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Comment: Re:Who needs oil? (Score 1) 160

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47707929) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Fusion would break the stranglehold of petro-exporting countries in the Middle East as well as belligerent exporters like Russia and Iran.

You're assuming said fusion plants would be radically cheaper to construct and operate than existing fission plants...something the anti-nuclear activists would probably complicate despite the obvious benefits of fusion over fission. Never underestimate the public fear of the word "nuclear" even if the processes involved are ridiculously different.

I can hear the rallying cry now: "They want to build a plant that works the same way as a thermonuclear bomb! Do you want a nuclear bomb IN YOUR BACKYARD???"

People are still terrified of fluoride in their water. Can you imagine their reponse to the above?

Comment: The power of the future... (Score 2) 160

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47707879) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Fusion power is roughly 20 years away from being viable...and has been for the last 40 years LOL.

Seriously, I'll start worrying about proliferation risks when a commercially viable fusion reactor DESIGN is created. Building one -- assuming it's ever viable to begin with -- would take years, which is plenty of time to address proliferation concerns before it came online.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 537

by SuiteSisterMary (#47650117) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Ah, but perhaps culture drives evolution?

Society A is violent by culture. Therefore, the people who survive and propser, and pass on their genes, in Society A, are those who are better at giving and receiving violence; physical attributes, mental attributes, etc etc.

Society A eventually moves towards a less violent culture. But would the genetics not still be there, unless and until they were actively selected against?

Comment: How big is it? (Score 5, Insightful) 184

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47619125) Attached to: Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

To put this in perspective, 5,000 sq. mi. is a square about 71 miles on a side. Compare this to the total area of the Gulf (615,000 sq. mi) and you'll see this "dead zone" occupies just 0.8% of the Gulf. Is this something that needs addressing? Absolutely. But it's not some horrific cauldron of death like the headline tries to make it out to be.

Comment: Re:Presbyopia (Score 1) 550

by Eric Green (#47528799) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

This is pretty much my calculation. I don't swap glasses, I use progressive bifocals (the newer ones which have multiple focus zones rather than being totally continuous so that you can pretty much always have your workpiece in focus). Even if my vision without glasses was 20-20, I'd still need progressive bifocals, since I need multiple focal points to deal with my daily work (focus point for viewing computer monitor, focus point for viewing iDevice in my hand, focus point for viewing the speedometer in my car, focus point for dealing with tiny screws in computer cases, etc.). Given that, what's the point? I still end up needing glasses, I just add a bit of needless risk to the equation too.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce