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Comment: Re:Bikes lanes are nice (Score 1) 213

by Will.Woodhull (#47865377) Attached to: Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

An excellent time for a century ride (100 miles) is under 6 hours. Or 17+ mph. Most commuter bicyclists do about 15 mph.

However most automotive traffic on the downtown streets of every city I have seen in the last 20 odd years never exceed 20 mph, and spend a lot of time waiting at stop lights. They probably average between 5 and 10 mph. Bicycles usually leave them in the dust, waiting for a light to turn, etc.

Comment: Re:Bikes lanes are nice (Score 2) 213

by Will.Woodhull (#47865261) Attached to: Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

But getting rid of those bikers, which honestly do not belong on the road, could only of helped.

That's just really bad logic.

A bicycle doesn't take up anywhere near as much road space as a car. On crowded downtown streets, where cars cannot travel faster than bikes, every person on a bike is one less vehicle in your gridlock. And one less competitor for that parking space you are looking for. Bikes make a helluvalot of sense in highly trafficked areas, and bike lanes which encourage more people to use bicycles is one of the best things that can be done to improve the commutes of automobile drivers.

Comment: Re:Neanderthals = Humans (Score 2) 91

by Will.Woodhull (#47807683) Attached to: Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

Most of today's works of art would not survive 10,000 years neglect, the exception being stonework. And we have done very little of that in the last hundred years. If we went away tomorrow, visitors to Earth 10,000 years from now would have trouble determining whether some of our contemporary art was done before or after the Lascaux cave paintings.

So cave art is special in that way.

It is also special because this old stuff was done in the flickering and moving light of torches. Photographs do not capture the art, especially in this type of petroglyph where the changing shadows as a torch was brought toward the work or moved from side to side would have been the point of the grooves.

It would be cool to model these in Blender or Maya, and make movies using a point source of light as the light changed intensity and was moved about. Or just take movies of the original cave art as someone carried a torch toward, away, and across it. The art here is definitely in the shadows, not the physical grooves.

Cave art is special in this way, too: we are not seeing it as the artist intended it to be seen. It is probably a lot more sophisticated than what the camera shows.

Comment: The FedEx bomber (Score 1) 52

by Will.Woodhull (#47784689) Attached to: Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

Google is always doing weird experimental shit. So this is not news.

What would be news is what FedEx or UPS are working on wrt drones. Imagine a FedEx jet flying high over a city, its bombay doors opening to spill out a fleet drone quadcopters that deliver the goods to designated rooftop landing pads. Imagine a world where technology is paying as much attention to the last 2,000 (vertical) feet of delivery as we do to the last mile of communications.

Comment: Re:Good way to make yourself ill (Score 2) 133

by Will.Woodhull (#47784601) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

Yeah, because what was good enough for the Roman slaves and medieval serfs is obviously the best life style for everybody.

Look to our roots in hunting/gathering, and you find there was no set pattern for sleep. When picking berries, you slept in the shade when it was too hot or at camp when it was too dark; otherwise you picked while watching the sunrise and picked while watching the sun set. When the smelt were running, you scooped up fish in the moonlight, cleaned fish as the sun rose, gathered wood and greenery for the smoking fires in the morning, and took long siestas during the heat of the day.

Our ancestors may have averaged 8 or 10 hours of sleep in a day, but for the most part it was in bits and pieces. Mostly no more than 4-6 hours at any one time, with the rest in siestas or naps as tasks allowed.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal verification (Score 2) 133

by Will.Woodhull (#47784367) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

I've done this for years, and didn't even know it was a thing. Seems to work.

Works for me too, especially when bumping into dead ends doing creative work.

I'm a writer; I can put in a solid day's work on the proofreading and minor editing/revision aspects, but sometimes spend days or weeks trying to find a good point of view for a scene, or effective way to present character development. Best thing when realizing I've just spent half a day writing crap: have a cup of coffee and nap 15 minutes.

Comment: Re:NT is best (Score 1) 190

by Will.Woodhull (#47747361) Attached to: Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

And yet involving yourself or your company in the Microsoft ecosystem continues to be a waste of your resources.

