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Evan
07-22-2009, 10:13 PM
http://ixian.ca/pics6/etac.jpg



Tomorrow morning the news is interrupted for a special report. Astronomers have just discovered that the nearby star Eta Carinae will go hypernova within six months. They are 100 percent confident. The last explosion was just a warmup. There will be a sterilization event caused by the intense radiation. Nothing larger than an amoeba will survive on the surface.
The only safe places are deep under ground and deep under water. All life on the surface will perish.

What do you do next?

(this is a hypothetical question. I hope...)

Mcgyver
07-22-2009, 10:17 PM
quit f**kin around on internet and start diggin? By a thicker pair of sunglasses?

these questions remind of the ones kids ask to exasperate parents, Dad, what would you do if aliens landed in the back yard?

Jim Shaper
07-22-2009, 10:21 PM
Hey, at least you don't have to worry about dying waiting for bama care to fix you. :D

What genetic resources does an amoeba have to survive this that more complex organisms lack?

Then you have the issue of irradiated and sterile food sources which wouldn't reproduce if it was even possible to eat them without radiation poisoning to begin with.

mochinist
07-22-2009, 10:28 PM
How long till the radiation reaches us?

macona
07-22-2009, 10:39 PM
It would only toast us if the poles are pointing at us when it happens, which it isnt right now. Its 7500 light years from us so it could have gone off already. When we know it has gone off the radiation will be here.

Otherwise party!

andy_b
07-22-2009, 10:41 PM
i'd probably go see the Grand Canyon, maybe Yellowstone, and carry on with my life. i'm not going to be one of the lucky few in the govt bunker, so i may as well enjoy myself before i die.

in fact, if i was told i had 6 months to live for any reason, that's about what i'd do. the only thing different was that if my family was going to still be alive, i'd start selling off all my junk so they didn't have to deal with it and they'd have some extra spending money to boot.

of course if this radiation blast wasn't going to hit for 70 years, i'd pretend i never heard about it and go about my business.

andy b.

Carld
07-22-2009, 10:58 PM
Pour a tall glass of Bowmore, add a couple of ice cubes and sit on the porch until it's over. It should be real quick when it gets here. Take the Chief with me in case I don't go quick enough.

rantbot
07-22-2009, 11:16 PM
Astronomers have just discovered that the nearby star Eta Carinae will go hypernova within six months. They are 100 percent confident.
I know too many astronomers to be even slightly alarmed by anything they're 100 percent confident about.

dp
07-22-2009, 11:27 PM
Tailgate party!

http://www.livescience.com/space/scienceastronomy/080108-eta-carinae.html

winchman
07-22-2009, 11:55 PM
From the article Dennis linked:

".... even short exposures to blue light can increase insomnia, reduce resistance to infection and is being studied as a possible risk of cancer."

Three more reasons for banning Xenon headlights.

Roger

Pherdie
07-23-2009, 12:16 AM
What do you do next?

Give up hope of my 401K recovering before my demise.

(Oh, wait a minute, I already gave up hope of that!)

Fasttrack
07-23-2009, 12:34 AM
but you never know what that radiation is gonna do...

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n22/fasttrack237/in_case_of_zombies_left1.jpg

SteveG_CT
07-23-2009, 12:35 AM
From the article Dennis linked:

".... even short exposures to blue light can increase insomnia, reduce resistance to infection and is being studied as a possible risk of cancer."

Three more reasons for banning Xenon headlights.

Roger

Yeah, although you would think the fact that they blind oncoming drivers would be enough reason to ban them.

darryl
07-23-2009, 03:27 AM
Set up a big reflector dish with a lawn chair at the focal point. When the time comes, be sittin in the chair with a drink in hand and some good tunes playing. If you start taking yoga right now, you might be flexible enough when the time comes to kiss your a-- goodbye.

winchman
07-23-2009, 04:05 AM
Set up a big reflector dish with the focal point on the yip-yip dog next door. Maybe you'd have a few days of peace and quiet before your own demise.

boslab
07-23-2009, 04:25 AM
i dont think my auto headsheild goes past 12 or 13, wonder what number glass i should buy, also where does one buy lead boxer shorts and do they chaffe?, interestingly this bring us naturally to sunblock, factor what will be needed, it wont affect us in wales we are practically Morelocks due to the industrial revolution we started breeding underground lol
hope its quick
mark

Doc Nickel
07-23-2009, 04:31 AM
Okay, the premise is somewhat spurious in that, by the time we saw it erupt (light emitted from it could be received by local telescopes) the faster Gammas and X-rays would have already arrived.

