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Zeropoint

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Zeropoint last won the day on February 28

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About Zeropoint

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    Millennial Master
  • Birthday 06/15/1976

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    glasnerven
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    Portland, OR and Points South
  • Occupation
    student of mechanical engineering

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  1. I'm with you, Michael. Social justice is worth fighting for. It's hard for me to look at this thread's topic and not think about racism in our world. I see people in this thread who want to be able to, in game, designate whole groups of people as other, as less than, and as without the right to life, based only on their race, utterly without regard for their personal qualities. When I see someone who wants to be able to, in a game, kill people with impunity and no moral qualms because their skin is green, I can't help being reminded of the people who, in the real world, want to be able to kill people with impunity because their skin is brown.
  2. Dynamite, specifically, is an explosive composed of nitroglycerin absorbed in diatomaceous earth. It's actually well known for being unstable and subject to shock detonation. According to Wikipedia, "Dynamite is moderately sensitive to shock. Shock resistance tests are usually carried out with a drop-hammer: about 100 mg of explosive is placed on an anvil, upon which a weight of between 0.5 and 10 kilograms (1.1 and 22.0 lb) is dropped from different heights until detonation is achieved.[8] With a hammer of 2 kg, mercury fulminate detonates with a drop distance of 1 to 2 cm, nitroglycerin with 4 to 5 cm, dynamite with 15 to 30 cm, and ammoniacal explosives with 40 to 50 cm." This is a huge improvement over raw nitroglycerin, and is enough to make dynamite "safe enough" for peacetime use, especially with the lower workplace safety standards of the past. If you think that dynamite is very stable and shock-INsensitive, you're probably thinking of TNT, which popular culture commonly confuses with dynamite since they're both high explosives available in stick form. TNT is so stable that . . . well, here, let me quote Wikipedia again: "TNT was first prepared in 1863 by German chemist Julius Wilbrand and originally used as a yellow dye. Its potential as an explosive was not recognized for three decades, mainly because it was too difficult to detonate and because it was less powerful than alternatives. Its explosive properties were first discovered by another German chemist, Carl Häussermann, in 1891. TNT can be safely poured when liquid into shell cases, and is so insensitive that it was exempted from the UK's Explosives Act 1875 and was not considered an explosive for the purposes of manufacture and storage." TNT and dynamite are considered synonyms by Looney Tunes, but they're different substances with different characteristics. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!
  3. You're looking at footage of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2, taken on April 24 of 2020, between 8:37 PM and 9:14 PM (UTC). It's notable because "It is one of the brightest and therefore largest potentially hazardous asteroids known to exist," and also because "According to observations by the NASA IRTF telescope during the ExploreNEOs Warm Spitzer program, 1998 OR2 is a rather rare L-type asteroid." L-type asteroids are distinguished by their reflective spectral profile, although I can't work out what that means in terms of what they'd look like to human eyes. (52768) 1998 OR2 does not appear likely to actually hit the Earth in the near future, according to the data we have now. On April 16, 2079 it will pass Earth at a distance of roughly 4.6 times the Earth-moon distance. Space contains many objects moving around with enough energy to cause mass destruction (on a human scale) and we survive mainly because space is mind-bogglingly huge (on a human scale) and also because Jupiter's influence protects the inner system.
  4. We've known that this is how planets form for some time now, but it's still awesome to finally have pictures of it!
  5. You've got it on your hands. You don't have enough of it. You've got it on your side. You're pressed for it. You spend it. You waste it. It's in. It's out. It's now. It's past. It's running out. It's drawing near. Chrono Trigger. It's about time.
  6. I'm kind of more impressed by the thousands of dollars worth of Heroscape tiles.
  7. Are you familiar with the principle of conservation of energy? What you're describing violates it quite badly.
  8. That is the obvious sticking point, isn't it? There's been a lot of work being done on "small modular reactors" and I have to wonder if it might not be possible to put one of them in a crash-rated box and still come out ahead of fossil fuels. I may be remembering wrong but I seem to recall that TMI involved a control panel where a valve position was indicated by the position the valve had been ordered to go to, and NOT by reading the actual position of the valve. As I understand it, a valve got stuck and operators didn't know what position it was actually in, and this led to the release of radio-activated steam.
  9. It really sticks in my craw that public opinion of nuclear power has been permanently damaged by a few isolated incidents that all stemmed from egregiously poor decisions. The people behind Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths via the effects of global warming, and in all three of those cases, it's because they blatantly failed to follow good engineering principles--deliberately, knowingly, and culpably failed.
  10. I'm a little unclear on how a sack of flour is dangerous, but I agree with pawsplay in principle. Firearms are, I suppose, kind of easy to use for mass killings, and in this country they definitely have some weird status as a symbol of . . . I dunno, toxic masculine power and virility or something. America has an unhealthy relationship with firearms, that's for sure. However: Anyone, on any side of the issue, who thinks that firearms are the best way to kill a bunch of people simply lacks imagination. For obvious reasons I'm not going to describe better ways to kill people, but in the timespan of a single cup of tea, I could come up with half a dozen ways to cause mass casualties that wouldn't require much technical skill and would be safer for me. Anyone who thinks that banning AR-15s is going to make the country safer is falling for the false promise of a quick and easy solution to a complex and difficult problem.
  11. It's time to stop asking nicely and start making the government do its damn job of caring for the citizens.
  12. A small nuclear power plant would be the obvious choice.
  13. Yeah, the line between "long dagger" and "short sword" is kind of blurry.
  14. I note that swords are not on that list. But, like pawsplay said: "Daggers, though. You can always find a justification for a dagger."
  15. I find it a bit strange that a person is legally allowed to "shack up" with as many people as they want, but marrying more than one person is forbidden.
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