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Comment: ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for CO2? (Score 1) 573

"declaring that "at 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide."

Yeah but it seems there may be some unintended consequences...

Lead author Dr Roel Brienen, from the School of Geography at the University of Leeds, said: “Tree mortality rates have increased by more than a third since the mid-1980s, and this is affecting the Amazon’s capacity to store carbon.” Initially, an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – a key ingredient for photosynthesis – led to a growth spurt for the Amazon’s trees, the researchers say. But the extra carbon appears to have had unexpected consequences. Study co-author Professor Oliver Phillips, also from the University’s School of Geography, said: “With time, the growth stimulation feeds through the system, causing trees to live faster, and so die younger.”

"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly Roy"

Comment: Re:"Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt... (Score 1) 274

by Cthulhu's Physicist (#49292793) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

What do you call someone who speaks more than three languages?

A polyglot.

What do you call someone who speaks three languages?


What do you call someone who speaks two languages?


What do you call someone who speaks only one language?

A gringo...

Comment: Why Does Science Appear To Be Getting Things Incre (Score 1) 320

That title is pure unadulterated yak dung! Granted that for the average lay person, even upon very close inspection, finely refined yak dung is barely distinguishable from finely refined bovine feces from the male Bos taurus indicus... Just because the media says so and the lay public believes them doesn't in any way reflect on 99.99% of real scientists doing actual science. Perhaps my experience is anecdotal but the scientists that I know personally are honest ethical professionals. Furthermore the scientific method is a self correcting process and as far as I can tell peer review still works and science does not appear to be getting things increasingly wrong! Quite the contrary...

Comment: Re:Let's put this into perspective (Score 1) 594

by Cthulhu's Physicist (#48306859) Attached to: Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For
I think it might be insightful to read this report, I'm not sure that it was criminal negligence, I think it was more a problem with the culture at NASA at the time and specifically management's seeming loss of perspective with regards physical realities and lack of basic statistical and risk analysis. Appendix F - Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle
by R. P. Feynman


It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could properly ask "What is the cause of management's fantastic faith in the machinery?"

The remainder of the report is quite revealing.

Comment: Re:YOU need ENERGY otherwise forget it (Score 1) 352

Our future does not look very bright when one of the few sane comments on this completely ridiculous and idiotic idea is give a score of 1! Seems very few people here have actually bothered to do some very basic math and even fewer have a grasp of the laws of thermodynamics. You rock, Slashdotgirl! Damn right, without energy our current civilization is already doomed and we sure as hell don't and won't have enough to civilize the solar system.

Comment: "bootstrapping a solar system civilization."?! (Score 1) 352

Sounds to me as if Mr. Kalil wants a pony before he can take care of a hamster. I suggest that he first understand the implications of the exponential function and why growth as we know it today has an expiration date. Tom Murphy: Growth has an Expiration Date You can follow Tom on his blog at

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.