Cheeseburger Gothic

Mine's bigger than yours

Posted January 14, 2016 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Starship size comparisons.

15 Responses to ‘Mine's bigger than yours’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 14, 2016
Man, that was fun.

I never realized how large a White Star is or the Lexx.

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Shifty Tourist is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2016
You can't but wonder do some of the bigger ones really need to be as large as they are. I mean, is all the internal space in some of the gigantic ones really that necessary, are they just turning the dial up to 11.
I can see the star destroyers for instance needing the space because they are shipping around entire armies of storm troopers and swarms of very expendable tie fighters, but some of the others... I'm not sure. Are there decks which nobody except the maintenance crew visits. Is all the space just being used for a power source and spare warp cores.

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Squid swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 14, 2016
Very cool.

I see someone superimposed the correct measurement on the Borg cube. Would be a little squishy otherwise.

It needs to be at least........3 times bigger!

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MordWa swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 14, 2016
Keep 'em all. I'll take a TARDIS over all of them - and still have unlimited closet space.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted January 14, 2016
Anyone else excited for Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak's release next week? Looks like Homeworld crossed with Dune - you start off driving a tracked aircraft carrier that's 500+ meters long across a desert planet and go larger from there.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 14, 2016
I don't even know what Homeward is, but I am unfeasibly excited by 500m long aircraft carrier/tank hybrid.

Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 14, 2016
Here's the trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7ior9JoUE0

Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted January 14, 2016
Homeworld is based very heavily on the Chris Foss art aesthetic of those late 70's early 80's SF art covers.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 14, 2016
Whoa did someone shoot the aircraft carrier? I loved that aircraft carrier.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted January 14, 2016
Bastards with orbital weapons. They must be stopped.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted January 14, 2016
That rocked..fkn last section.....ZAP....FROM FKN ORBIT!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 15, 2016
It's the only way to be sure.

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted January 14, 2016
Boys are responsible for all these stories, right?

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted January 14, 2016
Good to see the Dictator class cruiser in there. Stalwart of my second line in my Battlefleet Gothic days.

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Sudragon mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2016
Someone needs to filk that famous Mental as Anything song for Eve Online...yes indeed

The Ships are getting Bigger.

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The fat goes where?

Posted December 31, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

You'll understand my current interest in any seasonally relevent article about losing weight. This one, by Dr Karl about where fat goes when it goes away, is gross but fascinating:

When your body burns fat, it has to inhale lots of oxygen from the air (78 molecules of oxygen to burn one molecule of triglyceride).

Suppose you want to lose 10 kilograms of fat. That means you're going to have to add 29 kilograms of oxygen. That's a lot of breathing, and huffing and puffing. And to finish the process, you're going to get rid of 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water.

And how are you going to get rid of this 39 kilograms of carbon dioxide and water? Overwhelmingly, by breathing them out.

You might lose a tiny amount of this water as sweat or urine. But the vast majority of those atoms that originally made up triglyceride molecules exit your mouth and nose as carbon dioxide and water. However, you have to do a lot of breathing – each breath removes only 33 milligrams of carbon dioxide.

This means that your main excretory organ is your lungs.


My lungs are gonna be working overtime through January. I didn't pack on my normal five kilo christmas pudding, but the tummy eel is looking undeniably well fed.

14 Responses to ‘The fat goes where?’

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted December 31, 2015
and that carbon dioxide was made up of carbon forged in an exploding star.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted December 31, 2015
For the first time ever I've managed to maintain some consistency with my workout plan, even though I got sick with a four week long sinus infection, and stayed true to my eating plan. Thus, for the first time ever for December, I'm not hauling around extra weight.

How did I do it?

1. Swim three to five days a week, 500 yards usually.
2. Lift two to four days a week. Fell off during the sinus infection.
3. Walk our Boston Rat Terrorist everday.
4. Eat breakfast, usually a carb (oatmeal or croissant), a fruit (an apple), and a protein (hard salami).
5. Have a cheat day, usually Saturday or Sunday after payday.
The only mystery to me is that over the past six weeks I've been hitting the bourbon and beer on an almost daily basis. Normally that is a mixture for disaster but not this time. The only thing I can think of is that I take enough melatonin to knock me out at night, ensuring that I get sufficient sleep.

Hopefully come spring with tax season I'll get a refund check and use that to purchase a bicycle. If I ride back and forth to my summer lifeguard job, well, I don't think I'll have any body fat left.

Or I'll break a collarbone again. Who knows?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 31, 2015
I kept up my gym visits, and jujitsu ran thru until a week before Christmas, which helps. But naturally I ate two or three times my own body weight in Christmas treats.

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted January 1, 2016
I suppose a blessing of GERD is that there is a long list of foods I can not eat, most of which fall under the very tasty category.

Still, I had some bacon this morning. With my apple. So I'm good.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted December 31, 2015
I'm still in FKN DENIAL!!!!!

Sudragon puts forth...

Posted January 3, 2016
Wrestle the crocodiles, that should burn a few calories and get the heart rate up.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted December 31, 2015
you been talking with FITZ?
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/peter-fitzsimons-how-i-gave-up-the-grog-20151202-gldn92.html

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 31, 2015
I sent him an email after reading that, warning him the Fat Acceptance Jihad would be after his skinny arse now.

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Spanner mutters...

Posted December 31, 2015
Thanks to a tummy bug I'm 4kg lighter post Christmas.
In other news suck it tubbies.

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Spanner puts forth...

Posted December 31, 2015
That said barfing up your own body weight in ham is not a feasible long term weight loss plan.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 31, 2015
Told you that efnic food was worse for the digestion than a Greybeard story.

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she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 1, 2016
I've extended the Christmas blow out into New Year, by having a couple of friends around for roast beef and Guardians of the Galaxy last night. They brought two tubs of Connoisseur ice cream for dessert, 2/3 of which are still in my freezer, singing their siren song. I also cannibalised the battery out of my bathroom scales to go in the remote for the old Apple TV my brother handed down to me, so I can't even hop on the scales and guilt myself into exercising. I anticipate denial will last to mid January when I finally finish off all the Christmas chocolates I've been given. I moved house in September, and now I'm situated across from a lovely big park that I anticipate I'll start staggering around as my latent exercise regime boots up in late January. Mustn't rush into these things :P

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2016
You have to eat those chocolates. It's the only way to get rid of them.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted January 2, 2016
EXACTLY! It would be rude to make the people who gave them to me help me eat them. I"m sure they've got chocolates of their own to get through.

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Christmas buying guide: neural-nanonic wetware

Posted December 19, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

The last ep of the Clockwise podcast (four technology topics, four contributors, thirty minutes) featured listener questions for its last episode this year, and I am ridiculously excited to announce they used mine:

"Apple, Goolge and Microsoft all release neural nanonic wetware. The Internet in your head! Which one are you gonna buy?"

I work in media. I shouldn't get excited by this. But I do. I really, really do.

It's the last question, so scrub to the final third if you must. But the whole show is always worth a listen. I especially enjoy it when driving kids to school. The shorter length makes it a complete experience.

Link's here.

3 Responses to ‘Christmas buying guide: neural-nanonic wetware ’

Blarkon would have you know...

Posted December 19, 2015
Apple's is shiny, expensive, and you have to have brain surgery each year to ensure that you have the current shiny because the last shiny just makes you feel sick thinking that there are people with current shiny. Shatters if you trip over and requires a special case to avoid having the finish ruined.
The Google one just uploads all your thoughts to the GooglePlex and sells them to advertisers. Any dreams that you have are published to YouTube and you won't get renumerated for them because "information wants to be free". Supported until the next version comes out.
The Microsoft ones are clunky and require patches before they work properly. End up being the most functional but the least cool. People with neckbeards mod them to run Linux which gives them greater smugness but less functionality. Supported for the next decade and come with a free Office 365 trial and McCaffee anti-bad though malware.

KreepyKrawly swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 20, 2015
Don't forget the blank look while it reboots after the inevitable BSOD...

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 20, 2015
Something something about the Digital Divide, the new disadvantaged & their resilience to malware/ hack/ 5 eyes/ sneaky smurf/ creepy marketing/ platform instability.

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Dark Matter blamed for dinosaur killing

Posted December 11, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

This story in the Herald is pretty cool. But it would have been cooler if the dark matter sucked the dinosaurs off the planet into a passing singularity. Professor Randall's hypothesis is kind of banal by comparison.

In her book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, acclaimed Harvard theoretical physicist Lisa Randall outlines a complex – and radical theory – that goes something like this: about 66 million years ago, gravitational perturbations caused by a thin pancake-shaped disc of dark matter in the Milky Way galaxy dislodged icy comets in the Oort cloud at the very edge of the known solar system, resulting in the fiery meteoroid that eventually crash-landed in the Yucatan, leading to the mass extinction of more than 75 per cent of life on the planet in the process.

11 Responses to ‘Dark Matter blamed for dinosaur killing’

pitpat mumbles...

Posted December 11, 2015

Hmmm maybe but probably not. I haven't read the book nor the article but that has never prevented an uniformed pontification . I will admit to being an earth scientist and I am being paid to have a look at the east coast of Australia up round an old goldfield north of Brisbane.

So the first problem I can see being raised is the existence gravitational waves associated with dark matter. As far as I know these waves have not been measured or observed nor for that matter has 'dark matter'. It is the old correlation does not equal causation argument that geologists love to have. Sure it is an expected outcome from theoretical work and has apparently a very small signal in comparison to the 'noise' of the universe which would then have only a small ability to impart motive force.

Secondly I would propose a non-exotic model that does not deny the now obvious smacking the earth took at the end of the Cretaceous ( 66Mya) but places the impact in context of larger earth driven events. For example on the east coast of Aus from about 120-90Mya there has in recent years ( last decade or so ) been a recognition that a large extrusive event(s) ( see volcanoes, faults, plumes, rift valley formation etc) contributed > 2 000 000 cubic km to continental east coast of the Australian continent. Similar events are noted in Sth America and the Antarctic.

As much as I like the narrative arc of massive asteroid caused by gravitational waves which in turn had been caused by dark matter wiping out dinosaurs it would be really good to have some repeatable data or experiment against which we could test this hypothesis. Otherwise I might have to invoke the Skylords or great spaghetti monster as a causation.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 11, 2015
"nor for that matter has 'dark matter'."
The Clooney Thesis. You're forgetting the Clooney Thesis!

pitpat is gonna tell you...

Posted December 11, 2015

Damn it, your right How could I forget the Clooney Thesis. Just to be sure are you talking about the much maligned paper : Periodicity of Non-Orbital Bodies J.Theor. Phys 1993 Clooney, G. submitted as part of the doctoral work between his work on 'The Harvest' and just before 'E.R.'

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted December 11, 2015
And in this way, The Wave was explained to waiting, desperate readers at long last.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted December 11, 2015
I didn't think the Syfy series/comic was that bad. I preferred series the Killjoys but even so to be retrospectively responsible for the C-T extinction is a bit much.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted December 11, 2015
I'm still confident that Greybeard et them.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 12, 2015
I prefer a simpler explanation: time travelers from the future visiting the Cretaceous accidentally discovered that - like their avian descendants - dinosaurs are delicious. They used time machines to supply a wildly popular global chain of fast food retail outlets called KFD (Kentucky Fried Dinosaur - "it's talon- lickin' good") and, consequent to free market capitalism, ate the dinosaurs into extinction. And why not? The KT-Event was going to render them extinct anyway.

Rob would have you know...

Posted December 12, 2015
totally as described by Pat Mills in 2000ad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesh_(comics) all based on a true story

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 13, 2015
Mills totally stole that idea from me. Just like Musk stole my idea for PayPal - including the name. Why does this keep happening to me? Perhaps the aluminum foil helmet I wear when I leave my aluminum foil fortified home isn't sturdy enough to stymie unscrupulous gypsy mind readers in league with the Russian mafia.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 13, 2015
Of course I have a particular reason to find the Term KT event particularly sobering.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted December 14, 2015
Sobering? Not the word I expected. Your personal KT-Event - although world-shaking and
destiny altering - wasn't an extinction event. Quite the opposite.

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Lego Spaceman. In space

Posted December 9, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Can't recall where I found this fellow but I've been meaning to show him off for a while. Andreas Mogensen, Denmark's first astronaut took twenty Lego spacemen up to the ISS and sent one out on a space walk. As his little plastic crewmate floated past the window he got this shot.

13 Responses to ‘Lego Spaceman. In space’

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted December 9, 2015
Immediately after this was the angry sound as someone steps on a wayward Lego brick.

In space, no-one can hear you scream, but they can hear you muffle a few choice swear words.

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Sparty reckons...

