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Comment: He is right, you are wrong (Score 1) 288 288

You didn't apparently comprehend what he said. He said "building" not "detonating".

BUILDING a U235 bomb DOES NOT involve any fission except the decays normal to uranium. It involves separating isotopes of uranium, either via centrifuge or gas diffusion to concentrate U235 isotope, and non-nuclear work to set up explosives, electronics, and other bomb detonation hardware.

When you BLOW UP the U235 bomb, THAT is when you get lots of fissions.

The poster you were responding to was EXACTLY CORRECT except for the VERY minor omission of the fact that U235 is going to have some natural decay fission going on, which would be almost indistinguishable from background.

Therefore, he was EXACTLY CORRECT in claming that a neutrino detector would have a VERY hard time detecting manufacture of a U235 bomb.

Congratulations on not only being completely wrong, but arrogant and profane on top of it.

--PeterM

Comment: Re:The future is coming. (Score 1) 214 214

What about the cost of money? If you borrow at 5%, you're going to be dumping $750 extra per year (or more) in interest on the extra $15k you spend on the Leaf. Also, you need to factor in the battery cost and lifetime.

My friend had a SUV hybrid and the battery dropped dead on him, cost him something like $5k for a new one. (Just after warranty it did this.)

--PM

Comment: Re:Not that easy to buy (Score 1) 937 937

I don't have examples, I don't work in the loan business. I have mainstream media articles:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/0...

https://news.google.com/newspa...

http://articles.philly.com/201...

The reasons stated include increased student debt as one of the issues, and short credit histories. However, these are people who would have got loans before either the big garbage loan bubble or the crash, from my read of the article. In general, they are not BAD credit risks, just not completely pristine.

Comment: Not that easy to buy (Score 1) 937 937

There are all kinds of restrictions on getting credit. Not everyone is able to buy because of this.

That's one of the things driving the rental market: people who can really afford to buy a house, given their income, but who are frozen out of the mortgage market because the lenders won't lend.

--PM

Comment: Re:Oh Boy Chinese Science (Score 3, Insightful) 62 62

The Chinese are getting better every year, year in and year out. How do you climb the tech ladder? The logical way is that first you learn from what others have done, and reproduce it. Then, when you are caught up, you start to lead.

And with a billion people, the Chinese have their share , or maybe more than their share, of first class brains. Their culture doesn't sneer at science, either.

The Chinese are on the fast track to being the dominant world power if their own misgovernment doesn't screw them up.

--PM

+ - Floating solar on lake Powell, save billions of gallons of water, generate GW? 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: In the commentary section of a Scientific American Article on the Navajo Coal Plant and the pollution it creates , "felicians" proposes that we cover Lake Powell with floating solar cells, thus saving up to 5 cities' worth of water per year from evaporation and generating GW of power while you are at it. There are of course downsides, but might this be worth doing?

Comment: Re:Source for lifetime medical costs? (Score 1) 851 851

You made the claim that "healthy" people end up costing more in healthcare in their longer lives, so I figured you'd have some sources for it handy.

I'm pretty well read and interested in this kind of thing but don't recall seeing anything confirming your claim, so I figured it was within bounds to ask you for some help confirming your not implausible but somewhat out-there claim.

I do agree that it's a truth that the older people get the more health costs per year they incur, as a trend. However, it's also a truth that chronically ill people with poor lifestyles are hanging on a long time too, and not always dying young.

--PM

Comment: Quality of life vs. quantity (Score 1) 851 851

How about this sort of Devil's bargain:
you're old and in failing health, but you could be kept alive with ever more heroic health care measures.

You come down with something fatal if untreated, and really unpleasant even if treated. Would you make a bargain with your healthcare insurer, "Hey, you pay me 50% of the cost of saving my life, and give me only palliative end of life care instead. My heirs thus get 50%, and you save a bit less than 50%. How about that, insurance company?"

It's rational to do this, but could you find enough rationality in yourself, your heirs, your insurance company, and society in general to make such a bargain and have it stick?

--PeterM

Comment: Source for lifetime medical costs? (Score 1) 851 851

Hello,

    I find the argument that "healthy" people live longer and end up costing more in health care interesting.

    However, I am reluctant to believe it based on your claim alone, and I would find it hard to persuade others. Have you got any sources to cite?

    If you're right, I think many might find it interesting.

--PM

Comment: Why not ban trans fats? (Score 1) 851 851

Sure, why not ban 'em?

Unlike marijuana, there are safer substitutes for trans fats that are better. Butter, lard, for two. I'm not sure about palm oil.

And you could also argue that a small drink is a safer substitute for a big drink. A person can just stand up and get a refill, but if they're less likely to do that if they start with a small cup, then it makes laziness work for them instead of against them.

--PM

Comment: Hydrogen can be monatomic in low pressure (Score 3, Interesting) 20 20

and high energy conditions.

Such as in the high, upper, tenuous atmosphere of one of these giants. The H2 molecule, which is the rule in higher pressures, can be disassociated by light, and the monatomic H can persist a while because of the low pressure and low collision rates.

So escape of monatomic hydrogen could indeed be the significant loss mechanism for these planets. H-H bond is 4.5 eV, which requires an ultraviolet C photon, or multiple photons of lower energy. Quite doable close in to a star.

--PM

Comment: Yes, donate blood if you can (Score 1) 97 97

One small poke in the arm for you, some bleeding, and maybe someone gets to live.

Sad to say, donating blood is probably the most good I do my fellow human beings, of all my activities.

I was kind of pissed when I found out that my trip to Sinaloa, Mexico disqualified me from donating for a year. (Out of fear of malaria.)

--PM

Comment: Worst enemy is us (Score 1) 637 637

What I'm afraid of is human civilization tearing itself apart under the strain of adaptation. All the churn in the world as people migrate and fight over resources could easily flash into a worldwide nuclear conflagration, and then our own technology will take us out. The nukes will destroy the power infrastructure, if not kill everyone outright, and the collapse will ensue from there.

--PM

Comment: Re:More info to read! (Score 1) 67 67

Well, it's not only that he mischaracterized the attack on the WTC as "nuclear".

He claims that pneumonic plague is 100% fatal even if treated.
While very serious, pneumonic plague is treatable and not 100% fatal. I couldn't find a mortality rate when treated, but I found a reference that said "mortality significantly reduced if treatment starts at onset of symptoms."

He also misunderstands smallpox. There were multiple strains of smallpox, one had a fatality rate of up to 30-35% the other had a fatality rate of 1%, though he was correct that different populations had different susceptibility.

And these are the things I KNEW off the top of my head he got wrong. I'm sorry, but given his track record compared to things I knew already and to what I could find with a teeny bit of research, this guy is completely an unreliable source of information.

--PM

"Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion." -- Harlan Ellison

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