Daily Archives: December 2, 2017

NASA fixes Voyager 1 deep space probe by firing thrusters not used in 37 years

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Getting any response from 13 billion miles away is quite a feat.
But what will the aliens make of Chuck Berry?

Engineers experience “joy and incredulity” as a successful test extends the life of the farthest human-made object from Earth, reports Sky News.

NASA has been able to extend the life of one of its space probes travelling 13 billion miles from Earth by firing up dormant thrusters not used for 37 years.

Voyager 1 was launched in September 1977 and is the only human-made object in interstellar space – the environment between the stars.

But after four decades of exploration which have taken in fly-bys of Jupiter and Saturn, engineers found that the primary thrusters which orient the space probe had severely degraded.

So, in an attempt to keep Voyager 1 operable, NASA tested four thrusters on the back side of the spacecraft which have not been…

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Guilty: Subsidised Wind & Solar Drive Australia’s Rocketing Retail Power Prices


Among the dwindling band of deluded wind and sun worshippers, no two words are more prone to send them into apoplexy than ‘South Australia’. Held up as the example of how to run an economy on sunshine and breezes (sprinkled with a liberal dose of pixie dust and batteries that cost $150 million to power SA for four minutes when the wind stops blowing), its rocketing retail power prices and rickety grid (SA experienced even more grid failures in the last week) offer the perfect retort to renewable energy zealots, and the rent-seekers who depend upon them as ‘useful idiots’.

South Australia’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill recently ran a top-class fake news story that South Australia’s power was now the cheapest in the nation (see below). Try telling that to the householders and businesses who already pay the highest power prices in the world (see above). And who can only…

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How to win without science: argumentum ad hominem

The Risk-Monger

See the French translation

The “argumentum ad hominem” is a method to address an argument by attacking one’s adversary’s character. It used to be a fallacy – now it seems to be how anti-industry environmental activists score points when their science, evidence and data is worth very little, or as is often the case, when the activists do not understand the science (but understand the consequences).

Over the last few days, environmental NGOs and anti-industry anarchists on both sides of the Atlantic have been busily refuting scientific findings by showing how some researchers involved have, or many years ago, had ties to industry. Somehow these intellectual neophytes feel that when the evil wand of industry touches a scientist, he or she becomes incapable of a clear scientific observation. The antis surround themselves with others who think the same, retweet them, join in their character assassinations, but as far as I can see, have never…

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Ten Practices Linking Environmentalism with Fascism

The Risk-Monger

Recent news that the German Green Party is willing to work with the extreme right “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) in order to secure a vote to ban glyphosate has shocked many political actors seeking a cordon sanitaire around the German fascist party. The Risk-Monger though is not surprised. He has often used words like “undemocratic”, “Machiavellian” and “fascist” to describe the self-righteous environmental activist campaign strategies.

Contradictions for the Cause

The Greens are a party of inherent contradictions. They talk of democracy and the voice of the common person yet the consequences of their food and energy policies favour the elite and the privileged (at the expense of the poor). Greens will lead transparency campaigns and moves to expose corporate lobbying, and yet they themselves, as transparocrites, often do not disclose from whom and how they use their (public) funds. They seek development and increased aid for emerging economies…

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Vernon Smith asked how did we struggle out of the caves, much less build civilizations under the weight of all these cognitive biases