Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:not surprised (Score 1) 83

by Black Parrot (#47813403) Attached to: Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

I suspect people put too much emphasis on brain evolution as an explanation for technological innovation. Think how slow innovation would be coming now if the world population was 50,000 and we didn't have writing.

Our ancestors of maybe 10,000 years ago had a material culture closer to the apes than to us, but we probably hyaven't changed much during that period.

Comment: Re:But hey... (Score 2) 438

I'm even more sad that so many Americans would STILL vote for this guy today simply because they're Democrats and that's that.

Low as my opinion of Obama is, I'd certainly vote for him again if he was running against the same two clowns as last time, or the two psychopaths from the time before.

Comment: Re:Put it this way (Score 1) 438

This is why the solution, if Putin persists in this line of thinking, will involve a single bullet from a covert operative, not legions of troops or thousands of missiles.

I hardly imagine that that would matter, other than give his successor the "terrorism" excuse to do whatever he wanted.

Putin's cronies at the FSB put him into power. His successor isn't going to a have noticibly different agenda.

Comment: Re:Put it this way (Score 2) 438

And then Putin will start looking around for more real estate he likes. I hear there are a lot of ethnic Russians in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia....

Which have been NATO countries for a decade. The Soviet^w^w Russia will have a bit more trouble getting them back.

In fact, Putin may be making his play for Ukrania now, lest it also slip permanently beyond his reach.

Comment: Re:not surprised (Score 1) 83

by Black Parrot (#47806763) Attached to: Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

The idea that neanderthals are too dumb for cave art is just as rediculous as the notion that some humans are practically animals compared to other humans (what most racists believe).

I imagine that, prior to the discovery of evidence that they painted cave art, the argument was that there was no evidence that they had, not that they were unable.

No, there's a long tradition of viewing the Neandertals as "incapable of symbolic behavior". In the latest edition of Scientific American there's still a guy peddling the argument with moved goal-posts.

Comment: Re:Arevas failure (Score 1) 116

by Black Parrot (#47805293) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

ISTM that Homo economicus is almost incapable of resisting the urge to cut corners in the design, construction, operation, and inspection of nuclear power plants. (And in non-nuclear projects as well, though few have the destructive potential of Cherynobyl.)

I wish the whole world was on nuclear powar, but our species simply isn't mature enough to "drink responsibly" when it comes to such things. And with the past few decades' huge increase in pressure to cut corners in order to maximize short-term profit, I suspect things will get worse before they get better.

As for the Chinese... have they hit on a better approach than capitalism, or are they practicing the Soviet-style corner-cutting that gave us Chernyobyl?

Comment: Re:Hate!? (Score 0, Troll) 83

by Black Parrot (#47805235) Attached to: Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

ISTM that Republican anti-science-ism is mostly limited to two areas, evolution denial and global warming denial. The latter is easily explained by the party's tradition of ruling for the benefit of Koch types (and having their campaigns funded by same), and the former is easily explained as an easy way to get religious traditionalists to vote against their own best interests.

Comment: Re:Arevas failure (Score 1) 116

by Black Parrot (#47804875) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

You'd think expectations for "the plant's automation system" would be pinned down before the contracts were signed, let alone before construction started.

The Wikipedia article leaves the impression that the actual problem has been shoddy workmanship and poor project management.

FWIW, In my experience with small-time contractors in the petrochemical industry (back in the day), common practice was bid an untenable price and make the profit by finding or "finding" problems that had to be fixed at great expense, and with little ability for the buyer to bargain on the price. (And sometimes the findings are real; I have seen the blueprints showing a foundation with an 8' radius for a tower with a 10' radius, the problem not discovered until the crane tried to lower the tower onto the bolts in the foundation.)

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

Working...