Chat Log: January 2nd, 2010

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[13:34] #knownspace> rimworlder: halooooooooo! is anybody home?

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[13:46] #knownspace> Jim: WTF

[13:52] #knownspace> sean: hi

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[13:59] #knownspace> NickE: HNY peeps

[13:59] #knownspace> sean: hey

[14:00] #knownspace> NickE: Hi Sean

[14:01] #knownspace> NickE: hope everyone had a peaceful New Year

[14:01] #knownspace> NickE: had a quiet night in with family

[14:02] #knownspace> NickE: and some Balvenie Doublewood of course :-)

[14:02] #knownspace> sean: i feel like i broke my arm

[14:02] #knownspace> NickE: why?

[14:02] #knownspace> sean: i broke my arm. ;)

[14:02] #knownspace> NickE: well that would exlain it

[14:03] #knownspace> NickE: I walked into that! What did you walk into?

[14:03] #knownspace> sean: yep, some patch of ice kicked my ass

[14:03] #knownspace> NickE: nasty

[14:03] #knownspace> NickE: it's been fairly lethal over here too

[14:04] #knownspace> sean: was flat on my back before i knew i had stepped on it

[14:04] #knownspace> NickE: had a few close calls

[14:04] #knownspace> NickE: ouch!

[14:04] #knownspace> sean: heard the pop when i hit

[14:04] #knownspace> NickE: eew

[14:04] #knownspace> NickE: not too bad a break I hope

[14:04] #knownspace> sean: middle of the humerous. which i did not find funny at all

[14:04] #knownspace> NickE: not that there's such a thing as a good break

[14:05] #knownspace> sean: clean break

[14:05] #knownspace> NickE: hopefully that should heal up fine then Stil a pain tho

[14:06] #knownspace> sean: in a splint. makes it a lot easier to shower than a cast

[14:06] #knownspace> NickE: My dad bust his hip (not on ice) a month or so back. Doing OK at hom now though

[14:06] #knownspace> NickE: home

[14:07] #knownspace> sean: good. that he is doing ok, not about the hip

[14:08] #knownspace> NickE: yeah, Mum was glad to have him home for Christmas

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[14:08] #knownspace> NickE: Hi Lens

[14:08] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi Nick!

[14:09] #knownspace> Lensman: Which book? /Lucifer's Hammer/, I'm guessing? Or is it /Fallen Angels/?

[14:09] #knownspace> NickE: WRT what?

[14:10] #knownspace> NickE: Or a choice?

[14:10] #knownspace> Lensman: Today's topic.

[14:10] #knownspace> NickE: Waht like a Niven related topic? There's a novelty :-)

[14:11] #knownspace> sean: hammer

[14:11] #knownspace> NickE: Fallen Angels is probably the one I rad most recently (lik 3 years or so ago last time)

[14:11] #knownspace> Lensman: Page 32 is in the forward? That can't be right!

[14:11] #knownspace> NickE: Or Hammer :-)

[14:12] #knownspace> NickE: Oh yah, the subject. Just spotted that

[14:12] #knownspace> NickE: :-)

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[14:13] #knownspace> Lensman: Yup, I was right, it's /Lucifer's Hammer/. Page 27 of the hardcover, so maybe it *is* p. 32 in the pb.

[14:13] #knownspace> sean: it is 32 in the paperback

[14:13] #knownspace> Lensman: I apologize for trying to talk about an actual Niven related subject. :)

[14:14] #knownspace> Lensman: Holy Kdapt forbid!

[14:14] #knownspace> NickE: ah e were just comparing medical stories

[14:18] #knownspace> NickE: so (not having mine to hand this second) the preaching accusation was directed at L and J wrt Hammer by someone?

[14:20] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, no e-mail from Larry yet so hopefully we'll see him today.

[14:20] #knownspace> sean: doesnt say by who

[14:20] #knownspace> Lensman: WRT nuclear power in /Hammer/.

[14:21] #knownspace> Lensman: I presume by various reviewers of the book.

