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Comment Re:i'm impressed (Score 1) 648

Do you really think that there was no decision process for the state, here? That anyone who applied was handed a sandwich made of $35 million?

I think that given how governments work, we should assume that there was some sort of vetting process involved and that this project was selected, unless we have evidence to the contrary.

Comment Simple (Score 5, Funny) 175

They look for phrases like

  • ...burst into flames...
  • ...still sobbing for her pet rabbit...
  • ...sucked into the trans-dimensional vortex...
  • ...shouldn't even have been any radioactive material IN a children's book...
  • ...and that's how little Tiffany learned about death and accidental dismemberment...
  • ...came to my home and set it on fire and then kicked my dog...
  • ...never knew I was capable of that sort of pain...
  • ...ordered the complete Beethoven Symphonies and the discs had nothing buy Justin Bieber on them...
  • ..contained a live bobcat... (obligatory)
  • ... would not buy again...

Comment Re:No ex post facto laws (Score 1) 281

It's not clear to me how this shakes out, though. The Library of Congress doesn't make laws, they just interpret (some of) them. I believe that when the judiciary re-interpret a law, people charged with violating it previously can benefit from the change.

Comment Re:first? or third? (Score 0) 186

In addition to what others have said about large stars probably mattering more than small ones and about how much dark matter out-masses luminous matter, there's another thing to consider. Namely, most luminous matter in a galaxy is in the form of gas and dust and not stars. So increasing the number of red dwarfs does far less than triple the contribution of luminous matter to the universe's total mass.

Comment Re:Alternate possibility? (Score 1) 181

How do you know that? Have you been running planetary formation models and studying formation timescales?

Aaaand he goes for the personal attack.

Actually, I have a PhD in Planetary Science. I've worked in areas directly related to this. That's how I know.


What 'standard model' is that? There is no complete theory in planetary formation- plus, Jupiter's core is metallic hydrogen, not water.

Yes, there is a standard model. Ask any planetary scientist. I know of one dissenting view that involves an instability model, but while it's interesting, it's not widely accepted yet.

Also, Jupiter's core is more certainly not metallic hydrogen. There is a metallic hydrogen layer over the core, but there's likely (Juno will confirm this) a 10-Earth-Mass core under that. Made mostly of, yes, water ice.

(We know a bit less about Jupiter's core than the other giant planets because that metallic hydrogen has a rather unknown equation of state. The other giant planets all have 10-Earth-Mass (thereabouts) cores to a much higher level of certainty.)

If you're unaware of this, you shouldn't post with such authority.

(like, forming a big Jupiter doesn't leave enough material around for other planets, and on the same time the stellar wind keeps on blowing material away from the system).

Um, no. In every model of planet formation I've ever seen, Jupiter forms faster than any of the other planets. The very existence of the other planets puts lie to your claim. As I said, Jupiter can't magically hoover up all of the material in the entire disk. Simple energy and angular momentum considerations would tell you that that's pretty much impossible, for a start.

And THAT is what I mean by timespace.

Congrats. You've found a way to use the term to mean something that no one else in science understands.

And dust particles are neither H, nor He. Plenty of metals are around these days, even more so on star-forming regions.

Absolutely. Lots of other stuff around. Planets' worth of it. But it's much, much less abundant than the hydrogen and helium. Reaction rates will be very, very slow.

Even more simple: stuff is in dynamic balance; water that forms on some distance from the star, will be destroyed if it drifts too close into the star.

Yes and no. First of all, the proto-star isn't running that hot (check the Hiashi tracks). Secondly, it's been noted by a lot of people that the disk protects the rest of the disk. If you buried behind an AU of other disk material, not a lot of UV gets to you. Even the temperature profile of the disk has almost nothing to do with the temperature of the star. (It's got far more to do with the Virial Theorem and energy given up as material marches inward toward the protostar.)

Look, your posts are full of misinformation and poor understanding of physics and astronomy. I wouldn't mind as much if you weren't passing yourself off as an expert. Clearly, you're not. I also see from your other posts that you're prone to behave like a bit of a jerk. So I'm not going to reply further after this, feel free to get in the last word.

Comment Re:Alternate possibility? (Score 1) 181

From procaryotic metabolic processes (if you are referring to Earth's atmospheric abundance).

Er, no. Photosynthesis doesn't generate the element, it merely moves it around. And how are you going to have any biotic process before you have water in the first place?

(So no, I wasn't referring to our atmospheric, molecular oxygen. That's unrelated to this topic.)

It is not that simple- most of the available hydrogen was spent forming Jupiter.

No, it wasn't. Far more went into the Sun, first of all. Of what was left, Jupiter would only have been able to capture a small fraction of the hydrogen, the stuff within its immediate area. And by the time Jupiter was big enough to capture hydrogen, the oxygen had mostly reacted with the hydrogen. Water ice was (according to the standard model) a major building block of Jupiter's core. The part that formed first, the part that made Jupiter big enough to capture the hydrogen later.

Also, your theory fails observational tests. Almost all of the moons and other small bodies (ie, comets) in the outer solar system are made of water ice principally.

Furthermore, water formed (and remaining) in space is not necessarily stable in spacetime; among other possibilities, depending on the proximity of a heat source, it may photodissociate back to its building blocks.

First of all, your use of "spacetime" doesn't even make sense here. Water everywhere is in spacetime. Did you mean, "in space" and just try to get too sophisticated?

Water molecules are stable in space, unless they're near a high-energy source, especially a source of UV. If anything, they're probably more stable in space than on the Earth because of the lower chemical reaction rate. (When the main other chemicals you encounter are hydrogen (atomic or molecular) or helium (atomic, of course), there's not a lot of reacting you can do.)

A protoplanetary disk is an environment that may both encourage and inhibit molecular composition, due to its diversity- tracking compounds in such an environment is far from trivial.

This sentence, although full of interesting words, makes no sense. In the very least, you're trying to say something simple in an overly complicated way. I'm not quite sure what, though.

Comment Re:Interesting but... (Score 1, Interesting) 480

I don't think you understand statistics, do you? That's the point of giving a standard error on your result: to qualify how well or how poorly you know anything. That way your reader can judge if your results are meaningful. If you're too lazy to calculate that (hint: it's only mildly harder than an average), don't report anything. What they did report means nothing without it, not the other way around.

Given how much time they spent on making fancy graphs that tells us nothing of value (see above), they really don't have an excuse.

Comment Re:Interesting but... (Score 1) 480

Agreed! And the report is woefully incomplete. You never report means without some sort of estimate of the standard deviation/standard error associated with the measurement. I can't tell if the difference in the average number of spikes is meaningful or not without knowing how tightly the results were clustered.

(My guess is "not very tightly," given that it sounds like the highest and lowest numbers of spikes (average) were the same planes, basically. That suggests that their method is flawed or that the results are that the means are basically the same to within any useful sense.)

Comment Re:Dogs made man. Was Re:Maybe, but... (Score 3, Insightful) 716

Yes, but so have cats. Cats, in fact, may have done as much for our species as dogs have. It's just been a lot less visible for much of our development.

Cats moved into our agricultural fields and our food storage areas on their own (they self-domesticated) to hunt the vermin that were eating out food supplies. Cats have literally been protecting our most precious resource, but they've been doing quietly and generally aloof from human interaction. Sure, you can argue that cats are doing it because that's where the prey are, but aren't dogs benefiting from domestication the same way?

And let's not forget that the vermin control has almost certainly done a lot to reduce the number of plagues humanity has endured. We remember the ones that the cats didn't stop, but there probably would have been more.

So not to dismiss the contribution of canines to human development, but I think I wouldn't dismiss cats' contributions either. They're certainly of a similar magnitude, I believe.

Comment Re:value? (Score 1) 63

I'm not particularly advocating that, although it does have an appeal, I agree. In this thread, all I'm saying is that any award giving within pretty much the lifetime of the recipient is bound to be subject to all kinds of flaws, both due to human bias and due to failure to see what will pan out and what won't. (The latter isn't so much a human failing as the simple inability to predict outcomes in complex systems.)

Comment Re:value? (Score 1) 63

Yes, it's mentioned in the speech. But it's only mentioned to say that it's surrounded by controversy. Arrhenius didn't say, "He did some fine work there," he said, in effect, "He's best known for this, but a lot of people [in particular, philosophers, not physicists] think it's trash."

Compare how Arrhenius speaks (at length and in detail) about Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect. Most of the speech is devoted to the photoelectric effect and explaining how it works. He didn't even definite relativity.

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