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Comment: Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 185

We aren't talking about millions of years timescale here. According to TFA, the last eruption was 33 years ago. This would make eruptions as much a part of the natural ebb and flow there as wildfires are in some areas.

No, this isn't a very "consoling fact", but it seems very anthropocentric to assume that nature is here to console you or any other human....

Comment: Re:Incorrect (Score 2) 185

My point is that the characterization of a potential eruption as a "threat" to the ecosystem ignores the simple fact that the source of the "threat" is as natural a part of the ecosystem as the plants and animals that are being "threatened".

The species plants and animals that are living there have evolved in that place WITH the local geology. Periodic volcanic eruptions are an intrinsic PART of that particular ecosystem. The fact that the plants and animals are still there after untold numbers of past eruptions says something about how nature tends to shrug off these kinds of "threats".

It seems to me that using the word "threat" here is misplaced. This isn't something coming from outside this area to have a negative impact like your asteroid or some external pollution source. Yes, the eruption might very well change the biodiversity of the area in the short term. But such change itself is an intrinsic part of nature. It only seems to be considered as a bad thing by humans because some species of "cuddly animals" may be impacted.

Comment: Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 185

Definition per the Wiki:

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system

The volcano would be one of the "nonliving components of the environment", which influences things around it (soil and air chemistry, microclimate, etc.), even in the periods between eruptions. Quite different to an inbound asteroid....

Comment: Atomic clocks don't rely on nuclear decay..... (Score 1) 403

Nuclear decay being a chaotic process and all.

So-called "atomic clocks" utilize the RF absorption of various isotopes, typically Cesium or Rubidium. Heated to a vapor in a sealed chamber, the vapor is excited by a microwave RF source, and at a highly specific frequency, the vapor absorbs the RF energy. This phenomenon is used as part of a feedback loop to keep an electronic oscillator disciplined to whatever frequency is desired.

Atomic clocks won't work without electrical power, and would be subject to all the same physical rust and breakdown as other electronic devices over the years.

Comment: Same folks probably complain about the old RCA (Score 1) 628

by Ellis D. Tripp (#49605061) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

TV test pattern, because it has a stereotypical representation of a Native American on it....

The whole purpose of a standard image is to be able to make direct comparisons between your work and the work of others. For better or worse, the Lena image (cropped so as not to show the naughty bits) IS the standard test image in this field, much as the old Indian Head was in the days before color TV.

Comment: Re:Perfect time (Score 2) 293

by Ellis D. Tripp (#49502075) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Cool! Several friends and I ran pirate FM intermittently for a bunch of years.

Anyone know where to get English subtitles for that film? Might be fun to compare to the handful of other pirate radio movies.

I was hoping to see more interest in local pirate TV when analog NTSC got shut down. The long reign of cable TV weaned enough people away from local antennas altogether, so viewer base probably limited in most areas.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.

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