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Comment: Re:Use Smaller poles (Score 1) 201

by RockDoctor (#47786569) Attached to: How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

Use lots of smaller poles and make it really roll like a cylinder.

You'd get into a law of diminishing returns in rolling resistance compared to the complexity of the modification. You could probably turn the octagonal section of the modified (cuboid) block into a dodecagonal section by using rods of two or three different diameters and lashed into (their term) "mats" before being lashed onto the block. But whether it would be as stable, is one very open question ; whether it would be as strong under cornering (which would preferentially load the thinnest rods in the "mat") as the octagonal-section / dodecahedral-enveloped system that is proposed here.

Hmmm, I'm trying to remember my crystallographic space groups. Dodecahedra are in the same space group (class) as cubes (it's the secondary axes of 3-fold rotational symmetry that matter), so by choosing the arrangement of rods in the mat you should be able to make the envelope into a true (Platonic) dodecahedron envelope. Contrary to the paper's illustration, you'd need to attach three trios of "rods" to the three pairs of faces so that the ends of the rods protrude over the faces of the (cubic) core. And you'd need two different lengths of rods, to round off the corners. And I'm falling into exactly the same "diminishing returns" trap that I'm pointing out under your feet.

There's some interesting geometry there. And since I'm sharing an office with a lifting-slinging-hoisting-crane operations instructor, I think I'll shove that paper under his nose because he likes fiddling with scraps of rope (a "marlinspike seaman" as they were called in my youth), and I think he'll be interested.

It's an interesting idea. But it does clearly contradict the evidence of the contemporary records, which is a BIG strike against it being true.

Comment: Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (Score 1) 106

by Kohath (#47786255) Attached to: Japanese Publishers Lash Out At Amazon's Policies

What that does not help you with at all is that time ten years hence when no competition remains even on niche platforms, and Amazon decides the price should really be 10 what you are paying now...

Fewer and fewer people read books every year. In 10 years, the market will be much smaller than it is now.

Plus, you're trying to pretend there will somehow be a monopoly on books. Or on electronic distribution of text. Because no one could possibly figure out how to print a book or distribute text without Amazon -- so they'll pay 10x what they're paying now. It's not even the tiniest bit realistic.

Comment: Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (Score 2) 110

by Kohath (#47770269) Attached to: CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories

Also, if there are multiple providers that want to offer broadband service in an area, that sounds like a great reason not to have municipal broadband. My town can barely keep the streets paved -- why would I trust them to provide reliable broadband service?

Comment: Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (Score 1) 110

by Kohath (#47770245) Attached to: CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories

It's fair because Comcast is the incumbent provider and has had the benefit of many years of running a monopoly.

But even if it weren't fair, so what? Since when are things fair for people? Why should Comcast's assertions of unfairness get an audience ahead of any other unfair thing that happens to anyone? Because Comcast is so nice to everyone?

Comment: Re:My 0.02 (Score 1) 492

by Kohath (#47768317) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Not people should live in a desert.

Not seriously why to people do water intensive farming in a desert in an effort to preserve their water rights? I am not all that sympathetic to not farmers and not ranchers that through our governments subsidy rules and their use it or lose it water rights are having a hard time in what normally is a desert. Guess not what you live in a desert and if you can't get the water to grow your alfalfa, lettuce, grape, etc crops maybe you should be trying to grow not those things there.

Comment: Re: Nature is fighting against gays... (Score 1) 134

by RockDoctor (#47764099) Attached to: 13-Year-Old Finds Fungus Deadly To AIDS Patients Growing On Trees
Substituting EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) for HIV/ SIV, and bats for primates ... and you've got a good description of the probable source mechanism of the current Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa.

Incidentally, "improper animal handling procedures resulting in blood-to-blood contact" may include chopping up an infected animal for dinner (as most people envisage it), or digging bits of splattered bat out of the radiator of your car or from your clothing after the bat has become road kill. Which is certainly what worries us and our medical advisers as we travel near to infected areas.

Comment: Re:Average lifespan is misleading (Score 1) 281

by RockDoctor (#47764021) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

We tend to make the assumption that an average lifespan of 30 means that nobody lives past 35 years old

We who? I doubt anyone thinks that.

To misquote someone, nobody ever lost money by underestimating the statistical ineptitude of the common man. Or something like that.

I wish it were true that nobody really thought that poorly. But I am realistic enough to recognise that there are significant numbers of people who really are that ignorant and incapable of basic maths.

Comment: Or stay offline. (Score 1) 272

by RockDoctor (#47763987) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

But that might be the only thing keeping us from choosing between the Wal-Mart-A and Wal-Mart-B of online storage.

I carry 2x1TB drives around with me, and synchronise between them. No online storage for me.

Then again, with 1MBPS of public network link shared between 180 people, no online storage for anyone on this job either.

You can not win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing. -- The Third Law Of Thermodynamics