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Comment: Re: The US slides back to the caves (Score 1) 528

by rraylion (#47767443) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

this is in legislature -- a bill -- not a law, the courts only see things that are about a law.

And the bigger picture - to me is the fact that the scientific method is the basis for analysis. It is one of the greatest tools we have to test ideas, and theories. And it being taught in grade school forms the basis of how everyone thinks through problems they face in everyday life.

I have an issue, I think it is caused by this. I change that parameter, does the outcome of the issue change. If so I have found the right parameter and need to address it.

That line of thinking was not standardized before the scientific process. And we are greater after it's refinement, and poorer to contemplate displacing it with nothing.

~So says the God fearing Christian. [me]

Comment: Re:A partial success (Score 5, Interesting) 73

by rraylion (#44583853) Attached to: NASA Abandons Kepler Repairs, Looks To the Future

as with most satellite missions gone wrong -- its was the gyroscope.... remember it was replaced on Hubble a few times... its seems to be the weakest link in a lot of missions as it has to be a moving part to induce counter rotation in the satellite. it's only feasible to put so many on board ... so maybe a redesign of this one part will save future missions ... but maybe its time to think outside the box now that we know ion drives work a kg of propellant and three exhuast ports would fix this issue with new tech

Other than that it was an awesome mission.

Comment: Job security (Score 1) 184

by rraylion (#44559027) Attached to: Cold War Plan Tried To Put a Copper Ring Around the Earth

Unfortunately the government now funds NASA to find better ways of finding ever smaller pieces of space junk so that important items like the ISS don't get hit by stray debris.

How pissed would you be, to be one of the people at NASA or US Air Force on the project and then reading this story.... or would you be thinking "Hey,.. job security"

Comment: Not so silly... (Score 1) 197

by rraylion (#43619371) Attached to: Our Solar System: Rare Species In Cosmic Zoo

This is a comment from a scientist that I can only hope was taken out of context...

The most common systems contain one or more planets one to three times bigger than Earth, all orbiting much closer to their parent stars than Earth circles the sun, says astronomer Andrew Howard, with the University of Hawaii."

Of the planets we have found, from observation with Kepler mission are the ones with the shortest revolutions. Basically Kepler counts how many times the star dims and looks for a pattern ... every 90 days -- every 180 days... If Kepler was in Alpha Centauri it would not have been in operation long enough to find Earth yet if it was look directly at the Sun. It need up to 4 occurrences to be sure it has found a planet... it started in May 19 2009 -- If we passed in front of the Sun on the 19th --- it would not 'find' Earth until two week from now. Kepler has not been in operation long enough to find Earth yet ... so the claim that most planets are orbiting closer to the Sun than Earth is because it will be in the next two years that the planets that orbit with a similiar period to Earth start to show up... It the MAIN reason the program was extended to 2016 ... That way we will see the Earth like orbits and a few Mars like orbits.

Comment: Re:AR, cyberpunk style (Score 1) 456

by rraylion (#43222825) Attached to: If I could augment my senses (w/ implant or similar) ...

I learned how to lie and while still telling the absolute truth as a child as most of my friends did, where were you?

Robert Jordan's books series has magic users take a magically binding oath to never lie, and even though everyone in the world knows they cannot lie, no one trusts a word they say, because the truth can be twisted. Words can be weapons, and even if you know what someone said is the truth, it will always remain their truth, not yours.

Comment: I wrote a few calendar programs and found this (Score 2) 214

by rraylion (#43137873) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Time Standards Are There?

1) so we all know and love the modern US and European way of calendar generation. 24 hours in a day, 365 +1 on leap year this is called the Gregorian Calendar.

Well It took me by shock when I learned of the other different calendars when trying to create an international holiday calendar that correctly identified holidays that closed the trading markets. So here is a short summary.

2) Julian time is the integer assigned to a whole solar day in the Julian day count starting from noon Greenwich Mean Time, with Julian day number 0 assigned to the day starting at noon on January 1, 4713 BC. (copied from wikipedia) this is used by Astronomers ALOT. And serves as a basis for translating between different calendar systems.

3) The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. ( from wikipedia ) So basically the days are subject to the sun rising and setting just like the Gregorian calendar.. But the months are tied to the winter equinox. So the winter equinox MUST always fall within a certain month and then the rest of the calendar is built backwards, with a set number of days each, and sometimes you need an extra month to accommodate. It works and is very complex. If you own the book Astronomical Algorithms and know programming you will have enough information to create a calendar as accurate as the Chinese produce.

4) The Hebrew or Jewish calendar ( , ha'luach ha'ivri) is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances.(taken from wikipedia). The current year of the Jewish calendar (16 September 2012 to 4 September 2013) is AM 5773. The Jewish day is of no fixed length. The Jewish day is modeled on the reference to "...there was evening and there was morning..." in the Creation account in the first chapter of Genesis. The really interesting thing I learned is that every hour is divided into 1080 halakim or parts. A part is 3 seconds or 1/18 minute. This makes predicting the moon extremely accurate to estimation. Also a Metonic cycle equates to 235 lunar months in each 19-year cycle. This gives an average of 6939 days, 16 hours, and 595 parts for each cycle. But due to the Rosh Hashanah postponement rules (preceding section) a cycle of 19 Jewish years can be either 6939, 6940, 6941, or 6942 days in duration. But this calendar is extremely easy to program.

5) Arabic calendar. I never could figure out this calendar system. It is similar to the Jewish calendar but where one allows months to move progressively throughout the year the other is fixed so that months happen around the same time every year. I forget which one does which. Sorry, it been a while. This calendar is supposed to be very computer friendly as well, however I could not figure it out within the time frames of the project I was doing.

6) The Hindi calendar is to my knowledge one of the most complex and complex, and complex ... did I mention complex calenders in existence. I never figured it all out. But it has to do with a month starting depending on where the moon is when the sun rises on a given day. It can be figured out, but because it is based on very complex dimensions like sunrise which varies based on location, and perceived placement of the moon, which varies by location, the calender is fractured into different version for different regions. I am sure it is a good calendar, I just don;t understand how it fits in a 21st century setting. Basically if you have to deal with someone using a Hindu calendar or need to write a contract and guarantee payments that you will get, base it on days, not months or years. Trust me you will save you and your organization brutal misunderstandings. Everyone agrees a day consists of nighttime and daytime.

Those are the 6 calendars I dealt with. They represent the calendars in use by the biggest economies in the world. But there are more. What I learned that impressed me the most was that all of them outside of the Gregorian and Julian are ancient. All the lunisolar calendars basically meant someone went to the same spot day after day and recorded where the moon appeared to be for hundreds of years to create a calendar as accurate as the Chinese and Hebrew calendars. To accommodate what was seen to what was usable took different measures to ensure plants could be planted. A huge undertaking of observation and careful record keeping. And they were created 3-5 thousand years ago and assembled without a computer. I repeat the Chinese and Hebrew calendars are phenomenal when you look into their history and what it takes to construct them by hand.

I hope this sheds light and answers question, and inspires others to seek more knowledge.

be well my friends

Comment: Re:Just say No! Obligatory John Taylor Gatto quote (Score 1) 729

by rraylion (#41222909) Attached to: Do We Need a Longer School Year?

This is talking abou textending the school year -- no one said kids would never go outside....

And you only need five minutes of sun light to completely restore vitamin D levels in the body. kids stand outside waiting on the bus longer than that. Schools are not going anywhere. The need for social interaction while learning is common to all people. What kids don't need is more overly protective parents making them stay inside all day at a computer to learn.

Schools should be and are where you go ot be taught what humans know. To gain skills to approach analytical problems, and a place to gain basic skills that are common to all jobs.

Changing how the school year is formatted is fine go for it, but it would be better to make the minimum requirements for teaching to be a lot higher. That would improve everything a lot faster. Make all elementary teachers have a BS degree in a science field and a teaching certificate. make all secondary education teachers have a MS in the field they teach and a teachers certificate. have them teach courses that are close to college equivalent. This will give us better educated youth.

Comment: Re:Nations (Score 2) 107

Could you expand on this question:

Like all colonies on Earth from the Imperialism era where there was the land grab in Africa to the American colonies: Once colonies become self sufficient their cultural base wants increased taxes because the colony operates like corp, but the people living there treat it as home and want independence from a culture that is not in touch with their day to day lives. How do you suppose to guarantee funding for Mars exploration while protecting the future of the endeavor from the issues of taxation and right of governance when the colony does become self sufficient?

Eureka! -- Archimedes