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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: corwinargentus on May 29, 2009, 08:28:09 am

Title: Look out Guzmans
Post by: corwinargentus on May 29, 2009, 08:28:09 am
I am hoping this deal is all it seems to be, but I smell a rat somewhere. 

Is the representative of the Terraforming concern on the up-and-up and the light-haried guy shadowing him the bad guy?  Or is it the other way around? 

Will the light-haired slightly aging Race-Bannon form turn out to be on the side of right and good, and the deal be a set up targeted at the Guzmans and Ceres in general from the UW?  The apparent immediate transfer of funds to Babette's terminal seems to shock her a bit, and just seems ominous.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: terry_freeman on May 30, 2009, 08:48:12 pm
It could be just me, but if this week's episodes had a soundtrack, it would be something dark and ominous.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: deadasdisco on May 31, 2009, 12:15:21 pm
Quote
Is the representative of the Terraforming concern on the up-and-up and the light-haried guy shadowing him the bad guy?  Or is it the other way around?

Or there's always option #3 and this is a bit of 'Space Noir', neither's on the up-and-up and the Guzman boys are caught between two differant flavors of bad. 
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: quadibloc on June 01, 2009, 07:35:54 pm
Since the customer is insisting on absolute secrecy, he has become my strongest suspect, whereas before that, the person listening in had been. All I can be sure of is the obvious, though: that this is the beginning of a new story arc.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: corwinargentus on June 02, 2009, 08:49:13 am
Quote
Is the representative of the Terraforming concern on the up-and-up and the light-haried guy shadowing him the bad guy?  Or is it the other way around?

Or there's always option #3 and this is a bit of 'Space Noir', neither's on the up-and-up and the Guzman boys are caught between two differant flavors of bad. 

Oooooh.  Nasty possibility.  Plus the boys are excited to get this business so they can start to build their own operation.  Their eagerness is leaving them exposed and short of caution.  They are not stupid, and have Reggie's wisdom to prompt them to think a little more clearly, so I am in hopes when they go to rent Reggie's burner they listen to him carefully.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: deadasdisco on June 02, 2009, 01:39:37 pm
I dunno... is even Reggie's wisdom a match for the four most deadly words in the english language? "I've Got a Plan!" (Seriously, this is reminding me of some of the guys I went to college with... "Hey, I've got this awesome plan, just listen..." oy...)
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Monkt on June 02, 2009, 08:11:31 pm
I dunno... is even Reggie's wisdom a match for the four most deadly words in the english language? "I've Got a Plan!" (Seriously, this is reminding me of some of the guys I went to college with... "Hey, I've got this awesome plan, just listen..." oy...)
I've got a plan never seems to go quite as planned.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: corwinargentus on June 06, 2009, 07:58:53 am
I guess I have SOME hope.  While Bert is not a complete idiot by any means, Ernie really seems to have quite a lot on the ball.  I hope enough alarm bells go off in his head to spur him to a good level of caution.  I guess we'll see.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: quadibloc on June 07, 2009, 04:27:05 pm
Although I don't know which movie it is, I'm quite confident that line "If I didn't dicker... you would not respect me" was inspired by a movie as well. This makes me worried about his level of caution, although his partner and brother seems to be cautious enough for both of them.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on June 08, 2009, 10:09:11 am
Although I don't know which movie it is, I'm quite confident that line "If I didn't dicker... you would not respect me" was inspired by a movie as well.

If I got it from a movie, I don't remember it. I have, however, used it to good effect when dealing with Asians. It's always good for a knowing smile and usually gets me a better deal.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: deadasdisco on June 09, 2009, 02:02:00 pm
Annnnnd... that answers our questions about the whole good guy/bad guy, client/pale man relationship.  Pretty substantially.  BTW, totally unrelated, the now-late Client was wondering about Tandoori (coincidentially, as I was thinking about dinner m'self) but didn't specify a type.  What kind of meat can they get on Ceres?  Synth or real?
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on June 09, 2009, 08:31:22 pm
What kind of meat can they get on Ceres?  Synth or real?

This will be answered obliquely in an upcoming arc. However, synthetic food can be constructed in fabs (nanotech black boxes), but it isn't very good. Simple household fabs are used for bulk items, such as personal electronic and for de-constructing organic and inorganic waste. Most of the food is actually farmed in multi-mile-high towers at the poles. In addition, most independence-minded Cerereans have home gardens and raise rabbits, chickens, etc.

So most any sort of meat, vegetable or grain is available in Ceres and the other inhabited Belt bodies.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 09, 2009, 09:48:15 pm
Most of the food is actually farmed in multi-mile-high towers at the poles.

This reminds me of a question I had earlier:  what are the economics of air (or more specifically, O2)?  There has been no mention of how the cost for this is borne, and I would expect there to be a cost, at minimum for transferring it from the poles (where I would presume most of it is generated via photosynthesis) and the common living/business areas.

After all, TANSTAAFB (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Breath)  ;)
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: quadibloc on June 10, 2009, 03:27:35 am
And now, of course, the Guzmans really have no way of knowing what they're getting into. The killer is overhearing their plans... and we have a reference to Antoine de Saint-Euxpéry, if I'm not mistaken.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Sean Roach on June 10, 2009, 04:51:35 am
Go to an office building and ask to use the restroom.  See if you're refused.  The office building pays to maintain that restroom, both in power, water, and cleanliness.  They don't pass that on to you the casual user, but rather to the people who have shop in the building, who charge you for whatever services they offer.

However, why would most of the air be generated at the poles?  Perhaps that excess mostly gasses up burners.  chemical cracking might be easier on site.
Something to consider.  CO2 can be cracked for carbon to feed the fabs while leaving a breathable atmosphere for the general population.  The whole thing can be run off wall-power rather than solar, and the end products wouldn't be limited to plant fibers, sugars and starches.

Edit.
On the other hand, who's to say there is an O2 surplus at the poles?  Meat needs a lot more O2, per bushel of harvestable product, than grain needs CO2.  There might be a near balance at the poles rather than an oxygen surplus.

Additionally, piping that much O2 around from a few locations adds a degree of risk.  If your life depends on it, hourly, you probably want a multiply-redundant system, and short supply lines.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on June 10, 2009, 09:54:08 am
This reminds me of a question I had earlier:  what are the economics of air (or more specifically, O2)?  There has been no mention of how the cost for this is borne, and I would expect there to be a cost, at minimum for transferring it from the poles (where I would presume most of it is generated via photosynthesis) and the common living/business areas.

After all, TANSTAAFB (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Breath)  ;)
Actually, in a market economy, a lot of things are free (for some value of "free"). The most pervasive mass transit system in America is privately owned and almost entirely free. Anyone care to guess what that is? (Autographed postcard to the first correct answer.) Did you ever pay for parking or the air conditioning, lighting or music at a shopping mall? Lots of things are free when they serve as loss leaders for business.

In the particular case of Ceres, remember that there is oxygen in every direction; an ocean of it. Nobody buys O2, they take it out of the ice. In the case of the Ceres City retail area, the free oxygen is just a cost of doing business, borne by the Merchant's Association. City neighborhoods have owners' associations that charge a maintenance fee for air and other services. Individual families on seasteads extract their own.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on June 10, 2009, 10:22:22 am
And now, of course, the Guzmans really have no way of knowing what they're getting into. The killer is overhearing their plans... and we have a reference to Antoine de Saint-Euxpéry, if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, but not for any deep symbolic reason. Probably a whole slew of planetoids will be named that by settlers. In fact, some already are. There is an asteroid moon named, Petit-Prince, an asteroid designated 46610 Bésixdouze (which means "B-six-twelve," B612 being the number of the name of the Little Prince's asteroid) and there is an asteroid named 2578 Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince.

Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Sean Roach on June 10, 2009, 01:32:11 pm
The Disney monorail?

Edit.  I'm having a hard time reconciling my guess with the word "pervasive".  The Disney monorail only services a little spot in Florida.  Oh, well.  I'll leave this up and see what the answer turned out to be.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on June 10, 2009, 02:38:34 pm
The Disney monorail?

Edit.  I'm having a hard time reconciling my guess with the word "pervasive".  The Disney monorail only services a little spot in Florida.  Oh, well.  I'll leave this up and see what the answer turned out to be.

Every city in America. Pervasive.

Clue: it runs on rails.   ???
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Brugle on June 11, 2009, 09:32:38 am
I seem to recall one of L. Neil's essays calling automobiles the best mass transit system ever.  But since most roads are not privately owned, I guess that's not what you meant.

Rails suggest elevators.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on June 11, 2009, 01:56:47 pm
I seem to recall one of L. Neil's essays calling automobiles the best mass transit system ever.  But since most roads are not privately owned, I guess that's not what you meant.

Rails suggest elevators.


