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Comment: Re:Interesting, but ... (Score 2) 150

by captainpanic (#48607415) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

But humor is language dependent. And so is in fact every communication. And therefore so is culture. So, language partially defines a culture. And therefore is we were to drop all other languages and adopt English as a language, cultures (or at least parts of them) would soon diminish and disappear. And the world would become that much more boring.
Cultural differences are not impossible without language, but different languages make it easier to diversify.

It's a good idea to have one or two main languages in the world that everyone speaks (English, Spanish and Chinese are all good choices)... but let people speak whatever they want.

Comment: Re:At the risk of sounding pretentious, (Score 1) 246

by captainpanic (#48357651) Attached to: The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

There is absolutely no way you are going to get the $100 billion required for a Mars mission by producing a freaking reality show.

No? The 2014 winter Olympics cost over 50 billion. The London Olympics cost over 14 billion. I am confident that the first Mars mission is at least 10 times as interesting to an advertiser as the Olympics. Imagine a Mars explorer opening a cold Coca Cola bottle a few minutes after landing. That's worth Coca cola's entire annual advertising budget (which is 3 billion), because they can use that in so many other advertisements. The first walk outside on Martian soil, wearing a sponsored space suit will generate billions in advertising money. There are plenty of advertising possibilities, because a show like that would basically cover some people's lives. They wear clothes, they live somewhere, they eat and drink, clean themselves, etc...

There are enormous technical problems to be solved... but large corporations will be very interested to have their names mentioned... Five times as much is spent every year on advertisements (global market is 489 billion).


Comment: Data is incomplete (Score 3, Interesting) 63

by captainpanic (#48308325) Attached to: Study: There's a Wi-Fi Hotspot For Every 150 People In the World

I tested the data for my own country (Netherlands). That website claims we only have 10 hotspots in trains, while all our intercity trains now have wifi. Also, municipalities should be having only 25 hotspots, while entire city centers have free public wifi now. It's a load of rubbish, this website.

I understand it is difficult to get the data... but if you equate the lack of data with "zero", then you make a mistake.

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 352

Step 1 is being taken - all kinds of organisms (incl. plants) have been carried up to the ISS.
Step 2 should - probably for safety reasons - be build as an attachment to the ISS. It should however operate independently.
Step 3 should be part of step 2, as it is relatively straightforward to get sufficient data in advance to make it so.
Step 4 is the big leap, but I agree that the Moon is probably the logical testing ground for it.

When will this happen? As soon as there is another Space Race. And China is the only country that can start that.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 4, Informative) 488

by captainpanic (#48025945) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Because there isn't really a good pie yet, they take far too long to pay off and can be dangerous to air traffic and wild life if they are A. in the wrong place, or B. installed incorrectly.
Oh, and if they don't have overspec'd components, they can cause a phenonom called "flicker" which is destructive of delicate electronics like your fridge, washing machine, A/C, and computer.

- Pilots have sunglasses.
- Wildlife have no problems with a flat piece of silicon that doesn't move. (Cars kill them by the millions though).
- And your electric circuit should have a fuse and other safety features that prevent fluctuations in the power.

How many of you trolls are volunteers, and how many are paid to troll by the coal/oil/gas lobbyists? This is just another scare tactic, just like everybody is now convinced that wind turbines kill birds, when in fact it is cats that kill birds.

Now move along, there is really nothing to see here.

Comment: China has a government that adapts to changes (Score 1) 261

by captainpanic (#47982069) Attached to: Obama Presses China On Global Warming

While Western nations (certainly not just the US, but also almost all of Europe) have reached a democratic impasse in which very little changes, China seems able to reflect on changes internally and externally, and develop drastic new regulations when necessary. It can self-correct. I could give a long explanation why this is true, but Eric Li explained it a lot better in a TEDx presentation. It's 20 minutes, but very relevant when comparing governments of China and US (and other Western countries).

I would not be surprised if China adopts its own pollution and climate regulations that are beneficial for the country, where benefit can include anything they think is relevant: e.g. health, economy. And it might be that these are more strict than we have here, or not. Time will tell. But they will decide on their own terms. Don't forget that China has to import a lot of fossil fuels, while it has most (all?) resources needed to produce sustainable energy production (solar/wind), and they also already have the factories within their borders. There may be a large economic incentive too.

I see Obama's challenge only as an excuse for the USA's lack of action.

Comment: Re:Small-scale, real-time. (Score 4, Insightful) 502

by captainpanic (#47612109) Attached to: Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Similar here in Western Europe. Wind is very reliable, as we get wind almost every day. But we're too far north to make solar energy an interesting option. Solar should be built in more southern countries such as Spain or southern Italy.

If anything, all this sustainable energy will demand a stronger, and more integrated grid, which will mean more (not less) business for the grid company. If that all means some old coal power plants go out of business, then so be it. I am sure that the solar/wind industry will compensate the loss of jobs.

Comment: Re:That's great (Score 1) 75

by captainpanic (#47331459) Attached to: NASA's Orion Spaceship Passes Parachute Test

There is no one-size fits all capsule and although the Dragon could be modified to work for deep space missions as this has been taken into account from the start, it isn't currently built for that.

Agreed. The Dragon seems to be just a 7-passenger taxi service to the ISS. However, you could probably dock it to another space station too, one with living quarters, a Mars-lander and a bunch of big engines and fuel tanks, and then you have your Mars mission complete.

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