The Science & Technology Thread

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:18 pm

NASA's Curiosity Sends 'Most Clearly Visible Images' Of Clouds Above Mars
Clouds moving in the martian sky have been observed previously by Curiosity and other missions on the surface of Mars, including NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in the martian arctic nine years ago.
World | Press Trust of India | Updated: August 11, 2017 17:34 IST

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WASHINGTON: NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has captured its most clearly visible images of wispy, early-season clouds on the red planet which resemble the Earth's ice-crystal cirrus clouds.

Clouds moving in the martian sky have been observed previously by Curiosity and other missions on the surface of Mars, including NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in the martian arctic nine years ago.

The clouds in the new images are the most clearly visible so far from Curiosity, which landed five years ago this month about five degrees south of Mars' equator, NASA said.

Researchers used Curiosity's Navigation Camera (Navcam) to take two sets of eight images of the sky on an early martian morning last month.

More, including a video loop of the clouds here: http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/nasas-cu ... rs-1736591
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:23 pm

An 'absolutely phenomenal' discovery hints 4 Earth-size planets may orbit the closest sun to our own
Dave Mosher 6h 7,387

* Astronomers have detected what may be four roughly Earth-size planets orbiting Tau Ceti, the nearest sun-like star.

* Two of the worlds appear to orbit within Tau Ceti's habitable zone, though a cloud of debris and asteroids may pose a threat to any life on them.

* If the result is confirmed, independent astronomers say it would be "astonishing.

* Astronomers may have just hit a crucial milestone in the search for other Earth-like planets. Scientists from the University of Hertfordshire and University of California, Santa Cruz announced they've discovered four planets orbiting a nearby, sun-like star — two of which may be habitable.

Researchers have turned up thousands of planet candidates in recent years, about 10 of which may be small, rocky, and habitable like the Earth. You'd think most of these worlds would orbit suns like ours, but that's not the case, since such stars are so big and bright that they easily drown out the faint signals of tiny planets.

That's why the new discovery of four roughly Earth-size worlds — some 12 light-years away from our solar system — is all the more exciting.

"If true this discovery is absolutely phenomenal — that one of our nearest neighboring sun-like stars might have rocky worlds," Sara Seager, a planetary scientist at MIT who wasn't involved in the research, told Business Insider in an email.

Worlds in the closest sun-like solar system

The suspected planets all orbit Tau Ceti, a star located 11.9 light-years away from us, according to a forthcoming study in The Astrophysical Journal. (You can read a pre-print version of the paper on arXiv.)

The star is about three-quarters the mass of the sun, but its brightness and color are very sun-like. It's the closest sun-like star to Earth.

The planets' sizes aren't known yet, but they're estimated to have about 1.7 times the Earth's mass. That would make them the smallest planets ever detected around a distant sun-like star, according to a press release emailed by the University of Hertfordshire.

Two of the four worlds orbit in a searing-hot zone close to Tau Ceti. The other two "super-Earths" seem to orbit within a "Goldilocks" habitable zone, where water on the surface can be liquid (rather than frozen solid or boiled away), according to a press release by the University of California Santa Cruz.

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Two things make this particular discovery stunning to astronomers like Seager.

First, our solar system is the only place we know where life exists, which means that sun-like stars may be the best places to look for life (though there is some debate about whether smaller, cooler red dwarf stars could be better to explore).

Second, it's incredibly difficult to spy a relatively tiny planet in the figurative shadow of a sun-like star.

"Earth is so small in mass compared to its host sun-like star that finding the signal amidst the noise is really like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack," Seager added. "The authors have come up with a special technique to get rid of the noise to find the signal. It's always a tricky situation to look for very weak signals."

Full story here: http://www.businessinsider.com/earth-si ... tem-2017-8
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:42 pm

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launching of Voyager 2.

A gallery of Voyagers greatest hits—and they are truly great

Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2 which, at the time, confused the heck out of the press and public because it actually launched before Voyager 1. Why did they launch the second probe first? Because Voyager 2 was going to follow a longer trajectory to reach the Jupiter system, allowing it to fly by Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Voyager 1 launched 16 days later on a faster track optimized to fly by Jupiter, Saturn, and make a relatively close pass of Saturn's intriguing moon Titan.

Further Reading: The Voyagers have reached an anniversary worth celebrating

The missions, of course, were smashing successes. Voyager 1 reached Jupiter on March 5, 1979, about four months before its twin. Scientists weren't sure what they would find out there. Pioneer 10 and 11 had given them some insights about Jupiter and Saturn as gas giants, but little information was known about the many moons of these worlds. Most scientists thought they would probably be a lot like the cold, dark, and lifeless moons of Earth and Mars.

They were anything but. When you talk to the scientists involved with the Voyagers and ask when they knew their missions would reveal something entirely different and truly otherworldly, they point toward the discovery of volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io. Until then, the only known active volcanoes in the Solar System were on Earth. Here was a small moon with 10 times the volcanic activity.

"That was really the wake-up call that we were in for a journey that was even much more spectacular in terms of what we were going to discover than we could imagine," said Ed Stone, who has been Voyager's chief scientist since the program started in 1972. "There were many. That's really the wonderful thing about Voyager. But if I had to pick one that was symbolic, Io was it."

Can't embed photos, so click here to view both gallaries: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08 ... lebrating/
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Corsair » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:39 pm

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:03 am

SpaceX Will Launch and Land a Rocket Today: Watch It Live!
By Tariq Malik, Space.com Managing Editor | August 24, 2017 10:20am ET

The private spaceflight company SpaceX will launch an Earth-observing satellite into orbit today (Aug. 24) and then attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket offshore — and you can watch all the action live online.

SpaceX will launch the Formosat-5 satellite for Taiwan's National Space Organization from a pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Liftoff is set for 11:51 a.m. PDT (2:51 p.m. EDT/1851 GMT). You can watch the launch live here, courtesy of SpaceX, starting 10 minutes before liftoff. Or, you can watch it directly from SpaceX via the company's YouTube channel here.

While the primary goal of today's launch is to send Formosat-5 into orbit, SpaceX also plans to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on the company's drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" about 10 minutes and 47 seconds after liftoff. Landing the Falcon 9 boosters is part of SpaceX's reusable-rocket program aimed at lowering the cost of spaceflight. The company successfully launched two used Falcon 9 rocket stages this year and landed many more, most recently on Aug. 14 after a Dragon cargo ship launch for NASA.

It will take about 11 minutes for Formosat-5 to be deployed into space, according to a SpaceX mission profile.

"FORMOSAT-5 is the first space program that Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) has taken full responsibility for the design, development and system integration of," SpaceX representatives wrote. "The program's mission is to promote space science experiments and research, to enhance Taiwan's self-reliant space technology capabilities, and to continue to serve the users of FORMOSAT-2's global imagery services." Taiwan's Formosat-2 satellite launched in May 2004.

The Formosat-5 satellite is designed to operate in a sun-synchronous orbit about 447 miles (720 kilometers) above Earth. The satellite's primary instrument is an Earth-observing camera system capable of 2-meter (6.5 feet) resolution in black and white, and 4-m (13 feet) resolution in color. The satellite also carries a secondary Advanced Ionospheric Probe instrument built by Taiwan's National Central University.

SpaceX has a 42-minute launch window for today's Formosat-5 liftoff. The company also has tomorrow (Aug. 25) available as a backup launch day if needed.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:23 pm

1 year after Falcon 9 explosion, SpaceX makes 2017 its banner year
Read more at http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organ ... 4rPXFLs.99
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Rocker » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:17 am

Farewell, Cassini!
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:38 am

3 of Cassini's best...

Cassini arrives:
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Titan and Rhea, Saturn’s largest moons:
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The moons Rhea and Epimetheus:
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:28 am

Buc2 wrote:3 of Cassini's best...

Cassini arrives:
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Titan and Rhea, Saturn’s largest moons:
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The moons Rhea and Epimetheus:
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pretty freaking amazing that those pictures are real....
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby mightyleemoon » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:36 am

The images we got from Cassini are pretty damned amazing.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:21 pm

Some scale for Titan.

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:18 pm

US Navy submarines are getting Xbox 360 controllers to control their periscopes

The US Navy is beginning to use Xbox 360 controllers to operate the periscopes on submarines, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The first submarine to get the new controller will be the USS Colorado, which goes into active duty in November. The Xbox controllers will later be added to other Virginia-class submarines.

Virginia-class submarines are getting the Xbox controller added to their integrated imaging systems, which will replace a complex-looking, helicopter-style control stick. These submarines are less expensive and more modern versions of the Seawolf-class submarines, which were commissioned in the late 1990s.

The innovation comes as the Navy’s response to feedback given by junior officers and sailors who said that the controls for the periscope were clunky and “real heavy.” In addition to being hard to manage, the handgrip and imaging control panel used previously also cost about $38,000, compared to the Xbox 360 controller’s cost of around $20. Training time for the Xbox controller also decreased to minutes, compared to the hours it took to learn the helicopter-style joystick.

