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+ - Can successful geeks find trophy wives? Should they?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "So I came across this study which claims that the myth of successful men obtaining "trophy wives" is just that, a myth.

Evidently, according to the researcher, most men end up with a woman "who is similar to themselves in education, race, religion and physical attractiveness". She (the researcher is a woman) says this is a good thing!

I don't know about you, but I'm hardly Mr. Handsome and if I'm relegated to someone "similar...in... physical attractiveness" I think I will be disappointed. Sure you can call this shallow or whatever but I'd say a huge proportion of men throughout history have chosen their mates on that basis (remember, Helen of Troy wasn't noted for her intellect or character or cooking skills. Einstein had many affairs with comely students.). So I was hoping that my prodigious (ha ha) brain and more importantly, the success it has brought me, might help compensate for some of my other deficiencies (yes, ha ha that too). That and the fact that I am from the rich West living in a developing country with a huge number of young women is helping my odds.

So what is your (anecdotal) experience? Is this researcher correct in saying that it is almost impossible for even a very successful man to break the norms and find a woman significantly more physically attractive than him? In that case I ask, doesn't that take away from one of the major reasons why men want to strive to achieve and be successful? If women really don't care so much about how successful you are, why work so hard? (I know that there are many other reasons to try to be successful but this has got to be one of the big ones).

And yes, I'm obviously having difficulties finding said trophy wife."

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Comment: Many(?) Swedes vs. Millions of S.E. Asians (Score 3, Insightful) 567

So while I'm not ready to completely discount the stories of some Swedish "focus groups" (from the article), that anecdotal evidence would be balanced (overwhelmed? flooded? washed away? submerged?) by the experiences of tens of millions of rice farmers here in S.E. Asia (Mekong delta) who are literally seeing their future disappear before their eyes.

I think the rate of inundation by the ocean here (I live in Vietnam) is getting ridiculous, I frequently read in the local papers about KILOMETERS per year of rice paddies being lost to the sea; if not by direct submergence then by saltwater infiltration. I don't think there's a shadow of a doubt to these farmers that SOMETHING very bad is happening, though honestly I'm not sure if many of them have even heard of climate change.

Now of course there are a lot of other things going on that could be contributing to this. Overuse of groundwater, damming of the Mekong, improper irrigation; I'm not a climate scientist and I haven't screened out those effects (of course climate scientists who've looked at this closely have and they say the effect is real). But neither are those Swedes climate scientists so if their unprofessional opinion is that nothing out of the ordinary is going on, well I've got ten times (a hundred times? a thousand times?) more opinions here to counter that. Then again, there just might be some biases in listening more to white europeans as opposed to brown asians so maybe their opinions don't count. (I rarely if ever see any articles in Western media about the tremendous loss to agriculture that these farmers in the Mekong are facing; the rice basket to HUNDREDS of millions of people; nor do I see articles about the gloomy forecasts made by the governments here that in 20 years or so millions of people in cities like mine, saigon, will be flooded out).

Comment: This is probably illegal but... (Score 1) 30

by wisebabo (#47330963) Attached to: Automated Remote Charging for Your Flying Drones (Video)

I thought they meant WIRELESS automated remote charging. Like as in a laser or microwave beam transmitting power to a drone to keep it flying indefinitely.

I was wondering how much power it would require to keep a relatively small drone (but still capable of carrying a decent camera and transmitter) aloft. Of course the drone would have to be equipped with some sort of receiver capable of converting the beamed energy (visible light? IR? microwave?) into electricity. By "power" I'm referring to the power of the beam as well as the power fed into the transmitter (more because of losses).

Would there be a 10:1 ratio of power fed into the transmitter: power converted into electricity? 2:1? 100:1? I assume the beamed power would be way beyond what is regarded as "safe", certainly for a visible light laser maybe not for microwave. (That's why I assume it would be illegal). On the other hand, I assume a reasonably simple pointing system on the ground station could illuminate the (not too big) receiving antennae on the drone and would be able to compensate for sudden gusts of wind, etc. Of course the drone would have a small reserve battery.

What would be the effective range for a (practical) system? 100m? 1km? 10km? Anyway, it could be an excellent observation/surveillance platform. Imagine having a permanent camera flying (lazy circles?) above your house. Maybe if it was robust (and safe!) enough, power could be beamed BETWEEN drones (or even from orbit) thus getting rid of any range restrictions. On the other hand, if the tracking was really good, perhaps the "ground" station could be mounted on a moving vehicle; that might make the kind of flying companion drone, as seen on the cartoon "Speed Racer" where we have a robotic bird following the car, practical.

A really sophisticated long range drone might even have power AND communications beamed on a tight microwave beam from a (BIG) antennae in geo-sync orbit. Being able to loiter at almost any altitude over any area for any length of time might make this very valuable to the military (And a big drone could, of course, carry weapons). On the other hand, if the transmitter/receiver/converter overhead wasn't too large, it could be used in the exploration of other worlds. NASA was recently talking about having a quadcopter drone combined with a balloon in Titan's atmosphere; the drone would have to periodically dock to recharge its battery from the nuclear generator on board the drone. Well, this would allow the drone to keep flying without docking.

Comment: Evolution in action! (Score 2, Interesting) 275

by wisebabo (#47270513) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Since we don't know what the long term effects of low-gee gravity (Mars is 1/3 that of Earth) as well as the higher level of background radiation (Mars' atmosphere is too thin to screen out a lot it), we're going to be evolving a new race of Humans! (I guess we'll call them Martians).

This is the way Nature has done it for billions of years and it's worked. It's called Evolution. Sounds fine except Evolution works through DEATH, DEATH killing off those who can't survive long enough to pass along their genes to the next generation. So we may find that the first generation of colonists on Mars are going to have an absolutely horrific death rate (in addition to all the problems they'll run into with accidents, running out of supplies, breakdowns, etc.) but the next generation will be less so and so on. This is not a pretty picture but then again Nature; "red in tooth and claw" rarely is.

The only way to make sure that there are enough Humans to evolve into Martians is to have a very high birth rate. So perhaps, as Dr. Strangelove would have it, we should have a wildly disproportionate sex ratio of females to males, in order to have the maximum population growth ("and they should be of a highly stimulating sexual nature" :). So maybe there's something in it for (men) to go to Mars!

Of course we could actually avoid all this trauma (and sex?) by avoiding the natural selection process of Nature by fully understanding the problems we will face. Then we could either, pre-select the individuals who happened to be genetically endowed to survive and reproduce under those conditions or genetically engineer people who can. But that would actually require spending (comparatively little) money on such things as a centrifuge for the ISS to study mammalian reproduction under partial-gee situations. Since our species is not particularly good at planning (climate change anyone?) it appears as if we may be colonizing the old fashioned way; send a lot of people and see who lives.

I think the first polynesians to cross the pacific in their canoes, the first americans to walk across the bering strait and even the first pilgrims to land in New England (1/3 died the first winter) would sympathize.

Comment: Don't buy Chinese (if you can) (Score 3, Insightful) 431

by wisebabo (#47255673) Attached to: Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

About 5 years ago I stopped investing in Chinese companies. Why? Because I didn't want to support even indirectly a regime that, without apology, oppressed Tibet and supported the despotic regime of North Korea. I hold them largely responsible for sacrificing millions of my long-separated brothers (yes, I'm ethnic Korean) through starvation and torture simply to keep a "buffer state" in between them and the "capitalist" (ha ha, what irony) South Korea and U.S.

My stance was only hardened by their support, for purely geopolitical/economic considerations (OIL), of Syria and Iran (and, I think Libya). They and Russia have kept those regimes propped up and have made the tragedies in the Middle East even worse (of course America started it but at least we know now that most of us were idiots to be led by one). That's not to mention the authoritarian and despotic regimes that China is supporting in Africa purely for their resources.

Look, I know the West (and especially the U.S.) have done a LOT of bad things but the Chinese don't even make a pretense of things like human rights, even in their own country. As I've said, they've been willing to sacrifice millions for a modicum of security (they could've asked the U.S. and S. Korea if, in return for not letting the Kims return to North Korea from one of their trips to China, we would promise not to put American troops north of the 38th parallel. As if S. Korea would even want American troops on the peninsula once the threat was gone). Now, living in S.E. Asia, I see firsthand how China with its growing power is throwing away treaties and agreements it has signed in order to bully the Vietnamese and Philippines with their ridiculous "cow tongue" shaped demarcation of the seas. They are returning to 19th century "gunboat" diplomacy in the 21 century world.

I fear that as China grows ever stronger, they will continue to discard previous commitments to peace and will literally force their will upon the world. Is that what you want to support? I'm a realist, and I love my gadgets and my improved standard of living brought on by the flood of low-cost Chinese products (often produced with stolen patents and technologies but that's another story) and I'm not quite ready to live without. However, when there's a choice, when you can purchase something that is identical (hopefully) in every way including price to another but one is made in China and one was made in Sweden(?), I hope you'll make the same choice I do.

If China, not the U.S. had the power the NSA has; would any of us have any protection at all? Think of what kind of world that would be to live in. (That's what 1.2 billion people ARE living in).

+ - Watch celestial mechanics in (almost) real time!->

Submitted by wisebabo
wisebabo (638845) writes "If Sir Isaac Newton weren't already dead and in Heaven, I'm sure this would make him die and go there.

Here (scroll down to the GIF, please) is a time-lapse sequence taken by Cassini at Saturn of a small (okay tiny) moon "Prometheus" pulling out streamers of dust from the nearby ring over and over again. For eternity. (Or at least tens of millions of years). While the sequence only shows one such event, a quick glance at a larger scale (scroll to the top, please) shows that it is doing so repeatedly. L i k e c l o c k w o r k.

Despite all the troubles in the world (although the number of deaths due to war DO seem to be decreasing which is a minor problem in itself http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06...) these kind of things make me realize that I am living in an incredible age."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Yes, I agree, here's my previous post (Score 1) 155

by wisebabo (#47208667) Attached to: Getting the Most Out of the Space Station (Before It's Too Late)

What level of gravity do humans need to THRIVE for long periods of time? (That is so that they do not suffer from bone density loss, cardio-muscular problems, etc.) Is it 1/6 gee (moon)? 1/3 gee (mars)? Or will humans need a full 1 gee to live and, eventually, safely REPRODUCE?

If the answer is humans need a full gee, then we might as well just resign ourselves to limiting our trips into the solar system to quick jaunts and robotic explorers. (While you *might* convince colonists to spend say an hour a day doing exercises to maintain their health, no way would you be able to make a fetus do them). We'll need to re-engineer humans before we can make a serious effort to colonize another world. (The only rocky planet with anything near our level of gravity is Venus and it is a hellhole). That's why the loss of the centrifuge planned for the ISS that would examine the effects of "partial gravity" (as opposed to the "micro-gravity" the ISS currently has or the regular gravity that we have) on biological systems was so disappointing. Literally it would have told us whether or not colonization of space was really feasible in the near future. (It probably wasn't going to be big enough to hold people but just seeing how partial gravity affected laboratory mice would go a long way to answering these questions).

Perhaps if we can dump the Ruskies, with the money saved with using Space-X's rockets we could build a decent centrifuge to make these (literally) VITAL studies. Maybe we don't even need to attach it to the ISS; just take two of Bigelow's(?) inflatable habs, add a cable and spin! (Just by changing the cable length you could alter the g-forces so no additional propulsion other than the initial thrusting would be required). But that's the deluxe model, you could just take the Dragon capsule and have a cable attached to its spent second stage and spin THAT (the center of gravity might not be in the "middle" but it should work fine). Keep it in orbit for a few generations of mice and dissect them when they return.

While we're at it, we should probably look into circadian rhythms... (but maybe mars, with it's 24-1/2 hour "day" is close enough).

Comment: Next up: We need a centrifuge in orbit! (Score 3, Interesting) 76

That's great! (No really: I'm not being sarcastic, that gets rid of one of the two great barriers to deep space travel and living on all the planets not-as-large-as-the-earth).

The other BIG problem is: What level of gravity do humans need to THRIVE for long periods of time? (That is so that they do not suffer from bone density loss, cardio-muscular problems, etc.) Is it 1/6 gee (moon)? 1/3 gee (mars)? Or will humans need a full 1 gee to live and, eventually, safely REPRODUCE?

If the answer is humans need a full gee, then we might as well just resign ourselves to limiting our trips into the solar system to quick jaunts and robotic explorers. (While you *might* convince colonists to spend say an hour a day doing exercises to maintain their health, no way would you be able to make a fetus do them). We'll need to re-engineer humans before we can make a serious effort to colonize another world. (The only rocky planet with anything near our level of gravity is Venus and it is a hellhole). That's why the loss of the centrifuge planned for the ISS that would examine the effects of "partial gravity" (as opposed to the "micro-gravity" the ISS currently has or the regular gravity that we have) on biological systems was so disappointing. Literally it would have told us whether or not colonization of space was really feasible in the near future. (It probably wasn't going to be big enough to hold people but just seeing how partial gravity affected laboratory mice would go a long way to answering these questions).

Perhaps if we can dump the Ruskies, with the money saved with using Space-X's rockets we could build a decent centrifuge to make these (literally) VITAL studies. Maybe we don't even need to attach it to the ISS; just take two of Bigelow's(?) inflatable habs, add a cable and spin! (Just by changing the cable length you could alter the g-forces so no additional propulsion other than the initial thrusting would be required). But that's the deluxe model, you could just take the Dragon capsule and have a cable attached to its spent second stage and spin THAT (the center of gravity might not be in the "middle" but it should work fine). Keep it in orbit for a few generations of mice and dissect them when they return.

While we're at it, we should probably look into circadian rhythms... (but maybe mars, with it's 24-1/2 hour "day" is close enough).

Comment: I would be willing to donate IF... (Score 1) 84

... I could be a part of the next clinical trial!

I'm sorry if this sounds too self-centered but assuming that the vaccine has been proven to be safe (I'll take the risk that it might not be effective), I'd be happy to make a donation of a few hundred dollars to be one of the first people to receive it. (I live in a part of the world where I could get malaria). I figure that if I paid a lot more than they expect the final vaccine to cost (there's no way they'll be able to reach hundreds of millions of people in the third world if it's more than a few bucks), I would be helping to accelerate the development of said final vaccine. I think it's only reasonable that I be permitted to get it sooner!

Again, sorry for the "elitist" I want it first attitude but in this case, the early adopters like me would make it possible to save many more lives in the process. And, I don't know too much about these kickstarter campaigns but isn't that typically what donors get in return for their advance payment, to be first in line to get the finished product? Here I'd be doing the same but paying many times the (hoped for) final cost!

Comment: Why doesn't the U.S. STRIKE BACK?!!! (Score 1) 193

by wisebabo (#47086007) Attached to: US May Prevent Chinese Hackers From Attending Def Con, Black Hat

Ok, the U.S. (through the NSA) has been revealed (through Snowden) to be able to:
1) record and retain EVERY phone call made in an ENTIRE country (actually two, the Bahamas and Afghanistan I think)
2) hack into the e-mail of at least some world leaders (for example: Germany, not exactly weak in the technology department)
3) subvert (and exploit?) the standards for some of the world's most widely used security protocols
4) hack into the networks of Huawei to view source code (and change it?), one of the largest vendors of routers and other critical network gear
5) collect and retain for later data mining, the text and metadata for hundreds of MILLIONS (billions?) of people for YEARS
6) record conversations, videos and other intel through devices even when they appear to be OFF
7) has planted HARDWARE back doors in the equipment used worldwide for computing and communications
and on and on...

So why can't they tell China to STOP HACKING our networks for business advantage or ELSE
1) release the e-mails and other documents showing the favors given to the families of the top Chinese officials
2) publish the electronic money trail where the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars worth of bribes have gone (at that scale you don't use scraps of paper)
- this includes MONEY and other assets like property illegally squirreled ABROAD, which may be an offense (under Chinese law) punishable by DEATH
3) publish information regarding kept mistresses of the marriage officials of the elite, their names, dates of assignation, children born out of wedlock, assets
- throw in pictures (videos?) and every tabloid would have a field day
4) detail the political "assassinations" (sometimes literal!) and other dirty deals the elite have done to get into and remain in power

It appears that as a byproduct of their goal(?) of ferreting out security threats to the U.S. (or just plain building their capabilities) the NSA has a treasure trove of information that could topple MANY corrupt, authoritarian governments. Of course the U.S. is not immune to corruption but (I read) the (illegal) corruption in the U.S. is measured in the millions not billions of dollars. That's to be distinguished from the legal forms of corruption, lobbying, that plagues the U.S. :(

The NSA, starting from WWII, has had many decades (and a budget in the tens of billions A YEAR) to build up their technological supremacy (as well as being the single largest employer of mathematicians on the planet. Think of what THAT means). That is not an insignificant amount of money, it DWARFS most countries entire defense budgets! Also remember that the U.S. (and to a lessor extent Britain) are the CREATOR of the Internet as well as the modern computer; remember that Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Cisco, Intel, IBM, AMD, ARM, Nvidia are all Anglo-American companies. Think of all the "backdoor" connections that have been made over the past half-century at informal (high school/college buddies), formal (legal demands for information) and top secret levels (matter of national security or else go to prison). It's at the point where, to a foreign government, every CPU made or designed in America (basically all of them) and every packet (sent from America) must be suspect.

So the Chinese have MUCH much more to fear from the U.S. If they don't want a "digital Pearl Harbor" they would be wise to play by (America's) rules.

Comment: Re:How new is this? (Score 1) 298

by wisebabo (#47067267) Attached to: Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

You may very well be right, I mean I saw this article when I was just a kid which puts it way way back (cuban missile crisis anyone? :) There was no laser ring gyroscopes back then (I remember when they were invented), there was barely electricity! (just kidding).

And how does one keep a superfluid liquid in a sealed container (let alone one that is in a hopefully low maintenance solid fueled rocket in a nuclear missile submarine that is then subjected to the forces of an undersea launch and boost phase)? My skepticism meter wasn't nearly as sensitive back then but now I wonder. Can a superfluid liquid even STAY in a sealed container for long if it wants to get out? (I remember that superfluid liquid helium can climb the walls of its vessel as well as squeeze through microscopic pores).

Oh well, the picture was cool looking, like something out of "Akira".

Comment: How new is this? (Score 2) 298

by wisebabo (#47066403) Attached to: Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

A long time ago I saw something that (according to the caption on the photo) was an inertial guidance unit for SLBMs. It was an instrumented(?) sphere that floated in liquid helium 4 which, at that temperature, was a superfluid (which I guess is a kind of quantum effect). This was to compensate for the motion of the submarine AND the flight of the SLBM because in a nuclear war I guess you can't count on any external sensors like a star tracker working. Since this sphere was suspended in a frictionless fluid presumably any frictional losses would be zero (and I guess very precise accelerometers could do the rest).

Now that I think of it, this might have been B.S. (how does one keep liquid helium 4 a liquid in a device, a solid fueled rocket, that you don't want to have to keep constantly maintained?). Still, "maybe" it actually worked, in which case why don't they just use this system in the sub? Are the running out of helium-4? (I think it's a rare isotope of a scarce gas).

Comment: 3D "Prickly Pear" instead of 2D "flower"? (Score 0) 92

by wisebabo (#47044169) Attached to: NASA's Plan To Block Light From Distant Stars To Find 'Earth 2.0'

That's what I meant in my original post by having a (very) corrugated sphere. But maybe a "prickly pear" or "cactus" or "sea urchin" shape would be better.

Anyway, the diffraction questions are way beyond my (non-existent) knowledge of optics. Anyone care to chime in? How about using a coating of the new "magic" meta-materials? (Not that I have any idea of that could solve anything).

Just trying to think outside the box.

Comment: Can they make a 3D shade? (Score 3, Interesting) 92

by wisebabo (#47043725) Attached to: NASA's Plan To Block Light From Distant Stars To Find 'Earth 2.0'

What I mean is, instead of a shade that looks like a "flower" with "petals" can they make something that looks more like a (very) corrugated sphere?

That way if the spacecraft maneuvers to a new position relative to it, it won't have have to rotate (making it much less complex with no active mechanisms required). Also, multiple telescopes could simultaneously use it from different angles.

It could be a simple inflating balloon (perhaps with a fast setting foam) or something more complex like a "hoberman sphere"(?).

If they put it in geo- sync orbit and made it the appropriate size could multiple ground telescopes use it? With good adaptive optics of course, perhaps firing a laser at it (using it as a reference target) at a different wavelength of course for atmospheric aberration correction.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.

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