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Comment: Huh? (Score 1) 211

by Black Parrot (#48920405) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

GRBs clearly haven't prevented life in *our* galaxy, so the Fermi Paradox still stands.

The caluculations probably rule out life in the core of our galaxy, but systems further out would be exposed even less often than ours is. And even though GRBs can periodically sterilize a planet, their directionality means that one burst would not likely sterilize all the planets in an intercellar civilization simultaneously.

So, to modify what someone said above, we can add another term to the Drake equation, but this doesn't do much to answer Fermi.

Comment: Re:We Really Don't (Score 1) 152

by Black Parrot (#48910827) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

Sorry... I was going for the joke and didn't pitch it very well. My actual views are more like yours.

As for the reality of the subject matter, I would borrow the concept of "probably approximately correct" from machine learning, and give it a 90-95% chance of being ~80% correct. (The 80% is lower to allow room for some more big discoveries like inflation.)

Unfortunately, people will be (hopefully) studying this for thousands of years on top of the <100 we have so far, and none of us will live to see how it turns out in the long term.

Comment: Re:I have an idea.. (Score 1) 453

It's like the old Texan saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, can't get fooled again."

I always heard it as: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

And of course, the word of choice usually wasn't "fool".

(Is this really a regional saying?)

Comment: Ozane (Score 2) 351

by MillionthMonkey (#48899095) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Nobody uses these names, but technically the IUPAC systematic name for ammonia is "azane", and water is "ozane". (Google says they're a Star Refrigeration subsidiary in the US and an exterminator business in New Jersey.)

I'm imagining Slashdot stories like "Fracking Fluid Contains Significant Amounts of Ozane", "Ozane Responsible For Rising Sea Levels", "Guantanamo Prisoners Tortured Using Ozane", "Oncoming Ozane Crisis Threatens Civilization", "Weak Beer Found To Contain Excess Amounts of Ozane", "Linus Torvalds: Ozane Has No Role In Linux", "Ozane Layer Disappearing Along East Coast", "Tesla Motors Introducing Ozane-Based Fuel Cells", etc.

Comment: Re:People who don't read it are telling us about i (Score 2) 65

by MillionthMonkey (#48893893) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11
That's got to be a large part of it; they're a waste of space. Imagine a stack of hundreds of those things, turned on their sides. They would occupy a whole seat. With Skymall gone they can compress your knees further into the back of the guy in front of you and cram in an extra row of pig crates.

Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks.

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