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Comment Re:Please don't use "peak" with regard to non-oil. (Score 2, Funny) 604

I would be happy with your suggestion of using the term "local maximum" instead of "peak". Biological resources are renewable. Oil is not, and once you've used the resource, it's gone. You can't recycle burned petroleum like many metals. You can't regrow it like a southern pine plantation.

Comment Please don't use "peak" with regard to non-oil. (Score 2, Informative) 604

Please stop using "Peak" when referring to non-oil resources. Wood is renewable. The production of wood can be sustained, or can be engineered to increase over time, depending on management resource. You can't do that with a finite resource like oil. And don't use the term for mineral resources either. You can almost always find another deposit, with a slightly lesser yield than the one you just mined. That continues until you are mining the ocean for elements. It's a matter of how economic the resource is to mine. Oil is none of that. You can't find 0.5ppm oil in some soil somewhere like you can with gold or uranium or neodymium or whatever fearmongering element you wish to be afraid about.

Comment Ryskin should be taken with a grain of salt (Score 1) 333

I attended a lecture (probably ten years ago at this point) in which he suggested particular mass extinction horizons in the geological column were the result of methane hydrate eruptions. I can't recall the specifics, other than the general disbelief of most of us in the room, on his particular hypothesis. It required a lot of specific proofs that weren't there. There was much discussion on the existence of C60 in various ash levels. And that's all I can remember, other than thinking Gregory Ryskin needs to provide stronger evidence to this hypotheses. But seriously, some of the leading paleontologists and paleoclimate people really thought his stuff was ignoring strong evidence.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 676

Amen--Ubuntu was fine, a touch slow, but functional until I installed accelerated graphics drivers for my ATI card. Then menuing, windows, everything, became spiffy and quick.


Submission + - Congressman Orrin Hatch caught pirating software

Rocketship Underpant writes: "Orrin Hatch, the Congressman viewed by many as a shill for corporate copyright interests, recently stated that people who download copyrighted materials should have their computers destroyed as punishment. However, as reports, Hatch's own website uses copyrighted software without permission — a Javascript menu system developed by a British company. Is Mr. Hatch accepting volunteers to go through his home and office destroying all his computers, or were his comments to Congress just a bunch of hypocritical hot air?"

Submission + - Reporter Arrested for Asking a Question (

Spamicles writes: "Manchester, NH — Freelance reporter Matt Lepacek, reporting for, was arrested for asking a question to one of Giuliani's staff members in a press conference. The press secretary identified the New York based reporter as having previously asked Giuliani about his prior knowledge of WTC building collapses and ordered his arrest."

Submission + - Astronomers Still Puzzled by Saturn's Spokes

SteakNShake writes: Science magazine online reports that astronomers remain puzzled over Saturn's electric spokes. The spokes were discovered in 1980 when astonished observers examined the images coming back from the Voyager I probe. Explanations now center on electrical phenomena. Geraint Jones of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Dorking, U.K. and his colleages now suggest that Saturn's (as yet unexplained) thunderstorms produce (as yet unexplained) beams of electrons across Saturn's rings, directed by Saturn's magnetic field, and charge presumed dust particles in such a fashion that they hover over the rings. This cart-before-the-horse reasoning defies conventional understanding of electron beams directed by magnetic fields, but appears to explain some aspects of the spokes' behavior, while leaving many gaps to be filled in our understanding of this phenomenon.

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