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Comment Re: Science... Yah! (Score 3, Insightful) 958 958

At least the skeptics understand that the climate models don't work and have seriously overestimated the impact of CO2 forcings on global temps.

When you deny chicken-little theories that "the sky is falling", the onus is not on the denier to come up with a better sky-is-falling theory, because the null hypothesis is that the sky is not falling.

Yet climate scientists have succeeded in convincing everyone that CO2-causes-all-climate-disasters is the null hypothesis, without providing any compelling proof of that hypothesis (except for "This has hardly ever happened before so, 'what else could it be'?'").

Otherwise explain why global temps haven't kept up with the Keeling curve? (Oh yeah, I forgot. There are at least 57 reasons cited for that. The best is "The heat is hiding in the oceans") :-]

Comment Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958 958

> ... what is the alternative?
Science is the only alternative. This current "theory" of cholesterol-in-what-you-eat-causes-heart-disease (so-called Lipid Hypothesis) is simply wrong, all based on fraudulent research done after WWII (Keys). Some researchers have known this for decades, but weren't listened to because the consensus view was that the science was settled. (Sound familiar?)

Scientific research is coupled too closely, IMHO, to Big Government (and Big Pharma too). Scientists should be more skeptical, especially about their own work. Instead skeptics are compared to Holocaust 'deniers' to silence them. Too many "scientists", especially government funded ones, are really just activists and 'rent seekers', writing their papers to accommodate whatever agenda the government is pushing.

Comment Re:What exactly is Transhumanism ? (Score 1) 76 76

Think of it as "brain implant", i.e. humans will, in effect, guide their own evolution by integrating relatively "low-tech" capabilities such as Googling for information or sending/receiving messages/emails directly into the human brain, where it then becomes very, very "high-tech". So it requires some advanced techniques in neural surgery (which are already becoming available) with computer technology that has existed for decades.

But, of course, such "transhumans" will be genetically identical sans surgery to us ordinary folk, but will appear to be omniscient and telepathic.

Comment Re:I thought the point of the charge ... (Score 2) 42 42

No, the charge makes the fibers "stand up", like what happens to your hair when you put your hand on a Van deGraff machine. Otherwise the fibers would tend to coalesce into a single cable.

It also makes the web more 'visible' to the prey, so they are statistically less likely to be ensnared, but some of the snare efficiency is regained because birds and other larger insects are also less likely to collide and require a rebuild.

Comment Phylogenetic Puzzle: Electrostatic BioGenerators (Score 1) 42 42

The article states that Uloborus plumipes is the only known species of spider to exploit dry electostatics, all of the others spin damp 'sticky glue' webs (even though the uluborid web fluid is less viscous and remains wet outside the body until it is hackled). The linked paper has several micrographs of the spider's spinner gland (with curious stalks that resemble electrical insulators) but surprisingly no diagrams of the uluborid hackling pods (note that it is also the only spider that lacks venom glands)

Are there any other creatures with similar electrostatic generation capabilities? Although electrostatic phenomena are often seen in nature, it seems remarkable that this capability could have evolved through natural selection. The paper doesn't shed much light on this, except for some hand-waving:

" is obvious that Uloborus is able to spin nano-scale filaments of great length and it may be assumed that the animal also somehow manages to electrostatically charge them. "

IMHO it somehow suggests intelligent design.

Submission + - Asteroid which passed near Earth had its own satellite->

jdagius writes: Asteroid 2004-BL86, which passed within 1.2 million kilometers from Earth on 27 January, was 500 meters long, the largest ever observed that close to our planet. Discovered in 2004, it drew the interest of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory because its orbit was close to Earth.

While analyzing the radar data on the day after the fly-by, JPL realized it was two objects, not one. A 70-meter companion was in orbit around the asteroid.

Such asteroid pairings are not uncommon. Approximately 16% of the asteroids examined by NASA in nearby space with 200 meter diameters or greater were found to have their own 'mini-moon'.

If you missed BL86 you might have to wait a bit to see it again. It won't return to Earth until 200 years from now. But another asteroid 1999-AN10, 800 meters in diameter, will pass by Earth in August of 2027.

Link to Original Source

Comment AliBaba's online outlet is called AliExpress. (Score 5, Informative) 115 115

I've found it to be very friendly, with free shipping to the States on almost every purchase. Downside is that the free shipping goes through Singapore Post and takes a month or two to arrive here.

But the prices are really cheap, and customer support surprisingly good. Amazon had better watch out!

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 250 250

| Lead has been linked to civil violence.... distribution of wealth

The violence I've read about most frequently seems to be motivated by greed, personal revenge or jihadism. I don't recall any lead-poisoned or desperately poor criminals involved. Can you list some specific examples?

But assuming you're right, does it make sense that civil violence is steadily increasing, while lead in the environment has almost disappeared?

When I was a kid we lead pipes and lead paint in our houses and the air was filled with tetra-ethyl lead from leaded gasoline. Also a lot of lead solder in those ancient TV's and radios (before integrated circuits). So the 50's and 60's should have been more violent because of all the lead in the environment.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 250 250

Ok, please add 'graphically realistic and violent Hollywood movies' to the list of variables.

What other variables, spanning the past 50 years or so, are relevant in explaining the increase in civil violence over the years?

Cellphones, Wikipedia, microprocessors, yoghurt, micro-wave ovens? These all became popular in the last 50 years. Are these the culprits?

Guns? I really don't think so. There are more far restrictions on the sale and use of firearms today than there were a half-century ago. It's just that it's somehow "easier" (or maybe even "desirable") to pull the trigger these days. We see it all the time in the movie and video games. Right?

What say you? If it's not movies or games, what are the true causal factors here?

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