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Comment: Re:Al Franken? (Score 0, Troll) 81

Agreed. Not so sure about Ronald Reagan not being a good representative of the people, he's highly respected. I recall a recent poll on how people felt about the Presidents we've had in the last 50 years and Reagan ranked highly if not on top.

While making a good joke takes intelligence I doubt that is what people were thinking when they voted for him. I think they voted on name recognition. The guy was a clown before his political career. He played complete idiots on TV. Reagan had his time as a clown in the movies (Bedtime for Bonzo!) but he also did serious roles.

I just don't recall Franken ever acting seriously even when not in character. I only saw him being a goofball. Steve Martin is another clown that has shown himself to be very talented and intelligent. I just cannot see him running for elected office because when I hear his name I think of the line, "I was born a poor black child."

I'm just baffled on how this guy got into office.

Comment: Al Franken? (Score -1, Troll) 81

When I hear his name what first comes to mind is the skit I saw of him playing as a inept news reporter with a fake satellite dish on his head. I find it hard to take anything this guy says seriously regardless of the topic.

How do clowns like this get into office? In this case "clown" can be taken literally.

Comment: Great! Let's get started. (Score 1) 387

by blindseer (#47422361) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

I think it's a great idea to have electric cars and 60% of our electricity come from nuclear power. I don't believe this because I believe AGW is real, I believe this because I think basing an economy on foreign sourced energy is a very bad idea.

Whether AGW is real or not the world needs to stop giving gobs of money to Mideastern dictators. They just use that money to build themselves palaces so they don't have to look at the people they exploit, or they build armies to wage holy wars on their neighbors. If nuclear power becomes more common then we'd stop having these resource wars over diminishing oil resources. Uranium and thorium are common enough that no one should have to fight over it.

People will still fight wars of course. They will just have to be more creative in coming up with a reason besides oil.

Comment: Re:Come now. (Score 2) 102

by blindseer (#47422267) Attached to: How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

Plutonium has a half life somewhere between thousands and millions of years. It's too stable for use as a dirty bomb. For something to be a radiological threat it would have to have a half-life on par with a human lifespan, or much shorter.

Typically a dirty bomb is used to scare or kill people off long enough that the area is abandoned but not so long that the attacker could not take over the area for their own use. Even if the attacker did not want to make use of the bombed area, and just wanted to deny it's use to anyone, something with a long half life is still undesirable. The longer the half life the more material the bomb would have to carry to irradiate a given area. With a half life of thousands of years there would have to be 100x more material than if a material with a half life of tens of years.

A more practical dirty bomb would use something like cobalt, tritium, cesium, strontium, or polonium.

Another problem with plutonium in a dirty bomb is that it's relatively inert chemically and very dense. Cleaning up plutonium would be almost trivial since it does not collect in the body, sinks like a stone in water, and only reacts with the most caustic of chemicals. Tritium would make drinking water and plant life radioactive for decades. Strontium likes to collect in the bones and irradiate people from the inside out.

Plutonium on the other hand likes to wash off, collect at the bottom of things, isn't taken up by plant or animal life readily, and has a half life so long that even if it collects in the body is unlikely to decay within a human life span.

You know, I scare myself sometimes that I know this stuff.

Comment: Why is the flight deck on top? (Score 1) 464

If we are going to discuss the windows on an airplane, and the placement of the flight deck, then let's consider other alternatives to a windowless flight deck.

One thing that has crossed my mind before is why the pilot is on the top of the plane. Above the plane is just air, below is where the runway is always going to be. Why not place the flight deck low on the plane so the windows face down? That way when the plane is doing a nose up glide into the run way the pilot has a perfect view of the ground coming up to meet the plane.

Why have the flight deck on the front of the plane? If they pilot needs to look up then put them at the top. I mean the TOP, as in have the pilot seated on top of the tail in an all around glass bubble.

I believe there are a lot of things we could try to improve the pilots' field of view before we resort to cameras and displays. Large aircraft always have two people capable of flying the plane, do they have to sit side by side? Perhaps one could be seated near the top of the plane so the sky is in view, then the other below to optimize the view for landing. A big enough plane with a long enough route will have redundant crews, give them redundant flight decks. Put one up front and another in the back. I believe that if aircraft get big enough having two flight decks may become nearly a necessity.

Having an airplane without windows seems like an idea that may come to pass but I also think that we've got a lot of other ideas that we will and should try first.

Comment: Some day... (Score 2) 685

by blindseer (#47404291) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Some day when I have enough time and money I plan on taking an airplane trip with no luggage. I'd show up at the check in counter with nothing but the clothes on my back. Why? Just so I could see what they'd do.

