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Comment: Re:oh the Irony (Score 1) 597 597

Well, as soon as someone invents the AC battery we can switch back...

Ok, like this one? Flywheels store energy mechanically instead of chemically, and you can get get ac electrical output about as easily as you get dc. Just depends on your generator / converter setup.

Comment: Re:Let's just humour them (Score 2) 235 235

You fail to understand what scientists know versus what they speculate about.

Not really. They're very clear about that. It's a requirement of science that you enumerate all of your assumptions, and quantify uncertainties whenever possible.

Making the assumption that they are even somewhat accurate about the big bang (unlikely)

For example, that's not an assumption. The general idea behind the big bang, that the universe was once infinitely small and it expanded, can be used to make certain predictions regarding what you expect to see when you look out in all directions, what you expect to see in the CMB, etc. You can precisely measure how accurate those predictions match up with experiments, and it's really, REALLY accurate.. Check out the text that goes with that graph: "Graph of cosmic microwave background spectrum measured by the FIRAS instrument on the COBE, the most precisely measured black body spectrum in nature. The error bars are too small to be seen even in an enlarged image, and it is impossible to distinguish the observed data from the theoretical curve."

What that boils down to is that your statement about how unlikely it is that scientific theories are "even somewhat accurate about the big bang" is provably an incorrect statement, based on our best available measurements. If you want to make an argument for your case, you need to bring something more to the table than, "I personally feel like scientists are speculating and can't possibly have a high likelyhood of stumbling upon what actually happened." The people you're criticizing have data. You have a feeling. You need to bring in some data, at which point I and everybody else will be glad to accept that our previous theories were wrong. The Lumineferous Ether was accepted theory, but when Michelson and Morley couldn't detect it using their inteferometer, and Einstein showed up with special relativity as an alternative with supporting data gathered from the 1919 solar eclipse, the Ether theory was destroyed. Scientists do not fear being proven wrong. However, you do have to bring evidence with you.

Everything is just speculation from unimaginative scientists who think they know what happened 14 billion years ago at some random spot that they can't even point their finger in the general direction of.

See? You're criticizing a theory that you don't even understand. Scientists can point to you the spot the Big Bang happened, exactly. So can I. It happened where I'm standing right now. At the exact spot that I'm standing. It also happened at the exact same spot you're standing. And at the exact center of the Andromeda galaxy. And exactly at whatever spot you pick at the edges of the milky way. Or any spot at all in the universe: Every spot in the universe is the center of the universe. The Big Bang isn't matter spreading into existing space. The space in which matter exists is expanding. Check out that video, it explains it really well.

That does not mean that space was not infinitely large while at the same time infinitely small, its all a matter of perspective. Outside looking in, its infinitely small, inside looking out its infinitely large.

This right there is the difference between speculation and scientific hypothesis. "Something that looks small from one perspective can look big from another perspective, so whose to say what's infinitely small or infinitely large" is hand-waving. Scientists don't do that. They tell you what they mean by small, and when. At roughly 10^-43 s after the Big Bang, the universe was 10^-35 m. That's the end of the Planck Epock. During the Inflationary Epoch, the universe grew to about 10 cm by 10^-32 s. These numbers are, admittedly by everyone, highly speculative, because there's no good theory of quantum gravity at the moment. However, using the laws of physics as we currently understand them, those numbers are arrived at. With actual formulas, with numbers arrived at through actual measurements. What do you have for your hand-wavering?

Note: We can't get an accurate police report 20 minutes after the event with 20 eye witnesses, but many are dead set that we KNOW what happened during the big bang. When you think about things like this, use your head and think about the police report.

That's because eye-witness report is highly unreliable. It's the worst way of gathering evidence in existence. Human memory is malleable, it's flawed. That's why when we convict people of crimes, we try to gather evidence using science. Recorded video, fingerprint dusting, DNA matching, ballistics. Those scientific tools are actually highly reliable. You know, the same tools we use to probe the origin of our universe.

Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220 220

Although I've been a pro for 3 decades, I wouldn't want to be called an expert. The latest fads...

Expert doesn't mean all-knowing, nor does it mean you encompass knowledge of every last detail in the field. What it does mean is that you have the training and experience to be relied upon for advice by your peers. That's it. An understanding of what you don't know is a prerequisite for being an expert. Otherwise you'll give bad advice instead of saying, "that's not my area of expertise, go ask someone else."

Are you someone your peers go to for advice, and is your advice considered reliable by them? Congratulations, you're an expert.

Comment: Re:That's unpossible. (Score 1) 212 212

Let me know when you figure out how to burn something without producing heat.

The amount of heat matters. Internal combustion engines are ~40% efficient at absolute best. Electric motors are ~98% efficient.

They're both producing waste heat, but one is producing *a lot* less per mile driven.

Comment: Re:Literally? (Score 2) 645 645

There's a pretty big difference between targetting locations strategically and torturing / killing a prisoner that has already been rendered unable of doing you harm.

If you want to have an apt analogy, I say our treatment of Guantanamo prisoners and other "enemy combatents" that we've so labeled for the sole purpose of not extending them the rights of prisoners of war is the valid one. I agree that behavior is despicable, and it doesn't get enough attention.

Dropping bombs on combatants is absolutely fair game. It's not pretty, I don't like that we have to, but war necessarily involves killing people. Anyone purposefully bombing civilians is not ok (collateral damage is often unavoidable, but we must aim to minimize it). Anyone torturing or killing prisoners, civilians or otherwise, is not ok on either side.

Comment: Re:Communication has never been secure (Score 1) 562 562

The USA founding fathers lived with the knowledge that they would be held accountable for what they said and wrote, and today it's no different.

