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Comment: Re:Futility at its purest (Score 2) 282

by Nukedoom (#41546671) Attached to: Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval

It doesn't strike me as particularly effective either--more symbolic than anything else. I can appreciate the gesture, though. And isn't that what this largely is? Part of the idea is that hopefully, somewhere out there is life. This is sort of a way to reach out to them. It's very human to me--reaching out towards the unknown, hoping for someone to be there.

I'd like to think there are two ways to think about life--either everything's futile or some things are meaningful. I don't think there's a decisive way to prove one or the other wrong.

On the scale of planets and galaxies, I existed for a short time--hardly any time at all. But I experienced it. These things did not. And even though I'll fade, and they'll stay for another couple billions years, I'd rather have known than not known at all. But each to his own.

Comment: Re:Futility at its purest (Score 1) 282

by Nukedoom (#41546661) Attached to: Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval

Ohh, I don't care for the contraption. It doesn't strike me as particularly effective--more symbolic than anything else. I can appreciate the gesture, though. And isn't that what this largely is? Part of the idea is that hopefully, somewhere out there is life. This is sort of a way to reach out to them. It's very human to me--reaching out towards the unknown, hoping for someone to be there.

I'm trying to fill in the gaps here, but I'm having some trouble understanding. How would my argument no longer be valid? Let me try from one perspective, and let me know if I got it wrong.

Let's say we all die. Does that make our existence any less meaningful? Possibly.

I guess some people would say yes, and others would say no. I don't think there's a decisive way to prove one or the other wrong. I'd like to think there are two ways to think about life--either everything's futile or some things are meaningful.

On the scale of planets and galaxies, I existed for a short time--hardly any time at all. But I experienced it. These things did not. And even though I'll fade, and they'll stay for another couple billions years, I'd rather have known than not known at all. But each to his own.

Comment: Re:Futility at its purest (Score 4, Insightful) 282

by Nukedoom (#41546587) Attached to: Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval

Whaaaa? Why do you say that? We are the Universe--we're the conscious part, a beautiful self-aware organism. We didn't create ourselves, but we are the product of a vastly complex series of interactions taking place over the course of billions of years.

We're as about as meaningful as anything the Universe has brought into existence, if not more.

Comment: Re:More evidence (Score 1) 334

by Nukedoom (#39789117) Attached to: Childhood Stress Leaves Genetic Scars

I agree it's still a problem and we have to implement better measures against it. But as a whole, I'd say our society is well-versed in the problem. We know it's there. I believe it's being taken seriously. We just haven't found an effective solution against it. Does that make sense? I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm saying it's a complex problem--difficult to solve. I don't think it's due to a lack of awareness about it.

Science

+ - Promising Low Cost Energy Storage->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Pittsburgh based company Aquion has developed a low cost sodium-ion based battery. Using relatively non-toxic components this battery has been tested by third parties and shown to handle 5,000 charge-discharge cycles with an overall efficiency of over 85 percent. The battery, having high mass and volume per unit of energy storage would be ideal for non-mobile applications — utility scale energy storage and UPS like applications. The company has recently raised $30 Million in funding, and is planning a production line and large scale utility tests. If practical, this battery could profoundly benefit the energy storage business."
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Censorship

+ - NYTimes Sues US Government To Know How It Interpre-> 1

Submitted by hydrofix
hydrofix (1253498) writes "Techdirt has been following a story of DoJ's classified interpretation of the PATRIOT Act. Specifically, it's all about Section 215, the so-called "business-records provision," which empowers FBI to get businesses to turn over any records it deems relevant to a security investigation. Senators Ron Ryden and Mark Udall have been pushing the government to reveal how it uses these provisions to deploy 'dragnets' for massive amounts of information on private citizens "without any connection to terrorism or espionage," a secret reinterpretation that is "inconsistent with the public's understanding of these laws." After NYTimes reporter Charlie Savage had his Freedom of Information request denied, NYTimes has now sued the government to reveal how it interprets the very law under which it's required to operate."
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Medicine

+ - Stroke Victim Stranded at Amundsen-Scott Base

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Renee-Nicole Douceur, the winter manager at the Amundsen-Scott research station at the South Pole, was sitting at her desk on August 27 when she suffered a stroke. “I looked at the screen and was like, ‘Oh my God, half the screen is missing,’ ” But both the National Science Foundation sand contractor Raytheon say that it would be too dangerous to send a rescue plane to the South Pole now and that Douceur’s condition is not life-threatening. Douceur's niece Sydney Raines has set up a Web site that urges people to call officials at Raytheon and the National Science Foundation. However temperatures must be higher than minus 50 degrees F for most planes to land at Amundsen-Scott or the fuel will turn to jelly and while that threshold has been crossed at the South Pole recently, the temperature still regularly dips to 70 degrees below zero. “It’s like no other airfield in the U.S.,” says Ronnie Smith, a former Air Force navigator who has flown there about 300 times. A pilot landing a plane there in winter, when it is dark 24 hours a day, would be flying blind “because you can’t install lights under the ice." The most famous instance of a person being airlifted from the South Pole for medical reasons was that involving Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, a doctor who diagnosed and treated her own breast cancer and using only ice and a local anesthetic, performed her own biopsy with the help of a resident welder. When she departed, on October 16, 1999, it was the earliest in the Antarctic spring that a plane had taken off."

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