Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Diesel v ordinary - THAT would be nasty (Score 1) 123

Yes, but if you ask a BMW owner, they will tell you that in no uncertain terms: running Regular unleaded through a BMW motor destroys the engine.

(in fact, you'll probably throw a few codes as the knock sensor tells the DME to retard timing to compensate for the lower octane; which will cause the owner to take it to the dealer, who will charge them $1000 to read the harmless codes and reset them).

Comment Re:completely wrong (spoilers) (Score 1) 182

BB probably cited HF because: #1 it is VERY difficult to obtain in large quantities, at useful concentrations and #2 it is VERY difficult to handle safely, (yes, BB did specifically flag these concerns accurately in the script) and #3 is VERY easy to detect even small traces, forensically. Therefore - it's probably the WORST way to dissolve a body (even if it's fairly effective).

I'm told that this "mixture" of acids that solves all three of these problems is Muriatic Acid, commonly found at your hardware store (though it's not commercially available at sufficient strength, and needs some processing prior to use for this purpose - good luck with that).

Comment Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 591

I remember when the Death Penalty was reinstated in the US.

The proponents, in the popular media, said that it was necessary for the drug war - and would only be used in extreme cases, for Drug Kingpins, and Serial Killers, where there was no doubt about guilt, because there was overwhelming evidence, and full confession.

As it turns out - this was absolutely not the case.

Comment Re:Without them completely? No (Score 1) 365

We don't have shit for a way to replace the fertilizer supply,

. . . I see what you did there.

If the starvation dying doesn't get you, the lack of medical supplies is going to curb another large portion of our population.

Any future speculated "civilization" is going to be very different from our current one, that is for sure. Life is going to be much less convenient. I still believe that "advancement" will be possible.

Comment Re:No (Score 1, Interesting) 365

Your air conditioning and clothes dryer are modern conveniences.

Solar can power modern technology. But a future, speculated civilization will have a much less convenient, and lower standard of living. Just because life is inconvenient, doesn't mean society can't advance. We discovered how to split the atom before we had antibiotics. (antibiotics are not really a necessary component of an advanced, modern civilization. They are a convenience. Yes, it is inconvenient when people die young from preventible diseases. But we can still get to the point where we could - in the future, transition from solar to nuclear; for cases where that scale of electrical power generation is necessary to continue to advance).

The problem with our current civilization is that people have placed convenience (and profitable enterprise enabling hoarding of personal wealth) beyond basic common-sense principles of long-term survival (sustainability). There are really two routes here. We can either choose sustainability over convenience. Or Nature will choose, for us (and we lose both). We may never get convenience back. But I think it's very doable to get sustainability back. Even without ready access to petroleum.

Another huge benefit we've had from petroleum is the advances to agriculture from the Haber-Bosch process. Basically; this converts energy into food (through synthesis of atmospheric Nitrogen into fertilizer). This is what revolutionized agriculture in the early 20th century, and allowed our population to explode like a test-tube full of hearty yeast and grape-juice. Economists argue that that population explosion was necessary for our modern, advanced civilization. I believe that thinking to be biased by short-term thinking. This path has absolutely devastated our options, as far as a sustainable future goes. Eventually, the yeast drown in their own waste (CO2 and alcohol - so fitting). That's what will happen to us. I am thankful that whatever civilization comes after us, will not be permitted by readily-available fossil fuels, to repeat this horrible mistake, because they will need to struggle to peak-out at a global population of 1 Billion. Yes - life will be inconvenient, nasty, brutish, and short. But civilization will remain sustainable.

Comment Re:Easy explanation (Score 1) 97

Well, from my admittedly "selection-biased" perspective, I *do* know some elderly people. Yes, the ones with dementia are quite miserable. The ones who get into a really severe state, generally don't "last" more than a year. (thankfully). I also know a couple of elderly people (in their 90's) (and, I've had some relatives, as well, up in their late-90's) who are totally mentally sharp. They have hobbies, activities, and some health problems, but nothing horrible. I don't even know how people like this die. :)

I've also known a couple of guys who, in their 70's, got cancer . . .
And I've known a couple of people who suffered from strokes, and heart problems.

Unfortunately, strokes and heart problems can lead to dementia SYMPTOMS. (until the heart just quits, of course). Take care of your ticker, and your blood pressure.

Of all these; I'd say cancer was probably the easier death.

But my first choice is "none of the above, and have a happy, full-life into my 90's". Whether I have any friends or family or not.

Dementia would be last on my list of "ways to go peacefully". Maybe 2nd to last, because ALS fucking sucks too. (just ask Stephen Hawking).

Comment Re:No Bad management is causing the drought (Score 2) 173

"price water properly" is probably a good, and simple solution.
But there are many practical barriers that make this nearly impossible.
For one, there are treaties and water-rights already assigned. These involve multi-state government agreements, and there really is not an authority mechanism in existence that can address these in a unified way.
For two, there are political entanglements (regulatory capture, and officials who are basically corporate AG lapdogs).

This is one of those Utopian Ideals issues, where you think that if some magical authority came in, and put a gun to everyone's head and said: you will give up your advantageous, privileged bargaining position, and now you will pay what everyone else pays for water (and be willing to pull the trigger when they refuse or fight back) - it would solve the problem.

Basically, we need a Stalin. Or a Pol Pot.
Or we need to magically convert into a race of altruists.

Comment Re:What on earth (Score 1) 234

Anything that becomes molten will mix into the fuel and dilute it,

Not really. Anything that becomes molten, will pretty much vaporize, because Uranium melts at like 2000 F. If the Uranium is molten, everything else will boil away.

However: It's bollocks because the hole in which the uranium is burning, has fissures and crevases, and the Uranium would unevenly flow into small, tight spaces, spreading out and; ultimately diluting and cooling.

Experiments done at Argonne labs back a few years ago also suggested that the Uranium will form a cooler coating, as an outer shell. The core may remain molten, but the shell is cool enough to harden, and contain the molten core. The core may burn through the shell, but much of the mass will be left behind, as the molten part runs down into the burned-out cavity below, and the process repeats.

In any case, either of these scenarios would generate significant ongoing outgassing, and none of that has been observed at Fukushima; so it's likely the fuel melted and diffused and cooled. Just like Chernobyl.

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith