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Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 56

by khallow (#47518211) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

Trees suck up water that otherwise causes slides.

Unless it rains a lot. You can increase the threshold a bit before a slide occurs, but big, unstable areas will slide sooner or later.

There's really only two ways to deal with landslide issues this big - disposable land use or get rid of the hillside.

Comment: Re:Make-work Project? (Score 1) 187

by khallow (#47515465) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

A true Democracy would be a terrible system indeed, with the rich even more firmly in control. People give away their password for chocolate bars (70%) or even nothing (34%!), so voting for some obscure law, probably a chocolate bar would do just fine, or at least a threat of getting fired.

Things change when you toss in the second or the third rich person. They will need to offer more than a candy bar.

Comment: Re:Cost Seems Low (Score 2) 187

by khallow (#47515373) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

The tunnel's gonna need a whole lot of concrete, steel, etc. - global commodities whose cost doesn't vary that much by geography.

And don't actually cost that much.

The LHC is packed to the gills with custom components: everything from the the superconducting magnets to the RF generators to the detectors to the massive computing systems to sift through all the subatomic debris. Even assuming China has the technical expertise to create that custom componentry (a question I can't answer - I simply don't know)...

I doubt they do. And I doubt that lack of technical expertise is actually an obstacle. After all, prior to constructing the LHC, Europe didn't have that expertise either and yet all those devices got built just the same.

does it pass even casual scrutiny to think that China can make a collider of twice the size at one-third the cost?

I bet the EU could do that too. But it'd require changing how they build such things.

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 56

by khallow (#47515285) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides
Also, I think any sort of root system would become less effective as the size of the anchored volume increases. For example, doubling the spatial scale of the volume to be anchored means that you have have four times the surface area to anchor to bedrock, but eight times the mass that needs to be anchored.

Suppose your landslipe was exactly a twentieth the mass and volume of the Oso one. Then your slide area would have about 2.7 less mass per surface area for roots to anchor. Get a large enough unstable area and nothing can anchor it. That's why Earth is an oblate spheroid in the first place.

Comment: Re:Unions are not a big problem in Michigan anymor (Score 1) 171

by khallow (#47511263) Attached to: California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

You would be very wrong to believe that. What you are saying is as absurd as saying it would be cheaper to move the workforce for IT out of Silicon Valley. You clearly have no idea what life is actually like in Michigan.

Something which incidentally isn't that hard to do and actually happened. The IT workforce has been moving out of Silicon Valley for decades, just as it has for auto workers in Michigan. The difference is that someone has been moving back to California to replace those who left.

Comment: Re:Correction (Score 3, Interesting) 92

by khallow (#47503967) Attached to: UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

There is no scientifically valid way to rule out life forms which are unlike our own

1) Life will require energy flow. More fully, life will operate much like a heat pump tapping energy flow between a high entropy or temperature sink to a lower entropy or temperature sink.

2) Life will require an environment it can survive in. This story attempts to address part of that with the idea of climate buffering.

3) As K. S. Kyosuke noted in his reply, life will require some matrix capable of the complex morphological structures and behaviors that life will need to survive.

4) Life will need time or a shortcut (like a creator) in order to develop. Evolution-based life will need time (measured in generations) for adaptation to occur.

For example, let's take an isolated "rogue planet". First, it's an object massive enough to round itself under the force of its own gravity, but not massive enough to undergo fusion. Second, it's not orbiting a star and basically is slowly cooling down to the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (no external energy inputs of note). The driver for any life would have to be heat flow from the interior due to heat of formation and possible radioactive decay. The situation is contrived (but in a way that actually probably appears billions of times in nature, just in our galaxy) so that there is no other means to provide significant energy flow to the system.

Restriction 2) is rather simply solved since the environment is very stable over billions of years (unless the rogue planet happens to get too close to a star or runs into something).

Restriction 3) requires either complex chemistry (from elements other than hydrogen or helium) or structure from say possibly, the interaction of different phases of metallic hydrogen and electromagnetism at the core of a gas giant.

Restriction 4) means that if it's evolution-based life derived from abiogenesis, then it needs to be in a high enough energy flow over large enough volume so that enough generations can pass to evolve to a state where they can technically qualify as life (such as traits/information passed from past organisms to future ones). We don't know how big that would need to be, but bigger and older is better. Similarly, we would need the presence of complex structures, which are more likely in a high energy flow environment (eg, amino acids created by weather-induced lightning).

If it's creator-derived or evolved elsewhere and migrated, who knows. The resulting organism might be able to fuse deterium and/or helium 3 isotopes, for example. That allows for creation of higher weight elements too.

Comment: Re:Clueless about Detroit (Score 2) 171

by khallow (#47503429) Attached to: California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

You think there is a lack of a willing and capable workforce in Detroit Metro?

Yes. There's also the matter of the labor unions and the screwed up politics of both Detroit and the state.

I think it'd be far cheaper to move whatever fragment of that workforce which is still "capable" out of Michigan to California or Texas than it would be to build anything there.

Comment: Re:perhaps, it happens to be in the middle of esti (Score 1) 223

by khallow (#47498983) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

we really only need an "order of magnitude" estimate and a survey of all available models indicates that 1,000 is the right order of magnitude.

That's boilerplate for "I feel like 1,000 today". There's no reason to expect any of these models to be applicable. My view is that if your estimate is below any detectable threshold, then zero is as good a number as any.

"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world." - The Beach Boys

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