BINGO! We have a winner! It certainly fits the criteria of mass transit and it usually is free (except for things like the ride to the top of the Empire State Building). However, I know that some of you are going to be pissing and moaning about it being unfair, so let the carping begin.  ;D

(Brugal, send me a message with your mailing address and I'll send you the signed EFT postcard.)
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: deadasdisco on June 14, 2009, 01:15:24 pm
Hmmm... another "accident" aimed at the FSM?  This sound familiar to anyone?  But how (if it does) does the mysterious (probably Tellurian) vendetta against the FSM relate to the Pale Man and the dead Smythe.  And what's really going on on the mysterious TLP Asteroid.  Tune in Next Week!  (Sorry, I got a love of old space serials and sci-fi adventure strips that gets the better of me sometimes..)
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: deliberatus on June 16, 2009, 05:58:37 pm
I look at it like this; the earth knows they have a problem, and need to establish a forward baase for efficency of operations. this means they need raw materials- and water provides oxygen, hydrogen, and as is serves as reaction mass. So the receiving agent shakes their hands at a primitive advanced base on a big rock, claiming big ore bodies and a new mining consoortiium.  the longer they keep it under wraps, the more they cn spend money on getting resources locally.

And of course, they are using existing merchant traffic to seed intel agents and sleeper saboteurs into the local belter population. Ayn Rand understood that they were sneaky and evil, but not stupid.

But they ARE paranoid and evil, and having cloaked ships can betray that this is more than a simple mining operation- and in this the plot thickens...
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: KBCraig on June 23, 2009, 02:23:09 am
It's obviously waaaay past time for Bert & Ernie to hit the emergency thrusters and GTFO of Dodge.

I will remain an entranced reader while they deal with the consequences of not following my advice.  ;)

Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on June 23, 2009, 11:50:48 pm
You know, I was thinking that maybe the fighter pilot doesn't know about the other ship.  If he's really in the dark then maybe Bert and Ernie will get the blame for bringing it to the secret location.  All kinds of interesting possiblities.  ???
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Colonel Healy on July 04, 2009, 06:27:56 am
I have really been enjoying the story thus far. A personal planetoid with relativly high gravity implies some truly advanced science, gravitational controll perhaps ?

On a side note I found an article in the Santa Fe New Mexican about a scientist @ Los Alamos who claims to be able to make radio waves go Faster Than Light.

It doesen't sound like quantum entanglement, but it does show that something like Tanglenet could be possible. 
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Colonel Healy on July 04, 2009, 06:29:07 am
OOOPS!
Forgot to post the link
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/HealthandScience/LANL_scientist_makes_radio_waves_travel_faster_than_light
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 04, 2009, 08:41:41 pm
Sounds a lot like the late Phillip "Taylor" Kramer, the former base player for the "Iron Butterfly".  After working on faster than light communication and claiming that he had made a breakthrough "mysteriously" disappeared in 1996.  That sparked a congressional investigation.  His remains were found in 1999.  He indicated that the secret was a special signal compression if I remember correctly.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: deadasdisco on July 08, 2009, 08:47:06 am
Ya know, correcting for regional differances (I've never even been NEAR Hawai'i) Kobiyashi sounds a lot like the software guys I know, all the biggest shiniest toys and a near allergy to grown-up trappings.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 08, 2009, 09:08:21 pm
When I saw the name the first thing that I thought of was the "Kobiyashi Maru".  That's a name that every "Star Trek TOS" fan knows well.  ;D
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 08, 2009, 09:26:58 pm
When I saw the name the first thing that I thought of was the "Kobiyashi Maru".  That's a name that every "Star Trek TOS" fan knows well.  ;D

I built the name based on the meaning of forest and racing clouds, or something like that. I don't have my notes in front of me. That is why he has the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and other things with cloud or trees/forest in their names.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: KBCraig on July 09, 2009, 03:57:02 am
I thought "Guy Kawasaki", but that's because he's the only computer genius of Japanese descent who springs to mind.

Yes, I was an Evangelista back in the day.  ;)

Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 09, 2009, 02:13:11 pm
I have a screenplay that I'm working on occasionally that one of the characters name is Dr. Iwamoto.  The name comes from Tetsuzo Iwamoto was the second highest scoring fighter pilot of WW2 with about 87 known kills and was nicknamed "Tiger Tetsu".
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 09, 2009, 02:19:02 pm
Sandy:  You may remember this.  Back in I think 1968 there was a television show called Burke's law starring Gene Barry (Bat Masterson).  He was a multimillionaire detective that instead of a squad car drove around in a 1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.   I always loved that car and wanted one.  8)
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 09, 2009, 04:05:08 pm
Sandy:  You may remember this.  Back in I think 1968 there was a television show called Burke's law starring Gene Barry (Bat Masterson).  He was a multimillionaire detective that instead of a squad car drove around in a 1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.   I always loved that car and wanted one.  8)

I remember the show, but I don't think I watched it much.

