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Comment: Re:If they're concerned on picking winners or lose (Score 1) 1030

by beanyk (#45498623) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

AC is because it's dangerous to health to let it be 105F in a workplace.

This is very true. But the problem is that often the AC systems overshoot massively. Usually in a large air-conditioned facility, I find myself shivering because they aim low. In my last job (Texas, a few years ago), several senior staff had space heaters in their offices to bring the temperature back *up* to the 68-72 F level, which is insane. They'd reset the thermostat if they could, but it was a building-wide system, with an idiot at the switch.

Comment: Re:It is a broken system (Score 1) 1145

by beanyk (#43820741) Attached to: White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

However, what makes it s truly broken unit system is that it uses the unit pound for both mass and weight. Yes there have been "hacks" of the system to bring them inline with physical reality so you have the "avoirdupois pound" meaning a mass and the "pound" meaning force. However this means that the units are not clear: when you say "pound" do you mean force or mass?

U.S. Physics textbooks sometimes (always?) use the slug as the standard imperial unit of mass. A force of one pound will accelerate one slug by 1 foot/sec^2. I'd never heard of this slug thingy before moving to the U.S., and I grew up in Ireland, which has the same half-assed approach to metric and imperial as the U.K.

Comment: A secular workplace is a good workplace. (Score 1) 477

I work in a different NASA centre, and while I'm pretty sure two of my coworkers actively practice some kind of religion -- a couple of books in one's office, and the other one wears a yarmulke -- for the most part, I have *no* idea of anyone's religious beliefs or lack of same. Certainly nobody has brought it up in conversation, much less try to convert anyone else.

This is how it should be everywhere outside a church/religious institution.

Comment: Re:stop with the high school journalism headlines (Score 1) 452

by beanyk (#40980485) Attached to: Could You Hack Into Mars Curiosity Rover?

It's a question. Not putting in a question mark would be wrong.

Rewording so that it's not a question would change the meaning too much ("How to hack into the Mars Curiosity Rover"), or be needlessly wordy ("Post on whether it would be possible to hack into the Mars Curiosity Rover").

Comment: Re:FTFA (Score 1) 624

by beanyk (#39118319) Attached to: Damaged US Passport Chip Strands Travelers

There are a lot of countries that recognize each others driver's licenses as proof or that don't require any documents when traveling between them (see all of the EU).

Not "all of the EU", unfortunately. The U.K., for instance, has not signed onto the Schengen Accord that allows for this. And Ireland requires passports too (possibly because it wants to be in lock-step with the U.K., its closest neighbour).

[This was already mentioned by an AC, but (s)he hasn't yet been modded up, and I don't have mod points]

Comment: Re:Lame (Score 1) 495

by beanyk (#38637200) Attached to: How Stephen Hawking Has Defied the Odds For 50 Years

No Nobel prize

Which at this point is surprising to me. He did pioneering work on the physics of black holes, and was the first to theorize on what is now called Hawking Radiation. That seems like a pretty good accomplishment. Do you suppose the relative lack of experimental confirmation keeps him from it?

I think that's more or less it. BH thermodynamics and evaporation are cool ideas, and Hawking has been fundamental in finding links between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. But it's still just an idea, and impossible to verify any time soon, unless something cool happens at the LHC.

Comment: Re:doesn't make much of a difference (Score 1) 1040

by beanyk (#37022224) Attached to: S&P's $2 Trillion Math Mistake

What they did is like killing a chicken, looking at its entrails, and then declaring that because of the intestines, they are confident that 2 + 2 = 4.

More like killing a chicken, looking at its entrails, and then declaring that because of the intestines, they are confident that the chicken is not too healthy.

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