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Similar to the plot of a major SF novel that I thought was by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - but I didn't see it in a books list. It was about the regular human who tasted the "fruit" that allowed humans to change into the "protector" for mankind - a forced evolution enabled the change. Anyone remember what book this was?
(12-15-2014, 08:46 PM)WmLambert Wrote: [ -> ]Similar to the plot of a major SF novel that I thought was by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - but I didn't see it in a books list. It was about the regular human who tasted the "fruit" that allowed humans to change into the "protector" for mankind - a forced evolution enabled the change. Anyone remember what book this was?

"Protector" perhaps? No Pournelle in that one. It was one of Niven's earlier works if I recall.

I've never been a huge reader of Niven by himself. Somehow Niven and Pournelle, writing together, are far more than the sum of their parts. They probably mesh better than any writing duo out there, and I am always judging each one by comparing them together.

For some reason the two always seem to write in Pournelle's universe, because it is more ordered/logical I guess. And I still consider "The Mote in G-d's Eye" to be the best of the best. Add to it the theme of no FTL capability, but wormholes/fold-points instead, gets my attention more.
I read that novel too, Bill. In the story, earth type humans were "breeders," who originally were only marginally intelligent, but over the generations in isolation from the rest of their original race and the required food, began developing greater intelligence. Once given the long-missing vegetable, a modern human began dramatically transforming into a super-intelligent being. Sorry, I don't remember the author.
John Wrote:Do we know how many times this comet has skimmed the sun?
Given its worn out shape, I'd bet this old whore is not at her first pass... S2
Spacecraft ends hibernation in the vincinity of Pluton.Will start exploring the dwarf planet in one month.
Another ten years journey.

Will be interresting... and if Pluton was a large comet?


Curiosity finds organic molecules, methane gas on Mars
But they also found such molecules on Rosetta's comet... so not a big deal.

[Image: big.jpg]
(12-15-2014, 08:46 PM)WmLambert Wrote: [ -> ]Similar to the plot of a major SF novel that I thought was by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - but I didn't see it in a books list. It was about the regular human who tasted the "fruit" that allowed humans to change into the "protector" for mankind - a forced evolution enabled the change. Anyone remember what book this was?

I found it, Bill. It is Larry Niven's Protector. John L. was right.

Quote:"Ringworld" is Niven's most enduring work, but "Protector" is, in some ways, a better example of his talent for amazing logical leaps. Niven has described the premise this way: "Every symptom of aging in man is an aborted version of something designed to make us stronger. In particular, we lose intelligence with age because we were supposed to grow more brain tissue, when the thymus gland dissolves around age 42-45."

In "Protector," this thesis is demonstrated by the appearance of the first alien species to contact humanity: the Pak. We learn that Earth was a failed Pak colony; homo habilis is the Pak breeder stage. At about middle age, homo habilis was supposed to eat a certain plant that would trigger the change to the sexless, armored, highly intelligent protectors. Pak protectors have other notable traits as well, some of which may come as a surprise to those used to more traditional tales of immortality.
This is an early Niven story, and plotting was not his strong point until relatively recently. Mainly the plot is a thinly-veiled excuse to learn more about the Pak. Of the characters, only centegenarian Lucas Garner and belter Jack Brennan seem to be more than placeholders. The ideas in the novel, however, make up for many of the more obvious flaws.
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Protector-Larry-Ni...+protector

By the way, that earlier book I mentioned about someone losing his immortality because earth's water is "too thin," i.e. not enough deuterium, was indeed by Wilson Tucker, his book Time Masters. I got it from Amazon for 25 cents--plus $3.99 shipping. (I just finished reading it.) I just ordered Protector for one cent plus $3.99 shipping from Amazon.

[attachment=257] [attachment=258]
Funny thing, someone else wrote a book, just like the one I mentioned above. S22
That reminds me of a little snarky thing that science fiction writer Andy Offutt said in a fanzine about a dinner where syfy writers including himself and Isaac Asimov were speakers. Asimov made fun of Offutt's name by saying, "Come offit, Andy." Offutt did a slow burn at that, but said it was not until later he thought up what he considered would have been the perfect comeback--"Up your Asimov!"

At least Uranus is a real planet. Unlike Pluto, which now is designated cutely as a "Plutoid."
Pluto is still considered a dwarf planet. It is just one of many small objects off the general orbit that most planets follow. Ceres is in the asteroid belt but Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, Sedna, Orcus, Quaoar, Varona, Ixion, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea are farther out. If you consider all Trans-Neptunian objects, there are moons of planets and dwarf planets that qualify for consideration.
The Uranus joke is from Futurama.... they renamed it to (OMG... I actually forgot).... S10
The Uranus joke is not from Futurama (poeple made this joke way before), but in it's in Futurama that, to avoid this untasty joke, they renamed it to Urectum. S2

WmL Wrote:....Quaoar, Varona, Ixion, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea...
An asteroid named Hygiena crossing Uranus'orbit is all what we need!
Hmm....

Here's yet one more gift from the G-ds over Southern Kalifornia.

And here is why History Channel is so fixated on UFOs and Ancient Aliens. There are simply untold numbers of Kooks following all this manure.

Watch out for the Escape Pod. S13

Two HIDDEN planets could exist on the edge of our solar system
How far from the sun will we find things?
(01-18-2015, 07:32 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: [ -> ]Two HIDDEN planets could exist on the edge of our solar system
How far from the sun will we find things?

That's a very interesting theory, and certainly doable, considering the fact that there is quite a distance between the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud. In fact, there is room enough for two to exist there independently, I would think.

But they obviously wouldn't be close to each other, because they violate one of the prerequisites for being a true planet. First, they would have to be in a true independent orbit around the sun. Second, it would have to be large enough to become spherical in shape. But third, it has to have enough mass to have cleared out its orbital neighborhood. If the third is fulfilled, then there will be a band around the sun which has no other minor contenders with that object.

The Kuiper Belt has many large objects within its cloud, but they are not big enough to be counted as true planets. And they obviously haven't the mass to have cleared out their orbital neighborhood.

Here are some of those objects, including Pluto:

[Image: a74a2801ee2a087d253eff94c516b078.jpg]

But here is something else: if Eris, the largest known Kuiper Belt object to date, has an orbit as shown below, then the fact that it ventures outside the belt, means that there are no larger planets within that vicinity. If so, it would have been cleared out by now. That would still leave a great deal of area before entering the inner region of the Oort Cloud, which is also moving along the system's elliptic plane.

[Image: 468775a-f1.2.jpg]
That all depends on how old the solar system really is, John. Experts have judged that the rings of Saturn could not remain stable for more than a few thousand years. It could be that a couple of larger planets do exist beyond Neptune's orbit, but they have not cleared out Eris YET. If this is the case, this would be another argument for a relatively young age of the solar system.

Again, there has been no direct confirmation that any "Oort Cloud" exists. It is purely hypothetical, imagined as a means to explain the continual replenishment of the near-sun passing comets, which logically should not survive more than a few thousand years of close passes by the sun. While the Kuiper belt has been confirmed, it is insufficent to explain the continued existence of the near-sun passing comets--some say by at least a factor of four. The old universe believers still need an Oort Cloud. But I think the Kuiper belt is all they're going to get!
Ron Wrote:It could be that a couple of larger planets do exist beyond Neptune's orbit, but they have not cleared out Eris YET

Ron is absolutely correct here, even if we assume the age of the Solar system to be billions of years.

It is simply that the criteria of clearing the orbit was perhaps not designed well for small outer planets. Consider: if an Earth-side planet is present at 40 times the distance from Sun (40AU is the averaged Pluto-Sun distance), then the length of the orbit is 1600x the length of the Earth orbit.... perhaps this would take a bit longer to clear?
Sigh,...........I'm not even trying to be an Equal Opportunity Offender, and just look at how successful I am. S11
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