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Comment: Kidney transplants, pacemakers, etc (Score 1) 646

by wsanders (#38531882) Attached to: How Doctors Die

I think you mean for nearly-dead patients.

I know a few people who have had pacemakers for many, many, years, and one forty-something fellow who had a heart transplant over 20 years ago and is alive and well. They were all people who would have died at a young age otherwise.

The urge to keep someone alive is also heavily weighted for age. Responders will do everything reasonable to keep someone under 50 alive, someone over 80, not so much. The circumstances are highly subject to case by case judgment, which is usually correct.

Comment: Wavelength has nothing to do with it (Score 1) 307

by wsanders (#38204644) Attached to: Study Hints That Wi-Fi Near Testes Could Decrease Male Fertility

I think you are confusing this with the strong interaction of RF wavelengths with the dipole moment of the water molecule, which strongly increases at some frequencies (like in microwave ovens) and, above 30 Mhz, is the model for limits on RF exposure.

The RF simply generates an electric and magnetic field, with interacts (or not) equally with all matter regardless of size. Down to a point, and I'll let the physicists take over from there.

Comment: I may be out of the loop - (Score 1) 297

by wsanders (#38130320) Attached to: How To Get Into an Elite Comp-Sci Program

- but since when have incoming freshmen been required to declare their majors before being accepted at most engineering schools?

I'm a not-so-recent alum of a fairly decent school (Rice) and as far as I know as recently as 10 years ago it was normal for many students to wait until well into their sophomore years to declare a major as long as the prerequisite courses were passed. And Rice, being a smallish school, has a lot of collaboration between departments. The exceptions were "professional" schools like music and architecture, where worst case, it might take an extra year to make up the entry year prerequisites.

Comment: Burn it down (Score 3, Informative) 67

by wsanders (#38088390) Attached to: Working On Man Made Lightning

It may be cool, but I'm a ham radio operator and if you build this thing anywhere within 10 miles of my house, I will come over and burn it down.

This is just a toy for rich techies. There are plenty of places where lightning is frequent enough that if you build a structure to attract it, you will get lots of hits from the real thing:

Comment: Re:LD50? (Score 1) 337

by wsanders (#37742042) Attached to: Can the Hottest Peppers In the World Kill You?

I wonder how it kills you - I ate an unusually hot, very fresh pepper once and my airway closed up. For a minute or two I thought I was going to need a ballpoint pen tracheotomy. After a few minutes of difficulty breathing and slobbering uncontrollably I was OK. I am fairly used to hot, but not too hot, peppers; too hot and the sensation is indistinguishable from being maced (which I have experienced also.)

Comment: Re:Which is worse (Score 3, Informative) 185

by wsanders (#37423708) Attached to: Seismologist Manslaughter Trial Begins Next Week

The refusers in question were academic researchers not government employees. Just because you receive a federal grant does not mean you are obligated to make all of your unpublished data, emails, and records available to extremist crackpots. The FOIA does apply "to data produced with federal support that are cited publicly and officially by a federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law. "


There was another case involving a NASA scientist who was simply being harassed by climate-change deniers. NASA has much less leeway since it's a federal agency.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.