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Comment Re:Convoluted process to convert existing 237Np (Score 3, Insightful) 129

This is the only comment (out of 49 so far) in this thread which is intelligent, useful, and constructive. There was a time (oh you youngsters!) when this was the rule, not the exception, on slashdot. The hamster comment deserves credit for humor, though.

Is there a better site for news for nerds?

Comment Adding noise (Score 2) 388

Reducing the sound transmission is good, of course, but usually difficult and expensive. Adding more absorption inside the space is always good, will gain you a few more dB, and improve the environment for listening.

But the best and cheapest method is to add noise.

How can adding noise improve the situation? There's already too much noise! This has to do with the nature of hearing and attention - the so-called invisibility of the familiar. Ever notice that when the AC or a fan turns off you suddenly notice it, while you didn't notice the sound before? That's because the mind will tune out and ignore meaningless background.

If you can add enough white/pink noise to mask the offending noise then your attention will not be distracted by it, and eventually all of the sound will fall beneath your attention. This is the usual treatment for tinnitus, ringing in the ears, and many sufferers can gain substantial relief by it.

A quick way to try it out is with your home stereo. On FM mode, tune between stations (and turn off muting). This will provide very nice white noise with adjustable volume. Give it a couple of hours at least. There are inexpensive white noise generators available.

A little classier is falling water, such as an inside fountain. This is more towards lower frequencies (pink noise), but the particular random nature of the sound is very calming for most people.

Comment Re:Two questions need to be asked (Score 1) 546

"Comrades," he said quietly, "do you know who is responsible for this? Do
you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill?
SNOWDEN!" he suddenly roared in a voice of thunder. "Snowden has done
this thing! In sheer malignity, thinking to set back our plans and avenge
himself for his ignominious expulsion, this traitor has crept here under
cover of night and destroyed our work of nearly a year.
      -Orwell, "Animal Farm"

Comment Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 167

The specs on that unit give some idea of what's possible with a miniature peltier dehumidifier:

Weight: 3-1/2 pounds
Rate: 8 oz per day at 80% RH
Power: 22.5 W

That's a lot of weight, and it would take quite a bit of solar panel to get that much power. And all that for a thimble-full of water in an hour's ride.

Comment Re:To Kill literacy (Score 3, Insightful) 410

Libraries are not, and cannot be, archival repositories of books. A library uses its fixed resources (in money, personnel, and space) to house a collection which is useful to its patrons. It's silly to complain about a library discarding books. How else would they have room for anything new? The librarians and administrators are the ones responsible for choosing and maintaining the collection. That's their call. If you think the collection should move in a different direction, send a letter to the librarian--you'll probably be pleasantly surprised with a coherent and reasoned response. This "outrage" is just dumb.

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