[14:21] #knownspace> NickE: well obviously I guess

[14:21] #knownspace> NickE: though i'd dispute it being a pro nuke manifesto

[14:23] #knownspace> sean: well, harvey goes nuts on a female eco-freak in it about nuke power

[14:23] #knownspace> Lensman: I imagine if I was anti nuclear power, it would come across as "preaching". But since I'm pro, he's preaching to the converted here.

[14:23] #knownspace> NickE: more taking something that was a logical proposition and including it in a damn good story. I'm sure that Larry and Jerry may have had an "agenda", but surely a good science fiction novel has teh ability to educate as well as entertain

[14:24] #knownspace> NickE: well, yeah, preaching to teh choir here anyway :-)

[14:24] #knownspace> sean: very true

[14:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Well I have to agree it's preaching. At the end of the book, the protagonists essentially have to decide whether to risk everything to preserve the nuclear plant and thus remain civilized, or else stick to their own enclave and regress to medievalism.

[14:27] #knownspace> sean: my decision would of been the same as their's

[14:27] #knownspace> NickE: aye

[14:27] #knownspace> NickE: brb

[14:28] #knownspace> Lensman: Where I quibble is over "preaching" being a negative thing. Some things *need* to be preached about! Finagle help us, there are rabid anti-nuclear folks out there still. I can only think that they've become conditioned to react to the words "nuclear" or "radiation" with a knee-jerk fear. It's like they won't even consider that nuclear power could be the solution to our global warming...

[14:28] #knownspace> Lensman: ...problems, and our dependence on foreign oil.

[14:29] #knownspace> Lensman: And now *I* need to get off the soap box.

[14:30] #knownspace> sean: face it about foreign oil... if we discovered and drilled huge new oil fields, we would still buy foreign oil cuz it is cheaper. :)

[14:31] #knownspace> Lensman: At $100 barrel, I don't think it's cheaper.

[14:32] #knownspace> Lensman: However, at least some of that is speculation in oil futures artificially inflating the cost, not the actual cost.

[14:32] #knownspace> sean: try 79 right now. but our own would cost probably 150 for 10 years + until the infrastructure was in place and paid for.

[14:33] #knownspace> Akiraa: hi

[14:33] #knownspace> sean: hi akirra

[14:33] #knownspace> Akiraa: more people on than usual :)

[14:33] #knownspace> Lensman: I don't think so. We used to get the vast majority of oil from domestic sources. I don't think it would take that much to switch back.

[14:33] #knownspace> sean: 1st sat chat today

[14:34] #knownspace> Jim: happy new year

[14:34] #knownspace> Lensman: For instance, putting in the Alaska oil pipeline didn't push oil above $100 per barrel.

[14:34] #knownspace> sean: we are going to get it from the cheapest place, so that is what we do.

[14:35] #knownspace> sean: if (name your country) started selling it for 20 bucks a barrel, that is what we would buy. :)

[14:35] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa, welcome to the regular monthly Niven chat!

[14:36] #knownspace> Akiraa: is larry niven on, btw?

[14:36] #knownspace> Jim: nope

[14:37] #knownspace> sean: he has been logging in as Larry lately

[14:37] #knownspace> Jim: Akiraa, what is your real name?

[14:37] #knownspace> nedry: I'm waiting for Destroyer of Worlds to turn up, so I can read that.

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[14:37] #knownspace> sean: he used to log in as Fifthp

[14:38] #knownspace> Akiraa: Jim: my name is adrian

[14:38] #knownspace> sean: i enjoyed Destroyer but liked Juggler more

[14:38] #knownspace> Jim: nedry, are you waiting for the MMPB of DOW?

[14:38] #knownspace> Akiraa: I'm a computer science undergrad working on system admin and some telephony

[14:39] #knownspace> Jim: Akiraa, are you from Oz?

[14:39] #knownspace> Akiraa: Romania ^^

[14:39] #knownspace> Lensman: Hey Mark! What do you mean "turn up"?

[14:40] #knownspace> Akiraa: I'm quite new to niven's works, only having read Ringworld 1,2,3 and half of 4

[14:40] #knownspace> nedry: heh

[14:40] #knownspace> sean: the worlds books are being released right before my BD so i have been blessed with 3 hardbacks

[14:40] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, if you managed to get all the way thru 3 then 4 should be an easy and fun read!

[14:40] #knownspace> nedry: I have to go get my wife from work in a minute. it's been snowing... again. might not be fun.

[14:41] #knownspace> nedry: like a skating rink

[14:41] #knownspace> sean: don't break an arm, mark

[14:41] #knownspace> sean: i am typing 1 fingered for the next 2 months do due an unseen patch of ice

[14:41] #knownspace> CCulpepper: ow

[14:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Mark, I don't like the quote that the "Nessus" page starts with, on the LarryNiven.org site. What do you think about changing that? Frankly I'd like to dump the whole page and start fresh. Don't like the illustration either.

[14:42] #knownspace> Akiraa: Say, has anyone done some work on mapping the ringworld?

[14:43] #knownspace> Lensman: Ouch! Hope you find an autodoc soon, Sean.

[14:43] #knownspace> nedry: lemme look

[14:43] #knownspace> nedry: i agree. i never liked that picture...

[14:44] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa: You'll find a map of part of Ringworld in the /Companion/ to the Ringworld RPG. Pretty sure you can see a copy of that at the larryniven.org site, altho it may not be in sufficient detail to read everything on it.

[14:44] #knownspace> nedry: it used to be at the bottom of every puppeteer page

[14:44] #knownspace> sean: there is a ringworld add on to a freeware space sim that i cant remember the name of... do you, mark?

[14:45] #knownspace> sean: i didn't have the video horsepower to look at it at the time it was sent to us

[14:45] #knownspace> Akiraa: It would be impossible to map Ringworld with current computer storrage possibilities, but something may be possible with some clever procedural mapping

[14:45] #knownspace> Lensman: As far as mapping the entire Ringworld, forget it. It's what, a million earths in surface area?

[14:46] #knownspace> Akiraa: yeah, I have the celestia addon

[14:46] #knownspace> sean: 3 million earths i think

[14:46] #knownspace> CCulpepper: 300 m. I believe

[14:46] #knownspace> NickE: back

[14:46] #knownspace> CCulpepper: or 3Yes it is 3 million.

[14:46] #knownspace> NickE: yup

[14:47] #knownspace> NickE: big anyway :-)

[14:47] #knownspace> CCulpepper: Could you get away with only mapping the important parts?

[14:48] #knownspace> sean: celestia was the space sim i think

[14:48] #knownspace> NickE: The RWC map covers the small area dalt with in the first 2 books

[14:48] #knownspace> Lensman: If by "important parts" you mean the scene of the action of the books... then like I said, there's a map in the Ringworld RPG /Companion/.

[14:49] #knownspace> Akiraa: http://www.google.com/search?rls=en&hs=lT&q=2%2Api%2A1au%2A10%5E6+%2F+%28510%2A10%5E6+km%29&btnG=C%C4%83utare&meta=&aq=f&oq= 1.843m Earth surfaces

[14:49] #knownspace> CCulpepper: I mean just skip parts like the oceans that you could just til;e over.

[14:49] #knownspace> NickE: In RW, the point is mde that the "exploration" took place basically between 2 cosey situated meteor holes

[14:49] #knownspace> Akiraa: (2 * pi * (1 au) * (10^6)) / (510 * (10^6) km) = 1 843 043.05

[14:49] #knownspace> Lensman: There's no map in RC. There's one in RE. The RPG map covers the same area in more detail, and supposedly with a better fit to the description in the bookx.

[14:50] #knownspace> sean: yep, nick. 1/5th of the width

[14:51] #knownspace> Lensman: You could use a fractal map generation program to map all the Ringworld if you wanted to. But it would be pointless, and it wouldn't have any relation to anything in the books.

[14:51] #knownspace> NickE: It certainly matches better for game purposes

[14:51] #knownspace> NickE: (The RWC map)

[14:53] #knownspace> Lensman: There is no map in the hardcover edition of RWC. Are you saying there is one in the pb edition?

[14:53] #knownspace> NickE: sorry, RW Companon, not Children

[14:53] #knownspace> NickE: epic accronym fail

[14:54] #knownspace> NickE: suggest RWCo and RWCh for this discussion :-)

[14:55] #knownspace> Lensman: Oh, sorry!

