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'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

WolfWithoutAClause Re:It's the early morning people who are nuts (117 comments)

Actually, coffee may be part of that.

Turns out that coffee delays the build up of some chemical that makes you tired... i.e. it makes your body clock run slow, when taken in the morning.

However, if you take it late at night, before you go to bed, then the level of that chemical goes down more quickly and you'll wake up earlier the next day. Surprisingly it doesn't make it that much harder to go to sleep either, although if you're not already tolerant to coffee, all bets are off on falling asleep promptly.

Other things that affect the body clock are light, and food (big breakfasts are good for waking up early the next day, skipping breakfast = super bad).

yesterday
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

WolfWithoutAClause Re:You mean... (236 comments)

> They can't simply trust users to appropriately mark packets - you'd have some who simply marked everything as high priority.

Last time I heard about it, and I don't think it's changed, Microsoft Windows marks all its packets as highest possible priority.

The immediate effect of them doing that, was that all ISPs immediately started ignoring the priority classes, which made them completely useless globally.

3 days ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Ask the US Postal Service (124 comments)

How about not quoting me out of context?

"... and take away that money and then some if they're partially or completely overturned"

4 days ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Ask the US Postal Service (124 comments)

It doesn't seem like a good idea, challenging patents in court is likely to be a lot more expensive than any patent clerk could ever be.

5 days ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Ask the US Postal Service (124 comments)

> Again this would lead to corruption with patent pre-screening and favoured people getting patentable stuff and unfavoured people getting junk and working for free.

No, I'm not saying that they would get paid only for passing patents. They would get paid for examining patents. It's just they would get paid more for being successful patent clerks; for passing patents that are enforceable and novel.

And the patents could be assigned randomly from the pool of patent clerks that accept the patents.

5 days ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Ask the US Postal Service (124 comments)

They should perhaps pay patent examiners some money annually for each patent that is passed, and take away that money and then some if they're partially or completely overturned. That way they've an incentive to work quickly, and a disincentive to do sloppy work.

about a week ago
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An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

WolfWithoutAClause Re: 'unreliability' (189 comments)

You seriously think that other sources are free of errors? Newspapers for example??

At least with Wikipedia when errors are found they can be removed.

Also, in any GA/FA quality article there's lots of references; you can actually go to those sources and check stuff.

Just because there's a lot of non GA/FA quality articles in there doesn't make Wikipedia useless, it just means it's still being written.

I mean, Encyclopedia Britannica has been going for more than one century; Wikipedia is only just over a decade old, and is literally a hundred times bigger it covers much, much more; but it's about as reliable as EB.

about a month and a half ago
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Quiet Cooling With a Copper Foam Heatsink

WolfWithoutAClause Re:500? (171 comments)

I agree, I smell bullshit/vaporware.

Getting a large surface area is dead easy. It's getting the heat to spread out evenly over the surface that's hard, so it's all at a similar temperature.

If you haven't done that, then the cooler parts of the surface are partly or mostly wasted.

Normal fins have a specific shape, tapering, where the thick bit conducts the heat to the thinner bits. This sponge shape doesn't do that.

So, it will have 500 times the surface area, but the effective surface area is going to be a tiny, tiny fraction of that.

about a month and a half ago
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Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

WolfWithoutAClause Re:very cool (204 comments)

Actually, looks like quite thick walls on the pan; so the heat should conduct down to the liquid really quite well; having thick walls avoids that exact problem; and aluminium is a very, very good conductor of heat.

about 2 months ago
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Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made From Wood Cellulose

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Stronger than steel made from wood! (82 comments)

I don't think you quite understand.

Wood is an excellent engineering material, it's widely used in construction, and can and has been very successfully used for ships, aircraft etc. During WWII, even when aluminium alloys were available, British designers used wood, to make very highly successful, fast, and very robust aircraft like the de Havilland Mosquito.

Yes, of course you have to consider multiple properties, but actually, wood is very good under lots of different properties, particularly compression, and wood in general and balsa structures in particular have *surreal* rigidity. See this table:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

so by weight, balsa is the most rigid material known, by a long, long way.

about 3 months ago
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Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made From Wood Cellulose

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Stronger than steel made from wood! (82 comments)

Actually:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Look down the list for stainless steel... then carry on down to 'balsa'.

Yup. Wood has a better strength to weigh ratio than stainless steel. (Only along the grain though but plywood fixes that, and you can put the strength in the direction you need it.)

Although they're not in the table, other woods are similar, but more dense.

about 3 months ago
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Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made From Wood Cellulose

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Is this a Carbon Fiber competitor? (82 comments)

Carbon fibers are five times stronger than steel and about a third the weight, so in a head to head competition, no way.

Still, it could compete with (say) steel if it's easier to work, cheaper, and less polluting.

about 3 months ago
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Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S

WolfWithoutAClause Re:gullwing doors (136 comments)

Actually, the fastest dragster, albeit unofficial, ever was a rocket car powered by peroxide.

Rocket dragsters were basically banned for being too fast/dangerous.

about 3 months ago
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Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S

WolfWithoutAClause Re:gullwing doors (136 comments)

Rocket engines very typically ARE internal combustion engines.

The definition of 'internal combustion' is that the pressures from the combustion gases cause the motion. (In external combustion engines, such as steam engines, the heat from the combustion goes through a heat exchanger and the working fluid on the other side of that does the work.)

In a rocket the exhaust gases push directly on the exhaust nozzle, and the interior of the combustion chamber and causes the motion, making it an internal combustion engine.

Some rockets (such as nuclear-thermal or solar-thermal rockets) do have a heat exchanger, and are not internal combustion engines, but not the common ones.

about 3 months ago
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Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Some things stick (422 comments)

A3 = A6 * B6 + C8

versus:

sum = numberOfItems * costOfItem + salesTax

While you can *force* a spreadsheet to work like that, it's not the default, and the default makes it so very much easier to fuck up.

about 4 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

WolfWithoutAClause Re:From many points of data (772 comments)

Yes, isn't believing in the truth of something that has been rigorously proved part of scientific literacy?

What would happen if the ones that don't believe humans evolved were forced to deal with some of the unequivocal data that backs it up, like genetics, would they still deny it and cause practical problems?

Further it raises the question as to who is trying to change the test, and why ;)

about 4 months ago
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Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Decapitation. (483 comments)

You don't understand, a lot of the people who are pro-executions don't want a painless peaceful death; not even when the statistics show that about 1 in 20 people are innocent.

about 4 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

WolfWithoutAClause Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

I think that there is a question as to whether the three witnesses are reliable or not. ;)

I'm also pretty damn sure that Native Americans are not descended from Egyptians, and that the genetic information that shows they're not is widely available, and does stack up.

If that was not the case, there would be some super-duper famous scientists right now that had managed to prove a key tenant of Mormonism; either Science or Nature would publish that like a shot. They LOVE overturning apple carts: if you have the hard evidence.

In the real world... that hasn't happened, because they're not descended from there, all the evidence shows that Native Americans came from Asia, migrating across the Bering Strait. It's just 50 miles across the ocean there, it's many thousands of miles the other ways.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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WolfWithoutAClause WolfWithoutAClause writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) writes "On the run up to the Lunar Lander Challenge John Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace had a rocket engine let go in a big way. They've now posted spectacular video of it along with the video from their valiant rocket Pixel's attempts to win the $350,000 Lunar Lander Challenge prize at the 2006 Wirefly X-prize cup. (Early reports were that Pixel died from the final flight, but latest news from the operating theatre is that Pixel may yet live, but it's touch and go,) Enjoy."

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