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Comment Not Globalization, Physics and Fuel Costs! (Score 2) 265

Ships are getting bigger and bigger not because of "globalization", it is all down to physics and fuel costs.

Imagine a ship with length L. The hold volume ~ L^3, the drag area of the hull goes with L^2. Double the ship size, holding everything else constant, you move twice as much cargo volume for the same fuel.

Things get even better if you go for really, really big ships going at slow speed. Fuel burn goes with velocity cubed V^3, so for a given ship, if you half the velocity, your fuel burn per unit volume of cargo is reduced to 1/8th of that at the original velocity.

Physics and fuel economics is pushing the industry to use massive, slow container ships. Another cost benefit is that having fewer, bigger ships means paying less crew for the entire fleet.

These savings will have to be balanced with the insurance and security costs associated with a single vessel containing such a massive quantity of valuable goods, but "globalization" isn't the prime motivator.

Comment Mechanism to Preserve Resources for Offspring? (Score 1) 262

As others have pointed out the idea is flawed as it would require death to occur before childbearing. But would it not be evolutionarily advantageous to have a 'self-destruct' mechanism that deploys after having children when food and other resources might be scarce? Live just long enough to bear and raise children, but then die and cease consuming resources, leaving more for your offspring? If resources are rich, stress on the individual is low and cancer may be avoided. If resources are low and stress on the individual is high, cancer kicks in and removes consumers, leaving more resources and lessening stress on the next generation.

Comment Human Pain Threshold (Score 4, Informative) 274

The human pain threshold for temperature is 106-108F (41-42C). Unless you're a masochist who likes to shotgun boiling hot liquids, so long as you don't get a painful sensation, you're fine. Realize that even if the liquid is much higher than this temperature, so long as you sip small quantities of it, it will rapidly cool to something closer to your body temperature when it enters your mouth. Most folks instinctively do this, because pain sucks.

Comment Re:This is not intuitively obvious... *HOW*?!? (Score 5, Informative) 99

This is not intuitively obvious to people who memorized PV = nRT in grade school *HOW*?!?

Who was this exactly a mystery *from*?

Because it has nothing to do with the ideal gas law.

They are talking about the saturation or vaporization curve of water which is a function of pressure and temperature. At 1 atm water boils at 212F. On Mars where the pressure is lower, it boils at a much lower temperature.

This boiling behavior is not new or unexpected. What is new is the understanding about how this vaporization process can move sediments on Mars. That's the new science.

Comment Coincidence? I think not! (Score 1) 62

...they've already identified a 27-foot-long shipwreck and disproved rumors of a 27-foot-long "Nessie trench" where the cryptid creature could be hiding...

Did they check underneath the 27-foot-long shipwreck to see if the 27-foot-long Nessie trench (and Nessie) was underneath? Ha! I didn't think so! It can't be a coincidence.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 634

So, say theoretically I could pick the science teacher for my kids' school. The science teacher can be: A) Bill Nye Science Guy, or B) Sarah Palin. Hmmm.. which to pick, which to pick....

Yeah, except there are a whole lot of people who would pick B, so long as she brings her Bible to every class, because that's all they need, not that godless commie pinko LGBT science stuff.

Comment Gender-Neutral / Unisex Bathrooms Exist (Score 1) 1095

There are such things as gender-neutral and unisex bathrooms; eliminates need for separate gender restrooms, provides appropriate privacy and is even being done by the US navy on aircraft carriers. Some minor modifications to existing bathrooms can get most to this standard. They are not expensive and actually can reduce the overall restroom footprint and maintenance requirements for separate bathrooms.

But this would get in the way of someone's old fashioned hate, so it probably is a bad idea.

Comment People Skills! (Score 1) 188

1st Bob: What you do at Initech is you take the specifications from the customer and bring them down to the software engineers? Tom: Yes, yes that's right. 2nd Bob: Well then I just have to ask why can't the customers take them directly to the software people? Tom: Well, I'll tell you why... because... engineers are not good at dealing with customers... 1st Bob: So you physically take the specs from the customer? Tom: Well... No. My secretary does that... or they're faxed. 2nd Bob: So then you must physically bring them to the software people? Tom: Well... No. ah sometimes. 1st Bob: What would you say you do here? Tom: Look I already told you, I deal with the @#$% customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people, can't you understand that? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

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