Think about how odd that would look. No cell phone, no key ring, not even a tooth brush. I wouldn't wear anything out of the ordinary, no "Potential Terrorist" t-shirt. I'd just wear what I normally do, running shoes, slacks, polo shirt. I normally keep a knife on my belt but I'd leave that at home, maybe even leave the belt too.

As much as people will claim otherwise you are not required to have identifying documents to board a plane when traveling domestically. International travel you do but not within the USA. I'm thinking I might leave my ID at home too.

What would this prove? I'm not sure but it would be an interesting experiment. I am just curious how the TSA would respond to someone that acts so far out of the ordinary but also fits no norm of a threatening person.

If anyone should ask me about my plans I'd probably just say I'm going shopping. I need some new clothes so I didn't see the need to pack any. I'm thinking that to make it additionally frustrating for them I'd leave not only my ID at home but any credit cards or anything else that might have my name on it besides my boarding pass. I would not lie about who I am and would not refuse to give my name or any other detail. I'm just a guy that wants to go on a shopping trip and I like to pay in cash.

I think that they would not let me on the plane.

One problem with my experiment is that I'd like to document the experiment but I'd have nothing to record with. I'd have to go by memory, or write everything down. No doubt that if I did do this that someone would say, "Photos or it didn't happen!"

The thing is that if the TSA keeps up with their security theater, and the airlines charge for every piece of luggage a person brings, then what I propose as an experiment may become the preferred way to vacation. It would remove a lot of hassle that way.

Comment: Re:Actually makes good sense (Score 1) 685

by blindseer (#47404115) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

I've seen plenty of electronic devices that are difficult to identify even if they are powered up. I've seen a number of portable medical devices that have little in the means of a display, usually just a LCD readout, or inputs, just a button. A cordless mouse is just a box with a couple buttons and a light, same for my Bluetooth GPS receiver. Many of my portable electronic devices have been worn to where there aren't any readable labels any more. I know what they do, which is good enough for me, but if I gave them to someone else they might have no idea what it is. This is especially true for someone that does not have a college education, such as the typical TSA agent.

What about something that looks like it might have a battery in it but does not? I have a USB Wi-Fi adapter with a non-standard cable. It could easily be mistaken for a lot of different things, like a walky-talky. It's got an antenna, a couple lights, and some bumps on it that look like they could be buttons. So the TSA agent demands I turn on my "radio". I cannot comply because it's not what the agent believes it to be.

What happens then? I say it's a USB Wi-Fi adapter. The TSA tells me it's not, it's a radio. Will I be forced to give up my device because the TSA agent is an idiot? What if I do power it up by plugging it into a laptop? I have a box with light that turns on. Must be OK now because no terrorist would think of putting explosives in a box where an LED is wired to the power lines on a USB socket.

I think that no one has yet taken down a plane over the USA since 9/11 because no one has tried. Why would they want to? They got what they wanted. We've given them the police state they want to impose on us.

Comment: Re:Incoming international flights (Score 1) 685

by blindseer (#47403747) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Agreed. Supposedly now it's real safe to be a TSA agent because it's the plane that's the target, not the airport. Imagine what would happen if its the people searching the bags that are blown up.

I'm of mixed feelings about this. I don't like the idea of people getting blown up but then these TSA agents chose a job where they are required to violate people's rights, dignity, and privacy. Doing such should not be a death sentence but then again if it's their job to look for bombs then they should not be surprised if they find one... and it detonates in their face.

Perhaps if we see some TSA agents get blown up then we'd actually get some real and actual people trained in security than the barely literate people we have now.

Comment: These United States are still a republic, no? (Score 0) 710

by blindseer (#47397629) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

We have elected officials telling us that because a certain segment of the population does not believe in AGW that they are stupid. OK, these are the same people that voted them into office, who's stupid now? No wonder the US Congress has reached a historical low in public approval, they're calling voters stupid.

Instead of telling people they are stupid for not toeing the AGW line perhaps they should go about it a different way. If they want us to buy CFL bulbs to save on carbon emissions then perhaps they should convince us about how they can save us money. Or perhaps they can allow people to build nuclear power plants and we need not worry if people leave their lights on. Perhaps they can get rid of the coal fired power plant in DC that heats and cools federal buildings so they don't look like hypocrites.

Same goes for a lot of other things. Moving away from foreign sourced fossil fuels is a great idea. It can improve out economy, reduce entanglements in foreign affairs, makes us more secure, creates jobs, cleans the air, and more. There's a lot of good reasons to stop burning fossil fuels but these idiots in Congress chose AGW.

This is becoming a problem especially now that NOAA has been caught changing historical temperature data. Turns out there is no global warming. Now what are they going to do? Probably make up some other lie to tell us. These people could probably get things done much more quickly if they told the truth.

Truth is that modern nuclear power would do all kinds of good things for these United States. Its a solution to a lot of problems, even the fake problem of AGW. I have to winder if they don't want to solve problems. If they solve the problems then people might realize we don't need them as much as we thought. So they make up one crisis after another to get people to vote them into office.

With that people are going to reply on how stupid I am rather than focus on how our own government is calling us stupid. It follows I suppose, someone voted those idiots into office. It wasn't me.

Comment: Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (Score 1) 710

by blindseer (#47397571) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

After 17 years of cold weather it's pretty much proven that global warming is a fraud. I seem to recall that weather patterns averaged over 20 years is what defines a climate. Doing that and we compare the climate of today to that of 20 years ago and we don't see a change, or if we do we see a slight cooling.

AGW is a fraud because global warming has not happened.

Let's assume that AGW is true, what has been the response of the UN, US federal government, or anyone in any government? Their solution is to raise taxes, reduce freedom, and give money to their friends. If they were really concerned about AGW then I would expend them to build some nuclear power plants. More like lots of nuclear power plants. But they don't. The federal buildings in DC are still heated and lit by coal. If not nuclear power then at least put some windmills off the Maryland coast to light up DC. Our elected officials don't seem concerned about AGW so therefore I am not.

Comment: Re:Generalization Fail (Score 1) 710

by blindseer (#47397547) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Wow, these people think that by making it illegal to have weapons that cannot be detected by x-ray or metal detectors that they solved the problem. Just because something is illegal does not mean that something cannot be done.

What problem are they trying to solve with this? Murder is still illegal but people still do it. How does making it illegal to have an "undetectable" gun supposed to stop murder? I'm assuming that is the problem they are trying to solve.

Here's an idea. How about those people in Congress stop telling us what weapons we can own so that we can defend ourselves against the murderers? It's in the US Constitution after all.

I veered off topic here. The issue is that Republicans and Democrats both want to disarm us. That is why I propose we vote both parties out of existence. Any politician that joins a political party should never be voted into office again. Political parties are a large part of why we are in the mess we are in, IMHO.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 710

by blindseer (#47397511) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

I do not believe you want to give Germany as an example of a country smoothy transitioning to alternative energy. They have some of the most expensive electricity in the world, largely because of their investment in wind and solar. The wind power they do have is in the wrong place at the wrong time and they don't have the power lines and storage infrastructure to deal with it. They've turned to burning "brown" coal, coal high in stuff we don't want in the air, to keep the lights on and electric prices from skyrocketing.

Comment: We don't need subsidies (Score 1) 376

What do people call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.

Alternative energy does not work because if it did we would not call it alternative energy any more. We've been subsidizing wind and solar for decades, at some point we have to make it sink or swim on its own.

I've been told many times by people here on Slashdot on how wind and solar are as cheap as anything else. If that is true then why does it need a subsidy any more? People would be building out wind and solar power because its profitable to do so.

We don't burn coal and natural gas because we are evil bastards that put money before our children. We burn fossil fuels because they make a profit, a profit we need to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate our children.

What subsidies do is take money from those that know how to make money and give it to people that don't. If people knew how to make money with wind and solar they wouldn't be lobbying government for subsidies, they'd be too busy making money so that they can feed the children to lobby for subsidies.

The problem I see is not subsidies but taxes. Prohibition of alcohol set back bio fuel research at least fifty years. Right now if you want to do research in alcohol as a fuel you have all kinds of legal hoops to jump through to prove that people aren't drinking it. Prohibition of alcohol is gone but we still have prohibitive taxes and regulation.

Regulation is killing all kinds of beneficial research. Anything nuclear gets killed before they can even get started. We can't even build solar panels in the USA because of EPA regulations.

Just mentioning this will likely get me modded into oblivion but I'll say it anyway. The NOAA has been caught altering historical temperature data. There is no global warming. The hottest period on record has been in the 1930s, all annual temperatures have been lower. The US federal government does not care about global warming either because they know its not happening or because they are too busy "spreading the wealth" to buy votes. My proof? The physical plant that heats the federal buildings in DC is powered by coal. If they we concerned about global warming then they'd be removing the plank from their own eye first.

The problem is subsidies, not the solution. Companies are rewarded for following the rules laid out by the government, not for actually solving the problem. A free market solves problems.

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