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Comment: Re:Stop rape in India? (Score 1) 232

by Rei (#48948429) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

Actually, disabling substances are used in the vast majority of rapes. The most common is alcohol (trying to get the victim too drunk to resist or looking for someone who already is, in about two thirds of rapes), but drugs are used in about 20% of additional rapes. Very, very few rapes follow the classic Hollywood script of "stranger leaps out of the bushes with a knife" - so vanishingly few that the scenario is statistically almost nonexistant. Disabling substances are extremely popular because 1) they work very well, 2) the victim often can't remember the attacker well if at all, 3) the victim is not in a state to be making a report until long after the event, 4) the victim's ability to make legally reliable testimony is compromised. Why would people choose the Hollywood way over that?

And I'm sorry, but if you think that you can watch everything you consume every second of every evening you're out and not slip up, you're an idiot. And yes, the reason people get mad at people like you is that the problem is that there are people out there drugging other peoples' drinks en masse and thinking that this is acceptable behavior, not that victims haven't gained supernatural abilities to hyperfocus on everything they may potentially consume at all times and never slip up. "Look, I'm sorry that you're dying of pancreatic cancer, but you should have been getting pancreatic function tests daily and working two jobs to pay for weekly MRI scans to find it before it could have posed a threat to you, and because you weren't, it's your own damned fault, and don't act like I'm a jerk for pointing this out!" That's how you come across when you take that tack. The problem is the f***ing cancer, not the victim.

Comment: Re:Stop rape in India? (Score 1) 232

by Rei (#48945731) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

Right, so women are supposed to walk around at all times with a gun in their hand, never setting it down for anything, and have a proximity radar to warn them if anyone is approaching them where they can't see so that she can pump them full of lead?

Why, I bet the gun will just shoot the rohipnol right out of drinks too!

The percent of rape cases in which having a gun could have helped is probably in in the single digits. And with it of course carries the risk of escalating the risk of getting you seriously injured or killed.

Comment: Re:The crime happened to an Indian in India. (Score 1) 232

by Rei (#48945635) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

I should add that the Strauss-Kahn red meat is getting old. First off, most of the descriptions of the case are way off, partially inspired by the prosecutors switching from overplaying the case against him to overplaying the case for him. To be clear:

1) If an accusation is made, and the accused is convicted, the legal system has been determined that the person is guilty.
2) If an accusation is made, the accused is not charged, and the accuser is convicted of making a false accusation, then the legal system has determined that it was a false charge.
3) If an accusation is made, the accused is not charged, but neither is the accuser, then the legal system has made no finding in any direction due to insufficient evidence to match the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in either direction.

This should be obvious, but for some reason, many people are always fixated on interpreting #3 (by far the most common scenario) as #2.

As for Kahn? Since then he's been caught up in one sex related charge after another - and has admitted to parts of them. He's currently out on bail awaiting trial for running a prostitution ring; the trial begins a couple days from now.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 2) 261

by Rei (#48938615) Attached to: FDA Wants To Release Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida

My point was all about what happens when the mosquitos are not as infertile as planned.

If some offspring survive that means that they didn't get the gene to kill them for some reason. Aka, they're just like wild populations. So.....?

If chemical companies are going to dump something into my backyard, I will scream and shout just as loud

Your back yard is full of the intentional products of chemical companies. Here we're talking about the intentional products of genetic engineering. You're trying to change the situation by comparing waste products with intentional products.

You seem to claim that people should just trust experts. I claim that experts should attempt to inform the public better, thereby earning their trust...

Sorry, but Joe Blow GED is never going to become an expert on genetic engineering. Ever. Period. And the same goes for the vast majority of the public.

So, rabbits that got released in Australia are the top predator? The Pampas grass in California is the top predator? I can make a long list of invasive species that are not the top predator and still influenced their ecosystem a lot

.

Got any examples that aren't introduced species? We're talking about reducing or eliminating species within an ecosystem, not adding new ones from totally different ecosystem. And part of the reason rabbits were so uncontrolled in Australia anyway was because settlers had killed off almost all of the top predators. One could easily imagine that, for example, tasmanian tigers would have quite enjoyed a rabbit feast. Dingo numbers were also shaply culled in the areas with the highest rabbit populations.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 4, Insightful) 261

by Rei (#48938019) Attached to: FDA Wants To Release Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida

That's because most physics and chemistry experiments don't breed and multiply.

Neither do infertile mosquitoes; your point?

They are talking about something that happens literally in their own backyard.

Really, you think there's no products of modern chemistry in your backyard?

They are right to do a risk assessment.

And there have been risk assessments done, by regulators, taking into account the scientific data. Risk assessments are not something for Joe Bloe and his GED who reads NaturalNews and thinks that "GMO mosquitoes" means that they're going to bite his children and spread a zombie plague.

Changing the balance in an ecosystem can have huge consequences.

Contrary to popular belief, changing the bottom of a food chain rarely has major consequences; it's the changing of the top of a food chain that tends to have the biggest consequences. The higher up the food chain you go, not only do you have more of a profound impact on the landscape (look at how radically, say, deer overpopulation transforms a whole ecosystem), but also the more species tend to be generalists rather than specialists. Generalists means the ability to switch more readily between food sources, meaning changes further down have little impact on them. But if you eliminate a top predator from an area, the consequences further down can be profound.

Comment: Re:Hear Hear! (Score 2) 397

by Rei (#48917379) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Ah, Americans and their "mammoth snowstorms" - try living on a rock in the middle of the North Atlantic. You know what we call a snowstorm with gale-force winds and copious precipitation? Tuesday ;) Our last one was... let's see, all weekend. The northwest gets hit by another gale-force storm tomorrow. The southeast is predicted to get hurricane-force winds on Thursday morning.

Here's what the job of someone dispatched to maintain antennae for air traffic control services has to deal with here. ;) (those are guy wires)

Comment: Re:Visible from Earth? (Score 1) 124

by Rei (#48915031) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

A sun-like star is about 1 1/2 million kilometers in diameter. To blot out all light from such a star that's 10 light years away, a 0,75 kilometer diameter disc could be no more than 1/200.000th of a light year, or around 50 million kilometers (1/3rd the distance between the earth and the sun).

The brightest star in the sky is Sirius A. It has a diameter of 2,4 million km and a distance of 8.6 light years. This means your shade could be no more than 25 million kilometers away.

The sun and the moon both take up about the same amount of arc in the night sky so would be about equally difficult to block; let's go with the sun for a nice supervillian-ish approach. 1,4m km diameter, 150m km distance means it'd be able to block the sun at 800km away. Such an object could probably be kept in a stable orbit at half that altitude, so yeah, you could most definitely block out stars with the thing - including our sun!

Comment: Re:keeping station behind it? (Score 1) 124

by Rei (#48914773) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

It makes sense. We can radiate individual photons for thrust if so desired. We can move individual electrons from one position in a spacecraft to another for tiny adjustments of angle and position if so desired. It seems you're going to be much more limited by your ability to precisely track your target than by your ability to make fine adjustments.

I think a much bigger problem is going to be isolating standing waves from within the shielding material from distorting its perfect rim (with a shield that big and thin, there *will* be oscillations from even the slightest thrust inputs). You need to isolate the rim from the shielding. And you also need to make sure that you can have a rim that can be coiled up for launch but uncoil to such perfection in space.

Tough task... but technically, it should be possible.

Comment: Re:No (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by Rei (#48914527) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

I would presume that the bulk material in the inside has no need for accuracy, only the very rim. The question is more of whether you can have a coiled material that when uncoiled (deployment) can return to a shape with that level of accuracy. I would think it possible, but I really don't know.

I would forsee a super-precise rim with just a small bit of light shielding on its inside, deployed via uncoiling, and then attached to a much stronger, less precise uncoiled ring to which the bulk shielding material (and stationkeeping ion thrusters) are attached. The attachment between the two would need to provide for vibration and tension isolation (even the slowest adjustments in angle of such a huge, thin shield are going to set in motion relevant vibrations, you've got almost no damping - you want the structural ring to deal with those and not transfer them through to the precision ring). Not to mention that your shield will be acting as a solar sail whether you like it or not (unless you're at L2... but then your craft better be nuclear powered).

Your telescope behind it is going to need to do some real precision stationkeeping (either extreme precision on the whole spacecraft positioning, or merely "good" positioning of the whole spacecraft plus extreme precision adjustment of the optics within) . This means long development times and costs to demonstrate that you can pull it off before you actually build the shield. But I would think that also possible - just very difficult. If they take the latter route they could probably demonstrate that here on Earth, which would be a big cost-saver.

Comment: Re:Wow .... (Score 4, Informative) 155

by Rei (#48906547) Attached to: Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

It's a two-step process. The first is a chemical that dissolves the proteins (still in their "cooked" folding), and the second is some sort of centrifuge or similar (they don't go into details on the device in the article) that subjects the proteins to very high sheer strain, effectively mechanically unfolding them so that they can then relax back into their natural state.

Not exactly a spice you can sprinkle onto your steak, but still pretty neat. :)

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel

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