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Comment: Re:No one gets the oil! (Score 2) 191

by JDevers (#48610023) Attached to: Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

Over 100 years old is a bit of a stretch, the foundation of modern quantum physics was laid mostly in the "nearly 100 years old" might be better.

Realistically though, the reason classical physics is the basic physical foundation laid for most students is simply that it is tremendously easier to understand and calculate and is basically "correct" for 99.999% of things people encounter in their real lives. Schools already teach far too many things which are somewhat useless later in life, why should most high school students be subjected to quantum mechanics when they don't even have the mathematical underpinnings to even come close to really understanding it.

In 100 years or so when we have the math and processing power to solve a five or six body gravity equation then maybe it can actually be taught to those who don't specialize in it, until then the classic approximation is pretty good for high school work.

Comment: Low dose birth control pills? (Score 3, Informative) 147

by JDevers (#48131417) Attached to: Birth Control Pills Threaten Fish Stocks

Seems that the slow switch to low dose birth control pills will have a side effect of helping this sort of pollution as well. It won't prevent it of course, but there is a big different between 1970s pills and those prescribed today, now just to get those who have been on the pills for 20+ years to switch to something different. Has the side effect of lowering cancer rates as well.

Comment: Re:Economics (Score 2) 178

by JDevers (#45404305) Attached to: Desert Farming Experiment Yields Good Initial Results

You might want to look at that list again. When you eliminate the city-states at the top of the list, the top nine are Bangladesh, Palestine, Taiwan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Rwanda, India, Haiti. Taiwan, South Korea, and The Netherlands are obviously doing OK, the others though are not exactly what I would call "amazingly wealthy." Over a quarter of the world's population lives in those listed places and I would hazard a guess that they account for a pretty substantial amount of the poverty too.

Comment: Re:what? (Score 2) 258

by JDevers (#45391403) Attached to: US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

It could also make it worse in other ways as well. To keep a company afloat, decisions are often made to take on tremendous debt to be "paid back when times are better" but often the debt load itself prevents the time from getting better regardless of actual revenue. Take a look at AMD if you don't believe that to be possible. Governments waste money and companies do as well, just how they do it is different.

Comment: Re:Blame the government when the real cause is... (Score 0) 233

To be fair, with zero regulation, oversight, and no delays as well as only minimal safety procedures, nuclear would be the cheapest (but most dangerous) of all our energy options. Duke isn't really LYING, so much as stating the obvious truth and hoping everyone misunderstands...

Comment: Re:Let's clarify that one (Score 1) 233

How about this version...all THREE major nuclear accidents have been accidents. In order of ability to prevent and damage caused: one by a complete and total incompetence, one by faulty equipment and poor training, and one by design standards that were inadequate to an incredible natural disaster.

Comment: Re:Not the best place (Score 2, Insightful) 233

True, although other areas also have problems. Generally you need to be on a coast for the massive amount of cooling water needed

Might want to look at a map of US nuclear facilities.

The majority are NOT on the coast, many are on relatively small we have these cool things like cooling towers, not all those plants pull cold water in and dump hot water into a water source directly. A nuclear power plant doesn't need any more access to deep, cold water than a coal plant of the same generating capacity.

Comment: Re:Alright then. Carry On. (Score 1) 382

by JDevers (#44456101) Attached to: Surveillance Story Turns Into a Warning About Employer Monitoring

It's not really that close to McCarthyism, more like "Hey, we got a call from your FORMER employer that you might have a drudge against that towards the end of your employment you were searching for some key words that implied you MIGHT be making a bomb. Tell us your side of the story and hey, if it is OK with you, would you mind if we searched your house to verify your side of the story?". Sure there are legitimate reasons why someone would search for those terms, which is why they knocked instead of breaking down the door. There is also a slim, but real, possibility that the guy was planning to blow up his former employer.

Comment: Re:How did the government pull this off? (Score 1) 347

by JDevers (#44440615) Attached to: Training Materials for NSA Spying Tool "XKeyScore" Revealed

Horrific analogy. A nuclear fission explosion is a one off device that is relatively simple for an industrial society to produce (the smaller it is the harder it is to do, but still relatively simple). A nuclear fission power plant is an entirely different animal and is much more complicated. A one time use "gadget" will always be much easier to make than something meant to run 24/7 for 90%+ of the year for many years. It is much easier to take gasoline, pour it on a hot surface, wait a few moments then ignite the gas in a fireball than it is to build a car capable of harnessing the same energy.

Nuclear fission actually DOES have a pretty good safety record by the way. The three publicized major problems are due to: 1. massive human error in judgement (Chernobyl), 2. major mechanical failures compounded by inadequate training and faulty assumptions (Three Mile Island), 3. gigantic earthquake and subsequent tsunami well in excess of the planned emergencies (Fukashima).

"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!" -- E. C. Berkeley