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Comment: The Real Problem (Score 5, Interesting) 136

by cinnamon colbert (#48289461) Attached to: A Smart Electric Bike: Taking the Copenhagen Wheel Out For a Spin

here in Boston, where I live
Narrow twisty roads, and when the snowbank gets high, narrower roads
non highway routes are often circuitous
Dark at 5PM much of the year (and add in the snowy, narrow twisty roads...)
Potholes
Did I mention potholes ?
Rain snow sleet
weather down to teens to single digits many days of the year
lack of decent bike racks (some day, some smart person will write a n y times op ed about how bad bike racks are)
no showers, or cruddy showers
not so good when you have to go pick up your kid at school, or dance recital, or...

maybe inside Cambridge or Boston itself, a bike might work
For much of MA, no so good

the problem is NOT that we need easier to use bikes
the problem is that we have a car suburban orientation; change tax laws and zoning so people are packed into citys, and bikes will take care of themselves

Comment: Re:I've been keeping a short position ... (Score 1) 986

Dear Sir:
please tell us who you are; I have some ocean front Miami real estate I can let you have for 5 dollars an acre..min purchase, 1,000 acres...
I mean seriously, you short exxon cause of this garbage ?
are you a troll or merely insane ?

Comment: knowing history helps (Score 1) 986

in particular, the history of perpetual motion machines: "inventors", aka charlatans, were unbelievably clever in designing what appeared to be Perp Mot Machines
the idea that you can fuse H and Ni to form Cu at less then, roughly, 10^7 deg C is absurd

it is like someone claiming that they can run a mile in 10 seconds; it is just not credible; even if you see someone do that with your own eyes, you know there is trickery involved

Comment: Re:Addendum (Score 1) 36

by cinnamon colbert (#47961673) Attached to: Researchers Report Largest DNA Origami To Date

is this the same montagnier who claimed he could do immunology over the telephone ? (twisted pair, back in the day)'
if you are a troll, congrats , you have gotten a lot of people riled up about your nonsense; if you are serious, politely, let me say that you are barking up the wrong tree here
the nature article is about neuronal membranes, nothing to do with DNAassembly

you might consider that people spend hours inside MRIs, where the magnetic field is ~~ 10,000 times that of the earth
(oh, wait, now you have MRI magnetoresponsive DNA induced tumorigenisis....)

Comment: I work on DNA (Score 0) 36

by cinnamon colbert (#47961647) Attached to: Researchers Report Largest DNA Origami To Date

and the idea of a lambda/M13 hybrid is cute, I bet dollars to donuts that this is not an industrial scale process by any means; long DNA (>10,000) is hard to work with and unstable
(wild type lambda DNA from, say, N E Biolabs, is about 250 dollars a *milligram*)
anything priced in milligrams is not, imo, an industrial process

it is true that much shorter DNA is sold for, afaik, macular degeneration, and whole virus particles are also used; this is not the same as origami things

anyway, DNA is temperature and pH sensitive, needs to be kept wet, and is attacked by numerous microorganisms, which secrete enzymes that chew up DNA, a good source of valuable, scarce nutrients like Phosphorus and reduced Nitrogen

Phage lambda and M13 propagate in E coli, a gram neg organism that makes pyrogen; purification of injection grade material from gram negatives is not a trivial task
The idea that DNA will be useful for almost anything but niche markets is absurd

there is something about bio stuff (DNA, cancer, stem cells) that just acerbates the buck rodgers teen ager in every slashdotter

Comment: why do we care (Score 1) 708

by cinnamon colbert (#47769453) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

obviously, because global warming may lead to something very bad and very $$; if it doesn't lead to these things, not a lot of people will care.
How do we know global warming might lead to something bad , at least in a quantitative sense ?
All (all) of our detailed knowledge is from computer programs (climate models) which simulate changes in the future

However, It is an observed fact (fyfe) that over the last ten years, the surface temp of the earth has not increased as much as predicted by models; the models fail.
The models also can't reconstruct the last few thousand years (Liu), where we Know what happened.

This anomaly is the main current argument of denialists (those who think global warming is not occurring, or is not manmade, or is not important) and cause for concern among climate scientists.

Several attempts have been made to find the missing heat without great acceptance, eg Cowtan (who are not, afaik, climatologists) say that the missing heat is in the Arctic, which is not well measured by instruments.
It appears that Chen and Tung have found the answer: the earth is warming, but the heat is going into the ocean instead of the atmosphere.

SO: the models are clearly not accurate even on a 10year time scale.
so why should we take seriously alarmist views about the future ?
I guess it is probability: if there is even a X% chance that something really bad could happen, is it worth spending ~ 0.5% of global GDP (~ 850 billion dollars a year) to prevent this possible catastrophre ?

Me personally, my house is about 5 miles and 200 feet up from the Atlantic Ocean, so global warming is good for me: I get beachfront property......

Fyfe
http://hypergeometric.wordpres...

liu
http://www.pnas.org/content/ea...

cowtan
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

chen and tung
http://www.washington.edu/news...

Comment: luck is really important (Score 1) 509

by cinnamon colbert (#47463755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

So our biotech company is folding, and people are scrambling for jobs
our VP/marketing is in the Airport, and she runs into a guy , a rich guy, she hasn't seen in ten years
She says, yadda yadda, company going under, microarray slides, yadda..
and the guy says, I've been looking to aquire microarray technology....

I mean, you can't make this crap up

anyway, maybe your daughter is interested in money and career, and maybe she ain't

However, there are two things I feel pretty confident about:
  for most Americans, the primary or major source of retirment income is soc sec
hence, the most important thing she can do is vote for democrats who pledge to support soc sec

for most working americans, their most important financial asset, far bigger then their house, is the ability to earn a wage
hence, disability insurance is like really important ( i would think that people who consider themselves logical and mathy can figure this one out...)

Comment: why is cool desirable (Score 1) 143

I mean, if SAS works, why waste time on hot cool stuff that may be obsolete in a year or two ?
this whole innovation for the sake of innovation thing is so last century
(see a post on crooked timber about a week or so ago, also P Krugman in his blog flagged a New Yorker article on the cult of innovation)

Comment: doesn't anyone remember (Score 1) 222

by cinnamon colbert (#47183007) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

the original starwars concept ?
Satellites in space would look for the heat signature of a rocket in boost phase, and decide, in a time to short for humans to be involved, if Russia was launching ICBMs at us

The idea that machines can't be autonomous and deadly is just silly beyond belief
Since we are creating them, they will be like us: Does anyone else think we will get treated the way we (Europeans) treated Amerindians
The potosi silver mine, the mouth of hell ??

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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