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Comment glass of water (Score 1) 824

Oh for a mod point. I've come to look at the election process as voting for Coke or Pepsi when all I want is a glass of water. Transparent and no artificial additives.

People who like treated water and politics should not see them being made.

Comment Re:As an aside, not impressed (Score 1) 560

I had my first millimeter wave radar scan at the Denver airport when traveling last weekend. I thought it was rather interesting, but wasn't impressed by their insistence that I had something in my pockets, until I turned them inside out to show they were empty.


Known bogus accusations are standard cop-tricks to get you to confess to something, throw you off guard or make you reveal something.

No, he just didn't understand the "or are you happy to see me" part.

Comment Natural gas between energy sectors (Score 4, Insightful) 284

A lot is going to have to change in the natural gas market to start replacing large amounts of our coal capacity with natural gas. Our distribution networks are hugely complex, aging, and very much tied to domestic supply.

Electric utilities built most of their base load capacity (coal, nuclear, hydro) before 1980, and a lot of this (the coal/nuclear part, that is) is coming up for replacement at the same time that demand has been creeping up, eating the surplus capacity afforded. The easy way out, especially with more investor-owned utilities (IOUs lol) and fewer state-owned, is to start adding to your generating fleet by installing plants which are only used several weeks a year at very high load. These are invariably plants which are cheap to build and expensive to run (because of fuel cost per kWh). NG-fired gas turbine generators are the dominating solution.

These low investment/NG-fired capacity upgrades all have their straws in the same glass, as it happens, and are being used for more and more weeks per year. Not only that, but they're also competing against the market that was practically made for NG, heating. We've been fortunate that, so far, the big summer peak in electricity consumption from air conditioning use has been on the opposite end of the year from the big winter peak in NG heating consumption. (with regard to both NG distribution and price reasons)

However, all this extra consumption is making NG prices are nuts, and--anecdote warning--I've seen a utility go a summer without running their GTs simply because it was actually cheaper to buy off another near-overloaded utility than to run peak plants on NG, which just never happened. Those prices aren't going to get any better running NG-fired capacity not only during the summer peak, but even during the not-to-be-sneezed-at winter peak. Coal is king, and the only way we're ever going to start replacing it or adapting to its decline in affordability is with thoughtful, long-term investments in efficient base load and phasing out of "temporary" capacity upgrades. This is not just a matter of one generation method/energy source being preferable to another, it's a systemic lack of strategy in our energy sector for preparing for changes which they already know will happen or imposed.

Comment No dogs or Irish (Score 1) 888

And funded, to a large degree, by the good people of New York City. One of the benefits of the 9/11 attacks was that Giuliani suddenly decided terrorism wasn't cool anymore and the IRA, seeing its major source of funds dry up, became a lot more willing to negotiate.

So all the hipsters in Williamsburg are going to start taking up ironic retro-prejudice and hang "No Irish need apply" signs in their store windows?

Comment Still relevant to our understanding (Score 3, Insightful) 347

If nothing else, this is relevant in so far as illustrating how much behavior and physiology can change by the modification of a single simple and seemingly unrelated hereditary trait.

The long and arduous road of chance modifications to the organisms genome isn't necessary to explain these expressed traits specifically, when these simple modifications can cause entire systems to behave differently. It's whole other way of looking at natural selection.

It's not as though we haven't heard Creationists' arguments hinging upon the expectation that every step in evolution depends on a perfect storm of genetic error...

Comment Re:History (Score 1) 347

"Most sad thing about it was that they had camps where they trained 5-6 year old boys to exercise physically and to mentally think without fear of enemy, while learning military tactics and strategies."

[citation needed]

USSR was not nice. But creating zombies? It's just a fantasy. This video might have been taken in Afghanistan or Chechnya, if it's real at all.



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