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Comment Re:Is this guy a conservative? (Score 5, Insightful) 141

He said that Bush senior removed all the tactical nukes which made the world safer. This is true regardless of what you think of the Bush's other actions.

I'm not sure that Dyson can easily be pigeonholed into a broad political definition. He's a very smart man who says what he thinks and doesn't really give a crap about anyone elses opinion of him. I don't always agree with him but he's generally worth listening too.

Comment I'm glad I was a teen 20 years ago (Score 4, Interesting) 1078

I was far from a bad teenager. I loved science though and if it went bang that was all the better. Draino and aluminium foil? Jesus. I made fertiliser bombs. I synthesised Nitrogen triiodide and all manner of other fun compounds.

One bonfire night I once had a visit from the police due to my homemade titanium salutes. They were amused and told me not to blow my hands off. These days I'd go to jail for a million years.

Comment Re:Top secret? (Score 2) 101

The AWE site at Aldermaston is enormous. It's an old airfield stuffed with big, nondescript buildings. Unless you're working on site you won't get within about half a mile of any of the 'interesting' ones and even when on site you won't know what's in most of them unless directly working there. I can well believe that they have a hidden enrichment plant.

Comment Re:U.S. loves to kill things (Score 1) 400

You've got the wrong end of the stick. HEU works just fine in an implosion weapon and in a gun type, plut works only in an implosion type. The reason most weapons are plut is cost and availability. You're also misusing 'Teller-Ulam design'. This refers to the design of the fusion secondary in a H-bomb and not the design of the primary.

You are right about non proliferation buggering isotope production though.


Scientists Find Tears Are the Anti-Viagra 207

An anonymous reader writes "The male test subjects didn't know what they were smelling, they were just given little vials of clear liquid and told to sniff. But when those vials contained a woman's tears (collected while she watched a sad movie), the men rated pictures of women's faces as less sexually attractive, and their saliva contained less testosterone. Is this proof that humans make and respond to pheromones? The researcher behind the study doesn't use that controversial word, but he says his findings do prove that tears contain meaningful chemical messages."

Scientists Cut Greenland Ice Loss Estimate By Half 414

bonch writes "A new study on Greenland's and West Antarctica's rate of ice loss halves the estimate of ice loss. Published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study takes into account a rebounding of the Earth's crust called glacial isostatic adjustment, a continuing rise of the crust after being smashed under the weight of the Ice Age. 'We have concluded that the Greenland and West Antarctica ice caps are melting at approximately half the speed originally predicted,' said researcher Bert Vermeeersen."

Infinite Mario With Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment 103

bgweber writes "There's been a lot of discussion about whether games should adapt to the skills of players. However, most current techniques limit adaptation to parameter adjustment. But if the parameter adaptation is applied to procedural content generation, then new levels can be generated on-line in response to a player's skill. In this adaptation of Infinite Mario (with source [.JAR]), new levels are generated based on the performance of the player. What other gameplay mechanics are open for adaptation when games adapt to the skills of specific players?"

Comment I'm fully in favour of this (Score 1) 911

Some people seem to think this is too draconian - an infringement of rights etc. Thing is, the way I see it, once you get caught drunk driving once you've demonstrated that you are not competent enough to be trusted with a motor vehicle. There's nobody who needs to drive drunk and there's no excuse to do it. Basically, fuck 'em. They're lucky they're allowed a car at all any more.

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"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev