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Comment: Re:But is it a class M planet? (Score 1) 152

by painandgreed (#46782797) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

And that, in turn, will make the dark side so cold the air will precipitate out as snow. Then the atmosphere will equalize, and snow again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm sorry, but I don't really understand how that implies airlessness. Kinda sounds like it's just experiencing seasons much like Earth does.

Basically, he's saying all your atmosphere will eventually end up as ice on the dark, cold side.

Comment: Re:The Economist (Score 1) 273

by painandgreed (#46779873) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Does print offer any advantage over digital beyond not needing a powered device?

Personally, I am not sold that digital versions will stand up to the test of time. Printer versions pretty much only go out with decay or change of language which happen very slowly. Digital has it's own decay issues but proper back up will probably make it better than print, but I am uncertain that word docs, pdfs, or even text files will be compatible with future versions of similar readers a few decades from now. Will Adobe Acrobat 45 be able to update and open something made with Adobe Acrobat 4 accurately and reliably? Then there are revision issues. I can usually be certain that nobody has reprinted an old book with changes and if they have, there will be proper notation of this on the copyright page. Not so sure, I can tell how old a digital document is or that it hasn't been changed.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 773

1. Kids shoot up schools. Why schools?

Because your targets are guaranteed to be unable to shoot back?

They obviously went to different schools than my friends in college. The ones from Philadelphia were explaining all the work they would go through to sneak their guns past the police guarding the school, and the one from NYC just laughed and asked why they didn't pay off the cop like they did. This all would have been in the 80's.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 756

by painandgreed (#46771871) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

The American civil war was about much more than slavery--in fact, the slavery thing was pretty much just a PR tool Lincoln used to solidify public opinion in the north. The real issues were about state's rights, self governance, secession, and consolidation of federal power. It's good to know that mass "education" is successfully keeping people confused about this.

It was about the South running off with all the toys and money the North had bought for them (including the indepenence of Texas due to the Mexican-American War) and thinking they could just walk off with them.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 347

by painandgreed (#46771327) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

The benefit of SFO is that if you become unemployed in the tech industry, currently you don't have to wait very long to get another job. Los Angeles tech is a little different, and living in Denver, I'm sure the employment opportunities are even more limited.

The benefit of SFO is that there are things to do and you can probably walk or take the bus there unlike LA or Denver. From what I've heard, there are plenty of jobs in Denver and similar fly over states because the people capable of working those jobs don't want to live there. I've seen many friends try and decide if they want to live like a king in Ohio, or struggle with more money in SF, and they choose SF. The times I have seen them go to the less populated states has almost always been to raise kids in a place where there was passable schools and less trouble for them to get into. Of course, most of my friend and I grew up in those BFE states, and we're still bitter and biased.

Comment: Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (Score 1) 89

>The Economist is a Conservative publication??? You have an interesting perspective on the world.

Umm, yeah. Is this news to you? Certainly outside the U.S. it is considerate somewhat conservative.

For example, over the last 60 years it has almost always endorsed the Conservative party in the general election (

Yep, but in the States, people like my Republican father find it a bit too liberal for his tastes. He still reads it because it has good information, but he can't see how they could endorse Obama in the last election (which they did), but there are other issues besides economics going on there. Of course, Obama is considered a solid conservative to most outside the US apparently.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 282

by painandgreed (#46761479) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

It was a war over Federal vs. State control

Yeah, control of slavery.

According to U. S. Grant, in his memoirs, it was over money. The US had just fought a war to help Texas gain indpendence, mostly funded by the north in both money and soldiers. The South was mostly economically depressed and the US had a great deal of possessions there, such as Fort Sumter, as well as money they had put into the South. There was simply no way the North would be willing to let them take all the toys and walk away with them. Slavery was certainly a wedge issue, and the reason Grant gave for the South being impoverished (You can't keep a third of your population so uneducated and unskilled that they can't even act as factory workers, and expect to do any better.). It was certainly one of the requirements for ending the war as at the Siege of Richmond when the South stalled by asking terms, Lincoln's offer was come back to the Union as if nothing had happened and abolish slavery and they would be allowed to write any other terms they wanted. Still, he stated in his memoirs that had the South sought independence without the economic entanglement, they would have been allowed to leave.

Comment: Re:Matter, anti-matter... (Score 1) 392

by painandgreed (#46686669) Attached to: Why Are We Made of Matter?

