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 Post subject: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:38 pm 
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On the way home from physical therapy today I heard something on the radio praising this "amazing new app" that is available for smart phones. What makes this app so amazing is that it disables the phone for a set time in order to better enjoy dinner, movies, etc. Now I don't own a smart phone, my cell is a ten year old flip phone made long before everyone and their mother outsourced to China...but I have that exact same feature on mine.

It's called a POWER BUTTON. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:57 pm 
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Yep.. It is easy to overcomplicate things... Airplane Mode works pretty good too.

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:24 am 
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Makes me recall the (no doubt apocryphal) story of how the Americans spent hundreds of thousands designing and producing a pen that would work in space; the Russians took pencils.
brent

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:06 am 
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Wheezeburnt- The story of the huge amount spent by NASA to develop a zero-G pen, while the Russians used pencils, is true, as far as I know. I remember reading about it back in the mid 1970's. I remember reading that the article SPECIFICALLY mentioned that the Russians used mechanical pencils (twist the shaft, the pencil lead extends from the tip) so as not to have to deal with floating shavings from sharpening a classic #2 pencil!
And yet, they still lost the Cold War!
I remember reading about examples of their "planned economy" where the quota was issued from "Central Planning" to window glass factories specifying a certain WEIGHT of product manufactured (OR ELSE, COMRADE!). The result? Ordinary window glass, yet over an inch thick! (3 cm)


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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:15 pm 
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I actually have one of those space pens...

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm 
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I remember the state of ball point pen technology back in the '60's They were pretty awful .you got a skippy bluish line if you pressed real hard and dragged the tip over clean paper. I bet the Russians are using the NASA technology in modern pens just like the rest of us.
I wonder how much trouble those conductive little broken off leads floating around and getting into electronics caused for the Russians.

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:18 pm 
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http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:22 pm 
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Fastpakr- I may be a bit extra "dense in da head" today, but after reading the Snopes article, I'm unclear as to how Snopes qualifies the story as false. Snopes says a "space pen" WAS developed in the USA.
Is it that the USSR bought space pens in the USA? Did they keep using pencils? Did they design their own "space pen"? Was it false because the first USA astronauts did use pencils?
What is the falsehood aspect??
Help me feel less senile, please.


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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:47 pm 
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The fallacy is that NASA never spent billions on developing a pen --- although they intended to create one, the project was canned after the projected cost was too much. Instead the Fisher Space Pen Company did that on their own accord sans any contract. Their factory is just south of Vegas in a small town we all affectionately refer to as "Mayberry" (actual town is Boulder City, bordering Hoover Dam).

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:43 am 
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Exactly. It was independently developed for about a million dollars, then sold to NASA for a few dollars per pen. Prior to that, they actually -were- using pencils, but there were hazards associated with doing so that were solved once the ballpoint pen design was adequately improved.

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:24 am 
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Shadow Shack & fastpakr- THANK YOU! I DO now feel less senile! As my Dear Wife says (most emphatically!) to me when I can't comprehend what she is asking me about something (without her giving me more details) "CONTEXT! CONTEXT! CONTEXT!"
My reply is usually along the lines of- "Just TELL ME!! I'M NOT CLAIRVOYANT!!!"
I am then in trouble for a while.
Our 30th wedding anniversary comes up in May, so I guess I must have SOME redeeming qualities!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:30 am 
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I can't decide if I should be encouraged or despair. Same situation here almost 10 years in.

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:49 am 
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I was in grade school back then, but even THEN I could have solved the "zero-G pen" problem easily had I known about it, and I'd have made a BUNCH of $$$, to boot!
Just take a regular ball-point pen, firmly attach a thin, flexible vinyl tube to the hollow shaft that contains the ink inside the pen, have the astronaut put the other end of the tube in his mouth, and gently BLOW as he writes. Air pressure would substitute for gravity to feed the ink to the tip of the pen.
Goofy-looking, sure. Also would cost only PENNIES, and would work just fine!
Why the HELL am I not rich?!!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:51 pm 
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Frankenpickle wrote:
Our 30th wedding anniversary comes up in May, so I guess I must have SOME redeeming qualities!!


Nah, more likely she just keeps lowering her standards. rofl

(at least, that's what my wife of 43 years tells me).
Holy Matrimony: Its not an expression; its a sentence.
Oh, and congrats.
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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:42 pm 
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Frankenpickle wrote:
Just take a regular ball-point pen, firmly attach a thin, flexible vinyl tube to the hollow shaft that contains the ink inside the pen, have the astronaut put the other end of the tube in his mouth, and gently BLOW as he writes. Air pressure would substitute for gravity to feed the ink to the tip of the pen.
Goofy-looking, sure. Also would cost only PENNIES, and would work just fine!
Why the HELL am I not rich?!!!


Because then it wouldn't work in a vacuum...the tube would never make it past the astronaut's face bubble. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:16 am 
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Shadow Shack- Astronauts wrote things while OUTSIDE the spacecraft?! I thought it was just for zero-G.


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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:01 pm 
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They had to diagram that duct-tape tire repair on the rover. ;)


Though honestly, I would think a simple pressurized cylinder-- or even better-- something akin to a fine-point Sharpie, which simply wicks the ink-- would work.

Though we can toss this around all day. The fact remains that it has already been invented and improved upon numerous times, completely without our help. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:09 am 
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...and I apologize for needlessly starting all this by using an apocryphal analogy (and for using the term 'apocryphal'). :D
brent

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:34 am 
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'S'okay.

Not only do I love that particular story (and word), I use it quite a bit myself. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: The Current State of Society
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:11 pm 
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My mental therapy for the morning was to install speed bleeders and change the brake fluid on the new bike. Nearly two years and 11K miles did discolor the fluid a tad, but it was hard to tell when the new stuff was being expelled, even at the back brake where I was right down with the hose and bottle, so I did a bit extra. :D

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