[14:55] #knownspace> Akiraa: ah, 1m miles width, that makes it 3 million Earth surfaces

[14:55] #knownspace> NickE: yes

[14:55] #knownspace> CCulpepper: But why would the protectors use imperialistic earth measurements?

[14:56] #knownspace> Jim: cause Larry does not like the metric system

[14:56] #knownspace> NickE: they wouldn't, the book was written by an American in 1970

[14:56] #knownspace> CCulpepper: o, I see.

[14:56] #knownspace> NickE: NASA used imperial for a loong time

[14:57] #knownspace> Lensman: A loose sheet in the RPG box has a 1/2 inch band running across the width of the page. Next to that is a paragraph entitled "WHERE IS THE MAP OF RINGWORLD?"

[14:57] #knownspace> Jim: In Known Space, the metric system was replaced by a UN system that used miles, feet, pounds, etc.,

[14:57] #knownspace> CCulpepper: Well government thinks that all of thier systems are best....

[14:57] #knownspace> NickE: heh

[14:58] #knownspace> Akiraa: Also, why polar projections for redrawn worlds? Elliptical projections would have had much less distortion (at least in the Southern hemisphere)

[14:58] #knownspace> NickE: yes that loose sheet is a nic touch to get you to think about actual scale

[14:58] #knownspace> Lensman: "The band below is one-half-inch wide, a width representing in scale approximately 1 million miles. The circumference of the Ring to this scale is nearly 25 feet (the actual circumference is some 597,000,000 miles.) A 25-foot tape measure bent round upon itself will give the players a very good idea of the actual proportions (and awesome size) of the Ringworld."

[14:59] #knownspace> Jim: In DOW, there is a scene where Sigmund has to convert units from the SI system that was being used by the captive humans to the UN system (US Customary system) that he was used to using.

[14:59] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa: No matter what you do, you're going to have to distort the maps in some manner. And it appears the Maps were not all distorted in the same fashion, either.

[15:00] #knownspace> CCulpepper: DOW?

[15:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Destroyer of Worlds

[15:00] #knownspace> CCulpepper: o I see.

[15:00] #knownspace> Jim: yes, do you want me to find the page number?

[15:00] #knownspace> Jim: after the chat, of course

[15:01] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa: I think the best interpretation is that for planets with continents, the continents are represented as close to their real shapes as possible, with the seas between distorted. Obviously you can't reproduce the wraparound effect of a ball world.

[15:01] #knownspace> Jim: hello

[15:02] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi Jim. No, we want you to do it in real time. You *do* have an electronic searchable copy, don't you? ;)

[15:02] #knownspace> NickE: I don't recall that quote

[15:02] #knownspace> Akiraa: Lensman: stepping surfaces disks on the edges :)

[15:03] #knownspace> NickE: but I'm sure it's there

[15:03] #knownspace> CCulpepper: Or a stepping ring..

[15:03] #knownspace> Akiraa: could even have a gigantic projection screen to create the illusion of a wraparound world

[15:03] #knownspace> CCulpepper: The kzin would kill that fast.

[15:04] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa: LOL! Well, if the Ringworld Engineers had Puppeteer tech, things would be rather different. I'm reminded of the comment about Star Trek: "The question is, if you have replicators then why do you *need* starships?"

[15:04] #knownspace> Lensman: I vaguely recall what Jim is referring to, but I didn't find it significant enuff to put in my notes for JOW.

[15:04] #knownspace> CCulpepper: If the Engineers had puppeteer tech. Why would they need to build a ringworld?

[15:05] #knownspace> Akiraa: The Pak were contemporary with the Puppeteers, at least for a million years, not?

[15:05] #knownspace> NickE: they wouldn't

[15:05] #knownspace> Akiraa: at their heyday

[15:06] #knownspace> NickE: It seems very liely that the Pupetteers first encounter with Pak was as dscribed in DOW

[15:06] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, if Proserpina's tale is to be believed, the Pak had space travel a million years ago. Altho never FTL. Obviously the Outsiders will never sell hyperdrive to the Pak, because the Pak would attack them before negotiations were possible.

[15:06] #knownspace> CCulpepper: Makes sense.

[15:07] #knownspace> Akiraa: What did the Outsiders actually buy ? What wasn't very clear.

