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Comment: Vacuum robots (Score 2) 43

I got my wife a Roomba vacuum robot 6 or 7 years ago. She admitted to me that at first she thought it was a waste of money. But after using it for a day or two, she changed her mind completely. We set it up to clean the first floor of our house at night. We just got a Neato BotVac series one this week. It's a big improvement over the older Roomba.We still run the upright vacuum cleaner every couple of weeks. But in a house with three large dogs, it would be a daily chore w/o the robot vacuums. It's not Rosie the robot, but they are a time saver for us.

I think my daughter was a little disappointed. She was expecting to be able to have a conversation with the Roomba one. Or at least R2D2 level of responses.

Comment: Re:With REALLY Huge Fans... (Score 1) 278

by The Grim Reefer (#49595169) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

Like I said, it may never happen. But if it comes to pass that rotten dinosaurs are no longer a viable option, we may launch big fucking computer tracked magnifying glasses into orbit to focus enough energy to make it possible. Or use orbital solar powered lasers, or microwave transmission. We could do the same from the ground, it's probably less likely to cook the general population if it's coming from the ground.

Powered flight in heavier than air craft wasn't possible 150 years ago. Just look at all of the advances there have been in that time. Who knows what the next 150 years will bring.

+ - Mars Rover Curiosity Spotted from Space (Photo)->

Submitted by The Grim Reefer
The Grim Reefer writes: NASA's eagle-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has captured a view of the space agency's Curiosity rover trundling across the Red Planet.

The new MRO photo was taken by the spacecraft's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (HiRISE) on April 8. It shows the car-size Curiosity rover cruising through a valley called Artist's Drive in the foothills of Mount Sharp.

Link to Original Source

+ - Second ever super-rare pocket shark discovered->

Submitted by The Grim Reefer
The Grim Reefer writes: Scientists working off the coast of the US have found something pretty incredible — the second pocket shark ever discovered, some 36 years after the first one was spotted off the coast of Peru.

The team, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), say the tiny creature — which measures just 13 cm (5.5 inches) long — was caught off the coast of Louisiana, where they were observing the feeding habits of sperm whales. It belongs to the genus Mollisquama, which has earned itself the nickname 'pocket shark', not because of its pocked-sized dimensions, but because of the unique and rather mysterious orifice it has above its pectoral fin.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:With REALLY Huge Fans... (Score 2) 278

by The Grim Reefer (#49587065) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

And that's why I finished my post with the following: "It's probably not a practical solution currently. But as efficiencies increase, it's at least feasible it may be at some point in the future."

Battery tech has also been improving recently. There's no reason that it may become much lighter in the future and a combination of PV and batteries may become practical. It's also entirely possible that PV will never reach the necessary efficiencies and batteries don't reach the energy density necessary. That's why I said "may" in both cases.

Comment: Re:With REALLY Huge Fans... (Score 3, Interesting) 278

by The Grim Reefer (#49586521) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

I would think it also depends on when the plane is flying. If it's entire trip is during daylight hours, and it's above the clouds as most larger aircraft flights are, then you may be able to use solar panels in place of the majority of the batteries. Plus you won't have to carry the weight (as much) in fuel.

It's probably not a practical solution currently. But as efficiencies increase, it's at least feasible it may be at some point in the future.

Comment: Re:Why is this even a debate? (Score 2) 346

You do reallze you just included all medical research that respects the confidentiality of human subjects?

As someone who has been involved in several hundred medical research projects (at various institutions), I'm calling BS on this. While some multi-center studies may receive data with patient identifiers, they will either be rejected or scrubbed of these identifiers prior to being added to the database and being analyzed. If an institution is too incompetent to do this, then I'd question the validity of their results anyhow.

Comment: Re:The Best Investment (Score 2) 45

by The Grim Reefer (#49545519) Attached to: Hubble Turns 25

Other fields, particle accelerators, neutrino research etc... that people hardly understand, may not gather the same amount of enthusiasm.

While I agree that people hardly understand other fields, sometimes it's not a bad thing that they're not enthusiastic.

There was plenty of enthusiasm against the LHC. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I don't recall another scientific project of that scale that faced as much public, and even government, concern in my lifetime. Some of those people sounded like they were on the verge of getting out the pitchforks and torches.

Cassini having plutonium fuel was about as close as I can recall, but even that was a blip by comparison to the LHC.

Comment: Re:An airliner water landing... (Score 1) 36

Indeed that was pretty amazing. But he ditched the aircraft. Even the citation for the award in the excerpt below from your link states as such.

The entire crew of Flight 1549 was awarded the Master's Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. The award citation read, "This emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement.

Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 1) 622

by The Grim Reefer (#49530273) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

Also to sell vettes and other crap.

A ton of research goes into Vettes that goes toward lighter materials, aerodynamics, and overall performance. Much of it ends up improving mileage and such in other cars years later. With eco mode, the current Corvette gets 29 mpg on the highway. The current Honda Accord gets 36 MPG.

Additionally, there are a very small number of Vettes sold, and a very small percentage of those see much road time as it is. And most are kept in excellent running condition. You average ecnobox is going to go through more fuel per year than most any Corvette out there.

Disclaimer, I do own a Corvette which I probably average going through less than 200 gallons of gas per year in. Which is quite a bit more than most Vette owners I know go through.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose