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Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 427

No, I don't blame them at all.

Europe is running into this problem to an even greater degree (due to slower population growth and more generation welfare states) than the United States. Welfare states cannot support unlimited numbers of newcomers who do not pay in as much as they take out.

We have to balance that. I am in favor of allowing greater immigration, but eliminating (through enforcement, penalties against business, etc) illegal immigration.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 481

by Moridineas (#49513217) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

I had a conversation a few months ago on slashdot on this topic.

If you are living in Germany, would you mind sharing your annual kilowatt usage, natural gas usage, and home size? I would be interested in a comparison.

Here's me:

I have a standalone house, that has two levels and a basement, with two HVAC systems: 2500 ft^2 (~230 m^2) and two hot water heaters. Heating is done through the potable hot water heaters.

Annual electric usage: 2014-02-01 through 2015-01-31: 10,067 kWh.
Annual gas usage: 2014-01-01 through 2014-12-31: 735 CCF (centum cubic feet). I'm not sure what you measure natural gas usage in--m^3? If so, approx 20.8 m^3.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 5, Insightful) 427

You're right about what happens, of course, but vastly over simplifying.

I live in Raleigh, NC. My wife and I have two kids, one of whom will be starting kindergarten next year.

The public school we were zoned for is ~75% African American and Hispanic. I'm ok with this, I grew up in the area and went to a "majority minority" school (though there were not many Hispanics in the area back then) as well. This school also has over 50% of the students who score lowly on the English proficiency charts. 60% of the students are on free lunch. The end of grade test scores are...abysmal. When visiting the school, the teachers were just overwhelmed with having to deal with so many non-English and other remedial students.

I want my kids to be happy at school and get something positive out of it. I just could not see sending my kids to that school. This was a very hard decision, but we moved from our 150k house to a 250k house 8 miles north. The new school is still very diverse--about 35% African American and Hispanic, but has much better test scores, an actual PTA with engaged parents, etc.

It's easy to criticize those 1%%er fat cats and their slutty wives, but really, everybody wants the best for their kid. You can't blame parents for doing whatever they can--moving, paying an arm and a leg for private school, etc--to help their children out. It's really just human nature.

Comment: Re:= paracetamol (Score 1) 187

by Muad'Dave (#49469435) Attached to: Acetaminophen Reduces Both Pain and Pleasure, Study Finds

We have at least one instance of that in the US - Excedrin. Their "Extra Strength" formulation has the exact same amounts of the active ingredients as their "Excedrin Migraine" and "Excedrin Menstrual Complete". At least at Walgreens Online they charge $17.99 for 200 Extra Strength caplets and $18.49 for 200 Migraine caplets. In the actual brick-and-mortar stores the prices are usually identical. Walmart's prices are the same.

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 258

by Moridineas (#49460981) Attached to: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

Governments don't exist by taxing, they exist because we as humans have figured out that a central power working on behalf of the population works better than the alternatives. Tax simply is how we fund this enterprise.

So, I take it since you have neither disputed the point I was made nor answered the question, you're not really interested in the discussion and just want to internet argue. Fine with me, but I'm not going to take you up on it. If you're looking for low-quality political flames, I might suggest a different forum.

Comment: Not Esperanto (Score 1) 8

I'm sure you're aware of Esperanto, which is a 'constructed' language proposed as a universal second language. There are also Interlingua, Ido, and Novial, but I don't know anything about them.

The things in Esperanto that turned me off are listed here:

"the use of "Classic Greek and Old Latin singular and plural endings -o, -oj, -a, -aj" - those are unpronounceable to native English speakers ('oj' would be naively pronounced as 'ohgz' or 'oddgz' instead of 'oy').

"letters with circumflex diacritics, which some find odd or cumbersome, along with their being invented specifically for Esperanto rather than borrowed from existing languages; as well as being arguably unnecessary, as for example with the use of instead of w."

An optimal language, IMHO, would have no diacriticals, no gender aside from pronouns (he, she, etc), very few verb tenses (I can indicate time by using more words - "I eat the apple before" vs "I ate the apple" - no verb tense needed), and no ambiguous spelling or pronunciation. With all these limitations, it may sound like caveman language :-)

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 258

by Moridineas (#49414875) Attached to: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

And they keep your taxes in a gingerbread house in the woods and they eat little children. Fucking taxes...

I don't understand your response. The GP talked about lost revenue. I suggested the way in which revenue will, without a doubt, be made up. Governments exist by taxing human activity. Do you disagree that in the near future there will be special taxes on driverless cars?

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 265

Did you stop to think that the article I quoted means "The coal that is burnt in Germany" not "coal that is mined in Germany"? You're too quick to dismiss the source data. Why would an article quote radiation figures for coal that's not being used, as you state? You've repeated this over and over, but I hoped you'd figure out your misunderstanding yourself and that I wouldn't have to point it out to you.

As for the "You started with an insane amount of "radiation" spread by coal plants. Now -- after 3 or 4 posts -- you accept that perhaps maximum 1%" --- I have done no such thing. I used the MOST CONSERVATIVE numbers to prove my point. Even using the lowest figure of 1% you still have to reconcile these facts:

"In the USA, 850 million tonnes of coal was used in 2009 for electricity production. With an average content of 1.3 ppm uranium and 3.2 ppm thorium, US coal-fired electricity generation in that year gave rise to 1100 tonnes of uranium and 2700 tonnes of thorium in coal ash."

