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Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 5, Insightful) 270

Give me a break. This is all about climate change, something which has a solid scientific consensus. Conservative denial of this is just as bad as their desire to push Creationism and Intelligent Design into schools. These threatened researchers are not doing politically motivated work.

Face it, if these goons had their way they would be defunding anything that wasn't explicitly endorsed in the Bible.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 2) 270

NPR has been the whipping boy of conservative politicians for decades. They have been threatened with defunding many times. Because of this NPR has developed alternative sources of funds.

At present only about 10% of its revenues come from the Federal Government. NPR generally uses these attempts by Republicans to defund as a fund raising motivators.

I have heard some NPR employees say they wish the Feds would defund them. It would allow them more independence in their editorial content and would likely increase their income.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Comment: Re:And less than four years later... (Score 4, Interesting) 204

by the eric conspiracy (#47494921) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

It won't be long before the 12 human beings to walk on the moon are dead. Already we are down 8. Soon there will be no living person who has walked on another world.

I wonder if time will show this period to be the high water mark of the human race. With all the existential threats facing us it could work out this way.

Comment: Re:Drug use versus crime (Score 1) 473

It's very unlikely that the different crime would be as rewarding financially.

The current situation results in huge flows of money into criminal organizations to the point where it destabilizes governments and funds massive corruption. Particularly in South and Central America.

One of the major items in the current news is the flood of children from central america into the US. What is the root cause of this? The flow of money from the US to drug cartels in their countries of origin.

Fix the drug problem in the United States and the flood of drug money to these criminals will dry up. It's very unlikely they will be able to find anything nearly as lucrative.

Comment: Re:Evolution (Score 1) 253

by Bruce Perens (#47485313) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

:-)

You make it sound like starving people are getting fat too.

If they are becoming obese, the particular individual has a surplus of caloric intake, if only for this year or month. This is not to say that they have proper nutrition. So I am not at all clear that the fact that there is obesity in the third world is confounding evidence.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.

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