[15:07] #knownspace> Lensman: CCul: Exactly, if the Ringworld Engineers had Puppeteer tech, they wouldn't build a Ringworld.

[15:07] #knownspace> Akiraa: For that matter, what would Puppeteers do with Earth currency?

[15:08] #knownspace> Jim: the same thing China does with US currency

[15:08] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa: The Puppeteers use Earth currency to manipulate human policy and economics.

[15:08] #knownspace> CCulpepper: The outsiders bought cold frozen moons for bases i believe.

[15:08] #knownspace> SeanS: the outsiders lease nereid. didn't buy it.

[15:09] #knownspace> Lensman: Right, the Outsiders rent and buy real estate in clients' systems. Why a species evolved for the microgravity of outer space like to spend time on small icy moons is a mystery, but they do. Maybe just a change of scenery.

[15:09] #knownspace> Lensman: Gotta go. Nice chatting with y'all, and say "Hi" to Larry if he shows up!

[15:10] #knownspace> Jim: bye lensman

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[15:11] #knownspace> SeanS: l8r, lensman

[15:11] #knownspace> Akiraa: Lensman: If continents are to be represented as real as possible, the best fitting projection is something like the dymaxion (an fitted icosahedron unfolded onto a flat surface)

[15:12] #knownspace> Lensman: Akiraa: Yes, Dymaxian, exactly.

[15:12] #knownspace> Akiraa: depending on the fitting, it may be possible to lay most of the dry land on a nearly distortion-free projection

[15:13] #knownspace> Lensman: If a Kzin attacks a Puppeteer, he soon finds himself financially ruined. Consider the implications of that statement! Paul Chafe says the Kzinti don't use money. Paul is wrong.

[15:13] #knownspace> Lensman: Really, got to go.

[15:13] #knownspace> CCulpepper[1]: Bye

[15:13] #knownspace> Jim: I think that Louis Wu describes Ringworld as having Mercator maps of the planets

[15:13] #knownspace> Akiraa: \o

[15:14] #knownspace> Akiraa: I remember reading polar projection with the Southern hemisphere encircling the outside

[15:14] #knownspace> SeanS: south polar projections. don't think he said what type of projection

[15:14] #knownspace> NickE: thats what I recal

[15:14] #knownspace> Akiraa: north polar projection with the south pole on the exterior circle

[15:14] #knownspace> NickE: or at least that's teh assumption in the RPG as I remember

[15:17] #knownspace> Akiraa: "The Map was a polar projection; the south pole was spread out around the rim" -- from Ringworld Engineers

[15:17] #knownspace> NickE: Never been really clear on why Pak, violent xenophobes went to all that bother

[15:17] #knownspace> NickE: seems very wasteful of resources

[15:18] #knownspace> CCulpepper[1]: That is a mystery.

[15:19] #knownspace> NickE: I get the idea, it makes for some great WOW factor and story teling, but the actul reasons seem very unclear

[15:19] #knownspace> Akiraa: "Half a million miles from the map of Earth was another cluster. As with the Earth map, the oceans were distorted by

[15:19] #knownspace> Akiraa: the polar projection, but the continents were not"

[15:19] #knownspace> Akiraa: ah, I see

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[15:19] #knownspace> SeanS: hi Larry

[15:19] #knownspace> Akiraa: not a standard projection

[15:19] #knownspace> NickE: Hi Larry

[15:19] #knownspace> Jim: hi Larry

[15:20] #knownspace> CCulpepper[1]: Hi

[15:20] #knownspace> NickE: discussion is of projections of the planetary maps in teh Great Oceans

[15:20] #knownspace> Larry: Hi and Happy New Year. Getting in was difficult. I've installed Java.

[15:21] #knownspace> Akiraa: probably easier to have someone install you a chat client ^^

[15:21] #knownspace> NickE: HNY to you too. The applet works

[15:21] #knownspace> SeanS: so using the java client on larryniven.org?

[15:21] #knownspace> Larry: No, I didn't use standard projections. I needed gigantic islands. For Earth, North polar projection. (South would have worked; land would have been less clustered.)

[15:21] #knownspace> Akiraa: with nickserv authentication

[15:22] #known