But as a thought experiment- the Planet Killer could just as easily be another "Jupiter scar" comet or asteroid- there's some discussion as to whether or not to actually tell the populace at large.

Barring the difficulty of suppressing the data, the idea is, that of the general population has reason to believe in imminent widespread destruction- let alone probable total annihilation- the social order would virtually instantly break down.

If a person knew that everyone was going to be dead in six months, that he and his family were not only going to die, but had no (or very, very little) hope of escaping or surviving, why would he continue to go to work? Or, for that matter, follow traffic laws?

Or, for that matter, follow any laws?

The neighbor with the yappy dog that you've occasionally fantasized shooting just to get it to shut the hell up? Why not? What are they going to do, put you in jail?

Now think of that same mindset in a street thug or drug dealer. Or a John Gacy style psychopath.

You don't feel like going to your data-entry job? Neither does the kid down at the gas station, any of the employees at the grocery store, the truckers that bring the groceries to the store, the warehousemen that handle the distribution, the shippers that import it all...

Six months? Inside of five days we'd be down to "Mad Max" anarchy- no, hell, even they were more organized.

Announcing a near-100-percent-certainty extinction-level event would erase our social order in forty-six to seventy-two hours. A high percentage of cops and soldiers would abandon their posts, doctors would desert- all under the general "why are we bothering?"- and riots and looting would become the norm. Fires rage unchecked, bodies pile up in the streets. New Orleans '05 writ on a global scale.

So knowing that, many believe that, once such an event is identified and certified, it is probably far better to suppress it. Yes, everyone may only have six months to live, but let them live it in relative peace.

If the information does get out, counteract it. People will riot if they know it's 95, 100% certain, but probably won't if they think it's only "somewhat possible", or "nothing will probably happen, maybe". Even if it IS 'certain', counteract it anyway. Issue a statement saying the astronomers are wrong, deny reports, whatever is necessary.

At worst, we'd spend the next six months arguing about whether or not we should be rioting and looting.

Now, back to the OP- what would I do, personally? Good question, and one I'm not sure could be answered honestly. I have an easy six months' worth of food here, so I could "hole up" and simply try to survive as long as I can.

Though even without the "avoid roving gangs of murderers" to worry about, what would you do for that six months? Try and finish a project? Why bother? I could see a lot of coffeehouse poets and writers trying to pen something like a "definitive history of Man" or some other missive to be left and hopefully found by future inhabitants, or various scientists trying to get whatever they could by way of data or samples or recordings into one form or another of "doomsday vault".

For lack of a more enlightened idea, I suppose I'd simply make it a goal to see it through to the end. Survive until- or perhaps if- the GRB hits.

Doc.

thistle
07-23-2009, 04:40 AM
use bar oil on the ways and motor oil in the head stock and see what happens.....

Circlip
07-23-2009, 05:58 AM
Put yer head between yer knees and kiss yer ass goodbye! :cool: :eek:

Regards Ian.

Doc Nickel
07-23-2009, 06:33 AM
use bar oil on the ways and motor oil in the head stock and see what happens.....

-Heh. But seriously, you just know there's going to be a big contingent of people trying all sorts of stuff they wouldn't have before. BASE jumping off the Sears Tower or Empire State building, racing hot motorcycles through crowded traffic... Somebody with a small plane might try something they never quite had the guts to do before- a hammerhead maybe, or a barrel roll...

Somebody, somewhere, would sneak into a military airbase and snatch a fighter- not caring if he got shot down, or didn't know how to land, or if it even had enough fuel.

And tanks. Everybody would be trying to get their hands on a tank. :D

You'd see a bunch of people committing suicide in weird ways. Breaking into a nuclear power plant to get to the core, trying to surf Niagra Falls, jumping into a cage filled with tigers (http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_302154.html?vgnmr=1)...

... I bet somebody'd even be crazy enough to go meet Don/Milacron from PM, and try to talk about import 9x20 lathes to him... in person. :D

I think you'd be better off with the tigers.

Doc.

Evan
07-23-2009, 06:58 AM
http://ixian.ca/pics6/morn.jpg

Your Old Dog
07-23-2009, 07:02 AM
I guess the Obama-nation had better make a serious push for all their green laws to save the planet before something else takes us out :D

rancherbill
07-23-2009, 09:23 AM
[img].............All life on the surface will perish.

What do you do next?

(this is a hypothetical question. I hope...)

There was a special on Discovery Channel about Eta Carinae that said 'Don't Worry - Be Happy! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyYZUhSeRYc)"

oldtiffie
07-23-2009, 09:48 AM
This may be the ghost of Orson Welles giving a re-run of the panic caused in the US with his "War of the Worlds" broadcast in 1938:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds_(radio)

madman
07-23-2009, 10:29 AM
I can make up a whole pile of Aluminumn Foil radiation Deflector hats for a very reasonable trade. One case of beer per hat. No money need xchange hands. Id like to drink some more beer before we all die of Radiation or whatever old age disease LOL

camdigger
07-23-2009, 10:42 AM
Just a different flavor of Chicken Little's poison Koolaid.:rolleyes:

Evan
07-23-2009, 10:46 AM
Mass extinction events are pretty regular on this planet. In fact, we are in the middle of one now being caused by us. But, we are also about due for a "natural" extinction event according to the general timeline. There have been such events in the past that nearly eliminated life on Earth including one called "The Great Dying" that killed 95% of all life on the planet.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/extinct.jpg

Fasttrack
07-23-2009, 11:02 AM
Okay, the premise is somewhat spurious in that, by the time we saw it erupt (light emitted from it could be received by local telescopes) the faster Gammas and X-rays would have already arrived.

Now I don't claim to be an astro-physicist, but gammas and X-rays all travel at the same speed as light in space. They are all photons and they all have the same velocity - X-rays and gammas just have a shorter wavelength (higher frequency). Thus they may travel faster in a particular medium, but I hardly think that will count for much when the majority of the distance traversed is in space...?

rancherbill
07-23-2009, 11:18 AM
......But, we are also about due for a "natural" extinction event according to the general timeline..........

There's a schedule!!!:eek: I just checked my old email and can't find that memo. Can you post a copy in this thread for everybody.

Isn't that an inference of the future based on past observations. I forget the correct name for this fallacious logic, but it's like 'there's always a cop hiding behind the billboard with radar, thus, there will one there today'.

loose nut
07-23-2009, 11:33 AM
What genetic resources does an amoeba have to survive this that more complex organisms lack?



The simpler the structure of the organism the more resistant it is to hard radiation and inversely the more complex (that's us) the more vulnerable it is.
It's our internal skeletal structure that will do us in, critters with exoskeletons (cockroaches) will fair better. Single sell amoeba have the best chance, if you can call that living.

loose nut
07-23-2009, 11:46 AM
Barring the difficulty of suppressing the data, the idea is, that of the general population has reason to believe in imminent widespread destruction- let alone probable total annihilation- the social order would virtually instantly break down.

If a person knew that everyone was going to be dead in six months, that he and his family were not only going to die, but had no (or very, very little) hope of escaping or surviving, why would he continue to go to work? Or, for that matter, follow traffic laws?

Six months? Inside of five days we'd be down to "Mad Max" anarchy- no, hell, even they were more organized.

Announcing a near-100-percent-certainty extinction-level event would erase our social order in forty-six to seventy-two hours. A high percentage of cops and soldiers would abandon their posts, doctors would desert- all under the general "why are we bothering?"- and riots and looting would become the norm. Fires rage unchecked, bodies pile up in the streets. New Orleans '05 writ on a global scale.

So knowing that, many believe that, once such an event is identified and certified, it is probably far better to suppress it. Yes, everyone may only have six months to live, but let them live it in relative peace.

If the information does get out, counteract it. People will riot if they know it's 95, 100% certain, but probably won't if they think it's only "somewhat possible", or "nothing will probably happen, maybe". Even if it IS 'certain', counteract it anyway. Issue a statement saying the astronomers are wrong, deny reports, whatever is necessary.


