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Newsletter of MINILIT

Tim replies to Kelly:

>> >Raw materials will be in space.  MOst of the best ore beds on earth are
>> >crashed asteroids.  We can go to the source!
>> Yes, that's what I meant, so that means a saving of say 80% with respect to
>> the raw materials. Thus we have 5% spent on R&D and 15% spent on other
>> man-power.
>80% 5% and 15% of what?

Of the total budget spend by companies. You said only 5% was used for R&D, I
say about 80% is used by getting the raw materials. Here on Earth those raw
materials are difficult to obtain, in space it may be much easier (just
scoop the surface) and thus less manpower is needed.

>I was speaking of professions in the sence of jobs.  Yes you could do without
>a lot of coordinators in a smaller group.  But you'll need someone good at
>all the little jobs a society takes to keep it runing (not to mention a

Like a hairdresser, shoemaker, tailor, dentist, doctor, cook? Are these the
jobs you mean?
I wonder if we can come up with more than 100 or 1000 completely different
jobs that are needed in a starship.

>Depends on the type of bacteria.  Yes a type of bacteria (or maybe an alge?)
>was found living inside some of the old reactor cores.  (I think the new
>sealed U.S. reactors are to clean to feed them.)  They have also found things
>on the ocean bottom that thrive in water heated to hundreds of defrees C and
>loaded with heavy metals, or in a few cases that were happily eating old
>toxic waste dumps.  

On the bottom of the sea, I can imagine, but in a high radiative field is
hard to believe, the DNA would be mutated beyond repair within seconds. Can
you recall the source? 

>> >Venuses temp is NOT due to its atmosphere.  Its due to its crust, its a
>> >fraction of the thickness of earth crust and doesn't insulate well enough
>> >to keep the surface cool.
>> So after the venus cools down slowly, the crust will get thicker and it may
>> become like Earth?
>If the sun doesn't swallow it first.  Its been cooling for 4.5 billion years,
>so I think its a bit to slow to make it in time.

I've been reading some data about Venus, and am quite certain that the
biggest part of its temperature not caused by the bad insulating crust.
There are is a lot of dust and posionous gasses, which create a very dense
atmosphere (90 bar). This dense atmosphere full of greenhouse gasses (much
worse than CO2) and the higher radiation level are the main reasons for the
higher surface temperature.
The percentage of reflected light by Venus is much bigger than the
percentage reflected by Earth's atmosphere. So not taking in account
greenhouse effects Earth's surface temperature would be 253K while Venus'
would be only 230K.

You are right though that it is unlikely that Venus would cool down, but for
the wrong reason. Most gasses in the atmosphere of Venus would also be
released from Earth if it was that near to the Sun. Once it gets released by
the extra heat, the greenhouse effect takes over and makes things worse.
After the greenhouse effect has taken over, there is no easy way back.

>Well its not just that.  When you have to throw away 90% of the ore you mine
>to get the remaining good 'refined' part, you generate a lot of waste.  Mines
>tend to be more than a little messy too.  Fusion wouldn't intrinsicly change
>any of that, or much about industry in general.  Of course if you move
>everything off planet you've obviously removed all the sources of Earth based

Yeah, that would be nice, wouldn't it...

>I don't follow.  10 tomatos a year?  Why would frozen/irradiated/cryoed food
>need to be feed?  I was just saying I was expecting to feed the crew a normal
>diet, of normal food, just like they would get from a grocery store.
> (Withthe exception of very light concentrated emergency rations.)  I was
>expecting to do no/none/zero farming on board the ship. I did mention the
>crew could grow a few plants in their rooms if they wanted, but all planing
>assumes no extra solar food production.

My misunderstanding, but can food be kept for 20 years?

>???  You need to study life more.  There are other chemical combinations then
>ours that can suport life.  Some are radically differnt.  Some could not
>survive the presence of oxegen (as most early earth life couldn't).  We don't
>know they are used, but they could be.

Why have these organisms never evolved beyond a single cell?
And if they did as you suggest, why did they change to use oxigen?
My guess is that it is for the amount of energy released during the
oxidation process. What matters for a lot of organisms is the amount of
energy they can get. Strangly enough, the organisms with a brain (small or
big) are the ones that use most energy...

>As for your quick anatomy breakdown.  We have hands and are the preeminent
>endurence pack preditors on the planet.  Our closest runners up are Wolves.

We may be partly preditors, but the larger part of our food were vegetables.
(In these days of Kingsized burgers that may be hard to believe)
Indeed wolves eat also some plants much less than we do. So as far as I'm
concerned apes which also eat some small amounts of meat are a lot closer to us.

> We have some notable anotomical differences for two preditors that
>specialize in the same eco-nich!  ;)  Our bodies are however, both designed
>to support the same pack endurance preditor lifestyle.  (We are adapted for
>hotter climates though.)  

I'm not sure anymore what you mean by predator, don't forget our
intelligence has brought us far above any other species. So if we hadn't our
big brain we would be very poor preditors.

>As for the rest.  A set of crab claws could work as well as hands.  Elephants
>trucnks can pick up indevidual penuts out of lose debreis, or lift a log. 

Although crab claws and elephant truncks are able to pick up things and
perform some simple tasks, they don't come near the amount of possibilities
that 2 five fingered hands have. Imagine you have a hand with a thumb and a
single finger, that would mean a serious handycap all things you could
normally do, would not be able or very hard, even many years after you had
become customed to it. (And we don't have a solid finger like crabs do)
So while an organism gets some usefull "hands" it also gets a smarter brain
to use that "hand". Once the brain gets bigger it may be usefull for other
purposes too, like better perception, better remembering, better learning.

>Life has a tendence to to use incredible resourcfullness to kill us.

We have survived a long time though...