The Big Picture: Science!

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MovieBob:
Science!

Hey, science guys, we need you to answer a few questions.

Watch Video

Want a jetpack? Here you go: http://www.jetpackinternational.com/

All you need is a pultry sum of 200,000 dollars for both the jetpack and the training for how to use it. :D

Father Time:

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:

As for disease curing there is not much money in curing a disease.

Of course there's money in curing disease. You could sell the cure, and even if it is cheaper than treatment you'd be the only one selling it vs a bunch of people selling treatment.

Plus not all scientists studying the disease work for private companies.

And we all ready have planes that can be operated by one person.

But planes require a license, loads of training, and aren't as maneuverable as a flying car would theoretically be. As for medicine; the scientists working for private corporations have more funding and that funding is geared towards making money; long term sale of a treatment but not a solid cure will yield more money. Selling a cure is 1 time thing(depending on how it is administered) but a treatment would require multiple visits and therefore multiple payments.

Of course they don't all work for a private company but those not working for one tend to be with charity groups looking for a cure; and that limited funding is bad. One has loads of funding the other lacks it because academia requires the funding be split, the government barely has enough money to keep an ambulance and EMS personnel per 10k people. A cure from either of them will be long coming; barring some good moves with the research.

From the desk of a scientist to the escapist community:
OK, so these questions are not part of my expertise seeing as they are not about computational models of DNA on a surface, but I can give a scientific view of each of them.

1)The major problem with jet packs is actually in the safety more than anything else. This is true with almost all forms of aviation and is why we don't see flying cars etc. The most common forms of general public aviation are hang gliders and sky diving and I believe this is related to the fail state.

You see, in industry, engineers have to worry about the fail state of their system. If they are designing a valve that controls how much reactive chemical is released into a reaction chamber, they want it to fail-to-closed, so that if the power fails, the reaction doesn't continue uncontrolled. If the engineer is designing a cooling system for a nuclear reactor, they want it to fail-to-open so that the reactor doesn't heat uncontrollably to a meltdown in the case of catastrophic power failure.

In powered flight, your options are severely limited if you loose power. Most aviation has some sort of ability to glide to an emergency landing, but jetpacks are limited in this area. Most engineers are hesitant to make a product that means almost certain death to the user in the case of systems failure. This is why the few jetpacks that you do see on YouTube are just side projects that nerdy people make just to see if they can and to ever test with an actual human.

Add to this a lack of understanding of the law of conservation of momentum among the general public and jetpacks are just not a good idea.

"Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect."

- Captain A. G. Lamplugh

2)Artificial meat, it's expensive. I mean 18 people die every day because they can't get an organ transplant (see http://www.organdonor.gov). If this was the whole reason that the process was developed, then why is our government spending millions on campaigns to get more people to sign up as donors instead of spending it on making the artificial organs? I mean, if we can't use this technique to make 18 organs a day, then how are we supposed to use it to feed 7 billion people a day?

I'm with you in thinking that this would be a neat thing to see, but I don't know if it's practical.

3)Space, it's a matter of priorities. Space programs could be funded by the government or by private industries. Right now however, both entities have most of their assets tied up, or, all of their income is already promised to other projects. I mean, there aren't any Scrooge McDucks running around with a huge wad of cash collecting dust in a money bin (except maybe the Kennedys and their ilk). This means that spending on space needs to come from cuts in other places. As far as the government goes, I can see bringing our troops home, rewriting the tax code, and performing an overhaul of our non-discretionary spending (medicare, social security, etc.) as good first steps towards freeing up money for space travel (Ron Paul?). As far as private industry goes, I think we spend way too many billions of dollars addressing an unsubstantiated carbon dioxide threat (if you don't think industries are seriously spending billions of dollars on this check out this site http://chenected.aiche.org/annual/ The American Institute of Chemical Engineers just held their annual convention last month and you can see from their highlights that the most talked about subjects were sustainability and the environment). I'm with you in thinking that there are much better things that we could be spending our money on.

4)Designer breeds are the result of strenuous breeding. In order to do the same for bears, some one would need to breed several generations of bears to produce a smaller variety. It should be noted that large breeds of dogs still exist and smaller dogs only survive due to a large population that sustains them. Sure they would be cool, but where would they fit in, exotic pets, circus attractions, a new endangered species?

"Where is my jetpack?"
-- I actually think that gyrocopters/ultralights are closer to the long-expected "common person's personal flying vehicle" than jetpacks. Think fuel consumption.

Growing meat
-- Interesting proposal. Remember though that this would probably spell the end for practically all cows out there (assuming we can market artificial milk as well). If we could just grow steaks, cows would be nothing but an obstacle to the expansion of human civilisation. And mankind does not have a track record of being particularly nice to animals they feel have no use to them.

"Because the infrastructure will be already there"
-- Er.. Right.. Because maintaining infrastructure on !!MARS!! costs absolutely nothing and funding will not immediately cease when it turns out that the entire investment has been based on false assumptions.

What was the point of this video?

Other than people talking about how scientists don't do science anymore.

Firstly i'm no scientist,
but i am an engineer and most of these things are semi possible..

jetpacks exist you can own one from as little as 1300
but you know as well as i do that the ammount of calories you can store in a platform the size of a human ( something you could carry )
is rather limited and would run out extremely rapidly, and that isn't due to change any time soon its so cost ineffective, that nobody wants to develop it
the best i've seen is a 30 minute run at airspeeds of 40mph

yep, cultured meat works ive been harping at people on that one too problem is where to get the actual proteins and chemicals to make the meat
it has to come from somewhere, likely another organism .. which.. ah yah.

nobody has the technical ability to make an enterprise
it's too big, none of the technology's we have will propel it well enough for it to be justifiable and you would bankrupt the entire planet trying
seriously, it would be that expensive! no amount of oil would be worth it.. yet!

what might happen are magnetic jump-gates, deployed by robots into deep space so we can hop from one place to another with far less fuel expenditure, but that's still in prototype too i forget who is developing it, but he wants to start with a gigantic liner motor launched spacecraft as a proof of concept
apparently it would reduce the fuel required by an absolutely massive amount

edit:
http://www.gizmag.com/d-dalus-uav-design/18972/

that would probably work better than any current jetpack design, just hook a cable to it and tow yourself around.

So while I'm as excited about Skyrim as the next person, but can I get a little less advertisement and a little more video? Seriously the video was confined to the lower left screen because the advertisement was taking up the rest of the screen.

Also interesting episode Moviebob, not really funny but interesting.

summerof2010:
[quote="unlimitedwin"

For instance, a whale's brain is *many times larger than a human's, but humans are certainly more intelligent than whales.

Were you just trying to say that a brain of such proportions that it would fit inside a very small bear's head would be unable to house all of the parts necessary to allow the bear to survive?

EDIT: I went back and looked it up. I don't think the brains are "many times" larger, but they are significantly larger.

I think it has to do with how it's 'wired'. Whales are very intelligent, they are self-aware and display complex social interaction.

The Whales brain contains roughly 2/3 of the neurons of the human brain, but significantly more glial cells which are suspected to be used for information processing(about 8:1 glial to neuron ratio as opposed to the 1.5:1 ratio in humans).

This might mean that whales are not that much intellectually 'weaker' than us, but just that they think very differently to us.

So I guess I really should have said: smaller brains tend to equate to fewer neurons which results in reduced intelligence.

teh_Canape:
maybe you should call Dr Insano, he seems like he'd do all that
also, while you're at it, get an extra ticket to the moon for Bill O'Reilly

Not sure Billo would go for mere gold.

ITT:

Scientists come and give lame excuses for not giving us things that they have been promising us since the 1910s.

We were promised this:
image

We got this:
image

Bob,
For the Jetpack, read this: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/aviation/diy-flying/4217989

For Cultured meat, you already saw that it will be out in 2012.

For the space thing: That problem will not be solved by governments. For the solution, look no further than SpaceX. They're the new (private) NASA, that's been able to do everything much more efficiently than NASA ever did. They are where the future is. Seriously, go look them up.

Paul F. Tompkins had a joke about small House Bears as pets, your joke made me think of that.

I agree about the meat stuff, too. I'm happy to hear that's gonna become a big thing soon. The only real question though is what sort of effect is that going to have on the environment? Will we have less cows? I can't imagine we'd just kill cows for fun in the future. But wouldn't less cows also have some impact? Food for thought.

I also wish to date green chicks. Tell you what though, Bob. You're older and more invested in this stuff than I am. So I'll let you take first run at all the sexy green alien babes once they're discovered.

But...y'know...if she's got any cute friends...remember your buddy, J.C.? Thanks, man.

Oka... I think this is probably just easier to do by taking a point by point approach.

ZZoMBiE13:
I want a pot bellied elephant. I'd pay $50 for one!

But it would cost a lot more to make.

You can get a jetpack...but you might die using it.

We can also grow meat but it's still too expensive to replace herds believe it or not. As soon as it becomes cheaper, you'll be eating it...if you want to or not. Most of those minds are working on growing replacement organs which are a lot more complicated but a lot more valuable too.

I want a dragon (mix of tiger/lizard and bat I imagine) but it's going to take them a bit to get that going. Not to mention the fact that we're sure to see opposition from the religious fanatics on that.

unlimitedwin:
I think it has to do with how it's 'wired'. Whales are very intelligent, they are self-aware and display complex social interaction.

The Whales brain contains roughly 2/3 of the neurons of the human brain, but significantly more glial cells which are suspected to be used for information processing(about 8:1 glial to neuron ratio as opposed to the 1.5:1 ratio in humans).

This might mean that whales are not that much intellectually 'weaker' than us, but just that they think very differently to us.

So I guess I really should have said: smaller brains tend to equate to fewer neurons which results in reduced intelligence.

That makes sense. And now my imagination is wheeling considering the implications of animal self-awareness. How do they determine such a thing as "self awareness" in a creature, if you know (and don't mind me going way off topic)?

You know what would be cooler than jetpacks?

Gyrocopters. Gyrocopters everywhere. Burn less fuel, have more control. Granted, they probably don't have jetpack speed or distance, but come on, you want to fly, this is as simple as it's going to get until you get your jetpack.

Of course, to power EITHER your jetpack or your gyrocopter, you'd need a fuel source... which we can totally find on Mars or the moon or something. It'll be awesome. I just hope we don't invest billions of dollars on space exploration to re-start the space program for the sake of finding fuels that don't actually exist, because then we'd all be poor and taxed.

MB202:

Father Time:

MB202:
Also, about jetpacks, how are you going to solve the problem of having your pants and underpants burned off?

Not all Jetpacks need to shoot fire, just something that can provide lift.

How's that work?

I think he provided a picture in the video of a jet pack that used propeller blades. Okay technically it's not so much a Jetpack as it is a Helipack but either way it's using a hi-tech backpack for personal flight.

EDIT: Apparently real life jetpacks that don't shoot fire already exist.

Well to answer the question about why you'll never have a jetpack we need to stop and break the idea down into a more basic overview.

You are wondering why no-one in their right mind would mass produce what would essentially be a jet with shoulder straps?

1- It would potentially be dangerous to wear (unless it was designed in such a way as to have the propulsion take place a significant distance away from the wearer, which would potentially result in it being bulky and impractical to wear).

2- It would be heavy, and this isn't just taking into accomidation the aforemention bulky design (nessercary to avoid burning yourself with your own jetpack) but it would also need to have plenty of fuel for take-off, flight and landing (imagine carrying a large petrol tank on your back in addition to a jet engine, you'd need to be seriously strong to lug all that around reliably).

3- It would be hard to steer, this would also result in it being stupidly dangerous to use in any built up areas due to the risk of losing control and/or crashing (being just a jetpack there would be no chasis or frame to take the impact, just your fleshy body).

4- It would be expensive, jet fuel is not cheap (that's assuming it wouldn't need some even more specialised type of fuel that could potentially be more expensive) and seeing as you'd need a lot of it for even a simple flight (depending on your weight I would assume) you'd find it being a massive money sink.

5- There's really no need for it, if you want to fly then we already have the airplane, the helicopter, the paracute, the glider, those weird glider suits and many other ways of taking to the sky (all of which are vastly more practical and don't endanger their passengers and crew for no reason).

As a general rule, if there's something that scientists haven't gotten around to doing yet or something that hasn't been adopted or widely used then odds are on that there's probably good reasons for it.

Djinn8:

There are no man made fusion reactors. Fusion is the process of new element been formed by compressing another until the atomic structure of two atoms are combined into one and the excess is fired out as radiation. Gold for example is the result of iron that has undergone fusion. The end result however is very similer to nucular power, which is based upon the use of elements that have undergone an incomplete fusion and are still expelling their excess atomic contents.

Yep, currently it's all experimental. I guess that could be assumed from how I wrote that though.

They are working on fusion reactors, however and everything actually written in my piece on fusion is true.

Here is the big project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

I'm not sure about creating gold in a fusion reactor though... Anything heavier than iron requires the energy of supernovae (exploding star) to form... sounds dangerous to me :P

Okay, I'll to the silly end first:

1) unless they perfect really good cloaking tech as well, I'm pretty sure people will find you and your jetpack. Face it, you're not exactly tiny.

2) aren't we fat enough in this country without making meat cheaper and easier over vegitables?

3) You can have the Orion girls. I'm going after Assari.

4) I get images of living My Little Ponies with that tech. Scares me to no end.

Back to serious:

I think most people are taking satire too litteraly instead of geting to the question behind it all: why is science so lame in so many areas? Even in my 30s, I've seen technological wonders come and go into obsolesence. Remember answering machines? Pagers? Walkman? CG in a movie being something special? Life without the internet, cell phones and tablets? Why is this one sector producing largely useless gadgets (or gadgets that will be mostly useless by how they're used) while our oldest dreams, survivability of our species, or even just stuff that's cool and unexpected crawl at a snail's pace? Have we lost the drive? Have religious nuts and corporate interests and others devoted to preserving the status quo driven us to nothing?

And let's face it, I think we'll need good synthetic food and fuel alternatives in my lifetime more than a playstation 4.

This episode made me smile so hard my face hurts. But it's a good hurt.

The problem with the "lying to get to space" plan is that, above all other things, scientists value credibility. These are the guys we trust to tell ushow the universe works. If they lie to us it all comes crashing down and the uneducated can claim that they are lying about everything and get away with it.

Im going to assume that this was more of a rant that wasnt to serious, afterall their are a few problems with his ideas.

summerof2010:

That makes sense. And now my imagination is wheeling considering the implications of animal self-awareness. How do they determine such a thing as "self awareness" in a creature, if you know (and don't mind me going way off topic)?

As far as I know the animal has to be able to show that it can recognise itself in a mirror. Whether it's just the animal itself or whether it has to display somehow that it can distinguish itself in the mirror from among others of it's kind I'm not sure.

In reference to dolphins, it was believed that Flipper (from the T.V. show) could recognise itself on T.V. (his/her carer used to bring a T.V. out to the pond or whatever that Flipper lived in and they would actually watch the show together).

This whole thing is a big part of the reason many people are so utterly disgusted with whaling and dolphin hunting. When you think about it, it's on the same level as walking down the street with your family and having them harpooned in the back in front of your eyes. The whales understand whats happening... Scary.

Also as economics tells you nothing will get done without incentive, if their is no value to a company to grow meat when its cheaper to raise cows they wont do it, same with going to space its alot of money put it to something that has little financial reward. If their was oil or gold on mars companiese would develop the technology to get their and bring it back once the incentive outweighd the cost.

I'm surprised how many people are pointing out the logic problems of these statements when it's a joke video. At least I think Bob's smarter than that.

My main complaint is the lack of comments during the credits.

Goddamn, I am totally geeking on the bear the size of a hamster thing. :D I've give my lunch money to a project like that.

I have a horrifying aversion to the prospect of "cultured meat" seriously the whole idea grosses me out Dx

Thats not meat! thats just vegetables with proteins.

I believe this is currently the closest thing to a practical jetpack. Technically it's more of a backpack helicopter, but still:

Iron Mal:
Well to answer the question about why you'll never have a jetpack we need to stop and break the idea down into a more basic overview.

You are wondering why no-one in their right mind would mass produce what would essentially be a jet with shoulder straps?

1- It would potentially be dangerous to wear (unless it was designed in such a way as to have the propulsion take place a significant distance away from the wearer, which would potentially result in it being bulky and impractical to wear).

