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Comment How to heat a moon [Re:Vote Europa] (Score 5, Interesting) 59

It's not the proximity of another moon that produces tidal forces. Just going around Saturn is enough to produce the stresses that induce heat.

Only if the orbit is eccentric. If there aren't other moons, viscoeleastic damping circularizes the orbit until the tidal heating disappears-- it's the other moons that perturb Europa's orbit to make it slightly eccentric, giving it the tidal forces that heat it.

Comment You don't see the light when it's dark (Score 1) 103

Well then by the same logic you can't really see matter either. All you see is reflected photons.

Well, sure. But you see the photons reflected or emitted by the matter. On the other hand, you can't see photons reflected or emitted by a black hole, because black holes do not reflect or emit photons.

Comment You can't see a black hole (Score 3, Informative) 103

You can't, of course, "see" a black hole, even with radio waves: a black hole is by definition what you can't see.(*)

What they are looking to image is the radio emissions from material falling into the black hole. You can't see the black hole itself.
*footnote: Black holes do emit Hawking radiation, which in principle is detectable. But the peculiar property of Hawking radiation is that the smaller the black hole the more Hawking radiation. Only exceptionally tiny black holes emit enough to possibly detect-- a black hole ten micro meters across will emit just about the same amount of Hawking radiation as the microwave background.

Comment Time is relative (Score 1) 83

Different observers see time passing at different rates, of course, and thus the rate of expansion is indeed observer dependent. But all of the observers still see the universe expanding.

It's a trivially small effect, though, unless you're in a gravity well so deep you're poised on the edge of an event horizon, or moving at speeds that are a significant fraction of the speed of light.

Comment Spoiler effect (Score 0) 396

...., and if we used an alternative voting system to avoid the spoiler effect, then we certainly would have voted in a candidate more people prefer.

That's the point: the vote counting methodology has to be changed to eliminate the spoiler effect. "If the other Republican, Democrat, third party, and independent candidates had a presence in the final election and in the debates," is not the issue. The spoiler effect is.

Look, here's the way the vote counting currently works: third candidates have to take votes away from one or both of the other candidates, and in fact, what happens is that they take votes away from the candidate that is most similar to them. So, with the current system, a third party is friendly-fire: it: always results in fewer votes for the candidate that the third party candidate most agrees with.

This has to be changed if third party candidates are to have any viabiliity.

Comment Cancer survival [Re:H-1B Workers] (Score 2) 267

Speaking of chemo and the UK. I was on a year of chemo, that almost killed me three times. I found out the rules for administering it in the UK were lax enough I would have been guaranteed killed by the chemo in the UK had I been on it the full year.
But it sounds like they wouldn't have approved me for the full year, so I guess that explains why they are lax on blood tests for it since people don't get it. Yes, had I gotten cancer in the UK I would have been dead already, had they treated it or had they not treated it. In the US I was able to get "proper" treatment that worked.

Cancer survival rates in the UK are lower than those in the rest of Europe. But the rest of Europe also has socialized health care. Sweden's survival rate is the highest in the world. Should you attribute that to their socialized health care?


And it's not clear whether the UK has lower cancer survival rates than the U.S. or not, because the UK has a national database, while the US doesn't. So it turns out there aren't actually good statistics for the US cancer deaths, because there's isn't any central agency they get reported to. On the other hand, every cancer death in the UK gets recorded.

Comment Choose a finger [Re: H-1B Workers] (Score 1) 267

I will never forget seeing a program on US healthcare where a person who lost 3 fingers in an induustrial accident was tol the insurance will only cover X amount and he had to choose two of the three to save.

What you saw was a fraud. There is nowhere in the U.S. where employers are not required to be fully insured for such accidents. Even if the person had to pay on their own, the normal process would be for the hospital to do everything possible to save the fingers. They would then write off any loss or apply to one of our many charities that help cover the costs in cases like this. One of the reasons healthcare is so expensive here for those that can pay is because we subsidize those who can't.

A little google shows that the event discussed, a person losing several fingers and being told by the hospital to choose which ones to reattach, seems to have come from the Michael Moore film "Sicko." The details listed by AC, however, are inaccurate (unless there was another incident I couldn't find on google.) It was a table saw, not an industrial accident, and the man wasn't insured"

http://www.npr.org/templates/s... :

Let's talk about some of the medical cases Michael Moore describes in this film. At the very beginning, there is one about an American man who loses the ends of two of his fingers in an accident with an electric saw. He did not have insurance. The man must choose between having his middle finger reattached for $60,000, or his ring finger for $12,000. The man chooses his ring finger. How can a man be put into the position of making that choice?

JOANNE SILBERNER: [In the U.S.,] the hospital doesn't have to give him care unless it's lifesaving care, and his life wasn't threatened by the loss of two digits. So the hospital was within its rights to say, "We can reattach your two digits, but it's going to cost you." The irony is that if he had insurance, the insurance company would have paid far less than $12,000 or $60,000. The insurers can negotiate rates with hospitals that individuals can't.

Comment Nearly as fast, but not faster than light (Score 1) 83

That would mean that the space between Galaxies was expanding faster than light wouldn't it?

No, if the space between were actually expanding faster than light, the light would never get there-- it would lose ground. The space between the source and us is expanding almost, but not quite, as fast as the light is traveling through it, so the light does get here eventually.

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