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Comment Re:No so much (Score 5, Insightful) 637

BTW, what was this basic "human right" again? I can't seem to place it from what you're saying. You've just been yacking about "socialized health care".

Question: Do you believe that someone without insurance, or who otherwise has no ability to pay, who is suffering from an acute medical emergency, should be turned away from a hospital emergency room and left to die on the sidewalk?

If the answer is "Yes," then you're some kind of barbarian, and we're done here.

If the answer is "No," then I've got some even worse news for you: we already have "socialized medicine." The patient will, in fact, be treated, and you and I will, in fact, pick up the tab. It just costs us several times more than it would in any other civilized nation on Earth, because unlike those nations, we insist on kidding ourselves.

Comment Re:The solution (Score 3, Insightful) 144

"In other news, something made by Google turns out to be a half-assed implementation of a good idea, unfavored by management and consequently determined to be a career-limiting move for Googlers unfortunate enough to be assigned to it. Consequently it is allowed to fall into disrepair, and will be scheduled for decommissioning at a time carefully calculated to maximize user inconvenience. Ric Romero has film at 11, so stay tuned for that."

Comment Re:hackers just wait for some to hijack one (Score 1) 77

That's hilarious, I thought you were kidding. I remember an amusing publicity stunt in which a scientist pwned Ralph Nader by declaring that he would eat as much plutonium as Nader would consume caffeine, but this is the first time I've heard of someone actually putting their money where their mouth is.

Comment Re:(off topic) Re:Not new (Score 1) 89

Course when you really get down to it, if you are going to go through that much trouble to make a table top accelerator, it seems like it would be easier to skip the electrical energy to mechanical energy and mechanical energy to electrostatic potential steps. Seems like charging a capacitor and using some sort of cathode/annode setup..... and that is how the VDG ended up in the museum :)

Agreed, a Cockroft-Walton multiplier should be pretty easy to construct these days with HV components available on eBay. It now occurs to me that it might make sense to ditch the belt and motor in my VDG altogether, and just build a CW multiplier into the acrylic column. Hmm.

Comment Re:(off topic) Re:Not new (Score 1) 89

That's some pretty impressive kookery, but actually a small VDG can be used to accelerate electrons (and presumably protons as well in the form of H+ ions). See the chapter in C.L. Stong's anthology of Scientific American's The Amateur Scientist columns, beginning on page 344. There are a few copies on Amazon, and there is also a .PDF floating around, along with the 'official' CD-ROM edition which is a pile of proprietary crap.

I keep meaning to try this, if I ever get the mechanical reliability of my own VDG up to par. Right now it will run for about a minute at most before something breaks.

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