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  1. Sainz could go to Sauber. They'll be Audi from 2026 on, and with the new regulations, they're as likely to be competitive as any of the big teams.
  2. Alonso has renewed his contract at Aston Martin. Which makes it more likely that Verstappen goes to Mercedes if the situation at Red Bull escalates.
  3. Making a big-budget movie is quite a gamble, particularly when the source material is rather nerdy. The JJ Abrams Star Trek movies weren't really a success. Dune Part 1 must have lost money, too. Part 2 is a moderate success, but no more. David Lynch's Dune lost the studio a lot of money, but it was great promotion for the books.
  4. Our Galaxy is about 30 kpc or 100,000 light years in diameter, so distance definitely is an issue as the universe is now. On the other hand, if by some magic we could travel across the galaxy in a reasonable time, we could also reach our neighbor galaxies. They don't move away from us either, because of gravity. Of course, that's just our backyard. As for intelligent life, there's probably a lot of it but it doesn't really matter because we won't make contact. Maybe we'll find signatures of life in the atmospheres of planets orbiting nearby stars but that's about it.
  5. That landing operation certainly wasn't a routine operation. IIRC, it would have taken the Harkonen decades to pay back the debt it left them in. That's also why the Atreides didn't expect a force of that size. It was practically unheard of. The Fremen weren't good fighters before Paul came. They couldn't take on the Harkonen, much less the Sardaukar. And they weren't just a few thousand. I think the figure of ten million is mentioned. That's the total population but it would still make a force of above one million. Space travel is the monopoly of the Spacing Guild, and that includes stuff in planetary orbit. So the emperor can't just put his own satellite there. And it was the Harkonen who ran the planet to begin with. As for the planet's ecology, that probably doesn't hold up to close scrutiny, especially based on what we know now, but I don't see much of a problem there. Particularly in a setting where there is interstellar travel (which is apparently instantaneous) or genetic memory. There's certainly nothing wrong with there being no rain on a planet without water. I don't remember if they mine the polar caps for water but I think they do.
  6. I object to calling the KJA books fanfiction. If the authors were fans, the books shouldn't be so full of deviations from Frank Herbert's Duniverse. It has been a long time since I last touched one of those books, but they felt as if the authors hadn't even read Dune.
  7. People calling USB C a universal standard always reminds me of this: https://xkcd.com/927/ The only thing universal about USB C is the plug. What the port or even the cable can do varies. As for your dad's ipad, I'd check if the charger provides enough power. Not sure if this is still the thing with newer chargers but the ones that came with iphones used to be too weak to charge an ipad.
  8. Russia exports _crude_ oil. The refineries produce gasoline and diesel for domestic consumption. Would be rich if Russia had to import refined oil from India, though.
  9. Corporate headquarters is now in Arlington, VA. Shows where their priorities lie.
  10. I haven't heard about that. Is there a source? ETA: OK, found something to that effect, but it doesn't mean anything. Hamilton made statements like that up to the very moment the Ferrari deal was announced.
  11. The latest rumor is that Horner might actually be promoted rather than fired. That would probably mean Max and Newey leaving. Mercedes would like to have Max, of course, but their car is rather mediocre this year. Aramco are trying to buy Aston Martin are ready to pay Verstappen and Newey a ton of money if they join the team. It's probably a better option than Mercedes and Ferrari doesn't have a free cockpit.
  12. That's a weakness of GDP as a measure of wealth. It measures production, but not loss of assets through wear and tear. Neither does it count the depletion of natural resources.
  13. Press agencies refuse edited photos for good reasons. Press photos are usually meant to document certain events, and once a picture has been touched by photoshop its documentary value is zero at best. Kate can post as many photoshopped pictures on Instagram as she wants but the press shouldn't touch them with a tentpole.
  14. Her name is already out: Fiona Hewitson. She was Horner's personal assistant.
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