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Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 1) 198

My thinking has been too Earth-bound to consider the Sol - Jupiter relationship. But I see others are thinking about it; there are several lay articles and apparently some more serious articles on the web. But I haven't done any critical reading on the subject.

There does seem to be a correlation between Jupiter's orbital period and the sunspot cycle as both are roughly 11 years. But if there is an underlying mechanism (not conveniently dismissible as "coincidence"), it seems more likely that the mechanisms are electromagnetic rather than gravitational. Which would suggest a 3 body problem, with Saturn's impact on the electrodynamics modifying any solar - jovian model.

This is not some resurrection of an "electric universe" theory. Jupiter, Saturn, and even Earth all create distortions in the solar wind, and it should hardly be surprising if these large scale distortions did not feedback in some way to the coronal events. Whether this feedback is a significant moderator of coronal activity should be the question; that there is some feedback can be stipulated.

Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 1) 198

That's one of those foolish rules put forth by the idiocy contingent of the IAU.

The barycenter of the Earth - Moon binary is outside of the Earth's hard inner core, in the region of the liquid outer core. This is the center or neutral point of the tidal forces acting on the Earth. No one has yet looked at the effects of these tides on the outer core's liquidity, or its electromagnetic properties, mostly because astronomers look upward and geologists look downward and there is a very serious failure for either to look at what the other group is finding.

How significant is the displacement of the Earth's core from the barycenter? It is significant enough to cause the Earth's orbit about the Sun to deviate 6,000 miles twelve times a year from what it would be if the Earth was a solitary body, instead of part of a binary system. Depending on your frame of reference, that deviation is twice to four times as much as the radius of the Moon.

In practical terms up until now this has had no direct impact on human activity. That now changes: when we start using laser beams to communicate and control exploration vehicles beyond Earth orbits, we will have to take the binary nature of the Earth - Moon pair into account or the lasers will miss their targets by thousands of miles.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 4, Interesting) 198


TL;DR but I got through enough of it to realize that most, and maybe all, the points are cogent. Above post should be stuffed down the throats of every IAU member who voted for their absurd definition of planet until they can regurgitate those points, with meaning.

Some astronomers are stupid. The phrase "educated beyond the level of their intelligence" comes to mind. This idiots should have been taught somewhere along the way that their expertise in one narrow field does not endow them with the authority to mess about in other disciplines like linguistics.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 2) 198

Good points. But they are basically off topic.

It doesn't matter one whit what terms scientists use in their cloistered jargons. That's why they have jargons.

It does matter when a body of scientists attempts to mold the common tongue to their narrow purposes. Which is what happened with the IAU: they overstepped their area of authority, which is astronomy, to dabble in an area where none of them have any training or standing, which is the study of natural languages, or linguistics. It makes them look like a troop of highly educated baboons, and is one more proof that some people with advanced degrees have been educated beyond the level of their intelligence.

Scientific communities do have an appropriate role in shaping the common tongue, but that is done through education and continued discussion. Never by fiat.

Comment Re: Richard Feynman was an athiest (Score 1) 198

Truth, justice, and The American Way are not science either. Yet these irrational things have more impact on your life than the tiny little subset of the universe that is all that science can ever know.

I do not disagree with you, but I find that your statement has no inherent value and that you are contributing nothing worthwhile to the conversation.

Comment Re:That's no moon (Score 4, Interesting) 198

Any "space-trash" that demands to be listed as something else needs to be immediately identified as a "sentient being", and on behalf of all of us Earthlings the UN needs to publicly apologize to him/her/it. That is simple playground rules: you don't want to insult anybody that much bigger than you are.

As to everything else, I think the planetary geologists have it right. If it is big enough to be rounded of its own volition, it is a planet. And planets that go around another planet more quickly than they go around their star are also moons.

Corollary: that makes Earth the larger part of a binary planetary system. Which puts proper emphasis on the way the Moon creates tides that keeps the hydrosphere stirred up, which has had a major impact on how life has evolved here. Exoplanetary explorers should look for other binary planets in the Goldilocks zone as these are much more likely to have life that is similar to Earth life.

(Is a "bazinga!" called for here? Was this just another Sheldon impersonation, or did I accidentally say something insightful?)

Comment Re:Oh please (Score 1) 204

It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools for his shoddy workmanship.

It is a poor craftsman that uses shoddy tools in the first place. Selecting good tools is a core skill for any craftsman.

Same thing.

The take-away: If you don't know how to use PHP to build secure systems, use some other tool. If you don't know how to use any other tool, don't try to do secure systems.

In every case, the fault is with the programmer, not PHP.

Comment Re:Oh please (Score 1) 204

To repeat: quit blaming the language for the lack of skills of the programmer.

Programmers who are incompetent in PHP should not attempt to build secure systems with it. Those who do attempt to do so should really not be involved in making secure systems in any language, since they have demonstrated that they do not know how to assess the limitations of their tools, let alone work properly within those limitations.

It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools for his shoddy workmanship.

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