Now if the controls break, “I can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world, so it makes a very easy replacement,” Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub told The Virginian-Pilot. According to him, this is just the first of more familiar tech to come to the Navy, which plans to eventually add electronic touch screens to more of their interfaces one day.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Corsair » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:02 pm

How A Warm Winter Destroyed 85 Percent Of Georgia’s Peaches

By Ella Koeze
Filed under Local Climates
Published Sep. 14, 2017


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2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. “We had fruit here in Georgia from the middle of May to about probably the first week of July, and after that we didn’t have anything else,” said Dario Chavez, an assistant professor in peach research and extension at the University of Georgia.1

As temperatures rise globally because of climate change, Georgia is not the only part of the country where warm winters are causing trouble for farmers. California’s cherry crop took a hit in 2014 because of a warm, dry winter. And in 2012, after a warm February and March brought early blooms, Michigan’s apple crop was decimated by an April frost. Farmers have always been at the mercy of the environment, but now agricultural catastrophes brought on by warm winters seem likely to occur with greater frequency.

For trees that fruit each year (such as peaches, cherries, blueberries, almonds and other fruits and nuts), cool weather is as important as warm. Cold air and less sunlight trigger the release of chemicals that halt trees’ growth, prepare them to withstand freezing temperatures and enable them to resume growing the following spring. When a tree enters this dormant state, it sets a kind of internal seasonal alarm clock that goes off once the tree has spent enough time in chilly temperatures.2 This countdown is measured in so-called chill hours — the amount of time the temperature is between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.3 When crops don’t get the chill hours they expect, they can’t properly reset. Buds are delayed, and instead of ripening into juicy, delicious fruit, they remain small and underdeveloped.4

This last winter, middle Georgia got about 400 chill hours during what Chavez described as the usual dormancy period for peaches (roughly Oct. 1 to Feb. 10). The winter before, while still on the low side, had closer to 600 chill hours. But that 200-hour difference meant several peach varieties that had produced fruit in 2016 never bloomed this year. There are products and techniques that can help stimulate delayed crops, but this year the deficit in chill hours was too large to overcome, Chavez said.

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A chill-hour deficit hits places with milder climates, such as the southeastern U.S. and California, especially hard because they get fewer chill hours to begin with.

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But Georgia was not the only place with a chill-hour deficit in the last year. According to an analysis by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s Vegetation Impact Program, most of the U.S. got fewer chill hours than the average from 1998 to 2013.5

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Climate change, and the loss in winter chill that can come with it, poses a particular threat to fruit and nut trees and the farmers who depend on them, said Eike Luedeling, a senior scientist at the University of Bonn’s Center for Development Research. Farmers who grow annual crops, such as corn and wheat, replant every year and might be able to adapt more nimbly to a sudden change in the environment, by changing their planting schedule or switching crops (though doing so may be costly). But fruit and nut farmers rely on plants that take much longer than a single growing season to be productive. “You really have to plan for several decades ahead when you plant a tree,” said Luedeling, who has modelled what winter chill hours may look like in the future. “It’s a huge investment.”

Looking ahead, the experience of Georgia peach farmers this year might become more common. Luedeling predicts only about a quarter to a half of California’s Central Valley, which produces much of America’s fruit and nut crops, still will have enough chill hours by the middle of the 21st century to grow walnuts, apricots, plums and most varieties of peaches and nectarines.6 A separate, global projection from Luedeling shows that while colder areas may not change much over the next century (or may even gain winter chill hours, thanks to more days above freezing), warm areas are likely to see dramatic reductions in chill hours.

Though concerning, these projections are far from certain, Luedeling said. There is still a lot we don’t know about winter chill. Anything above 45 degrees does not count toward the chill hour total in most models, but that threshold is almost certainly not as firm for plants themselves. As Luedeling put it, the cutoff doesn’t “have much biology in it,” but he hopes to build a better model soon that will help fruit producers plan for the future.

Meanwhile, farmers must make decisions now about their plans for the next few years. Peach growers and researchers, for their part, are focused on moving toward varieties that need fewer chill hours to thrive. Chavez, who works closely with growers, some of whose families have been growing peaches in Georgia for three to four generations, said that the time to make changes is now. “The weather is something we cannot control,” he said, but peach farming “is part of the region…. We have to address [it] sooner or later.”
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:51 am

If we only had a climate change thread.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:33 am

Buc2 wrote:If we only had a climate change thread.

It's really incredible to me that you can love science so much except when it comes to something that your political team has told you not to believe in.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:38 am

deltbucs wrote:
Buc2 wrote:If we only had a climate change thread.

