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Comment Re: Cue Jeff Goldblum (Score 1) 157

Like I said - "species" isn't something that exists for any particular organism. It's a test or concept that can only be applied to groups of individuals - can they interbreed and produce fertile offspring?

Leaving aside asexually reproducing organisms, every organism is a product of the mating between it's parents, and may have offspring. And for that particular organism, you can't even be sure that it can successfully reproduce if it mated with either or both of it's parents, or any of it's offspring. The only way to be sure is to carry out the test. Though for high value organisms (say, a zoo-living Black Rhino), it becomes plausible to carry out individual genetic sequencing to estimate the probability of success in an insemination. but even then, we know that we don't know enough to be certain about that for humans, and we know less for other groups of organisms.

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Journal Journal: Linux QL-500 Label Printer Update

While the Brother P-Touch QL-500 is recognized out of the box by Ubuntu, it doesn't really work. Do the following to fix:

Comment Re: Note: Gravity wave != Gravitational wave (Score 1) 84

What? Only if it's in a balloon. Otherwise it will mix with other air through convection, and it won't be a parcel of air any more.

Actually, it's a sufficiently good approximation to use. And you can see it for yourself any day when there are cumulus clouds in the sky - the border in the sky that you can see between the cooler cloud (where the water vapour has condensed out to make tiny droplets - which we see as the "white" of the cloud) and the (close to) transparent air-with-water-vapour, is the border of a "parcel" of air that has risen, as a parcel, after being heated over a source such as a forest, or bright field of flowering oilseed rape.

If you'd flown a glider, or been attentive when landing a conventional plane in turbulence, you'd have felt the impact of those different "parcels" of air. Yes, they can rip lumps off aircraft.

Go back to your spherical cows and let us be.

Stop being a fuckwit. You can be better than that. The AC provided good information about a complex phenomenon which most people don't understand at all well.

Comment Re:What is it about having money... (Score 1) 282

How can someone not find sufficient privacy for their family on 700 acres, even if it contains a few parcels he doesn't own?

700 acres is 30492000 sq.ft ; if arranged in a square that would be 5521 ft on an edge. If he build a house in the middle of that square, it would be about 2700ft from the property border to the building.

Put 4 half-acre properties symmetrically on the site, with an access path to the property border. The closest point on land which other people can access is now 1951 ft from your house borders.

If you have grounds to believe that someone may aim a gun at your house (even if it's a cantenna trying to sniff your WiFi), that 750ft difference isn't trivial.

I'm not defending Zuckerberg here - just trying to clarify what his grounds for complaint might be. If the shapes aren't as symmetrical as I discuss, the loss of "privacy" could be much larger.

Comment Re:Cue Jeff Goldblum (Score 1) 157

There is something that silentcoder talks about which is confusing, because it doesn't have any meaningful objective existence. But it's not the concept of "life", it's the concept of "species".

"Species" isn't a characteristic of any living organism - it's something that we project onto two (or more) living organisms. If they're capable of producing fertile offspring (with some caveats for sex errors, and non-sexual organisms), then we humans classify them as being of the same species. The organisms in question don't know if they're in the same species or not - and don't care. Right cues? Count the legs and divide by two? Then try to reproduce.

Individuals live, die and (sometimes) reproduce. "Species" and higher taxonomic groups are projections that humans put onto collections of individuals. Currently the criteria we use for those divisions are reproductive. Previously, they've been morphological. We're moving from the sexual to a genetic basis. But those differing grounds for taxonomy are a significant part of the reason for a lot of current disputes in taxonomy.

Having worked with fossils for decades, I've seen lots of Stürm und Drang over things like this. For example, a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth has taken place over the proposition that many "species" of ceratopsian dinosaurs may (or may not) be pairs of species with sexual dimorphism. But basically the argument is about comparing apples (the morphologies called "Thisosaurus" and "Thatosaurus") and oranges (inferring that "Thisosaurus" and "Thatosaurus" could produce fertile offspring together). At which point, it becomes a much less divisive issue.

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