Posted December 9, 2015
Sub Commander X'Zarn of the Rh'Holian Hegamony gloated as he looked down on the conquered earth- and then had his smile literally wiped off his face as the lego brick smashed through his head, penetrating his helmet with the kinetic energy of a 50 calibre roudn fired by a Barrett 50.
Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotic lego is awesome by the way -I made a Aliens style sentry gun with working autonomous radar and IFF fire control - its not for kids!

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted December 10, 2015
Cindy Lou stared at the green goop leaking from X'Zarn's head. Trixie did a little more. The faint odour of ethanol stirred her loins. She lapped at the green goop until it was all gone. The Improbability Drive started blinking."How the fuck did I get here?" Cindy Lou exclaimed.

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Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted December 10, 2015
Well, that is just awesome.

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted December 10, 2015
That photo shows the windows of the Cupola. A little observation module they added to the Space Station in 2010. Interesting to read about it in Wikipedia.

SZF ducks in to say...

Posted December 10, 2015
ICB. It's clearly the cockpit of a TIE Fighter.

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted December 10, 2015
OMG!

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted December 10, 2015

This what contributed to the collision in 'Gravity'.


Lulu reckons...

Posted December 10, 2015
There has to be a Lego version of Gravity somwhere on the interwebs, surely?

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted December 10, 2015
There is a trailer at least.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted December 10, 2015

and in breaking News the U.S navy has announced the first of the new Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers will be commanded by James A. Kirk.


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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted December 11, 2015
LIKE

Everything IS awesome!

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted December 11, 2015
Until someone inhales a lego piece

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Just the tip

Posted December 8, 2015 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

A couple of years ago I stared using an email app called Mailbox. It was simple, elegant, powerful, intuitive, all the things Apple’s Mail.app wasn’t and isn’t. The feature I really liked was the swipe. Mailbox were the guys who came up with the idea of triaging your inbox by swiping left or right, Tinder style.

For a couple of years I didn’t bother opening Apple’s baked in mail app at all.

Now Mailbox is dead. Acquired by Dropbox, they were left to rot and now they’re being buried. This makes me sad, and perhaps even a little unhinged, because this very morning I have installed Outlook on all my iThings and my desktop. The Verge tagged it as the best mail client for Apple users, which would be weird, expect Satya Nadella has been red hot on providing Office as a service for both iOS and Mac (mostly for iOS, because of the big spending demographic on offer).

Word on the iPad is simple, elegant, powerful… well, yeah, you get it. I don’t have any Windows kit in the house but I hear the iOS versions of Word in particular are nicer than the native flavour. And, since I already have an Office 365 subscription for editing manuscripts in Word, I figured I’d just go with the Verge’s advice and let a little bit more of Satan’s Own software suite onto my shiny preciousesss…

Just the tip. Promise

14 Responses to ‘Just the tip’

pitpat mumbles...

Posted December 8, 2015
Having been a long time worshipper of the dark side let me welcome you. I have been recently torn however betwixt and between. The new shiny things look so tempting and now that they run Orifice ... I might just dip my toe in the golden waters of Job's tears. Maybe just a mini so I can run Garageband and Dragon Dictate, google Earth(?). The heart says yes , the head says no.

insomniac mutters...

Posted December 8, 2015
Go with the head

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 8, 2015
Makes you wonder what the software wars will look like in 20 years?

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 9, 2015
You ain't seen Terminator?

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted December 9, 2015
or perhaps The Machine vs Samaritan a la Person of Interest - the plucky indie software team being hunted and out-resourced by the agents of Apple.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted December 9, 2015
"Mr Anderson - We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All we're asking in return is your cooperation"

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted December 9, 2015
Agent Smith still creeps me out in that scene.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon ducks in to say...

Posted December 9, 2015
Agent Granny Smith

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted December 9, 2015
If I was drunk enough to exercise I think I'd be dead.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted December 9, 2015
there is nothing better after a hard days work out in the sun clearing up 5 acres than to go inside when you are finished and imbibe in a nice fresh cold beverage of an alcoholic nature. I endorse this study.

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Another John has opinions thus...

Posted December 9, 2015
Have you tried Google's Inbox yet?

Albion Love Den has opinions thus...

Posted December 10, 2015
Concur. It's the shit.

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted December 14, 2015
Dropboz killing off "Carousel" photo app too. Less bothered by that since Google photos, but still...

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