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Academics Not Productive Enough? Sack 'em

Reverse Gear Publications bad measuring tool for productivity (356 comments)

I know from my brother who is working on a university in mathematics research that 4 publications in 3 years is extremely many in his subject, he has worked extremely hard for 3 years to make 2 publications in topology.
I have been told it is a common problem for mathematicians that they don't make as many publications as in other fields of science, in geophysics working as researcher (which I don't I work in the private) it would be a reasonable demand with 4 publications on 3 years.

more than 2 years ago

Study Says Fracking is Safe In Theory But Often Not In Practice

Reverse Gear Re:Study in texas.... (297 comments)

I have to disagree that bore logs are random luck ... there exists various methods of logging and yeah if you only use one log, like a gamma log or something and think that your safe then ... sure it's random luck if you gamma log picks up the stuff your looking for.
On the other hand if you do 5 different types of logging (video, gamma, geoeletric, radar, sonic ... just to mention one way of mixing them, there are a lot other logging tools available of which I don't know all) then I would say you get a lot more information.
Sure logging can be done shitty, it often is, but if you do a good job and take your time with the logging and processing and interpretation of the results then I would say you have a very good idea of the state of the borehole. How much of this has been done in bore logs you have encountered I don't know, I just know what has been done in the logging my company (I am not the guy doing the logging, but we work together at times) in very deep wells for oil companies that we have done and I have to say I was very impressed with it. The wells in this option was not to be used for fracking but only investigative purposes, but I don't see why the same thing couldn't be done with a production well that you consider to do fracking on.
I know that often there isn't perfect layers around, but if you have an area over lets say 100 meters that show a resistance in the area of 10 ohmm and other information to tell you that it is a clay layer, then I would feel safe. There are bound to be imperfections inside this layer, but they are not going to be 100 meters deep and 10 meters of clay layer is plenty.
What I am saying is that if you make sure you error enough on the good side then you should be safe not only in theory but also in the practical application (except maybe for the truck transportation issue).
I am sure that things haven't been played safe in many many cases where fracking has happened, as has been documented things have gone horribly wrong in many of these cases and I am also not questioning what you are saying about the not so nice behavior of the oil companies.

more than 2 years ago

Study Says Fracking is Safe In Theory But Often Not In Practice

Reverse Gear Re:Study in texas.... (297 comments)

> The reality is there is no technology currently available to forecast what will actually happen when you try to turn rock formations into massive soda fountains, none at all, it is a straight up guess.

I am not so sure about that, but it might be very costly to do these studies.
If you do have a big enough tight clay layer between the rock formation you are fracking and the ground water I would feel pretty sure that the two formations won't affect each other.
My job is working with geophysics, mostly for groundwater purposes and I know we are very good at finding those clay layers, there's lots of methods for doing that, but it does take quite a bit of work to gather the data and process them.

I don't know that much about the fracking that has been done around the world, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that there hasn't been done much work done to figure out if the ground water would be safe from the fracked formations in many cases and that the consequences have been really bad.
I'm just saying that I think it can be done safely on some wells and not in others and it is possible to figure out which ones are safe.

Of course there is always the problem of transporting chemicals to the drilling site and getting the chemicals safely down to the formation you want to do the fracking on. The transportation to site will always be a problem, getting the chemicals safely through the borehole should be possible if you do some thorough logging of the borehole to make sure that the casing is tight and intact.

more than 2 years ago

Last year, I spent the most on ...

Reverse Gear Re:Mortgage (651 comments)

I guessed I use the most on travel since I travel quite a bit for work and pay some of the bills myself, not sure that is true though because I get a lot of it back on the tax bill, complicated stuff and I got better things to use my energy on than worry to much about these things. I don't want to know how much I am using on food as that is one place I don't ever want to cut back.
Like you I don't keep close track of my expenses, I look at the total on my bank account, if the total is going up I am doing good, if the total is going down I cut some expenses, plenty to cut from and it's a healthy exercise for me to do now and then, things might not always be as easy economically for me as it is now, it's a nice thing to have some training in that aspect of life.
These days I am stationed for work a big part of the year with either all expenses paid by the company or I am being given a daily check bigger than what I am able to spend to cover my expenses, so the total on my bank account usually is going up. I have the luxury of not working because I need the money but working because I love doing my job, being paid as well as I am is just a nice bonus on the side. Downside of my job (and form of life) is that I can't have a family of my own and not much room for social life, not complaining though, I am pretty happy with things the way they are at the moment.

more than 2 years ago

Caltech Makes Flexible, 86% Efficient Solar Arrays

Reverse Gear Absorbed not necessarily equal to electricity (439 comments)

As far as I can figure from the article what is says is 95/86 of the light is absorbed, it doesn't say that all of this light is converted into electricity as is stated here on Slashdot. That is also impressive numbers and very interesting, but my guess is that the efficiency of the solar panel is going to be a lot lower than those numbers posted on the parent, most likely at least a factor 2 lower.

more than 4 years ago

Bacteria Found Alive In Ice 120,000 Years Old

Reverse Gear Re:Young earth creationists (326 comments)

I agree that this should pose a problem for those who read the translations of the bible as a day meaning a literal day.
But it doesn't really make a difference for those who doesn't see "a day" as 24 hours as we know a day today. (Think about it, how would you define a day before the earth was created?).
Some of those who believes that the term "day" in Genesis and other places in the bible is this is Jehovah's Witnesses [warning religious content].
Anyhow I guess I am stupid to start discussing religion here on /. and trying to be serious about it, don't mean to be trolling. I just thought that saying that this is a problem for young creationists is true, but saying that it poses a problem for anyone who believes in the bible (or God?) is to take it a step to far.

more than 6 years ago



Multitasking makes you stupid and slow

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  about 7 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "What most of us have slowly come to realize have also of late become more and more of a scientific fact.

certain studies find that multitasking boosts the level of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and wears down our systems through biochemical friction, prematurely aging us. In the short term, the confusion, fatigue, and chaos merely hamper our ability to focus and analyze, but in the long term, they may cause it to atrophy.
In a long and interesting article Walter Kirn talks about the scientific results that support his claim and his own experiences with multitasking."

Link to Original Source

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "The New York Times has an interesting article about how different kinds of fringe is starting to mean more in the fight for the best brains in Silicon Valley. The article mainly focuses on Google's high tech shuttle bus system which is quite extensive covering a huge portion of the San Fransisco Bay area and allows the employees to be much more efficient. 1/4 of the employees are now using this system. A Google software engineer quoted in the article:
"They could either charge for the food or cut it altogether, (...) If they cut the shuttle, it would be a disaster.""

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "There is a new study circling the media about these newly found big lakes found underneath the antarctic ice sheets that apparently empty and fills back up quite fast (study has been working in 3 years and has detected massive movements), from the article:

The scientists allay fears that global warming has created these pockets of water. They say these lakes lie some 2,300 feet below compressed snow and ice, too deep for environmental temperature to reach. However, it is necessary to understand what causes the phenomenon as it can facilitate an understanding of the impact of climate change on the ice sheet in Antarctica
NASA also has some information on the technique used to detect these lakes"

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "Many of the inhabitants of a lonely village in north western China seems to have distinctive western features.
An old theory from the 1950'ies suggests that an old roman legion which in 53BC had lost it's commander, Markus Craccus, in what is now Iran, had been traveling east as mercenaries until they were caught by the Chinese 17 years later. The Chinese described them as using a "fish-scale formation". The remainders of the legion is then suggested to have been the ancestors of the village.
Scientists are now trying to verify the fascinating theory by testing the DNA of the inhabitants of the Chinese village."

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "A lot of effort is being put into trying to help finding Turing award winner Jim Gray who went missing on the ocean some days ago, the search by the coast guard might very well have stopped by now.
One effort being made is analyzing more than 40.000 satellite images for anything that might resemble Jim Gray's sailboat, human eyes are needed to do this efficiently.
So this is the chance for everyone in the "global village" to do their little part in a search and rescue."

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "Security focus has an interesting article about a paper published on the possibility of hiding a rootkit in different PCI cards and be able to survive a reboot or cleansing of the harddisk.
It seems though that the author of the article doesn't think this will be much implemented. From the article and paper:
"(Because) enough people do not regularly apply security patches to Windows and do not run anti-virus software, there is little immediate need for malware authors to turn to these techniques as a means of deeper compromise""

Reverse Gear Reverse Gear writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Reverse Gear writes "A NASA study shows that the earth has been warming at a pace of 0.2 degC the every decade the last 30 years.
From the article:
the warming in recent decades has brought global temperature to a level within about one degree Celsius (1.8 F) of the maximum temperature of the past million years ... "If further global warming reaches 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know. The last time it was that warm was in the middle Pliocene, about three million years ago, when sea level was estimated to have been about 25 meters (80 feet) higher than today.""


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