In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:50 am UTC

Wait, how is hitting Ocean more dangerous than Land? The tsunamis might wreck the shores, but we'd have plenty of warning for most. A land strike would kick up enough to dust to effectively kill off all of the crops for the next few years (more? less?), and we'd be down to long pork in a matter of months.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:18 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, how is hitting Ocean more dangerous than Land? The tsunamis might wreck the shores, but we'd have plenty of warning for most. A land strike would kick up enough to dust to effectively kill off all of the crops for the next few years (more? less?), and we'd be down to long pork in a matter of months.

Agreed. An Ocean landing is better for maintaining the Status Quo.
2400 mega ton? Into water is not that big a deal on a planetary scale.

It would suck for eye witnesses.

There is a place I go from time to time that has between 50 and 75 feet of ash that must have fallen within days or weeks. Nothing lived through hot ash falling for 75 feet. Nothing.

Down the road a bit it was, just, another nice day.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:59 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, how is hitting Ocean more dangerous than Land? The tsunamis might wreck the shores, but we'd have plenty of warning for most. A land strike would kick up enough to dust to effectively kill off all of the crops for the next few years (more? less?), and we'd be down to long pork in a matter of months.

Depends on the maths I guess.

I was imagining almost everyone being able to evacuate a land strike and there being no more dust thrown up than a large volcanic erruption. I didn't imagine this size of impact would throw up enough dust to affect global food production.

Evacuating a single city is much easier than evacuating every coastal city in the world; and the worldwide financial cost is much greater if hundreds of cities are ruined through flood damage than just one - and if tens/hundreds of millions are made homeless instead of just thousands/millions.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PM 2Ring » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:40 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, how is hitting Ocean more dangerous than Land? The tsunamis might wreck the shores, but we'd have plenty of warning for most. A land strike would kick up enough to dust to effectively kill off all of the crops for the next few years (more? less?), and we'd be down to long pork in a matter of months.

Depends on the maths I guess.

I was imagining almost everyone being able to evacuate a land strike and there being no more dust thrown up than a large volcanic erruption. I didn't imagine this size of impact would throw up enough dust to affect global food production.

Evacuating a single city is much easier than evacuating every coastal city in the world; and the worldwide financial cost is much greater if hundreds of cities are ruined through flood damage than just one - and if tens/hundreds of millions are made homeless instead of just thousands/millions.


This size of impact wouldn't throw up enough dust to affect global food production. But it would still be scary to be in the vicinity, especially if it's a dense body.

See Purdue University's Earth Impact Effects calculator. Use 410m for the Projectile Diameter.

Here's an example of its output, for a dense rock of this size hitting Earth at a typical speed expected for an asteroid:
Spoiler:
Your Inputs:
Distance from Impact: 10.00 km ( = 6.21 miles )
Projectile diameter: 410.00 meters ( = 1340.00 feet )
Projectile Density: 3000 kg/m3
Impact Velocity: 17.00 km per second ( = 10.60 miles per second )
Impact Angle: 45 degrees
Target Density: 2500 kg/m3
Target Type: Sedimentary Rock

Energy:
Energy before atmospheric entry: 1.56 x 1019 Joules = 3.74 x 103 MegaTons TNT
The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 1.1 x 105years

Major Global Changes:
The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.
The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth's axis (< 5 hundreths of a degree).
The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

Atmospheric Entry:
The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 54000 meters = 177000 ft
The projectile reaches the ground in a broken condition. The mass of projectile strikes the surface at velocity 16.6 km/s = 10.3 miles/s
The impact energy is 1.48 x 1019 Joules = 3.54 x 103MegaTons.
The broken projectile fragments strike the ground in an ellipse of dimension 0.986 km by 0.698 km

Crater Dimensions:
What does this mean?


Crater shape is normal in spite of atmospheric crushing; fragments are not significantly dispersed.

