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Comment Meanwhile, everywhere else... (Score 1) 138

About a half-dozen people worldwide received the same news at their doctor, thanks to exposure to emissions from diesel vehicles and coal-fired power plants.

Ric Romero will not have more on this breaking story tonight at 11, though, because those cancer cases are boring. No scary glow-in-the-dark stuff, no chanting protesters, no sit-ins at administration buildings, no outraged editorials.

Life goes on, except when it doesn't.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

(Shrug) Economics describes reality, whether you like it or not. The principle in question is called the "Law of Supply and Demand." He who has the supply makes the demands... or something like that. It's been a while since I took that course myself.

In any event, trying to handwave reality away and replace it with what you mistakenly consider human values is not likely to get you out of whatever basement you're posting from.

Comment Re:There it is AGAIN! (Score 0) 140

Just another day in the (R-etarded) party.

Republican politicians are basically the intellectual counterparts of the dead-end Japanese soldiers from WWII, isolated in the jungle for 40 years and cut off from civilization. Eventually, someone will manage to convince them that the war's over, that the radio isn't broadcasting elaborate propaganda to fool them, and that they can stop taking potshots at tourists anytime now.

Comment Re:You get what you ask for (Score 1) 394

Your statement would mean something if guns weren't overwhelmingly used to kill people for reasons other than self-defense.

Correct. Even the most casual reading of twentieth-century history shows that the majority of gun violence has been perpetrated by military and police forces, most often against their own fellow citizens.

That fact by itself is sufficient to support an argument against granting any government a monopoly on the use of violence. None of the other arguments mentioned in the thread are really necessary.

Comment Re:I'm afraid this means vodka rationing, boys (Score 1) 184

The only thing "motivating" those three companies is the hope that they can get government money.

I don't know about that. They say that if you want to make a million dollars in the airline industry, you start with a billion. Space flight has got to be even harder when it comes to predictable, scalable profits.

If Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos just wanted to make another billion dollars, they'd have to be crazy to get involved in space flight. There are too many easier ways to do it. Clearly, they're after something besides just money.

Comment Re:This is a sad day for the tech world (Score 1) 1027

The result was a wiped ipod, as apple does not want me to own my data. For values of "apple" equal to "RIAA," yes. Lession leaned. If you responded to this event by boycotting Apple while giving even more money to RIAA member labels, then you're pretty much a dumbass, with zero awareness of the politics behind what happened to your missing music files.

Comment Re:Well, technically (Score 1) 212

The thing is, when you're arguing with creationists, you don't start rambling about specific obscure DNA markers that somebody found last week. It invites nitpicking of the sort seen in this thread, and your argument suffers the death of a thousand cuts. ("Yes, but couldn't God have put that endogenous intronic retrovirus there to test our faith? You can't prove he didn't!")

Earlier I said, paraphrasing, "Non-ionizing radiation doesn't turn into ionizing radiation." Was that correct? No, it was not, because you can use an optical frequency multiplier to demonstrate such an effect on the bench, or a microscope that uses wack-ass femtosecond lasers and shit to stimulate fluorophores in living tissue. Is it even remotely useful to hedge your words with all of these corner cases when trying to persuade people with a typical American high school science education that their iPhones aren't cooking their brains? I'd say that the answer to that question is also "No."

Life's too short, radiation or no radiation.

Comment Re:Well, technically (Score 1) 212

You'd want to ask an actual physicist for one for the specifics of how multiphoton fluorescence works; I only play one on TV. From what I gather in the Wikipedia article, it requires some pretty exotic conditions, as the probability of a quantum UV transition being stimulated by two coincident IR photons is extremely low even when you're trying to make it happen on purpose.

Optical frequency multiplication by itself is not that new or exotic, so if you're fishing for a yes/no answer, the answer is "Yes, under certain conditions you can observe non-ionizing photons stimulating the emission of ionizing ones." You can also manufacture gold with a particle accelerator -- does that vindicate alchemy?

Comment Re:Well, technically (Score 1) 212

Sorry, I'm not your professor. You might spend some time on Wikipedia -- an example of what you're asking about might be the so-called "gamma knife." Individual beams of ionizing radiation converge on the spot to be treated, delivering an increased dose where it's needed without doing as much harm to the surrounding tissue.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig