Technomad on October 08, 2008, 12:13:20 am
I like how they're making Ceres' low gravity so clear, and the problems our "heroes" have adjusting to it.  Also, Ceres is entirely underground, which makes excellent sense. 

I wouldn't mind living on Ceres, at least this version.

Monkt on October 08, 2008, 12:18:26 am
Would you prefer this Ceres or Pallas from well Pallas?

KBCraig on October 08, 2008, 09:03:59 pm
I liked how The Moon is a Harsh Mistress went into a realistic exploration of the physiological changes experienced by the Loonies, and that was at only 17% of Terran gravity. Cerens, living at just 3%, would exhibit some major adaptation not shown so far.

Unless that's explained later in the story, in which case never mind.  ;)

Scott on October 09, 2008, 01:14:41 pm
The explanation is that nano-technology and bio-technology combined have developed means for reversing the deleterious effects of living in lower gravity (and higher background radiation). We should get into that a bit more, and we will, but it won't be in the first story arc.

Leviathan on October 09, 2008, 06:49:40 pm
Mmm, think of the trick the loonie women were doing, wearing "less than usual", and jiggling in manners impossible in higher gravity, as they passed the exiled guards?  I'd think even two years of ballet would leave the walking difficult in 3%.

'Grats on not doing the silly domes thing.  Domes in a vacuum, where micrometeors could plink at high relative velocity, would be suicidal.  And the rock would be additional radiation insulation, since no atmosphere absorbs it.

I assume the belters themselves developed the technology that prevents/reverses the physiological changes known to happen in low-grav.  A world 1/10th as regulated as EfT's terra should have an innovation of any size every other decade.  People would throw parades when they happen.  After all, it's dangerous to try new things!

Sean Roach on October 12, 2008, 06:03:25 pm
Agreed on the domes.  Being a bit farther out than Mars, there wouldn't be all that much worth looking at, and a visit to a dome just to see would certainly be safer than having the dome right over your mainstreet.  Besides, the things would leak more air and heat than would a deep bored habitat.

Agreed on our "ballerina".  She's proving far too competent to be what she was initially taken to be.  She has also made none of the comments about how "backward" the Ceresians are, and only three that suggest she doesn't know the lay of the land, (wonder how they'll react, shouldn't you be in school, and how do you control this thing, four if you count the shocked expression of being greeted planetoidside by a child).  I think she's returning home, not visiting the enemy.

Scott on October 12, 2008, 07:13:54 pm
To clarify a few things:

Yes, there are domes. You can see parts of them on pages 15, 16 and 17, and also on page 20. They do tend to be more like domed ceilings over large areas and causeways. They are made of a self-sealing material employing nanotech (like the artificial envelope El Neil put around Pallas, more or less).

The surface of Ceres is believed to be mostly water ice, dozens of kilometers thick on average, with a very thin layer of alkalai clays, probably as in not more than a few inches worth, on top. The city and settlements are not dug into rock, they are built mostly on top of the ice, in steel and nano-plastic enclosures. Long-term plans call for the ice to become water and the towns and settlements will be like artificial islands.

And Fiorella has never been to the Belt before. She really is a young recruit to UWRS, and isn't "returning home." She just happens to be one of those Heinleinian hyper-capable people.

Leviathan on October 14, 2008, 03:44:24 pm
No wonder they're trying to pawn her off on a belt assignment.  If she's competent, she has no place within the central halls of governance!  What was she even doing there to begin with?!

I can kinda see if they manage self-sealing hull on the habitations, micrometeorite impacts not being as big a problem.  But something is still hazardous to life at fist size, and probably peppers the 'roids on a regular basis.

Wait, though...  Bio/nanotechnology is good enough to make radiation and weightlessness no problem, yet not good enough to self-repair head injuries sustained within the home?  Sufficiently advanced nanotech could make it virtually impossible to kill someone without an industrial meatgrinder or cremation oven, and even with the meatgrinder you'd probably have to cremate the remains to be sure.  I could almost see such a society reinforcing the skull, and then making parachute-free airplane-jumping a sport.  Maybe they're not quite to that level, but it makes it even less sensical for gov to be that paranoid about personal injury.  Unless the innovations really did start beltwise, and have been forbidden from working their way back home?

Rocketman on October 15, 2008, 12:46:08 pm
Me, I'de kind of like to have tissue repairing nanobots in my bloodstream.  Now if I can just figure out how to get an adamimantam skeleton and retractable razor sharp claws I'de be all set!   ;D

Rocketman on October 15, 2008, 01:01:56 pm
Unless the innovations really did start beltwise, and have been forbidden from working their way back home?
Knowing how they think what would likely happen is that once the nanobot technology was brought back to earth, it's existance would be quietly hidden from the general public.  Then the government would decide that some "heroes of the working people" (meaning the party leaders) should be given the treatment in recognition for their "years of faithful service".  When average people started noticing that the leaders had not appearently aged after 20 or 30 years, it would be explained to them that it was necessary to keep their leaders alive and healthy in order to prevent the spread of such counterrevolutionary ideas such as freedom and independance. 

wdg3rd on October 24, 2008, 04:38:18 pm
Would you prefer this Ceres or Pallas from well Pallas?

Personally, I'd prefer Ceres from The Venus Belt.  I wanna visit Pellucidar Gardens.
Ward Griffiths

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Leviathan on November 25, 2008, 02:38:07 pm
Huh, uhh, how exactly does a regulation hockey field work in gravity that low?  Skating would be in slow motion, hockey pucks would arc through the air from one side of the field to the other.  Turning radius would be high because gravity acceleration is a constant, but momentum is independent of gravity.  Even with the higher barriers, pucks out of bounds would be a regular event.  Wouldn't this result in a massively larger field? 

Sean Roach on November 25, 2008, 09:43:56 pm
The skates, are presumably steel?
Can the puck be modified to have a steel core too?
In that case...electromagnets in with, or considering it's an ice-ball, instead of, the refrigeration coils.

Leviathan on November 26, 2008, 01:27:42 am
And now, for the spring hockey season lineup, we have the miracle pressure suit!  Made of pure unobtanium!  With impossibilium highlights!

What the everloving fuck are those suits made of?  Even if they're wearing uniforms over their suits, that'd be one hell of an adaptive set of nanotech.  A soft material would "baloon" outwards, a hard material would restrict motion severely, especially the more "skintight" they got.  All I can figure is an adaptive mix nanomaterial, fitted or autofitting to the body wearing it, capable of flexing with the wearer's movements but otherwise rigid.  Thin, yet pressure-tight.  And one would hope capable of blocking enough radiation that it doesn't push damage past nano/bio repair, heh.

Scott on November 26, 2008, 10:54:15 am
Well, as you can see in Wednesday's strip, the puck does leave the surface -- quite a bit. Tomorrow, you'll see how this problem is dealt with (if it isn't obvious already).

The pressure suits are made of a sturdy and stretchy material that compresses against the entire body (except for the head, which is encased in a pressurized helmet), both providing the pressure the body needs and allowing considerable freedom of movement. This is an idea that was used in Victor Koman's Kings of the High Frontier and by L. Neil Smith in The Venus Belt. The pressure suit also contains nano-tubules that regulate skin temperature and an air-recycler (notice the squarish bulge on the player's backs) which is good for several hours' vigorous activity.