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Comment: Re:But what if they mix with the Virus Vault (Score 1) 51

If the human species needs instructions on how to plant a fucking seed, all of your above questions are irrelevant. I give you a bag of seeds labelled "fwqnuiohuio", but don't tell you it's a plant that won't do very well outside of a warm-to-semi-tropical region, the plant fruits are underground but the plant itself is otherwise useless for food, it requires a *lot* of water during the latter phase of fruiting else you've wasted your time, and oh - it stands a great chance of giving a not-insignificant percentage of folks who eat the results a nasty case of anaphylactic shock.

Maybe cultural memories would help them recognize what a peanut is? Not sure if it'd help them know how to grow the things...

Comment: Re:But what if they mix with the Virus Vault (Score 2) 51

On a more reality-based note...

How in the hell are the survivors (who would be practically random) going to know...

1) that such a thing exists
2) where (exactly) it is
3) how to get there (and back) without dying of something in the process (exposure, starvation, ocean storms, etc)
4) (assuming generations later) how to read the content labels, instructions, etc ...?

It's a nice gesture and all for nearly any other scenario, but a *lot* of assumptions would have to be made for this to be viable in a no-shit doomsday scenario. At one point in human prehistory, it was estimated that a small extinction event reduced us to around 100k people, globally. That's a pretty scattered dispersion, and assuming a similar number of survivors in some future doomsday scenario, the odds are almost lottery-sized against putting it to use.

I'm not saying they should give up (far from it, actually) - I just think that maybe, just maybe they should expand on the idea a bit, and consider a few factors that seem awfully important when planning for a global doomsday scenario.

Comment: Re:This is completely bogus! (Score 2) 46

by Penguinisto (#49165765) Attached to: Interactive Edition of the Nuclear Notebook

Did you move the slider at all? It is in fact noteworthy that the page shows Israel has nearly doubled the size of its nuclear arsenal since worldwide arsenals peaked in '86.

Given the neighborhood and Iran's intent to make their own nukes, can you blame them?

Likewise, it's worth noting that Israel is *not* a member of the NPT. who would they sell the tech to? Sometimes it makes no sense to bother with something when you're not liable to violate its precepts.

Comment: Re:Lost focus (Score 1) 46

by Penguinisto (#49165701) Attached to: Interactive Edition of the Nuclear Notebook

The tiny fraction can still wipe out the human race

Maybe, but that would depend on the location, timing and distribution of those explosions. If the balloon went up in 1987, yeah, the human race would pretty much be fscked. Nowadays, I'm not so sure that would be a given, considering that a not-insignificant percentage of those weapons would be destroyed in their silos, are undergoing maintenance at any given time, would fail to detonate completely or cleanly, or a whole host of other factors (and if either the US or Russia abstain from the exchange, then all bets are off as to the doomsday factor entirely.)

Comment: Re:This is a reflection of the aging Apple demogra (Score 4, Insightful) 189

by Penguinisto (#49165173) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

c. U2 is a "dad band", in that it really only appeals to people who are in the 40+ age bracket. This also happens to be what iDevices are increasingly seen as "dad-tech", something your dad tells you is the "best choice for everything" which you know is obviously wrong but fuck it, you'll take the free phone anyway since he's paying for it.

As one of those folks in the 40+ age bracket...

1) Back when us old farts were teenagers, U2 was considered somewhat revolutionary (and in a way they were). The music itself? Compared to the mass of dreck we had thrust upon our ears via radio in the 1980s? It wasn't half bad, but there was better out there (you just had to really go look for the good shit, in an age where the HTTP protocol didn't exist and the Internet was unknown to 99.99999% of the planet. This meant buying a shitload of blank cassettes, a wide circle of friends, and having a boom box with cassette-to-cassette recording capability.)

2) I once felt the same way towards my old man's 60's/70's Psychedelic/ProgRock collection (played on reel-to-reel no less!) that you feel towards a 1980's has-been band. However, my ears, like the rest of me, grew up - I inherited his collection, and after a cursory listen-through, am ripping the hell out of some of those reels to the audio-in on my home desktop machine (Thank Heavens for Audacity on Linux...) Good news, though! Old stuff, new stuff, in-between stuff... it doesn't matter to me any more; I find good stuff in every era, to the point where I have 78 RPM 'vinyl' with stuff I've ripped to FLAC. Mind you, I'm typing this as some rather kickass German industrial rock is pumping into my headset. Before that, The Temptations' Power was playing. Jazz musicians call it the act of having 'Big Ears', where you find and love good music from practically every genre. Someday, you'll get that too.

3) One fine day, *your* kids will point at your current favorite tech and laugh their asses off, as surely as I once laughed my ass off at inheriting my parents' old Amstrad 2286 (complete with maths co-processor!) and its dot-matrix printer... in 1997. Deny it all you want, I don't mind... I know different. ;)

Comment: Re:Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 2) 219

Wait... I thought the first proper zombie movie was Romero's Night of the Living Dead, set in Pennsylvania.

Besides, you have Triffids... be happy with that.


(That reminds me - you also have Quatermass; when the frig is someone over there going to resurrect that series?)

Comment: Re:So live underground (Score 1) 134

by Penguinisto (#49148883) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

A good idea, especially since the Moon has a two-week rotation. (by the way, many early drawings of lunar colonies did have underground living featured prominently. There was even a (IMHO dumb) idea to use nuclear weapons to carve out the caves with.

That all said, I think your body (or at least mind) would be in for a shock if you stepped outside on midnight colony time to see the sun high in the sky. But then, folks who live within the Arctic Circle have to put up with seasonal day/night cycle shifts that have some weeks in total darkness during winter (and the opposite in summer). They seem to adapt well enough (though to be fair, they still can rely on a 24-hour rotational cycle no matter where the sun is at any given moment.)

Comment: You get used to it. (Score 5, Interesting) 134

by Penguinisto (#49148833) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Seriously - people aren't as fragile as TFA surmises. In the spelunking world, cavers have discovered that after a few weeks without a day/night reference, their circadian cycles stretched out to a 24/24 cycle. In the case of a newly-minted Martian, it won't go that extreme, which means that at least within the timeframe of an exploratory journey, it would be no big deal, and they can adjust between the two on the way there and back (there's plenty of time on the journey to do that.)

Long term is a bit more difficult to predict, but only in how it affects the body overall. It would certainly adjust and stay adjusted, but I can guess (with no evidence either way) that the effect would be no different than Daylight Savings Time cycles would have on the typical adult here on Earth.

Have you reconsidered a computer career?