The Rolls Royce has always had a certain cachet, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Colonel Healy on July 10, 2009, 06:05:23 pm
So  Kobayashi's ship  just stumbled accross TLP, with its .61 gravity. That would imply that there should be other such planetoids out there as well.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 10, 2009, 07:24:17 pm
So  Kobayashi's ship  just stumbled accross TLP, with its .61 gravity. That would imply that there should be other such planetoids out there as well.

I'm not sure how that follows. Asteroids are really few and far between, given the volume of the Belt. They are even rarer in the Kirkwood 3:2 Gap. This is a real gap in the Belt where harmonic perturbations, caused by Jupiter's gravity, sweep the area mostly clear.

A survey ship that happened upon TLP would first notice that it was as round as a cue ball. As they did a fly-by, their trajectory would be noticeably affect by its gravity.

One note of clarification. TLP has a surface gravity of .61 g. If you stand on a tall enough tower on earth, at some point you would also experience .62 g. Gravity varies inversely as to the square of the distance. Twice as far from the center of mass results in 1/4 the effect of gravity.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on July 10, 2009, 08:07:39 pm
I'm not sure how that follows. Asteroids are really few and far between, given the volume of the Belt. They are even rarer in the Kirkwood 3:2 Gap. This is a real gap in the Belt where harmonic perturbations, caused by Jupiter's gravity, sweep the area mostly clear.

A survey ship that happened upon TLP would first notice that it was as round as a cue ball. As they did a fly-by, their trajectory would be noticeably affect by its gravity.

The paper at http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=.&classic=YES&bibcode=1990MNRAS.244..513M&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_LOW&send=GET&filetype=.pdf (http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=.&classic=YES&bibcode=1990MNRAS.244..513M&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_LOW&send=GET&filetype=.pdf) does not share the opinion that the area is "swept mostly clear" (see the first paragraph of the introduction). 

Also, if the area is, in fact, not that clear, I would expect the shape to be far from "round as a cue ball", since it has sufficient gravity to pull in smaller asteroids/debris in, but insuffucient surface gravity to flatten it out.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 10, 2009, 11:06:02 pm
I'm not sure how that follows. Asteroids are really few and far between, given the volume of the Belt. They are even rarer in the Kirkwood 3:2 Gap. This is a real gap in the Belt where harmonic perturbations, caused by Jupiter's gravity, sweep the area mostly clear.

A survey ship that happened upon TLP would first notice that it was as round as a cue ball. As they did a fly-by, their trajectory would be noticeably affect by its gravity.

The paper at http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=.&classic=YES&bibcode=1990MNRAS.244..513M&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_LOW&send=GET&filetype=.pdf (http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=.&classic=YES&bibcode=1990MNRAS.244..513M&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_LOW&send=GET&filetype=.pdf) does not share the opinion that the area is "swept mostly clear" (see the first paragraph of the introduction).

No, the paper refers to the idea that the Kirkwood gap is a region where asteroids do not exist. I never posited that. Then it says the statistical analysis ensures that the gap is "well populated." It does not say, however, compared to what. In general, you can rarely even see one asteroid from another even in the main belt. And they are even less dense in the K Gap. At any rate, we are talking about an isolated case. The paper's argument is only statistical. Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get.  

Also, if the area is, in fact, not that clear, I would expect the shape to be far from "round as a cue ball", since it has sufficient gravity to pull in smaller asteroids/debris in, but insuffucient surface gravity to flatten it out.

What is your basis for that claim? Encounters between asteroids is relatively rare. Remember, when the asteroid captured the black hole (or more correctly, when the black hole captured the asteroid) a lot of orbiting about the black hole would have heated and reshaped the asteroid until things settled down. The Kirkwood Gap is less populated than the main belt.  2.3 x 1018 kilograms is nothing to sneeze at, nor is a surface gravity of .62 g. I contend that TLP would not have pulled in a lot of other objects because (a) they are not that many to be swept up and (b) while TLP's gravity well is relatively deep (high gradient), it wouldn't be all that wide. After that, I think that hydrostatic equilibrium would make for a pretty round world. Of course there will be mountains and other raised and lowered terrain, but as seen from a distance, "round as a cue ball" isn't too much of an exaggeration.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 11, 2009, 08:00:51 am
I just noticed that I made one mistake with regard to TLP. I referred to the Kirkwood 3:2 Gap. There ain't no such thing. It should have been the Kirkwood 3:1 Gap. For a very revealing look at the profoundness of the Kirkwood Gaps, see the histogram at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkwood_gap