2- It would be heavy, and this isn't just taking into accomidation the aforemention bulky design (nessercary to avoid burning yourself with your own jetpack) but it would also need to have plenty of fuel for take-off, flight and landing (imagine carrying a large petrol tank on your back in addition to a jet engine, you'd need to be seriously strong to lug all that around reliably).

3- It would be hard to steer, this would also result in it being stupidly dangerous to use in any built up areas due to the risk of losing control and/or crashing (being just a jetpack there would be no chasis or frame to take the impact, just your fleshy body).

4- It would be expensive, jet fuel is not cheap (that's assuming it wouldn't need some even more specialised type of fuel that could potentially be more expensive) and seeing as you'd need a lot of it for even a simple flight (depending on your weight I would assume) you'd find it being a massive money sink.

5- There's really no need for it, if you want to fly then we already have the airplane, the helicopter, the paracute, the glider, those weird glider suits and many other ways of taking to the sky (all of which are vastly more practical and don't endanger their passengers and crew for no reason).

As a general rule, if there's something that scientists haven't gotten around to doing yet or something that hasn't been adopted or widely used then odds are on that there's probably good reasons for it.

Thanks for reminding me why reality sucks. Oh well, a guy can always dream... I guess.

unlimitedwin:

Djinn8:

There are no man made fusion reactors. Fusion is the process of new element been formed by compressing another until the atomic structure of two atoms are combined into one and the excess is fired out as radiation. Gold for example is the result of iron that has undergone fusion. The end result however is very similer to nucular power, which is based upon the use of elements that have undergone an incomplete fusion and are still expelling their excess atomic contents.

Yep, currently it's all experimental. I guess that could be assumed from how I wrote that though.

They are working on fusion reactors, however and everything actually written in my piece on fusion is true.

Here is the big project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

I'm not sure about creating gold in a fusion reactor though... Anything heavier than iron requires the energy of supernovae (exploding star) to form... sounds dangerous to me :P

Cool. If they can get this working then all they have to do is develop atomic transmutation (splitting of atoms to create multiple, less massive atoms) and we'll have an unlimited, renewable fuel source to power the fussion reactors.

That'll be a real special day for humanity. It really would change everything.

i'd love to have an elephant the size of a hamster, that'd be sweet.

Djinn8:

unlimitedwin:

Djinn8:

There are no man made fusion reactors. Fusion is the process of new element been formed by compressing another until the atomic structure of two atoms are combined into one and the excess is fired out as radiation. Gold for example is the result of iron that has undergone fusion. The end result however is very similer to nucular power, which is based upon the use of elements that have undergone an incomplete fusion and are still expelling their excess atomic contents.

Yep, currently it's all experimental. I guess that could be assumed from how I wrote that though.

They are working on fusion reactors, however and everything actually written in my piece on fusion is true.

Here is the big project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

I'm not sure about creating gold in a fusion reactor though... Anything heavier than iron requires the energy of supernovae (exploding star) to form... sounds dangerous to me :P

Cool. If they can get this working then all they have to do is develop atomic transmutation (splitting of atoms to create multiple, less massive atoms) and we'll have an unlimited, renewable fuel source to power the fussion reactors.

That'll be a real special day for humanity. It really would change everything.

For those who don't get the joke: atomic transmutation = nuclear fission. Nuclear fission reactors do already exist!

Yeah, it'd be pretty sweet Djinn8 :D

Today was going to be a good day, there was a new moviebob update. Today is no longer a good day and i'll be looking forward to his stuff next week much less.

BgRdMchne:
trolling post

Yeah we might not have got flying firemen, but you know what we did get: pneumatcs to lift platforms and tools that can pry open metal to pull people out. Vans that can deliver those fire men to where they need to be quickly and pumps that can deliver a thousand times the amout of water to a fire than a bucket chain can. In the case of your phone example, also the ability to communicate the need for help in the first place.

We got stuff a thousand times better than flying firemen. Stuff people back then couldn't have even dreamed off. Why don't you give up this pretense to nhilism you've got and try to look at what is right with the world. If you think the world really is fucked, then what the hell are you doing to help? Maybe your the problem that need a solution.

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