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Submission + - Study Shows Texas Heat Wave Caused By Global Warmi (

dannyastro writes: A recent paper by climate scientist James Hansen and others analyzed global temperature data and found that summertime "Extremely Hot Days" (defined as +3-sigma temperatures during the period 1951-1980) are now occurring more than 10 times more often. Therefore, the study concludes, we can say with very high confidence that the recent Texas and Moscow heat waves were "caused" by global warming because the probability of them occurring without global warming is negligible. Furthermore, they add that "Additional global warming in the next 50 years, if business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions continue, is expected to be at least 1C. In that case, the further shifting of the anomaly distribution will make +3-sigma anomalies the norm and +5-sigma anomalies will be common."

Comment Re:Listen to the users before bashing (Score 3, Insightful) 633

I have 107,000 miles on my 2004 Prius and the battery is fine. If it needs a new one after 10 years, well that's great longevity! Prius is one of the most reliable cars according to Consumers Report (and my experience too), so needing to pay $3K after 10 years for the battery is not so bad from an overall cost of operation POV. And since many people don't keep their cars more than 10 years, they won't face the battery issue at all (assuming they bought their car new!).

Comment Payback of Hybrid Cars (Score 1) 633

A lot of articles talk about the "payback" of hybrid cars and often conclude that "It's not worth it". I don't buy that. I never see articles on the payback of getting leather seats or a bigger engine that improves acceleration. The fact that my Prius emits many tons less of CO2 into the atmosphere than most other cars gives me more satisfaction than do leather seats (which I also have).

Comment Re:Pinball Hall Of Fame (Score 2, Informative) 177

PHoF is great, but it's not the only place for pinball. The Pacific Pinball Museum (mentioned above) has 90 machines in the museum and about 800 more in storage. For the first weekend in October, they put on the Pacific Pinball Exposition at the Marin Civic Center with over 350 pinball machines set on Free Play (the PHoF machines are all coined). THAT is pinball heaven!

Comment "Old School" Pinball in SF Bay Area (Score 5, Interesting) 177

If you want really "old school", check out the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, CA (near Oakland) - They have pinball machines from the 1930's to 2000's, with a big collection of "woodrail" and "wedgehead" games. No video games. Only pinball (and an odd electromechanical rifle game here and there).
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - World's First See-Through Pinball Machine (

dannyastro writes: The world's first totally see-through pinball machine was announced today by its developer, Michael Schiess of the Neptune Beach Amusement Museum (NBAM). The "Visible Pinball" as it is called, is the centerpiece of a new "Pinball Science" museum exhibit that NBAM is developing. The game will be unveiled to the public for the first time at the Pacific Pinball Exposition that is being held at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, California on October 5 to 7. "The purpose of the Visible Pinball is to teach kids about electricity and physics in a really fun way", Michael said. "It's also a blast to play!" he added. The Visible Pinball is based on a 1976 "electro mechanical" pinball machine called "Surf Champ". All of the wooden parts of the game and its backglass have been replaced with clear Plexiglas so that the mechanisms that drive the machine are visible to the player. Pop bumpers, drop targets, roll-over switches and other pinball mechanisms can be viewed as they operate. Pinball games made prior to 1977 did not use electronic components or computers so all of the functions are based on mechanical and electro-mechanical parts.

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