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Comments

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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

MtViewGuy Re:Unfortunately this new knowledge won't help mos (402 comments)

Having spent several thousand dollars in co-pay for dental work in my lifetime, this is why I don't drink sodas anymore--the carbonation in the soda actually accentuates the highly corrosive quality of the sugar in the carbonated drink. That's why I drink mostly iced tea nowadays on hot summer days.

yesterday
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The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

MtViewGuy Females weren't considered at the time.... (190 comments)

....Because none of them had the type of test pilot experience necessary for the Mercury program in the USA or the Vostok program in the Soviet Union..

We forget that at the time of the start of manned flights in 1961, it was an extreme unknown on how well an astronaut would handle a spacecraft in Earth orbit. As such, both the Americans and Russians chose trained test pilots, who had the ability to calmly handle any dangerous situation during a test flight. And in those days, only men met that qualification. It wasn't until the middle 1970's that both the Americans and Russians--based on their spaceflight experience--finally figured out how to choose females to become astronauts/cosmonauts on something besides a publicity stunt.

yesterday
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Solar Could Lead In Power Production By 2050

MtViewGuy Depends on what region in the world, though. (167 comments)

I think areas highly suited for solar power generation--southwestern USA, around the Mediterranean Sea, much of the Middle East, and much of Australia--will be the areas where rooftop solar panels and large-scale solar power plants start to dominate in terms of power generation. Mind you, they may be competing against future forms of nuclear power, especially if the technology for molten-salt nuclear reactors fueled by thorium-232 dissolved in molten fluoride salts become practical.

about two weeks ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

MtViewGuy Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (488 comments)

Sendai--because it has littler precipitation in winter--is one of the better locations for a solar power plant. But any further north--such as from Morioka north to Aomori--you start getting in a lot of winter snow, and that is a huge impediment to efficient solar power operations. The Sea of Japan side from Kanazawa to the Tsugaru region is not that great, either, given you can get huge snowfalls in winter.

In short, the complex geography of Japan makes solar power not so great, especially with areas of intense winter snows. But western Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu are perfect for solar power on a truly large scale.

about two weeks ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

MtViewGuy Re:They're Against More Than That (488 comments)

The only thing is that we may start to see a trend of going away from burning coal to generate electricity--the air pollution problems from coal burning will end this practice in the next 50-70 years. What will likely happen is in the short to medium term, we'll see a switch to burning natural gas (which has a tiny fraction of the air pollution and is cheap to install emission controls) and in the longer term eventually switch to a new generation of nuclear power plants that are extremely safe to run and use commonly-found thorium-232 as nuclear fuel (India and China are building test reactors to see if they can scale up what physicist Alvin Weinberg achieved in the 1960's at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; if it works, we could have enough electric power generation to last _tens_ of thousands of years).

There will be a place for solar power, but only in areas of the world where there are enough sunny days to justify its use; the southwestern USA (including California) is one such place.

about three weeks ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

MtViewGuy Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (488 comments)

I agree that's true--if you live in the part of the world where there is enough sunny days to justify its initial expense. The southwestern USA--including California--belongs in this category, along with areas around the Mediterranean Sea, much of the Middle East, and several other places.

In other parts of the world, long, cold winters and/or long rainy seasons could cut down on its usefulness. Indeed, in Japan, only the western half of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu have enough sunny days to justify large-scale rooftop solar installations.

about three weeks ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

MtViewGuy Re:Or they will simply get it banned or restricted (517 comments)

You mean "used to be cheap dirty coal." Ever since the EPA required the use of extensive exhaust emission controls to cut soot and sulfur emissions, you no longer get the infamous "acid rain" cause by sulfur dioxide gas blown downwind of the coal-fired power plant here in the USA and there are very little soot issues from burning coal. Of course, it does help that many utilities switched to vastly cleaner-burning coal from Wyoming's Powder River region in the last 40 years.

about three weeks ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

MtViewGuy Solar power only viable in certain areas, though. (517 comments)

Despite what some supporters think, solar power in order to be really viable have to be located in parts of the world where there are a lot of sunny days. For example, the southwestern USA has some of the best daylight conditions in the world for solar power--and the same can be said for southern Europe. Indeed, the country of Greece should have rooftop solar power everywhere, given the number of sunny days in that part of the world.

Here in California, rooftop solar power has really taken off because there are enough sunny days to justify the cost of installation. Imagine generating 15 to 30 kW of power during daytime--more than enough to run a single-family home, including air conditioning.

about three weeks ago
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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

MtViewGuy Re:Go (274 comments)

The basic rules of Go is actually quite simple. Expanding that to a 19 x 19 board is really, really hard to do--some say Go requires more intelligence to play than chess.

about 2 months ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

MtViewGuy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

However, Microsoft recently showed a screenshot of a future version of Windows where the desktop UI is emphasized more again on desktop and most laptop computers. That could be a preview of Windows 9, likely coming fall 2015--a total redesign of Windows that corrects most of the UI deficiencies of Windows 8.x versions.

about 3 months ago
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Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

MtViewGuy Re:Trains sound like a good idea. (84 comments)

Actually, the technology is just about there for no-driver subway and commuter rail trains. Japan could probably start implementing this on their subway systems probably within a decade (they're already doing this on monorails and automated guideway transit systems).

about 3 months ago
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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

MtViewGuy Re:Harden the grid (212 comments)

Well, the Russians during the 1962 "Project K" nuclear tests studied what kind of protection necessary to mitigate the effects of an EMP, the closest thing man-made to a large-scale CME strike on the Earth's atmosphere.

The results were not promising: a 300 kT nuclear warhead detonated at an altitude of 290 km (180 miles) generated an EMP that blew out all the protection systems and even started a fire at a power-generating station along with shutting down a 1,000 km (621 mile) long underground power line. In short, what could have happened in 2012--even if the power transmission lines were disconnected just before the CME hit--would have serious damaged the electrical grid worldwide anyway.

about 3 months ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

MtViewGuy Re:Finally! (474 comments)

After reading Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," the innumerable health problems with "bathtub gin" during the Prohibition era, and that kind of scary situation with Paraquat spraying of cannabis plants in Mexico in the early 1980's, that's why I made the comment originally. Indeed, the level of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage is pretty tightly controlled--usually around 5% for beer and around 75% in hard liquor for sale in all 50 states.

Besides, with USDA and FDA standards, it means that cannabis you can buy (eventually) legally won't cause health problems for all the wrong reasons.

about 3 months ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

MtViewGuy Re:Finally! (474 comments)

I would except the recreational drugs have to meet the same USDA and FDA standards for purity and safety for foodstuffs, legal drugs, and alcoholic beverages. In short, the cannabis you can buy legally must NOT have any potentially dangerous additives and THC levels per gram of cannabis have to be standardized. In short, welcome to the real world if you want to grow legal cannabis.

about 3 months ago
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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

MtViewGuy Maybe not. (140 comments)

I think the FCC may end up postponing the change in net neutrality because it could have a tremendous effect on the upcoming 2014 Congressional elections if they go against the overwhelming wishes of the people commenting on its proposal.

about 3 months ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

MtViewGuy We now know the precursor of eruptions, though. (151 comments)

I think thanks to more recent research by geologists, we now know that most volcanic eruptions occur after a series of very specific types of earthquakes around the volcano. This is why seismic sensors are placed all over many Japanese volcanic mountains, for example Mt. Aso and Sakurajima on Kyushu and both Mt. Fuji and Mt. Asama (since both mountains if there is any major eruption could seriously affect the Tokyo metropolitan region).

about 3 months ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

MtViewGuy Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (385 comments)

Hence my support for the molten-salt reactor fueled by thorium-232, which generates a tiny fraction of the waste you get from a uranium-fueled nuclear reactor. And the waste only has a radioactive half-life of 300 years, which means really cheap nuclear waste disposal if the nuclear medicine industry doesn't grab it first!

about 3 months ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

MtViewGuy Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (385 comments)

Actually, two countries--India and China--are pouring a LOT of money into make the molten-salt reactor (a nuclear reactor fueled by thorium-232 dissolved in molten fluoride salts) commercially viable. If they succeed, it could fulfill the promise of nuclear power minus the many downsides of uranium-fueled nuclear power plants.

about 3 months ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

MtViewGuy Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (385 comments)

I think the primary investment will the solar power (in parts of the world where the weather and enough long sunlight days make it economically practical like the southwestern USA, the Mediterranean region, much of the Middle East, Australia and western South America) and a new, safer form of nuclear reactor called the molten-salt reactor that uses commonly-found thorium-232 dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel.

about 3 months ago
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The Internet's Own Boy

MtViewGuy Why didn't Swartz ask for more help? (194 comments)

The thing that always bothered me about Swartz is why didn't rich benefactors in the tech industry help him not only with his legal issues, but also with his known issues with clinical depression. A strong, vigorous defense team provided by the EFF and getting Swartz psychiatric help could have saved his life.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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MtViewGuy MtViewGuy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

MtViewGuy writes "Honda's R&D subsidiary, working with the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), has finally developed a practical process for making ethanol from plant cellulose on a large scale. This is a huge breakthrough because by being to utilize the entire plant to make ethanol, you don't need to grow high-sugar plants such as corn, soybeans, sugar cane or sugar beets on a large scale; indeed, agricultural waste becomes a huge ethanol source.

This could mean a huge leap upward in ethanol production, tremendously expanding the usefulness of the world's oil supply since motor fuels can be mixed with small amounts of ethanol to "extend" the amount of fuel available. The press release from Honda is located here: http://world.honda.com/news/2006/c060914EthanolFro mCellulosicBiomass/"

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