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Comment: Re:What's the point ? (Score 4, Insightful) 185

by theguyfromsaturn (#48063511) Attached to: Downtown Project Suicides Shock High Tech Community

It hasn't much to do with rational thinking. Mental health is not something that we are conditionned to think about. Among other things, it relies heavily on a fine balance of chemicals in the brain. You have been able to think of your circumcstances rationally, and your are better for it. However, stress can easily lead to despair for various poeople, even if their circumstances are not as dire as those of others. Just as some people may be consumed by rage for no good reason.

Mental health is tricky, and I am certainly not an expert on the subject or on how to maintain it. Hopefully as a society we can move on from it being a taboo subject to people being able to routinely seeking help or just evaluation. How many tragedies could be avoided then?

Comment: Re:One slight problem with that ratio... (Score 1) 119

by theguyfromsaturn (#47380845) Attached to: New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist

I know very little of astronomy, but I have to wonder at the reason why each of the fusion cyles is shorter... is it only because some intrinsic property of the heavier fuel? I had alsways assumed that the fact that there is only a fraction of the original star mass that makes it to Carbon, and only a fraction of that to each successive element in the list what the root cause the the exponential decay in life expectancy of each fuel source. If that is the case, the reason that each cycle is shorter is the lack of fuel. Now, what if ALL the star is made of heavier fuel from the start? Shoud we still expect a ridiculously short fusion time for the initial fuel? If the answer is no, shouldn't such a star be able to shine for at least a few million years?

This is an honest question by someone who wants to know, not a criticism of the parent post.

Comment: Re:Our Universe is Awesome (Score 1) 89

by theguyfromsaturn (#47172997) Attached to: Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered

Actually I think honest politicians are probably fairly common. But as in everything, they start small, and locally, and as such things go, we, the voters, eliminated them from the race early on in favor of the politicians that tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear. The result is that the longer lived politicians, are electorally selected to favour those who tell the electorate things that have little relation to reality as opposed to the electorate's fantasy. We really shouldn't complain about our politicians. We get what we want, not what we need.

Comment: Are there even any sci-fi shows left? (Score 3, Interesting) 67

by theguyfromsaturn (#46642051) Attached to: Interviews: J. Michael Straczynski Answers Your Questions

Not counting soap opera vamps anyways. Not really sci-fi since monsters of that type are folkloric in orginin, not scifyee. So, if we agree to exclude vamps and zombies (tiresome boring buggers), is there a single actual scifi show on TV? I honestly wanna know. I've been looking for one for a while now.

Comment: Re:Moisture inside the dam wall (Score 1) 168

by theguyfromsaturn (#46380209) Attached to: Damming News From Washington State

Not sure what you mean by water "invading" earthen dams... but just for the record, earth dams are always full of water that seeps through the component soils to one degree or another. High flow (in cracks say, or because of overtopping) is a problem at it will cause erosion, which may eventually lead to failure, but water "invading" them is not a problem, it's a given.

That being said, you are correct in mentionning that concrete actually requires water to harden through hydration. The problem with cracks in a concrete dam, is that they propagate, and the pressure of the water will certainly help them do so.

Comment: Who needs a fleet of snowplows? (Score 1) 723

by theguyfromsaturn (#46130253) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

The problem is one of planning not of vehicles. Where I live, snow is a common occurrence every winter, certainly during the warmer days of winter.

The city does have a fleet of snowplows, but when a heavy snow falls, it's not the city's snowplows that handle the load but the graders and other earthmoving equipment of the local contractors. While graders are better with additional pusher attachments, just the basic blade will do wonders.

The main thing is getting organized so that the city can mobilize quickly the equipment of the local contractors in times of need. While it is always costly to hire those guys, it's certainly less costly to do it this way than purchasing your own fleet of vehicles that will rarely get used. Graders get used all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
http://youtu.be/dw9dVWpcAIE?t=...

Comment: The only improvement needed in laptop keyboards: (Score 1) 459

The only improvement laptop keyboards need really bad, is to be swapped with the touchpad. When I use a mouse, I very naturally extend my hand to do so. When I type, I tend to naturally rest my wrists on the table immediately in front of the keyboard. When I rest my writs on a #!@!%$#@! laptop while typing, the cursor goes wherever on the screen and very unfortunate things happen. Actually keeping my hand closer to me to use the touchpad feels unnatural. Why are they designe this way universally? I never understood. A layout with the touchpad above the keyboard instead of below it would feel much more natural.

Comment: Re:oh come on (Score 1) 375

Indeed. It's not even a new concept. My first contact with the concept was as a child (in the 70s) watching an old James Bond movie (probably from the 60s, with Sean Connery, I don't remember which one). The only difference is the actual visualization of the concept. I got all excited when I thought the device actually existed as a prototype. It's not only a concept, but a concept that is still in wait of breaktrhough technologies to happen as I understand it.

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." -- John Wooden

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