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Posts Made By: Lee Spain

September 5, 2006 05:14 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

What if the Sun was burning out...?

Posted By Lee Spain

Jumping ahead a few billion years, what would solar observers see if our sun was running out of gas? How much warning would Earth have that the sun was going to die and how much warning would Earth have before being wiped out? Is there anything that could cause the sun to go supernova sooner rather than later? 8)

September 7, 2006 04:58 PM Forum: Politics

New Policy for Captured Terrorists

Posted By Lee Spain

The policy should be simple:

1) Any uniformed Taliban or Al Queda fighter caught on the battlefield should be interned for the duration of the war on terror (i.e. until the formal surrender of their movement and Mullah Omar or Osama Bin Laden).

2) Any armed Taliban or Al Queda fighter caught in hostile action while disguised as a civilian, an Afghan national Army soldier, or an American serviceman should be summarily executed by the capturing unit (as were Nazi SS troopers who disguised themselves as American soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge).

3) Any "suspected" Taliban, Al Queda, or Iraqi resistance fighter rounded up in theater in "a sweep" should be turned over to the Iraqi or Afghan government for handling.

4) Any terrorist caught by civil authorities in the U.S. should be handled by the criminal justice system.

5) Any terrorist captured by military authorities while in the commission of an act against a federal facility or military installation should be handled through directive 1 or 2 as appropriate.


September 8, 2006 04:15 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Radiation Shielding from Battleships?

Posted By Lee Spain

If I was to design a spaceship to get away from a sun that isn't going to burn out and a politics board that's getting on my nerves, should I really use battleship steel or other heavy pre-1945 metals to shield my hardy crew from radiation in space?

Does this paragraph ring true?

"This problem was solved in the early 1960s by designing a whole-body monitoring system that used thick armour-plated steel from the hull of HMS Howe. The six-inch thick steel blocked out 98 per cent of natural radiation, and because the steel was made before 1945 - and therefore had not been exposed to any radioactive fall-out from nuclear weapons during its manufacture - it is free from radioactive impurities associated with steel made after 1945."


September 8, 2006 09:02 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

8-inch Dob Transportation (wheels, carts, etc.)

Posted By Lee Spain

Tonight, I learned that I can make it out the door, down the stairs, through the courtyard, and to our truck with a 8-inch Dobsonian, a medium eyepiece case, and a copy of Nightsky magazine in one trip. But, it wasn't particularly easy! wink

So, how do you guys move Dobs around? Any recommendations of carts, hand-trucks, scope rollers, etc? Do you do anything to secure the tube so that it isn't free to bang around? Do you do anything to protect the finderscope and focuser? 8O Got any pictures of deluxe scope transportation systems? 8)

September 10, 2006 08:49 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Assembling an objective lense

Posted By Lee Spain

This is probably a dumb question, but I've got a crown lense, a flint lense, and an objective holder for an M49 spotting scope coming my way. Is there anything special that I need to do with the crown and flint lenses as I put them together? Spacing, taping, cementing? 8)

September 10, 2006 03:13 PM Forum: Politics

Middle Eastern wants and needs ...

Posted By Lee Spain

Petroleum from the Middle East is definitely nice to have. It makes our lives much more convenient. If we had to rely on our own reserves, gas would be very expensive. We'd have to car pool. We'd have to bicycle. We'd have to ride the bus. But, we'd get by. One day at a time... wink

However, we are not the only technological society with needs. The people of the Middle East have needs too.

Needs like food . . .

Needs like water . . .

In this interconnected world, the people of the Middle East should probably think before they support terrorism or disrupt the flow of petroleum. They are far more vulnerable than they think. shocked

Hmmm.... I think I'm gonna go get me some nice cold ice tea. Ice tea chilled by electricity from American coal power. Then I'm gonna go out and get a nice sandwich on a whole wheat sub roll. grin

I'm not going to worry about the Middle East anymore. Our government is just humoring them and indulging their religiousity and passion for blowing up infidels. When they go too far, we'll outgrow political correctness and we won't even need a WMD to destroy their "civilization." And, after they are gone, the oil will still be right there. Waiting . . . wink

September 10, 2006 04:51 PM Forum: Politics

Leaving the myths and conspiracies behind...

Posted By Lee Spain

If there is one thing we can all agree to do next year, it's leave all the 9-11 conspiracies and myths behind us:

This link does a good job of debunking some of the major 9-11 myths that still circulate on the web.

September 11, 2006 06:49 PM Forum: Politics

Wazzup in Waziristan?

Posted By Lee Spain

While our politicians pose and point fingers at each other, something interesting has been happening in the Pakistani tribal areas:

Soooo, are the Pakistanis giving up and going home? Does Waziristan still count as part of Pakistan? Is Bin Laden hiding in this region?

September 12, 2006 05:04 AM Forum: Politics

Bin Laden tapes...

Posted By Lee Spain

Here's my idea for today. What if we cut up all of the world's Bin Laden tapes, syllable-by-syllable, and made them available to anyone? Then what if we got small groups of comedians, Arab expatriates, and linguists and had them start out by resplicing them into the goofiest you-tube videos imaginable. Can you imagine a better way for an Arab teen to rebel against his parents than by trading goofy Bin Laden videos? I wonder if we could start a process that would turn Bin Laden into an irrelevent old codger that nobody in the Arab world listens to or takes seriously. The process might force him to start granting in person interviews, release tapes more quickly, get out of his game plan, and make a mistake.

September 14, 2006 04:49 AM Forum: Sports

Earplugs needed for a dirt track race?

Posted By Lee Spain

Sometimes a wife's beauty comes in an answer like - "Sure, but can we get pit passes?" Yep, we're gonna go see a dirt track race at the Old Dixie Speedway! Woohoo! grin

So now I've gotta assemble my gear for the race:
camera - check!
binoculars - check!
lynyrd skynyrd tape (for the drive) - hmmm.... wink
confederate flag license plate...naw, that'd be rude.
earplugs (for the race) - hmmmm....Do we need earplugs?

That is my question, should I make sure we have earplugs? Are dirt track races anywhere near as loud as a NASCAR or Craftsman series race? They were a necessity when we saw a Craftsman series race, but I've never seen a small track race. We're talking late model sportsmen with crate motors on a 3/8 mile dirt oval with a 4000+ people. Think we need 'em? 8O