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Comment: Re:Keystone Pipline (Score 1) 1030

by clonan (#45540003) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

As I mentioned in my original post, MOST of the value comes from legal protection and eminent domain land purchases.

For example, Bush's Energy law included a provision that prevents anyone from suing gas station owners from leaks that have contaminated local communities. This one provision is worth hundreds of billions and doesn't show up on the federal budget.

Most of the direct benefit actually comes from tax breaks which don't show in the budget.

Most of the real cost is not directly related to DIRECT subsidies. Most of the benefit comes from repairing the damage these energy sources do to health and environment. Look at how much the EPA spends to clean up oil related environmental damage.

Next, the federal government is not the ONLY source of subsidies. States provide roughly equivalent subsidies.

Finally, you say my number is crazy??? The EU countries also subsidize oil but no where near as much since they also tax the final product... The EU fuel cost is around $9 a gallon...

Comment: Re:Why subsidize? (Score 1) 1030

by clonan (#45494711) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

We should be encouraging:

1. Thorium nuclear - Difficult to weaponize, readily available fuel, reduced waste, economically viable in smaller reactor sizes
2. Other Nuclear - Regional fuel access, proliferation issues
3. Solar - Can use "dead" space (like rooftops) which reduces NIMBY issues
4. Wind - more limited in location and NIMBY issues

Comment: Keystone Pipline (Score 2) 1030

by clonan (#45494617) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

Umm, what about the Keystone XL Pipeline... That single project is receiving between 1 and 1.8 BILLION dollars in subsidies.

For reference ALL renewable received $5.93 billion.. over a 15 year period...

Plus the real benefit that oil, coal and natural gas receive are liability protection from spills, poisoning etc plus eminent domain lad purchases for pipelines etc.

These issues are not represented in the typical accounting of subsidies and easily doubles the value.

I remember reading that is all benefits were removed from oil than the price of gas would be between 12-15 dollars a gallon!

Comment: 20 Counts (Score 1) 491

by clonan (#44633185) Attached to: Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years

He was charged with 20 counts NOT 10,000. Prosecutors don't need to read all 10,000 they only needed to read 20.

Just because you kill someone in self defense doesn't mean that you can kill anyone you want.

Even if 9,880 documents are evidence of war crimes, he is still guilty of releasing sensitive information the SHOULD be kept secret.

Comment: Read up on Histones (Score 2) 272

by clonan (#43464803) Attached to: Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

Not true. Histones, the proteins that keep DNA ordered, are some of the earliest proteins. They provide an extremely accurate clock for when species diverged.

While on a short term, a few million years, you are right when you say the rate of genetic drift is not predictable. However, over a longer period of time the rate SEEMS to be fairly consistent. That is the point of the article.

You seem to be confusing genetic diversity with Phylogenetic diversity. Phylogenetic diversity describes how genes change physical differences while genetic diversity talks about the complexity of the genes themselves.

You can have genetic diversification without the physical structure of the organism changing, especially if there are environmental restrictions.

Comment: Electric Drive Train? (Score 4, Insightful) 582

by clonan (#39747077) Attached to: IBM Creates 'Breathing' High-Density Lithium-Air Battery

You are assuming that EV will simply replace the current engine and fuel tank with an electric engine and battery... This is not what has to happen.

Currently engines are big and heavy so you only have one. You then have to transfer the rotational energy of the engine to the wheels. But Electric motors are very light and tiny. So why not have 4?

Put a small electric engine in each wheel and you eliminate the entire drive train... no more drive train losses and EV's are back up to 90%.

Your 72% efficiency only applies to ICE cars that have been converted to EV's.


Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley 501

Posted by Soulskill
from the suddenly-the-primaries-become-clear dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"

Comment: Re:Take that... (Score 1) 257

by clonan (#38294506) Attached to: Kepler Confirms Exoplanet Inside Star's Habitable Zone

Direct observation of quasars and other celestial objects.

We can deffinetivly identify the direction of rotation of pulsars as well as a variety of other objects with accretion discs. From these observations we have determined that from our perspective, the orbital plan is esssentially random.

Since we know that angular momentum is conserved, it is safe to assume that the original stars that formed these objects had a random distribution of orbital plans relative to us.

Since we know stars have a random distribution of orbital plans, it is safe to assume that the planets round thoes stars do as well...

All based on direct observation.

Comment: Re:And now lets word it to screw the little guy. (Score 2) 694

by clonan (#37986210) Attached to: Bill Gates Advocates Tax On Financial Transactions

Actually, the military spending (Not just DOD) is actually ~60% of federal spending when you include everything related to defense including homeland security, CIA etc, military projects at NASA, veterans affairs etc plus the interest on the debts directly related to these projects.

Right now the DOD (only about half of all defense spending) is fully 50% of the world spending on military. The US is only 20% of the world GDP. therefore the CORRECT spending on the military is actually about 25% of what we actually spend...

Social security is not a problem. It is completely funded through payroll taxes.

Medicare IS a problem but the solutions is politically unpalitable... True comprehensive coverage of every single person with a reduction in actual benefits (primarily not offering MRIs when X-rays are sufficient)

Comment: Re:This is god talking to man (Score 1) 1345

by clonan (#37559550) Attached to: Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

As far as the levitical laws, for the most part we actually follow them today.

They described crop rotation, bathing, illness identification and structural fumigation. All these things we still do today.

Most people concentrate on the dietary rules but why are they bad? Most of the animals forbidden were generally poor food or even deadly. Pork for instance is still a meat that has a disease risk and still kills people every year.

How about the marriage laws? Remember, people often died young and a surviving wife's only chance of living was to remarry and so she was married to the closest male relative rather than a stranger. In this scenario people need clear rules on who can marry whom without inbreeding too badly.

How about the homosexuality... If you actually read the bible, homosexuality was only mentioned about a half-dozen times. The Israelites were forbidden to use sex, homo or hetero, in the worship of the lord and they were not allowed to use rape, homo or hetero, as a means of interrogation.

There are only a few parts of the old-testament law that I don't really get. The first is to not "Stew a lamb in it's mothers milk." I guess maybe they thought it was cruel or disgusting or something. The next is "Only wear clothes of the same material." I have to assume this was to keep the clothes from wearing out since different fabrics wear at different rates which tends to shorten the life of the garment over either material alone. But both of these are guesses on my part and really minor concerns.

As far as old vs new, there really isn't that much difference. You car comparing writings that are at LEAST 2000 years apart. When you compare the new testament to Malachi, the youngest old testament book, you find far fewer differences even though these are almost 500 years apart. There were other texts that did not make it into the bible that actually show a fairly smooth transition from genesis to Matthew.

As far as Paul vs Mark, there actually aren't many differences. Remember, Mark was reporting history (he even describes himself as a reporter) while Paul was taking the principles and creating an operating organization. There are aspects in real life applications that Jesus did not go into great detail on and Paul filled in those details.

Actually I really respect Paul because he taught that 'Jesus said this, I believe this, but it would be ok to do that.'

Excluding the Unitary Universalists who are not and don't claim to be Christian, what major differences are there between the various mainstream sects of Christianity? Excluding of course who it the earthly head of the church.

Comment: Re:This is god talking to man (Score 1) 1345

by clonan (#37559102) Attached to: Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

Who said god is afraid?

Why is god an asshole? Since as you pointed out it was this knowledge that turned us from happy and innocent into what we are today.

I actually often say that pre-puberty is the best time of life. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

Did god forbid knowledge for his god or ours? Also if you recall, god cast them out of the garden NOT because of the knowledge but because they had access to the 'tree of eternal life.' Can you imagine the terror of immortal man as we are today...

The Tao doesn't take sides; it gives birth to both wins and losses. The Guru doesn't take sides; she welcomes both hackers and lusers.