atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#5760: Short post before chores and errands

Not a lot of time today. On with the usual nonsense.

Lady Gaga demonstrates why transsexuals in the military is a bad idea. According to the pop singer, 45% of transsexuals have attempted suicide by the time they are 24 years old.

Attempting suicide is a sign of psychological distress of one sort or another. It strongly implies that the person in question is not fit for military duty.

Lady Gaga's point supports the transsexual ban, rather than deflates it.

* * *

Sea level is falling, not rising. We've been told time and again that a natural result of global warming is that sea level will rise.

If sea level has fallen for the past couple of years, doesn't that indicate that global cooling is happening? No wonder the media's not reporting it.

* * *

Two women pilots forget to raise landing gear, have to stop for fuel. I'm not saying anything.

* * *

Falcon Heavy's first launch is coming soon. It's going to be an entirely experimental launch, with a dummy payload, because SpaceX is not sure how well the thing will perform. This configuration has not been tested before, and Elon Musk says he'll consider it a "win" if the rocket makes it downrange far enough before going "bloot" that it doesn't damage the pad. Now, some of that has to be propaganda, meant to maximize good publicity from the launch, but I don't expect that's all of it. All this falls under "managing expectations".
The company isn't sure about the airflow around the rocket as it goes through the sound barrier, nor how it will handle loads at MaxQ, when the vehicle is under maximum dynamic pressure.
So if the rocket gets up into the transsonic region and goes sideways over the Atlantic Ocean, Musk can point to his comments here and say, "Yep, that's a 'win' in my book, as I said."

I doubt they'd be planning to fly the thing if they really thought there was a significant chance of it blowing up on the pad. But I do believe that this configuration is experimental enough that they don't know what will happen during the flight, and don't want everyone to think that this rocket is going to take off and fly right up to orbit without a single hitch.

That's not how you develop rockets in a speedy and economical fashion. NASA's way is to micro-manage each detail so they can usually get a perfect flight out of untested hardware, but of course done NASA-style the whole Falcon program would have cost ten times as much to develop, and probably would still be awaiting its first flight test. This way, you tend to use up boosters on experimental flights, but what you learn from the failures enables you to build better boosters fast and cheap. After a few bad flights you have a successful one, and you build on that success.

Which is why SpaceX has an orbit-capable rocket after spending $400 million instead of $4 billion. And which is also why they can now move into experimenting with heavy-lift vehicles.

* * *

Just remember, there were plenty of white slaves in colonial America.

When I was in school, history lessons glossed over indentured servitude, strongly implying that it wasn't slavery. It wasn't chattel slavery where the master owned the servant; the servant was only one for the duration of the indenture, however long it might be. But the servant was a slave, and was subject to the same (or worse!) treatment as chattel slaves were.

Slavery is not unique to blacks.

* * *

Man, it's Friday, and we're nearing the end of a piss-poor week.

The weather today is significantly drier than yesterday; the humidity dropped like a stone yesterday afternoon. Long after I had to change the tire on the Jeep, of course.

Today I need to fix that tire, run errands, and do some chores around the house. I've got to get moving.
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