Doc.

Remember a few years ago when "they" announced that a asteroid was going to pass real close to earth with a very high possibility of colliding with us in 38 years.

Shortly after that "they" back paddled on it saying there was a mistake in the math and we would be alright 'cause it would miss safety.

Did the math get screwed up or are "they" trying to keep it quiet.

35 years to go. Best get the party supplies stocked up

Shotgun shells, Check
Beef jerky, Check
Bottled water, Check
Condoms, forget'um. Aids dies with the rest or us.

2ManyHobbies
07-23-2009, 12:02 PM
To me is it a question of intensity. If it is going to be a quick burst that you can wait out in a subway station, pack some canned goods, pallet or two of rice, and a couple of buckets of seasoning. If it is something that is going to set the air on fire and cause photodisintegration, I'll be on a vantage point somewhere interesting.

I don't buy that ozone burn-off would end life on the planet, but my pasty white self would be searching for bigger hat brims and longer sleeve clothing. Now a clock reset on plant life could cause a problem for a couple of years. Imagine the only thing out there in 6 months is dead plants, but there are still seeds everywhere. Some things wouldn't return to normal for 200 years, but with some serious human effort and radiation mutated rapid-growth pines, humanity could move past such an event in 5-10 years.

Jim Shaper
07-23-2009, 12:38 PM
Mass extinction events are pretty regular on this planet. In fact, we are in the middle of one now being caused by us. But, we are also about due for a "natural" extinction event according to the general timeline. There have been such events in the past that nearly eliminated life on Earth including one called "The Great Dying" that killed 95% of all life on the planet.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/extinct.jpg



If you believe someone elses guess that is... :rolleyes:

Forrest Addy
07-23-2009, 01:01 PM
8000 light years and an extinction event? Could be.

Here's more. I do know that if Eta Whatever goes hypernova uorpolitical enthusiams may give way to larger concerns

rancherbill
07-23-2009, 01:30 PM
If the effects aren't as serious as predicted, will it smoke electronics?

Will life be worth living without the internet?:eek:

lazlo
07-23-2009, 01:55 PM
-Heh. But seriously, you just know there's going to be a big contingent of people trying all sorts of stuff they wouldn't have before. BASE jumping off the Sears Tower or Empire State building, racing hot motorcycles through crowded traffic...

Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" (made into a film with Gregory Peck) covered that perfectly: there was a nuclear war, and the radioactive cloud had already killed everyone else on the planet except Australia, and the cloud was 6 months away...

So the Australian government was providing free suicide pills, people were driving race cars in erratic ways, having flings...

It was a pretty damn depressing book :)

By the way, Nevil Shute also wrote "Trustee in the Toolroom."

Weston Bye
07-23-2009, 02:07 PM
Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" ...

...It was a pretty damn depressing book :)

Yep, just happened to read it the week they announced 1 week layoffs per month for the next 3 months where I work. Seems the swine flu had everyone in a tizzy then, too.

Shute had a more optimistic view of human nature than is common nowadays.

Weston Bye
07-23-2009, 02:11 PM
http://ixian.ca/pics6/morn.jpg

7-shooter?

Evan
07-23-2009, 02:15 PM
Isn't that an inference of the future based on past observations. I forget the correct name for this fallacious logic, but it's like 'there's always a cop hiding behind the billboard with radar, thus, there will one there today'.

Inferring the future from the past is perfectly valid in the right circumstances.

Your example isn't related to predicting physical events that occur due to cyclical physical processes, like observing that the sun rises every morning and inferring that it will probably rise tommorow. It isn't a logical fallacy when you have observable evidence for a physical principle at work.

Evan
07-23-2009, 02:18 PM
Smith and Wesson 619 357 magnum.

BadDog
07-23-2009, 02:22 PM
7-shooter?
Not that unusual. Lots of 22s and other small calibers. With a Taurus 608 357 Mag, he would still have one in the cylinder...

Then again, maybe she had been nagging so long, he reloaded...

laddy
07-23-2009, 02:58 PM
Vodka! If you are alive when you wake up you still have more vodka to finish.

Weston Bye
07-23-2009, 03:09 PM
7-shooter? I thought it looked like a revolver, but on closer inspection...

You guys give cartoonists more credit than I do.

Doc Nickel
07-23-2009, 04:00 PM
Actually, given the length of the cylinder, it's clear he was using a Taurus Judge (http://johnjacobh.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/box-o-truth-reviews-taurus-judge-pistol/), which takes .410 shotshells.

He just used 00 Buck loads, which have three (or possibly four) pellets each.

:D


You guys give cartoonists more credit than I do.

-I can say from personal experience that the "visual" lobe of the brain that you use for art, is often quite distinct from the rest of the brain. :D

The classic example is the old "Willie & Joe" cartoon from WWII, showing the two, plastered on cognac, telling a lieutenant (or maybe colonel) they're "just a couple of red-blooded American boys." For the three people shown, there's a total of seven hands.

Doc.

Weston Bye
07-23-2009, 04:21 PM
You guys give cartoonists more credit than I do.

Doc,
Present company excepted.

Over the years, the typical handgun for cartoonists seems to be the revolver, and that's what I expected to see.

Illustrators get it wrong too. I remember seeing the cover of a pulp western where a snarling cowboy was blazing away with with a remington old army and a trail of ejected casings could be seen emerging from the smoke.

38_Cal
07-23-2009, 04:34 PM
Illustrators get it wrong too. I remember seeing the cover of a pulp western where a snarling cowboy was blazing away with with a remington old army and a trail of ejected casings could be seen emerging from the smoke.[/QUOTE]

Don't be too quick on that one. I had an opportunity about 25 years ago to handle a British revolver in one of the .45 caliber chamberings that was a mechanical marvel. If you left the loading gate open, it had a pawl that flicked the empty brass back and out of the cylinder each time the hammer cycled! Sure wish that I had enough of the spendy green things at the time...:D

David Kaiser
Montezuma, IA

Evan
07-23-2009, 04:54 PM
Wes,

You must have missed my post. Smith and Wesson has been making 7 shot 357 magnum revolvers for a long time.

Weston Bye
07-23-2009, 05:26 PM
Sigh...

I stand properly corrected. I was indeed aware of revolvers with more than 6 chambers, but I assumed that the public perception regarded 6-shooters as the common standard. Silly me.

Concerning the shell-ejecting revolver, the illustration showed a frame resembling the Remington old army - a black powder gun - complete with the chamber loading lever for ramming the ball into the chamber. No cases to be ejected. But some were converted to accept cartridges...

Ah, well...

Sorry for hijacking the thread.



Doc Nichols said: Remember a few years ago when "they" announced that a asteroid was going to pass real close to earth with a very high possibility of colliding with us in 38 years.

I recall thinking back then "I will be 80-some years old then, how will I be able to help my children and grandchildren survive?" For a few moments back then I was overestimating my importance and ability.

Doc Nickel
07-23-2009, 06:02 PM
You must have missed my post. Smith and Wesson has been making 7 shot 357 magnum revolvers for a long time.

-They also make an 8-shot (M327) and a 10-shot (M617.)

And it's nothing new. The LeMat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemat) was a 9-shot, with an extra 20-ga shotgun barrel. And there have even been 20 shot (http://www.horstheld.com/0-132271.htm) and 30 shot (http://www.horstheld.com/0-30-shot.htm) (!) revolvers. :D

You can buy reproduction LeMats today- since they're cap & ball, you can get 'em with no paperwork, mail-order.

Doc.

Evan
07-23-2009, 06:08 PM
Gotta be fun when one of those cross fires all at once.

Doc Nickel
07-23-2009, 06:35 PM
Gotta be fun when one of those cross fires all at once.

-Actually, the main problem with the LeMat was the 20-ga shot and wadding coming loose and spilling out under recoil from the pistol shots. :D

Doc.

Your Old Dog
07-23-2009, 07:22 PM
7-shooter?

45 Colt Officers Model

Evan
07-23-2009, 07:33 PM
The wife just completed her training here and now has her certificate to buy, possess, transport and use long guns and hand guns. To my surprise she told me they have already loosened the rules quite a bit here. It sure didn't make the news at all. You still must belong to a gun club to transport a pistol freely but you may now take it with you anyplace in Canada to another gun club competition including having it in your possession wherever you happen to be staying including a hotel room. You may carry it in your checked baggage on board an aircraft. In a vehicle it still must be locked in the trunk but you no longer have to be enroute to a range or back. You can shoot at any range in the country without needing any extra transport permit and your transport permit is good for five years.

The interesting thing about all this is that although you can't get a concealed carry permit to carry a handgun on your body you can carry it concealed in your locking briefcase since when you transport it it must be concealed from public view.

Weston Bye
07-23-2009, 08:24 PM
45 Colt Officers Model

Yep, and the M1911A1 and later M1991A1 (personal experience). 7 plus 1 in the pipe (for only the most fervent social occasions)

Oldbrock
07-23-2009, 11:19 PM
Me thinks we got a little off topic. Peter

Doc Nickel
07-23-2009, 11:45 PM
(snipped) [...] You can shoot at any range in the country without needing any extra transport permit and your transport permit is good for five years.

-Wow. Welcome to New York, circa 1950. :D

Not to hijack the thread any more than it already has been, but while it does sound like you've gained a bit of freedom, about 90% of the United States would (rightly) consider those restrictions as "draconian".

While some states have a few restrictions on transporting firearms- typically only as far as requiring them to be unloaded and in the trunk or otherwise not immediately accessible to the driver- no state that I'm aware of has anything like a "transportation permit".

Some forty states now offer "shall issue" concealed carry permits, including two- Alaska and Vermont- that allow concealed carry without any permit at all.

For the most part- local laws vary- purchasing a firearm involves going to the store, selecting the one you want, filling out an ATF form, having the store call a a specialized background check number for you, and if positive, paying your money and walking out the door.

Last time I did it, the whole process took less than ten minutes. It was then mine to do with as I pleased. No further permits, no home inspections, no form renewals after X number of years, no further fees to pay, no restrictions on where or how I could store it, etc.


The interesting thing about all this is that although you can't get a concealed carry permit to carry a handgun on your body you can carry it concealed in your locking briefcase since when you transport it it must be concealed from public view.

-Loaded, concealed, on my person, no permit whatsoever. Loaded, concealed, in the car, no permit whatsoever. No stipulations about "only on the way to or coming from a shooting range" or anything like that.

Only place it can't be carried is into a bank, a State or Federally-owned building (IE, the courthouse, paradoxially the Fish & Wildlife management offices, etc.) or where they serve or sell alcohol. No permits, no fees, no registration.

Doc.

Ken_Shea
07-23-2009, 11:55 PM
Me thinks we got a little off topic. Peter

What's you're point :D

Evan
07-24-2009, 12:38 AM
Doc,

I have a feeling that Alaska is a lot less restrictive than most states in that respect. There are quite a few jurisdictions in the US that have some pretty heavy restrictions on handguns. In Canada there are no local regulations. It's strictly a federal matter.

Doc Nickel
07-24-2009, 01:38 AM
I have a feeling that Alaska is a lot less restrictive than most states in that respect. There are quite a few jurisdictions in the US that have some pretty heavy restrictions on handguns. In Canada there are no local regulations. It's strictly a federal matter.

-That's entirely true.

California, for example, has some pretty restrictive laws, but even here, there's a modicum of freedom (http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/jul/15/cover/) you don't have in Canada.

Still, outside of most of California, Chicago, Washington DC, New York and New Jersey, the laws are typically far more lax than Canada's. Utah's laws are nearly as lax as Alaska's, with the only substantial difference being they require an actual- albeit easy to obtain- permit for concealed carry. Texas is freer still. A lot of the Midwest states don't ask much more than "don't carry it into a bar".

Yes, it's kind of piecemeal, though it's worth noting that even in these days of Democratic (IE, typically anti-gun) supermajorities efforts to streamline the laws (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/22/senate-vote-controversial-concealed-weapons-measure/?test=latestnews) only failed by surprisingly narrow margins.

And besides, I'll happily accept piecemeal laws in exchange for the vast majority of those regs being far and away freer than your "uniform" laws. :D

Doc.

Evan
07-24-2009, 05:30 AM
Oh well, at least it's improving which tends to negate the slippery slope arguments.

