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Comment Re:Same old same old (Score 2) 277

Sorry, that should be Doug Casey. The URL for his piece is, the table is near the end.

I got it from He's an old friend. Note that he corrected one of Casey's numbers, where Casey slipped a decimal point.

Comment Re:Same old same old (Score 5, Informative) 277

From a David Casey online newsletter, courtesy of a friend's blog:

Lesson #1

US Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385

Comment Re:Simply put... No. (Score 1) 589

There's something else about Iron Dome.

As long as the Bad Guys are throwing unguided rockets, they're basically just a nuisance.

The moment they start throwing guided missiles, they cease being a nuisance and graduate to being an actual threat. Israel historically has taken swift, decisive, and violent action against actual threats. (Recall the Six Days War.)

For all their rhetoric, Iran really doesn't want to get into a hot shooting war with Israel.

Comment Re:The problem with averages (Score 1) 589

However, the average person most certainly DOES need to understand Rolle's Theorem, since it is the theoretical underpinning of the Laffer Curve. (Laffer himself has observed that the curve bearing his name is a trivial application of Rolle's Theorem.)

Rolle's Theorem says that given a differentiable function f(x) and two points a and b such that f(a) = f(b) = 0, there exists at least one point c such that the derivative f''(c) = 0. To get the Laffer Curve, f(x) is tax revenue as a function of tax rate, a = 0% tax, and b = 100% tax. (Hint: It is generally safe to assume that nobody will work for free. Then somewhere between 0% tax and 100% tax there is a point beyond which tax revenue goes DOWN instead of up when tax rate is increased.

Comment Re:Preston's Other Works - Related (Score 1) 117

To me, "The Cobra Event" reads and feels like it started out to be another nonfiction book, similar to "The Hot Zone". I got the distinct feeling that someone said something to the author that gave him the screaming willies and he decided it would be safer all around to make it look like fiction.

In the afterword, he points out that every item he described in the book was real, although some of them had different names.

Comment Re:Batteries if you must (Score 1) 163

I wore a full beard for many years. I shaved it off several years ago, on medical advice (concern about allergens trapped in the beard possibly aggravating severe chronic bronchial asthma). It didn't help the asthma, but the informal poll of adult females of my acquaintance, who'd seen both versions, ran about 30-1 or 30-2 that I looked better without it.

I'm not completely stupid.

I initially kept the mustache, and that was OK with them. I shaved it off when the doctors cleared me to return to SCUBA diving and my mask wouldn't seal properly over it.

Comment Re:Also, that "Remark" is a blatant lie (Score 1) 263

Consider a simple physical experiment. A ball is suspended 16 ft (4.9 m) above the ground. It is released at time t=0 s. We know from countless high school science demonstations and countless college freshman physics labs that the ball will impact the ground at about time t=1 s, and it will be moving at about 32 ft/sec (9.8 m/sec) when it hits. Using a stroboscope and a camera, we can determine its position with reasonable accuracy and precision at, say, 0.1 s intervals.

To be considered valid, a simulation model of that system must produce similar results. If it does not, the model is invalid.

That's the acid test.

I may just be uninformed, but, so far, I have not heard of a single case where someone started a climate model with known data from 1960, let it run for fifty simulated years, and arrived at the known climate of 2010.

Perhaps you'd like to improve my education and provide cites of such validation studies written up in the peer-reviewed literature?

Comment Re:Testing the idea (Score 2) 263

First, what you do not seem to realize is that astronomers DO conduct experiments. They gather data, crunch it down, and see if the results compare with their hypotheses.

Second, there have in fact been a very large number of detailed physical experiments in astronomy. Apollo 8 was one such: no one knew for certain that the figure-8 "free return" trajectory family would really work, until they tried it in real life with a real spacecraft.

As for your comment about digital computers modeling the theories of the climate scientists, THAT EXPERIMENT HAS BEEN TRIED. REPEATEDLY. Every single climate model out there, when started with available historical data and allowed to run, FAILS to predict today's climate. A model which provably does not match reality is, by definition, an invalid model, no matter how cheap or how fancy a computer you ran it on.

Comment Testing the idea (Score 1, Informative) 263

The basis of the scientific method is:

1. Formulate hypothesis.
2. Formulate experiment to test hypothesis.
3. Perform experiment.
4. Evaluate results against hypothesis.
5. If results don't match, start over from step 1, using what you learned from the experiment to refine the hypothesis or make a new one.

How do you conduct the experiment to validate a climate hypothesis, such as the one that is the subject of this article?

Remark: The gold standard for validation of a simulation model is to run it on historical data and see how well it predicts what actually happened. To date, NONE of the "anthropogenic global warming/climate change" simulations have passed this test.

Comment Dun & Bradstreet (Score 1) 341

Dun & Bradstreet got their start as a collections agency. (This is where the term "dun" and "dunning letter", for debt collector and collections notice, came from. They were persistent.)

They still do that as part of their everyday business.

Corporations live and die based on their Dun & Bradstreet rating. If there is ONE collections agency a large US/multinational corporation is NOT going to ignore, it is Dun & Bradstreet.

Give them a call.


You might want to consider sending a "final warning" letter, CC: to both US and EU branches, advising them that you will place the debt for collection if they don't pay up within 30 calendar days, before you actually sic the Duns on them.

Comment Re:GPL != Free (Score 3, Informative) 371

The GPL does not require that the source code accompany the binary, although that is the simplest way to comply with clause 3 of the GPL.

Clause 3 gives three options. Clause 3(a) allows one to distribute the source with the binary. Clause 3(b) allows one to offer to distribute the source to ANY third party. Clause 3(c) allows one to refer requests up the food chain. (Al puts the app out there. Bob grabs a copy, and gives it to Charlie. Charlie asks Bob for the source. Bob is allowed under clause 3(c) to tell Charlie "I got it from Al, he said you could get it from HERE".) Clause 3(c) is restricted to noncommercial distribution, and only works if all you got was a clause 3(b) offer. If you got the source with the binary (clause 3(a)), you are required to give it up on request.

Your Example #2 is SPECIFICALLY wrong. If you do not distribute your GPL source WITH your GPL binary in accordance with clause 3(a), you are required by clause 3(b) of the GPL to make your source code available to ANYONE who requests it.

Comment Re:They can charge what they like (Score 0) 371

Are you certain you have read the GPL?

Your statement that it requires one to give the source to anyone who gets the binary is INCORRECT.

Clause 3(b) of the GPL requires you to give the source to ANY third party (emphasis added). "Any third party" means any third party, whether they got the binary or not.

And you explicitly do NOT need to pay the scumbag's $3.99 binary fee before you can get his source.

Comment Re:Why did they change the requirements? (Score 1) 421

Most of the airplanes in airline service do not carry anywhere near 250 people, and most of the legs flown are nowhere near 4 hours duration (door close to door open).

Embraer ERJ-145 carries 50 passengers. There are a LOT of ERJ-145s flying, and they are nowhere near the smallest of the regional jets.

Boeing 737 carries anywhere from 85 to 215 passengers. It is one of the most popular transport airplanes on Earth.

For historical perspective: Boeing 707 carried 140 to 189 passengers. As of 2011, there were still 10 airplanes in airline service. (Boeing builds good airplanes.)

McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 variants seat from 130 to 172 passengers. There are a LOT of these puppies flying, despite being older and more fuel-hungry.

Also note that there are two pilots in the front office on every flight. (If it is a long over-water flight, there will be more, and they'll rotate in and out of the cockpit, so that the guy (or gal) landing the airplane after 13 hours in the air is not exhausted.)

Comment Pentel Slicci 0.4mm (Score 1) 712

I originally came across the Pentel Slicci 0.4 mm in the stationery department in Tokyu department store, in MBK center, in Bangkok, Thailand. I bought a few then. I have since stocked up by mail order.

The line is as fine as a Pilot Razor Point, but not scratchy, and the tip is a ball tip as opposed to the Razor Point's fiber element, which can be broken if you drop it on a hard floor.

As far as I know, the Slicci is not available retail in the United States. Mail order through the Web, or eBay, seem to be your only options. (Or fly to Bangkok...)

They also make a 0.25 mm version, but I find that the line from that one is too faint and it feels scratchy.

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