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Chris Sham
Works at Concord College
Attended University of Johannesburg
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Chris Sham

Rocket Science  - 
 
Do our brave kerbonauts wear these? I don't recall seeing a bathroom module in the parts list.
This fecal collection subsystem was assigned to astronaut Alan Shepard, though it is unknown if it was flown on the Apollo 14 mission.
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Chris Sham

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Sham's Proposition: Sham is Always Right
I am always right. This is a very handy mental trick I've discovered, which has two main uses: 1. If you're very uncertain, crippled by doubt, trusting me is better than nothing. At the very least, doubting me is more likely to set you on some productive pa...
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How much for the space program?
I got curious while watching Brits moan (quite sanely) about the cost of their pointless monarchy, and I looked up a few numbers. South Africa has several official monarchies , all pointless . I never get to vote for these people, yet they get roughly US$10...
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Every piloted spacecraft in history. My first rough version of this, thought I'd throw it out for your constructive criticism. My main sources were Wikipedia and spacefacts.de, but there were several more, and I wish I'd kept track of them properly.

It's surprisingly hard to find pictures of some spacecraft, especially the early Soviet stuff (the sole photo I found of Soyuz T-14, hidden behind a crowd, was especially silly). For others, there are too many pictures to choose from, so I had to make up some arbitrary rules to guide my selection.

My rules were these:
1. Space is above 100km, as commonly accepted.
2. It's got to operate as a whole vehicle on its own, not a module of a larger vehicle.
3. There has to be someone aboard it, operating some sort of controls.
4. They are arranged in forward chronological order of the first moment they had crew aboard in space (so a station launched empty is always listed after the vessel that delivered its first crew).
5. External shots always trump interiors.
6. Crew modules are generally more interesting than launchers or other stages, but everything attached at the moment of the picture must be included as a whole.
7. Space shots trump air shots, which trump outdoors ground shots, which trump indoors ground shots.
8. Shots during space travel trump shots after space travel, which trump shots before space travel.
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On the one, more generous hand, I'd say "eeeeerrrrrmmmm, okaaaayy, maybe." But what does it matter? A clever structural plan, intentionally arranged at the start of writing the prequel trilogy, might have provided a good system for intelligently creating new movies that link well with old movies that weren't intended to be linked with.

But failure to populate that structure with something worthwhile kind of wastes this. And as so many of the more narrow critiques have amply demonstrated, the prequels were crap. This only argues that they were crap in an interesting framework.

On the other, less generous hand, I'd say "No fucking way is this what Lucas had in mind!" He clearly did a lot of borrowing, and he appears to have had some sense of symmetry in mind, but this seems like a huge over-stretch.

Without Lucas's pre-production notes, it's hard to be certain, but this feels a lot like a religious apologist's essay, dredging out symbols and meaning from random noise, to fit a preconceived narrative-about-the-narrative.

(Also, still doesn't excuse the shitness.)
 
'Star Wars' Film Series Reexamined Through the Lens of Complex Ring Theory Mathematics, an algebraic study often applied to complex works of art.  "The “intertextual patternings,” while critical to reading the films the way Lucas intended, are actually small pieces of a much larger, more complex puzzle."
http://laughingsquid.com/star-wars-film-series-reexamined-through-the-lens-of-complex-ring-theory-mathematics/ 
The site Star Wars Ring Theory takes a fascinating and intensely detailed new look at the two Star Wars trilogies as seen through the lens of ring theory, an algebraic study often applied to comple...
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This is why it feels like some people are posting the same shit over and over.
 
Not terribly surprising, but still offers an interesting perspective.
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Article from August 2013, neatly predicting and explaining the shit we've seen over the last month or two:

"Hardcore gamers want a product that is made specifically for them and is actively unfriendly to anyone new. They will beg and bully to get this product and then praise and wax nostalgic over any game that lives up to their standards even if the company that made it went bankrupt. They don't care about keeping companies in business or artists employed."

It's like complaining that Caravaggio leans too heavily on the shading, or that Pantera is too shouty and angry. Those are potentially interesting discussions, but it totally misses the point of art to say that the artist HAS to do what you want and not what they want. The same is true of the art of game design. Those 'fans' who resort to serious threats are obviously the shittiest end of the shit stick, but even many of the least aggressive whiners don't seem to have grasped that their role in the whole design process is pretty damn limited, even when the real designers choose to ask for public opinion.
The greatest threat to the video game industry may be some of its most impassioned fans. Increasingly, game developers are finding themselves under attack by some of the very people they devote...
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Chris Sham

Rocket Science  - 
 
I'd never heard the term ephemeral orbit before this.

I'm thinking we could easily recreate this with a disposable Kerbal (by which I mean one you're planning to lose, rather than the usual sort who get lost by accident) in a chair with a battery and a transmitter.

A complete standalone suitsat might also make a fun little mod too.
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Stuffing one with small experiments is genius. :)
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People don't believe what they don't want to see. A blindspot to be cautious of. Presumably, this study won't be believed either.
On the internet, evidence doesn't always matter — and now there's evidence for that. A study published this week shows that men on the internet find it difficult to believe that sexism is a problem...
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Chris Sham

Rocket Science  - 
 
I knew KSP had copied the black & white rocket markings from these historical rockets, and now I know where those markings originally came from. Anyone want to make a colour-based solar heating mod?

And am I the only one who gets annoyed when the black and white stripes on different components (especially of different sizes) don't line up neatly?
 
We all recognize the paint scheme on the Saturn V. But why was it painted like that in the first place?
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Maybe if you don't rotate your craft in space (like the Apollo Missions), then life support will get screwed up...
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Disconnect
If memory serves, I first found the SA Skeptics group on Facebook in late 2010 or early 2011. It was really exciting for me, as some friends and I had only discovered organised skeptical activism a few years earlier, including things like the Skeptic's Guid...
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People
In his circles
230 people
Have him in circles
277 people
Brian Buhl's profile photo
Sponaugle Wellness Institute's profile photo
Jonathan Zwart's profile photo
Andres Feoktistes's profile photo
Peter Borah's profile photo
Anslyn John's profile photo
Michael Dizon's profile photo
Andrew Smith's profile photo
Timothy Aikman's profile photo
Education
  • University of Johannesburg
    BA (Hons) (Development Studies), 2006 - 2006
  • University of Johannesburg
    BA (Politics), 2003 - 2005
Story
Tagline
Lord of all Kitchen Utensils!
Introduction
"He is in fact the conversational equivalent of those late-night tv ads for kitchen implements that brutalise vegetables in entirely unforeseen ways as demonstrated by actors with too much chin pretending to be chefs but that utterly fail to do more than mildly disfigure equivalent vegetables in the comfort of your own kitchen (and with a much smaller chin) in the assuredly hypothetical circumstance that you were watching said ad in a state of altered consciousness to the extent that the device (whichever one it was) looked kinda cool. In the cold grey light of the revelation that you've been ripped off (again), you leave the infernal toy in the second drawer with the blunt knives and mismatched chop sticks in the hope they'll fight it out among themselves.

And that's why we call him 'Spatula'."
- andrewthotep
Bragging rights
Certified (with distinction!) Tribble expert.
Work
Occupation
Teacher
Employment
  • Concord College
    Science Teacher, 2014 - present
  • Urban-Econ
    Junior Development Economist, 2013 - 2013
  • XL@Science
    Senior Tutor, 2010 - 2013
  • XL@Science
    Resources Manager, 2011 - 2013
  • Alzheimer's South Africa
    Ad hoc Volunteer, 2003 - 2013
  • Landulwazi Comprehensive School
    Science Teacher, 2009 - 2009
  • Pop! Art & Culture
    Sales Monkey, 2006 - 2007
  • NMA Effective Social Strategies
    Project Administrator, 2007 - 2007
  • Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Johannesburg
    Student Assistant (Administrative), 2006 - 2006
  • Galaxy Jewellers
    Sales Monkey, 2002 - 2002
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Spatula