If 1% is lost to the atmosphere, simple math (so simple you might be bothered to verify it) shows 11 tonnes of U and 27 tonnes of Th are released. My previous post was indeed in error. I was off by a factor of ten, but not the way you claim - I previously said "2.7 tonnes of Thorium" when the actual number is 27 tonnes.

As for your mercury numbers, you're the one that's way off. this paper sampled US coal for 25 years and came up with a mean mercury value of 0.17ppm. As stated above, US coal has 1.3 ppm U and 3.2 ppm Th. There is 7.6x as much U as Hg, and 18.8x as much Th as Hg.

Besides, the original argument was "Thirdly, the 'idea' that coal emits noticeable radioactivity is a myth from the 1960s/1970s" - I've proven that clearly there is noticeable radiation released on a continuous basis.

If you are too lazy to do any research, then I'm done with you. Continue with vague hand-waving and accusations of bad math and maybe someone will believe you.

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 2) 258

by Moridineas (#49408025) Attached to: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

America is criss-crossed by a lot of Interstate highways. If any state drags their feet too long, the trucks will be routed elsewhere, and that state will lose revenue and jobs.

What revenue and jobs? I thought that was kind of the point of driverless trucks?

Besides, with no need for humans in the cab, the fundamentals of trucks can be redesigned. No need for bunk space, windshield, driver seat, etc. Change the design of the cab to dramatically increase aerodynamics. Program convoys of 3–4 (so as not to be a nuisance) trucks to draft off of each other going down the highway to dramatically increase mileage. I'm betting driverless trucks can be a lot more fuel efficient than your average driver by method too, so gas tax revenue from trucking may not be as high.

But, the real answer to your question is what governments do with ANYTHING new--tax it.

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 265

Read the original article again. OLD plants emit as much as 10% - new plants with advanced scrubbers emit no more than 1%. Here's the quote, emphasis mine - search for it:

"Some 99% of flyash is typically retained in a modern power station (90% in some older ones)."

That's not my statistic - if you don't believe it, follow the footnotes in the article.

As for the 50 mg/Nm^3, your limit is higher than ours if the 18.3 mg/Nm^3 is correct. The US burned 850x10^6 tonnes (850x10^9 kg) of coal in the year 2009. Even of we go with the 1% figure nationwide, that's still 11x10^3 kg of uranium and 27x10^3 kg of thorium up the stack. Refer to the quote from the same document, below:

"In the USA, 850 million tonnes of coal was used in 2009 for electricity production. With an average content of 1.3 ppm uranium and 3.2 ppm thorium, US coal-fired electricity generation in that year gave rise to 1100 tonnes of uranium and 2700 tonnes of thorium in coal ash."

This article seems to show that Germany is not so clean after all given the relatively large amount of coal it burns compared to its EU neighbors.

This chart shows Germany using 256 million short tons of coal in 2011. That's 232x10^9 kg. With German coal containing up to 13 ppm of uranium and up to approximately 39 ppm thorium (see the first liked article for the source of those figures), that means:

In 2011 German power plants emitted up to 30x10^3 kg of uranium (232x10^9 x 13ppm x 1%) and up to 90.5x10^3 kg of thorium (232x10^9 kg x 39ppm x 1%).

Note that US coal contains up to 4 ppm uranium while German coal contains up to 13 ppm. From the first article, "US, Australian, Indian and UK coals contain up to about 4 ppm uranium, those in Germany up to 13 ppm ...".

I really can't make it any clearer that ALL coal plants emit fly ash, and because of the vast amounts of coal burnt around the world, that fly ash represents a significant and easily detectable amount of radioactivity (not to mention the chemical toxicity) released into the atmosphere around the plants.

I think I've proven my point with reason and numbers to back it up - all you've contributed is disbelief and scorn.

Comment: Re:If no deal, then Iran *will* get nukes (Score 1) 383

From the second the GW Bush made his crazy ill-advised "Axis of Evil" speech and then proceeded to invade one of those Axis members, it was pretty much guaranteed that Iran and North Korea would pursue nukes (and NK has already succeeded). They're not stupid. They know nukes are the only way to assure you won't be invaded or overthrown by the U.S.

North Korea has had a nuclear weapons program for decades. Literally, decades. North Korea joined, and then withdrew from, the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993, followed by years of haggling, back and forths, industrial espionage (with Pakistan amongst others), and broken agreements. It's very disingenuous to claim that North Korea wanted and got nuclear weapons because of Bush.

Likewise, Iran has had a nuclear program for decades. US obsession with Iranian nukes goes back decades. See, e.g., Operation Merlin. Again, very disingenuous--or at the very least misinformed--to attempt to blame Bush.

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 265

I'm sorry you're so stubborn, ignorant, and nationalistic to believe that a mere 1% of the ash generated from burning coal couldn't possibly escape into the atmosphere in the Fatherland. Unless you've got alien-level technology, your German scrubbers are bound by the same physics as those in the US - ~99% efficient is the maximum you can get. - 99% efficient - 90% - 99% efficient = 99% efficient

Table 3 in this document directly compares particulate matter emission regulations in the US and Germany - as you can see, the average PM emissions for German plants is 50 mg/Nm^3 as opposed to 18.3 mg/Nm^3 for all new large plants in the US as mentioned in this document.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling