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Comment: A lot of progress needs to be made first (Score 1) 470

by somepunk (#46668875) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

Science education at the primary level has long emphasized the products of science, with little regard for the process. Science teachers are a product of this system as much as everyone else. Most of them just aren't equipped to draw a distinction between science and pseudoscience.

Mumbling something about falsifiability isn't going to fly without motivating it and showing evidence, whether or not they have internalized those concepts themselves. Holding them to higher standards won't help, as there aren't enough qualified individuals to go around, unless some sort of mass teaching approach becomes the norm, and it's hard to see that working well with kids.

This is not an educational problem. It's a cultural problem, and it needs a broader approch.

Comment: Re:Realistically (Score 1) 402

by somepunk (#46645005) Attached to: NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

Nobod's suggesting we send colonists! Well, nobody serious.

We've sent a lot of probes to Mars in the last couple of decades, a number of which soft-landed. A mission to take astronaust to Martian orbit could be done in a few years, with proper funding. A more likely scenario is landing and getting back, that would take a couple of decades to plan and develop, but it isn't really that far fetched.

Comment: actually, it was the fleas. (Score 5, Informative) 135

by somepunk (#46614487) Attached to: Researchers: Rats Didn't Spread Black Death, Humans Did

Pneumonic plague being transmitted by air isn't news. It's a form of the disease that gets into your lungs, after all. Also, the primary vector isn't rats at all, but fleas, which often go directly from person to person.

The article's credibility is not helped at all when it mentions the plague virus, when it is actually caused by a bacterium.

Comment: curious orientation (Score 4, Interesting) 19

by somepunk (#46112285) Attached to: First Global Map Outside the Solar System

The large scale structure seems to stretch between the poles, at fairly constant longitude, rather than around the axis at fairly constant latitude, like every other atmosphere we've encountered. Is there some reason they are really that way, or is it some artifact of the data gathering and rerduction?

The Military

U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 On Track With China-made Parts 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the boondoggle-that-won't-die dept.
An anonymous reader sends this report from Reuters: "The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China's espionage and military buildup. According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane's radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have faced sanctions for violating federal law and the F-35 program could have faced further delays."

Center meeting at 4pm in 2C-543.