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Scary news: Asteroid may pass Earth by just 6,880km in October

Does Bruce Willis know?

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It's not big enough to call in Bruce.

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Bruce died.... but there's 5 (I think) surviving crewmembers available but no "armored" space shuttles. So we're effectively screwed if someone's calculations are off.

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"Bruce died"

I thought that, but then I was watching Die Hard and he seemed to be alright? Had more hair on him too, somehow.

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If you are ever unlucky enough to watch 'Hudson Hawk' you'll know Bruce Willis has repeatedly died in front of the camera.

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Bruce

No, but Robert Duvall has been called into NASA for a secret briefing

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I don't get it...

I thought Hudson Hawk was a funny over the top theatrical comedy (It has Richard E. Grant ffs), and was most surprised when I watched an interview with Bruce Willis, and he was asked what one film did he wish he had never made, and surprise surprise, he named Hudson Hawk.

I lost all respect for Bruce Willis in that moment....

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Flame

NASA's impression of 2012 TC4

Needs to get a better press agent. That impression is rather unflattering.

Hopefully 2012 TC4 will remain unflatterning...

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Alien

It's those damned Arachnids again...

I'll have to run down to Costco and get a 5 gallon drum of Raid.

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

Ahhh.. Starship Troopers.

A fine example of a book showing the futility of war then co-opted to make a film gloryfying war..

(And not even a very good one. About 20 minutes was all I could bear to watch. It joins a select few films that even my regularly-suspended disbelief could cope with..)

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

I wouldn't call the book anti-war by any stretch of the imagination. Basically the book not-so-intimated that humanity was going to have to wipe out the Arachnids, rather than try to find any basis to communicate and reach a peace. Hence the 5 gallon drum of Raid.

The book was much superior to the movie, but I appreciated the movie as both a satire of war movie cliches and a satire of the media state. Whoever ran the TV network in the Starship Troopers future is basically using the Fox News/MSNBC/RTV playbook from today's cable news industry.

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

I remember, with great fondness, a review that appeared on Usenet:

Loosely based on the back cover artwork of a book by Robert Heinlein.

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

Communal unisex showers always struck me as a terrible idea...

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

Maybe it just me, but I really enjoyed both. Plus, I felt that the over-the-top jingoism was satire. Same goes for the sequel, where the recruiter coos at the baby and says "we need fresh meat for the grinder".

Slightly related - I once described the film as "Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers with gratuitous violence and nudity". I was corrected by somebody saying "the gratuitous violence and nudity description is redundant".

Would you like to know more?

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

I thought the book somewhat glorified the war and the idea you weren't a citizen unless you fought, where as the film was a satire.

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

Also a bad idea in Alien 3, I believe, so there's clearly a theme evolving here.

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

I thought the book somewhat glorified the war and the idea you weren't a citizen unless you fought, where as the film was a satire.

I concur. I've heard arguments that Heinlein wrote starship troopers to show us a dystopia and that he wished to show us what a bad idea a society that really venerated the military to that degree was. Maybe I'm just not literary enough, but I just didn't get that feeling from him. He wanted snappy uniforms and synchronised marching and he wanted it now.

The film, conversely, dropped in a couple of little bits of subtle satire (the recruiting adds for example) in-between and otherwise fun action film, which is most fun if not entirely sober.

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

"About 20 minutes was all I could bear to watch."

It's a pity you didn't. It's deliberately set in a future where the Nazis won(*) and in the style of Triumph of the Will. Once you get into the meat of the piece it's clear that it's an antiwar film.

(*) Didn't you notice everyone was blonde and aryan? Including the troopers from Buenos Ares?

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Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

You've got that completely backwards. The film satirized the militaristic jingoistic book. Remember that Starship Troopers would have been written during the heights of the cold war, with the Arachnids standing in for those dirty commies, boo hiss.

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Mushroom

Damn!

Missed again!

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Windows

Re: Damn!

@LaeMing:

Damn time travellers from 2318.

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Er, what defences?

See title

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Indeed

Not only that, but when the article says "test how ready we are for a potential impact" - well I can answer that : we're not.

Any major asteroid strike in a populated area will just be mayhem, pure and simple. If we have advanced warning, there might be a way to evacuate, but given that this particular rock can pass 6,800km close or more than 200,000km away, if it did hit somewhere I don't think we would have the slightest idea of where before it was way too late to do anything about it.

As of now, our only chance for surviving an asteroid impact is that the asteroid itself is too small to do too much damage (with all due respect to the thousands who could potentially be killed even by a small one).

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Trollface

Re: Er, what defences?

"Er, what defences? "

The one where we collectively shake our fists at it, yelling "we know you're there!"

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Re: Er, what defences?

"Er, what defences? "

Prayer! Pray really hard!

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Re: Indeed

"Any major asteroid strike in a populated area will just be mayhem, pure and simple"

Airbursting fragments are worse, believe it or not.