To swing this back on my original topic I guess I should contribute to my own question. Faced with no chance of escape I would simply spend my time as I currently do and make sure I had all my equipment set up to capture pictures of a real once in a lifetime event. The aurora should be truly outstanding even with a new sun in the sky.

It's hard to grasp how much energy such an event generates. Recent discoveries show that the energy output can easily exceed that of all the stars in the galaxy for a short amount of time. 7000 light years is right next door for such a burst of energy and the potential exists for such events to be capable of sterlizing an entire galaxy. This may be the explanation to the growing question of "where is everybody?" Our Galaxy, The Milky Way, is a fairly large galaxy as such things go. That only increases the odds of something like a hypernova happening from time to time.

Here are a couple of images, one by me of a dense region of stars in our own galaxy and one by NASA of the core area of the Pinwheel Galaxy.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/mw2b.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics6/pinwheel.jpg

Weston Bye
07-24-2009, 06:00 AM
Evan,
What would be the duration of the hard radiation? Would it be a burst or last for days, weeks or months. Is it possible that the population on the opposite side of the globe would be shielded by the mass of the Earth during a short burst?

Doc Nickel
07-24-2009, 06:31 AM
Oh well, at least it's improving which tends to negate the slippery slope arguments.

-Hardly. Lawmaking is virtually a definition of a slippery slope. Laws are constantly being made, but virtually never being revoked. And with each new law, one's rights become, if not actually infringed, at least more and more circumscribed.

It used to be that, if it weren't specifically against the law, it was legal. Now not only is virtually everything either against the law or delineated by a law, there's innumerable "catch-all" laws, such as the highly popular and delightfully generic "disturbing the peace" used recently against Harvard Professor 'Skip' Gates.

Case in point- Alaska's first version of it's concealed-carry law, did, in fact, require a permit. Gaining the permit required taking a 12-hour class (8 hr law in the classroom and 4 hr on the range and qualifying) plus fingerprints, etc.

To gain that bit of freedom- the ability to carry concealed- you lost some privacy (government forms, fingerprints, etc.) Besides which, the wording of the law actually revoked the prior right to carry openly, making it so you had to have the permit to carry at all.

What was gained was outweighed by what was lost.

However, in this case, a very rare occurrence; because of backlash by hunters and fisherman over that last part about carrying openly- probably inserted by an opponent of the measure- the entire law was scrapped, with a new one written allowing unpermitted concealed carry.

That's an extremely rare occurrence. Similarly the Heller decision in DC. That's had virtually no tangible effect yet, other than Mr. Heller himself has been issued a permit to aquire a pistol, but it was, in fact, a landmark decision.

But a brief upswing in seventy years of that downward slope hardly disproves the "slippery slope" concept. The Sullivan Act in 1911, the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Hughes Amendment of 1986, the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994...

Every one of those was a loss of rights and an increase in regulation and government control and oversight.

The slope may be levelling out for the moment, but that doesn't mean we're not still on the slide.

Doc.

Evan
07-24-2009, 08:23 AM
Just spotted a cougar in the back yard. We have had a rash of cougar problems lately. Beardog back tracked to our field and then to where it went through our fence to the neighbour's. A guy south of here killed one that was stalking a couple of girls swimming in the river. They killed another two that day stalking other kids. Another one was shot just a couple of miles from here by a woman after it killed her dog and cat. I think I'll keep a bang stick handy when I am out in the yard today.



What would be the duration of the hard radiation? Would it be a burst or last for days, weeks or months. Is it possible that the population on the opposite side of the globe would be shielded by the mass of the Earth during a short burst?

Gamma ray bursts tend to be very short duration with the main burst lasting only seconds. They are most probably caused by ultra intense beams of radiation that are emitted from the magnetic poles of the collapsing star and can sweep around like a lighthouse beam frying everything they encounter. The intensity of radiation is so great that it could seriously disrupt the atmosphere of Earth possibly blowing away a good part of it. It's a giant death ray of unimaginable intensity and power.

The Universe is filled with very highly energetic objects. Naturally occurring fusion is of course totally uncontrolled and frequently runs to a very violent conclusion. It's impossible to overstate the scale of such events. A large supernova can be observed anywhere in the Universe given time. It will outshine any other aggregation of stars as an extraordinary amount of matter is converted to energy in seconds.