Kitties v. Elon Musk
January 11, 2022 5:28 AM   Subscribe

My money is on the kitties. [A tiny tiny link, just one twitter photo but it's cute and funny and I'm tired of real news.]
posted by JanetLand (32 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
CAT5
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:12 AM on January 11 [46 favorites]


I have this routine with one of my cats in the morning. Overnight she sleeps on my closed laptop lid (if I didn't close it, she would sleep on the keyboard) and in the morning when it's time for work I turn on a desk lamp (the only incandescent bulb in the house! 100 watts!) and she'll grudgingly relocate to the towel that's spread out under it. Then she'll lounge there most of the day.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:21 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


Elon will probably just add $1000 to the cost for a self-heating “feature”.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 6:45 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


On a related note, I went to the store just now and came home to this. He was very peeved that I had to move him.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:00 AM on January 11 [32 favorites]


Ummm... so, basically these cats are being microwaved, no? AFAIK - any radio frequency (RF) or microchip that clocks above 1 GHz is emitting microwaves... IIRC, back in the 90's there was a trend to re-name "laptops" to "notebooks" as people were getting heat burns on their legs when using them for a few hours...
posted by rozcakj at 7:08 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


The dishes apparently have a self-heating feature to remove snow buildup. Presumably that is what's gently warming the cats, not the microwaves.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:18 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Microwave ovens work because they are tuned to the specific frequency that water resonates at. Other sources of microwave radiation wouldn't have this property and are about as harmless as radio waves.
posted by zixyer at 7:19 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Oh to be curled up with my cat friends on a gently warmed satellite dish in the snow
posted by bleep at 7:23 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


Microwave ovens work because they are tuned to the specific frequency that water resonates at.

This, and the conclusion following, are not true. Lots of links available and this one even points out that due to the shape of a water molecule there isn't one particular resonant frequency.
posted by achrise at 7:35 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


So - there is no included heater in a Starlink antenna - heat is generated by the array itself - the first generation consumes at least 100watts - try and spot the heater in this teardown. It would also be a wasted cost for 50% of the planet's customers where these would operate in environments without snow...

"Microwave" is not about the thing in your kitchen - it is anything that emits a radio frequency which operates above 1 Ghz. This actually includes cellphones, WiFi equipment, etc. At higher power outputs, any microwave frequency will agitate water molecules. Mammals are comprised of a large portion of water molecules.

I dunno - I wouldn't let my pets cook on one.
posted by rozcakj at 7:58 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


being heated =\= being “cooked”
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:04 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


There was a famous Darwin Award folk tale about a soldier who figured out a way of staying warm whilst on night patrol at his base: by standing in front of a microwave communications antenna. Which worked nicely for him, until he got into a bar fight and one punch caused his cells to liquefy, killing him instantly.

The cats, however, would be safe, as the dish in question is a receiving dish, with no more than the background amount of microwave radiation going through it.
posted by acb at 8:12 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


It is both send and receive - as the entire purpose of Starlink is 2-way internet... If it was receive only, the thing would need far less power.

Well - I guess it is no different than letting them sit on a 100w light bulb indefinitely - probably ok, but I would still mount mine above the reach of children and cats. Apologies for the derail - they are still cute.
posted by rozcakj at 8:18 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Supposedly it does have a 'snow melt' mode. Not a dedicated heater, but the waste heat from the array itself warms up the surface of the dish; maybe they run the phased array at higher power when signal is attenuated, i.e. weak signal + cold = run it hot, baby.

Someone pointed a thermal imager at it in cold weather; ambient is 20 degF, front is 32-40 degF.

Cat photo man confirmed that the cats do have a cat house with heating and water, but they prefer the dish.

Waste heat from the electronics isn't microwaves. It's a satellite dish, not a radar, so while it does send some data back to the satellite, the sending max power is only a couple of watts. Putting Death Star dishes on people's houses would probably be Elon's style, but not in this case.

Overthinking a dish of cats, sigh...
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:24 AM on January 11 [19 favorites]


Is that really how Starlink antennae are installed? Standing upright in the middle of a yard and not mounted on a roof? Come spring, that'll be an expensive birdbath.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:33 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


"There was a famous Darwin Award folk tale about a soldier who figured out a way of staying warm whilst on night patrol at his base: by standing in front of a microwave communications antenna. Which worked nicely for him, until he got into a bar fight and one punch caused his cells to liquefy, killing him instantly.

The cats, however, would be safe, as the dish in question is a receiving dish, with no more than the background amount of microwave radiation going through it."

Cats are safe because they are already liquid.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:07 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Mod note: Probably enough on "are the kitties being microwaved?" convo. For anyone who would like to pursue it further, it seems like a good question for Ask Metafilter. For this thread, let's return to the floof channel. Thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 9:09 AM on January 11 [17 favorites]


My cat has had the habit of sleeping on my shoulder since she was a very smol kitten. It's mostly adorable but sometimes I do not want her there so we got a heating pad and leave it in the middle of the couch turned on low.

She spends 90% of her sleeping hours there now and her getting on my shoulder is no problem since she only does it when she really wants human contact and not just to feel warm, which I feel is a good compromise.
posted by mikesch at 9:13 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Come spring, that'll be an expensive birdbath

The dishes are flat on the top. No birdbath. And yes, pointing straight up — starlink sats are designed to fly more-or-less overhead, not in geostat orbit around the equator.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:23 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I get that, but out in the yard like that is weird. Can they also go on the roof?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:25 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


The customer chooses the mounting location. The dish can go wherever it has an unobstructed view of the sky.
posted by LiteS at 11:57 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


KITTIES!
posted by Eideteker at 12:38 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


New cat owner here, so probably old news: our kitten loves laundry folding time. She attacks all the sleeves and fluttery hems, but when that gets old (to us, never to her) she can be handled easily by draping a warm-from-the-dryer sweater all over her. Purrrr.
posted by TreeRooster at 12:58 PM on January 11 [15 favorites]


Welcome to your kitten, TreeRooster, and congratulations.
posted by Well I never at 1:07 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I feel like this is where Starlink (or someone on Etsy) should just offer a "heated cat bed" dish whose sole purpose is to be a bed for cats, with all of the fancy expensive circuitry missing. They could focus just on heating the dish up, so that cats would be drawn to it away from the main dish. It's a little bit of an extravagance, but no more so than an incandescent bulb for cat-warming.
posted by Callisto Prime at 1:07 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


A purposeful heated cat bed would be rightly ignored because, cats.
posted by mightshould at 1:26 PM on January 11 [16 favorites]


TreeRooster, please document kitten laundry assistant! Kthxbai
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:37 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


When I lived in the woods, in the winter I put out a heated water dish for the local feral cats, so it wouldn't freeze over on them. One morning I noticed one of the kittens was sitting in the dish. I figured it was empty and went to fill it, but on closer inspection I saw that he was sitting in a full dish of water just to get to the warmed bottom. That and the fact that he let me get close enough to nab him convinced me that little Bob wasn't cut out for the outdoor life. I brought him inside, where he soon demonstrated his love for drinking out of the Christmas tree stand. He never did get completely tame, though, and slipped out and met an untimely end as a young mancat without his biological family's survival skills. He was a sweet boy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:14 PM on January 11 [17 favorites]


- There was a tweet a few days ago with a photo of a still-in-box coffee maker (or something) on a kitchen floor with a cat sitting atop the box. The poster said that her 3 cats had maintained their ownership of the appliance on a tag-team basis for 2 weeks.

- Our two male cats prefer to be outside most of the year. On a covered section of our patio I placed a big box and set in it a pair of always-on 19 watt heating pads. They love it.
posted by neuron at 9:22 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


neuron: That's the Vitamix story that was posted to the blue a few days ago.
posted by kathrynm at 9:26 AM on January 12


Come spring, that'll be an expensive birdbath.--gonna cook the chickadees?
posted by mule98J at 9:35 AM on January 12


I Can Haz Cheeseburger is on the case.
posted by kathrynm at 4:04 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


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