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Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 458

That would be 40 times the allowable for a new car. Cars a few years older are allowed higher NOx etc and commercial vehicles aren't usually tested. How much NOx does the average old semi-truck that's being used for 12-24 hours a day put out over a year?
I know when I failed the smog test on a '97 Ford PU for NOx and it wasn't worth spending the money for new cats, I just bumped up the GVW and drove it until I found another truck I could afford. A '96 F150 which passed the smog test with way higher readings on NOx.
When I had a '84 Nissan diesel PU, all they tested for was opacity.

Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

The energy released is simple math, how the energy reacts with the Earth is an educated guess and there are a lot of variables
Too lazy to check as it's bedtime here, but if I remember correctly, oxygen levels were much higher in the age of dinosaurs, which would make a firestorm more likely. Also IIRC, the dinosaurs were on the way out at the time and the asteroid finished them off.
What is more likely is a small rock hitting. A 500m rock hitting in the middle of Europe would cause a lot of damage and likely screw up the worlds economy. Lots of similar scenarios. And a small rock is much more likely to hit and it is more likely we could do something about it. And of course while looking for small rocks, we'd likely spot a large one.

Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

A 10 km rock hitting Earth tomorrow would not wipe out the human race. Assuming iron meteorite hitting at a 90 degree angle at 17 km a second in deep ocean is 1.45 x 108 MegaTons TNT. On the other side of the world the initial impact excepting the tsunami is hardly noticeable and even tsunami is only about 350 feet high.
Things would be bad with the majority of the human race dead but we're pretty resilient. The odds of any 10 km object hitting over the next year is about 200 million to one (actually less as there aren't as many around as there used to be).
Consider a big comet, 100 kms across made of ice, hitting at 90 degrees and 50 km/s, odds are one hasn't hit the Earth since initial formation. Energy is 1.63 x 1011 MegaTons TNT. You'd feel it on the other side of the world (in less then an hour), might even break windows. The shock wave (arriving about 12 hours later at 350 mph) will collapse most everything. There will be survivors, especially anyone in bomb shelters. Half an hour later the 1700 ft tsunami will arrive and wipe out everything remotely close to the coast. At this point there are still survivors and a chance that some will survive the following wild weather.
It takes a pretty good sized asteroid/comet hitting just right to wipe out humanity.
Numbers taken from the Earth impact calculator at

Comment Re:RISK vs CHANCE (Score 1) 182

There seems to be a lot of people on here who equate expanding into space with colonizing the new world and seem to think that in the near future we'll have a self-sustaining colony on Mars, the Moon and/or on the asteroids.
Seems pretty nutty to me.
Now the idea that we should explore and learn isn't a bad idea

Comment Re: How do they define GM? (Score 1) 325

When I speak about GMO, I speak only about the science and nothing else.

The science is pretty simple. GMO is a tool, nothing else. Like most tools it can be used for good, eg making a tomato that has more vitamins and flavour, or for making a tomato that ships better with no flavour or nutrition.
It's impossible to generalize that a tool is always going to be used in the best manner or the worst manner. Each use has to be evaluated separately. Throw in the motivations of the for profit agribusinesses such as Monsato and the odds of some uses of GMO not being for the benefit of the average person goes way up.

Comment Re:Oh God (Score 1) 268

Even though it does seem that the cat has much more free will then a human, even a cat can be conditioned to take a bunch of actions for an imaginary (actually remembered) reward, it's just harder then with a human or dog.
The difference is that a human can be conditioned over years to take very complex series of actions as you show in your post. I do like how you reference Pavlov by using a bell/alarm to trigger your complex set of conditioned actions.

Comment Re:Amazon Warehouse workers should demand more mon (Score 1) 177

We're talking minimum wage workers, people without an internet connection or computer and probably no credit card, little well enough disposable income to buy stuff on ebay.
Just like the poor often can't grocery shop at the cheap stores as they're often in the wrong location, they often can't shop online.

Comment Re:Amazon Warehouse workers should demand more mon (Score 1) 177

On the other hand, in an age of lowering wages (inflation means that $7.25hr has less buying power every year) and basics like food, transportation and shelter increasing in costs faster then inflation, who is going to have spare money for luxuries like McDonalds.
Used to be 3 McDonalds where I live. Population has gone up (almost doubled) along with the cost of housing and now there is only one. Hasn't really been other restaurants opening up either. We do have a Walmart now though.

Comment Re:Amazon Warehouse workers should demand more mon (Score 2) 177

I guess you're implying that *you* have a brain and obviously you can explain this:

"Almost nobody has any real savings and so borrowing savings at a normal interest rate is impossible"

How do you borrow savings? I can't wait to hear this.

It's how banks used to work. People put their savings into the bank, the bank paid them interest on the savings. The bank lent out the savings at a higher interest rate and made money that way.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"