Author Topic: Notable passings and other milestones  (Read 31127 times)

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Offline xenu

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #390 on: February 23, 2020, 11:33:24 PM »
So how high did he ever get? I would think that he could have just done it with a balloon and then jump which has been done.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #391 on: February 23, 2020, 11:42:43 PM »
I think he made something like 1800 feet in his first attempt.

His rocket crashed and he almost died that time, too. It's quite telling that he decided to have a second go after that disaster. 

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #392 on: February 24, 2020, 06:21:13 AM »
I think he made something like 1800 feet in his first attempt.

His rocket crashed and he almost died that time, too. It's quite telling that he decided to have a second go after that disaster.

If I recall, Evel Knievel only rode his steam rocket once. Too much for Evel Knievel. This protected the world from more of his poetry readings.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #393 on: February 24, 2020, 06:35:27 AM »
Some of you seem to be evaluating Mr. Hughs' efforts under the assumption that he wanted to build a rocket in order to prove that the earth was flat. I think that a more charitable (and more accurate) statement of his goals is that he wanted to build a rocket and also hoped to use it to prove the world was flat.

Mr. Hughs' goal was not simply to be be high; he wanted to build a rocket to take him to the edge of space, and he was doing so trough a process of tests gradually increasing in height as he developed the technology. Even SpaceX does the same, with prototypes that climb sometimes only a few feet. There were countless flaws in Hughs' plan, not least of which was doing manned tests on a prototype; but testing his rocket technology in stages that gradually increased in altitude was not one of them. Nor was the fact that his rocket was not a balloon.

Note: I realize that Mr. Hughs' technology could never have reached his goal. What do you expect from an untrained crackpot who didn't understand thermodynamics or even the shape of the earth? But I think even crackpots have a right to have their goals and the actual ways in which they were wrong understood. His attempt was ridiculous enough on its own terms without distorting it with bad assumptions about his motives.
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Online Calinthalus

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #394 on: February 24, 2020, 07:17:43 AM »
I guess it really was rocket science.
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Offline HighPockets

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #395 on: February 24, 2020, 01:43:23 PM »
What an interesting, and unfortunate, coincidence.

<a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/02/24/517784975/katherine-johnson-nasa-mathematician-and-an-inspiration-for-hidden-figures-dies">

Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician And An Inspiration For 'Hidden Figures,' Dies </a>
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Online Desert Fox

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #396 on: February 24, 2020, 02:09:46 PM »
Michael “Mad Mike” Hughs

The flat-earth conspiracy theorist died when his homemade steam-powered rocket crashed. The launch was being filmed for a Science Channel program called Homemade Astronauts. Hughs had hoped eventually to fly high enough to prove that the earth is flat.



I would not be surprised if some conspiracy theorist suggests he was shot down to avoid reporting the truth.
Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #397 on: February 24, 2020, 04:15:23 PM »
I would not be surprised if some conspiracy theorist suggests he was shot down to avoid reporting the truth.

That theory is being bandied about for sure. Even though the video clearly depicts his parachute prematurely deploying out the back of the aircraft about a half-second after launch.


Some of you seem to be evaluating Mr. Hughs' efforts under the assumption that he wanted to build a rocket in order to prove that the earth was flat. I think that a more charitable (and more accurate) statement of his goals is that he wanted to build a rocket and also hoped to use it to prove the world was flat.

He was trying to demonstrate that the Earth was flat, which is impossible because the Earth is not flat. That's his first problem. He's got the methodology of science backwards. 

And the means he chose to demonstrate that false belief—taking a photograph from the edge of space—is also impossible by means of the underpowered rockets he was flying.
 
And the means he chose were unnecessarily risky. He could have much more easily observed and photographed the curvature of the Earth from the passenger cabin window of a transoceanic airline flight. Or he could have repeated Eratosthenes' experiment from 200-something BCE and traveled to multiple wells and looked to their bottoms in the noonday sun on the March and September equinoxes. Or he could have sat on the beach all day with a pair of binoculars and a mojito and watched some ships go over the horizon.

His motivation was obviously not to demonstrate the shape of the Earth by any reasonable means.

He appears to have been a deluded egomaniac trying to make a celebrity of himself by doing crazy stunts. Hence the moniker "Mad Mike."
« Last Edit: February 25, 2020, 10:25:40 AM by John Albert »

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Offline xenu

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #400 on: February 26, 2020, 06:29:06 PM »
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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #401 on: February 28, 2020, 02:45:33 PM »
Freeman Dyson dead at 96.
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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #403 on: March 02, 2020, 02:35:15 PM »
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Reply #404 on: March 02, 2020, 04:34:15 PM »
My friend Martin.

Notable mainly to me, both as a standalone event and as a milestone of my own mortality.  The first of my contemporaries to die of more-or-less natural causes (I mean, it was brain cancer, but it wasn't shockingly out of his age bracket or anything, he was 50).
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