The paper cited was written in 1990. The Wikipedia article on Kirkwood Gaps was last updated in April. My guess is that 19 years of further study has yielded more accurate results.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 11, 2009, 03:04:44 pm
Sandy:
     Just out of cursiousity did you choose .62g because that is roughly the minimum amount of gravity neccessarity to prevent the oxygen in the atmosphere from escaping into space?  I don't know what the calculation is, but I imagine that it's somewhere in that neighborhood.  :D
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 11, 2009, 03:49:08 pm
Sandy:
     Just out of cursiousity did you choose .62g because that is roughly the minimum amount of gravity necessary to prevent the oxygen in the atmosphere from escaping into space?  I don't know what the calculation is, but I imagine that it's somewhere in that neighborhood.  :D

Well, now things gets confusing. I had wanted a reasonably large planetoid, so I could have some interesting islands and an ocean... of sorts. I also wanted to have a moon that was in synchronous orbit. Plus a surface gravity less than one g. So I had to monkey with the mass of the black hole and other factors. Unfortunately, my original back-of-the-envelope figures turned out to be flawed. So we got Anton Sherwood to come up with a spread sheet to let us play with the values. (Thank you, Anton.) Ultimately, we came up with a couple of good sets of values. Due to a communications snafu, Scott and I thought we were talking about the same preferred set. Actually, I liked one set (which I will use in the collection of short stories I am working on) and Scott liked the other. By the time we became aware of the discrepancy, the scripting and drawing were too far along to change things without a lot of sturm und drang, so we went with Scott's preference. It's good enough for anti-government work, so that's where the .62 g came from.

Now as to your specific question, I don't think there is such a number that applies to all objects. The reason is that even though a surface gravity may be a particular value, that is irrelevant to loss of any particular gas. What is relevant is escape velocity which is determined by the mass of the object and from how far away from its center of gravity you are when you try to escape. Mars and Mercury have almost exactly the same surface gravity (.38 g), but significantly different escape velocities, 5.027 km/s and 4.25 km/s, respectively. Mars has an atmosphere, Mercury doesn't. There are other factors at play, of course, but escape velocity is the primary one. For some very large differences, Venus, Earth, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have about the same surface gravity, but wildly difference escape velocities. (E.g., Earth is 11.186 km/s; Saturn is 35.5 km/s.)

TLP, with an escape velocity of only .247 km/s (1/45 that of earth) is way too small to keep an atmosphere. So the whole planetoid is covered with an "airskin." You will learn more about this as the strip progresses.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 11, 2009, 08:55:50 pm
Sandy:  Okay, thanks for the quick reply.  I HAD forgotten about the airskin.  You addressed very nicely my error in assuming there was no difference between escape velocity and gravity as it pertains to the atmosphere.   Thanks. 
Title: black hole
Post by: pchkoreff on July 12, 2009, 10:23:58 pm
I knew it had to be a black hole!

I'm just trying to figure out the physics of how the planetoid can avoid
being sucked into the black hole eventually.  I know the black hole is
only 50 nm across.  Nevertheless, the gravity near that thing must be
something enormous, like 100g or something, who knows.

So maybe the core material is in orbit around the black hole, spinning
very rapidly.  The farther out you went from the center, the more slowly
the material would have to travel to maintain orbit.  I don't think you
could have a smoothly graduated speed difference from center all the way
out to surface, because it wouldn't have an structural integrity.  So
maybe as the illustration suggests there's an inner liquid core that
orbits around the black hole rapidly, and at the "interface" between
liquid magma and solid crust the velocity is low enough to avoid any
serious turbulence that would eat away the crust from the inside out.
Or maybe that interface is plasma gas and thus very low friction, like
water drops skating around on a hot grill.

It's a neat puzzle, and I look forward to hearing the explanation.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Sean Roach on July 12, 2009, 11:16:25 pm
Hmm.

How does an arch avoid falling to earth?

Why can't the planetoid be hollow?

Since all objects, regardless of mass or size, accelerate toward a gravity well at the same rate, a planetoid and an isolated black hole within, would fall together.

Any impact on the planetoid would cause it to jostle, allowing the black hole to hit one of the sides, and absorbing some more mass, but it'd eventually fall back to equilibrium at the center of mass.

The real puzzle, to me, is how a black hole came to rest inside a planetoid in the first place.  If it was flying through, it should have punched a clean hole and kept going.  To do otherwise would be akin to making a break, and causing the cueball to knock the 13 ball free, and sit motionless against the 9.  (I had to look up the layout of a pool table to make this analogy.)

In short, I can see this being STABLE, more or less, but not forming.  It'd be easier to find a black hole and decide to drop a small planet around it.  I also don't think such a small planet would reform itself round any more than our own 1G planet has sucked all the mountains into the plains.  Now, a constructed planet around a captured black hole, (perhaps a new jovian moon,) leveled with dynamite and bulldozers, that I can see.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Setebos on July 13, 2009, 09:01:57 am
So the asteroid is similar to the planet Gallifrey (with the Star of Rassilon at its center).
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 13, 2009, 09:20:07 am
So the asteroid is similar to the planet Gallifrey (with the Star of Rassilon at its center).

No guys, it is not hollow, that is impossible in the real world, nor is it artificial. Just beyond the event horizon would be neutronium and then degenerate matter and then really hot normal matter then cooler and cooler matter until you get to the surface. (Plasma is in there someplace, but I'm not sure where.)

The mutual capture is the real trick. One way it could happen is if the naked black hole (plus some accumulated matter) encountered a sizable planetoid with a similar, but slightly eccentric orbit. They would both be going about the same speed in the same direction. However, once they had merged, the planetoid would assume the orbit of the black hole (except for a microscopic change in the black hole's orbit caused by the planetoid's mass). Though the planetoid would wobble around the black hole at first, over time, friction and tidal forces would lead both objects to a nearly stable common center of gravity.

Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 13, 2009, 03:04:43 pm
Interesting Sandy.  I had originally thought that since the hole was in the center of TLP that it was likely created by an intelligent enitity(s).  You seem to indicate that my eariler thought was incorrect.  One more question, what about solar lighting to maintain the plants and trees there?  Wouldn't there only be a fraction of the light that strikes Earth hitting TLP?  ???
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on July 13, 2009, 06:56:59 pm
I just noticed that I made one mistake with regard to TLP. I referred to the Kirkwood 3:2 Gap. There ain't no such thing. It should have been the Kirkwood 3:1 Gap. For a very revealing look at the profoundness of the Kirkwood Gaps, see the histogram at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkwood_gap

The paper cited was written in 1990. The Wikipedia article on Kirkwood Gaps was last updated in April. My guess is that 19 years of further study has yielded more accurate results.

Interesting; I also used Wikipedia, but used the linkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_belt#Kirkwood_gaps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_belt#Kirkwood_gaps); the paper I referenced was the one used to footnote the paragraph:

Quote from: Wikipedia
The gaps are not seen in a simple snapshot of the locations of the asteroids at any one time because asteroid orbits are elliptical, and many asteroids still cross through the radii corresponding to the gaps. The actual spatial density of asteroids in these gaps does not differ significantly from the neighboring regions.

I typically check and/or cite the references from Wikipedia (if I can check them), rather than the Wikipedia text itself.

As to the rest of my source, it was based on the notion that over millions of years, a sizeable quantity of small meteorites would get caught up and and collide with TLP.  It could be a rare occurrance, but "back of the envelope" once every 500 years would result in 8,000,000 such hits in 4 billion years (4 billion picked as approximate age of Earth, assuming other solar planets roughly same age).  The time factor is where the "large numbers" and statistics come in.

Given that TLP has little, if any natural atmosphere (since the "airskin" is required), I wouldn't expect much, if any, heat be built up, subsequent to the initial collision, for the orbiting material.   As a result, I expect that much of it would be fairly intact, rather than having substantial fluid properties -- especially nearer the surface.

I was thinking, therefore of something as rough, or a bit rougher, in an absolute sense (not in scale) to Earth's moon.  I wouldn't have described that as "round as a cue ball"; hence my comments.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Sean Roach on July 13, 2009, 07:09:00 pm
I can almost buy your co-orbit capture.  I heard once, however, that no matter how eccentric, two bodies in the same orbit would have the same period.  I can't find such a statement now, either to support or counter what I'd heard.

I suppose, with Jupiter and Saturn in the equation, it doesn't matter.  Even earths eccentricity has changed over time, (I finally found out that the earth is closest to the sun in January, and furthest from it in July...doesn't feel like it; glad I'm not in Australia, on the whole.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles)

I suppose, with regards to the likelihood, it doesn't matter how likely it was for a micro black hole to capture THIS planetoid rather than punching through, it only matters how likely it would be for it to get captured by A planetoid.  It probably punched through a few planetoids first before lining up, though.

Oh, I found this while looking for eccentricity and its effects on orbital period.  http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/applets/satellites.html

And I still think the extreme roundness of earth has as much to do with its extreme size as it does with gravity.  If you say the core is molten from its proximity to a micro black hole, I'll back off, I just think making it more round than a lumpy potato would have more to do with human engineering than gravity rounding it out.

Edit, two typos.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 13, 2009, 07:13:29 pm
Interesting Sandy.  I had originally thought that since the hole was in the center of TLP that it was likely created by an intelligent enitity(s).  You seem to indicate that my eariler thought was incorrect.  One more question, what about solar lighting to maintain the plants and trees there?  Wouldn't there only be a fraction of the light that strikes Earth hitting TLP?  ???

