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Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 4, Insightful) 304

The denial of man's role is part of denying the change at all, because they're happy with the status quo. For some it's economics - they profit under the current system and alterations to reduce or fight the effects of climate change will reduce those profits, for some it's pure denial that the world could ever change.

When the water's up around their ankles, they're scream bloody murder for levees, but that's about it. If it's somebody else up to their ankles they'll come up with some way to rationalize how it was always a risk and the climate hasn't actually changed, and how it's the fault of those who chose to live there.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 4, Insightful) 304

>They were born here; to suggest that they just pack up and move is pretty short-sighted and somewhat insulting.

The White House no longer recognizes man's effect on climate, which means there's little hope of policy directed at mitigating man's effects on climate - and still probably none even if they acknowledge the climate is changing and are merely ignoring man's role.

Beyond that, the White House already had very little control over other nations that are or likely will significantly affect climate going forward.

So... we're not going to fix the problem any time soon. The ocean doesn't care where you were born, it doesn't decide where its rising levels will flood land.

To suggest people pack up and move isn't insulting, it's unfortunately common sense given the circumstances.

Comment Re:BETRAYAL (Score 0, Troll) 356

You know Trump simply isn't very bright, right? He's a blowhard floated on daddy's money, otherwise he'd be a complete failure in life. Maybe he still technically is a failure personally; he's kind of someone else's 'success'.

Anyway, his ridiculous behaviour has been getting reported on by people inside the White House, so he's currently very much against leakers... and since he has trouble holding more than one thought in his head at a time, he's incapable of considering the consequences of a vigorous and public crusade against all security leaks.

Next time, try electing someone who understands actions have consequences, has some ability to restrain their own ego, and perhaps can consider more than one factor at a time when coming to a decision.

Submission + - Light Sail propulsion could reach Sirius sooner than Alpha Centauri (arxiv.org)

RockDoctor writes: A recent proposition to launch probes to other star systems driven by lasers which remain in the Solar system has garnered considerable attention. But recently published work suggests that there are unexpected complexities to the system.

One would think that the closest star systems would be the easiest to reach. But unless you are content with a fly-by examination of the star system, with much reduced science returns, you will need to decelerate the probe at the far end, without any infrastructure to assist with the braking.

By combining both light-pressure braking and gravitational slingshots, a team of German, French and Chilean astronomers discover that the brightness of the destination star can significantly increase deceleration, and thus travel time (because higher flight velocities can be used. Sling-shotting around a companion star to lengthen deceleration times can help shed flight velocity to allow capture into a stable orbit.

The 4.37 light year distant binary stars Alpha Centauri A and B could be reached in 75 years from Earth. Covering the 0.24 light year distance to Proxima Centauri depends on arriving at the correct relative orientations of Alpha Centauri A and B in their mutual 80 year orbit for the sling shot to work. Without a companion star, Proxima Centauri can only absorb a final leg velocity of about 1280km/s, so that leg of the trip would take an additional 46 years.

Using the same performance characteristics for the light sail the corresponding duration for an approach to the Sirius system, almost twice as far away (8.58ly), is a mere 68.9 years, making it (and it's white dwarf companion) possibly a more attractive target.

Of course, none of this addresses the question of how to get any data from there to here. Or, indeed, how to manage a project that will last longer than a working lifetime. There are also issues of aiming — the motion of the Alpha Centauri system isn't well-enough known at the moment to achieve the precise manoeuvring needed without course corrections (and so, data transmission from there to here) en route.

Comment An ill-considered product. (Score 1) 3

A whole-print scanner means the potential to leave a complete print on the imaging surface. It would have been far better to use a slot scanner and have the user drag a print across it. (This is going from some of the publicity shots I've seen of a small black square on the cards)

And beyond that, I'd much rather use a PIN I can choose to give up under duress than use a finger that can be chopped off without me having any choice in the matter.

Comment Re:TED: high priced popular science (Score 1) 262

The addition of TED-X was just awful. The barrier to entry is so low and the end product so easily misrepresented as a regular TED talk that it ruins the whole concept.

TED talks used to be worth looking at based on name alone, now (at least for me) they're about as interesting as a random YouTube video blog.

Comment Re:Needed for Warp Drive (Score 1) 117

And this is why I hate this article... THEY HAVE CREATED NEGATIVE MASS. They've created something that behaves sort of like you'd expect negative mass to behave if it were possible.

Actual negative mass is not possible, which is just one of many reasons a warp drive is not possible (which I personally find disappointing, but it's still true).

Comment Re:Start by banning one time keys (Score 1) 123

>to prefer books that come in an international edition,

Hell, it'd be nice to see international education standards. Anything not tainted by culture or politics should be ripe for standardization... so anything math/science at least.

It's stupid to duplicate the effort countless times around the globe beyond translating to local language.

Comment "Neural signal diversity" (Score 5, Insightful) 287

Also known as 'lots of activity'. That may translate to *altered* state of consciousness, but calling it a *higher* state just tells me someone really likes their psychedelic drugs.

Your brain trying to figure out what to do with random signals produced by chemical disruption of brain activity is in no way 'higher' consciousness, no matter how many drug users tell us it feels that way.

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