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Comment Re:Two pilots, one flies for five days straight? (Score 1) 21 21

The aircraft and the technology are impressive enough in their own right. The team and the sponsors that made this happen are not lightweights by any measure! However the real point of this project and adventure is basically twofold. One, to prove that off the shelf technology is available to be applied to real world applications right now, PV and battery technology is quite mature already and it does work. The second point is that whether we like it or not we, as a global industrial civilization are on the cusp of a historical transition to a completely new energy paradigm. BAU and fossil fuels got us here but from here on things will be changing at a very fast pace. We will all have to make do, and do better, with less available energy. Some of us will rise to the challenge and hopefully forge a new better and cleaner future with a smaller ecological footprint. Clinging to the old paradigm is a mistake!

Comment Re:Lawrence Krauss.. With all due respect... (Score 1) 305 305

100% agree with this comment and I too am an atheist and a fan of Krauss et al. The Pope did what he could do within the limited context in which he can do and say things. A billion people will listen to him and possibly start to act. I also admire the Pope for having the guts to rock the boat of the status quo!

Comment Re:He's good. (Score 1) 198 198

"Understandable. Daniel Kahneman has some amusing anecdotes who people who work in finance really don't seem to figure out what it is they're really doing."

Daniel Kahneman is highly suspect, he's friends with Nassim Taleb

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

"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) 274 274

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) 320 320

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) 594 594

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) 352 352

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.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990