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+ - Venus and Jupiter: Together at Last->

The Grim Reefer writes: Anyone who pays even cursory attention to the evening sky has surely noticed that the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, have been drawing closer together in the west in the evening twilight. At the beginning of June, the two planets were 20 degrees apart in the sky, about twice the width of your fist held at arm's length. Week by week, Jupiter and the stars behind it have gradually slipped lower in the evening twilight. But Venus, due to its rapid orbital motion around the Sun, has stayed high up.

But now the spectacle is taking an even more dramatic turn — one you just can't miss. For eight nights beginning June 27th, these two bright planets will be within 2 degrees of each other — close enough to cover both with the thumb of an outstretched hand. In the midst of that weeklong run, on June 30th, Venus and Jupiter will appear so close together — just 1/3 of a degree apart — that they'll look like a tight, brilliant double star in the evening sky. You'll be able to cover both with the tip of an outstretched pinky finger.

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Comment: Re:Or (Score 1) 103 103

Impact of build-up during a single flight surely falls below the point where applying and maintaining a fancy coating is cheaper than having Jose hos-e off the bugs.

I can imagine a flight out of Orlando Florida in August could easily make this worthwhile. I'm not sure if speed makes any actual difference for the number of bugs that get hit, but it always seemed like I had a lot more bugs splattered on my car when I drove faster. If so, a plane certainly hits higher speeds than I have in a car.

Comment: Re:you never hear of having USN nuclear problems (Score 3, Informative) 257 257

I'm guessing you're younger than I am, as Three Mile Island is what did in nuclear power in the US. The movie, The China Syndrome coming out at th he same time even gave the media a catchy term to go with it. Chernobyl was just more proof for the masses to realize how correct they were in their fears. Or that's what the no nuke crowd successfully told everyone.

Comment: Re:Sure ... (Score 3, Funny) 151 151

And why would it take 5-6 hours for emergency help to arrive? This thing is not in the middle of nowhere, it is following I-5 between LA and SF.

A couple of fender benders during rush hour on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it will take 5-6 hours to go 4 car lengths. ;-)

Comment: Re:I hate and despise - but they should still be s (Score 1) 814 814

How very white of you...

How very presumptuous of of you.

If Amazon is going to stop selling the Confederate battle flag, then why are they still selling the Japanese battle flag? How many millions of Chinese citizens died under this flag?

How may native Americans died under the 26 star American flag? There were at least 12 million native Americans killed in the US under various iterations of the American flag. Why should that still be sold by Amazon? Oh yeah, because there's less than a quarter million of them left to complain.

Someone can be offended by just about anything on the planet. This is just getting silly.

Comment: Re:I hate and despise - but they should still be s (Score 1) 814 814

Look, the Confederate flag means slavery, hatred, bigotry and treason against the USA.

Does it? I was born in the northeast and am now located in the south. Race riots were in full swing when I was a kid. I have no love for the Confederate anything and don't feel it should be flown on federal buildings, and probably not state buildings either. But if someone wants to purchase one, then they damn well should be allowed to.

I don't hang out with racists, so I don't know what that flag represents to everyone who chooses to display it. If they claim it's not due to racism, then I'm inclined to believe it. The civil war is over and the south lost. I wasn't around 150 years ago, so I'll reserve judgement on what it was over. But if someone feels it simply represents their heritage, then so be it. In the city I live in, it's been part of the city seal for well over 100 years. Now there's debate about changing this. The British flag is also part of that seal. Shouldn't it be removed too? After all, at one point it represented oppression too.

The swastika was around for a couple thousand years before the Nazi party decided to adopt it as their symbol. (and no, I'm not trying to Godwin this post, it's just a very commonly known symbol). If a group can adopt a symbol that is meant to represent prosperity and turn it into what is now associated with evil. Why can't a flag that represented something bad be reclaimed as something else? It is happening with all kinds of things these days. There's a Jewish magazine called "Heeb". That was considered a very derogatory term when I was much younger. I've been referred to as "nigga" by friends, which I find offensive no matter who it comes from. But it's the intent that's more important than the word, symbol, or flag in this case.

It's supposed to be a free country. If someone wants to be a racist ass, then so be it. As long as they aren't infringing on anyone else's rights, they should be free to be as stupid as they wish to be. The First Amendment is not there to protect speech that everyone agrees with.

Comment: Re:Keep your old cars (Score 1) 165 165

Obviously. That's why I added the last sentence to my post. I currently have a 2003 Olds Aurora. It's getting difficult to find certain parts for it. But there aren't a lot of them and they aren't something that people are looking to modify. Plus with GM killing Olds...

Years ago I had a Cadillac Seville that parts were scarce for before it was 10 years old. I needed a new pan for the transmission when it was 8 years old. It was discontinued and no one had one in stock, nor could I source one from a junkyard. Apparently everyone else bottomed those out too. I ended up getting a machine shop to fix it. I got 320,000 miles out of that car. It just wouldn't die.

Comment: Super-car? (Score 5, Interesting) 132 132

I'm not sure I'd call this a super-car per se. If you go to the company website you can see the interior. It has one seat. Which makes it more of a track car. They compare it to a Veyron, which has two leather seats and other amenities. The seat also appears to be more analogous to a mesh office chair than a car seat So I can't imagine it's terribly supportive during high G cornering, unless you have the seat custom made to fit the owner. I'd also like to see skid pad, slalom numbers, etc. If all they're going to give are straight line numbers, at top fuel dragster can go 0-100 mph in .9 seconds. They did a lot of cool stuff to make it light, but I'd like to know more about the suspension and handling.

Comment: Re: Keep your old cars (Score 1) 165 165

After market parts are being produced for bugs by a bunch of companies. That's a perfect example of a car that you'll probably be able to get parts for after we run out of oil.They were a cheap car that has a devoted following, and easily modified. I remember back in the 1980's you could mail order all the parts you needed to build one from JC Whitney. I don't know if there's still a single source that carries everything to do so now, but there are enough companies making replacement parts that you could do so.

I can't say I ever worked on a bug engine, but plenty of solid lifter V8's in my youth. I'd guess you could get aftermarket hydraulic lifters for bugs by now and eliminate the need to set the valve lash. You can probably get disc brake kits too and eliminate the need to adjust drums. If you're using dino oil, I'd change it every 3K miles in any car. Synthetic will last longer. I assume the timing is like any other engine. So it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to check with a timing light and a piece of chalk, and a couple more to change.

Comment: Re:No National Center for Men & Tech...? (Score 2) 471 471

So you're saying boys are being discriminated against when it comes to computer science? People are saying such as 'boys aren't good at math or technology'

Get your head out of your ass sometime.

I'm not saying that there's not some level of discrimination against women, or any other group for that matter. But I don't think discrimination is the sole, or probably even the biggest factor here.

I have a daughter and I see how society in general treats and raises girls. I never raised her to believe she needed to be a cute little princess, nor did I discourage it. I supported anything educational and fun that I didn't feel was harmful to her. And never once told her there was something that she couldn't do simply because she was a girl. She excels in school and is in every advanced placement class there is and is taking math at two grades higher than her other classmates.

Then I see how much differently her friends parents raise their kids. Girls are given play kitchens and princess movies. WTF? I got those things for my daughter when she wanted them. But I also got her a microscope, dinosaurs, and other things she asked for that are generally reserved for boys. She also had a computer of her own at two years old and a bunch of edutainment programs. The only thing she wanted for her 7th birthday was to have her computer hooked up to the internet. She's on some of the social media sites now, but she used it for her school reports and to put together various presentations for science classes.

I've also witnessed some of her male classmates be chastised by their parents for being outdone by my daughter. I couldn't tell you how many times I heard parents tell their sons to "man up" because of something they couldn't or wouldn't do that my daughter could. This happens with mothers as much as fathers, surprisingly.

I grew up poor and lived in areas that I'm guessing most on /. would be scared to even drive through in an armored vehicle. It was also a very different time. So between being poor and the stigma of being smart making you a "nerd", it wasn't easy to follow your interests and not get into fights over it. I got into plenty of scraps in my youth. So, yes, I can remember a time when boys were discriminated against who were into technology. Some of that probably still exists in poorer areas.

But I guess it's easier to blame an industry for these shortcomings rather than our society in general.

Counting in binary is just like counting in decimal -- if you are all thumbs. -- Glaser and Way