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Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park

CheshireCatCO Re:i'm impressed (648 comments)

Do you really think that there was no decision process for the state, here? That anyone who applied was handed a sandwich made of $35 million?

I think that given how governments work, we should assume that there was some sort of vetting process involved and that this project was selected, unless we have evidence to the contrary.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews

CheshireCatCO Re:hmm... you may got something there... (175 comments)

6 results (one Slashdot) * contained a live bobcat... c'mon only 6?

I'm a bit shocked. I mean, I bungled the quote slightly (I think mine is better in context), but still.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews

CheshireCatCO Re:False reviews (175 comments)

Wouldn't that be similar to (and perhaps offset by) people already doing them same with favorable reviews for themselves? It doesn't seem like a new problem, anyway.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews

CheshireCatCO Simple (175 comments)

They look for phrases like

  • ...burst into flames...
  • ...still sobbing for her pet rabbit...
  • ...sucked into the trans-dimensional vortex...
  • ...shouldn't even have been any radioactive material IN a children's book...
  • ...and that's how little Tiffany learned about death and accidental dismemberment...
  • ...came to my home and set it on fire and then kicked my dog...
  • ...never knew I was capable of that sort of pain...
  • ...ordered the complete Beethoven Symphonies and the discs had nothing buy Justin Bieber on them...
  • ..contained a live bobcat... (obligatory)
  • ... would not buy again...

more than 3 years ago
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Jailtime For Jailbreaking

CheshireCatCO Re:No ex post facto laws (281 comments)

It's not clear to me how this shakes out, though. The Library of Congress doesn't make laws, they just interpret (some of) them. I believe that when the judiciary re-interpret a law, people charged with violating it previously can benefit from the change.

more than 3 years ago
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The Starry Sky Just Got Starrier

CheshireCatCO Re:first? or third? (186 comments)

In addition to what others have said about large stars probably mattering more than small ones and about how much dark matter out-masses luminous matter, there's another thing to consider. Namely, most luminous matter in a galaxy is in the form of gas and dust and not stars. So increasing the number of red dwarfs does far less than triple the contribution of luminous matter to the universe's total mass.

more than 3 years ago
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Sarah Palin 'Target WikiLeaks Like Taliban'

CheshireCatCO Re:Sarah Palin... (1425 comments)

the election would have been in the bag for the Republicans had the bank failures not have happened in September.

Not really

more than 3 years ago
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Earth's Water Didn't Come From Outer Space

CheshireCatCO Re:Alternate possibility? (181 comments)

How do you know that? Have you been running planetary formation models and studying formation timescales?

Aaaand he goes for the personal attack.

Actually, I have a PhD in Planetary Science. I've worked in areas directly related to this. That's how I know.

You?

What 'standard model' is that? There is no complete theory in planetary formation- plus, Jupiter's core is metallic hydrogen, not water.

Yes, there is a standard model. Ask any planetary scientist. I know of one dissenting view that involves an instability model, but while it's interesting, it's not widely accepted yet.

Also, Jupiter's core is more certainly not metallic hydrogen. There is a metallic hydrogen layer over the core, but there's likely (Juno will confirm this) a 10-Earth-Mass core under that. Made mostly of, yes, water ice.

(We know a bit less about Jupiter's core than the other giant planets because that metallic hydrogen has a rather unknown equation of state. The other giant planets all have 10-Earth-Mass (thereabouts) cores to a much higher level of certainty.)

If you're unaware of this, you shouldn't post with such authority.

(like, forming a big Jupiter doesn't leave enough material around for other planets, and on the same time the stellar wind keeps on blowing material away from the system).

Um, no. In every model of planet formation I've ever seen, Jupiter forms faster than any of the other planets. The very existence of the other planets puts lie to your claim. As I said, Jupiter can't magically hoover up all of the material in the entire disk. Simple energy and angular momentum considerations would tell you that that's pretty much impossible, for a start.

And THAT is what I mean by timespace.

Congrats. You've found a way to use the term to mean something that no one else in science understands.

And dust particles are neither H, nor He. Plenty of metals are around these days, even more so on star-forming regions.

Absolutely. Lots of other stuff around. Planets' worth of it. But it's much, much less abundant than the hydrogen and helium. Reaction rates will be very, very slow.

Even more simple: stuff is in dynamic balance; water that forms on some distance from the star, will be destroyed if it drifts too close into the star.

Yes and no. First of all, the proto-star isn't running that hot (check the Hiashi tracks). Secondly, it's been noted by a lot of people that the disk protects the rest of the disk. If you buried behind an AU of other disk material, not a lot of UV gets to you. Even the temperature profile of the disk has almost nothing to do with the temperature of the star. (It's got far more to do with the Virial Theorem and energy given up as material marches inward toward the protostar.)

Look, your posts are full of misinformation and poor understanding of physics and astronomy. I wouldn't mind as much if you weren't passing yourself off as an expert. Clearly, you're not. I also see from your other posts that you're prone to behave like a bit of a jerk. So I'm not going to reply further after this, feel free to get in the last word.

more than 3 years ago
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Earth's Water Didn't Come From Outer Space

CheshireCatCO Re:Alternate possibility? (181 comments)

From procaryotic metabolic processes (if you are referring to Earth's atmospheric abundance).

Er, no. Photosynthesis doesn't generate the element, it merely moves it around. And how are you going to have any biotic process before you have water in the first place?

(So no, I wasn't referring to our atmospheric, molecular oxygen. That's unrelated to this topic.)

It is not that simple- most of the available hydrogen was spent forming Jupiter.

No, it wasn't. Far more went into the Sun, first of all. Of what was left, Jupiter would only have been able to capture a small fraction of the hydrogen, the stuff within its immediate area. And by the time Jupiter was big enough to capture hydrogen, the oxygen had mostly reacted with the hydrogen. Water ice was (according to the standard model) a major building block of Jupiter's core. The part that formed first, the part that made Jupiter big enough to capture the hydrogen later.

Also, your theory fails observational tests. Almost all of the moons and other small bodies (ie, comets) in the outer solar system are made of water ice principally.

Furthermore, water formed (and remaining) in space is not necessarily stable in spacetime; among other possibilities, depending on the proximity of a heat source, it may photodissociate back to its building blocks.

First of all, your use of "spacetime" doesn't even make sense here. Water everywhere is in spacetime. Did you mean, "in space" and just try to get too sophisticated?

Water molecules are stable in space, unless they're near a high-energy source, especially a source of UV. If anything, they're probably more stable in space than on the Earth because of the lower chemical reaction rate. (When the main other chemicals you encounter are hydrogen (atomic or molecular) or helium (atomic, of course), there's not a lot of reacting you can do.)

A protoplanetary disk is an environment that may both encourage and inhibit molecular composition, due to its diversity- tracking compounds in such an environment is far from trivial.

This sentence, although full of interesting words, makes no sense. In the very least, you're trying to say something simple in an overly complicated way. I'm not quite sure what, though.

more than 3 years ago
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Earth's Water Didn't Come From Outer Space

CheshireCatCO Re:Alternate possibility? (181 comments)

Where do you get the oxygen? Most of it in the protoplanetary disk would have already encountered hydrogen (being 75% of the stuff there) and made water.

more than 3 years ago
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Which Shipping Company Is Kindest To Your Packages?

CheshireCatCO Re:Interesting but... (480 comments)

I don't think you understand statistics, do you? That's the point of giving a standard error on your result: to qualify how well or how poorly you know anything. That way your reader can judge if your results are meaningful. If you're too lazy to calculate that (hint: it's only mildly harder than an average), don't report anything. What they did report means nothing without it, not the other way around.

Given how much time they spent on making fancy graphs that tells us nothing of value (see above), they really don't have an excuse.

more than 3 years ago
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Which Shipping Company Is Kindest To Your Packages?

CheshireCatCO Re:Interesting but... (480 comments)

Agreed! And the report is woefully incomplete. You never report means without some sort of estimate of the standard deviation/standard error associated with the measurement. I can't tell if the difference in the average number of spikes is meaningful or not without knowing how tightly the results were clustered.

(My guess is "not very tightly," given that it sounds like the highest and lowest numbers of spikes (average) were the same planes, basically. That suggests that their method is flawed or that the results are that the means are basically the same to within any useful sense.)

more than 3 years ago
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Oxford Scientists Say Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats

CheshireCatCO Re:Dogs made man. Was Re:Maybe, but... (716 comments)

Yes, but so have cats. Cats, in fact, may have done as much for our species as dogs have. It's just been a lot less visible for much of our development.

Cats moved into our agricultural fields and our food storage areas on their own (they self-domesticated) to hunt the vermin that were eating out food supplies. Cats have literally been protecting our most precious resource, but they've been doing quietly and generally aloof from human interaction. Sure, you can argue that cats are doing it because that's where the prey are, but aren't dogs benefiting from domestication the same way?

And let's not forget that the vermin control has almost certainly done a lot to reduce the number of plagues humanity has endured. We remember the ones that the cats didn't stop, but there probably would have been more.

So not to dismiss the contribution of canines to human development, but I think I wouldn't dismiss cats' contributions either. They're certainly of a similar magnitude, I believe.

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

I'm not particularly advocating that, although it does have an appeal, I agree. In this thread, all I'm saying is that any award giving within pretty much the lifetime of the recipient is bound to be subject to all kinds of flaws, both due to human bias and due to failure to see what will pan out and what won't. (The latter isn't so much a human failing as the simple inability to predict outcomes in complex systems.)

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

Yes, it's mentioned in the speech. But it's only mentioned to say that it's surrounded by controversy. Arrhenius didn't say, "He did some fine work there," he said, in effect, "He's best known for this, but a lot of people [in particular, philosophers, not physicists] think it's trash."

Compare how Arrhenius speaks (at length and in detail) about Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect. Most of the speech is devoted to the photoelectric effect and explaining how it works. He didn't even definite relativity.

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

But not explicitly, which is the point. The original article has scientists grumbling about the citation for the current prize because they don't like the details. Same thing with Einstein's citation: they explicitly mentioned the photoelectric effect and entirely overlooked his much more significant work to the point where it's basically an intentional omission. In 1920, Einstein's name was most associated with relativity, there's no way that they didn't think about that work.

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

I agree, but that's the whole point, isn't it? The science prizes are no more objectively doled out than the Peace or Literature Prizes.

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

Yes, it did. But by itself, it had much less effect that SR did by itself. In one fell swoop, Einstein tossed out the time-honored notions of space and time, along with notions of simultaneity and constancy of measurements. People's perception of reality was literally being altered.

The photoelectric effect merely claimed that light came in packets. That's not that radical. Come to it, Plank started that revolution more than Einstein. The real changes in thinking in physics came later, after Einstein. And most of the really weird stuff, the stuff that radically changed our perception of reality, came after 1920. (Schrodinger wasn't to do his wave equation magic for six years, Heisenberg was probably not to do his stuff for nine. I'd be more exact, but I fear Werner's energy level would get too uncertain.) It's significant that Einstein never accepted where QM went after he played his role.

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

Yes, but QM also rests on SR in order to work. So while it's true that Einstein helped birth QM with his photoelectric effect paper, SR was fully relevant to it. And in as much as GR had been published 5 years prior (and had undergone a fairly successful test a year prior to the award), I see no reason to have acknowledged it.

Also, the Nobel comitee was always a bit biased against purely theoretical physics.

Which I think makes my case: the Nobels in science have always been somewhat flawed. (Of course, you'll also have to explain how Bohr's prize the next year was any less theoretical than special relativity was. Or, come to that, how explaining the photoelectric effect was any less theoretical than explaining the Michelson-Morley experiment or the precession of Mercury's perihelion. But if you accept that they were biased against theory, then that's a flaw in their awarding process.)

more than 3 years ago
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Graphene Nobel Prize Committee Criticized For Inaccuracies

CheshireCatCO Re:value? (63 comments)

Wow, that was dismissive and pretty rude. I'm going to hope it was unintentional.

You're wrong. Across the board. People do complain about Oscar decisions all the time, even when they're given to deserving recipients if it's for the wrong wrong. Lengthy rants about these abound. If you've not seen them, that's fine (and really, you're a better person for it), but please don't deny that they're out there.

Notice I never once denied that the PE wasn't deserving of the Nobel. You're completely and totally missing what I'm saying. It was worthy, but it was not his best work. It was virtually the smallest thing Einstein did. Failing to overtly applaud SR and GR, however, can easily and reasonably be seen as diminishing the prestige of the prize because it's a glaring omission.

Anyway, I'm done arguing with you. If you don't see my point now (whether you agree or not), you never will.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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JPL Scientists Take NASA to the Supreme Court

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 3 years ago

CheshireCatCO (185193) writes "Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, concerned about background checks now required of federal employees, sued NASA to suspect the checks back in 2007. The case has how worked its way up to the Supreme Court. At stake: whether all federal employees can be forced to undergo open-ended background checks whether or not the employee has exposure to classified or sensitive information. The background checks, which can include interviewing people from employees' pasts such as landlords and teachers, may seek, among other things, sexual histories."
Link to Original Source
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Creationists Fight Climate Researchers

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 4 years ago

CheshireCatCO (185193) writes "In the widening debate over global warming and its reality, creationists are weighing in against the climate researchers as well as against their usual biologist targets. The assumption is that by linking a more controversial scientific issue to evolution, they can cast doubt on the science of the origin of species. This sounds eerily like the Tobacco companies attempts to undermine credibility of climate research."
Link to Original Source
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Springtime Stunners from Saturn

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  about 5 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "The planet Saturn has just passed its equinox and the Cassini spacecraft was there to photograph it. The low Sun angle on the rings has exposed three-dimension structure throughout the rings system. Although the rings are very thin, they appear to ripple in places due to some unknown event in the 1980s. In other places, walls of ring material appear to have been built up, towering kilometers above the ring plane.

Story also discussed by The Bad Astronomer and by Cosmic Blog."
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Saturnian Moon has Tectonic Activity

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "Planetary scientists have just announced that Saturn's moon Enceladus, known for it's icy plume, shows signs of tectonic activity. Based on high-resolution images taken in the August and October "skeet-shoot" flybys, researchers have found what they believe to be a spreading of the surface. Images show broken-off pieces of "tiger stripe" crevices that have shifted away from the rest of the cracks due to spreading. However, unlike the Mid-Atlantic ridge on Earth, spreading is non-symmetric. "Asymmetric spreading like this is unusual on Earth and not well understood," says planetary scientist Paul Helfenstein.

The image release also includes high-resolution maps of the south-polar region of Encelaus and a movie showing the locations and originations of the jet-sources along the tiger-stripes. A full press-release is also available"

Link to Original Source
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Images from Cassini's Halloween Enceladus Flyby

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "The Cassini spacecraft flew by the moon Enceladus yesterday for the fourth (and final) time this year. At closest approach, the spacecraft was 174 km from the surface of the moon. As with the August flyby, the spacecraft performed a "skeet-shoot" maneuver, allowing the spacecraft to take images even while moving past the moon at 18 kilometers per second. The highest resolution images include looks at sources of Enceladus's jets, some of which have not been imaged before. For the sources that have been imaged previously, these new data will allow scientists to search for changes on the surface, perhaps giving clues as to the nature of the jets as well as allowing for stereo image production, giving more information about the topography of the surface."
Link to Original Source
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First Images from 50-km Enceladus Flyby

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "The first pictures from yesterday's flyby of Enceladus are now public. At closest approach, Cassini was set spinning to cancel out the apparent motion of Enceladus so as to capture unsmeared images during the 40,000 mph flyby. Although it wasn't clear that this would work (errors in pointing could easily have made the cameras miss their targets), the maneuver panned out beautifully, producing spectacular images of the surface. Images show the "tiger stripes" at the south pole, including at least one location that has been identified as a source of a jet, as well as considerable vertical relief, easily visible thanks to the low sun-angle near the south pole at present. Processed, enhanced images should follow shortly."
Link to Original Source
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Cassini to "Skeet-Shoot" Enceladus

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "When the Cassini makes its closest-approach during the flyby of the moon Enceladus next Monday (11 Aug.), the spacecraft will be zipping by too quickly to turn and image in the usual way. This time, they'll try something new: a "Skeet-shoot" of the surface. The spacecraft will start to spin before the closest-approach to the south pole so that when the best resolution is possible, the moon will drift through the field of view slowly enough to (hopefully) acquire unsmeared images of the eruption-sites on the surface that give rise to the plume that extends thousands of kilometers into space and produces the E ring.

This flyby will be optimized for the imaging instruments (ISS, VIMS, CIRS, and UVS) in contrast with the March flyby, which was designed for the fields-and-particles instruments."

Link to Original Source
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Cassini's Best Images

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CheshireCatCO (185193) writes "The winners of the best images from the Cassini spacecraft (taken since Cassini images of Saturn were first acquired in February 2004) have been announced. The winner of best color image is In Saturn's Shadow, the stunning, high-phase portrait of Saturn from opposite the Sun. Winners of best black-and-white and best movie (both categories resulted in ties) are also available."
Link to Original Source
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Enceladus's Jets Match Hot Spots on Surface

CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "Cassini Imaging scientists have discovered that the jets coming off of the south pole of the moon Enceladus (which collectively form a plume that extends thousands of kilometers into space) are correlated with the "hot spots" found by the CIRS instrument during fly-bys of the south pole. The new analysis used images taken over two years from varying perspectives to trace the individual jets down to the surface. The resulting source locations not only match the hot spots on the surface, they also correspond closely to the fissures (sometimes called "tiger stripes") that cross the south polar region. Planetary scientists have suspected such a correlation since the plume was discovered two years ago, but demonstrating this has proven difficult. Since several competing models exist to describe the jets' origins, these findings may help scientists eliminate some models. The paper with the details of the work comes out in tomorrow's issue of Nature."
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CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "Cassini scientists have announced the discovery of enormous lakes on Saturn's moon Titan. One lake is as large as the Caspian Sea on Earth (our planet's largest). Although water must be frozen on Titan's surface, methane and ethane can form liquid deposits on the surface. The radar maps are available in movie form and context images (broader, but showing less detail) are also available. (Movie also available on YouTube in case of Slashdotting.)"
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CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has photographed the rover Opportunity with the HIRISE instrument. (HIRISE page with high resolution images here.) Apart from being very cool, this demonstrates how powerful the new camera really is and it will improve the interpretation of the data from the rovers by giving better context. Also, it's really just that cool."
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CheshireCatCO CheshireCatCO writes  |  about 8 years ago

CheshireCatCO writes "The Cassini imaging experiment has captured a new ring at Saturn coincident with the orbits of the moons Janus and Epimetheus. (Two moons that share the same average orbit, but swap positions periodically.) The new images were taken a high-phase with Cassini in the planet's shadow. This viewing geometry makes small dust particles (micron-sized) visible relative to the larger (centimeter- to meter-sized) bodies. This indicates that the new ring is composed of small dust and not the larger particles that make up the prominent A, B, and C rings. (Nomeclature note: this new ring may ultimately be declared a ringlet or some similar alternate designation.)

In the same set of observations, Cassini has captured pictures showing Enceladus, its plume, and its effects on the E ring and a beautiful view of Saturn's rings with the Earth and Moon in the background. Generally speaking, Cassini cannot turn its cameras toward Earth because of the danger of looking too close to the Sun. In this case, Cassini was making a particularly long trip through Saturn's shadow, so such point was deemed safe."

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