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Comment Re:Good bye jungles? (Score 1) 79

I always think of Douglas Adams calling the mosquito "Nature's Viet Cong" for making it much more expensive to cut down all the rain forests. I hope the laudable goal of saving people doesn't have the negative side effect of accelerated jungle destruction.

Note that a Malaria vaccine means we don't have to cut down the rain forests to protect people from malaria. So, this particular way of saving people can also save the rain forest....

Comment Re: Overpopulation in Africa, the Middle East, Ind (Score 1) 275

Nuclear isn't viable. Nobody has figured out how to deal with the waste.

Umm, no.

We know perfectly well how to deal with the waste. Alas, the anti-nuclear types have fought for 50 years now to keep us from doing anything with the waste other than putting it into storage ponds.

Which is insanely stupid, since nuclear fuel is poisoned by its own wastes long before the fissionables are actually used up in the reactor. So there's a LOT of potentially usable nuclear fuel sitting in those storage ponds. Hell, we'd hardly have to mine uranium for a century or so if we actually reprocessed that "spent" fuel....

And that's without even considering breeder reactors, which turn all that U238 that we've mined (and which is basically useless as fuel) into usable fissionables....

Comment Re:Oh, this is going to be great (Score 1) 244

No.

Of course, it doesn't sit right atop a continental divide, unlike the river in TFA.

IOW, it's still not all that big a deal. Interesting, and I'm really curious to see the long term effects (if any, it may reroute itself back next year). But not something to panic over....

Comment Re:I find this thoroughly unsurprising (Score 1) 344

And yet, traffic fatality rates have been declining for the last couple-three decades. In 2015, they were barely 2/3 what they were in 1990.

So, as cellphones became more ubiquitous, there have been fewer traffic fatalities...hardly seems to be all that serious an issue....

Comment Re:Oh, this is going to be great (Score 4, Insightful) 244

Addendum to my last:

Note that I live near the Mississippi River, which, until it was leveed all to hell-and-gone, routinely shifted its channel from year to year. So the notion of a river rerouting itself isn't terribly surprising to me, nor is it really that big a deal, unless it reroutes itself over someone's house or a town (which the Mississippi used to do from time to time in the 19th Century).

Comment Re:Just like finding a crashed airliner under the (Score 4, Informative) 296

Not so hard to find if you are looking in exactly the correct place and they are not running on batteries.

They're diesel boats. They can run on batteries during the hours of daylight if necessary, but they can't run on batteries long enough to cross the Pacific (realistically, they can't run on batteries long enough to go 100km). Most of the time, they'll be running on diesels, and can be heard by anyone within a 100 km or so.

And they can't outrun a nuke boat. Not even sounding like a freight train (diesel boat running at max).

Comment Re:Not exactly direct evidence (Score 1) 156

would not the presence of 'dark energy' strongly infer the existence of 'dark matter'?

No, it wouldn't infer any such thing. It might, however, IMPLY the existence of "dark matter".

Note, by the by, that your statement above allows me to infer that you don't know the difference between "imply" and "infer".

Alternately, in your statement above, you are implying that you don't know the difference between "imply" and "infer"....

Comment Re:It has always bothered me (Score 2) 78

but in terms of the rocket going where it's supposed to, and coming back safe: it's not like the astronauts are anything but spectators to a programmed series of events.

Apollo 13. Yeah, the real heroes were the guys on the ground, but as I recall, one of the astronauts had to actually pilot the thing in a completely unplanned maneuver or three.

For that matter, Apollo 11 LM had to do an unplanned manuever or two, when they realized it was coming down onto a boulder field....

Comment I find myself curious... (Score 5, Interesting) 399

...as to the normal period between paychecks in these households.

My wife gets paid every two weeks, so two months of every year she gets three paychecks instead of the usual two. So a 50% uptick in income two months of every year.

A weekly paycheck means that four months of the year you'll get five checks instead of four. Note that that frequency conveniently maps to a 25% uptick in income four months of every year without any instability at all.

Not going to bother running even preliminary numbers for a household with two jobs, one paid weekly, one biweekly, but I expect that most of the income instability they saw could be accounted for that way.

Caveat: I'm not trying to imply that all the income instability was illusory, but it's certainly possible that a good chunk of it was an illusion produced by monthly spending and weekly/biweekly income....

Comment Re:Transportation vs Municipal Internet (Score 1) 341

Someone needs to explain to me why taxpayer dollars freely go to public transportation systems - highways and airports - while taxpayer dollars for internet services go to private corporations whose only perceived purpose is legalized monopolization.

What, noone ever explained to you that highways and airports are built by private corporations?

The actual work, I mean. Government says "we want an airport here with the following specifications", and then they start issuing contracts to diverse corporations to do the actual work of building the airport/highway/etc.

What I'm curious about vis-a-vis this article is why the comparison between a government-run regional system and a $45M contract to provide service to an entire State? It's not like the $45M is going to only provide access to the area around Chatanooga or anything, though you wouldn't know that from the headline....

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