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Comment: Re:Peak Water (Score 1) 372

by pepty (#47547375) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

I happen to own (along with 500 acres with a well on it) a significant portion of 860 acre-feet of water rights in a rocky mountain state and I grew up in CA, so I'm fairly familiar with the way water works out west.

If you think the only cost of ground water in the west is digging a well and pumping it out, you likely don't live in the west. Essentially all the water in most western States is used by whomever owns the water rights.

Surface water is regulated and priced that way in CA, but California law gives the groundwater rights to whoever owns the overlying land.

Comment: Re:Peak Water (Score 1) 372

by pepty (#47536809) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate
What natural price are you talking about, exactly? The natural price for ground water is the cost of digging a well on your property and pumping the water out from under your (and your neighbors') property. The price only goes up to the extent you drain the aquifer and need to dig a deeper well.

Comment: Re:comments are now underway on just this issue (Score 1) 77

by pepty (#47496229) Attached to: Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA
I take it you specified bystander so as to avoid mention of Roman Pirozek taking off the top of his head (yes, he died) with an RC helicopter. Hobby RC aircraft are already regulated: where and when they can't fly, etc. The new FAA regulations don't need to exclude hobby RC aircraft, just deal with them at the minimum level needed to protect people's safety, privacy, and property.

Comment: Re:i'm glad to work for free (Score 1) 394

by pepty (#47496177) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

TV used to have 52 minutes of content for 8 commercials.

Now it has 42 minutes of content for 18 commercials. And in some cases 39 minutes of content for 23 minutes of content (by over laying the credits of the prior show with commercials).

I mostly just don't watch it any more.

But I've also gotten really good at not seeing the commercials. At first I had to try but now it's like I can sort of go blind and deaf to the commercials until the show comes back on.

I'd be willing to pay for cable TV per hour - with a simple stipulation. Say they get to charge me $2 per hour of original (never seen before on cable, broadcast, in theatres, etc) content. I charge them $2 per hour to watch the commercials, and promotions for the channel/network/whatever also count as commercials. So 42 min content - 18 min commercials = 24 minutes (80 cents) they would net per hour from me. Repeats would work the same way, but with figures of $1 per hour of content/hour of ads.

Comment: Re: "the market" = biz managers (Score 2) 192

by pepty (#47491585) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

Look at the most popular and longest running TV shows over the last 50 years and there not crap. Mostly, it's original or well excited ideas, not drivitive crap.

Less true now than earlier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_watched_television_broadcasts_in_America#Most_watched_U.S._TV_series

The most popular TV show in the USA from 2003 to 2011 was American idol: definitely not original or exciting.

Comment: Re:Generalization Fail (Score 3, Insightful) 725

by pepty (#47392995) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide
All of the Democrats in the house believe in gun control. But then again, so do all of the Republicans:

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/03/gop-house-decides-2nd-amendment-limits-approves-gun-control-measure-voice-vote.html

The republicans are much better at drawing people together based on commonalities in what they hate and fear than the Democrats. That has worked best by pushing simple yes/no good/bad simplified versions of issues - like gun control - and burying the complications.

Comment: Re:Factual beliefs? (Score 1) 725

by pepty (#47392889) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

religious zealots are the ones who see most clearly that science functions as a religion in modern society

In the sense that science and religion both underpin the way people see and interact with the universe, other people, and many of their attempts to control both. Sort of how apples function as oranges if what you are doing is holding a piece of fruit or chucking it at someone's head. Eating them are somewhat different experiences though.

Comment: Re:The same way many global warming papers got pub (Score 4, Interesting) 109

by pepty (#47381369) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?
retractionwatch.com is great for the most influential journals but it's safe to say it's only catching a small minority of the infractions, and of those really only the ones published in english. One cynical solution: as grant money continues to dry up, scientists will realize that the easiest way to improve their chances to get their grant approved is to thin out the competition: exhaustively check their competitors' publications and old grant applications for plagiarism and fraud, then complain anonymously.

Comment: Is this better for pour-over or French Press? (Score 4, Interesting) 32

by pepty (#47368859) Attached to: Hierarchical Membrane For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

Solomon performed experiments showing the effectiveness of the membranes in separating nanoemulsions while maintaining integrity at high pressure. The team used various techniques — including differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic light scattering, and microscopy — to test the separation efficiency, showing more than 99.9 percent separation. Microscopy images show the membrane in operation, with dye added to the water to make the droplets more obvious. Within seconds, an oil-water mixture that is heavily clouded becomes perfectly clear, as the water passes through the membrane, leaving pure oil behind. As shown in the microscope images, Solomon says, “We’re not only getting rid of the droplets you can see, but also smaller ones,” which contribute to the cloudy appearance.

How much oil (weight/weight) can a piece of membrane hold on to? Can the oil be stripped off of the membrane so that the membrane can be reused? If the answers are "less than 1:1" and "no", this might still be useful as a final purification stage after most of the oil has been removed or for situations where you are trying to clear smaller amounts of more toxic materials.

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