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Comment more than one plot element this time (Score 1) 167

God I saw this as a kid and I WANTED it to get good but every episode was driven by Dr Smith being an a-hole and the Robinsons forgiving him and taking him to the next episode free as a bird to screw them again. Talk about a lazy writing staff. This could be an interesting idea if they tried to take the original start and create something imaginative with challenges and resourceful responses. If they just reanimate the corpse it would have to stink pretty bad now because it stunk horribly before they buried it.

Comment "clearing the neighborhood" (Score 1) 43

"we are using both mass and distance from the Sun (more specifically, M^2 / A^1.5, where M is mass and A is distance from the Sun). That combination of mass and orbital radius gives the average time for a body to "clear its orbit". Trying to understand the argument against Pluto a bit more and did the shallow internet search for the "Stern-Levison parameter" . If I understand the equation correctly Pluto would be a planet if it were withing 0.8 AU because it would be whipping around so fast even it's puny scattering ability would have had time to clear smaller bodies over a "long period of time" whatever that is. So if it were in Mercury's orbit it would be a planet (well for about 3 seconds until it evaporated) but way out on the edge it isn't. I'm thinking for the solar system a long time may mean something else than it might to us which apparently means from the formation until now..... Is that really the deal here? Seems dumber than I thought already.

Comment They shouldn't have shown the images (Score 1) 43

damn thing sure looked like a planet. Active geology, and atmosphere. I appreciate your writing out this exposition of the case against 'demoting' Pluto to something other than one of the nine planets. I'll accept Pluto is not a planet when Jupiter is not a planet but a gas giant and we are down to 4 planets.

Comment we prefer Little Planet (Score 1) 321

"f you define "planet" (the non-dwarf kind) to include Pluto, then you need to also call Vesta and a bunch of other objects "planets", so instead of 9 planets, it'll be somewhere in the teens, and growing as we discover more Kuiper Belt objects." and that's bad because..... In the end a rose by any other name is still a rose, but the idea we knew the mass and approximate size of this body for so long and called it a planet and then decided it had to have a modifier because we found more is sort of dull. The whole concept of a planet having enough mass to pull itself into a spherical shape seemed to be a reasonable dividing line because it seems silly to call every chunk of matter in orbit around the sun a planet. Having to have enough mass to toss all other bodes out of it's path just seems arbitrary.

Comment Hold up the vision and they will come (Score 1) 634

Of course I knew how this discussion would go as soon as I read the summary but I read through anyway. Near as I can tell the story is several universities started to offer engineering programs that focused on work socially conscious individuals would be attracted to (like previous focuses on 'green engineering' or any number of other incarnations) and in retrospect they find they drew in many more women to try the field than the more traditional programs. So we get this opinion piece that points this out and says all the outreach efforts so often decried here are probably not as important as holding up a vision to people how a field lets them accomplish something they desire. And the frigging crying and whining sets up again. If the glasses are all building Easy Bake ovens and calling it mechanical and electrical engineering I might agree. If they are using the goal of providing clean water to rural third world areas and having to master basic engineering skills to do so then you should all go have a beer and stop worrying some chick is going to be given your job.....

Comment Mod this up Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 320

Genetic engineering rice to add vitamin A is ass kicking science and haters should kiss off. Being worried about engineering plants to allow huge amounts of pesticides to be applied just might be rational. Sticking in random genes that make plants toxic to the insects that co-evolved with them might boost production but might wipe out whole species. Like every other part of science people get scared when they don't understand it and more importantly when they think money is in control and no one is watching.

Comment Natural response to perceived rarity of candidates (Score 1) 517

If you see two equal candidates in terms of technical credentials but you know one can bring a perspective you perceive to be weakly represented in the field I don't find it unexpected that people might reach for that rare candidate. We are not told what the female census was of these institutions nor what the typical application profile looks like. Sorry I can't get all torn up over this - if we see the same thing once there is some balance in the ranks and all capable girls have role models to encourage them to pursue these fields if they have the talent and inclination to try I will change my view.

Comment Correlation of antibiotic use and obesity (Score 3, Informative) 152

major co-incidence today as my PBS station was putting on it's fundraiser series of every diet plan guy in the world. So much fluff to info, but one person was arguing this same viewpoint (gut biota and tendency to be obese) and showed a startling pair of maps - one with the level of antibiotic prescription and the other with the level of obesity. Startling overlap. Google "antibiotic obesity map" Theory being that the use of antibiotics disturbs the balance or microbes and set more of the population up for obesity. Since the idea is that different bacteria feed on different foods this comes back to skipping refined cards and sugars and eating more vegetables - basically the same kind of prescription they all end up with - and trying to skew the population faster with probiotics. On thing I do now is that every thin person out there is not a paragon of good eating and exercise and not every fat person is a pig with their head in the trough. I was never a skinny person but got progressively more massive with age until one doctor finally thought to test my thyroid which was pretty much crapped out. On the synthetic stuff now and slowly morphing back to - well, something thinner.

Comment Why do we need women in tech so bad? (Score 1) 479

we need a meritocracy - to have that all people need a chance to perform. If we have a culture and a practice of driving half the population away from a field we make both the group and the field poorer. So the idea that we have to have some specific number of women in tech may be faulty but the idea that we should examine how we do things and insure qualified and talented women get a chance to contribute seems pretty sensible. Having some kind of quantifiable target to insure actual effort is made is not unreasonable unless the target itself is. Pushing to get 20% candidates (didn't say hires) doesn't seem wildly off the wall. This is the last step in a chain of education and training that may all need examination but the creation of role models changes cultural expectations.

Comment Re:It is simple (Score 1) 755

"Science doesn't disprove God so much as start by assuming God doesn't exist, and operate within the boundaries of what we can actually demonstrate" Really a great statement - I can't remember the book now but it started by pointing out science is fundamentally about predicting and controlling the future by knowing how to manipulate the physical world. For some people there is a hunger to understand the meaning of reality or the source of existence. That is not what science searches for or teaches. And in the end religion isn't any better at answering these questions - if God created the universe who created God - what does it mean for anything to exist. For the human mind at least it really is "elephants all the way down" (sorry obscure reference alert)

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.