Maybe TLP is an artifact. It could be artificial or natural. We don't know which at this time. TLP is 2.5 AU from the sun, so it receives 16 percent of earth solar flux. However (a) the airskin can be made transparent, opaque or reflective, so reflected light can shine on the plants as well as direct, and (b), energy is cheap. suspended artificial lighting is also a possibility.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: quadibloc on July 18, 2009, 04:19:56 am
Since there are no heavy political issues here just yet, I haven't had much to say. But I do notice that the events at the end of comic 216 seemed never to have happened in comic 217.

And, of course, it does seem strange that our characters simply went on with fulfilling their contract without first dumping all relevant information they knew to the ongoing murder investigation. Presumably this has something to do with this being a Wild West-like situation rather than the situation I'm used to on Earth where we all live in the arms of the all-encompassing State, though. (Yes, this is sarcasm, but not intended to be hostile.)
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 18, 2009, 06:50:47 am
Quadibloc:
     Who says that they didn't report it and it just wasn't added to the storyline yet?  My guess is that since murder is so rare on the asteroids that there isn't much of a police force per say.  "King" Reggie was probably notified by them and that was it.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 18, 2009, 02:50:57 pm
Quadibloc:
     Who says that they didn't report it and it just wasn't added to the storyline yet? 

It was reported to Bert & Ernie. Murder is rare in the Belt. It was the talk of the town and news reports. News like that travels fast through a small community. Since the murder happened in the commercial area, the private defense agencies hired by the merchants' association, would be gathering evidence and looking for the murderer. Naturally, the brothers would have given statements before they left.

My guess is that since murder is so rare on the asteroids that there isn't much of a police force per say. 

Zero, in any official way. Private defense agencies and self-help are all that are available.

"King" Reggie was probably notified by them and that was it.

No. Reggie has no official capacity on Ceres. There is no particular reason he would have been involved.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 18, 2009, 03:21:22 pm


It was reported to Bert & Ernie. Murder is rare in the Belt. It was the talk of the town and news reports. News like that travels fast through a small community. Since the murder happened in the commercial area, the private defense agencies hired by the merchants' association, would be gathering evidence and looking for the murderer. Naturally, the brothers would have given statements before they left.

My guess is that since murder is so rare on the asteroids that there isn't much of a police force per say. 

Zero, in any official way. Private defense agencies and self-help are all that are available.

"King" Reggie was probably notified by them and that was it.

No. Reggie has no official capacity on Ceres. There is no particular reason he would have been involved.
Okay Sandy.  I get what your saying.  But since Reggie is one of the more "prominent" citizens on Ceres I was thinking that he would likely be notified since his name and reputation would carry some weight.  If Joe Average told the authorities he may or may not be believed.   True, Reggie has no official capacity but then again neither does anyone else.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 18, 2009, 04:10:00 pm
Okay Sandy.  I get what your saying.  But since Reggie is one of the more "prominent" citizens on Ceres I was thinking that he would likely be notified since his name and reputation would carry some weight.  If Joe Average told the authorities he may or may not be believed.   True, Reggie has no official capacity but then again neither does anyone else.

Fair enough, but the way I see it works starts when somebody finds Smyth's body. They call up the Merchant Association's help desk. The association sends an investigator and a med person--just in case. With advanced medical technology, you have to be a lot deader to be really dead, than you do today. The hubbub pulls, in bloggers who report on local news and they put it out there to everyone who follows them. Reggie would have found out about the murders, just like anyone else. After that, unless Reggie has some special forensic background he believes might be useful, he justs keeps out of the way of any investigation.

The investigation probably doesn't go anywhere--even when the Guzmáns report their contacts with Smyth and identify him for the investigators. The hit was professional, so the crime will probably not be solved. Everybody is more aware of possible attacks from behind and life goes on.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Rocketman on July 19, 2009, 02:18:02 pm
Sandy:  Everything that you just said I agree with.  One of the few shows that I watch on television anymore is called "The first 48"  It's a real life unscripted look on E! network at what happens after a murder is committed and a body or bodies are found.  The police know from experience that if they solve the case within the first 48 hours after they are called they have a much better chance that they will find the killer and get a conviction.  Many years ago I went through a combat pistol course and one of the things that I remember is that the former police officer who was the instructor said that the majority of murders are solved because someone snitches on someone else in order to get leniency for the lessor crime that they committed.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 19, 2009, 03:07:08 pm
Sandy:  Everything that you just said I agree with.  One of the few shows that I watch on television anymore is called "The first 48"  It's a real life unscripted look on E! network at what happens after a murder is committed and a body or bodies are found.  The police know from experience that if they solve the case within the first 48 hours after they are called they have a much better chance that they will find the killer and get a conviction.  Many years ago I went through a combat pistol course and one of the things that I remember is that the former police officer who was the instructor said that the majority of murders are solved because someone snitches on someone else in order to get leniency for the lessor crime that they committed.

Massad Ayoob's Lethal Force Institute? Great course. Yes, CSI to the contrary not withstanding, the successful use of high-tech forensic techniques is very, very rare. Yes, usually someone talks.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Sean Roach on July 20, 2009, 09:17:43 am
Ah, finally.
Politics.
It'd  been getting kind of dead in here.
This little lecture should get people talking again.

So, are you going to point out that revolutions don't occur when the populous is too beat down, when they barely have enough to survive.  That it wasn't until the Tzars let up on the russian peasants that the commies overran and killed them?
Or are you going to point out that the energy companies had fingers in government, and wouldn't allow a superior technology to supplant them, because they were "too large to fail"?
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 20, 2009, 10:11:20 am
Ah, finally.
Politics.
It'd  been getting kind of dead in here.
This little lecture should get people talking again.

You know, not everyone is here for the politics, though it certainly is an important element. Among other things, there are, and will be, some "chick flick" threads. Others, just want things to go BOOM! Speaking of women, are there ANY who are reading EFT and following the forum? I mean, some of my best friends are men, but I wouldn't want my brother marrying one. When it comes to a choice between sitting on the porch, drinking beer with the guys or hanging out, talking about feelings, in the kitchen with the girls, girls win hands down. So if you are out there, ladies, please let us know.

So, are you going to point out that revolutions don't occur when the populous is too beat down, when they barely have enough to survive.  That it wasn't until the Tzars let up on the russian peasants that the commies overran and killed them?
Or are you going to point out that the energy companies had fingers in government, and wouldn't allow a superior technology to supplant them, because they were "too large to fail"?

Well, you are on the right track, but remember, Tobi was only using energy as an example of why the government holds him in such bad odor.
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: Sean Roach on July 20, 2009, 10:40:05 am
What I meant was, people have been largely sitting back and enjoying the ride, not commenting much.  Politics in the conversation should change that.  I enjoy the debate.

As for energy.
Cheap energy, cheap labor, superior materials, superior transportation, any technological upset will invalidate someone's investment, be it in material or training, and they will rally to preserve it, at any (public) expense.

I like to fantasize about teleporters, or rather portals, becoming readily available, and two things I figure would happen in such an event would be,
A.  airlines, buslines, auto-manufacturers, hotels, and most restaurants would quickly feel the pinch of fewer patrons and customers, as people just teleported past them to their destination, and teleported home to eat and sleep.
B.  Cities, especially small towns, would quickly lose sales-tax dollars, as their patrons would just teleport to commercial hubs to do their shopping, rather than even buying a roll of toilet paper locally.  Meanwhile, the large cities would largely depopulate as people moved to "suburbs" hundreds of miles away, so those small towns would have more occupants, not fewer.
Naturally, there'd be a 3 day quarantine on even the shortest teleport, "to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease and parasites".
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on July 20, 2009, 09:32:35 pm
Okay Sandy.  I get what your saying.  But since Reggie is one of the more "prominent" citizens on Ceres I was thinking that he would likely be notified since his name and reputation would carry some weight.  If Joe Average told the authorities he may or may not be believed.   True, Reggie has no official capacity but then again neither does anyone else.

My thinking would be that since Reggie runs an arbitration service ("King's Court"), he would get  a call pretty early on to see if there had been any recent arbitrations  with results  that didn't set well with one of the parties -- there can't be more than a few arbitration services on Ceres, and in the absence of any "obvious" suspects it seems like an easy way to find leads.  I'd also figure there would be a check with businesses at or around the local space ports to see if there were any suspicious types showing up recently (murder being rare, it's reasonable to think it might be imported).
Title: Re: Look out Guzmans
Post by: SandySandfort on July 20, 2009, 09:46:49 pm
My thinking would be that since Reggie runs an arbitration service ("King's Court"), he would get  a call pretty early on to see if there had been any recent arbitrations  with results  that didn't set well with one of the parties -- there can't be more than a few arbitration services on Ceres, and in the absence of any "obvious" suspects it seems like an easy way to find leads.  I'd also figure there would be a check with businesses at or around the local space ports to see if there were any suspicious types showing up recently (murder being rare, it's reasonable to think it might be imported).

Yup, all valid possibilities.