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Comment Re:LOL ... (Score 1) 125

12 million light years is ~ 120 times the diameter of the Milky Way which is indeed "local" to our own galaxy. By comparison 120 times the Earth's diameter is roughly 1.5 million kilometers (~ 1 million miles) which is indeed "local" to Earth: Only 4 times the distance to the moon and only 1% of the distance to the Sun.

Comment Cheap way to get drunk? (Score 1) 52

About 20 years ago my high school chemistry teacher claimed that if you showed up at the emergency room and said you had been drinking methanol, they would actually give you a shot of ethanol ("normal" alcohol) as a treatment. Apparantly the body breaks down ethanol before methanol allowing the methanol to pass through without causing damage.

Comment Almost (Score 1) 151

"Brown dwarfs are faint, low mass objects 13 — 75 times the mass of Jupiter" I remember learning in the first year astronomy that Jupiter is *almost* big enough to be a star, only a factor of 80 of. If that is close then I'm almost rich, almost famous and almost good looking.

Comment Re:Why 2^n-1 (Score 2) 254

Actually they are a lot less likely to be prime than any random odd number, only 48 are now known and all have been tested up to above 13 million digits. But yes they are very easy to prove prime compared to "random" numbers of no special form, I *think* it was proven mathematically that there is no faster proof possible, but don't hold me to that. The highest "random" number proven to be prime is only 26,642 digits vs 17 million for this new mersenne prime. There are numbers of other special forms that are also "easy" but not as easy to prove, highest one proven is 3.9 million digits. They don't look for primes 2^n+1 because they are always divisible by 3 so they are never prime. They are looking for primes (2^n+1)/3 however, they are called Wagstaff primes, but again they are harder to prove than mersenne numbers.

Submission + - The Pirate Bay spokesperson sends plea for pardon (

einyen writes: "A few days ago, Peter “Brokep” Sunde – the former media spokesperson of The Pirate Bay – sent a formal plea for pardon to the Swedish Administration. This is a procedure where you can get a judicial sentencing undone by the political administration in exceptional circumstances, as part of checks and balances between the branches of government. It is practically never granted, but Peter saw it as a way to get his version into permanent governmental records"
His tale is a story about corruption in the swedish police and judicial system. The original swedish text can be found here on Peter's Blog

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