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Comment: Re:What a silly title ... (Score 1) 115

by sFurbo (#47529003) Attached to: 'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

nice straw-man you built there

It's not a straw man, as I did not indicate that you meant that gold was not a metal. It is an analogy, and possibly a bad analogy, like your platypus-duck one.

they should have said something like "optical fiber effect replicated in thin air" ...

If only there was some way to indicate that a phrase wasn't used literally, they could have used that in the title, and then people wouldn't be think they had made air solid and made a fiber out of it.

Comment: Re:Advanced? (Score 1) 95

by sFurbo (#47521213) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution
"Science" is the collective name for the methods for acquiring knowledge that has, over the last couple of thousand years, been shown to yield self-consistent results that are confirmable by other ways to get the same information. There might be other methods we haven't thought of yet (and realistically, "science" in a thousand years will include more methods than it does today), but for now, the methods collectively known as "science" are the ones we know work.

That is why the assumption that a method outside of science is not helpful in acquiring knowledge is reasonable.

Comment: Re:What a silly title ... (Score 1) 115

by sFurbo (#47521163) Attached to: 'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air
That would be in the same way that it would be silly to call gold a metal, because it is too soft to replace steel?

This does more or less what an optical fiber does: It keeps light on the right path by using differences in refractive index (though I imagine the exact process is different: Optical fibers use total internal reflection, this probably just uses refraction). An optical fiber has the additional advantage of being able to go around corners, but that is not what makes it an optical fiber; the refractive index profile is.

Comment: Re:But what does it do? (Score 1) 115

by sFurbo (#47521143) Attached to: 'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air
What about to get the reflected beam back to the starting point (thus "remote sensing", being able to do e.g. a Raman spectrum at a long distance)? Here, you have light scattering in all directions. The optical fiber will make sure that more of it gets back the way the original laser beam came. That could be phrased as "amplification", though I think another word would be more correct.

Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 1) 190

by sFurbo (#47513911) Attached to: Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

[...] the ideal virus to use as a biological weapon is a virus with long, mostly asymptomatic infectious phase and a high mortality rate.

No, the ideal biological weapon does not spread from person to person. Any disease that does is guaranteed to infect your own population as well; it is basically a gun you can't aim, or a doomsday device (though not literally, it doesn't kill everybody).

Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 1) 190

by sFurbo (#47513689) Attached to: Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

As an educated guess, the study into smallpox has been to figure out out why it is so contagious so that we can build our own great contagion.

Or to figure out why it is so contagious, so we can better treat future diseases that uses the same methods. Without more information, it is hard to tell which end goal is more likely.

Comment: Re:IF.. (Score 3, Informative) 561

by sFurbo (#47322217) Attached to: Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses
Intelligence (as measured by Spearman's g factor) is one of the best predictors for pretty much any measure of success or talent. People who excel at art or sports are also people with high g. The IQ test has one of the highest correlations Spearman's g of any test, so IQ test measures a lot more than how good you are at doing IQ tests.

Comment: Re:low carb and low PUFA vs high Omega-3? (Score 1) 166

by sFurbo (#47244733) Attached to: "Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health
Isn't the smell fishy, as in primarily coming from trimethylamine from reduction of trimethylamine oxide? In that case, it would not be that closely linked to oxidation, though it might still correlate with it (as they both increase with storage).

I don't have a citation (well, unless "personal communcation" is accepted). It was stated in a presentation about stability of fish oils, but that is not solid enough for the confidence in my original post. I am sorry for that.

With regard to the manuscript you linked to about how the oxidation state of fish oils affects the lipid profiles, it is a small study (52 participants, 17-18 in each group) and it seems that they did not correct for multiple comparisons (but I might be missing that). Looking at their numbers, it seems that the largest effect is that the group that got the good oil started out with higher blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), lower blood glucose and higher cholesterol, and than normalized on these measures, except for cholesterol, where they more than normalized. I am not even sure this meats the "hypothesis-generating" state.

Comment: Re:Union tactics (Score 1) 121

Part of it is due to the dislike of monopolies, which is founded on the fact that they skew the market to the disadvantage of the non-monopolist. A union is basically monopoly on (a certain type of) work. Saying "no union member will work for you if you employ non-union workers" is equivalent to Microsoft saying "you can only buy Windows if all of the computers you sell comes with Windows installed", the latter of which is illegal. So why should the first be legal?

That does not explain why boycotts are frowned upon.

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