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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

PeterM from Berkeley Re:Jurisdiction be damned (463 comments)

Why said anything about lawlessness? What *law* would stop a bunch of CDC experts from showing up at the hospital and saying to the admins, "Here we are, this is a very serious situation, and we've brought X and Y and Z resources to help. Let us help you please."

I *know* that if I'm a hospital admin, and there are these guys in my office offering that class of help, I'm not going to be saying "no".

So what laws would be broken, exactly? If the CDC offered that level of help (quite legally) and the hospital (also legally) told them to go take a hike, we'd know EXACTLY who to blame. Furthermore, the CDC would be on the spot in force able to cope with the screw up.

--PM

about a week ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

PeterM from Berkeley The flu might kill more people this year (463 comments)

But by next year Ebola,if not brought under control, will be one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.

--PM

about a week ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

PeterM from Berkeley What economy have YOU been in? (463 comments)

People are lining up to get ANY job. The 1% isn't leaving as many crumbs for the poor and middle class as they used to!

--PM

about a week ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

PeterM from Berkeley Jurisdiction be damned (463 comments)

The CDC should have been all over the hospital jurisdiction or no jursdiction. People's lives are on the line.

It's quite evident that in the US there are people who can handle ebola. These people were not in Texas, and the stupid hospital admins did not realize that they needed the help. Regardless of that, it's been demonstrated that help has to be forced upon any hospital handling Ebola whether they like it or not.

--PM

about a week ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

PeterM from Berkeley Re:5 minute charge (395 comments)

Right you are, I miscalculated. Thanks for catching it.
I actually did kWm instead of kWh. (Kilowatt minutes).

about a week ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

PeterM from Berkeley Re:5 minute charge (395 comments)

That's 141 A at 120V (DC). It's about the sum total of the power that could go into my house at any given moment.

Not really a 'direct connection to a power plant' required.

--PM

about a week ago
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Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

PeterM from Berkeley Perspective? (419 comments)

Yes, right NOW Ebola isn't a common way to die. Only 8k cases.

WHO projections of an uncontrolled Ebola epidemic have the number of cases up into the millions next year.

So apparently Ebola can become one of the top ten causes of death worldwide within 1 year. It has already overtaken terrorist attacks. In a month or so, it will have overtaken lightning deaths (60k per year worldwide).

I just hope that we can do better than 'uncontrolled'. So far it has not been a happy trend.

--PM

about a week ago
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Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

PeterM from Berkeley Re:No worse than AIDS, are you kidding? (419 comments)

OK, in Texas, we have 1 health care worker infected per 1 patient, so far, and the sick health care worker was aware of the ebola and trying hard not to get it.

In Spain, we have 1 health care worker infected per 1 patient, also aware of ebola and trying hard not to get it.

On the postive side, the West has managed to treat 3 others without any more health care workers getting sick.

So in the West, the score is maybe 5 patients and 2 health care workers sick so far.

I would call that alarming. But wait, it gets worse.

In Africa, health care workers are 5% of the cases overall.
http://time.com/3502002/ebola-...

Presumably they are doing their best not to get infected too.

We need to do better, far better, in protecting health care workers both in the West (where we are doing poorly) and in Africa, where we are doing VERY poorly.

--PM

about a week ago
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Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

PeterM from Berkeley No worse than AIDS, are you kidding? (419 comments)

AIDS doesn't cause contagious blood, spit, diarrhea, and vomit to go everywhere. Ebola does.

AIDS doesn't infect health care workers who are treating patients unless there's a needlestick or sexual contact. Ebola does, with alarming frequency. Even if you DO have sex with someone with AIDS, it's not 100% that you'll get AIDS.

AIDS can't be spread by sneezing or coughing. It's possible Ebola *is*.

In terms of contagiousness, Ebola seems 10x worse. It's like saying "smallpox is no worse than chickenpox". Maybe if you put them both on a logarithmic plot and back up 50 feet!

--PM

about two weeks ago
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Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

PeterM from Berkeley Jupiter needs 100x more mass to be a star (151 comments)

I looked it up, an M8 class star (the lightest I could find) is about 1.99e29 kg of mass, jupiter is 1.9e27 kg, so it missed being a star by 100x.

So, it is TWO orders of magnitude from being a star, right in the middle of your range.

--PM

about two weeks ago
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Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

PeterM from Berkeley Breakeven != economical (151 comments)

What the Z machine does is zap a little metal box of wires that may contain fusionables with a high voltage/current pulse that is stored in a really enormous bank of capacitors. Naturally that destroys their target and makes kind of a mess in the process.

I think they manage 8 shots/day if they're lucky.
8 shots/day is a far cry from a reasonable power flux. I'm not sure current pulsed power technology (not to mention other engineering) could stand doing this at some reasonable frequency like 1Hz without breaking down in a few minutes.

But at least they put a good fraction of the power input into the target, NOT like laser fusion--the lasers are horribly inefficient. (1%?)

-PM

about two weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

PeterM from Berkeley Population bottleneck (549 comments)

Apparently, about 2000 individuals is enough to rebuild the human race. Because DNA information indicates that at one point there were about that many people alive. (Google 'human population bottleneck' and take the top link returned to Wikipedia.)

--PM

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

PeterM from Berkeley You nailed it--humans need to be altered (549 comments)

And Mars is the wrong habitat for altered humans. If you're going to fix humanity, remove dependence on uncommon conditions. Instead, make us survivable in common conditions:

high radiation
low temperature
vacuum
microgravity

Then we can go live on asteroids or artificial space habitats and not worry about expending a lot of energy just to leave our home rock and find another one. We can live in orbiting space habitats and move them out of the way if a big rock is coming our way. If one space habitat gets smashed anyway, well, tragic, but ideally we'll have millons.

And these re-engineered humans will have a far, far easier time making it to other solar systems, but not to other "life zone" worlds, but rather to artificial worlds in orbit free of the worst chains of gravity.

--PM

about three weeks ago
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Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

PeterM from Berkeley Re:If ET shows up proselytizing (534 comments)

There's a small technical difference between building floaty things out of sticks that can go some distance in a quite hospitable environment and building flying things capable of 100% support of life in extremely hostile high radiation/zero gravity/no atmosphere/low temperature conditions across distances between stars.

The nearest star is just about 2.5 billion times farther than a 10k mile sea voyage.

Anyway, I didn't say I'd just believe what they said. I said I'd listen very carefully, and very politely.

--PM

about three weeks ago
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Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

PeterM from Berkeley If ET shows up proselytizing (534 comments)

I'll listen very carefully. A civilization that has managed to get across the interstellar gulf alive, and chooses to tell us about some religion, well, I'll listen to them with full attention, and as open a mind as I can manage.

And I'll also listen very politely.

--PeterM

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

PeterM from Berkeley Re:Asymptomatic people are not contagious (475 comments)

To reply to my own post, I did a bit more research:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/e...

This story says that the person didn't start having symptoms until well after his flight. It's doubtful he contaminated the plane at all. So it's just him and his close contacts from when he started to become show symptoms.

--PM

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

PeterM from Berkeley Asymptomatic people are not contagious (475 comments)

From what I read it will be necessary to monitor the DIRECT contacts with the sick person, not "the close contacts to all those people", because the close contacts have not yet had time to start having symptoms and become contagious.

So it's a planeload of people, and other people who used that plane.

--PM

about three weeks ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

PeterM from Berkeley Read the discussion about Ebola on slashdot (308 comments)

What the people on there have said will halfway convince you that Ebola is going to fix our population problem for us.

about a month ago
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Obama Administration Seeks $58M To Put (Partly) Toward Fighting Ebola

PeterM from Berkeley Would more money be USEFUL? (105 comments)

I mean, is there a good place to PUT IT so that something good can be made to happen? (Instead of pure waste?)

I've regularly seen situations where throwing more money than a certain amount at something simply doesn't help. You can only ramp up programs so fast, bring equipment into operation so fast, get people in, trained, and working productively so fast.

It's quite possible that President Obama asked the people doing the work, "how much money can you absorb right now to accelerate things?" and got told "maybe $30M...?" So he got them $58M.

Adding any more money to their efforts would just be waste. I know that my organization could absorb maybe $20M in "surprise" funding productively in a single year, any more than that and we'd just sit on the money or send it back. (I would hope we wouldn't waste it.)

If we KNEW we were going to get a year-on-year increase, and were given carte blanche to hire people and support so we could write contracts as much as we wanted, we could ramp up over a year or two to use $200M or more productively, but in a single year? No way.

Best,

--PeterM

about a month and a half ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

PeterM from Berkeley Now add nukes (708 comments)

Add nuclear weapons to the massive societal disruptions you mention, and you might indeed have a situation that's unsurvivable by humans as a species....

--PM

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Magnetic monopoles observed as emergent property

PeterM from Berkeley PeterM from Berkeley writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PeterM from Berkeley writes " This brief from Science Daily reports the claimed detection of magnetic monopoles an emergent property in a crystalline lattice of Dysprosium Titanate at temperatures between .6K and 2K. According to the article, these magnetic monopoles interact similarly to electrically charged particles. These are not isolated magnetic monopoles in the same sense that electrons are isolated, mobile charges: instead these monopoles appear at the end of tubes of magnetic flux called "Dirac strings". These were theorized in 1931 by Dirac, but have only just now been observed."
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First ever application of string theory

PeterM from Berkeley PeterM from Berkeley writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PeterM from Berkeley writes "Scientists are claiming to have made the first practical application of string theory to the problem of high temperature superconductivity, a physical phenomenon no one has previously been able to explain. This brief from Science Daily presents an overview of an article published in Science. String theory has come under fire for producing no testable predictions. This would represent a first application of string theory to a practical problem and one where other theories have provided no explanation."

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