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Comment Re:If only it were POLITICALLY and SOCIALLY sound (Score 5, Informative) 176

Nuclear waste disposal isn't an engineering problem

The folks in Japan working the #4 unit of the Fukushima Daiichi plant would like to have a word with you about this. It was shut-down and defuelled before the tsunami struck, and despite this its spent fuel pool's contents blew the building apart.

You are misinformed. While the stability of the fuel pools was unknown and a concern at the time of the disaster, it was later determined that they were in fact not leaking, damaged, or in danger. No fuel in storage was compromised. The damage to Unit 4 was caused by the hydrogen explosion of Unit 2.

Comment Car Analogy (Score 1, Insightful) 113

A particular high performance car has a premium 8 cylinder engine and 32 valves at 400 hp. They also sell a non-premium version which is also 8 cylinders but only 30 valves and makes 350 hp but is a lot cheaper. The difference is that one cylinder is missing two valves which lowers its maximum power compared to the premium version. The engine's computer correctly controls the engine to compensate for the one weird cylinder, but someone in the marketing department sold the car as having 32 valves when it only had 30. The 350 hp figure is accurate, but some people complain because if they reprogram the engine control chip to force the one 2-valve cylinder to run at the same conditions as the other 4-valve cylinders, the car only makes 300 hp. But in all normal circumstances the car performs as advertised, only it was initially sold with incorrect details as to how the engine was put together to make it nearly as fast for much cheaper than the premium version.

Comment Re:islam (Score 2) 1350

Compare that to Saladin who showed mercy and the let the Crusaders go (for the most part).

Sounds like you are taking the Hollywood version of events a bit too seriously. The only Crusaders that Saladin let go were the wealthy nobles who could afford to pay ransom. Everyone else was screwed.

Comment Re:Inconsistent fuel? (Score 1) 289

The Endurance itself was large and heavy and full of fuel, requiring a large rocket to get to orbit.

The Ranger was a small, lightweight spaceplane which probably used something like a SABRE engine.

Here is a delta-V map of the solar system. According to it, you would need 6300 m/s delta-V to return to Earth from Mars. Which is about 2/3 the delta-V required to get to Earth orbit.

Comment Re:The Internet answer (Score 1) 516

The reason why no one switches energy providers whom put their cables underground because if such a utility did exist, its electric prices would be much higher and almost everyone would chose the cheaper, slightly less reliable option and drive them out of business. The problem isn't capitalism. The problem is people like low prices and our current system is good enough not to warrant voluntarily paying more.

Comment Re: Market forces don't work on essential utilitie (Score 1) 516

On the contrary, market forces work fine. The problem is simply a case of the leaky roof problem. You can't fix the roof it when it's raining, and when it's not raining there is no need to fix it because it isn't raining. When people's lights are on and working it's hard to convince them to voluntarily pay more to upgrade transmission systems.

Comment Testable Prediction (Score 0) 427

On the global scale, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396.0 parts per million in 2013. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million, which is the largest annual increase for the period 1984-2013. Concentrations of CO2 are subject to seasonal and regional fluctuations. At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016.

Oh good, they actually have a testable quantifiable prediction that CO2 will continue to increase at the same rate and exceed 400 ppm in the next two years. If their prediction proves to be correct that will lend credibility to their models. But if CO2 does not do this, will they admit they don't know what exactly is going on with the environment? Or will they still claim that the less than expected raise in CO2 is also proof of climate change due to some previously undisclosed factor?

Comment Re: Fusion Confusion (Score 1) 305

Despite having spent billions (22 Billion USD on hot fusion research by US alone) on the problem so far, with billions yet to come, we do not have working fusion reactors. Even ITER will just be a prototype with no power generation at all. Cost to develop commercially, unknown but bound to be a lot of money.

Despite $10 billion spent on the Large Hadron Collider, we have yet to see any production of commercially useful quantities of antimatter. Therefore, the LHC is a boondoggle waste of money and a failure.

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