PlasmaGryphon's Liked Comments

The place I live is pretty high up and probably the favorite of every place I've lived before in many ways... But also feels crowded and is a struggle to afford even with a way above average salary.
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Scientific glass blowing is a very small field from what I've seen. It used to be a lot bigger many decades ago. But common chemistry glassware products are now mass produced, including some nice modular systems, and physics uses a lot less glass, partially from standardized vacuum components. This leaves just the most custom parts, and sometimes a single shop can supply a whole region.

I tried to actually join an apprenticeship when I was in undergrad, but lost out to essentially a flip of a coin to another student. The glassblower took only a single apprentice every other year and the student would essentially have an extra class for the next 3-4 years. I've met two scientists over the years that did go through an apprenticeship, but neither ended up using it in their career (at least directly, there is a lot of value to knowing how things are made when designing stuff, even if you don't make it yourself). About all they did with it beyond a hobby was sell just enough glass "toys" to pay for their equipment.

The area I work in would probably have used a lot more custom glassware parts 50+ years ago. But the only thing I've gotten from a university glass shop is cut straight tubes because they were cheaper than going out of house and a lot more accurate than trying to do it myself. Modern ceramics and glass optics on the other hand are a different story.
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I think 300,000 Yen is closer to $2700 US.

For $1000-1500 you could just commission a fursuit maker to make an airbrushed cat head, possibly of higher quality...
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Some such effects get subtle or down right scary once used in marketing, especially ones that still work when you're fully aware of the effect. I wonder if these researchers still go out of their way for free food/coffee even when it isn't worth the time (a common occurrence I still miss from working at a university).
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Why does 99% of species being extinct mean evolution doesn't work? Wouldn't that mean the exact opposite?

This sounds equivalent to saying because 99% of restaurants that ever existed are out of business, therefore food trends don't exist and all restaurants opened the same year.
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That is not a paint you can just buy in a consumer sized can and use like any other paint though. There are several vendors of coatings that are much darker than this, but they require sending your parts to them for coating (or a licensed process that only works for large scale production), are quite expensive, and can have quite a few constraints on what surfaces and shapes get coated. Some coatings, like vantablack, depend on the surface texture/geometry, so they are quite fragile too.

That said, there are off the shelf paints already that push 98% absorption, so I don't know if this is that much darker than what is on the market. There are plenty of applications where paints aren't so good too, as it depends on the chemicals used in the binders and things like temperature range, mechanical strength, how much power it can absorb, etc. At my job I am often stuck using just graphite for as an optically black material, which isn't that dark but meets all of the other requirements.
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At least in my area of the PNW, we have plenty of snow removal equipment and the cities are mostly pretty good about preparing beforehand as much as possible. As long as it doesn't come down too fast, they can get things clear in the night or early morning. That said, they chose not to get winter tires for city buses, so they struggle with any hills in slippery conditions, and an actual storm will still dump snow faster than they can clear.

Also, while somewhat true of the PNW, I found ice to be much worse on parts of the east coast. Several times while living there, I would hear people make jokes about schools closing with less than an inch of snow, but there was nearly half an inch of ice under the snow from the freezing rain before it started to snow. Even many places in the deep blue on that map would shut down with bad ice.
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I've ran out to street parking and rummaged through my car trunk with just shorts in -30/-35 weather, but there was sun and no wind. Wind can make a huge difference, as can standing around vs. walking. I can stand around at a slightly sheltered bus stop for half an hour in that weather, or walk for 30-60 minutes easily, but I simply don't have adequate clothing for hours in such weather.

I've known several people that worked a stint on projects at the South Pole. Even though the temperatures were "only" -20 something in the summer, they were explicitly told not to bring a coat on their first trip as they would be issued an appropriate one. The project really did not want to risk someone underestimating how difficult it would be standing outside in windy conditions doing non-physically intense activity.
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The two writer/directors are Canadian and it was produced by a company out of Montreal that is described as specializing in First Nations productions. A summary lists at least two Canadian musicians: Buffy Sainte-Marie and Robbie Robertson.

Unfortunately the PBS stream doesn't work in Canada.
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I don't think I can compete with the biological sciences in this regard. And probably most of my weirder stuff was biology invading my lab anyway.

Maybe the oddest was having to clean a nest of baby spiders out of a high voltage system. Or cleaning dead birds out of a capacitor bank (the capacitors leak a sticky oil that can act like glue traps). Or running parts from a room sized laser through my home dishwasher, as dish washer soap is great at getting off hard water marks. Or cleaning up the remains of light fixtures that caught fire above a capacitor bank. I guess life story: high voltage systems collect a lot of detritus.

Most other stories involve breaking tools or drinking (but not both... I don't mix things that shouldn't be), which can happen at any job. Surely everyone has screwdrivers that are an inch shorter than when new.
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Last I heard, which seems to be similar to what is in an older article linked in the Futurism article, they are targeting low Earth orbit and will use a fleet of cubesats. This will allow a large display of dots, and could possibly be quite cheap to launch if they find another launch to piggy-back on with enough room. If using reflected sunlight, they don't need much power or weight, just a flat shiny surface. The first gen Irridium satellites were noted for being very bright when reflecting sunlight off a panel that is only a couple square meters.

I don't think it would be difficult to make a cubesat (or smaller) with a deployed mylar or kapton reflector, and most of the mass being used for fuel and engine for station keeping. It would probably be a question of just finding an appropriate launch to get enough spare room, and to find someone to pay for an ad that is only visible for a few minutes each night. Cubesats can cost as low as $10k each to launch.
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There is a parallel argument about the effects of paying kids for good grades. This seems rather effective at raising grades and test scores, but does doing so affect kid's life long ability to learn things once they are too old to get money for doing so? Researchers, educators, and psychologist seem to argue both for and against such a method. However hard data is difficult to come by and emotions run high (finding a place to study this is often difficult due to backlash).

I am a few years out of date on such work, at the least, but there has been some research that show making kids do something, regardless of the reward, causes some amount of habit to stick. What is the most effective way is still an open question, but it seems trying to encourage a kids good habits one way or another is still better than nothing.
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I actually rather dislike a lot of the coverage of things like "supermoon" and now "wolf moon" are getting. I've bumped into a few too many people, especially when doing science outreach work in the past, that had amateur astronomy ruined for them by unrealistic expectations. It is hard to say how many of them would have cared otherwise, but often the result is blaming the hobby or field and not the clickbait stories themselves.
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Most people do not have to buy anything online. You could use one of the search engines that specialize in not retaining search histories and have existed for years now. If you don't trust them, there are tools that will make tracking you online much harder (near impossible if you don't give out easy to identify info). Nearly everything is still functional with these tools in use, just slightly less convenient.

People do give away a lot of information freely, but that info is a bit narrow. A lot more, broader info comes from tracking people based on what they do and not what they say, like through advertisements that can track your browsing habits. Either way, people don't care and some research has already shown it is not just a lack of understanding.
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Profile for PlasmaGryphon

  • Member Since 2013/02/01



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