Check out the simulations at https://craterhunter.wordpress.com/the-planetary-scaring-of-the-younger-dryas-impact-event/a-thermal-airburst-impact-structure/

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Re: Er, what defences?

"Er, what defences? "

The one where we collectively shake our fists at it, yelling "we know you're there!"

Relevant Simpsons clip

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Mushroom

Something to work on

It would be quite useful if we could move it a little closer. Maybe aim it at North Korea.

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Re: Something to work on

I think the NKs are the only people with one ready to launch!

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Re: Something to work on

The problem is the the NK leader is a suicide bomber. As for the other trumpet the joint cheese are already ignoring him. The button is nothing more than the sort of buttons I can create. It must have write only permission.

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A lot of these rocks, as reported in the Daily Minor Planet newsletter, aren't spotted until they are a few days out from doing their (hopefully) flyby. So, unless someone has something ready to go, we're still basically screwed.

Now if someone has the technology that's fairly good to go, it might be nice to practice nudging/obliterating a few of those rocks. As this really is rocket science, time to bone up on it. For practice.

SMoD {Sweet Meteor of Death} still hasn't shown up in the neighborhood, dammit! Look at what got into the Whitehouse.

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We should only try a "nudge" if it's definitely going to hit, because "trying it out" on one that is going to safely miss might result in it's next pass being "on target".

Though of course then we'll be able to give it another nudge, and since we've had practice we'll be more confident that it will work.

I don't know which scenario is for the best...

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"A lot of these rocks, as reported in the Daily Minor Planet newsletter, aren't spotted until they are a few days out from doing their (hopefully) flyby"

At lot more aren't spotted until a few days AFTER their flyby. They're dark and we're blindsided by the sun as they come from that direction. They show up as they go past and are intensely backlit for a few days.

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Your fries order has been upsized.

Looks like a giant, peeled potato.

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And when the one went bang over Russia,everyone was looking at one that was already known about,I wonder if the same thing will happen again..

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Illustration

hopefully not to scale.

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Job title

"NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office" - that sounds really, really cool. Something out of Thunderbirds, Space 1999 or Fireball XL5.

Completely meaningless of course, but still amazingly cool.

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Context

Just to put the distance into context, 6800km is approximately one Earth radius. If it does come that close, it'll be about as close to the humans directly underneath it as those humans are to the centre of the Earth.

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Re: Context

I read that as humans IN the centre of the earth...

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Re: Context

Anyone up for starting a pool on whether 2012 TC4 will knock out one or more geosynchronous satellites?

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I'll go for it won't, space is big, mind-bogglingly big. The chance of a 10m asteroid hitting a sub 10m lump of metal in a corridor of mind-bogglingly big (can't be arsed to look it up) is very, very small.

But then again those 1 in a million chances do happen 9 times out of 10.

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Re: Context

I read that as humans IN the centre of the earth...

Shh.. The Illuminati will come and take you away if you even hint about their secret base in <No Carrier>

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Black Helicopters

Re: Context

#IronSky2

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Re: Context

Even closer when you take the Earths orbital speed into account of approx 30km/s.

So Earth covers the 6800km in about 3mins 45secs

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Re: Context

<emEven closer when you take the Earths orbital speed into account of approx 30km/s.

So Earth covers the 6800km in about 3mins 45secs</em>

Which has qualified as the most chilling post of the year*.

(* or as the Left Pondians would say: "Chillingmost")

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Mushroom

Re: Context

It is plenty close enough to take out some possibly very interesting satellites...

I see that was mentioned but I was thinking of something else. Reactors in space exist.

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Re: Context

"Reactors in space exist."

Only 1 that the USA or Russians admit to (and it's been dead since the 1960s).

Radiothermal decay generators aren't reactors and in any case if any of them (or the reactor) burned up in the atmosphere the additional radioactivity would be barely noticeable.

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Re: Context

NK has already launched a satellite. The payload is plenty high enough to handle an enhanced 6 KT EMP system. What is there to stop anyone else? People signing little bits of paper? Ever heard of a bad cheque?

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Almost a Douglas Adams reference

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space

upvote for you!

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Re: Context

The Soviet Union launched a good number of reactors on their US-A ocean surveillance radar satellites (RORSATs). Their radar technology meant the satellite had to be in a very low orbit which precluded draggy solar panels, so they put a nuclear reactor onboard.

At the end of the mission, the spent core was meant to be fired into a disposal orbit, that didn't always happen. At least two cores returned to Earth, one in the South Atlantic, the other redecorated about 120,000km2 of North Canada with intensely radioactive debris of which only about 1% has been recovered.

Of the remainder, several spilled their liquid metal coolant which now contributes to orbital debris, at least one appears to be disintegrating in its graveyard orbit, and when they were working they were nightmares for gamma ray astronomers.

Fortunately, none have been launched since the late 1980s.

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