For all core business functions, the Linux ecosystem, despite its pimples and occasionally awkward behavior, now offers the better current and future value. And it is rapidly completing its maturation and as it does so its complexion is clearing up and it is continuing to replace its remaining adolescent behaviors with more sophisticated ways of getting along in adult society.

Microsoft's best long term strategy is to convert its software to open source and merge it into the Linux ecosystem while developing support services as its primary source of revenue. That has worked for IBM; it could work as well for Microsoft. But it means that Microsoft needs to embrace FOSS and begin extinguishing its own proprietary software while learning to dance to the music the rest of the world is tuned in on (rather than dancing to whatever it is that is that it has been playing on its own private ear buds).

Flamebait? Or an insightful summation of the situation? You decide. Since even the author of this post doesn't know which he has done.

Comment: Re:Dobsonian (Score 1) 187

by Will.Woodhull (#47742183) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

All I would add to this is that from my experience as a kid with a 4 in reflector in 3 or 4 foot cardboard tube (good EQ mount) is that high power eye pieces may not be very useful, due to vibration in the tube. So I would suggest getting a low power and a medium power eyepiece to start, and being very careful about buying high power eyepieces.

Unfortunately my experience was too long ago for me to remember what magnification my eye pieces were. But others might chime in...

Comment: Re:Dobsonian (Score 1) 187

by Will.Woodhull (#47742147) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

The problem mentioned in parent post was not due to the type of mount. But due to a mismatch between the quality of the optics and the amount of money spent on the mount.

A 10 inch reflector needs to be mounted on a stand weighing several hundred pounds or there is not enough mass/inertia to make use of the 'scope's capability. There will be too much vibration just from persons walking near by.

You can't put fine optics on a cheap mount of any kind and get acceptable performance. And any mount that would be knocked off calibration by a slight bump is not good enough for a 10 in mirror.

Comment: Re:Dobsonian (Score 2) 187

by Will.Woodhull (#47742071) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

I disagree with parent. An equatorial mount is the way to go, short of a computer controlled motorized mount of any kind.

The problem is not that of initially pointing the 'scope at the celestial object. Anyone can do that with either type of mount. The problem is tracking the object after it is found. An equatorial mount that locks the scope to the object's track is the only way to go within an affordable price range.

I was 12 or 13 yo when my Dad decided that I showed enough interest in astronomy to be worthy of owning a telescope. My birthday present that year was a used 4 inch reflector on an equatorial mount with a couple of eye pieces. I loved that thing.

I can attest that a 13 yo can learn to use an equatorial mount with ease, including aligning it properly with a magnetic compass, which also involved learning to adjust for the difference between magnetic and true North. All of which was fascinating. I learned all this without adult supervision (Dad was not into astronomy), and I am certain that a motivated younger child could easily learn all this with good adult direction.

The frustrations I encountered with this first telescope experience were in aligning the mirror and aligning the spotting scope with the main tube. In retrospect it would have been much better if an adult had done those things for me. Other sources of frustration were that the spotting scope's crosshairs were not very visible in the dark, and that scope's tube was not rigid enough for the higher power eyepiece to be of much use (too much vibration and jitters). These details should probably be considered when making the purchase.

Don't discount craigslist, etc, as a good source for a used telescope. Some who start with an entry level 'scope lose interest and sell their's, others upgrade to better equipment when they can. A second hand 'scope from someone who is spending beaucoup bucks on a better replacement is likely to be in excellent working order, and could be a really good deal. Plus, often the seller would willingly give a potential buyer a free night time demo, with rings of Saturn or moons of Jupiter...

Oh yeah, there is prob'ly an amateur astronomy club around you somewhere. They put on star gazing parties where a person could look at a number of different set-ups and get a lot of info from their owners.

Comment: Re:Tectonics (Score 3, Funny) 90

by Will.Woodhull (#47741815) Attached to: Western US Drought Has Made Earth's Crust Rise

Yes, the two findings (CA rising and 6.0 equake) are closely related. As has become common knowledge, the San Andreas fault is about to slip in a majorily massive way, and all of the USA east of it is going to sink into the Atlantic Ocean.

Oh. And what RealHocusLocus said about you typing during an equake...

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig

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