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Winchell Chung
14,275 followers -
If you have not learned something new today, the day is lost.
If you have not learned something new today, the day is lost.

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Another question for the G+ mass-mind
I'm trying to make a list of characters in science fiction stories that are "technomages". Defined as characters who create the illusion of having magic powers by using technological devices hidden in their clothing or surgically embedded.

So for I have:
[1] Technomages from Babylon 5 TV show
[2] The Magician of Mars from the old Captain Future pulps
[3] The priests of Mota from Robert Heinlein's The Sixth Column (aka The Day After Tomorrow)
[4] The priests from John Campbell's ALL (which was given to Heinlein to re-write it into The Sixth Column).

Can anybody think of others I have missed? Anything in novels, TV, movies, anime, manga, whatever.
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How did machine guns fire through propeller blades? The engine was actually pulling the trigger.

Early airborne combat was more like a drive-by shooting as pilot used handheld firearms to fire upon other aircraft. Whomever could boost firepower and accuracy would have the upper hand and so machine guns were added to planes. But it certainly wasn’t as…
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Another thread by +Andrew Doull of a High Frontier RPG play test
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+Andrew Doull twitter thread about progress turning the boardgame High Frontier into a kick-ass role playing game

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This is an interesting enough article in its own right, but those who have read +Winchell Chung's Atomic Rockets site may notice that it is also similar to the method proposed to get deep penetration of targets from pulsed laser beams. Just replace the stream of droplets with a sequence of laser pulses.
https://phys.org/news/2018-04-matryoshka-effect-underwater-phenomenon.html
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Mikael Thalen tweeted:
In 1960 the Air Force proposed thwarting a Soviet nuclear attack by using a massive array of rocket engines to momentarily pause the earth’s rotation, thus causing the missiles to overshoot their targets.

Seriously.

(the rest of the thread is people doing calculations on the backs of envelopes in order to heap scorn on this obviously ridiculous idea.)
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Tahoe recreational math conference
I've been invited to talk at a recreational math conference at Lake Tahoe April 28. I will talk about the family of conics associated with a space elevator or a vertical orbital tether. The presentation combines stuff from a number of my earlier blog posts....
Tahoe recreational math conference
Tahoe recreational math conference
hopsblog-hop.blogspot.com
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Remember kids, if you don't pack radiators on your spaceships +Winchell Chung will be sad. The tricky thing about thermal coverings on spacecraft is that whilst white paint and fabric is great at reflecting sunlight, it sucks at radiating away the heat.

Now... why not both?
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Interesting post about how challenging it is to determine what an asteroid looks like before it is actually visited by a space probe. "We are now only a short distance from asteroid Ryugu! The other day (on February 26, 2018), an image of Ryugu was successfully captured using the Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic (ONC-T) onboard Hayabusa2 (story and images here). Although the asteroid can currently only be seen as a bright point, it is very encouraging for the Hayabusa2 Project Members to spot the destination!

Nobody yet knows what Ryugu will look like. Even the Hayabusa2 Project Members and experts from all around the world do not know! This is why we are hosting a contest to ask you all to imagine what Ryugu will be like before Hayabusa2 arrives at the asteroid. But what do we already know about Ryugu, and why is it so hard to know what it looks like? Here I will summarise what you might find helpful when picturing Ryugu.

Note: This explanation is quite long and sometimes a bit technical. For imagining what Ryugu will look like, it may be better not to have your ideas tangled up in all this information! So if you find this a tricky read, feel free to just skip to the last summary.
[...]
When summarizing what is known or presumed about Ryugu, we can say,

"Ryugu is an asteroid with an approximately spherical shape and size (diameter) of about 900 m, with a black-ish surface (low reflectance). It is a C-type asteroid that rotates every 7.5 hours."

Can you imagine Ryugu with this description? Perhaps you can imagine an asteroid closer to what Ryugu will truly look like by not being restricted to the information written here. It is a challenge for your imagination"
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hayabusa2.jaxa.jp
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