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Comment Re: The Plan. (Score 5, Funny) 258

Dude, solar is now the single cheapest way to generate power in the US, with no subsidies.

Stop living in 1995

Nuclear and hydroelectric are the cheapest, by far.

And solar is unreliable. Every night I check my panels and they're not working, so I call the service guy. He comes out the next morning and they're working fine. It's really frustrating and the constant service calls are expensive.

Comment Re:Physics (Score 1) 258

In what universe is it a reasonable expectation that the amount of energy required to produce a fuel will be less then them amount of energy it produced when burns? Answer none.

This one. It's called thermodynamics. You always put more energy into making a fuel than you get out of using it. Fuel is a battery.

In this case you're comparing biodiesel with fossil diesel. Making fossil diesel is very inefficient, but that happened a long time ago so you're not bothering to count the energy expenditure.

Comment Re:May have been brought to Mexico by the Spanish (Score 1) 128

You rarely bleed from your eyes when you get salmonella.

Different strains have different effects, particularly an unfamiliar strain suddenly introduced to a naive population.

There's similar evidence that the same thing happened in reverse. IIRC there's some evidence a virulent strain of tuberculosis from the new world was the one that caused many of the big outbreaks in Europe.

Comment Re:Worth noting the party breakdown (Score 2, Insightful) 347

Almost every single one of these AGs is a Democrat. I still don't fully understand how NN became a partisan issue, ...

Republicans are not in favor of an informed electorate, just the people with money, who control the corporations with money, who control the flow and availability of information to that electorate. Everything the Republicans care about, or claim to care about, reduces to money and/or power and ensuring they have it and "others" don't. /cynical

Comment Re:99% effective? (Score 1) 406

Nothing's perfect. Birth control pills are only "up to" 99.9% effective:

Women take the pill by mouth to prevent pregnancy, and, when taken correctly, it is up to 99.9% effective.

Or, more realistically, 91% to 99% effective:

When used perfectly, the pill is 99% effective. But when it comes to real life, the pill is about 91% effective because it can be hard to be perfect. So in reality, 9 out of 100 pill users get pregnant each year.

Comment Re:Why are twin jets cheaper to run? (Score 1) 296

The efficiency of a turbofan (which is what those "jets" really are) is limited by how big you can make the fan part. This is a basic property, and applies to propellers too.

If you look on a modern airliner, they have "high bypass" turbofans, meaning the fan part is a lot bigger than the jet part. They've basically made the engines as big as they possibly can: most of them are mounted in front of the wings, not slung under them, so the intake and fan can actually extend up above the wing, and often the bottom of the cowling is flattened to give a bit extra ground clearance. Contrast that with older jets that had these long skinny little engine nacelles slung under the wing.

Your ideal design for an efficient jet would be one gigantic engine right in the middle, but unfortunately that's where you want to put the passengers. Your next best bet is to have two engines that are as big as you can get, to either side. A twinjet.

Comment Re:China / India demand that didn't materialize (Score 1) 296

I've flown on some 747s that were basically empty. Luxury... three seats to spread out across on those transatlantic flights.
  That was a long time ago though. I suspect routing and logistics software improved, but it seems all flights, from the twin prop dash-8 I flew to get home for Christmas to the widebodies are now packed.

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Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek