SandySandfort on November 26, 2008, 12:51:06 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. 
Yup. Forgot to comment on this post. Of course you are right. Just as Guy's boss had her aircon turned illegally cool, so it always is. There will be other examples in future strips.

SandySandfort on November 26, 2008, 12:53:25 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? 
No. It just takes getting used to.  ;)

SandySandfort on November 26, 2008, 12:56:47 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.
Some skates are steel, others are carbon nanotube and others are plastics. All are heated to permit skating on the super-cold ice.

SandySandfort on November 26, 2008, 01:06:18 pm
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.
You are a quarter of a century out of date. (Now let me see, what is that in internet years...?) Please see Drexler's Engines of Creation, page 211 et sequencia.

Sean Roach on November 26, 2008, 07:40:53 pm
Two things.
One.  Ice skates melt ice.  When you skate you're actually floating on a thin layer of meltwater that freezes back behind you.  That's an artifact of the fact water expands when it freezes is you can melt it a bit by squeezing it.  Under lower gravity, you'd not experience that effect near so much so it'd be more of a merely slippery floor and not the effect you're familiar under 1 G.

Two.  The asteroid field is further out from the sun than the earth.  Although you wouldn't enjoy the magnetic shielding that earth naturally has, you wouldn't be as exposed to the rays of the sun either.

Of course, without as much solar wind, you WOULD likely have a greater exposure to gamma.

SandySandfort on November 26, 2008, 11:39:20 pm
Two things.
One.  Ice skates melt ice.  When you skate you're actually floating on a thin layer of meltwater that freezes back behind you.  That's an artifact of the fact water expands when it freezes is you can melt it a bit by squeezing it.  Under lower gravity, you'd not experience that effect near so much so it'd be more of a merely slippery floor and not the effect you're familiar under 1 G.
That's why the skates have to be heated.

Two.  The asteroid field is further out from the sun than the earth.  Although you wouldn't enjoy the magnetic shielding that earth naturally has, you wouldn't be as exposed to the rays of the sun either.

Of course, without as much solar wind, you WOULD likely have a greater exposure to gamma.
Which is a good thing, since most of us are too gamma deficient to receive the health benefits when gamma radiation is about 100 times background. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis

Leviathan on November 27, 2008, 01:29:28 am
You're right, I am a little out of date.  Or, I should say, I hadn't ever run across the mechanical counterpressure suit concept...  One little area of concern:

Quote
Unfortunately, a number of problems also turned up, primarily related to the problem of keeping the suit in strong mechanical contact at every point on the body. Concavities or small folds in the fabric could lead to fluid pooling in the gaps, and the crotch area proved extremely difficult to tailor successfully. To fill out these areas, small pads of polyurethane foam were inserted into concavities and were successful in most problem areas. The suits also had to be tailored to each individual, although the same was true of the earlier Apollo suits. The largest difficulty was donning and removing the suit. In order to effectively provide the minimum pressure of 29.6 kilopascals (220 mmHg/4.3 psi) necessary for human physiology, the suit must be extremely tight-fitting, making donning and doffing a highly strenuous task.

Huh, having a crotch, or putting up with a bulky pressure suit...  I guess more of an engineering problem to solve.  Along with the difficulty of getting into and out of really, really, really tight spandex.  It looks like they were successfully used for up to 2.5hrs in vacuum chambers, though.  So the concept seems sound.

As far as the blades being heated, that wouldn't really solve the issue of how to make the blade actually bite into the ice.  Just slide over the surface.  A razor-edge might help a bit.

Cosmic rays are counteracted to some extent by higher amounts of solar wind, rather than gamma, I'm pretty sure.  I think the sun is a larger source than cosmic for gamma, though.  But I figured the rads in the habitats are lower than surface.  Even with the nano/biotech reversing damage from the remainder, you have to keep exposure down to sub-lethal levels.  And that's not counting the Terries that aren't trying to escape the horrific world Earth has become in the storyline that are sure to wander through from time to time.  Seems like it would be moderately fun to tourist in, especially compared to groundside.  Where I'm sure there's some scientific-sounding limit to the amount of fun a person is allowed to have based on an average tolerance of the human cardiovascular and endocrine system  ;)

Sandy...  Oh my.  Oh my oh me oh my!  If that pans out, it would be an interesting response to the people who freak out over fission plants releasing extremely tiny quantities of radiation under the theorem of "zero tolerance is good".

Scott on November 27, 2008, 01:34:43 am
I don't remember where I read this but I recall an article from a couple of years back where the notion that skates work by melting the ice under the blade to create a thin film of water has been called into question.

Ice at temperatures between 0 and -20 degrees Celsius does have a naturally-occurring film of liquid water, ranging from a half-millimeter to just a few molecules in thickness. But it is possible to skate on ice colder than that, and scientific measurements have shown that neither the pressure of the skates on the ice (in 1 gee) nor the friction of the blades moving across the ice, are sufficient to cause a melting at colder temperatures.

Sean Roach on November 27, 2008, 09:17:45 am
One problem.  I wrote Gamma when I meant Cosmic.  I meant without as much solar wind, you'd have more radiation streaming in from space.

wdg3rd on November 27, 2008, 10:25:32 am
Back when I was skating (over 30 years ago, in New Hampshire, wearing my uncle's slightly too small for my feet hockey set), things were smooth down to about +10F.  Below that, the ice got a bit too hard.  If Neil or Rylla show up around here, they've got all the technical details about skating.  (I doubt it will be Ryllie's career, but it's her long time avocation).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

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

SandySandfort on November 27, 2008, 05:09:40 pm
Back when I was skating (over 30 years ago, in New Hampshire, wearing my uncle's slightly too small for my feet hockey set), things were smooth down to about +10F. Below that, the ice got a bit too hard.
Yeah, that's why I say that the skate blades are heated. Otherwise, I think they would actually freeze to the super-cold ice.

If Neil or Rylla show up around here, they've got all the technical details about skating.  (I doubt it will be Ryllie's career, but it's her long time avocation).
I've actually read Neil's pre-publication version of Ceres. When I gave him notes, I pointed out that Ceres' surface gravity is .028 G. In his story he set it at .1+ G. Why? He told me that he thought he needed more gravity for his young, female skater (hmm, who could that be?) to actually skate. I'm just taking the position that one can skate at a fraction of that gravity. Maybe not, but prove me wrong. Incidentally, Neil's Ceres and my Ceres are quite different places (except for the guns, of course).  :D

Scott on November 28, 2008, 02:49:41 pm
My understanding is that Rylla does intend to pursue skating as a career, doing ice shows. She does have a real knack for performing on the blades, a sense of theatre as well as skating skill. I wish her the best -- she's chosen a career that can even be more daunting than cartooning.

Also, her partner Jen Zach has been doing quite a bit of work designing and putting together skating costumes. It's a bit of a seasonal business right now, but I'm glad to see she's keeping busy.

And about Neil's Ceres -- it might be showing up sooner than people think. Details to be announced as deals are finalized.

wdg3rd on November 28, 2008, 06:38:12 pm
My understanding is that Rylla does intend to pursue skating as a career, doing ice shows. She does have a real knack for performing on the blades, a sense of theatre as well as skating skill. I wish her the best -- she's chosen a career that can even be more daunting than cartooning.

Also, her partner Jen Zach has been doing quite a bit of work designing and putting together skating costumes. It's a bit of a seasonal business right now, but I'm glad to see she's keeping busy.

And about Neil's Ceres -- it might be showing up sooner than people think. Details to be announced as deals are finalized.


I hope Ryllie does well.  Skating can be even less profitable than reading poetry in bars, unless you're willing to put on a Dizney-character suit and work mostly blind.

And Ceres showing up sooner than I think?  I wanted it several years ago, but those dimplicks just across the Hudson from me still hate Neil and generally vote socialist.  (So do most of the idiots on this side, obvioiusly).

I hope Jen is a little more restrained in designing Ryllie's costumes than she was in decorating the Morty Mouse Zeppelin and the Emperor's plane.  Her beauty doesn't need much enhancement.  And it's a good thing she got most of her looks from Cathy, not Neil (her character was obviously a team effort by three individualists and Ryllie got the deciding vote).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

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

Scott on November 30, 2008, 11:20:01 pm
Heh.

Actually Jen is designing more costumes than Rylla's. She's gotten to be quite in-demand for the Fort Collins area skating set. And yes, her designs are generally more subtle and sublime than the Emperor's plane. She has a good sense of what works where.

Tucci78 on September 22, 2010, 11:54:18 pm
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Furniture in low gravity

With the recent (22 September) look into Wally's bedroom, we have the exposure of a damning lack of reasoned consideration on the part of the artist.  

The low gravity on Ceres dictates how furniture must function.  For example, while seating must bear up under the muscular strength of human beings each flinging around an average 70 Kg adult mass, bookshelves and other items seen in Wally's room would be designed much differently than they are for use in a one-gravity field.

In the low gravity of Ceres, that bookshelf as pictured wouldn't do the job.  With a full gravity to hold them down, books can be counted upon to sit where they're put.  Without that weight, keeping them in place without something like bungee cords would be impossible.  Similarly, the chest of drawers pictured doesn't make a lot of sense, and a coatrack is just plain nuts.  The jackets shown thereupon in these scenes don't have enough weight to keep them reliably on their pegs. They'd be brushed off too easily every time Wally moves past.

Remember that furniture used by Ceres residents would not be stuff brought up from the bottom of Terra's gravity well.  It would all have to be made up there. Who but an idiot would create one-gravity furniture when it's neither necessary nor particularly useful?

Instead of a flat-topped chest of drawers, something like the cover of an old-fashioned rolltop desk (to enclose a surface not in immediate use) would serve to keep small items from being jolted off, the cover probably made transparent to facilitate the at-a-glance location of contents.  The drawers themselves would be more efficiently fabricated from much thinner rigid materials to contain clothing and other items which people want to keep enclosed away from dust and out of sight.

Bulkhead-mounted spring clips would grasp the collars of jackets or tags inside people's hats, replacing the rack pictured.  And bookcases would not only be bungee-corded but would almost certainly be made of light openwork metal economical in terms of mass.

Whatever the living quarters and working spaces might be in Ceres, they will be different from those seen on Terra.  I admonish the creators of this series to bear that in mind.  Wally's bedroom ought not be depicted according to some parent's ideal of what they'd wish their own kids' rooms to look like.
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« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 07:25:56 am by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)