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Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 2) 119

Yes, but its first use would not be to move factory-built houses, but pieces of windmills.

A major limitation and expense on wind farms is the need to transport oversize blades to the sites, which requires some serious road building, considering that many of the best sites are in rugged terrain, and maneuvering a truck with a 36m payload means you need to build a route without any sharp turns. If the airship can also function as a sky crane, then erecting the windmill's mast and attaching the blades is a lot less expensive, too. Very likely the only roads that a wind farm would need would be the kind of dirt roads that would service the power lines.

Other low hanging fruit would include moving lightweight but bulky produce like lettuce from farm to market, a lower cost alternative to helicopter logging, installation and servicing of cell towers in remote sites, and use in regional emergencies such as floods (Katrina) or earthquakes.

We are 20 years overdue for a new airship industry. We had the technology to produce commercially viable airships before the turn of the century. It is long past time to see these air whales overhead.

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 301

But the problem with standard English is that it does not exist, has never existed, and is becoming ever more unreal as more and more ESL users force English to grow faster than any language has ever grown before. "Standard English" has never been spoken outside of the classroom, with the exception of talking heads and radio announcers who were trained to use it for sometimes several minutes without a break., and got big paychecks for being able to pull that off. We are now close to the point where more ESL users are using English to get around their lack of a common native tongue than there are native English speakers who are talking to each other. When Chinese businessmen are negotiating deals with Russians, Argentinians, Vietnamese or anyone else who doesn't speak the common Chinese dialect, they do so in English. When a Finn, an Italian, and a Sumatran collaborate on a software project, they use English.

To repeat: the only place where "standard English" has ever existed is in the imagination of grammar nazis. In the real world, so long as you can be understood, your English is considered on a par with everyone else's, no matter how mangled it may seem to a grammar nazi.

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 301

The next step in improving English is to return to the older usage of second person singular with singular verb forms. "You is pedantic" was once common and continues to be in use in relict dialects of English as spoken in some isolated communities of southern Appalachia and near the headwaters of the Suwanee River. When Pogo said "We have met the enemy and they is us" (circa My Lai Massacre, 1968) Walt Kelly was using the appropriate verb form to show "they" was the third person singular whose antecedant was "enemy". In much the same way in the construction, "You is an obstinate, pedantic obstructionist" the singular form of "to be" clarifies that "You" is being used as second person singular pronoun. The "You is a buffoon" construction deserves to be brought back from the relict dialogs into mainstream English. Millions of English-as-a-second-language people (who now greatly outnumber native English speakers) would thank us for doing that.

I could go on, but that was sufficient to make my point, and to deliver a bazinga or two to boot.

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 301

The Dean might be woman. There is not enough context to tell. So "What did they say?" is the best choice.

The prom queen might be queer. So "What is they wearing?" is completely appropriate.

We now live in a world where there are more than just two genders. That alone is reason enough to use "they" as third person singular in all those instances where the gender cannot be determined by the preceding context.

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 2) 301

Yes, the AC has proved his point about the difficulty of learning English by demonstrating that even they* does not know proper English usage, even though they* are self-acknowledged English experts.

*Note that "they" in the above sentence is appropriate under even the more stringent style guides as there is insufficient data in the context to determine if the antecedent of the pronoun is a male with hemorrhoids or a female with PMS.

Comment Re:Very poor example. (Score 1) 301

Nope, "everyone" is single. It is a contraction of "every one", where "every" is a modifier of "one" and means that you must iterate through the collection persons, performing the same operation on each one in turn. (When the collection is not defined by the earlier context, it is assumed to be the entire universe of "ones", which is usually a gross over generalization, so do try to avoid the "everyone" construction).

Comment Re:How (Score 1) 301

Don't try to out nazi a grammar nazi unless you know English better than your demonstrated weakness with that language.

Seconker is correct since the noun antecedent of the pronoun 'they' is 'guides' which is plural. The sentence contracts to "Style guides are fucking stupid". "Style guides is fucking stupid" is just plain stupid, stupid.

Comment Re:Google envy (Score 2) 353

So basically for Microsoft in this day and age, the end user is not the customer? The end user is a commodity that Microsoft sells to other corporations who are the customers?

Gee, that sounds familiar. I left Microsoft for Linux in 1999 because of it. I have never looked back.

--"Windows is not the answer. Windows is the question. The answer is 'No'." As true now as it was then.

Comment Re:Beyond the threshold of fast enough. (Score 5, Insightful) 160

I've been using FF since it was new. I have occasionally looked at other browsers and several are faster than my FF, at least partially because the plugins and modifications that I use slow FF down somewhat. But FF is fast enough that changing to a faster browser would not improve my productivity. And I've got a nice set of plugins and extensions on it that I would have to put together from scratch if I changed browsers. That is, assuming other browsers offered similar features, which as near as I can tell, they do not.

Speed isn't the only criterion for measuring a browser's goodness. The ability to tailor it to your personal workload is much more important these days. And once you've got a browser tweaked to your best practices, do you really need to take the massive hit of finding, installing, and configuring the plugins of some other browser that would duplicate what you've already set up in your old FF?

If you really need a faster browser, most of us who have been around the block would be better off running the same browser and OS on faster hardware. But this doesn't apply to young'uns who have yet to establish productive work habits. Their best approach would be to talk with some older guy who knows what he is doing about which browser he uses, how he has it set up, and what his workflow is.

Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 1) 213

You don't bother to look up anything you've never been taught, I guess.

The magnetospheres of the planets that have them are several times the radius of the physical planet. But even greater than that, the field effects of standing waves and turbulence in the solar wind extend well beyond the magnetospheres that shape them. Remember (or look it up since it seems like you've never been taught about it) that the solar wind is composed of mono-atomic ions and free electrons moving at very high speeds. What lies within the disk of the heliopause is not some simple outgassing of a steady breeze in all directions, like water welling up from a feeder pipe at the bottom of a circular pond. It is a highly complex dynamo continuously stirred up by Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth.

The same electromagnetic forces that bend and fray comet tails (and cause comets to outgas for that matter) also influence the Sun's corona and possibly deeper structures. The question is not whether there is an influence, but how great is that influence. The correlation between the full solar cycle and the heliocentric conjunctions of Jupiter with Saturn suggest that in some way that influence is rather large.

This is my last post on the subject. Trying to talk sense to someone who does not read up on the topic he claims expertise in is not worthwhile, and I have said everything that is worth saying to the silent audience of this conversation.

Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 1) 213

As I know I mentioned before, I doubt that there is a gravitationally mediated interaction between Jupiter and the solar cycle, and if there is a electromagnetic interaction, then that would involve Saturn as well as Jupiter, and probably Earth. Both Saturn and Jupiter have a strong impact on the solar wind. During the years when they are in close heliocentric conjunction, Jupiter's magnetotail and the bow wave of Saturn's magnetosphere are trying to occupy the same space. There has got to be some interesting things happening there. I leave it to the Reader to look up the big words.

The Jupiter - Saturn heliocentric conjunction occurs on the average every 20 years, plus or minus 1 year. The last 18 solar cycles occurred on an average every 11.0 years with standard deviation of 1.03 years. But NOTE THIS: what we call the 11 year solar cycle is only half of the full cycle as it takes another half to reverse the Sun's magnetic poles yet again and return Sol to the same state. Running the numbers on the last 8 completed full cycles, the average time is 22 years with a standard deviation of 1.3 years.

This is using a simple model that excludes a third planet that affects the heliosphere, which is Earth. While Earth's magnetosphere is much smaller than Jupiter's or Saturn's, it is active in a nearer-to-the-Sun region where the solar wind is more dense, and it sweeps through the solar wind at a much higher velocity than the more distant planets. I do not pretend to be competent at building a model that would incorporate Earth's possible effects. It is however a reasonable supposition that Earth could bring about the difference between the 22 year full solar cycle and the 20 year Jup - Sat cycle, as well as the occasional breaks in rhythm of the solar cycles, such as the Maunder and Dalton Minimums.

This stuff is not my area of expertise. However I know how to do basic research which is now quite easy with the internet, and I know how to use simple math tools. I also know my limits. I am good for casting doubt on the verbiage of persons who think they know more than is actually within our current universe of knowledge. I am good for suggesting avenues of exploration, especially those that lie between defined areas of study. I refrain from doing anything more than suggesting the possibility of a different, and maybe better, mind map of What's Really Out There.

Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 1) 213

My thinking has been too Earth-bound to consider the Sol - Jupiter relationship. But I see others are thinking about it; there are several lay articles and apparently some more serious articles on the web. But I haven't done any critical reading on the subject.

There does seem to be a correlation between Jupiter's orbital period and the sunspot cycle as both are roughly 11 years. But if there is an underlying mechanism (not conveniently dismissible as "coincidence"), it seems more likely that the mechanisms are electromagnetic rather than gravitational. Which would suggest a 3 body problem, with Saturn's impact on the electrodynamics modifying any solar - jovian model.

This is not some resurrection of an "electric universe" theory. Jupiter, Saturn, and even Earth all create distortions in the solar wind, and it should hardly be surprising if these large scale distortions did not feedback in some way to the coronal events. Whether this feedback is a significant moderator of coronal activity should be the question; that there is some feedback can be stipulated.

Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 1) 213

That's one of those foolish rules put forth by the idiocy contingent of the IAU.

The barycenter of the Earth - Moon binary is outside of the Earth's hard inner core, in the region of the liquid outer core. This is the center or neutral point of the tidal forces acting on the Earth. No one has yet looked at the effects of these tides on the outer core's liquidity, or its electromagnetic properties, mostly because astronomers look upward and geologists look downward and there is a very serious failure for either to look at what the other group is finding.

How significant is the displacement of the Earth's core from the barycenter? It is significant enough to cause the Earth's orbit about the Sun to deviate 6,000 miles twelve times a year from what it would be if the Earth was a solitary body, instead of part of a binary system. Depending on your frame of reference, that deviation is twice to four times as much as the radius of the Moon.

In practical terms up until now this has had no direct impact on human activity. That now changes: when we start using laser beams to communicate and control exploration vehicles beyond Earth orbits, we will have to take the binary nature of the Earth - Moon pair into account or the lasers will miss their targets by thousands of miles.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 4, Interesting) 213


TL;DR but I got through enough of it to realize that most, and maybe all, the points are cogent. Above post should be stuffed down the throats of every IAU member who voted for their absurd definition of planet until they can regurgitate those points, with meaning.

Some astronomers are stupid. The phrase "educated beyond the level of their intelligence" comes to mind. This idiots should have been taught somewhere along the way that their expertise in one narrow field does not endow them with the authority to mess about in other disciplines like linguistics.

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