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Comment: Eh? (Score 2) 25

by wonkey_monkey (#49506081) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

It may seem counterintuitive, but life on Earth, even with all the messy erosion it creates, keeps continents growing.

It had never occurred to me to consider that life might cause erosion. That's usually what wind, rain, and gravity are famous for, isn't it? Plant life is pretty famous, surely, for countering erosion by stopping soil getting washed away (a lack of which leading to occasionally disastrous consequences in flash floods, for example).

The sediments, like milk-dunked cookies, carry liquid water in their pores

Milk-dunked cookies don't carry liquid water in their pores. They carry milk. So the sediments are more like water-dunked cookies, moreso because they both taste yucky.

But over time, if life never evolved on Earth, not enough water would make its way to the mantle to help produce more continental crust, and whatever continents there were would then shrink.

Now, continents cover 40% of the planet. Without life, that coverage would shrink to 30%. In a more extreme case, if life never existed, the continents might only cover 10% of Earth.

That's very confusingly written. The first sentence say "if life never evolved on Earth...continents there would then shrink." But then how did those continents get so big in the first place? Surely shrinking continents is only the case when life did evolve, but then theoretically all dies off.

Comment: Re:A dollar in design... (Score 1) 145

by arth1 (#49498483) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

There is nothing wrong with outsourcing it. You just need to make sure you have good quality control.

Which drives costs up, often quite radically.

When you build something for your own company, the goal is to get as good quality as feasible within time and budget constraints. Next year's salary depends on it.

When you build something as a bidding contractor for the government, the goal is to reduce your costs by as much as you can get away with and exceeding the budget with as much as you can get away with.
It doesn't matter if what you deliver is utter crud as long as you can get away with it. Politicians ensure that next year, you will be able to bid again, and if your bid is the lowest, get the contract. At which point you hire the cheapest unskilled labor and subcontractors that can do the job and no more. Quality, shmality.

Comment: Re:Fuck ups require more work (Score 2) 145

by arth1 (#49498435) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

Rather the opposite. WIth the "libtards" truly in charge, there would be no outsourcing and subcontracting, and NASA would hire people to build things themselves.

The republicans are the ones that demand outsourcing and paperwork that often equals half the total costs. Because heavens forbid if a government agency did something that private companies could do. That is considered anticompetitive theft by the right. Which is why NASA can't do much themselves anymore, and get less bang for the buck.

Comment: Re:Humans are the gross, worst spieces ever (Score 1) 87

by HornWumpus (#49496373) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs

Stone age cultures just didn't have the technology to do all that much.

What is 'commonly taught' is mythology, same as it's always been.

Stone age native cultures wiped out the Mammoth. Once the horse was introduced the warlike, raider cultures came to dominate their more peaceful neighbors.

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner