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Comment Two Notes (Score 1) 75

First, while WISE is an improvement in the whole "zone of avoidance" phenomenon, it's not perfect. It's resolution was rather low, so even though it could peer through the dust, the glare of foreground stars in the Milky Way still hid a significant fraction of the sky.

Second, there's a proposed solution to the "great attractor" already. It's the galaxy super cluster named Laniakea.

Comment Re: In other words (Score 1) 305

So, because they said, "We're going to commit treason," before they did it makes it not treason? Sorry, but allowing unilateral opt out of government by any individual or group makes government meaningless. So, saying, "You're not the boss of me!" first doesn't alleviate the charge of treason.

I'll grant, that makes George Washington and all the other founding fathers guilty of treason, too. But there is a huge difference between committing treason and rebelling in self defense of freedom to live your life, and doing so because you want to continue committing brutal crimes against your fellow human beings for the sake of the profits. In the antebellum Southerners' minds it may have been phrased, "I'm rebelling for my freedom!" But their myopic focus on the "my freedom" part doesn't eliminate or excuse the implied, " to treat my fellow human beings as property, to split up families through the sale of human beings, to brutally beat them to enforce their obedience, and otherwise deny them their freedom."

Short version: treason can be a justified rebellion if the state is committing crimes, it's just treason when done to continue committing crimes.

Comment Re: In other words (Score 1, Troll) 305

Why do you assume that just because I did a poor job at imitating a Southern accent that it was "ebonics?" Frankly, I was trying to use the character Huckleberry Finn's dad as a reference, and apparently mixed things up *shrug*.

And why would making fun of someone crying that one state government won't be flying the symbol of those who committed treason in defense of chattel slavery cause you to support said crybaby? I, personally, think that the retailers have gone overboard. I would love for every ignorant f*ck who thinks the South rebelled for any reason other than to maintain its "peculiar institution," and wants to support that banner of savage traitors, to wear it willingly. That way they'll have a nice, big, scarlet letter that will let everyone else know that they're somewhere between ignorant fools and bigoted scum.

Angry rant over.

Have a link to an image and a post that sum up how I feel about the only things that make "Southern" culture distinct from American culture. Excerpt from the post:

"That was Sherman’s advice to the South before the war even began. And he was, as usual, absolutely right. But he was talking like a grown-up to people who didn’t want to think like adults. Their whole society was based on horrible lies—“a bad cause to start with”—which gave them a deep aversion to cold truths. So they stuffed themselves, as Mark Twain said, with copious doses of the worst “chivalrous” nonsense they could find, like Walter Scott’s pseudo-medieval novels, and went off to cause the biggest slaughter of their fellow Americans in history, a body-count far higher than the sum total of all Americans killed in all wars with other countries."

Comment Re: In other words (Score 0, Troll) 305

They are fighting for their land, sovereignty, and culture. It's all being stripped from them day in and day out. Not 500 years ago, still today.

Now they know how Southerners feel.

Oh, woe is me! Just because we violently rebelled and seceded because we was afraid the gubmit would take our property (enslaved black people), the gubmit viciously fought back and took our property (enslaved black people). Why, it's almost as if them Yankees thought our property (enslaved black people) had rights like they was gen-you-wine people. Why would they launch a war of Northern aggression when alls we was doin' when we attacked them forts was protectin' our God given states' rights (to enslave black people)! /sarcasm

Comment I Agree Completely (Score 1) 1330

tl;dr - There can be no freedom without responsibility.

Considering that the government is supplying these corporations with limited financial liability, I would argue that being covered by that government umbrella makes any such covered organization, by necessity, limited in rights due to that government associated limited liability. Thus this "religious freedom" argument is as much a violation of the first amendment as if the "religious freedom" of a bureaucrat to require you to share their religion in order to provide you with a service.

I would go further and argue that the ability to grant limits on liability is an explicit violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. It's either that or the Government is partially extending its own immunity to the entity, limiting their rights in doing so.

Long story short, the ability to grant limited liability should require a new Constitutional amendment and any person operating under that limited liability umbrella must have, due to the limited responsibility, limited rights. In the absence of an amendment spelling out those limits, the only way to not violate equal protection is to consider persons operating under limited liability to be implicitly operating on behalf of the government.

Comment Understatement of the Year (Score 5, Interesting) 152

"it's far too hot to be habitable."

That's an understatement. From the ArsTechnica article on the alpha Centauri planet:

"But don't start building the colony ship just yet. With a 3.3 day orbit, the planet is only 0.04 Astronomical Units (1 AU is the typical distance from the Earth to the Sun). That makes this planet blazingly hot, at about 1,500 Kelvin."

Comment The Other Important Question (Score 3, Informative) 264

How much current can it carry? Superconductors tend to lose superconductivity in the presence of a large magnetic field, limiting the amount of current they can carry. I don't know if the high Tc superconductors are more susceptible than the regular ones, but it's something to keep in mind.

If they can take a really high magnetic field then that would be really cool for projects like the LHC. A large part of what makes that project dangerous, difficult, and expensive is the large number of He cooled superconducting magnets it needs. The danger comes in when you get a cosmic ray or something that increases the temperature of the magnet so that even a small part loses its superconductivity. When that happens, the non-superconducting part rapidly starts heating up the rest of the magnet in a process called "quenching." The results of a quench can be quite catastrophic.

Comment Re:It is not that straightforward (Score 4, Informative) 97

Things can disappear due to genetic drift. If the tail of mammals living underground or nocturnal for a long time is true, for instance, then losing the gene to repair sun damage wouldn't be a big deal. Considering that color vision is rare in mammals, another thing only useful in broad daylight, it wouldn't surprise me if it was just lost randomly. I mean, do you really think it's useless to have 3 color vision? Or 4, as is common in many other animal kingdoms? Add in the fact that so many mammals are covered in enough fur/hair that they don't have that much sun exposure and a loss by genetic drift is a virtual shoe-in.

Same thing with human's inability to produce our own vitamin C.

Comment Re:I'm a Member of the WISE Team (Score 1) 112

I don't even know if that's possible to estimate because it all depends on the voluntary efforts of others to do much of the followup. It also depends on the orbit and where WISE is seeing it - WISE basically orbits over the day-night line pointed up, more or less, so it sees the solar system poles far more often than anywhere else and may not need independent followup for objects seen there. In the ecliptic, contrastingly, WISE is expected to be able to image an asteroid 8+ times. The only reason that's not enough to fix the orbit by itself is because all the images are taken over a relatively short time baseline (~180 minutes between exposures given the ~90 minute orbit and survey plan).

You can keep track of such things at the Minor Planet Center.

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