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Comment Re:Genesis! (Score 3, Interesting) 153 153

I don't see any reason why this is "stunning" or a big controversy. It's just a new fossil and they'll argue a bit on where it goes into the taxonomy tree... happens all the time.

The fact is that, as always, those who found it are basically screaming "sensational discovery, mystery XYZ is finally solved", while other scientist are more cautious. It's the old theme of "sensationalism versus business as usual", dangerously close to the stance of attention whores.

Having read the article, I think it's more likely that those weak limbs were used for tree climbing than for grabbing preys and probably this is not a snake but a specimen from some extinct group.

Comment Re: Well, well, well. (Score 1) 316 316

Easy. Five launches: 3 complete failures, 1 test launch, 1 commercial launch of space debris. First fully "privately" developed rocket: its first 3 launches were all bought by US government agencies (NASA, US Army) and all 3 failed. After its only successful commercial launch, it was scrapped because none wanted to use it: so much for SpaceX could exist without NASA money. Reusable rocket, that never was reusable (but but but falcon 9 will be, believe). Ridicule payload.

It was a complete commercial failure, which is quite a problem when your aim is to make money.

Comment Re:Final Tally (Score 3, Informative) 316 316

It dramatically demonstrates that getting a booster into space is anything but easy.

Or at least it was in the '50s and '60s.

Falcon 9 track record is nothing exceptional for a current design like Delta II and IV, Vega, H-IIB, Soyuz-FG, Minotaur... Even Ariane 5 now is at 65 straight successful launches.

Comment Re:Well, well, well. (Score 1, Informative) 316 316

It is a NASA failure. NASA paid $278 million to develop the rocket and then NASA paid $1.6 billion more for 12 launches that should have happened since 2nd quarter 2008: the first launch was delayed more than two years to December 2010, the first two launches were just test launches, the contract said "delivery of a minimum of 20 metric tons of upmass cargo to the space station" while the actual cargo delivered is half that after 8 launches (9 with the failed one), the fabled objective of reusable stuff is still far away.

NASA spent a lot of money to gain nothing, beside the fact that they can blame SpaceX in case of failure, but that was probably the plan all along. It fails? Its SpaceX fault. It works? We managed it well.

Comment Re:Is it actually on the decline? (Score 3, Interesting) 250 250

Justin Angel's post is quite insightful on the matter. He is simply reckoning that .net is probably past its prime: there are much less jobs for .net than for Java/Swift/HTML5+JS, open source developers are leaving .net, the ecosystem as whole is shrinking and fragmenting. He lists a number of reasons for this decline, but he doesn't say in a year there will be no more .net, just that it is going down.

Comment Re:Fight! (Score 1, Interesting) 293 293


I recall NASA predicting complete loss of arctic sea ice by 2013, and the navy predicting the same in 2016.


after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."

Are you unable to see the difference?

One NASA climate scientist said "the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012", not "NASA predicted complete loss of arctic sea ice by 2013".

No, I'm not, because, according to your point of view, even in this case is not NASA, but five random NASA guys (mainly from the Radar dept.) saying that "[Larsen B] will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years" and that "Larsen B will eventually break it apart completely, probably around the year 2020", so OP is right: NASA guys were wrong before, so NASA guys could be wrong again.

And by the way, that one NASA climate scientist is NASA's Chief Cryosphere Scientist.

Comment Re:Fight! (Score 1) 293 293

It is quite important since it is not going to happen: Mount Kilimanjaro glaciers nowhere near extinction

Alarmed by the Prof. Thompson study, way back in 2006, Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete imposed a total ban on tree harvesting in Kilimanjaro region in a move aimed to halt catastrophic environmental degradation, including melting of ice on Mount Kilimanjaro.

As a result of the measures, the forest cover on the mount Kilimanjaro is slowly, but surely becoming thick.

Experts say the forests on Kilimanjaro's lower slopes absorb moisture from the cloud hovering near the peak, and in turn nourish flora and fauna below

Comment Re:Fight! (Score 1, Interesting) 293 293

Oh rly?

Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years? (National Geographic - 2007)

after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."

US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016 (The Guardian)

US Department of Energy-backed research project led by a US Navy scientist predicts that the Arctic could lose its summer sea ice cover as early as 2016 - 84 years ahead of conventional model projections.

Comment Re:about time (Score 1) 268 268

That's like saying that France and French Republic are synonyms and that France is the entire country (including French Guyana, Polynesia, St. Pierre etc.), while the European part of it is called European France.

Historically Russia is the land of the Russi (in latin, Rus' in slavic ), this led to the creation of a number of Russias (e.g. Belarus, which means White Russia) and to the fact that the Czar was called the "Emperor of all Russias" during the Russian Empire. For a long time, during the empire, there was a border between Russia and Siberia and it was only in the late XIX century that Siberia became fully integrated with Russia proper (before it was just a kind of colony).

The fact that Russians may be interested in calling all the Russian territory as "land of the Russians" (the meaning of Russia) is a different issue.

Comment Re:Deniers (Score 2) 525 525

Yeah, but what is their impact on climate in numbers? What is the the end result of the sum of greenhouse gasses emission, global dimming, deforestation etc.? You cannot just say X causes Y therefore if we eliminate X we avoid the Y result, that is totally wrong and there are a lot of cases where a poor comprehension or an oversimplification of a system has caused unwanted consequences, i.e. the mesopredator release hypothesis.

Comment Re:Hu what ? (Score 1) 525 525

  1. We commonly say that a theory has been "proved" when all its predictions have been verified. It can be disproved again later, but that is another problem.
  2. The two body problem is itself an idealization, not to say that even the pendulum model or every other simple model of classical mechanics is exact in the same sense. However, a sufficiently exact model must not diverge from the observations; in this case models tend to diverge or to not converge after they are perturbed by noise, discrepancies etc. This is a symptom of not good enough, i.e. wrong, models.
  3. Using the word deniers is a way to demonize who dissent, for every reason, and hamper further discussions. Usually, progress is the result of a discussion between different point of views, not the result of blind adherence to a creed.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.