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Comment Re:Stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 591

The problem with using anesthesia is that organizations (the largest of which is the EU) forbids selling anything used in executions. So states that use anesthetics to execute the condemned will find they may be then unable to purchase the same anesthetics for use in hospitals. Nitrogen, being ~80% of the atmosphere, can't possibly be restricted.

FWIW I am completely against capital punishment, and for why one need look no further than the recent admission by the FBI that they were biased to decide a match in forensic hair analysis, which may have led to up to 14 wrongful executions. However some barbaric states are just going to continue to do it anyways, so they may as well do is as humanely as possible.

Comment Nitrogen Asphyxiation (Score 2, Insightful) 1081

* Our atmosphere is around 80% nitrogen so usage can't be restricted, very inexpensive to purify, doesn't consume resources needed elsewhere (ie medically)
* Painless and humane: the victim just goes to sleep. They may become giddy beforehand
* No risk of leaks or poisoning as long as the areas around the chamber are open to the outside air... the chamber needs only be moderately airtight

Ideally this would be the time to reflect that perhaps, after numerous proven instances where innocent people were put to death or narrowly avoided it with a death-row exoneration, that a 21st century civilized society should abandon this barbaric practice, but if saner heads don't prevail at least there is this ideal method of it.

Comment Re:Besides the blantant bloodshed... (Score 5, Informative) 490

Because nerds are (generally) supportive of nonviolence and tolerance for unpopular ideas to promote intellectual and creative freedom, and these mindless idiot fundamentalist thugs are the enemy of that and will destroy it if they can. Is it clearer now?

Comment Re:How can it prove it when (Score 1) 129

I'm glad this long-overlooked idea is finally being remembered. It does lead to two further conclusions of course: how can these frozen collapsing stars have spin? And how can they have magnetic fields or (detectable) electric charge?

It doesn't seem they could have either, so all the physics done on rotating and/or charged/magnetic black holes with real singularities seems to be making the rather large assumption that there are any that were formed at the birth of the universe. They can't form now so quite possibly don't exist. It has been shown that relativistic jets, for example, can be generated by the magnetic field of the accretion disc without requiring a spinning black hole.

Comment Re:No accommodation at all? Just asking. (Score 1) 356

"When I complained I was told that they didn't need to afford me any special accommodation as my diet was neither religious nor medicinal..."

Vegetarian and (preferably) vegan diet is part of Mahayana Buddhism and Jainism. Sweden is supposedly a secular society. Thus, if they would provide a special diet to a member of these two religions that they would not provide to someone who is not, then Sweden has ceased to be a secular society and has committed an act of government-enforced religious discrimination. It really is that simple.

Comment If seawater is 832x denser, then not correct (Score 4, Informative) 216

re: "since sea water is 832 times denser than air, a 5 knot ocean current has more kinetic energy than a 350 km/h wind"

Kinetic energy is an integration of the linear mv dv so equals 1/2mv^2 (whereas momentum is the simple product mv.)

So let's set the mass of a volume of wind at 1 and the mass of the same volume of sea water at 832 units.

The kinetic energy of the wind @ 350km/h = 1/2 * 1 * 350^2 = 61,250 units
The kinetic energy of the water @ 5 knots = 1/2 * 832 * (5 * 1.852)^2 = 35,671 units (1 knot = 1.852 km/hr)

Comment Meanwhile in a suburban garage... (Score 5, Interesting) 151

... A high school student working on a Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor for their science fair project, capable of accelerating tenths of amperes, detects significant numbers of neutrons-byproducts of fusion reactions-coming from the experiment. This, they say, demonstrates the viability of their approach and marks progress toward the ultimate goal of producing more energy than the fusion device takes in.

Or not.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.