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Comment: Re:I prefer more tires for more contact with the r (Score 1) 218

by stjobe (#47280065) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

You don't want tires if you want to stop quickly.

You could have just linked to this video instead.

(for the click-averse: It's a Leopard 2 tank from the Netherlands demonstrating its emergency brake system by going full tilt towards a line of people (allegedly the inventors of said emergency brake system) and then hitting the brakes).

Comment: Re:I beg to differ. (Score 1) 370

I drink tea *EVERY* single day of my life that is hotter than that coffee was served. If you gave me a cup of tea at the temperature the coffee was served I would return it as not hot enough. Clearly the coffee was not served at an insane temperature.

It was served at 88 degC (190 degF), I sincerely doubt that you drink tea that hot. Perhaps you want it served that way, but you do NOT pour 88 degC liquids down your throat.

From the wikipedia page about the case:

Liebeck was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent.

Reading further, she originally sued for $20,000 (hospital costs + lost wages), to which McD offered her $800.

Comment: Re:Dangerous (Score 1) 490

IAAC (I Am A Cyclist). However I think that people who treat riding a bike as if they own the road are asking for trouble.

It doesn't matter if you SHOULD have right of way. It matters if someone will see you and stop (and not run you over).

Yep, that's how I treat many of my country's traffic laws, e.g. yielding for pedestrians on crosswalks: Fat lot of god it'll do me knowing I had the right of way when I've just run over and killed or badly injured someone. Let them cross, yapping obliviously away on their cellphones.

Or, conversely, if I'm the pedestrian - fat lot of good it'll do me knowing I had the right of way when I'm in a hospital bed with two broken legs. Let them pass, yapping obliviously away on their cellphone.

Cellphones and traffic don't mix, whether you're in a vehicle or biking, walking, or running. 99% of the bad driving I see is someone holding his or her hand to their ear...

Comment: Re:Continuously variable transmission (Score 2) 544

by stjobe (#46649725) Attached to: 60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

"A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a transmission that can change seamlessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values. This contrasts with other mechanical transmissions that offer a fixed number of gear ratios. The flexibility of a CVT allows the input shaft to maintain a constant angular velocity."

My 2012 Toyota iQ 1.33 has one, and it's the smoothest ride you could ask for. A passenger once commented "You never hear it changing gears", to which I answered "that's because it never does" :)

Comment: Re:Summary wrong (sigh) (Score 1) 269

by stjobe (#46510869) Attached to: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

Thank you, that was a very informative link.

I guess the answer really is twofold; for one, everything is moving apart from everything else, so two objects moving apart on directly opposed vectors could do so at very, very close to the speed of light and the combined speed of separation for an external observer would be almost twice the speed of light, and secondly that the speed of light "limit" is for things travelling through the universe, not the fabric of the universe itself.

Thank you again :)

Comment: Re:Summary wrong (sigh) (Score 2) 269

by stjobe (#46510511) Attached to: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

inflation - a particular period of rapid expansion immediately after the big bang.

"Rapid" doesn't really do it justice; if I've understood the theories (or rather, the analogies of the theories) correctly the expansion was equivalent to an object the size of a proton swelling to 10^19 light years across, in just 10^-33 seconds.

Also, and yet again I may be misunderstanding the analogies of the theories (I'm very far from being a cosmologist), the size of the observable universe was roughly 3 metres at that point; the whole universe was about 10^23 metres across - so it grew a fair bit in the intervening 13.8 billion years as well, but not nearly as rapidly as during inflation.

Which leads me to a question that always nagged me; wasn't the speed of expansion during inflation faster than the speed of light? Any cosmologist or mathematicians out there want to offer some insight?

Comment: Re:Here's a Good Summary (Score 3, Informative) 235

by stjobe (#46290761) Attached to: Scientists Study Permian Mass Extinction Event As Lesson For 21st Century

At the end of the Permian era, 250m years ago, the global temperature rose by six degrees. That wiped out 95% of all life on earth.

That's why people come to that conclusion; it has happened before.

That, and the fact that just a few degrees may well kill off just about all marine life, raise sea levels, create deserts where there's currently farmland, melt the permafrost (releasing massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere, further accelerating global warming), melt the polar ice caps and the glaciers, deforest the rain forests, and basically make the world a hell-hole.

Sure, humanity could possibly survive; but at what cost and what kind of life would it be? We can't build AC and heating for the whole ecosystem...

Here's an interesting doomsday summary, degree by degree, from one to six degrees:

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire