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Comment Re:Only if Puerto Rico gets statehood, too (Score 1) 524

Your memory fails you.

Puerto Rico is made up of Puerto Ricans and the White nationalists in the US will have none of that.

A funny a true thing is that if you state on news comment sites that Trump is racially biased against Puerto Ricans you will get right-wingers arguing that that is not racist because "Hispanic is not a race" and nearly all Puerto Ricans are white. But they are not the right sort of white people it seems.

Comment Re:Which billionaire is funding this one? (Score 2) 524

Splitting California's electoral votes is a right wing wet dream. Makes you wonder if it's the Koch family or the Mercers behind this push. Or some combination of billionaires and Russian foreign intelligence.

I started watching the pitch video on the website. But I did not need to go any further than the part where the founder asserts than school boards are a communist plot. Honest to God. It is no surprise that he was speaking to an elderly all white audience. Probably taking a break from watching the Hannity Show.

Comment Re:Speed wasn't SR-71's problem. (Score 1) 300

I believe you're thinking of the U-2, which was shot down twice. On 1 May, 1960, over the Soviet Union, and 14 October, 1062, over Cuba.

No SR-71s were ever lost to enemy fire, although they were certainly shot at. The North Vietnamese shot over 800 missiles at it, without scoring a hit.

No, he is right. The USSR did develop a missile capable of downing an SR-71. It was the S-200, also known as the SA-5 Gammon (NATO code name), which entered service in 1966. Now, none of these actually shot down an SR-71, because the U.S. had the good sense not to put an SR-71 within range of one while over-flying Soviet territory.

The S-200/SA-5 was a 2.5 km/s (Mach 7-8) missile able to engage at an altitude of 40,000 m, versus the Mach 3.3 and 26,000 m limits of the SR-71.

Comment Paratyphoid Fever Killed the Aztecs (Score 5, Informative) 131

It is true that the bacterium discussed in the Nature, Evolution & Ecology paper discusses is of the genus Salmonella, but describing the disease that killed the Aztecs as being "salmonella" conveys the wrong information to the lay reader (or even the scientifically informed one) since this term is commonly used to describe food borne disease. There are several different pathogenic bacteria species, and subspecies, in the genus Salmonella. The infectious form of Salmonella enterica that is transmitted person-to-person is a different sub-species from ones that cause food poisoning and in this form is known as Paratyphoid Fever (similar to the related Typhoid Fever).

Comment Re:Need a replacement for Lithium (Score 2) 172

An AC making stuff up. What else is new?

Allowing for an 80 kWH battery (Tesla's have 70, IIRC), each EV would use about 20 kg of lithium. A 2011 study found 39 million tons of economically recoverable lithium (at current prices). This is enough to build 2 billion EV cars (there are only one billion cars on Earth right now), or 4 billion EV cars if we go with 40 kWH batteries.

So there is enough proven lithium reserves at current prices to replace 200% to 400% of all cars, not "5%".

But note that "at current prices" bit. The "lithium reserve" estimate is very soft on the upper end. We know there is at least 39 million tons of economically exploitable lithium. But unlike oil it has not intensively exploited so many worldwide resources are likely undiscovered or underestimated. And as is true of many resources, modest increases in price will likely greatly expand the reserves. We can afford to spend more for that 20 kg of lithium (currently costing $180).

Comment Re:Can the power grid support it? (Score 1) 172

The entire power grid is going to need, and get, an upgrade over the next few decades as the old model of selling electricity from centralized power plants to individual homes goes the way of the horse and buggy. Introducing motor vehicles required an entire nation-wide road upgrade.

Yes, a major grid upgrade for the 21st Century needs to be planned and executed, but it is not a reason for not deploying electric vehicles, and renewable energy. But electrical grids require maintenance and upgrades on a regular basis anyway. Although some transformers that are in service are as old as 70 years, most have a service life of 25-30 years, with increased rates of failure marking its end. Over the next 30 years nearly all power transmission transformers are going to be replaced anyway.

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I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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