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Everything posted by efaardvark

  1. Third time was not the charm for AT&T.  Got another "running late" robocall/status on the tech, then a no-show.  It is like they don't want my money.  :veryangry:

  2. @Seshi I think I saw a few early episodes of Psycho-Pass. Didn't seem like my kind of thing and some of the underlying science parts are .. dubious but I'll spend a little more time with it. Maybe they explain things better later in the series. @Tv-Crimes Ergo Proxy was close. As with psycho-pass some of the science part is questionable though. Not a bad anime, but in terms of SF and this thread I'd like it "harder".
  3. Have some (pan)cakes.. This is the food channel, right?
  4. It would be so cool if we could see Betelgeuse go supernova.  Probably not going to happen any time “soon” (on a human scale) though.  Probably.


  5. efaardvark

    Gaming chat

    If you're into city-builder games then 2020 looks like your year... https://youtu.be/mlZvQXJ8g_s Two of my faves are getting an update.. The Settlers and KSP2. I might be in trouble, time-wise.
  6. Sometimes it goes that way too. Some noob goes in with wild ideas and wreaks havoc on all the veteran, play-by-spreadsheet crowd's carefully laid plans. I'll have to watch the anime. That does sound like a fun one.
  7. I haven't seen any of this one yet, but I will personally confirm that watching a newbie play games is hilarious, and sometimes painful. Game geeks don't realize that there's a language and a culture to games that outsiders are generally completely unaware of. Leveling up? (AKA "grinding".) Tanking? What's a DPS character? A buff? A boss? A mob? PvE? PvP? MMO? MMORPG? VRMMORPG???? Yes, gamers have their own acronym soup. Watching normies (try to) engage in the gaming world can be a real eye-opener. Even "simple" games like minecraft are often intimidating and opaque to newbies. I once introduced someone to minecraft (at her request) and she wanted to play it "without help". She'd heard it was easy you see, and thought it would be a good intro. Anyway, talk about starting off on the wrong foot! I mean, doesn't "everyone" know that MC is supposed to be multiplayer? Ok, so we'll do it your way. (I'm just the tech staff.) And then she decided to start with an "easy" game ("I'm not that creative") and as luck would have it she started in a desert. No trees, all sand. No wood! No crafting table. No tools! Must have died hundreds of times in the first few nights.
  8. Welcome to AF! It seems we have an instigator in our midst!
  9. This would be my preferred scenario, actually. I've never understood the "travel" fascination .. as in visiting all the tourist traps, taking a few selfies, and coming back to work more exhausted than you were before you left on your "vacation". To me the whole point of travel is to learn about someplace first-hand. I'd much rather deep-dive... live in a place for months or years and really get to know the place. Ideally I'd know someone there, or arrange to move in with a tolerant native, or something along those lines. Of course, that's a much bigger commitment. Plus there's the practical difficulties of an extended stay. My native language is English, and being a product of the US publik edukayshun system that's pretty much the only language I speak, though I can understand a bit of spoken Japanese and I might still remember a bit of German from HS. I can read hiragana/katakana, but Kanji is still a wall. And since I'm not a millionaire I'd need some way to earn income to pay the rent, etc. I'd have to have a really good support system there to help me earn a living while "visiting". But if I could overcome all that then yeah, I think it'd be fun and educational to live there for a while.
  10. No, the other "c" word. You know 4 letters... I'll still eat it. One can never eat too much pasta. nomnomnomnom
  11. Demons and Wizards was good. "He was the wizard of a thousand kings..."
  12. efaardvark

    Gaming chat

    Looks like Sony isn't going to E3 this year either.. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/01/on-eve-of-ps5-sony-confirms-it-will-skip-e3-for-second-year-in-a-row/ Oh! Steampunk and VR?? HDR?? Shut up and take my money! https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/9/21058056/panasonic-vr-glasses-hdr-hands-on-ces-2020 "Panasonic is unlikely to ever sell these glasses as a consumer product." Damn..
  13. I'm ok now. They had chicken & pasta salad for lunch in the cafeteria at work today.
  14. Thanks for the follow!

  15. </me actually reads the topic title for a change. > If I had to pick one thing it is that I'm passionate about the future. Charles Kettering, an engineer and inventor once said, "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." Same here. And by extension science, technology, and especially space. From everything I've read and heard, the type of future we'll have is overwhelmingly determined by the human population of the planet. There's already way too many people on the planet to live "naturally", so we have to somehow learn to be more efficient with what we have. Science and technology can and has been helping with that. A lot. However, that's not enough. No matter how small an environmental footprint an individual has, when multiplied by the billions and billions of us it always adds up to "too much". And the population in most parts of the world just keeps growing exponentially. (Worldwide it is just over 1%/year last I checked.) True the population is showing signs of an S-curve, but that just means we're already running into resource limits. Worse, our economy and social structures are all geared towards infinite expansion as well. Companies have to grow profits year over year over year. The Fed targets a 2% per year expansion of the economy and panics if you even mention the word "deflation". Unfortunately the simple fact is that there can be no such thing as infinite growth on a finite planet, and we never learned how to live sustainably on our own without nature taking drastic measures to keep us in check. I'd rather we learned how to live sustainably and comfortably. Certainly we should give up on boneheaded, wasteful ideas like "consumerism", and burning "fossil" fuels for energy. Thing is, we don't show many signs of doing so at the scale necessary. Likely we don't have the time to do so at this point even if we wanted to, at least not without major disruptions and severe consequences. So that just leaves one place to go for the resources. Or rather, everywhere but one. We need to get into space in a huge way. Industry would work better and certainly pollute the Earth less if moved to space anyway, provided it has a resource base to work with. I've spent pretty much my entire career working with projects that help us learn how to operate in space and to explore space. My favorite projects have always been either the ones like Pathfinder or Deep Space One (and later Dawn) that test out new technologies or ones like MRO, Odyssey, or LRO that find and map out where the basic resources like water and thorium are. Also of course the projects that help better manage the resources we have here on here on Earth. I love seeing the advancements made by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. We need to do this.
  16. Hello! Welcome..
  17. One subject near-and-dear to my heart is science fiction, with extreme emphasis on the science. Star Wars is not what I would call science fiction. It is swords and sorcery with fantastic, impossible weapons and “space ships” that fly and maneuver like airplanes.. even in the airlessness of space! It doesn’t care about physics, not even its own. It doesn’t even understand that a parsec is a distance, not a speed. It is “science” fiction only because somebody dropped it in the genre and was too lazy to fish it out. Star Trek is also not science fiction. It uses science-ish words in a generally self-consistent manner, but it abuses them to hand-wave impossible technology like “warp” drives into existence. It is about as plausible science-wise as Neon Genesis Evangelion. A more appropriate name might be bafflegab fiction. And just to short-circuit any heated "discussion" about the relative merits of the above as they pertain to entertainment, I happen to like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. I'm not saying that they're in any way "bad". However, for the purposes of this topic they are hereby declared to be "not-science fiction". Not what I'm looking for and not what I'm here to discuss. I cite them only because they are well-known examples of the sort of "science" fiction that I'm trying to get past. ----- No, what I’m looking for here is science-themed anime (or manga, or books) based on real science. What I mean by science-themed is that science or technology or engineering must be a central element of the plot, character(s), and/or setting, and nothing important to the plot or setting of the story should contradict generally-accepted, real-universe physical laws as science currently understands them. It may extend them, or speculate at the edges of that body of knowledge, but it must not contradict their core. Tools and devices used must at least be theoretically possible to create and operate in the real universe, and ideally practically so. Space ships made out of unobtanium or requiring energy equal to the mass of the universe to function for example are not practical and would be disallowed. Likewise things like “psionics” or “superpowers” would be considered to be just different pronunciations of “magic” and likewise excluded from the category. Note however that applications of Clarke’s 3rd law are allowed, even encouraged, provided the “magic” can be explained using science and fabricated with real-world engineering techniques. In other words, no wizards, unless they’re really cyborgs with their own wifi-controlled nanite swarms. "Telepathy" between normal humans is allowed, if they've had the appropriate hardware surgically implanted. If you’re still not clear on the concept, take a look at this page (Mohs Scale) I’m looking for a 5 or 6 on the “Mohs scale”. Examples of anime that might make the cut: Planetes Dennou Coil (basically AR, just with really advanced hardware, and we already have stuff like pokemon go and Minecraft Earth) Sword Art Online, "Aincrad" arc (fantasy on top, yes, but a “hard” core of plausibly real-world technology underneath) Ghost in the Shell Space Brothers (borderline, could be considered simply slice-of-life or drama, but a focus on science and engineering as central to the setting and plot development saves it.) Moonlight Mile Rocket Girls Note that I’m making no claims as to the entertainment quality of any of the above, just stating that they have reasonably solid basis in real-world physics and engineering. IOW, they could be real in an alternate timeline or at some point in the foreseeable future. I've seen all of the above. If anyone has any others to recommend I’d love to hear about them. Many places, even book and movie stores, have “science fiction and fantasy” sections. Ugh. Do a google search on “science fiction” and you’ll get Star Trek, Star Wars, Dune, etc. at the top of the list. With so many not-science topics obscuring the field it is hard to find the “real” science fiction that I’m after here.
  18. Getting far too familiar with navigating AT&T's phone hell.

    Still no fiber.  I think the gods are having fun with me again.  :angry:

    1. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      you know, it kinda surprises me how horrible phone service providers seem in the US (hearing more and more quite bizarre things about it). I always thought customer service was supposed to be a thing in the US, customer is always right and all that

    2. efaardvark


      That was back in the old days when we had competition and free markets.  Now we have monopolies.  They don't have to care.

    3. The History Kid

      The History Kid

      I called AT&T out on their LTE-Lite stuff years ago, they never gave me a solid answer about it either.  Of course that's the cellular side of things.  The fact is, their shady response prevented them from stealing me from Verizon.  Worked in my favor, I'll say.

  19. Another one... Not exactly an OP/ED but I always liked this song from Clannad...
  20. I'd like this one to be remade to be more like the manga version. I'm not usually into the sports-themed anime, but I read the manga first on this and was intrigued enough that I tried the anime. The anime wasn't totally bad, but what's there could certainly use a makeover, and it definitely needs to be completed/caught up to the manga!
  21. I recently had a chance to try pine bark bread. I know, sounds tasty right? Lots of fiber. Actually wasn't too bad. Similar in texture to something like rye, but with definite pine aroma and taste. The person I got the sample from said you can also use the unleavened dough to make crackers.

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