Transient Crater Diameter: 5.22 km ( = 3.24 miles )
Transient Crater Depth: 1.84 km ( = 1.15 miles )

Final Crater Diameter: 6.5 km ( = 4.04 miles )
Final Crater Depth: 520 meters ( = 1710 feet )
The crater formed is a complex crater.
The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 0.0934 km3 = 0.0224 miles3
Roughly half the melt remains in the crater, where its average thickness is 4.37 meters ( = 14.3 feet ).

Thermal Radiation:
What does this mean?


Time for maximum radiation: 297 milliseconds after impact

Visible fireball radius: 4.91 km ( = 3.05 miles )
The fireball appears 112 times larger than the sun
Thermal Exposure: 7.07 x 107 Joules/m2
Duration of Irradiation: 1.06 minutes
Radiant flux (relative to the sun): 1110

Effects of Thermal Radiation:


Clothing ignites

Much of the body suffers third degree burns

Newspaper ignites

Plywood flames

Deciduous trees ignite

Grass ignites


Seismic Effects:
What does this mean?


The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 2 seconds after impact.
Richter Scale Magnitude: 7.0
Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 10 km:

IX. General panic. Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations. Serious damage to reservoirs. Underground pipes broken. Conspicuous cracks in ground. In alluviated areas sand and mud ejected, earthquake fountains, sand craters.

X. Most masonry and frame structures destroyed with their foundations. Some well-built wooden structures and bridges destroyed. Serious damage to dams, dikes, embankments. Large landslides. Water thrown on banks of canals, rivers, lakes, etc. Sand and mud shifted horizontally on beaches and flat land. Rails bent slightly.


Ejecta:
What does this mean?


The ejecta will arrive approximately 45.2 seconds after the impact.
At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments
Average Ejecta Thickness: 6.61 meters ( = 21.7 feet )
Mean Fragment Diameter: 18.1 meters ( = 59.4 feet )


Air Blast:
What does this mean?


The air blast will arrive approximately 30.3 seconds after impact.
Peak Overpressure: 1.8e+06 Pa = 18 bars = 256 psi
Max wind velocity: 1050 m/s = 2340 mph
Sound Intensity: 125 dB (Dangerously Loud)
Damage Description:


Multistory wall-bearing buildings will collapse.

Wood frame buildings will almost completely collapse.

Multistory steel-framed office-type buildings will suffer extreme frame distortion, incipient collapse.

Highway truss bridges will collapse.

Highway girder bridges will collapse.

Glass windows will shatter.

Cars and trucks will be largely displaced and grossly distorted and will require rebuilding before use.

Up to 90 percent of trees blown down; remainder stripped of branches and leaves.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:00 pm UTC

Ok. Looks like we both overestimated the effects. It wouldn't hurt global food production and it wouldn't produce much of a tsunami either:

If I ask that page what would happen if it hit water, it says it'd produce a ~16ft high tsunami. That's not great - it could cause a lot of low-level flooding near shorelines - but probably wouldn't cost any lives. The 2004 Indonesian tsunami reached ~100ft for comparison.

So, yeah, for this size of object the preferences go 'uninhabited land > sea > inhabited land'. At some point though it switches over to 'uninhabited land > inhabited land > sea' ^^

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PolakoVoador » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:27 pm UTC

What if it hits the Moon?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:46 pm UTC

Nothing of significance, really. You'd need something like a 100 mile wide asteroid to hit the moon for any measurable impact on orbit, and even then it wouldn't alter the orbit enough to have any, umm, significant impact on Earth.

I could be off by a few orders of magnitude though.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:04 pm UTC

I wonder how big an impactor would have to be for the lunar dust kicked up to form a visible smudge (assume the impact site is close to the light side/dark side (which is a complete and annoying misnomer) border)? That could be pretty cool.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:50 pm UTC

Are you old enough to remember the Icelandic Volcano?
That one was interesting.

Are you old enough to remember Mt. Saint Helens?
Ejecta. We have had some ejecta.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5pidzTZslo

The asteroid in Russia is a good example of what an asteroid can do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiXpp-i442s

Russia gets hit. Russians will have a heads up. Right?
The living trees at the epicenter is like the person that lights the match is often the only survivor.
Right?

What is funny about this?
In twenty years we might get hit by a Rock? So?
Every twenty years we might get hit by a Rock or have a new Crater Lake blow.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E_OBsicWQQ

Oh! Oh! It could be Aliens!
The boring kind. From Syria or China or Russia or California or SomeWhere.

Again; How is this funny?
We live with uncertainty?
We know how fast we are going but not where we are?
We know where we are and how fast we are going?

Is someone or something 'Gunning' for us?
Do we have a Persecution Complex?

Are we, just, curious? We want to see it?
We have seen so much interesting shit.
What?? Do we, as a species, have an insatiable desire for entertainment?

Volcano? Yeah! Do it again, God!
To The Russians, as usual?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:33 pm UTC


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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:11 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:Belgium pigeon racing rocked by doping scandal. Yes, pigeon racing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_pigeon
pigeons. Weird and funny.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamasoidosis
pigeons have coodies.

Some are bread to be pretty and they can not fly very well.
Others are bread to be fast. Racing pigeons?

That is funny. Racing pigeons has got to be a lot like Racing Sea Gulls.
"My Sea Gull is faster than your Sea Gull."

People tamed the pigeon. Sea Gulls tame the humans.
Sea Gulls will not come to you. They are like cats.
Flying noisy cats.

Humans! It is mostly men that do that weird shit.
It is an extension of their egos. Back in The Day it was simi-accetable to discuss those things as Phallic Extensions.

When looked at through that lens, it is funny.
The animal extends the ego. To what lengths will people go to prove themselves worthy.

To the extent that the human kills the object. I kid you not. It is called, "Killed with Kindness."
The stupid bird is coddldele and has a wonderful time. Then it dies of being a peigon.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 425AAG0qIw
Those animals live 10-15 years?

Chickens live 10 years or so.
Most chickens don't live that long.

God has instilled a drool gene generater in chickens.
Nearly all the omnivores like chicken.

All other food is compared to chicken.
The snake 'tastes like chicken'.

Jewish people can't eat snake.
The rest of us can. I prefer chicken.

They race pigeons. ok. That can't be any weirder than betting on human bicycle racing.

The funny part is someone is worried about doping? That is funny.
No problem for a person to cut the head off of a bird and eat it.
Yet; These people are worried about getting the birds all pumped up.

(so funny) They might have a point. But; I don't think so.
If the animal is healthy enough to fly and find its way home,
Where The Fuck Is The Problem?

What if the Hawk learns that those fancy pigeons the men bring in the fall taste good and give ya' a little buzz?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Red Hal » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:19 pm UTC

[url=http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?p=3480711#p3480711]PhoenixEnigma[/url] wrote:Not that it will ever make it into a headline, but the chance of an impact is estimated at 1 in 63 000, which is better than winning the lottery but I'm still not overly concerned by.
Now one in 11,000 chance of impact. How're those dams and dykes looking now, Diadem?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Wnderer » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

Some visitors in the neighborhood this fall.
http://spaceweather.com/

Code: Select all

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid       Date(UT)      Miss Distance            Size
2013 UG1       Oct 17          4.5 LD                 152 m
2013 UB        Oct 19          1.6 LD                  20 m
2013 UR1       Oct 21          0.7 LD                  13 m
2013 UE1       Nov 7           7.4 LD                  62 m
2000 DK79      Nov 10         49.1 LD                3.0 km
2011 JY1       Nov 13          8.2 LD                  57 m
2001 AV43      Nov 18            3 LD                  52 m
2010 CL19      Nov 25         37.6 LD                1.3 km
2013 NJ        Nov 26          2.5 LD                 190 m
2011 YD29      Dec 28          6.1 LD                  24 m
Notes: LD means "Lunar Distance."
1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon.
1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU.
MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:34 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:
[url=http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?p=3480711#p3480711]PhoenixEnigma[/url] wrote:Not that it will ever make it into a headline, but the chance of an impact is estimated at 1 in 63 000, which is better than winning the lottery but I'm still not overly concerned by.
Now one in 11,000 chance of impact. How're those dams and dykes looking now, Diadem?

The chance almost always goes up initially because they've narrowed the error ellipse, so the Earth takes up more of the ellipse. It usually drops to pretty much zero when they reduce the error ellipse some more and the Earth falls outside it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby flownt » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:15 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:
[url=http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?p=3480711#p3480711]PhoenixEnigma[/url] wrote:Not that it will ever make it into a headline, but the chance of an impact is estimated at 1 in 63 000, which is better than winning the lottery but I'm still not overly concerned by.
Now one in 11,000 chance of impact. How're those dams and dykes looking now, Diadem?
living less than 10 miles from the coast below sealevel i feel fine. The chances of a major storm flooding my neighbourhood are probably larger than that. for good measure, dykes are kept at such a level to make major floods happen less than once every 10000 years.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:13 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:Now one in 11,000 chance of impact. How're those dams and dykes looking now, Diadem?

Well, meteor strikes are one of the few things things that dams and dykes do very little against. I suppose though that in addition to my delta norm rule I should also formulate a second rule: Chances you can't do anything about are not worth worrying about. In a few years we'll be certain if the thing is going to hit us or not, and we'll have plenty of time to worry then. Interesting question: If you have nearly 20 years to prepare, is it possible to evacuate half a continent?

SlyReaper wrote:The chance almost always goes up initially because they've narrowed the error ellipse, so the Earth takes up more of the ellipse. It usually drops to pretty much zero when they reduce the error ellipse some more and the Earth falls outside it.

Well of course. Right now there's a 10999 out of 11000 chance that the chance of impact will eventually drop to zero, and only a 1 in 11000 chance that it will eventually go up to 1.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Red Hal » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:35 am UTC

2007 VK184 worries me more than this one.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:32 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Well, meteor strikes are one of the few things things that dams and dykes do very little against. I suppose though that in addition to my delta norm rule I should also formulate a second rule: Chances you can't do anything about are not worth worrying about. In a few years we'll be certain if the thing is going to hit us or not, and we'll have plenty of time to worry then. Interesting question: If you have nearly 20 years to prepare, is it possible to evacuate half a continent?


It would depend on which continent. Australia shouldn't be too difficult to evacuate since it's small, and North America because it's well-developed and has highly functioning governments. On the other hand, it would be impossible to evacuate the half of Asia containing India and China. Getting 3 billion people out is difficult but potentially doable, finding somewhere to put them is even more difficult. The ensuing chaos might be worse than the meteorite strike.
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Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:59 am UTC

curtis95112 wrote:
Diadem wrote:Well, meteor strikes are one of the few things things that dams and dykes do very little against. I suppose though that in addition to my delta norm rule I should also formulate a second rule: Chances you can't do anything about are not worth worrying about. In a few years we'll be certain if the thing is going to hit us or not, and we'll have plenty of time to worry then. Interesting question: If you have nearly 20 years to prepare, is it possible to evacuate half a continent?


It would depend on which continent. Australia shouldn't be too difficult to evacuate since it's small, and North America because it's well-developed and has highly functioning governments. On the other hand, it would be impossible to evacuate the half of Asia containing India and China. Getting 3 billion people out is difficult but potentially doable, finding somewhere to put them is even more difficult. The ensuing chaos might be worse than the meteorite strike.

So if it became known that in 2032 China is going to be hit by a meteorite destroying most of the country, what do you think the Chinese government is going to do? What they won't do is say "Oh well, sucks to be us". The world will either have to find a way to evacuate 1.3 billion Chinese people (plus several hundred million from neighboring countries) peacefully, or we'll quickly be fighting world war 3.

Come to think of it, that would make a good plot for a book or movie. I'd probably set it in Europe or the US though, because I'm more familiar with those cultures.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:16 pm UTC

Hmm.. would underground shelters be more feasible than evacuating a continent? Seems they should be safe unless they're right beneath the impact zone.
How bad are aftereffects expected to be? With twenty years advance warning, I expect we could stockpile enough resources to last quite some time.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:31 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
curtis95112 wrote:
Diadem wrote:Well, meteor strikes are one of the few things things that dams and dykes do very little against. I suppose though that in addition to my delta norm rule I should also formulate a second rule: Chances you can't do anything about are not worth worrying about. In a few years we'll be certain if the thing is going to hit us or not, and we'll have plenty of time to worry then. Interesting question: If you have nearly 20 years to prepare, is it possible to evacuate half a continent?


It would depend on which continent. Australia shouldn't be too difficult to evacuate since it's small, and North America because it's well-developed and has highly functioning governments. On the other hand, it would be impossible to evacuate the half of Asia containing India and China. Getting 3 billion people out is difficult but potentially doable, finding somewhere to put them is even more difficult. The ensuing chaos might be worse than the meteorite strike.

So if it became known that in 2032 China is going to be hit by a meteorite destroying most of the country, what do you think the Chinese government is going to do? What they won't do is say "Oh well, sucks to be us". The world will either have to find a way to evacuate 1.3 billion Chinese people (plus several hundred million from neighboring countries) peacefully, or we'll quickly be fighting world war 3.

Come to think of it, that would make a good plot for a book or movie. I'd probably set it in Europe or the US though, because I'm more familiar with those cultures.


No, because 20 years is a long time - China would immediately say 'Fuck it' to the world, and begin building infrastructure and capability to go and either destroy it or deflect it. It would not surprise me if they ended up building nuclear rockets to both launch their missions and to push said asteroid out of the way.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:02 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:No, because 20 years is a long time - China would immediately say 'Fuck it' to the world, and begin building infrastructure and capability to go and either destroy it or deflect it. It would not surprise me if they ended up building nuclear rockets to both launch their missions and to push said asteroid out of the way.

With 20 years warning, that may be feasible. But deflecting asteroids has only been done on paper. It already stretches the limits of our technological capabilities, not counting unforeseen difficulties.

Certainly there's enough material for a good novel here. Make the detection not 20 years, but 10 years in advance. Still enough time to push it away, but now there is considerable time pressure. Funding for the mission is a huge international effort, causing tension between nations over who foots most of the bill. Governments will definitely start with contingency plans. Meanwhile Japan is worried that the Chinese won't manage to push the asteroid far enough, causing it to crash into the pacific ocean. And an earlier Chinese plan to blow the object to pieces with well aimed nukes is vetoed flat out by the US, because they worry some of the debris may still reach earth, and even hit the US. Relations between the two countries further deteriorate. The first mission is a spectacular failure, and ends with the Chinese blaming the Americans for delivering fault parts, and the Americans blaming the Chinese for installing them improperly. Governments now openly start making contingency plans. Meanwhile China is hemorrhaging rich and upper middle class citizens, who are emigrating to anywhere that is not China by the millions. Panicked, the Chinese government attempts to crack down on this, leading to massive riots. To appease the rioters, China makes ever increasing demands on the rest of the world. Tensions mount further. World wide defense spending has tripled in just a few years, and continues to skyrocket. In the midst of all this chaos, scientists launch a second mission, a second attempt to deflect the asteroid. If this one fails, there might still be time for a third attempt, but the window is rapidly starting to close. Four billion people are glued to the television, watching the launch...

I can definitely see this working as a novel.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:34 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:No, because 20 years is a long time - China would immediately say 'Fuck it' to the world, and begin building infrastructure and capability to go and either destroy it or deflect it. It would not surprise me if they ended up building nuclear rockets to both launch their missions and to push said asteroid out of the way.

With 20 years warning, that may be feasible. But deflecting asteroids has only been done on paper. It already stretches the limits of our technological capabilities, not counting unforeseen difficulties.

Certainly there's enough material for a good novel here. Make the detection not 20 years, but 10 years in advance. Still enough time to push it away, but now there is considerable time pressure. Funding for the mission is a huge international effort, causing tension between nations over who foots most of the bill. Governments will definitely start with contingency plans. Meanwhile Japan is worried that the Chinese won't manage to push the asteroid far enough, causing it to crash into the pacific ocean. And an earlier Chinese plan to blow the object to pieces with well aimed nukes is vetoed flat out by the US, because they worry some of the debris may still reach earth, and even hit the US. Relations between the two countries further deteriorate. The first mission is a spectacular failure, and ends with the Chinese blaming the Americans for delivering fault parts, and the Americans blaming the Chinese for installing them improperly. Governments now openly start making contingency plans. Meanwhile China is hemorrhaging rich and upper middle class citizens, who are emigrating to anywhere that is not China by the millions. Panicked, the Chinese government attempts to crack down on this, leading to massive riots. To appease the rioters, China makes ever increasing demands on the rest of the world. Tensions mount further. World wide defense spending has tripled in just a few years, and continues to skyrocket. In the midst of all this chaos, scientists launch a second mission, a second attempt to deflect the asteroid. If this one fails, there might still be time for a third attempt, but the window is rapidly starting to close. Four billion people are glued to the television, watching the launch...

I can definitely see this working as a novel.


So, like a slightly more realistic Deep Impact?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:37 pm UTC

Space is huge. We just need to launch a cannon into space, even single use, and just hit the asteroid with a hundred kilogram bullet. Even at several million metric tons, that should be enough to deflect the asteroid by just the minuscule degree necessary to put it off course.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Red Hal » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:47 pm UTC

A fair way would be 1% of GDP for every country. That still works out as US$718bn per year. You could do a lot of development with that.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:13 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Space is huge. We just need to launch a cannon into space, even single use, and just hit the asteroid with a hundred kilogram bullet. Even at several million metric tons, that should be enough to deflect the asteroid by just the minuscule degree necessary to put it off course.

Earth moves at 30 km/s, and has a radius of about 6000 km. So the asteroid has to be slowed down by 200 seconds to miss earth. Let's say it's traveling at 20 km/s and has a mass of 10^11 kg. If it's 10 years away, it needs to be slowed down by a factor of 200 / 315,576,000 = 6.4e-7. A stationary object hitting it would have to weigh 64K kilograms to transfer enough momentum. An object sent from earth won't be stationary, but its additional velocity will probably be quit small compared to the 20 km/s the asteroid already has. So let's make it 50 tons.

That's possible. But not easy.

It quickly gets more difficult if the asteroid is heavier though. If the object is, say, 10 km across, you'd need to hit it with a billion kilograms to transfer enough momentum. At that point you will have to look into alternative measures.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Red Hal » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:38 pm UTC

It's not easy, but the second time is a lot easier than the first. Doing it multiple times with a smaller mass is much more credible.

Oh and with an object 10Km across, you'd want it to miss the moon too.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:47 pm UTC

But it doesn't need to be slowed, just deflected. Instead of hitting it head on, what if it's hit in the side?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby JBJ » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

If you hit it in the side, you're just going to make it angry.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Red Hal » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:51 pm UTC

If you hit it in the side you're going to need a very different orbital path, and that may not be practical.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Wnderer » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

Vicarious AI beats Captcha.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1319914&
Spoiler:
PORTLAND, Ore. — The world's first artificial intelligence (AI) to pass the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart -- Captcha -- debuts today from Vicarious FPC Inc. in San Francisco.

...

"Our algorithms have passed their first Turning Test -- Captcha -- the world's most widely used test of a computer's ability to act human," said D. Scott Phoenix, co-founder of Vicarious, in an interview with EE Times. "Captcha is considered broken if a computer is able to solve it at least 1 percent of the time, and our algorithms achieve success rates of over 90 percent on the Captcha used by Google, Paypal, Yahoo, and many others."


Now what non-evil use does this have?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:But it doesn't need to be slowed, just deflected. Instead of hitting it head on, what if it's hit in the side?

The angle under which you hit it doesn't matter. You could even hit it from behind to speed it up, so it will pass in front of the earth. Whatever direction you hit it in causes the same change in speed, and thus the same magnitude of change of its location compared to its original path by the time it arrives at the earth. The direction in which its location changes doesn't matter - any direction causes it to miss earth.

Well I suppose that's only true if it was going to hit the earth dead centre, if it was going to hit at an angle you will have to push it less in one direction than in another. But every direction still works if you push it enough, and the difference ain't that big, once you've included a generous safety margin.

So pick the most convenient angle that orbital mechanics gives you, and stick with that.

I'm not convinced hitting it is the best approach though. It's not a very efficient way of transferring energy, and if you accidentally break the thing up you could be in deep trouble. The easiest solution is probably to paint one side white and let the sun do the rest.


Wnderer wrote:90 percent on the Captcha used by Google, Paypal, Yahoo, and many others."

That's pretty impressive, given that my own success rate is probably like 10% of so. I generally have to refresh a couple of times before I can even begin to guess what word they want, and even then I still sometimes fail.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:49 pm UTC

In other news, "Tokyo Sex-Whale" great name for a band (or Tumblr).

Apparently, the US still has South African ministers on their terrorist watchlists. Anyone know if this is purely red tape, or due to some sort of friction between the two nations?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:06 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:2007 VK184 worries me more than this one.

It's more likely this one will hit us (about 1 in 1800 in year 2048). They haven't looked at its orbit since 2008, though.

But VK184 is teensy compared to TV135: Less than 1/3 the diameter and with an estimated 150 megaton blast. Still not something you'd want to be under, but much less dangerious than TV135. Given some of the costs mentioned above, it might be cheaper to just let VK184 hit us.

(That is an option, for smaller objects: Just evacuate and rebuild afterward.)

Also, 2013 TV135 is back up to about 1 in 28500 chance of impact.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby krogoth » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:53 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:In other news, "Tokyo Sex-Whale" great name for a band (or Tumblr).

Apparently, the US still has South African ministers on their terrorist watchlists. Anyone know if this is purely red tape, or due to some sort of friction between the two nations?



Sexwale, no H, no hypen. Unless it was just a name inspired by the other.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby emceng » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:13 pm UTC

Lawyers seriously took this case?

I mean wow, this is all kinds of stupid.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby pkcommando » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:44 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Lawyers seriously took this case?

I mean wow, this is all kinds of stupid.

Somewhat less than surprised given the mentality shown in some of the reviews.

When reviewers are willing to mark down restaurants because the servers had the audacity to wait on other tables, this kind of lawsuit is inevitable.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:01 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Lawyers seriously took this case?

I mean wow, this is all kinds of stupid.


When a lawyer doesn't have a client, hez time is worth nothing. And right now, we have far more attorneys than demand. So many will take any case, no matter how idiotic, as long as they could somehow make any argument that the case is indeed not 100% frivolous, because they aren't doing anything else.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:22 pm UTC

pkcommando wrote:
emceng wrote:Lawyers seriously took this case?

I mean wow, this is all kinds of stupid.

Somewhat less than surprised given the mentality shown in some of the reviews.

When reviewers are willing to mark down restaurants because the servers had the audacity to wait on other tables, this kind of lawsuit is inevitable.


To be fair, the quality of service that you receive at a restaurant is inversely proportional to the number of tables your server has to manage. It's probably a more reliable predictor of poor service than anything else you're likely to come across. If a restaurant is clearly putting too few servers on the floor for the numbers of tables (and most do, IMHO, though some are much worse than others), I'd definitely mark them down for that.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:40 am UTC

Red Sox won the World Series!


I take it we're not a very sports-oriented peoples and I'm not a sports oriented person, but I'm a Bostonian (and Randall is from the area) so...

Warranted. World Series!


That's all.


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