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Comment: Re:reforestation (Score 1) 174

>... it means giving up land that could otherwise be cultivated or developed. And that's something humans have never willingly done...

Perhaps you meant globally, and over many centuries. But in the US and since WWII you are wrong; we are willingly reforesting land that has previously been cultivated

From the linked article:
"Forest growth nationally has exceeded harvest since the 1940s."
"the average standing wood volume per acre in US forests is about one-third greater today than in 1952; in the East, average volume per acre has almost doubled."

Comment: Re: expansion of space and dark energy (Score 1) 358

by FranklinWebber (#47164723) Attached to: The Disappearing Universe

Hi bhagwad,

I think your post needs some clarification.

You wrote:
> After a while, space itself would expand meaning that the ruler will now be longer than what it was.

The expansion of space must be measured with respect to something. The usual idea is that space is expanding with respect to other properties of the physical world, e.g., the mean distance between electron and proton in a hydrogen atom. So, because your hypothetical ruler is made of atoms, the claim is that tomorrow it will take more of those rulers laid end to end to reach distant galaxies.

In contrast, one kind of "ruler" that _is_ changing when space expands is the wavelength of photons and other ultrarelativistic particles. If space expands by 1%, photon wavelengths increase by 1% (as measured w.r.t. your hypothetical 1 meter ruler made of ordinary material) and thus photon energies decrease by 1%. This change is the explanation for the redshift of light from distant galaxies.

> After a while, the space between the nucleus and electrons or within the nucleus itself will become too large, ultimately ripping apart for the fabric of reality itself.

I suspect you are referring to cosmological models that end with a "Big Rip". In these models, the amount of dark energy in a constant volume of space (as measured with an ordinary ruler) increases with time. Eventually, the density of dark energy becomes greater than the density of other kinds of energy, e.g., the binding energy of atoms. Then fluctuations in this dark energy will rip apart atoms.

Because the properties of dark energy are hard to measure, it is not yet clear how its density changes with time. The current so-called "standard model" of cosmology, Lambda-CDM, takes the density of dark energy as constant, and this assumption is consistent with our best current measurements. So, as far as we can now tell, we are not living in a "Big Rip" universe.

Comment: Re:Units (Score 4, Informative) 69

by FranklinWebber (#46338759) Attached to: Astronomers Catch Asteroid Striking Moon On Video

The first link in the summary leads to the Orlando Sentinel, which links to the full video from the Universidad de Huelva. That video estimates "400 kg, 0.6-1.4 m object, 40 m crater, 61000 km/h, 15 tons of TNT". The first three are SI units, the fourth closely related, and the fifth... well, "tons of TNT" dates from the 20th century so how can we call it archaic? It's the Orlando Sentinel who translates into those archaic English units for US-ers such as myself. In the second link in the summary Phil Plait goes so far as to translate the crater size into football fields, but perhaps we shouldn't fault him as that standard unit is neither "English" nor "archaic".

Comment: Re: Alleged Murder-for-Hire (Score 4, Informative) 318

by FranklinWebber (#45081341) Attached to: 8 Users of Silk Road Arrested, 'Many More To Come'

Hi Shavano,

In this post you wrote:
> Let's be clear about this. Silk Road operators had a guy killed.

And in another post you wrote:
> These guys are also murderers.

While I think your main point is correct, that Ross Ulbricht is (allegedly) a thug, I also think we should be clear that (probably) nobody actually died. Ulbricht is accused of paying bitcoins to have two people killed, but neither "hit" was carried out. See
http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/UlbrichtCriminalComplaint.pdf
bottom of page 23, for a summary of one "hit", and
https://ia601904.us.archive.org/1/items/gov.uscourts.mdd.238311/gov.uscourts.mdd.238311.4.0.pdf
starting on page 6, for a step-by-step account of the other.

Comment: Re:Why the Dice.com hate? (Score 1) 246

> it's like the ad in the top right corner of the page

I agree.

> So what? They've gotta make money.

I already paid them money, by subscribing, so that I'm not shown ads.
Now they're showing me an "article" that, as you said, is like an ad.

> People detest change.

I detest not getting what I believe I paid for.

We are not a loved organization, but we are a respected one. -- John Fisher

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