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Comment: Re:Sure, defend the asshole (Score 1) 776

It's pretty obvious to me that her boss was a sociopath. They're hard to nail down because they can be rather charming. If you can't get away from them your best bet is to convince them that they have power and make a show of it in their presence. Their only real weakness is their ego. That won't stop the random humiliations from them (which also strokes their ego), but it can make them marginally more tolerable to work with.

You, with a conscience, can't win a straight up fight with a sociopath, they will lie convincingly about everything to cover their backsides and if they're even modestly intelligent that can be amplified into a lot of problems for you. Even when they are obviously in the wrong your most likely best outcome is that you don't get hit with whatever they intended to harm you. They won't face consequences, but you may just make it out minimally scathed.

Comment: Re:No, they don't - you're misleading people (Score 1) 678

by ImprovOmega (#49585163) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
I'm sorry, but even reverse osmosis plants use chemicals to prep and clean the water and to protect their equipment. Sea water is astoundingly corrosive, so if you don't want to be replacing all the core parts of your plant every year you have to treat it to prevent that damage. Those chemicals are not typically filtered out before being dumped back into the ocean.

But let's just assume they filtered out all those chemicals and only dumped saltier concentrated sea water back into the ocean. The area around the dump site would still be a death pit for any and all marine life very close by. Now you can get away with a few of these plants, sure. But if you start trying to provide enough water for, say, the entire state of California, through desalination alone, you're going to absolutely murder the coastal ecology.

Again, I'm not an eco-freak. I think we should have maybe a dozen or so such plants (maybe a few more) to help offset the drought and tough beans for some of the sea life involved. But if you scale it out too much you will wreck the coast.

Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 1) 678

by ImprovOmega (#49585131) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
Unfortunately this is very much not cost efficient nor scalable. To give you an idea, there's a desalination plant recently built in Carlsbad, CA that is designed to produce 50,000 acre-feet of potable water a year. This is enough to supply roughly 200,000 homes with water. This means that plant is pushing out 44.6 *million* gallons of water each day to keep up.

If you personally had a reasonably sized beachfront house you could probably produce enough organic desalinated water for your family, but on a large scale it's not feasible as a municipal water source.

Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 1) 678

by ImprovOmega (#49585057) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
There are ways to do it chemical-free, though concentrating the salt and whatever else in the water before dumping it out into the ocean again will still be of some minor environmental impact. A lot of desalination plants still do use chemicals, and there's a breakdown of some of the impacts here

Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 4, Interesting) 678

Desalination plants are NOT clean. The pollute the heck out of the ocean around them. It's not like you just produce pure salt and water out of those things. You produce clean water and as a byproduct you get a slurry of super salty brine mixed with all kinds of chemicals that speed up the desalination process and then you dump that slurry back out into the ocean because that's the most economical way to do it.

Comment: Re:The gold standard for fast, painless executions (Score 2) 591

I had partial nitrogen exposure due to a leak that had happened in an industrial nitrogen tank I was transporting. I did pass out, but I can tell you there was zero pain involved. It actually felt completely euphoric. I wasn't gasping for air or anything like that (though I did realize what had happened and I got the hell out as quick as possible, so I never went under), but even realizing what had happened didn't give me a sense of panic, and afterwards there were no lingering effects. I really think this should be the preferred method of execution. It's simple and demonstrably painless. If I had to die suddenly, I would prefer that to practically any other method.

Comment: Re:If it were me... (Score 1) 591

Pure nitrogen inhalation is quick and painless. I've been in a situation where nitrogen was displacing normal air and the feeling right before you would pass out is one of euphoria. There's no pain at all and unconsciousness comes *very* quickly.

Added bonus, nitrogen gas is super cheap.

Comment: Re:Ten seconds? (Score 1) 591

I used to work around welding and cutting torches, transporting tanks of acetylene and nitrogen around. One day a fresh nitrogen tank sprung a leak in the back of my truck. When I dropped the tailgate I felt a whoosh of cold and I got extremely light-headed in the few seconds in took to get clear of the invisible cloud. And that was in a well-ventilated open air area. Any kind of enclosed space and I would have passed out in seconds for sure. It wasn't even remotely painful though, almost purely euphoric.

As far as ways to die go, you could do much worse. The only group of people who would be distressed by it would probably be fighter pilots since they're trained to recognize and work around low oxygen situations.

Comment: Re:need super precision numbers? (Score 1) 157

There are many options for arbitrary precision floating point computations. You can easily go to 1024-bit precision (or more) with some easy to find classes for C++ or Java (or write your own). For performance purposes, it's slightly better to go with fixed point arithmetic (especially when your data has known boundaries), but you can get quite reasonable performance from floating point too.

Comment: Re:Kill them all. (Score 1) 336

The only way to make it work is with an inhuman amount of brutality. It is within our power to eradicate their entire territory with nuclear weapons, and I promise you, nothing will rise up there to take its place (not for a few hundred years until the radiation dies down anyway). The rest of the world may then turn against the United States, but the ISIS problem would be 100% solved.

In other words, no, it never really works. That level of violence is self-defeating. ISIS is finding that much out themselves though, because all their Muslim neighbors (and *especially* Jordan) hate them with a passion. I agree that the U.S. needs to help put a stop to them, but cancers like ISIS do tend to get killed off pretty handily by the rest of the world.

"Don't talk to me about disclaimers! I invented disclaimers!" -- The Censored Hacker