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Comment: Re:Hey North Korea! (Score 1) 707

by rrkap (#28947591) Attached to: 30,000-Lb. Bomb On Fast Track For Deployment

During WWII most warring nations used such weapons to an extent. Regretfully, only those who lost were punished additionally for that. Those who won got a free pass, and that is why we may yet see some WMD usage, especially now that MAD is gone for good.

It has always been the case that the loser is punished and the winner isn't and always will be. That's why when you're fighting a war you need to do everything you can to make sure that you win.

Comment: Re:Low carbon foot print? (Score 1) 466

by rrkap (#27820645) Attached to: Google Mows With Goats

uh, it's not a lawn and they don't water it. It's a vacant field that is covered with the annual rye that covers most of California's grasslands. While it isn't native to the area, it performs a similar ecological role to the now rare native grass and probably isn't worth exterminating to replace with native grasses. Goats are a better option for fire control than mowing or discing which are the two other options.

Comment: Re:Sounds expensive... (Score 4, Insightful) 263

by rrkap (#26722179) Attached to: Doctors Will Test Gene Editing On HIV Patients

I should add that this isn't a reason not to pursue research for cures for HIV. It's a very interesting problem and this technique may have broad application if it works. Also in some parts of the world HIV is very common and hard to avoid.

Just as we would treat a heart attack in a 400 lb man, so we should also treat someone with HIV as best we can.

Comment: Re:Sounds expensive... (Score 0, Troll) 263

by rrkap (#26722101) Attached to: Doctors Will Test Gene Editing On HIV Patients

But the big majority of people with HIV in the developed world have it because they are stupid. Avoid shooting up and receptive anal intercourse and you've dramatically cut your chances. Insist on only doing the nasty with clean partners in safe ways and you're very safe. Keep your dick dry, your asshole closed and don't shoot up and your chances of getting HIV are pretty much 0.

Comment: Re:Why is the government even subsidizing this? (Score 1) 591

by rrkap (#26351011) Attached to: DTV Coupon Program Out of Money

The government didn't provide car vouchers, but the (very few) people who still needed leaded gasoline could (and still can, for that matter) still buy the lead additive separately and add it to their tanks. For nearly all drivers the answer was a minor adjustment to their engines and using premium unleaded gas.

Interestingly, leaded gasoline hasn't completely disappeared. It is still used as an aviation fuel.

NASA

+ - Using Earth's Magnetic Field to Eject CO2->

Submitted by rrkap
rrkap (634128) writes "At last week's meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Alfred Wong of the University of California, Los Angeles proposed using the Earth's magnetic field to eject Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere.

His proposal comes in two stages. "First, he has to ionise more CO2. There are many ways this might be done, but for a first experiment Dr Wong proposes zapping dust in the atmosphere with powerful lasers, to release electrons that can then combine with CO2. Having created the ions, he will then nudge those that have drifted upwards to the appropriate height with radio waves of exactly 17 cycles a second...""

Link to Original Source
The Media

+ - Al Gore talks about his book, confesses to read /.

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Al Gore has come out with his new Book — The Assault on Reason, and has generated quite a media buzz. Everybody asking is he going to run for president, and one of the more interesting interviews is available at Politico — where he confesses to be occasionally reading Slashdot.

"[Mr. Gore] has a Google news page and regularly reads about two dozen sites that range from traditional outlets like USA Today as well as new media venues like Slashdot.org, a technology site, and Huffington Post."

Al is also voicing himself in the upcoming Futurama movie."
Biotech

+ - Scientists Identify How Body Senses Cold

Submitted by Vicissidude
Vicissidude (878310) writes "As an ice cream melts in your mouth this summer, take a moment to contemplate the protein that may be bringing you that sense of cool relief — and numbing your tongue. Researchers have pinned down the particular protein in mice used by the body to sense cold temperatures, and think that a similar one in humans does the same job. Mice rely on a single protein, called TRPM8, to sense both cold temperatures and menthol, the compound that gives mints their cool sensation. The sensor also controls the pain-relieving effect of cool temperatures, but does not seem to play an important role in the response to painfully cold temperatures below 10 C. TRPM8 is in the same family as the protein that detects heat and capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot. These proteins lie in the cell membranes of select neurons, and form channels that open and close in response to external signals."
Education

+ - Prof denied tenure for Intelligent Design belief

Submitted by isabull
isabull (1107225) writes "Two Iowa State University (ISU) faculty members of the department that rejected astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez's tenure application have admitted that his work on intelligent design played a role in the department's denial of tenure. "What possible academic reason was there to deny tenure to a candidate who met or exceeded every requirement?" asked Dr. John West, associate director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture, the nation's leading think-tank supporting research into the scientific theory of intelligent design. "This is clearly a case of viewpoint discrimination and an attack on Dr. Gonzalez's academic freedom and free speech rights." http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php? command=view&id=4064&program=CSC%20-%20Views%20and %20News"
Editorial

+ - Reactor that chews up old nuke waste to be built?

Submitted by
zentropa
zentropa writes "A nuclear reactor that chews up old radioactive waste, can never melt down and cannot be used to make weapons? Sounds too good to be true, but that's apparently the promise of a new type of thorium reactor, according to a feature in Cosmos Magazine. It's theorectically possible to build such a reactor, but no-one's done it yet. But now the Norwegians have decided to seriously investigate the construction of such an accelerator-driven thorium-fuelled plant. Why isn't everyone looking into this?"

Polymer physicists are into chains.

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