Z2R-4


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Post July 14, 2009, 01:42:00 PM

Z2R-4

I usually enjoy reading ES Strout, but I couldn't even get past the first three lines this time.
"Z2R is about 3.4 light years from Earth..."
No. It is not. It is 39 light years from Earth, thank you very much. If you're going to state a fact, please be sure it's correct.
"Thomas Kastner...pulled a Marlboro from a crumpled pack and tucked it behind an ear." I don't believe it. I don't believe a laboratory in the US will allow cigarettes to be brought onsite. 10 years from now, all college campuses will be smoke-free (like it or not).
Section 2: "Brings us photos in real time." What? Can someone explain this to me? No matter how good a telescope is, it still takes 39 years for the light to get from that star to that telescope. Maybe I'm wrong.
Andyways, I'll read the rest of it now - but come on.
Michele
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Post July 14, 2009, 04:32:06 PM

Z2R-4

I've always said that sending out interstellar signals hoping that someone will answer, is like standing in Times Square at 4 in the morning and screaming "Hello" - you don't have a clue about who's going to show up.
Beyond that, this timeline needs to be moved WAY back - We won't have faster than light travel 11 years from now. No instant messaging between stars either. Maybe in 2120 - not in 2021. Sorry.

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Post July 14, 2009, 07:20:50 PM

My fault. 39 light years is correct, 3.4 was a typo I missed.

gino
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Post July 15, 2009, 10:50:52 AM

Z2R-4

As far as the "real-time" telescope, maybe I misunderstood what was meant. Maybe the author meant the the images didn't need to be processed and then eventually be ready for inspection.
When I wrote the above, I thought "real-time" was referring to actually being able to see the surface of the planet as life was proceeding at this moment. When Tom and Marcia are looking at the planet, they're seeing what was happening 39 years ago.
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Post July 21, 2009, 12:11:29 PM

Re: Z2R-4

bottomdweller wrote:As far as the "real-time" telescope, maybe I misunderstood what was meant. . . . . I thought "real-time" was referring to actually being able to see the surface of the planet as life was proceeding at this moment. When Tom and Marcia are looking at the planet, they're seeing what was happening 39 years ago.


Nope, you were right the first time. The only thing really wrong with the science in this story is that it takes place barely eleven years in the future. Gino doesn't try to explain the Lynch drive, it's simple FTL. He has them push the button and fly there. He uses the term tachyon (theoretical thingys that can't move below the speed of light) correctly with his real time images, and he has enough sense not to try and explain how the gizmo works.

Same with the universal translator, though that's quite a stretch even by Gino's standards.

I'm sure the inspiration for the story comes from an old athlete's foot commercial. The fungus is among us.

I'm not sure about the ending, though. I think the space blob just likes the taste of us.

I found the story to be quite tasty, myself.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
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Post July 25, 2009, 08:20:38 AM

Re: Z2R-4

bottomdweller wrote:"Thomas Kastner...pulled a Marlboro from a crumpled pack and tucked it behind an ear." I don't believe it. I don't believe a laboratory in the US will allow cigarettes to be brought onsite. 10 years from now, all college campuses will be smoke-free (like it or not).


Uh. . .you don't think they'll let folks bring one, nasty old ciggarrotyerlungsout onsite?

Really?

Do you think they're going to jump out of the pack and start cancering people?

I'm writing this from my computer at the Oak Ridge National Lab. . .and I'm about to step outside and have a smoke. Can't do it inside, it's true.

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo.

Bill Wolfe

"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

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Post July 25, 2009, 12:24:59 PM

I worked part time in a hospital laboratory when I was in PreMed. You couldn't smoke in the lab, but outside in the hallway, in the lunch room and in some patients rooms it was okay. This was 1962.

gino
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Post July 25, 2009, 12:43:59 PM

Big Tobacco will own all the labs by then

They will, after all, still have China and South Asia as major markets for quite some time to come. So when another anti-science administration takes over, all pure science will depend on private funding, even if the money smells like the inside of an ashtray.

:roll:
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Post July 30, 2009, 03:38:50 PM

You guys crack me up. Bill Wolfe: I was agast when they outlawed smoking in bars & diners here in KENTUCKY! Robert is probably right, however, China is definately our new target market for tobacco products - point taken. I'm still not sure about the lab tech having a Gold Strike behind his ear...not in the lab...

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