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Comment Re:a personal experience (Score 1) 226

Like I said, the only higher power that I am referring to is the physical laws of the universe, which of course, like a higher power, we don't fully or otherwise understand. I don't pray to those laws however, I hardly think of them, unless gravity gives me a reminder or I read something about physics.

Comment Re:a personal experience (Score 1) 226

I don't attribute a spiritual experience to a divine or higher being. I really don't know how to explain what I experienced. I never had a sense of another outside of myself. I don't think or ascribe it to a religious experience. My experience with religion has been less than satisfactory over the years. This is the kind of thing that is beyond normal waking experiences. Yet I was awake during the chanting, maintaining a kneeling position with my back straight--difficult to do if one is sleeping. So the observer that I described is not something outside of me, its another part of me. I can't say that I believe in a god, at least a god that religious attribute their devotion. Rather, it seems to me that what might be called god is the laws of the universe. As far as I'm concerned, meditation is simply being quiet and listening. Some christian brothers from Canada a few years ago produced a 3 volume set of christian meditation audio tapes. In it they described prayer as not talking to god but listening. To me that listening is to ones internal voices. Experience has shown me that after a time, the noisy voices quiet and the "real" internal voice is heard. Yeah this is all very non-scientific, which is something I find interesting since my training is in engineering and science. Anyway, thanks for your questions. But for me to describe this is like trying to describe the color red to a blind man.

Comment a personal experience (Score 1) 226

First of all, I'd like to distinguish between what is called a religious experience and what might be called a spiritual experience. Lets not flame this please. Many years ago, I went to a meditation camp let by Pir Vilyat Khan, the sufi leader in the US. This was held in an open air tent with a couple of hundred people. At one time, we chanted the Zhikr. The actual transation of the words were unimportant (I don't speak arabic), but the sounds resonate. I found myself having an experience as somekind of self observer--kind of looking down on myself from outside, watching my thoughts but not being connected to any of them. Kind of like a description of the Buddhist observer description. At one point however, a thought came up, "who is watching the watcher". This caused be to experience being back in my body. I had a similar experience doing a chant from the Kabbalah and is similar to the descriptions in "The Cloud of Unknowing" by a christian monk. When my son was 10 years old, his mother had him on ADD drugs. When he came to visit me, I had him do a short meditation. He told me that it felt similar to taking the medication (which he was not doing when he visited me).

Comment deja vu all over again (Score 2) 75

In 1996-7 timeframe, the telecom act mandated retail access for cable boxes. This led to the open cable project at CableLabs which developed a portable middleware (OpenCable Application Platform, OCAP) and a removable security device (POD). The development of the middleware took nearly 10 years for development and acceptance starting in 1999. It is now legacy!

Comment powering house with PV (Score 5, Interesting) 281

I have a 10 KW, grid tied battery backed up system in an all electric house. Everything except my deep well pump, washer/dryer, hot water, range and geothermal compressor are connected on the critical loads panel. Generally over the last 5 years or so, the system produces more power than used with the rest going to charging the batteries and powering the grid. However, there has only been a few times over the last several years that system has produced more than consumed from the grid. I estimate that I would need 30-50 kw to power everything. However, the geothermal compressor draws perhaps 5 kw for 4-5 minutes at a time and cycles several times an hour. Since the geothermal system works mostly at night or if we went off grid, the storage capacity of the battery backup would have to be increased substantially from the 16 KWH that we have now since the compressor would deplete the batteries in a few hours. None the less our electric bill is down at least 80% from pre-PV days.

Comment Re:Even the National Weather Service fucked it up (Score 1) 397

If budgeting were a nonlinear process, you'd never get it right. Budgets and time-line predictions are controllable, weather is not. Weather is a non-linear process. Edward Lorenz (look him up on Google if you don't know who he was), said that weather forecasting more than a couple of days out is little more than guess work. The models are limited by the number and accuracy of the measurements.

Comment my dog stares at the TV (Score 2) 199

My pooch will stare at our 42" LED screen. He goes crazy when a talking head appears and stares back at him. The dog doesn't like strangers staring at him. He also reacts to other animals on the screen and cartoon characters. Sometimes he'll run around to the other side of the wall on which the TV is mounted as if he is looking for something behind the TV/wall as if the TV were a window to the other side of the wall. And no, the dog is not on drugs (neither am I).

Comment predecessor to PDP11 (Score 2) 336

The predecessor goes back to the MIT machine in the 60's, the Link-8 which became the PDP-8. It had two DEC tapes, 4KB ram. We programmed it in LAP-4 and had to key in a bootstrap loader on the front panel to load in the OS. At the time we wrote a 64 point FFT and a routine to output the results to a Calcomp plotter. It took 5 minutes to run the FFT. Memory was divided into 2 2KB segments, one for data and one for program. We used one page (512KB) as an executive routine and the other 3 pages to program the FFT which kept the DEC tapes spinning as different segments of the program were shuttled in and out of those 3 pages.

Comment Thats BS (Score 1) 955

If you listen to the interview between Greenwald and Snowden (on http://democracynow.org/ you will see that Snowden could have released a lot of information that could have made him a lot of money and pretty much taken down the whole program by exposing specific details about programs and individuals. He did none of that. It should be up to the American people to decide if we want such surveillance. If we do then keep these programs. If not then the answer is obvious.

Submission + - Hydrogen Fuel made with Sunlight and Zinc (discovery.com)

gordona writes: "Perhaps free energy or nearly free is on the way. A PhD student at the University of Delaware had demonstrated how that free hydrogen gas can be generated with sunlight, zinc oxide, and water. A chamber that holds the zinc oxide is heated by concentrating sunlight to 3500 degrees Fahrenheit which vaporizes the zinc. The zinc vapor can then be put into water which then reacts to form zinc oxide releasing hydrogen. It isn't stated how the zinc vapor is separated from the oxygen that is generated however and its not clear if the process is scalable."

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Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

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