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    Prometheus (WARNING: SPOILERS)

    Prometheus made me seriously doubt the talent of Ridley Scott. It was so disjointed, and the horror aspects felt forced and boring. But, basically, the idea is that there's this group of super-beings that goes around basically seeding planets with life. That's what the opening scene is. To...
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    Imperial measurements just feel better

    To water boiling: how often do you have to worry about that? Worthy tradeoff for getting temperatures in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Hadn't realized the metric tonne. my bad. Still, it seems like a 180 lb body weight is easier to envision than a 80kg bodyweight.
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    Imperial measurements just feel better

    Metric holds an advantage in simplicity, but imperial seems to have better unit amounts. For instance, temperature. I cannot think in celcius. 60's weather is 15-20 celcius. 70's is 20-26 celcius. 80's weather is 27-34 celcius. Lengths: a mile is a significant accomplishment for human...
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    George Russ, rogue oceanologist, dumped 100 tons of Iron Sulfate into the ocean

    I can't seem to edit my OP to fix the name. What he did was illegal -- however, it's already been done. Might as well observe the effects. Here are some good critiques that go beyond the, "he has no credentials" argument: http://www.loe.org/series/series.html?seriesID=27 Oceanographer Mark...
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    How long does it take the Earth to form one gallon of oil?

    It's too bad Aaron Swartz didn't succeed in making JSTOR's content available to all. Anyways, the pop-sci article referenced researchers in national laboratories. Here is the article (linked from pop-sci) https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Apr/NR-11-04-04.html Is that "respectable"...
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    How long does it take the Earth to form one gallon of oil?

    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-04/hydrocarbons-could-form-deep-earth-no-dead-animal-ingredients-study-says Well, this is sort of what I had in mind, as what could possibly be happening, basically ocean bio matter being buried by subduction zones in the ocean, then being subject to...
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    George Russ, rogue oceanologist, dumped 100 tons of Iron Sulfate into the ocean

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/science/earth/iron-dumping-experiment-in-pacific-alarms-marine-experts.html Last fall. His intention is the stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, thus absorbing CO2. He also did so in violation of several UN charters (or whatever their rules are...
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    How long does it take the Earth to form one gallon of oil?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering This is an interesting article that's sort of related (and might deserve its own thread). Last fall, a guy named Russ George dumped 100 tons of Iron Sulfate into the ocean. It is in violation of several...
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    Did the US have to drop the A-bombs on Japan?

    They didn't want an unconditional surrender, no. They wanted to surrender and keep the emperor. Previous bombings were done in the middle of the war. This bombing was done at the conclusion, when surrender was obviously inevitable. Frankly, I trust the statements of high ranking generals...
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    How long does it take the Earth to form one gallon of oil?

    Actually, since you talk about microorganisms getting buried, I'll be that there are regions of the ocean which are forming oil in this sort of way. An interesting tangentially related fact is that single-celled organisms in the ocean produce like 50% (still) of the Earth's O2. I've heard that...
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    Did the US have to drop the A-bombs on Japan?

    So attack the messenger instead of actually looking at the message. That's all I hear so far. A number of military leaders, from Douglass MacArthur to Dwight Eisenhower to Curtis LeMay stated that in their opinion it was unnecessary to drop the bomb. That's militarily. Japan was losing the war...
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    Did the US have to drop the A-bombs on Japan?

    I really recommend that everyone watch the 3rd episode of Oliver Stone's Untold History of the USA which deals with the subject. Basically, the Japanese were sending out peace feelers prior to the bombing. The only issue that they wanted was to keep the emperor, who was a religious figure for...
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    How long does it take the Earth to form one gallon of oil?

    Thanks for the quick reply. Just speculating on whether it might be possible to...geoengineer new petroleum deposits, or if maybe this is happening naturally right now at a rate that could be a fraction of world consumption. Yes, creationists are annoying. I swear, Richard Dawkins has devoted...
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    How long does it take the Earth to form one gallon of oil?

    Like the title says. I"m guessing tens of thousands of years?
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    How much rocket fuel is burned in the first mile/kilometer?

    Oops. Okay, repurpose the question. For the space shuttle and Saturn rockets, how much fuel is needed to get off the ground? A km/mile? HOw much is saved by ejecting spent stages?
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    How much rocket fuel is burned in the first mile/kilometer?

    Take a typical single-stage rocket that reaches low earth orbit (that's around 2000 km). How much fuel is burnt just to get the thing a foot off the ground? Or a kilometer or a mile? 10%?
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    Could an ion engine attached to a satellite be used to stabilize orbit?

    What I'm saying is that a satellite could stay in a lower orbital if it had an ion stabilizer that constantly pushed it up to counteract the effect of air drag.
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    Could an ion engine attached to a satellite be used to stabilize orbit?

    Thanks. Didn't realize how low the ISS orbited. I figure that a small ion engine could be run without needing refueling from solar energy.
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    Could an ion engine attached to a satellite be used to stabilize orbit?

    Basically, my understanding is that every satellite that is not at a lagrange point will see its orbit eventually decay and it will crash back into the earth. Could an ion engine be set to fire at certain times to offset this? Because the rate of decay is slow, an ion engine might be up for it...
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    Did the US have to drop the A-bombs on Japan?

    has anyone watched Oliver Stone's Untold History? I personally do feel that it was unnecessary. Especially the 2nd bombing.
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    How much is the ideal rocket equation affected by air drag?

    er, actually the ideal rocket equation is entirely about gravity....
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    How much is the ideal rocket equation affected by air drag?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolkovsky_rocket_equation ideal rocket equation. No fudge for atmospheric drag. how much is it a factor?
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    Maintaining orbit around the moon

    It should be akin to how the moon affects tides on the earth. As a thought experiment...if the moon had oceans, and if it rotated instead of being tidally locked, would the "tides" be greater than the Earth's tides, due to the mass of the earth being so great compared to the mass of the moon vs...
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    Maintaining orbit around the moon

    Earth gravity should gradually affect any object orbiting. I wonder for how long thought. It takes 90 minutes for the space shuttle to orbit the Earth.
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    Maintaining orbit around the moon

    http://news.discovery.com/space/asteroids-meteors-meteorites/lets-put-an-asteroid-into-lunar-orbit-130111.htm Basically, wouldn't any object that orbited around the moon gradually see its orbit be made more and more eliptical until it crashed into the moon itself? Also, it actually takes...
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    What is the unit to use in evolution?

    Well, I'd guess it would be something like change per generation. How to define either characteristic is up in the air, though generation seems basically like the average age before reproduction occurs in a species. I wonder how to take into account the range of ages. A woman can reproduce from...
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    What is the unit to use in evolution?

    And what are some good examples besides humans? I'm guessing that years don't matter as much as generational cycles. edit: for example, how many evolutionary cycles for humans would be contained in 100 years? Or dogs? Do you count by total age or reproductive age?
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    Is it possible at all to go faster in an orbit around the earth?

    Oh, of course. Yes, you should be able to just ignore it all and use thrust to go fast. It would be tremendously expensive though.
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    Is it possible at all to go faster in an orbit around the earth?

    My understanding is that generally with space flight, when you accelerate in the direction of orbit, you don't go around the earth any faster but instead ascend to a higher orbital plane, which arguably has a longer period of orbit. Is there any manuver method that lets you move around the...
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