Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:People eat grass? (Score 1) 43

by hey! (#48479163) Attached to: Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions

It doesn't matter how much land it takes to create animal protein, not per se, not in relation to sustainability.

The Great Plains once has giant herds of bison roaming across them. Humans could eat those bison sustainably as long as they didn't take enough bison to disturb the equilibrium between bison and grass. Taking one bison out of the equation would simply cause the equilibrium to produce one more bison. Reducing the buffalo herd from 25 million to 600 on the other hand is a different matter.

What matters for sustainability is the disruption of natural systems, not the acreage.

Comment: Re:Federal law has an effect, too (Score 1) 314

by hey! (#48479091) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

They're only required to gerrymander minority districts if they have a history suppressing minority votes.

This is kind of like equitable relief, where the court compels a guilty party in a civil case to perform some action to remedy an unfair action it performed earlier.

Comment: Barrage balloons. (Score 1) 108

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48477733) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150?

Try flying some small helium party-style balloons on kevlar fishing line tethers, creating a forest of near-invisible strings.

Copter drones don't fly well with the blades wrapped in string.

(Indeed, I hear full-sized helicopers don't work all that well with a few hundred turns of 75-pound test line wrapped around that pitch control mechanism at the hub, either.)

This might not work against those with the bumpers all around. But the ones with the blades unguarded would have quite a time getting through.

Comment: Land not suitable (Score 1) 43

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48477703) Attached to: Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions

Livestock require 8-20x more land per gram of protein produced than plant based protein sources. Switching entirely to plant based foods would allow returning >90% of that land to its natural state and growing crops only on the most suitable 10%.

Much of the land of the continental US is unsuitable for growing any crop suitable for human consumption, due to things like lack of water. The western range, for instance: Attempting to farm it would be an ecological disaster. Cattle, on the other hand, can make a fine living off it (at a rather low density - like four acres per cow) and ARE suitable for human consumption (and tasty!) when raised on what they chose to eat.

In fact, NOT raising range cattle on range land is ALSO an ecological disaster. US range land has a substantial infestation of invasive grass species that were accidentally introduced by European settlement. The native animals tend to avoid eating it, so it has an extra selective advantage over the native grasses and tends to squeeze them out. Cattle, on the other hand, prefer it - to the point of eating it almost exclusively when it's available. Thus they keep it under control. Meanwhile, any non-cattle attempt to eradicate it would amount to total defoliation, reseeding with native plants, crossing your fingers that the invasive species was wiped out, and repeating whenever it reappears.

Comment: Also, chickens can't be free range and organic (Score 1) 43

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48477667) Attached to: Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions

Wait, is organic and free range supposed to be a better, that is tastier, product or just better for the environment?

While we're at it: If a chicken is free range it isn't organic. A free-range chicken eats wild bugs, and you can't certify that all the wild bugs that flew in ate an organic diet themselves.

My wife raises chickens, studies the issues extensively, and has a lot to say about free range, organic feed, organic chicken regimes, etc. They amount to animal cruelty. Some of the high points:
  - Free range means the chickens are exposed to predators and avian diseases spread by smaller birds.
  - Organic regimes forbid antibiotics and often vaccinations. A bird that catches some disease will either be dispatched to save the rest of the flock, or left to suffer and recover on its own without assistance - perhaps crippled - and meanwhile expose the rest of the flock. A number of poultry diseases are endemic among wild birds or prevalent in the enviornment. Young chicks are subject to coccidiosis and many of the survivors then live with damaged digestive systems. (Non-organic chicks are usually fed a coccidiostat in their early-weeks feed until their immune systems develop, or given a dose of antibiotic if the disease appears in the flock.) Marek's Disease, caused by a herpes family virus, is common. It produces partial paralysis, blindness, lymphoma, immune suppression, tumors, atherosclerosis, and a range of other painful and debilitating symptoms. Non-organc chicks are vaccinated against it. And so on.
  - Free range means the chickens are in large groups rather than individual cages with a handful of birds in each. Chickens can keep track of the ranking of no more than about a hundred other individuals, so life in a larger group is a constant series of battles to reestablish dominance. In small group cages, on the other hand, the heirarchy is worked out quickly and peace generally prevails (or relative peace, depending on breed). This is partiularly a problem with commercial egg-laying breeds, which are noted for intra-species violence and cannabalism.
  - Free range chickens are allowed to leave the barn in the day. But only the few who set up their teritory near the door actually get to leave. The rest are still effectively confined to the buildng in a mass of interacting birds.
  - Commercial feeds from big-name animal feed suppliers are tightly quality controlled and well tuned to the birds nutritional neefd an their taste preferences (so they'll enjoy eating it and thus eat as much as they should). Organic feeds are noted for dangerously poor nutritional qualities, from bad formulation choices, variation between batches, and the use of ingredients that quickly lose their nutritional qualities during storage. With their high metabolism, an under- or mal-nourished chicken will becomes a damaged and debilitated chicken in just a few days.v

I could go on...

Comment: -457 farenheit is nothing to sneeze at. (Score 4, Insightful) 135

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48477215) Attached to: Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

What the material is doing (or is claimed to do, anyway) is to re-radiate incident radiation at a wavelength that can pass through through the atmosphere back out to space without being absorbed (i.e. it won't heat up the atmosphere).

More importantly: If the wavelength were one that was absorbed by the atmosphere, it is also one where the atmosphere radiates heat back toward the paint.

If your frequency slot is one with "absorption", you "see" the temperature of the atmosphere - a bit cooler than the surface of the (greenhouse-effect boosted) planet, but not by enough to be exciting.

If your slot is one that is essentially fully transparent, you "see" the cosmic background (except for the tiny part of the sky that shows the sun's or moon's disk). That's about 2.7 degrees K, call it -457 Fahrenheit. Liquid helium is substantially warmer at -452.2.

The slow radiation of heat at the sky is almost completely overwhelmed by conductive and other transfers of heat into the paint, of course. Of the 530ish degrees F difference from room temperature, only nine are left.

But that's nothing to sneeze at. The inside of my well-insulated desert house gets up to about 85 in the day without air conditioning. If I could drop that by nine degrees it would be a relatively comfortable 76. (It would likely actually drop more, because the lower temperature of the surface would slow the heating and tend to even the daily cycle of temperature out further.) 85 or more is debilitating. 76, with drastically low humidity (dew point typically about 35), is actually comfy.

Comment: Re:In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamic (Score 2) 135

by Rei (#48476923) Attached to: Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

It's not the ambient temperature of air that's key here, it's the ambient temperature of space, which is about 2,7K.

All objects are constantly radiating energy and receiving energy back from other things that are radiating. When two objects in radiative exchange are roughly the same temperature, this balances out. But when one is hotter than the other, the hotter one loses more energy than it takes in, and vice versa. And it's not just a little difference - radiative heat loss is proportional to the absolute temperature to the fourth power, that's a pretty big exponent. So when you're exchanging energy with space, which is so cold that it takes very sensitive instruments to be able to measure *anything*, well, that heat is simply lost.

You can see this effect for yourself by noting how cloudy nights are usually warmer than clear nights. Clouds are cold, but they're not as cold as space!

The effect of the combination of radiation, absorption, and reflection, with different band peaks for each phenomenon, manifests itself in atmospheres as a greenhouse effect (positive or negative) versus the radiative equilibrium temperature.

Comment: Re:In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamic (Score 1) 135

by Rei (#48476869) Attached to: Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

This "modulation" happens all the time, few things in this universe are true blackbodies, most prefer to radiate in specific bands. They're apparently using a material that tends to radiate only on one narrow band at regular earth temperatures.

Not sure how much benefit this provides to the building owner, to the point that they'd be willing to cover their building in hafnium-and-silver coated panels, rather than just white paint...

Comment: Re: haven't been following... (Score 1) 177

by Rei (#48476295) Attached to: Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Does anyone actually have problems with scratching of the latest generations of gorilla glass? I've had my Xperia Z2 for over half a year and because it has a glass back as well as front it makes it less risky to try scratch tests, so I've done it a number of times and let other people try to scratch it, and nobody has ever succeeded. I'm sure if you put a diamond to it you'd scratch it, but short of that, I can't see why more scratch resistance is needed.

Now, *crack* resistance, they could use good improvements in that. : But from reports the sapphire wasn't that crack resistant.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

Working...