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Comment: Food is not the problem (Score 3, Interesting) 211

by Smidge204 (#48939039) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Food production is not a valid argument, IMHO.

We already produce 2700 calories per person per day. That's plenty to feed everyone a healthy diet. The reason so many people don't have enough food has nothing to do with the amount of food available and everything to do with logistics, politics, and inequity: The food simply isn't getting to where it's needed. Growing even more food is not going to solve that problem.

Similarly, biofuel production need not make use of land that is suitable for growing common food crops. Even though I advocate biofuels, even I'm against using food crops to do so.

Comment: Re:Nothing new (Score 1) 128

An modern auto plant turns out a vehicle approximately once every minute.

A car might roll off the line every 60 seconds, but each individual car takes ~20 hours to make. And that only works because they are all the same with only superficial differences.

So in short, this is about using 3D printing to prototype something before going to full production. Haven't we been doing that since the 1970s?

No, because 3D printers weren't developed until the 80s. :)

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1) 663

by Smidge204 (#48885145) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

well, what is "reasonable"?? the flu generally wont kill you, as such IMO should not be mandated.

So is DEATH the only level of harm you can think of that should be avoided? Is that really the threshold below which you don't care anymore?

Going back to the food service employee analogy: It probably won't kill anyone if an employee doesn't wash their hands or use gloves...

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1) 663

by Smidge204 (#48884039) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

Any disease that they could reasonably be expected to come into contact with and communicate to others.

So yes, that includes flu shots. That also includes MMR, Diphtheria, shingles (if you're over 60), pertussis, and pneumo/meningococcal vaccines.

Again, it's not about risk to YOU, but risk to others. Taking steps to protect others is what "personal responsibility" is all about.

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1) 663

by Smidge204 (#48883603) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

Sorry, nobody has the right to endanger other people through irresponsibility.

You're free to do what you wish with your body, but if your job is interacting with thousands of people every day - especially children - then you should get vaccinated so you do not become a vector of disease. It doesn't matter one bit if YOU get sick or not. This isn't about you. It's about protecting the people you come into contact with.

It's basically the same level of common sense as employees washing hands and wearing gloves when handling food. It's not about keeping the employee's hands clean.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites, liars and communists. (Score 5, Insightful) 441

by Smidge204 (#48828157) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

This is why I've been pushing to argue in favor of reducing fossil fuel use not from an environmental point of view, but from an economic one. People can bury their heads in the sand when it comes to science, but people always listen when money is involved.

Even though the US imports about a third of our petroleum, that's still equivalent to hundreds of billions of dollars per year leaving our economy. If we transition to renewable energies, that money stays around a bit longer.

Renewable energies might have a larger up-front capital cost (but not by much, and it's getting better every day), but the long term costs are overwhelmingly favorable.

With the current crash in oil prices it should be clear that our economy is in the hands of foreign interests. We are hostages to international petroleum markets. Let's develop domestic sources to free ourselves from foreign influence. Remember: There's no reason why oil couldn't have been this cheap all along, and the price only went down right when we were posed to start reducing imports in favor of domestic natural gas production. We're being played!

(Oh, and if we happen to mitigate the environmental damage we're doing in the process and avoid global catastrophe, I guess that'll be a bonus...)

Comment: Re:Re usability (Score 2) 151

by Smidge204 (#48744231) Attached to: In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform

Well, no. The Shuttle's SRBs were a lot more than just a tube full of explosives.

They had thrust vector control; hydraulic power units, gimbal nozzles, control hardware. Electrical subsystems. Self contained navigation hardware. Range safety hardware. And of course everything was triple or quadruple redundant for reliability.

Comment: Re:Re usability (Score 1) 151

by Smidge204 (#48740299) Attached to: In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform

Except that the solid rocket boosters and fuel tanks were not reusable. Only the engines were re-used and that after expensive overhauls.

The Shuttle's SRBs were reusable, and they reused them (or at least parts of them) pretty much every launch.

The big orange liquid fuel tank was not reused, though.

Comment: Re:This tired old saw again. (Score 4, Informative) 755

by Smidge204 (#48700951) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

I think you're misconstruing what is actually meant when physicists talk about the universe possibly being a hologram.

They don't mean the contemporary "Star Trek Holodeck" type of hologram. They mean that all of the information about the 3D volume of the universe can be contained and encoded within a 2D boundary.

This is not a mathematically rigorous concept of the universe, but if they can nail it down it might have some application in explaining how gravity works and the ultimate granularity of the universe (e.g. how small the smallest possible fundamental particles can be). But in no sense would this prove, or even really be evidence supporting, the notion that our universe is a simulation within some "larger reality."

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 1) 589

by Smidge204 (#48624973) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

I will bet your chances of being killed in a mall go way up if there are specific threats against that mall.

No, it doesn't. The mall could have been attacked at any time with no announcement at all. The only difference is now you know somebody out there has an axe to grind.

Knowing the odds does not change the odds.

In fact, I'd argue that you might actually have a slightly LOWER chance of being killed or injured if the the intent to attack is announced. They could be bluffing. Increased security could ward off or apprehend the attackers. Law enforcement might be able to intervene and prevent the attack.

The most realistic outcome of this scenario? The mall would be closed and your appointment canceled... but assuming for the sake of argument that doesn't happen, you might as well go because your odds are certainly no worse than at any other time.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen