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Comment Re:FUCK airlines (Score 1) 103

Some of us (e.g. anyone who works for the federal government and many federal contractors) are required to use the cheapest available tickets. It's not like we have a choice. The airlines, in pursuing lower base ticket prices at the expense of even minimal service, have completely screwed us, because we have to buy them.

I'm very tall (2 m) and regular economy seats are, quite literally, torture. I succeeded in convincing my organization to let me upgrade to Economy Plus (or the equivalent) by claiming that, for me, it's an ergonomics issue. But it took months of fighting.

Comment Re:Faulty sat? No problem... (Score 2) 187

WAAS doesn't know about atmospheric corrections.

That is incorrect. WAAS stations create a model for the ionospheric propagation delay over the entire network and use that to provide corrections for receivers located anywhere in the area covered by the network.

WAAS also provides corrections for ephemeris and clock errors.

Comment Re:Because... (Score 1) 325

Look around, and the misery increases, globally. Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.

Let me guess: you have a PhD in the humanities?

Comment Re:They don't agree with us! Burn them! (Score 1) 661

If CO2 is having no effect, it is not pollution, if it does, it is.

So if CO2 is a pollutant, then I suppose the optimal concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is zero?

The term "pollutant" applied to CO2 doesn't make sense. Not everything that changes the environment is, by definition, a "pollutant." Too much water can kill you. Does that make water a poison? It's pretty much the same thing.

Comment Re: It's only "settled" in the minds of zealots... (Score 1) 661

Wine grape grows pretty succesfully in england now. Google 'English Sparkling Wine'. It's been getting easier to do this for the last twenty years, and the results are winning awards internationally.

And what does this have to do with the post to which you were responding?

Nobody sane questions the established fact that the global temperature is increasing. That's been true, on average, since the last Ice Age.

The issue is whether man-made CO2 emissions are the main cause of the warming in the 20th century or not.

It's impossible to have a scientific discussion when people misrepresent the sides of the discussion like this.

Comment Re:Arcs are a lie (Score 1) 145

But the timing will not be known perfectly and neither will the height of the plane, so the location of the arc will not be known perfectly. Knowing how imperfect the information is and hence how wide an area on either side of the arc needs to be searched would seem rather important.

The fact that you cite the altitude of the plane as a potential source of error pretty much demonstrates that you have no idea what you are talking about. The satellite is in GEO, which means it is about 36,000 km above the surface. You think that an effect from 10 km elevation would show up?

Likewise, the timing is probably known to about a few microsec, which amounts to a distance of a few km. Once again, not a big error.

Comment Re:Wilhelm Roentgen Would be Proud (Score 4, Interesting) 23

Universal, no, but physicists agree, and, really, who else matters? X-rays are emitted by electrons (atomic transitions or bremsstrahlung); gamma rays by nuclear transitions. Those definitions have been pretty well agreed upon by physicists for at least the last 15 years.

Astronomers, however, seem to characterize photons only by energy, which kind of makes sense if you realize that they frequently don't know the origin of the observed photons and build instruments for energy ranges instead.

But nonetheless it is still incorrect to characterize these photons as "x-rays."

Comment Re:Wilhelm Roentgen Would be Proud (Score 4, Informative) 23

Unfortunately, in this case the observed photons were actually low-energy gamma rays. I guess they are called "x-rays" in the article because they fall into the region of the electromagnetic spectrum that is usually associated with x-rays. Ti-44 undergoes electron capture to Sc-44, which emits the two gamma rays at 78 and 68 keV, and then the Sc-44 decays (again by electron capture) to Ca-44.

But they are not true x-rays.

Comment Re:Grasping at Straws (Score 1) 552

God I love how you guys (both sides) goes totally ballistic about some minor detail of a post. No point in trying to deduce what someone said, if there is the smallest amount of unfactual commentary or the slightest error, they will be bombed back to kingdom come.

The statement to which I responded was not wrong in some minor detail, but completely wrong.

How are scientists ever going to convince a doubting public when we endorse complete nonsense like this just because it doesn't contradict our favored position?

You may not like it, but science is (at least partly) about facts, and facts matter.

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You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming