Splish, Splash, Draw Me an Extrasolar Bath

With all of the hoopla this week surrounding the announcement of the discovery of Gliese 581e (the smallest exoplanet yet discovered at 1.9 Earth-masses) and the refinement of the orbit of Gliese 581d (placing it firmly in the habitable zone of the Gliese 581 stellar system – meaning it may have liquid water at the surface), I thought I’d offer an engineering perspective. A number of sites have discussed the theoretically possible means of getting there. But what about realistic means of getting there?

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We’re Moving!

Quite a few of the blogs I’ve followed have said that, often when joining the SciBorg collective.  No worries!  You won’t have to update any of your links.  Missing The Point isn’t going anywhere any time soon (insert snark here).

I, however, am moving my physical address next month.  For only about $50/mo more (including extra utility costs), I’ll be closer to work (with a more convenient route), closer to a number of friends, closer to my wife’s family, and getting an additional 200 sq.ft. of living space.  The cons: further from my family and further from a number of our friends.

Some of the things I like about the new place:

  1. Less square footage lost to hallway, meaning we get an extra bath (shower not tub) and walk-in closet
  2. A big pantry in kitchen (no pantry in the old place!) in place of utility room
  3. Slightly larger bedrooms, with lots of light (wall-to wall window starting @ 45″ a.f.f.)
  4. Better layout of closet shelving (old place had shelving that we could only utilize at 50% capacity)
  5. Larger dining room that isn’t a through-fare to living room and dining room
  6. Bigger living room – with a gas fireplace!
  7. A covered balcony 6 times larger than our current one – and as a result, nearly 3 times the light into the living & dining rooms

Some things I’ll miss about the old place

  • Less counter space in kitchen
  • Hanging space in closets not as well laid out
  • Laundry room now a closet
  • Fewer places to hang pictures (or swords or crossbows)

Of course, the real reason we are moving is my wife.  (No, not that!)  She is working on her Ph.D. and the current layout simply is not conducive to her writing her dissertation.  In fact, the current set-up is directly leading to health problems.  So it’s time to cut bait.

Which means that the current molasses-in-January posting rate is going to become positively glacial.  We are going to be moving pretty much all of May.  The good news is I do hope to have a major project for the blog done by early June.  And the new arrangements will also make it more likely that I will have motivation to actually work on the blog.  Motivation, not inspiration, has always been my problem.

For Our Canadian Correspondent

In the comments in the previous post, monado makes a request:

Post something else! It’s April!

If you’re short of inspiration, take your excellent explanation of Hawai’ian certificates of live birth from Ed Brayton’s blog and post that. It was admirably clear.

This of course is in reference to the claims that Obama is not qualified for President.  Specifically, that because Hawai’i issues COLB to certain individuals born outside of Hawai’i, his COLB doesn’t prove that he was born in Hawai’i.  Unfortunately, it looks like my original comment got mangled.  So here’s how it was supposed to look:

IF Obama were a Natural Born Citzen, he would have long ago produced his Birth Certificate (the Certificate of Live Birth is NOT even accepted by Hawaii as proof of Hawaiian Birth )

Incorrect. The reason the short form (COLB) is insufficient for proof of Native Hawai’ian birth is because the short form doesn’t have proof that the parents are Native Hawai’ians. And by Native Hawai’ian, I mean descended from the original, indigenous population, the Hawai’ian equivalent of Native Americans.

For everything but certain genealogical data, the COLB is legally the equivalent of a certified photocopy of the original. That means that a COLB is sufficient proof of citizenship to get a driver’s license, register to vote, get a government job, get a passport, and even become President of the United States of America.

(I also had wanted to respond to Michael Raston in the same post, but that part and the quote from Gregory Black somehow got deleted, and I can’t remember what I said).  A followup to that comment:

wrt COLB for non-Hawai’ian birth:

If the parents of a child born outside of Hawai’i lived in Hawai’i as their primary residence for at least a year before the child was born, they can request a birth certificate issued by Hawai’i. One reason is for the extra information required for the indigenous population program I mentioned earlier. The other reason is more pragmatic: Hawai’i is in the middle of the world’s largest ocean. Although not as difficult as it once was, it’s a major expense for someone to get certified documents if they are not stored on the archipelago. However, as noted, the vault copy and any other copy, such as the short form (often called the COLB, even though the long form acronym also is COLB) by law must have the accurate place of birth.

For similar reasons, adoptive parents may also request a Hawai’ian birth certificate. I am unaware of any provisions for immigration (and would be surprised if there were, because the immigration documents should have the necessary information).

Hope that clarified things.