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Comment Re:Don't forget the asteroids. (Score 1) 361

One observation during the less than 170 years when this could be detected gives this, roughly speaking, 10-1 odds against being an only one-in-1700 year event.

What makes you think this could only be detected in the last 170 years? Yes, we didn't have large networks of copper wire strung across the country until that point. But even the summary talks of some much easier to observe products of this event, such as auroras being visible at the equator.

Comment Re:Remains unbelievable (Score 5, Informative) 1306

What is unbelievable is that Americans criticize fundamentalism in Muslim countries but they do not see the bigotry in their own culture.
So much for pretending to have the moral high ground.

Please don't use the term "Americans". It refers to many of us that do realize the complete hypocrisy and idiocy of major portions of the population. And, yes, we hate it as much as you do.

So in the future, when referring to these people, please use "Rednecks" or "Hillbilly Yokels" or "Inbred Fucktards".

Comment Re:Cue the following: (Score 2, Informative) 1306

OK, educate me: what is the difference between "fundamentalist" and "protestant." I was under the impression that protestants were "protesting" the changes that the Catholic Church had made, and were therefore returning to the "fundamentals" of Christianity or something wacky like that.

This being one of the reasons why protestants refuse to accept evolution: the Catholic Church does accept it. AFAIK, only protestants refuse to accept evolution as truth.

Ok, we're veering a bit off topic here, but I'll try and clarify this quickly.

There's 2 main branches of Christianity (and a few other small ones) Orthodox and Catholic. From the Catholic branch, the Protestants broke off for a variety of reasons. If you boil it all down, it's basically that Protestants wanted to focus the religion more on the Bible than the collection of Catholic Dogma. (Anglicans are in-between, being part Protestant part Catholic)

Within Protestantism there are many different branches, all with slightly different interpretations of the bible and different meanings of it. They also have very different liberal/conservative viewpoints buried inside those interpretations.

"Fundamentalism" was a movement within Protestant religions started in the early 20th Century, mainly among Presbyterians and Baptists. It was started in response to perceived threats to Christianity and advocated a strict adherence to the "Five Fundamentals". They are:

1) The Bible is directly created with the aid of the Holy Spirit and is without error and free of contradiction.

2) Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.

3) Jesus's death was for atonement of our sins.

4) The Resurrection

5) Jesus's miracles were a historical reality.

However, many (most?) protestants don't believe in these, especially number 1.

Comment Re:Question: Uncertainty Principle (Score 1) 136

I agree that Hawking might have jumped to his conclusion rather abruptly. However, it is valid.

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says that the error in your measurement of the momentum times the error in your measurement of the position must be greater than or equal to Planck's constant divided by two. The important thing to keep in mind (and what Heisenberg didn't realize when he first proposed it) is that it's not just your error in measurement, it's the very nature of the universe to not be a well-defined particle.

So, if you looked at a pure vacuum, you would know it's momentum is EXACTLY zero, so your error in position would have to be infinite. This makes no sense, so a pure vacuum is impossible.

Comment Re:I agree. (Score 2, Insightful) 434

I'm in a spot were I'm at least 20 miles from any TV broadcast so nothing really comes in well - lots of the blocking, no sound and many times the "no signal" floating box. Oh, my microwave disrupts the TV signal.

20 miles and you don't get a signal? You either have no concept of distance or you don't actually have an antenna.

Comment Re:I didn't know Feinstein was a Republican.... (Score 2, Insightful) 873

Comcast and other cable/internet providers generally have a monopoly on critical services that I can't avoid.

I think you may need to turn down the rhetoric a little bit. Cable TV/High-Speed Internet is not really a "critical service". We would all survive just fine without them.

Comment Re:Actually... (Score 5, Funny) 265

Also, as a non-physicist, it can be fun to pit theorists and experimentalists against each other in battles to the death and watch what happens.

Wow, you just don't get it. There's no need to actually pit them against each other, I can provide mathematical proof that the experimentalists will win 84.3% of the time.

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