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Comment Re:What about the NBA? (Score 1) 252

You also have different groups of people that ignore sports as a way to get ahead entirely. They decide to go to college in order to get ahead or start a business in order to become rich and famous.

American blacks are an intensely anti-intellectual demographic versus Pakastanis.

Comment Re:Human missions = funding (Score 1) 71

If that was the way the world worked, we'd have Saturn Vs to launch superheavy payloads into space right now. Or for that matter a Shuttle program. Using robots instead of people lets us be small and cost-effective instead of huge, expensive and risk-adverse and you say it like it's a bad thing. Those programs get axed, the staff reassigned and the capabilities lost because we can't even justify the operating/launch cost. To Mars with the SLS would be a one-time gig for human spaceflight, nothing more.

Also, you're wrong about the excitement. Today the landing site will be mapped out by robots in great detail in advance, you can probably do a VR tour long before the actual landing. They won't be explorers landing in the great unknown, they'll be scientists and researchers landing at an outpost. Sure there will be some excitement but it will never peak and pass quick, just read about the end of the Apollo program. And that was riding the high of the moon landing and Apollo 13, A mission to Mars will last too long and be so prepared before the humans arrive it'll never manage to hold the excitement.


SpaceX Tests Its Raptor Engine For Future Mars Flights ( 71

Thelasko writes: Elon Musk is preparing to unveil his plans to colonize Mars at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress tomorrow. As a tease to his lecture, he has released some details about the Raptor engine on Twitter, including pictures. Mr. Musk states that, "Production Raptor coal is specific impulse of 382 seconds and thrust of 3 MN (~310 metric tons) at 300 bar." He goes on to note that the specific impulse spec is at Mars ambient pressure. The Raptor interplanetary engine is designed for use with Space X's Mars Colonial Transporter craft. Musk notes that the "chamber pressure runs three times what's present in the Merlin engine currently used to power Falcon 9," according to TechCrunch. "Merlin has specific impulse of 282 seconds (311 seconds in the vacuum of space), and a relatively paltry 654 kilonewton (0.6 MN) at sea level, or 716 kN (0.7 MN) in a vacuum. You can view a picture of the "Mach diamonds" here, which are visible in the engine's exhaust.

Submission + - Feminist Discovers Why Women Can't do STEM

Stinky Cheese Man writes: "Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis" by Laura Parson of the University of North Dakota is difficult to distinguish from parody. Apparently women and minorities are intimidated by catalog descriptions of STEM courses. The STEM course descriptions analyzed by Ms. Parson implied "that not only would students be held to difficult high standards, but also that there was also a base of knowledge that was required to be successful in the course. [This] created an impression of extremely difficult courses, which ... would be prohibitive for those not confident in those areas, such as women and minorities."

Furthermore, scientific knowledge itself is considered to be male-biased. "STEM syllabi explored in this analysis promoted the male-biased STEM institution by reinforcing views of knowledge as static and unchanging, as it is traditionally considered to be in science, which is a masculine concept of knowledge." This is opposed to the "feminist view of knowledge" in which "knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change."

Ms. Parson feels that "the individualistic, difficult and competitive nature of the STEM classroom" creates a "a chilly climate that marginalizes women".

Thanks to Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media.

Comment Mediacom Are Full of Shit (Score 1) 164

Once again, we have an entrenched, meritlessly entitled incumbent trying to get you to pay attention to the wrong thing. In this case, it's an insultingly laughable analogy that any moderately aware shopper will see right through.

To illustrate this, here's a tray of regular Oreos(TM), and here's a similarly sized tray of double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM). And if you were to consider the per-cookie cost, as Mediacom is clearly hoping you will, then yes, double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) cost more than regular Oreos(TM).

But foodstuffs such as cookies are not sold by the cookie. They're sold by unit weight (or unit mass if you want to be pedantic). Considered this way, the per-ounce cost of the regular and double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) is virtually identical (in this case, about $0.26/oz from this retailer). So if Nabisco(TM) has no reason to charge a premium simply because you consume the cookies in larger units, Mediacom has no such reason, either.

So Mediacom are full of shit.

Submission + - Temporary tattoos to treat chronic conditions (

mi writes: A temporary tattoo — its "paint" consisting of drug-loaded nanoparticles — may some day help control a chronic disease, according to scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University.

That could be a plus for patients with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, one focus of study at the Beeton lab. “Placed just under the skin, the carbon-based particles form a dark spot that fades over about one week as they are slowly released into the circulation,” Beeton said.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 619

You are correct that I cannot list my source. Since I learned that as a fact before 1960, I've also learned that it was a rare grammatical rule that is only known because it was used a few (two?) places in the Bible. If you want to believe that, OK. I believe, however, that if you search through comparisons between the texts of Genesis and those of Babylonia you could probably turn up the source I mentioned, if it ever got put on the web.

If you're going to claim that the Mosaic Jews believed in the trinity, I'm just going to consider you an idiot.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 619

Unfortunately, that's not true. It's often possible to create a consensus that's based on emotional drives, and no particular evidence at all. So the parent was correct in asserting that consensus is not necessarily a mark even of consistency with known and accepted facts.

My point was, in fact, that using the idea that something is accepted by a consensus (of a group) as evidence that it's correct is not a valid means of reasoning. It *is* a convenient short-hand that people often use, and it often works out "well-enough", but it's not a sound basis of argument. This is as true of "scientific consensus" as of any other. Usually, however, claims of "scientific consensus" are made by those who don't care to look carefully into the issues, or are explicitly arguing to people whom they presume would not be willing to look carefully at the evidence. You'll find that in blog posts more often than in popular science articles, and you'll just about never find "consensus" used as an argument in a serious scientific paper. It the people who look at the evidence agree, then many other people will be willing to take their word without looking into the evidence. E.g., I am quite willing to believe that a random line of code from the Linux kernel is doing it's job correctly, even though I'm certain that there are bugs present, and even that some people have identified some of them. And I *COULD*, in principle, study every line in the Linux kernel. Nobody does, not even Linus. Some people study proposed changes. Some people study apparent errors, etc. If you want to see what actual scientific discussion look like, look at the Linux kernel mailing list. It ends up with something that almost all people are willing to accept...but which some don't. You never get a real consensus in the strong meaning of the term. And that's true of science, too. The term consensus is used by those so distant from the actual work that they don't even know what's being done. And it's also a lie, even in the case of the most accepted principles. There are people who seriously deny the conservation of mattergy (matter + energy as related by E = mc^2). There are people who deny the big bang. There are people...well, name a believed rule and there are those who believe it isn't correct. And this is good, because very occasionally one of the wilder ones will be proven correct, but you can never predict ahead of time which one it will be.

Submission + - Hofstra university posts a "trigger warning" sign for the presidential debate ( 2

mi writes: Hofstra University, which hosts the first presidential debate of 2016, has posted a “trigger warning” sign to warn students about the potentially disturbing content that may be discussed during the night:

Trigger Warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may contain triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to help you.”

Should people triggered by anything, which the candidates may mention, even vote?

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