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Comment: Re:Shocking... (Score 1) 386

by Calinous (#46822415) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

Most of the vaccines are safe, and most of them are effective. However, there are many vaccines with spectacularly bad side effects on a minority of people, and some even with side effects on every taker.
I would put the exceptions mostly on technological problems or medical "conditions".
And vaccines (in case of epidemics) protect both those that took them and those that didn't (considering that a large immune population reduces greatly the spreading of epidemics) - "I haven't took the vaccine, and I'm fine" is quite plausible if everyone _else_ took their vaccines.

Comment: Best Approach (Score 1) 156

by MrKaos (#46818223) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

I'll probably be modded down for this but the most effective way is to pwn the users to show them that they are merely bitches that any moderately skilled geek can defraud completely. Since they only learn from being fucked over, being fucked over is the only way they learn - otherwise you are just considered to be paranoid.

Repeat this for every user you meet and add the strange looks you get from them when you do things a secure way.

Comment: Re:Venus isn't Earth's "twin" really at all. (Score 1) 123

by Will.Woodhull (#46814571) Attached to: Venus' Crust Heals Too Fast For Plate Tectonics

The barycenter of any planet and the Sun is far outside the planet's surface. Excepting Jupiter, whose barycenter with the Sun is approximately coincident with the Sun's surface, the barycenters are all deep within the Sun.

This means that the solar induced tides, no matter what their strength might be, do not perturb the planet's orbit. Nor do they distort the planet's shape to the degree that lunar tides distort the Earth's shape (and significantly perturb its solar orbit).

The study of geologic processes on Earth will continue to be significantly incomplete until it is recognized that the Earth and Moon function as a binary planet. Not as bodies that can be understood in isolation.

One would think that the International Astronomy Union and other professional organizations of astronomers would recognize this, but-- alas-- their heads appear to be too full of empty space to concern themselves with what is going on beneath their feet.

Comment: Re:Venus isn't Earth's "twin" really at all. (Score 2) 123

by Will.Woodhull (#46811773) Attached to: Venus' Crust Heals Too Fast For Plate Tectonics

No, you have not missed anything. You are parroting the "logic" of the Committee for Small Body Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union. This is a true committee of fifteen members whose job it has been to decide on definitions of words. There was and is no science here. Nor was there any logic based on science; the logic was that of taxonomy: making pigeonholes to classify stuff. Nor was logic used in making the final determinations; what the pigeonholes were to be called was decided by vote. It was a "let's make new words" party, having nothing to do with astronomy, geology, or selenology. (See? It is both easy and fun to add words to the pseudoscientific jargon. Even scientists can do it!)

The Moon is considered a moon as the barycentre is within the Earth.

The barycenter of the Earth-Moon binary system (and that is a legitimate phrase) is always 1,000 miles below the lithosphere of the Earth, and 3,000 miles above the Earth's core. Quito, Equador, is a city on the equator. When there is a lunar eclipse on either the Spring or Autumn equinox at Quito, an interplanetary voyager arriving from Mars would find that Quito was 1,500 miles closer to the Sun than usual, but 12 hours earlier or later it was almost 1,500 miles further from the Sun than the navigator's first order approximation*. The communications officer of that interplanerary ship had better take into account the way the Earth spins about the barycenter of the binary system if he is to stay in laser beam contact with the Quito space port.

More significantly over the Earth's history is that its rotation around the barycenter raises tides. Not just the noticeable ones in the hydrophere, but large ones in the various layers of the atmosphere, and smaller, but significant, ones in the lithosphere. Geology has yet to develop an effective model on how the tidal strains on the lithosphere affect plate tectonics. But there can be little question that significant tidal forces are at work, alternately stretching and compressing faults.

In retrospect, what this august body of astronomers should probably have done is given their naming problem over to the experts who have recognized degrees in the appropriate field of study: these kinds of taxonomic decisions are better left to the linguists and other language experts. There are probably very few astronomers who have done any study of language arts at all. No wonder they bungled the thing so badly. They probably did not even know they were not doing astronomy any more. *

I would not mind having someone check my geometry here. I think the difference is actually 3,000 miles (displacement of the Earth's center from the barycenter) but I'm going with the more conservative number.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder