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Comments

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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Rei Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time result (521 comments)

Sounds like my case. Increasing couldn't get wear contacts any more without problems, hated all of the problems of glasses, was scared of the surgery... and it was just nothing. Seriously, how can instantly improved vision not be at the top of your to-do list?

yesterday
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

Rei Re:a question.... (63 comments)

That's not what everything I've read about the disaster has said. The mountain has gone through cycles - whenever it collapses, the river gets moved away, and the slides stop for a time, but eventually it wears away the footings enough that it falls again. They'd even tried to prevent landslides there by manually shoring up the base back in the 1960s, but it just flowed over their reinforcements.

The waterlogging of the soil is also a necessary factor too, mind you - not saying otherwise. :)

2 days ago
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

Rei Re:a question.... (63 comments)

I had paperbark birch seeds, which are also pretty water tolerant (though not as much as river birch), but none sprouted - ironically I think the seeds were too wet when I stratified them (same with my maples). Isn't river birch (B. nigra) a warm-weather birch species? I've got some cuttings of random local birches from a neighbor but I have no clue whether any of them are water tolerant enough to take swampy ground. Also birches don't usually get that tall so I don't know how expansive of a root system they'll put down. The abundant local species B. nana (dwarf birch) grows (nay, volunteers) readily here almost anywhere that sheep don't graze, but it's just a shrub, I doubt it'd do the trick (though it's probably better than just grass). It can take wet soil, although not totally swampy conditions.

For the wetter areas I also have about a dozen or so western redcedar seedlings - they're not as swamp-tolerant as dawn redwood and western recedar, but they're still reportedly quite tolerant of wet or even waterlogged soils, and they should be more cold/wind hardy than those two (wind is actually the big issue, it doesn't really get that cold here). I've also got a number of other pacific northwest trees with varying degrees of standing water tolerance. Oh, and a species or two of tasmanian mountain eucalyptus (don't remember which ones) that tolerate fairly swampy ground and should at least stand a fighting chance against our winds.

Basically, I'm just going to plant a ton of stuff and see what survives. ;)

One plus is that where the ground is persistently wet and at landslide risk, it is slowly flowing water, it's not standing. It's constantly replaced by fresh, cold ground-filtered water, so there's probably not as much risk of root rot as might be common otherwise. But there's still the oxygen issue. That and the damned sheep, but I'm working to fix that issue once and for all...

2 days ago
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

Rei Re:a question.... (63 comments)

Are trees supposed to eliminate the river at the bottom that's been eating away at the foundation of the slope?

2 days ago
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

Rei Re:a question.... (63 comments)

The 'pedia says that it's an ancient delta of glacial sand that was subsequently exposed to a lot of water flow, washing out the silt and clay, leaving just the loose sand and gravel with nothing to cement it together.

2 days ago
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

Rei Re:a question.... (63 comments)

To be fair, if you look at the scale of that thing, what fell is far deeper than tree roots are going to go.

There was a landslide on my land a few years ago... actually just 50-100 meters from where I'm getting ready to build my house (but the terrain is different, that's a groundwater-infiltrated glacial till-underlain marsh while my house site is basalt bedrock). It's weird looking at pictures of this giant slide, how much it looks like a 20x bigger version of my little one, from the smooth, rimmed conchoidal scarp to the river-damming piles of debris at the bottom. In my case, there were no trees, but there was grass. The grass managed to hold it for a while... but not forever. The roots just don't run deep enough. In my case, the solution (in progress) is surely just to plant water-tolerant trees (here's to hoping that dawn redwood and swamp cypress can survive in Iceland...). But what sort of trees could anchor such a massive slope as the Oso one? I know a lot of desert trees like mesquite can have super-deep root systems, but they wouldn't grow in Washington.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

You do realize how commonly men are beaten and murdered, don't you?

Eat your red herrings on your own time. And the next time you pick a red herring in a discussion about rape, you might want to pick one that doesn't also apply virtually equally to women.

Carrying a knife will even things out quite nicely, though. Clawing out eyes works pretty good, too.

Great, so let me see if I've got you right. I'm supposed to walk around armed at all times (illegal here), and try to claw out the eyes of someone who's strong enough to pick me up and carry me up a hill as if it's nothing and could almost certainly easily beat me to a pulp, and if I don't, then it's my fault and its not really rape? Is this what you'd consider a just society, just laws and just standards? Where through no fault of her own a woman can be given the choice between "be f***ed by some guy you don't want to" or "get most likely beaten to a pulp and then f***ed by him", and if she chooses the former, even if she says no over a hundred times and tries repeatedly to walk away, then there's no crime?

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

I found the cited article (always with the indirect sources...) ("No Penis, No Problem"), but I'm having trouble tracking down some of their data for further analysis.

For example, I found the CIUS data on rates of arrest for various sex crimes, and the numbers match, but they don't define non-rape "sex offenses except forceable rape and prostitution" anywhere that I can locate. Given that indecent exposure, for example, is usually classified as a sex offense excluding forcible rape and prostitution, that kind of matters.

I tried to track down that "large survey of college-age women" (cite 111), but the citation is just to a book which isn't available online (at least not the relevant part). I cross-checked the author's name and the claimed data and found no peer-reviewed publications about it.

The cite for 112 is the same as for 111.

The cite for 116 is interesting because most of the results I find when I search for it are criticizing the authors for using bad methodology to support a "satanism scare", that nursery school teachers are ritually sexually molesting children for satanic purposes. It was only focusing on cases supposedly connected to satanism, and was alleging that there's a widespread problem with women running day care centers hold satanic parties with the whole staff taking part in mass sex abuse. Needless to say, this was another book, not a peer-reviewed paper.

The cite for 117 is the same as for 111.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

Oh, and for this?

Females using implements still didn't count as attackers of males under that one either, natch

May I direct you to:

14-27.5. Second-degree sexual offense.
(a) A person is guilty of a sexual offense in the second degree if the person engages in a sexual act with another person:
(1) By force and against the will of the other person; or
(2) Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

and

Sexual act also means the penetration, however slight, by any object into the genital or anal opening of another person's body: provided, that it shall be an affirmative defense that the penetration was for accepted medical purposes.

Oh, gee, but some guy gave some "bitches, they got it easy about rape" rant and you believed him.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

Again, another case of "info I heard from some guy that made me mad so I'm repeating it here".

North Carolina's rape law The basics? North Carolina does indeed consider only vaginal sexual assault "rape" (first degree or second degree), but immediately below that they list the crime of "sexual assault" (again, first degree or second degree), which covers everything else and has the exact same penalties. So it's just a state legal terminology issue and has no practical consequences.

These things take 10 seconds to look up, is that really that onerous to do before pushing a "women are a bunch of coddled whiners when it comes to rape and men are the real victims" attitude on public forums?

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

Do you people get your information from a game of telephone or something? Seriously, double check things before you post.

Texas's rape law The basics?

22.011. SEXUAL ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) intentionally or knowingly:
(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent;
(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person's consent; or
(C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;

No exceptions for gender.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

1, to the GP: RAINN says that 1 in 6 women has been the victim of rape. That's different from "will be over the course of their life". That rate is guaranteed to be higher. 1 in 6 in the "have been" category would imply that 2/3rds of the average surveyed woman's rape risk is behind them to reach the 1 in 4 figure, which is not at all an unreasonable assumption.

2. When you want to cite data, don't cite secondary sources. They tell you the name of the Bureau of Justice study, so let's actually read it. We immediately notice first off that annualized rate of rape for non-college students is 8 per 1000, not 6 per 1000, so they chose the lower figure. Being in college actually *reduces* a woman's rate of being raped. But let's just go with the lower figure. A rate of 6 per thousand over... oh, let's just say 50 years... is 1-(1-0.006)^50=26%. Now, we chose the lesser percentage (6 per 1000 instead of 8 per 1000), and the average woman lives a lot longer than 50 years, but we're again assuming a higher rate of rape in the younger years counters this. In no way does the cited data argue against the fact that one in four women will be raped over the course of their lifetime.

3. I don't know what "Ali's study" is or who Ali is, but it's irrelevant given the above. However, I will point out (and shouldn't have to) that it *is* illegal to have sex with someone who is visibly intoxicated to the point that they cannot make a reasonable decision. I'm not going to dig up the laws on all 50 states for you, but just to pick the largest state, here's California's statute. If the person is slurring their speech and can hardly walk, they're not cogent enough to consent to anything. You can't give *any* legal consent in such a situation. You can't sign over your house, you can't transfer ownership of your car, etc. And that's a damned good thing.

Note that this only applies to cases where the person has drank so much that they are visibly impaired to the point that they can no longer make reasonable judgements. As always with such cases, the courts apply a "reasonable person" standard - they're impaired suchly if a "reasonable person" objectively looking at the situation would judge their decision-making abilities as being that impaired. Being "a little tipsy" or "buzzed" does not meet this standard.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

You realize that there's more difference between your average man and your average woman than between your average NFL linebacker and your average man, right? (seriously, compare the stats some time - height, average bench strength, etc). You do realize how commonly women are raped and abused by men, and how they might happen to be more sensitive to the implicit or explicit threats of violence from someone that they're highly unlikely to be able to fight off?

I'm tall, 182 centimeters, and I still once had a guy literally pick me up and carry me back to his apartment when I tried to walk away from him.

3 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

There's a bit of a difference in that one in every four women actually will be raped in their life, and a sizeable percent of those getting those threats already have been.

Yes, men are raped too. About 91% of rape cases are male->female, 8% male->male, 0.8% female->female, and 0.2% female->male. Men are virtually always the perpetrator, but even when the victim is male (not nearly as common, but still way more common than we as a society should accept), the perpetrator is still overwhelmingly likely to be male.

(and if the excuse for the stats is "men aren't as likely to report being raped by a woman because of shame"... so is there no shame for a guy to report being sodomized against his will by a man?)

The basic point is: when you're threatening a violent crime against a person who may well have been a victim of such, and even if they haven't, very likely has friends who have and is more than aware of their vulnerability in this regard, that's taking it to a whole different level.

3 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Rei Re:Pft (946 comments)

Nice being a straight cis white male when a venue is dominated by other straight cis white males, isn't it?

And just to make clear, the problem of insulting people isn't along the lines of "ching chong chow chee" or whatnot. The problem case is along the lines of:

Scenario 1:

Man: "What does that do? Sorry, I don't know perl."
Crowd: "You don't know perl? Geez, you're stupid."

Scenario 2:

Woman: "What does that do? Sorry, I don't know perl."
Crowd: "Geez, women are stupid."

3 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Rei Re:Yes, but... (450 comments)

Contary to popular belief, broomsticks can't fly and are not aerodynamic.

If 16th century India could do it... (why a person would believe that the warhead has to be the frontmost part of a rocket is beyond me, given that the interceptors themselves aren't built that way - yet the entire logic behind the interceptor's detonation system relies on that assumption)

In any case the missile will miss its intended target if it was hit by shrapnel.

Nope.

3 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Rei Re:Maybe (450 comments)

You give Qassam rockets too much credit. They're sugar rockets. Literally - their fuel is a mixture of sugar and fertilizer. There's no "vapors". It burns until there's nothing flammable left and then flames out.

3 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Rei Re:Maybe (450 comments)

1. A hit by a few pieces of shrapnel each weight no more than a few grams is not going to have a noticeable impact on something that's dozens of kilograms moving at roughly half their speed. It's simple physics.

2. The warhead is the whole point. A warhead-less rocket won't penetrate your roof. If you're out walking in the park and it lands on your head you might get seriously injured, but apart from that. no.

3. What are you talking about? The payload of the Tamir interceptors is is 11kg, that's no secret. And again, it's not designed to work by concussion, it's designed to work by shrapnel. The energy of the explosion is mostly spent in the process of creating high velocity shrapnel fragments.

Beyond that, the length of time of any exposure here to any explosive force is simply miniscule. The rockets pass each other at a rate of 1200 meters per second - nearly half the speed of the explosive shrapnel itself. Even if they passed directly past nearly grazing each other (which is grossly implausible), they'd only be within a meter of each other for less than two milliseconds. And even things that are right near explosions the whole time get surprisingly little push from blast shockwaves (Mythbusters did a full episode about this). Relevant push from explosions requires confinement of the gasses.

3 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Rei Re:5% 0%. (450 comments)

Israel's GDP is the equivalent of about US$250 billion. They can easily afford tens of thousands of intercept missiles if it keeps the population safe.

And Palestine's is 4B GDP. Yes, they're poor, but not *that* poor. They can afford to spot weld fins onto a piece of drainage pipe, drill holes into a bit of steel plate and spot weld it on, fill it with sugar and fertilizer, and attach onto the front end a hollow shell containing several kilos of smuggled or homemade explosives triggered by a bullet casing connected to a nail and a spring. That's literally all a Qassam rocket is.

3 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Rei Re:5% 0%. (450 comments)

You really think he would know if they actually took out the warhead? The warhead is going to land a dozen kilometers downrange. Of course there was an explosion in the sky - they're shooting a missile up at it, you're pretty much guaranteed an explosion. The question is whether it worked.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped A Politician's Son

Rei Rei writes  |  about two weeks ago

Rei (128717) writes "As was previously reported here, the Russian government has accused the US Secret Service of kidnapping the son of ultranationalist LDPR MP Valery Seleznev in the Maldives. The son, Roman Seleznev, stands accused of running one of the world's largest carding operations, with others charged in the affair having already been convicted; however, Roman had until recently been considered out of reach in Russia. Now the Maldives has struck back against these claims, insisting that they arrested him on an Interpol Red Notice and transferred him to the US, as they are legally required as an Interpol member state to do. “No outsider came here to conduct an operation,” president Abdulla Yameen stated. “No officials from another country can come here to arrest anyone. The government has the necessary documentation to prove it.”"
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Who's Killing The Electric Car Again?

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Rei (128717) writes "Aptera Motors is an manufacturer of safe, hyper-efficient, highway-speed electric three-wheelers. Funded by Idealab, Google, and a variety of other sources, they have been working towards making (take your pick): A) one of the ugliest, or B) one of the most beautiful vehicles ever to be mass produced. When they started accepting pre-orders, over 4,000 people from California alone came running with $500 deposits. However, in recent days, the company seems to be imploding, where in the middle of wave after wave of layoffs, disastrous information keeps leaking out. Among the examples: the company's CFO, Laura Marion, was cited by the SEC in 2006 for running an Enron-style accounting scam at Delphi."
Link to Original Source
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McCain taps creationism-proponent as VP pick

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Rei writes "By now, most people know that senator John McCain has tapped one-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. While the commentary has ranged from the positive, such as its potential to be a game changer for him, to the negative, such as her involvement in Troopergate, little attention has been paid so far to her views on science. According to the Alaska Daily News, in the 2006 governor's race, Palin was the only candidate to suggest that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. In contrast to her two opponents, one of whom suggested that such "religious based" lessons belong in a philosophy or sociology class, Palin stated, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both." In response to the backlash, she later backpedalled and insisted that she would not apply a creationism litmus test to her school board appointees.

Evangelical leaders are reportedly thrilled with her nomination."

Link to Original Source
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Nanosolar delivers high-efficiency thin film cells

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rei writes "Thin film photovoltaic systems have been heralded as a way to make solar cells cheap enough for widespread adoption, but have also been criticized for their low efficiency. A number of companies have been working to fix this equation. Now, one of them — Nanosolar, a privately held company with funding from Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page — has finally shipped their first cells produced in a mass-production environment. Nanosolar's cells boast being the world's first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product, the world's lowest-cost solar panel (they plan to sell at $0.99/Watt, compared to the current minimum of $4.83/Watt), and the world's highest-current thin-film solar panel (5x the next closest on the market), among other things. Their Panel #2, made available as a collectors item on Ebay with the profits going to charity, has already racked up bids of over $10,000."
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "Yesterday, Slashdot posted about what appeared to be puddles of water sitting on Mars. Unfortunately, according to the Planetary Society's blog, the authors of the paper didn't even bother to check the context in which the "water" photos were taken. The article notes that one shouldn't trust papers that haven't yet gone through peer review. "The white square shows you where the image comes from. It's in the middle of Opportunity's Burns Cliff panorama, on some of the steepest slopes that Opportunity saw before arriving at Victoria crater! Those can't be puddles — unless the amazing "liquid" that puddles here on Mars in a freezing near-vacuum also has antigravity properties.""
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "There has been a lot of buzz today over Al Gore: in the wake of revelations that his Tennessee mansion uses 12 to 20 times more energy than usual comes an assault in the New York Times over the accuracy of his film, "An Inconvenient Truth". The article's author quotes a number of scientists who are critical of some of his statements, and describe the film as "alarmism". Quick to the counterpunch is RealClimate.org, which has published a harsh rebuttal suggesting habitual dishonesty and deception of readers on the part of the article's author."
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "SpaceDaily.com is reporting the failure of a SeaLaunch Zenit-3SL rocket and its payload, leading some to question whether the damage will prove too much for the company. A split-second after separating from the tower, the rocket fell and impacted the platform with a firey explosion. The failure of the Zenit, a privately developed orbital rocket, comes as SpaceX prepares to launch a new Falcon I rocket after its last failed on liftoff after three successive, failed launch attempts. While the news for simpler private suborbital rocketry continues to look rosy, is private orbital rocketry perched on a precipice?"
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "Today, the prestigious Cambridge Energy Research Associates released a report dismissing the Peak Oil theory, suggesting that world oil production will continue to increase for the next 24 years, and then only level into a plateu. The report, which suggests that world reserves are enough to last 122 years at our current rate of consumption, also blasts Peak Oil theorists for repeatedly making unscientific predictions and then shifting them whenever their predictions fail to materialize."

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