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Comment Re:Easy Solution (Score 1) 404

Once they perfect the molten-salt reactor (MSR) design, it might be possible to eventually build a cruise ship powered by a nuclear reactor. Not only would there be way less air pollution, but it might even make it possible for even the largest cruise ships to potentially go as fast as 30 knots top speed.

Comment Re:Visually polluting, too (Score 1) 404

But then, those early 20th Century passenger ships were designed specifically for long-distance voyages at speed--and as such, they had to be designed to travel as fast as possible, resulting in very sleek design for its time. Today's cruise ships--outside of the three boats operated by Cunard Cruises--are designed for relatively slow travel, so they tend to have a lot more amenities on board.

Comment Re:We need to use this up (Score 1) 166

Completely correct. That's why there is a lot of interest in molten-salt reactors (MSR's), where the nuclear fuel (normally thorium-232) is dissolved in molten sodium fluoride salts. In fact, MSR's could even use reprocessed spent uranium-235 fuel rods or even plutonium-239/241 from dismantled nuclear weapons dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel.

Comment Re:One word answer (Score 1) 166

Fukushima Dai-Ichi was a BAD nuclear plant design--no modern containment structures and highly vulnerable to a tsunami in the first place. They should have decommissioned that power plant by the late 1990's and replaced it with a more modern nuclear power plant located further inland with real containment structures around the reactor.

Comment Buy your stuff online from a trusted site. (Score 1) 64

I think one reason why Amazon has been extremely successful is that they have been among the most diligent in protecting their retail web site from a hacker attack. They better be, given they are the world's largest online retailer and also a major provider of cloud computer services.

Comment A bigger issue with more "cloud" computing? (Score 1) 148

I think Comcast doesn't realize the data cap issue could be MUCH more serious than they thought.

It may be more than just a streaming video problem from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and so on. The likes of Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are pushing for more and more operations "though the cloud," and that could really use up a lot of data over the Internet in the near future.

I believe that the downfall of data caps won't be a lawsuit from Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, but from Apple, Google and Microsoft as these tech companies embrace more and more "cloud computing" initiatives. And Comcast doesn't have the deep pockets of Apple, Google and Microsoft when it comes to legal wrangling.

Comment Re:Israel has this country wide for decades (Score 1) 300

That's not a problem in Israel, where there are enough sunny days to justify the initial cost of large-scale solar installation.

The problem with San Francisco is that between May and early September, the western 40% of the city gets socked in by "marine layer" fog, which can effectively block out the Sun for many days at a time. I should know--I used to live in the Bay Area and visited San Francisco fairly frequently; I remember in the Outer Sunset District, Golden Gate Park and Outer Richmond District, during the summer months you are socked in by that fog and never see the Sun for many days at a time. In the eastern third of the city, that fog usually burns off by late morning and doesn't roll back in until early evening, so solar panels on the roof make more sense there.

Comment Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 104

Actually, some archaeologists suggest that many of the human Great Flood myths may have come from a memory of 12,000 years ago, when the last great Ice Age ended and the melting massive glaciers inundated vast swaths of land often at very high speed, as evidenced by the sudden emptying of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville about that time as a possible ice dam melted, sending water down what is now the Snake River Canyon.

But getting back on topic, there is a likely possibility that modern humans may have experienced the effects of a supervolcano eruption: the eruption of the gigantic volcano at what is now Lake Toba around 75,000 years ago. That eruption--which was around 100 times bigger than the 1815 Mount Tambora eruption in what is now Indonesia--may have caused such severe weather changes that the number of larger mammals may have dramatically dropped in number, though most scientists now say that the drop in the number of humans to around 10,000 after that eruption probably didn't happen.

Comment Re:James Webb Space Telescope useful here? (Score 1) 141

The infrared sensor on JWST may not be able to find a gas giant planet that far out from the Sun. But it may find my proposed small brown dwarf (which may have a fairly significant heat signature) orbiting around the Sun in a very elliptical orbit that at its closest pass is still well beyond the orbit of Pluto--probably beyond the orbit of Sedna, too.

My suggestion makes more sense given that binary star systems are a lot more common than people think.

Comment James Webb Space Telescope useful here? (Score 1) 141

I think with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, this may be the instrument that could find that supposed large object--based on its infrared signature--orbiting a long distance from the Sun, possibly taking around 10,000 years to orbit our Solar System.

But is it a gas giant planet as now proposed? Is it possible the object may actually be a faint brown dwarf star, one that is much smaller than our gas giant planets but with a diameter a couple times that of Earth itself? If it's a brown dwarf, that might explain the strong gravitational influence on our Solar System.

Comment It's better for early morning wakeup. (Score 1) 79

As an owner of an iPad Air and iPhone 6, the Night Shift feature of iOS 9.3 has one advantage for me: because I have to wake up when it's still dark outside (I start work at 0630 hours in the morning), turning on my iPad or iPhone on the night stand next to my bed when I wake up no longer gives me eyestrain (and sometimes a headache) with that blast of bluish-white light.

Comment Re:Is this the best step? (Score 1) 127

There are three dangerous pollutants in coal burning: oxides of sulfur, heavy metals and particulates. The latest exhaust treatment technology has come very close to completely eliminating all three of these pollutants. (Remember back in the 1960's and 1970's we had major concerns about "acid rain"? Today, thanks to emission controls to remove oxides of sulfur, nobody talks about that issue anymore.)

China should aggressively install the latest exhaust emission control technologies at all their coal-fired power plants. Doing that will dramatically reduce urban air pollution, and make the air over the Korean Peninsula and in Japan much healthier in the long run.

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