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NASA

Craters Quickly Hidden On Titan 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the aliens-are-stealing-our-craters dept.
MightyMartian writes "NASA scientists say Cassini has discovered that far fewer craters are visible on Titan than on the other moons of Saturn. The craters they have discovered are far shallower than other moons' craters and appear to be filling with hydrocarbon sand. On top of being another reason Titan's active geology is very cool, it adds to the mystery of where all the methane on Titan is coming from. 'The rain that falls from Titan's skies is not water, but contains liquid methane and ethane, compounds that are gases at Earth's temperatures. ... The source of Titan's methane remains a mystery because methane in the atmosphere is broken down over relatively short time scales by sunlight. Fragments of methane molecules then recombine into more complex hydrocarbons in the upper atmosphere, forming a thick, orange smog that hides the surface from view. Some of the larger particles eventually rain out onto the surface, where they appear to get bound together to form the sand.'"

Comment: Didn't Work Out Too Well Before (Score 3, Interesting) 94

by Snap E Tom (#42454959) Attached to: Buffalo Bills Going the <em>Moneyball</em> Route With Analytics

Football is fundamentally different from baseball and basketball. It has a lot more strategy, deception, teamwork, and on-the-fly communication between players. Something that happens innocently on one side of the field often has tremendous consequences on the other side. All this is very hard to quantify in a statistical model. For example, if your star receiver is shut down for a game, that might be because he's drawing double or triple coverage. Sure, his stats are low, but your slot and split ends can now have a field day.

The San Francisco 49ers tried a sabermetrics in their crappy years this past decade. Pioneered by the head of player personnel Paraag Marathe, they fielded a bunch of .500 and sub .500 teams before they moved him more to the business end of things and went with more traditional executives at talent evaluation.

Comment: Anything That's Intellectually Stimulating To You (Score 1) 514

by Snap E Tom (#42336559) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: 2nd Spoken/Written Language For Software Developer?

In the 80's, I was told we would all be speaking Japanese very soon, and I needed to learn it.
In the 90's, it became Spanish.
In the Aught's, it became Chinese.

We're not all speaking Japanese, and in the US, unless you're in landscaping or the fast food business, how often do you need Spanish?

Don't pay attention to the so-called futurists that have such a great vision of future society. Pick something you like and go for it. I grew up in the Western US and learned German in high school. Never did me a lick of good until I went to Germany for a few days this past summer, but it was fun to learn and close enough to English to not be hugely difficult to learn. Learning Hebrew's on my list this year. It's pretty much going to be useless because I'm not Jewish, but what the hell. It's interesting to me.

Comment: Business Model Still an Issue? (Score 1) 306

by Snap E Tom (#33598714) Attached to: Facebook Competitor Diaspora Revealed

Last I checked, the hosting was either going to be you download and run it on your own server, or you pay them X dollars for them to host it for you. Is that still going to be the case? If so, this thing is dead in the water because Aunt Jane has no idea what a web server is, and she's not going to buy hosting from Diaspora when Facebook is free.

Earth

Scientists Cut Greenland Ice Loss Estimate By Half 414

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-bad-after-all dept.
bonch writes "A new study on Greenland's and West Antarctica's rate of ice loss halves the estimate of ice loss. Published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study takes into account a rebounding of the Earth's crust called glacial isostatic adjustment, a continuing rise of the crust after being smashed under the weight of the Ice Age. 'We have concluded that the Greenland and West Antarctica ice caps are melting at approximately half the speed originally predicted,' said researcher Bert Vermeeersen."

Comment: Re:Shining Example (Score 1) 389

by Snap E Tom (#31690948) Attached to: <em>Stand and Deliver</em> Teacher Jaime Escalante Dies

http://www.heavingdeadcats.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/religiousness-breakdown.png

Citations at the bottom.

IQ's citation goes to a page on top50states.com which cites a Morgan Quitno study and describes the methodology that gave the score. Although the chart shows California in a 4-way tie for third worst, the citation breaks down the score into tenths, and has California as third worst.

Medicine

High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats 542

Posted by timothy
from the subsidies-cause-fatter-corn-farmers dept.
krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"
Earth

Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-where-will-we-get-our-superheroes dept.
separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"

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