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Comment: Re:Nobody will care (Score 1) 209 209

Maybe some historians want to dig through it, but I wouldn't.

As a historian, let me just say this: no, I really wouldn't want to dig through that crap. What people WANT to say about themselves--their pre-packaged, self-conceived advertising--is rarely the most interesting, reliable, or relevant material.

Comment: You'd think it would be obivous (Score 2) 95 95

You'd think it would be obvious to the folks at Oxford: if you're building 3D maps, and storage is getting relatively cheap, why not just build 3D maps of whole regions so the car knows its way around? Then the human can pick any route, rather than having to teach the computer.

Comment: Re:Of all the things to hide under floorboards.... (Score 1) 177 177

Few people ever actually saw money in their whole lives; a dowry would most likely have been in the form of clothes, cloth and similar things.

This is a common misconception. By the late medieval period, huge numbers of payments--even by humble peasants--were in silver coin. This was helped by new silver mines in German-speaking areas of Europe.

Comment: Re:Ötzi no bang Utz's wife again! (Score 1) 104 104

Scan reveal Ötzi asshole who no respected bro?

Funny, but based on a "Flintstones" understanding of neolithic humans. Recent research suggests hunter-gatherers generally have and had little concept of monogamy as we know it. Check out Sex at Dawn: http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Stray-Modern-Relationships/dp/0061707813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335976553&sr=8-1

Comment: Re:and...eh? (Score 1) 469 469

The short answer is no. There is some speculation about the causes, but it probably wasn't because of CO2 changes, and certainly nothing like the anthropogenic CO2 loading that we see today. It also wasn't a global phenomenon, but localized to northern Europe. Our data for global climate that far back is very unevenly distributed, though: we know the most about northern Europe, and much less about the rest of the world.

Comment: Re:You've never been to Canada, have you? (Score 4, Insightful) 469 469

I live in Canada. As you say, all of those areas are already highly productive. What I was referring to is new productivity as a result of climate change. Areas that might become warmer--and thus suitable for agriculture--are currently boreal forest. It would take decades of natural processes for that boreal forest soil to develop into anything that could support agriculture for more than a season or two. North of this is tundra, which might have a better soil profile, but doesn't have enough daylight for agriculture regardless of temperatures or precipitation.

Comment: Re:and... (Score 2) 469 469

No. The point is that weather will get weird. As the global climate warms, weather patterns will break out of their normal negative-feedback-enforced cycles. Freakish temperature streaks, extreme precipitation, drought, and irregular winds will make agriculture much more difficult and unreliable everywhere. For a fun preview of what we're in for, check out the events of 1315-22 in Europe (hint: it's commonly called "The Great Famine").

The best part is that even if other regions (for example, Canada) have warmer weather, that doesn't mean agriculture will be sustainable there. The topsoil in that part of Canada is thin and highly acidic. You're not going to be growing corn and wheat there no matter what the weather patterns become.

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