn't find the right breaker on the fuse panel to turn off the appliance. IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHICH FUSE IT IS, THEN JUST SHUT ALL OF THEM OFF!!! What's the worst that could happen if you disconnect your entire house; you have to reset the clock on the microwave oven? Who cares! Electricity is hazardous and should always be treated with great respect. Have you ever thought about the fact that the potential energy inside your phone/laptop battery or PC power supply makes it comparable to a hand-grenade?
  7. Well it is true.At the surface its pressure may be intense, but at some point that transitions to the cold vacuum of space, which means there's a zone somewhere inbetween that's comparable to Earth. However, whatever you're planning to use to explore there better be resilient to sulfuric acid: nickel, titanium and austentitic stainless steels; teflon, KEL-F and other flouropolymers. No surprises there, basically means the craft must be about as hardened as it would be if it were to be in an elevated radiation environment. But descending to altitudes below a certain point would spell doom. NASA has also done studies for blimp-based exploration (including manned operations (!)). However, middair-inflatable interplanetary blimps is an as-yet unexplored field of engineering, so this is definitely not in the cards for programs within the next decade or two. [HAVOC]
  8. I'm in favor of any project which increases basic sciences towards the inner planets and Venus in particular, due to the interesting challenges it presents for exploration. One project in this regard that I've been keeping an ear out for is AREE - which is essentially a steampunker's ultimate fantasy come true. AREE (rover unnamed) will be a purely mechanical, possibly clockwork automaton, designed to explore Venus's surface. Since wholly metal and ceramic machines are immune to much broader ranges of temperatures, radiations and pressures than transistor electronics, the project portends to have a great deal of usefulness for exploring literally everywhere else in the Solar System: the sun-facing side of Mercury, Io, beneath Europa's oceans, even inside radioactively contaminated earth structures. [1] However to study Venus's gasses, they will need to develop an atmospheric system, most probably some kind of balloon. Either way, I am for it.
  9. It is not a question, that 'bronyism' is fading as the original members of the fandom age and lose interest. The original surge is almost a decade ago. MLPForums.com ? My guess is yes; directly proportional to the general level of interest. I think it's telling when more than half of the thread titles on the General Discussion pages look like they're combs for marketing research, and that the Debate Symposium is slowly turning into a wing of the bar just for american right-wingers and atheists.
  10. This dude pointed out the following scene has the same thematic timing to the chase scene as Castle in the Sky.
  11. We should not build solar panels, because we might suck all the energy out of the sun.
  12. There are numerous islands in the "Sunshine Coast", the archipelago between Vancouver Island and the British Columbian mainland. Many of these islands only have populations of a few dozen to a few hundred. The biggest is Salt Spring Island, with ten thousand living there. BC Islanders have a reputation for being laid back, polite, friendly, casual (even moreso than your average Canadian) and also fiercely environmentalist and provincialist. Given the option between 10 brands from anywhere and 1 brand from just down the street that's four times the price, they'll go with the local brand every time. One of McDonald's Canadian fast-food competitors A&W found this out the hard way. They opened an A&W on the port city of Ganges. While tourists did attend it during the summer, business dried up to zilch through the winter, and the burger joint shuttered its doors before even a year had passed. To this day, no major brands or chains have any presence on the island, with the exception of government services (aka the Coast Guard).
  13. While researching for the story I'm writing, I came to learn how other languages use different texts and different narratives that undergird the emotional personal spirit of what many kinds of words and sentiments mean. For example, in Finnish they have a word "sisu", which is very difficult to translate into English. One rendering would be "determination". But it's a word that encapsulates the entire national character; stoic, resourceful, and ever resilient even unto death. It is personal, psychological, and even physical. In Danish and Norwegian, they have the word "hygge", which has no equivalent in English. One rendering would be "to give joy/comfort". It is a property of pleasantness, homely-ness, conviviality and wellness one has in their home when making it hospitable and comfortable for family, friends and visitors. In Hebrew they have the word "shalom". It literally means "peace", but this concept is very multifaceted. It refers to wholeness of mind, body, household tranquility, unity of family, health of community and most importantly of all, spiritual wellness in faith, love and prayer towards god. English is very effective at talking about things like work, sex, romance and objects. But it struggles to articulate ideas closely related to our relationships with nature, friends and our inner feelings.