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Sorry, I should have read one more comment. B^)
??? To what comment is this addressed? The blondes that wanted to fly to the sun but needed to go at night?
Bucket type railguns or linear motors could launch raw or semi-finished materials from the surface. It would be even cheaper to do that from the moon (water, oxygen, aluminum, silicon, titanium) Heat and energy are essentially free outside the atmosphere. The only way it will happen is if Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos or similar get into the game. The PRC wants an industrial colony on the moon as soon as they can get there and build it. So does India. So if you are young and dream the same dreams that Heinlein, Clarke and others dreamed, best you learn to speak and read Chinese or Hindi.
Arthur C. Clark, who envisioned geo-synchronous satellites, solar sails, heavy ion engines and more has been dead on so far. I'd bet that he's correct about tacking around the system with solar sails. Pournelle and Niven added the notion of a large 'launching' laser on the ground to apply a high boost to the sails when they unfurl. That would work for sailships out to beyond the Oort cloud and with better lasers, might provide power to the nearer stars. (Mote in God's Eye). Orion type rockets would serve too, but not with as many nuclear Luddites as we have in this world. All in all, science-fiction is rapidly becoming science-fact.
Nor has anyone with more than a high-school physics class ever claimed that they could. I'd say, "Nice strawman there" but it's not. It is absurd on it's face. The three methods *that we know of now* to move great distances within our solar system are 1.) Solar sails, 2.) Heavy ion engines with various sources of electrical power (one is orbiting a comet right now and another is doing a grand tour of the biggest minor planets, Ceres being next after the orbit around Vespa). 3.) Zero Point Energy, recently demonstrated by several institutions and written up in peer-reviewed journals. For the latter, no one seems to know exactly WHY it works, but it does, and provides a substantial specific impulse with very little input energy. Losses appear to be entropic (Second Law) and to be expected. So, your normal 'shoot your mouth off first' commenting style simply shows that you have no idea what is happening in the world of science, technology, physics or cosmology.
In response to:

America: The Ostrich Years

meerbock Wrote: Aug 24, 2014 6:02 PM
Doesn't look all that funny with his neck and shoulders showing outside of the brown ring. But come to think of it he DID say he'd be 'more flexible' after the last election. Sadly, I am afraid that 2012 WAS the 'last election'.
In response to:

America: The Ostrich Years

meerbock Wrote: Aug 24, 2014 5:56 PM
... and most sane people HATE those yappy little monsters -- with blue-hairs and Mexicans excepted.
'Steer clear' my aunt Tillie's fluffy white @ss! They are some of the worst when it comes to dictating morals to the plebes and the peasants. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, the sex trades, are vices that are very popular and yet the prohibitionist wing of the Republican party are right there, johnny on the spot calling for laws to criminalize all of it. To what purpose, I wonder? Have they some deity ordained rulebook that justifies their thinking? I think not. It is the old fashioned blue-nosed Presbyterian (or WASPs in general) fear that ". . . somewhere, someone is having fun behind our backs and IT HAS TO STOP RIGHT NOW!" I'd always heard jokes (from Baptists) that the reason that the church discouraged recreational sex is that it leads to dancing and card-playing.
Do I hear another AMEN?! Why Republicans (and many Dems) are hell-bent on regulating personal moral choices is beyond me. It is no one's business. Bugger off.
In response to:

The New Black Male Can Be Conservative

meerbock Wrote: Aug 21, 2014 2:22 PM
Good ideas but I don't think that ol' 'Rinse and Repeat' will take your advice to heart. As others have pointed out to you last week, you can't get a job of any worth if you can't speak standard English, can't read or write English or do basic arithmetic. THAT lack is a cultural choice of the urban black community, and stumping for jobs for that culture is sort of peeing into the wind at this point.
Lucky you! You got a B. When I went back to college in 1990, I ended up in the Dean's office, with the Minority Affairs person (a bla ck woman with corn rows, of course) for a paper that I wrote for World History and Civilization, a 300 level course. They insisted that I change the conclusions of my paper to be more PC. It got heated. At that time Cols Ohio was still fairly conservative, except for the OSU campus that had been a real standout in the anti-war riots of the late 60s. I told them that if they felt so strongly, they could defend their conclusions in a lawsuit. I wanted their demanded revisions to be in writing pointing out specific 'errors' in my citations and conclusions. I also suggested that in the wider community outside OSU, none of them would enjoy being the lede item on any of the several conservative talk stations at the time, nor in the Columbus Dispatch (which to this day is STILL unapologetically conservative) editorial page. They backed down. I was 47 at the time, owned my own business and was not about to put up with the PC nonsense. I won. My paper was accepted as written and I got an A. The word got around at the faculty club that screwing around with me was not a good idea. I had too many unofficial friends in the conservative media there and was on first name terms with my state senator and representative. More people should speak up to academic tyranny. Like all bullies, if you confront them, they will usually shrivel up and slink off. The ONLY thing that gives them power is YOUR belief that they can make you feel inferior by calling you names
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