You mean people like Madison and Hamilton, who wrote the Federalist Papers under a pseudonym to keep their authorship of them secret?

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 272 272

We probably could but it might take devoting the entire worlds GDP for a decade or so and there is noway that would happen. We need the technological advances so that it would approach affordability.

I agree with you that there's a lot we could accomplish if we were willing to spend the money, but I honestly think we're still at the stage where this is a technology problem, not a resources one. I don't think we can build electronics that could function for 1,000 years, so I definitely don't think we have a system that can keep life support active for humans in a generational ship for 1,000 years...right now we're seriously questioning our capability of shielding astronauts from radiation on a trip to Mars. Resource-wise, we have extremely efficient methods for recycling water and air on the ISS, but our best still requires resupply missions with both of those resources. We've tried experiments like Biosphere 2 to run a fully self-contained environment only to see CO2 levels fluctuate and oxygen levels drop dramatically to the point they had to start pumping oxygen in out of concern for the researchers inside. Many species sealed in started dying off outright, except for things like ants and cockroaches which actually thrived, because cockroaches thrive anywhere. This wasn't a case of not having enough money to do it right, they did everything they thought was necessary to keep the place completely sealed...we just learned during the research process about a lot of things that weren't accounted for.

Don't get me wrong, I think we'll eventually get there. But I think right now if we discovered this all life on this planet would die off in 100 years and the only hope for humanity was a 100% confirmed habitable planet 16 light-years away and put every single one of our resources for the next 100 years to try to get a generational colony ship built and launched 100 years from today...well, I think our species is done for. We'd launch something, but everyone aboard would die before they make it as far as Saturn.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 272 272

Even with current technology we could theoretically make a 16 ly journey in somewhere around 1,000 years.

No, we couldn't. We don't have the technology right now to build a multi-generational ship. We don't even have the technology right now to send an unmanned probe that would still be powered by the time it got there. We don't even have the technology right now to build an unmanned probe that would shut itself down and bring itself back up after 1000 years. Hell, it's hard to find a motherboard from the 80's that doesn't need capacitors replaced before it can be booted up again.

Who knows what kind of technology we'll have in 300,000 years, though. And the closest the destination, the more likely something can actually get there.

Comment: Re:There is a set of speeds and driving conditions (Score 1) 128 128

It's true but... There's a guy in Ottawa who's been blogging about his Nissan Leaf through 3 winters... One technique he uses to extend winter range is to pre-heat the interior of the car by plugging it in at home/work, even if only a 120vac outlet because the interior of the car will already be warm by the time he gets in to drive. Then he keeps the interior relatively cool while using the seat heater and steering wheel heater to keep himself comfortable. https://canadianleaf.wordpress...

Oh, there's all sorts of way to extend winter range dramatically, what you describe being one of the most effective ones. However, since I was replying to someone who was implying the driving conditions to achieve advertised range may be unusual, I felt it would be deceptive on my part to give him the range I can achieve through careful finagling instead of the range I get if I just get in the car and drive without any special considerations.

Comment: Re:There is a set of speeds and driving conditions (Score 5, Informative) 128 128

"There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles"

42 mph , downhill with a tail wind...

To be fair to Tesla, the driving conditions for their range estimates are actually usually very realistic. I have a 60 kWh Model S, and I match rated range while driving 65 mph in the summer with air conditioning on. It gets significantly worse in winter, and it gets much better in nice 65-70 degree weather days.

Comment: Re:The Conservative Option (Score 2) 487 487

An Ebola outbreak in the US is undesirable by pretty much everybody here, except maybe for people with stock in the companies producing cures and vaccines.

An Ebola outbreak in the US is also pretty much impossible. Listen to the experts, people: it's not a highly infectious disease. Lack of first world hygiene standards is the reason it's spreading all over certain parts of Africa. The virus isn't even airborne, you have to come in direct contact with the person who is sick or with their bodily fluids.

If Sgt. Monning caught Ebola, is because we've committed the absolutely stupid act of allowing people to go in to a patient's apartment, where he likely was sweating all over furniture and other items, without any protective gear. It's incredibly unfortunate, and whatever the outcome, hopefully we do the right thing in the future. Once a patient is identified, people only come in contact with them or their stuff while wearing protective gear. And we send in people to disinfect the areas of risk, like the victims apartment. Problem solved, Ebola virus contained. There's no need to do absolutely anything else that we're not already doing (which includes asking people coming to the US from areas of high risk whether they've been in contact with anyone who has had the disease).

Comment: Re:Ignobel Material .... (Score 1) 83 83

... Really? This wasn't suspected, hadn't been demonstrated a million times over? Wow, curiousity an important factor in learning?! Who knew? OH, EVERYONE!

Sadly, there are some real researchers who still aren't funded.

I'm seeing a lot of posts like yours, and you're all missing the point. Of course interest and curiosity in a subject helps learning within that field. The interesting part about this study is that when you're brain is in that state, you're better at learning about unrelated subjects that you have no interest in. The point isn't that people remembered the trivia questions they were interested in better, it's that they remembered the unrelated faces better.

I experience this myself in a weird way. I have no better than average memory for day to day things. I don't necessarily remember what I had to eat for lunch two days ago. However, I was always a big movie buff and for some reason I remember details associated with watching every movie I've ever seen in the theater that have nothing to do with the movie itself. I remember which theater I went to, what day of the week it was, what time of day it was, who was there with me, where we sat relative to each other, where we went to eat before or after...I remember this stuff going as far back as when I was 6 years old. For a little window around the movies, I have an increased ability to recall details that simply doesn't exist at any other time.

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker

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