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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.

Comment Re:Well, technically (Score 1) 212

Sure, but if your point was irrelevant, why'd you even bring it up?

If we took the argument to its logical extreme, I could assert that moving water can create ionizing radiation. Then, when someone argues with me, I'll fondly recall that one (hypothetical) time back at Science Camp when I rigged an X-ray tube up to a water wheel. Optical multipliers are almost that far removed from what's being discussed.

Comment Re:Well, technically (Score 1) 212

I've done it myself in the lab - a 10Mw picosecond pulse neodymium YAG laser puts out light in the infrared (non-ionizing). But with frequency doubling optics you get green light. And you can then combine the green light and some of the infrared and get ultraviolet (ionizing) radiation out. (And incidentally, I was a physic postdoc at the time - that's how you get to play with such cool expensive toys.)

The phrase "that's not even wrong" comes to mind. Your nonlinear optical crystals aren't doing anything applicable in a discussion of microwaves. But yes, if my brain ever evolves a broadband comb generator with femtosecond recovery times, I'll indeed start to worry about how it might interact with my cell phone.