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16 October 2012


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Col Lang,

I read most of Heinlein's work as a teenager. It was great fun and his Lazarus Long character challenged my conventional southern Mississippi upbringing.

Here is a brief explanation of the mass driver concept:

This site offers some classic LL quotes from Heinlein's pen:

I like this one - "If it can’t be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." Baptist preachers hate that one.



Don't forget Mycroft aka mike, the enabler of the revolution.

The mass driver was a rail gun from memory.

Didn't "tanstaafl" come from this novel?

Clifford Kiracofe

Has Romney enunciated a space policy? BHO seems to have cut back on this.

To push the economy and to enhance our scientific and technological future we need a serious space policy.

We can consider the effects of Ike's policy which was moved forward by Kennedy.

Funding can be obtained by reducing the bloated and counterproductive imperial Defense budget and reallocating resources to NASA and so on.


Without a single exception, every person that I have had the privilege of meeting that is involved in advanced research or engineering has stated that Science Fiction sparked their drive to do what they do.

I have met politicians that believe in total privatization of everything governmental. For example, the GPS satellite constellation should completely supported by private enterprise if there is so much utility of use in the private sector. The only way I could make my point of why Uncle Sam needs to keep funding the GPS program, is if the U. S. falls into decay on the GPS program. Then the OnStar system in their cars and GPS systems in their boats and private aircraft would rely on French, Russian, China, or India for GPS satellites.


We could use a little bit of that by researching right here on Earth. Some deep submersibles for the USN to fix the next deep well blow out might be a start. I don't see any oil companies spending on (what should be) basic equipment for another such disaster.

Clifford Kiracofe

Sure, undersea research as well. NOAA and related.

The imperial Defense budget needs to be cut back and resources allocated to science and technology drivers of the economy.

Charles I

Apparently water is one of the most common molecules in the universe.

Just plucked The Curios Profession of Jonathan Hoag off the cottage shelf and read it on the weekend.

Scifi is where I learned to read after Charles G.D. Roberts - well they and a lotta flashcards.


So Newt is probably pro-Loonie, but he didn't like the alternative marriage part?

Al Spafford

Sranger in a Strange Land, my fav of his books


And another great picture, Col Lang. I never made the connection before - Newt's Moon Colony proposal and his wife's "hair". It all makes sense now - she hypnotized him, to help her get home...


Oh, too funny! When I saw this I thought sending Newt to the moom sounded delightful, but now you've given me the reason why he should go.

Babak Makkinejad

Reminds me of an old cartoon in which a NASA offical is briefing Richard Nixon on the latest Apollo mission to the moon:

"Regrettably Mr. President, we did not discover any oil this time either."


Mr. Kiracofe,

All this requires a strong base/investment/LOBBY for the Hard Sciences that the next couple of generations of American youth will benefit from.

Clifford Kiracofe

Yes this is essential to our future. The budget needs to be reorganized: stop wasting on unnecessary wars and a bloated defense budget. Start investing for the future: science, tech, infrastructure, and education.

Presidential leadership as under Ike and Kennedy can move things forward.


In The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the Loonies are shipping wheat (not Lithium/rare metals) to the Earth, and that is what sets off the revolution. Computations by Mike, the central computer, and Professor La Paz show that these shipments are unsustainable and that the Moon cannot afford the drain of water (pun not really intentional but hard to avoid).

The book made TANSTAAFL famous, and might be responsible for its fame as an acronym, but it's not likely that it was the first use of the phrase.

You might be thinking of the movie Moon where the main character is mining H-3

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