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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-11-25 07:38
Subject: [links] Link salad is a desperado under the eaves
Security: Public
Tags:china, christianism, climate, cool, gender, links, nature, personal, politics, religion, reviews, science, stories, weird
Summary: Asimov's, 2012 — Rich Horton with a year's summary, and kind things to say about my novella "The Stars Do Not Lie".

China lands fighter jet on new carrier in show of force — Huh. No catapult?

The Pacific island that never wasSandy Island 'may turn up nearby' after geologists find no trace of it despite featuring on Google Earth and various maps.

Lost Galapagos Island Giant Tortoise Species To Be Revived Through Cross Breeding, Scientists Announce

The Cell and the Pyramid — Wow is this some cool microtech.

Scientists pioneer method to predict environmental collapse — Flickering ecosystems. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Electoral math for ‘all you climate people’[T]here’s important information in the fact that a senior reporter for a major network could dismiss climate change as essentially a special interest issue. The important information there is that in this area, at least, conservatives are winning their War on Reality. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Grand Old Planet — Paul Krugman: What was Mr. Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern G.O.P.’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence. Except I'd leave the word "seems" out of that last sentence. As for the GOP, likewise if evidence contradicts ideology. Speaking of the conservative War on Reality.

The science of antediluvian plushies — More on the marvelously endless idiocy of Biblical literalism.

We're living the dream; we just don't realize it — A commentary on the state of progress.

Five Things I Want My Daughters to Learn about Feminism — And one's sons, too, I should think.

DesJarlais: Regret past actions, no plans to resign — Shorter GOP Congressman: I'm now going to punish you for doing things that I did back when it was convenient for me to do them. Mmm, unbending ethics and intellectual consistency, those hallmarks of the modern conservative.

?otD: Don't the sun look angry to you? What do the trees look like?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (3,000 words on "Rock of Ages")
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on stationary bike)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 220.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block shutting down Evangelical churches and closing gun shops: 0
Currently reading: Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

Post A Comment | 7 Comments | | Link

Simon Bisson
User: sbisson
Date: 2012-11-25 15:45 (UTC)
Subject: No catapult?
For most modern fighters a catapult isn't necessary - with a ski jump as developed by the Royal Navy for its fleet carriers, the aircraft is launched at an angle that lets it accelerate using engines until the wings get enough lift...

Edited at 2012-11-25 03:45 pm (UTC)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-25 15:48 (UTC)
Subject: Re: No catapult?
I always wondered why the Ark Royal looks the way it does. Thanks for that!
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User: nojay
Date: 2012-11-25 17:24 (UTC)
Subject: Re: No catapult?
Sadly the ski-jump system only really works for STOL/STOVL aircraft like the Harrier (USMC AV8B). The Soviets had a STOL carrier-launched aircraft, the Yak-38 a bit like the F-35B but it was not really a success with too many swivelling and tilting bits and lots of parasitic weight (just like the F35-B, in fact).

The film of the test landings and launches off the Chinese carrier showed the plane without any underwing stores like missiles, bombs etc. and if it was carrying less-than-full fuel tanks that would also make the skijump takeoffs relatively safe but I don't see how a fully-laden jet like the J-15 could get safely airborne off a skijump using only its own engine power with an extra 15-20 tonnes of fuel and ordnance on board.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-25 17:53 (UTC)
Subject: Re: No catapult?
As I understand it, the carrier may be a decade away from being in combat deployment for a wide variety of reasons ranging from technical preparedness to training and doctrine to sheer practice. This was surely the Chinese government making a point given their current disputes in the South China Sea, rather than demonstrating anything like combat readiness, so I'm perfectly willing to believe they stripped that J-15 down for the sake of showing off.
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User: jordan179
Date: 2012-11-25 20:22 (UTC)
Subject: Re: No catapult?
Depends on the aircraft. Ski-jump launching only works for high power-to-weight ratio and/or vectored-thrust aircraft -- for instance it works for the Harrier, and could probably be made to work for the F-16 Falcon, but I don't see this working for an F-15 or F-117.

In the longer run, of course, all combat aircraft will have by present-day standards very high power-to-weight ratios. But the Chinese probably only have a limited number of aircraft types matching this description. At present.

Of course in the longer run, the Chinese will gain the ability to launch large attack carriers. If they don't spoil their own growth by screaming and leaping prematurely, that is. I do think the Chinese are less prone to that diplomatic disorder than are many cultures, though -- Mao was an exception to their rule.
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User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-11-25 16:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It isn't only Republicans, or reporters, who dismiss environmental issues - particularly climate change - as just another political football. During my 20 year career in state government, in an environmental agency, it was clear that our elected officials, almost 100% of them, see environmental issues as exactly that: another political tool. To be fair, when you are an elected official OR a reporter, you have to deal with *all* areas, and every one has its flocks of adherents to the whole range of opinions about it (and their suspicions of the other POVs).

You would think that something that really is about whether the human species survives at *all* would be taken more seriously, moved to the top of the priority list - but neither the elected people nor the fourth estate nor the voting public have had the kind of science education that would let them understand that. And I'm not just beating up on teachers. You know how rare a truly inspiring teacher is; we can't all have Feynman for our science classes.

I don't know what the answer is. I got over thinking that "if we just educated them properly, they'd change their minds!" many years ago. That's elitist, it really is and it does come off that way to those we try to "educate." As for thinking, well, after the apocalypse we'll bring about by ignoring climate change, humankind will wise up next time - gosh, I just can't look forward to billions of people dying horrible deaths. I wish I knew the answer.
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User: jordan179
Date: 2012-11-25 20:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We're living the dream; we just don't realize it — A commentary on the state of progress.

Very true. We (science and science fiction fans) tend to complain because certain PARTS of the mid-20th-century science-fictional dream (such as interplanetary colonization) have taken longer and prove harder than we hoped c. 1950, but even we tend to take for granted advanced, precision-genetics based medicine and universal personal computer networking. And we tend not to be sufficiently grateful for the avoidance of the parts of the dream that were nightmare: not for the best-programmed and most universally-available smart house (and smart houses are coming in anyway) would I care to suffer through an atomic war on the scale of "There Will Come Soft Rains," for instance.
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January 2014
2012 appearances