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Comment: Re:Oh really? (Score 1) 162

by WillAffleckUW (#47527223) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Ya know Will, you can be really depressing at times.

The bizarre thing is I'm actually an optimist, I just don't get bothered by all the stuff I know.

It was very useful when I did counter-terrorism - a lot of people get ultra cynical after that.

Look, everyone tries to freak you out. The engineer part of me always hears them say "choose A or B" and I choose to realize there are mixtures of choices between A and B and besides A and B, some of which are "better" and some of which are "worse" and that choosing something other than A "bad" is probably better than not choosing B "good".

If 1000 people in cities who drive very little and have little environmental impact due to energy etc change a lot, it may be less than 10 people in rural areas changing a small amount. Just alter time of day for watering, use less water dependent crops (rice etc), and you'll be right as rain. Pay attention to native crops and plants and animals and shift towards those and away from non-native ones.

Comment: Re:ALL RIGHT! (Score 2) 162

by WillAffleckUW (#47526515) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

One of the fun things about Seattle is we actually own the entire watershed here. All of it. So the suburbs basically have no water rights.

They either buy it from us at a premium to what our citizens (who own it) pay or they buy it from someone else (at a higher premium since it has to be trucked in).


Comment: Re:Oh really? (Score 3, Insightful) 162

by WillAffleckUW (#47526505) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

So what alarmist hyper-environmentalist news stories are we to believe? Last time I checked, we had environmentalists screaming that fracking thousands of feet down leaks chemicals (sand, light hydrocarbons) through thousands of feet of permeable geological layers. If these layers are so permeable and the alarmists are telling the trough, how come it takes `thousands` of years to recharge the aquifers?

The act of fracking, or fracturing, creates many tiny cracks.

Here's a thought experiment: Stick your head under a bucket of tightly packed soil (mostly clay) in a bottomless bucket and fill it up.

Now try the same thing after you use a spade on the soil in the bucket for a few minutes.

Get the picture?

Comment: PBS covered this (Score 3, Insightful) 162

by WillAffleckUW (#47526485) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

One of the local farmers said "I expect when we run out this next decade, everyone will be very angry over the decisions we made to plant water-intensive crops in a very arid land for so many years".

It's like Global Warming.

It's coming for you whether you believe in it or not.

Comment: Complicated background (Score 1) 162

by smellsofbikes (#47526447) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

When I took a geography class focussing on the western US, one of the things the teacher mentioned (which I haven't verified independently, but it was his job) was that the Colorado River water rights were allocated based on how much the Colorado River was running in roughly 1920, which happened to be an unusually high flow rate period, so ever since then there hasn't been enough water to satisfy everyone. (Water rights are allocated by time priority: first person who used it gets to take the entire amount that person is entitled to, then second person, and so forth.) So it's 100% spoken for, forever. The shortfall is made up for by pumping out groundwater, and when they allocated the colorado river water rights, they also decided that they were going to make a 100 year plan for water usage, meaning that after 100 years they would have used up pretty much all the available aquifers. Since then we've discovered some more aquifers, and are willing to drill deeper and run more expensive pumps, but that's only somewhat covering the shortage. We're pretty much collecting exactly what we planned 95 years ago. There are still semi-serious proposals to divert and pump chunks of the Columbia River over into the upper Colorado River basin... which is sort of funny, as much of the original water projects in the upper Colorado River basin were, and are, pumping water from it through the Continental Divide over to the eastern slope to fulfill Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma water needs.

The same instructor also noted that depending on how you define your terms, the category of western state water rights was by quite a bit the most common lawsuit that ended up in the US Supreme Court, showing up every couple of years in one form or another.

Comment: Re:wat (Score 1) 158

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#47526131) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Define a circle.

Do circles exist in reality, or only in mathematical models?

What do engineering artifacts, as approximations of circles, bear in relation to "real" circles?

Are infinities actual, or are they mathematical descriptions for mental extrapolations based in observed phenomena?

Do mathematical models display consistency with real, observable phenomena or with any mental extrapolation? Which one is more "real"? Why?

Mathematics can only describe the set of perceptions, IMHO. When they describe unperceived "realities" they enter the realm of fictions or metaphysics.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 26

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#47526043) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

"How many wars have been waged or led by democracies in the past 200 years? Quite nearly all of them. "

Or none of them. The ones democracies participated in, were started by dictatorships invading their neighbors. But even if you add up all the dead in all the wars of the last 200 years- you're still at only a fraction of the 56 million that we've lost to abortion in America alone since 1973.

"How many wars have been waged by actual socialist countries - not just ones who were playing with words - in the past 200 years? Almost none of them."

By playing with words, do you mean the ones who have actually claimed to be socialist? Plus, of course, socialism and democracy does have a rather strong overlap.

"Hell just the number of people that our democracy has killed in war in the past 15 years is likely larger than the total number killed by all the military actions of all actual socialist states in the past 200 years."

Hmm, larger than the 15 million Stalin killed outright? Not in war. But abortions, yes.

Your average modern war kills a few hundred thousand tops.

Comment: Re:Strabismus (Score 1) 393

by smellsofbikes (#47525955) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

My eyes don't line up in the exact same place when I look at things. I had surgery when I was 15 to correct it, after 20 years, it's coming back a little (although to a much less significant degree). Fortunately, it's small enough that I can use lenses to correct it - I have to wear bifocals now - but that also means that Lasik will never work for me to improve my vision. I could have better than perfect vision in each eye and I'd still need corrective lenses. :|

Consider talking to a vision therapist about if this is something that can be corrected. They can do pretty amazing things to train and strengthen your eyes to track, fuse images, and reduce eyestrain while doing so. A lot of people aren't aware that they're straining constantly to keep images fused, and as a result dislike reading or using computers. Sometimes, some physical therapy for your eye muscles can fix it. My wife regularly gets kids whose eyes are pointing in entirely different directions and have never had 3d vision in their lives and after five months (five very expensive months, it should be mentioned) they have and retain 3d vision. It's life-changing for a lot of them.

Comment: A lot of our internal Internet 2 runs on IPv6 (Score 1) 107

by WillAffleckUW (#47525865) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Mostly hardened traffic, but there you go.

Pretty sure it doesn't get counted in with the general Internet, since you guys run so slow, and we have 100 GB/sec ports at most major research universities and military installations, and 40 GB/sec ports within 1-2 mile radius of those.

It carries a lot more data, but no spam.

Comment: Poll Idea: Your fave SDCC experience (Score 1) 23

by WillAffleckUW (#47525809) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

Choose one of the below:

1. Waiting in line for three hours for a badly mixed movie I could have watched next week
2. Dressing up as a Superhero without realizing how overweight I was until I saw it on the news
3. Becoming a Furry. What goes on in Furry rooms, stays in Furry rooms.
4. Comics. Because, duh!
5. Cloning Wil Wheaton.

Comment: Re:First Vost (music or vid) (Score 1) 23

by WillAffleckUW (#47525793) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

I presumed they meant video. I listen to lots of podcasts, including some that probably had been streamed, but were saved as higher quality files for offline consumption.

So, although technically Spotify is, I don't include it. I do count Comcast OnDemand and stuff like Netflix, or if I watch a Sounders game they streamed live.

Sometimes I just use my giant HDTV to watch stuff live and watch streamed stuff on twitter or some other app on a cell phone (that runs over cable wireless) or tablet. Mostly have removed stuff - getting rid of all the apps now.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission