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Comment Re:Math is fine! (Score 1) 86

Well, it's a long term gripe that society as a whole would be much better served devoting to intellectually elite student's education just a fraction of the money spent making sure every last clown can calculate change by the time they graduate.

But you know, political memes and "them elites don't need it! >:-( "

And that was before all this privledge meme shit hit the fan. Try it today.

Submission + - Enormous beam found streaming from black hole in distant galaxy (

An anonymous reader writes: Imagine spotting the laser beam from the fictitious Death Star of "Star Wars" fame as you scan a distant galaxy.

That comes close to what an international team saw as they surveyed the Pictor A galaxy. Not only did they find a supermassive black hole in the galaxy about 500 million light years away but were able to study something even more stunning — a huge amount of gravitational energy streaming from the black hole and forming a visible beam or jet.

The beam, compromised of particles traveling nearly the speed of light into intergalactic space, stretched for a distance of 300,000 light years — three times the diameter of the entire Milky Way.

Submission + - Company tracked Iowa caucusgoers' phones 1

schwit1 writes: Who needs exit polls when you can track caucusgoers' phones?

That's what one company did. Dstillery, which has been called "Picasso in the dark art of digital advertising," turned its intelligence-collection capabilities to the Iowa caucuses last week.

The company used location data to identify more than 16,000 devices at caucus locations across the state.

"We can take a population in a discrete location — in this case a polling, a caucus site — and sample that population and go and then look at characteristics of that population that no one's been able to discern before, because we have this incredibly rich behavioral view of American consumers based on all the digital behaviors we observe," Dstillery CEO Tom Phillips said in an interview.

Submission + - French company bungled clinical trial that led to a death and illness (

An anonymous reader writes: A drug study in France has caused the death of one person and the possible permanent brain injury to four others.

A government investigation states that the company running the test committed some major errors when the first person experienced ill effects and was hospitalized. The company, Biotrial, did not pay close attention to that person's condition before proceeding with tests and giving additional dosages of the test drug to subjects. It also did not, as required by its own disclosure statement to the test subjects, inform them that one patient had been hospitalized so they would have all the information necessary to decide whether to continue.

The investigations third complaint, that Biotrial did not inform the government of these issues, is mostly a complaint by government officials that there weren't treated with the due respect they deserve, and is less important in my mind.

Read the article, as it is disturbing that a research company could be so cavalier about the lives of the human beings it is using as test subjects.

This story also illustrates indirectly the significant decline in the state of today's modern mainstream press as well as the greater interests of the general public. This is a major science story. For a clinical drug study to kill one of its test subjects is a big deal. Yet I am certain that this will get no coverage in any cable news outlet. (If anyone see a video story about this, please let me know.) The written news outlets on the web will likely do a story, but it will not give it wide exposure.

Worse however is the reason why these outlets will likely not care much about this story. As I like to say, it is the audience that counts. News organizations cover stories that they think their readers or viewers are interested in, and they, like their audiences, are simply not interested in very much these days. Our society is becoming increasingly close-minded and childish, interested only in shallow reports about subjects that are not very important (such the poll numbers in New Hampshire or whether Marco Rubio wears silly boots).

Any interest in a story about how a drug study killed a person and might have caused permanent brain damage to four others? Nah, that's no fun! Let's focus instead on how Donald Trump told Jeb Bush to shut up during last nights debate!

Submission + - The death of SLS begins

An anonymous reader writes: At House hearings this week, congressmen listened to several space experts who lambasted NASA's asteroid and Mars mission proposals.

Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute and an expert on lunar science, was especially harsh.

"America's civil space program is in disarray, with many aspirations and hopes but few concrete, realizable plans for future missions or strategic direction," he said, adding that NASA lacks what it needs to pull off the mission (and throwing some shade at the agency's strong Twitter game). "We pretend that we are on a '#JourneytoMars' but in fact, possess neither the technology nor the economic resources necessary to undertake a human Mars mission now or within the foreseeable future. What is needed is a logically arranged set of short-term, realizable space goals-a series of objectives and destinations that are not only interesting in and of themselves, but whose attainment build space faring capability in the long term."

The testimony claimed that it could cost anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion for NASA to get humans to Mars, numbers that are reasonable based on using NASA's very costly and overpriced SLS/Orion rocket and capsule. The congressmen were of course interested in this, not because they want to get to Mars, but because they see gobs of pork for their districts in these numbers.

However, I expect that when SpaceX begins successfully launching its Falcon Heavy rocket in the next two years while simultaneously putting humans in space with its Dragon capsule, and does both for a tenth the cost of SLS/Orion, those same congressmen will dump SLS/Orion very quickly. Though they want the pork, they also know they don't have $500 billion to $1 trillion to spend on space. The private sector gives them an option that is both affordable and of strong self-interest. The more realistically priced and designed hardware of private companies will give them a more credible opportunity to fund pork in their districts.

Submission + - Thirty Meter Telescope likely never gets built ... in Hawai

An anonymous reader writes: After years of doing everything the state of Hawaii demanded in order to get permission to build the Thirty Meter Telescope, a state judge today ordered that the whole process should start over again.

Since this order was instigated by the protesters, and that it appears the government favors those protesters, it appears that there is no chance TMT will ever get approval to build in Hawaii. Though the university consortium building the telescope says they want to go through the new process to get permission, they are wasting their time. It will never happen. The peasants with the pitchforks and burning torches, terrified of new knowledge while preferring the worship of a mountain, are in control in Hawaii.

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