It's really incredible to me that you can love science so much except when it comes to something that your political team has told you not to believe in.

Where did I say I don't believe the climate is changing?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:40 am

Buc2 wrote:
deltbucs wrote:It's really incredible to me that you can love science so much except when it comes to something that your political team has told you not to believe in.

Where did I say I don't believe the climate is changing?

Sweet reply, Bootz.

Not going to debate the subject here. You know exactly what I meant. I just thought it was interesting.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:48 am

deltbucs wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Where did I say I don't believe the climate is changing?

Sweet reply, Bootz.

Not going to debate the subject here. You know exactly what I meant. I just thought it was interesting.

No. I don't know exactly what you meant. If you meant I don't believe in climate change, which is what you said, you are incorrect.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby bucfanclw » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Buc2 wrote:
deltbucs wrote:Sweet reply, Bootz.

Not going to debate the subject here. You know exactly what I meant. I just thought it was interesting.

No. I don't know exactly what you meant. If you meant I don't believe in climate change, which is what you said, you are incorrect.

Then are you saying climate change study isn't science?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Corsair » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:13 pm

Climate change isn't political.

It's scientific.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:14 pm

bucfanclw wrote:
Buc2 wrote:No. I don't know exactly what you meant. If you meant I don't believe in climate change, which is what you said, you are incorrect.

Then are you saying climate change study isn't science?

You guys try so hard, it's almost comical sometimes.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Corsair » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:16 pm

So we can talk science in this thread?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby DreadNaught » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:22 pm

bucfanclw wrote:
Buc2 wrote:No. I don't know exactly what you meant. If you meant I don't believe in climate change, which is what you said, you are incorrect.

Then are you saying climate change study isn't science?

No, he's saying we have climate change thread here in this forum and that posts/articles on climate change would be more appropriate for that thread. Similar to the 'you know what would be great' posts people make when someone makes a redundant thread.

I didn't see where he said a climate change study or climate science isn't real science. But I only read this page.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby bucfanclw » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:25 pm

DreadNaught wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:Then are you saying climate change study isn't science?

No, he's saying we have climate change thread here in this forum and that posts/articles on climate change would be more appropriate for that thread. Similar to the 'you know what would be great' posts people make when someone makes a redundant thread.

I didn't see where he said a climate change study or climate science isn't real science. But I only read this page.

The climate change thread you reference is in the politics forum. It was not a political post.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:30 pm

Buc2 wrote:
deltbucs wrote:Sweet reply, Bootz.

Not going to debate the subject here. You know exactly what I meant. I just thought it was interesting.

No. I don't know exactly what you meant. If you meant I don't believe in climate change, which is what you said, you are incorrect.

Well, in your own words then...
"Climate chg/global warming/climate disruption/carbon pollution/{new name coming soon}. Choose whatever name suits you."
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby DreadNaught » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:32 pm

bucfanclw wrote:
DreadNaught wrote:No, he's saying we have climate change thread here in this forum and that posts/articles on climate change would be more appropriate for that thread. Similar to the 'you know what would be great' posts people make when someone makes a redundant thread.

I didn't see where he said a climate change study or climate science isn't real science. But I only read this page.

The climate change thread you reference is in the politics forum. It was not a political post.


Thanks. Wasn't getting why people were bringing up the politcal angle. Makes sense now.

I do think the topic of climate change/science deserves it's own thread, but agree the politics sub forum is not the best place. In fact keeping it out of the political sub forum could help aid in avoiding some of the ideological biases that often arise with this topic.
Last edited by DreadNaught on Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Corsair » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:35 pm

Mods:

Can we get a "safe space" tag so us liberals can know which threads we aren't supposed to take part in?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby DreadNaught » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:38 pm

Corsair wrote:Mods:

Can we get a "safe space" tag so us liberals can know which threads we aren't supposed to take part in?


Maybe a safety pin next to certain threads would be a good idea?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby bucfanclw » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:53 pm

DreadNaught wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:The climate change thread you reference is in the politics forum. It was not a political post.


Thanks. Wasn't getting why people were bringing up the politcal angle. Makes sense now.

I do think the topic of climate change/science deserves it's own thread, but agree the politics sub forum is not the best place. In fact keeping it out of the political sub forum could help aid in avoiding some of the ideological biases that often arise with this topic.

It's just funny to watch a guy like Buc2 that posts so often in the S&T Thread immediately balk at a scientific article on climate change because he has been so programmed to believe it's an entirely political construct.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:59 pm

Corsair wrote:Mods:

Can we get a "safe space" tag so us liberals can know which threads we aren't supposed to take part in?


Lol. The drama.
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