One possibility I have been wondering about is that of antimatter galaxies. Seen from a distance, wouldn't an antimatter galaxy look exactly like one made of matter? I have been told this is not a possibility either, since that would imply that somewhere there would have to be a boundary between matter and antimatter, where a lot of annihilation would be going on and producing gamma-radiation, which we have not observed.

I believe the explanation comes before that. During the primordial nucleosynthesis when matter and anti-matter were being created, they would be so well mixed that it would be impossible for galaxies to form. For any clumps of matter to form, the universe would have to be much less dense than it is now, and those clumps would not nearly be in the size of galaxies.

Comment: Re:robots (Score 1) 402

The robot missions are limited to using the equipment that they've taken with them. Woudn't a human mission have exactly the same limitation? There's a limit to what you can achieve with a pickaxe and a screwdriver. Anyway, I expect that a human mission would be so tied up in just keeping the humans alive, that they'd have little time or resources for any actual research.

Realisitically, a manned mission to Mars would be long term and pretty much have to include a machine shop and ability to repair like any large ship. Add in that there are skilled people present and if mission criteria changed due to what was learned, they could probably alter or build lab equipment for those new criteria. We wouldn't be sending just tools, but a lab with tools that could be used and arranged in various ways as needed. Which, yes, the complexity of sending such and keeping people alive reliably enough to do research is why nobody is trying to send people to Mars any time soon but rather continuing to do the research are are doing with space launches and the ISS.

Comment: Re:Realistically (Score 1) 402

Apollo 11 happened within a single decade, this time we'd be starting with a lot stronger infrastructure and tools, all it really takes is the devotion of resources.

The fuel to power the air conditioning for U.S. troops in GWII was consuming more money, annually, than NASA's entire budget. All it takes to do a thing like a manned moon landing or Mars mission is the political will to do it.

And going to Mars is a mission that is an order of magnitude larger than going to the Moon. It took a decade to go to the moon, so we can expect a hunderd years to go to Mars even with political will and funding. 40 years past and 60 years to go sounds about right. It's not like we've stopped going that way and are probably farther along that most people think. We're still sending things to space, sending missions to Mars, have the ISS doing research, all while tech is increasing on the surface. Sure, we could be doing more, but I don't think people understand the difficulty of what they mean when they say "go to Mars". We are looking at a multi-year mission for a sizable group of people in space and without any unplanned emergency backup in much harsher conditions than LEO. The beginning to a push for Mars will begin with an increase of dedication for the ISS. Probably building another one with what we learned. only then, we could start doing missions that would even look like Mars missions. Those missions would include long term space habitats outside the van allen belt. Return to the moon in a similar long term mission. Possibly exploring and attempts to mine the moon for water if the amount required and ability to gather it would pay off as opposed to shipping it up from the Earth's gravity well. Shipping supplies and equipment to Mars to await the crew and test our ability to get to Mars with such vehicles. Then we could actually send people to Mars.

Comment: Re:Realistically (Score 1) 402

We didn't go to the moon till Apollo 11.

Which was, it must be noted, only eight years after the first American went into space.

It's now been 40+ years since a human went beyond LEO...which is sad.

And this is about an order of magnitude larger than going to the moon which with 40 years past would put us about 40-60 years out from getting to Mars. Sounds about right.

Comment: Realistically (Score 4, Insightful) 402

There's no conceivable way that, within the next few years, our engineering capabilities or understanding of things will be able to do a manned deep space mission to Mars, safe or not. We could try to just put a bunch of guys in a box and send it that way. I doubt we could design, build, orbit, and then get the box on it's way in the "next few years". Let's be serious. Nobody with space capability is looking at a Mars mission any time soon (next few decades*). The level of complexity needed will take time, research, and money. We didn't go to the moon till Apollo 11. Once you start seeing your Mars missions planned, let alone counting up, then we can start being serious about going to Mars. Seriously, we need to test deep space habitats. Long term independent space habitats. Long range movement of large structural objects in space. I bet we will have a deep space station and have sent something similar in a long trip around the moon long before we attempt Mars.

*Elon Musk said it's possible in the next 10-12 years. I think he is just being overly optimistic, and that is overly optimistic, to get in the papers.

Comment: Re:If you take the profits (Score 1) 179

by painandgreed (#46641481) Attached to: Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

People who use the banana equivalent dose don't seem to understand this rather basic and crucial fact. It's also why you don't hear experts on the subject using it.

Bring one fact into the discussion and that sort of indicates you have to bring them all in and now your discussion is way beyond anybody but an expert in understanding, if they ever finish compiling the facts. Facts are just a sure way you'll lose 99% of your audience as they fail to understand or get bored.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen