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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Zephyn Re:illogical captain (937 comments)

Well, I didn't interpret the article the same way you did. I thought the article was saying that you can be logical and still feel wonder.

Case in point: What's the one-word quote Spock is most known for?

"Fascinating."

about two weeks ago
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Brown Dwarf With Water Clouds Tentatively Detected Just 7 Light-Years From Earth

Zephyn Re:The theorized nemesis star? (85 comments)

There's a mass and temperature difference between gas giants and brown dwarf stars. The cutoff is whether the object in question has any fusion going on at all. At about 13x Jupiter mass it's big enough to fuse deuterium, and at 65x it can fuse lithium. If it's massive enough to fuse hydrogen, you've crossed into Red Dwarf territory (oh smeg!).

No form of sustained fusion has ever been detected within Jupiter, so it's not a brown dwarf, just a gas giant planet.

about a month ago
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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Zephyn Re:Energy-matter synthesis (223 comments)

Ah, but it can it also create the necessary flavoring to create something which tastes almost, but not entirely, unlike tea?

Yes, but they're trying to refine the process such that it doesn't also create a sperm whale and pot of petunias as a byproduct.

about 4 months ago
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Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

Zephyn Re:Amen, brother Amen! (522 comments)

At least they're no longer printing it all out and sending it through the USPS. Progress is being made.

about 4 months ago
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Zenimax Accuses John Carmack of Stealing VR Tech

Zephyn Re:Make deals with the devil (148 comments)

It's not just about people, it's also about the before buyout/after buyout difference in the quality of the products produced by the 'wholly owned subsidiary'.

People who enjoyed games by Westwood, Bioware, or Maxis before they were bought out by EA understand this.

about 5 months ago
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Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

Zephyn Re:Arcade games are still skill based (181 comments)

Actually, there were a few arcade titles following the 80's crash offered advantages if you chipped in more coinage. Cyberball 2072 would sometimes give you the option to buy improved team performance or enhanced players between quarters. And I seem to recall Xybots offering extra in-game currency for tokens. Thankfully the trend never caught on back then.

about 6 months ago
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Harold Ramis Dies At 69

Zephyn Re:Who you gonna call ? (136 comments)

HE-MAN!!!!

Sincerely,

The Ungrateful Yuppie Larva of the world.

about 7 months ago
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Red Team, Blue Team: the Only Woman On the Team

Zephyn I thought there were two... (247 comments)

Are we not counting Tex, or Griff's sister?

about 7 months ago
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Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

Zephyn Re:Two Flavors (249 comments)

Correction: it's two.
But his middle line is still
One syllable short

about 9 months ago
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DHS Turns To Unpaid Interns For Nation's Cyber Security

Zephyn So let me get this straight... (174 comments)

You want to offer a bunch of impressionable young people, most of whom are accumulating large amounts of debt, the opportunity to learn as much as they can about the computer security infrastructure of the country. While they do this, we're not paying them a cent or giving them any guarantees regarding future employment, further increasing their financial insecurity in the present and the future, as well as exploiting whatever sense of loyalty they might feel for their country for the purpose of reducing government labor costs.

What could possibly go wrong?

about 9 months ago
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Life Could Have Evolved 15 Million Years After the Big Bang, Says Cosmologist

Zephyn Re:Anthropic Principle (312 comments)

I doubt a 15 million year old universe would have been little more than atomic soup. Water may have existed, but not as we know it. It takes more than 15 million years for a star to form and blow up, where would you have gotten enough heavy elements for a planet to arise? :)

That's not quite accurate. Heavier radioactive elements would have come from supernovas, which only occur in stars much more massive than our own. The more massive the star, the higher its luminosity and the shorter its lifespan. Some of the most massive stars we've found will spend (or have spent) less than 100,000 years on the main sequence before expanding into supergiants and exploding as supernovae. So there's plenty of time for nucelosynthesis over that 15 million year span.

about 10 months ago
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Massive Exoplanet Discovered, Challenges Established Planet Formation Theories

Zephyn Re:Upper limit on planets? Lower limit on stars (129 comments)

That's the mass threshold for deuterium fusion. No fusion = planet, deuterium fusion = brown dwarf, hydrogen fusion = main sequence star.

So at 11 Jovian masses, the planet is close, but not quite big enough to reach brown dwarf status.

about 10 months ago
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Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA

Zephyn Re:Mostly... (343 comments)

Basic social introspection is trivially useful, and is used for more effective governance, as long as politics don't interfere.

When has politics not interfered with governance?

We'd be able to fly as long as gravity doesn't interfere.

about 10 months ago
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Kepler-78b: The Earth-Like Planet That Shouldn't Exist

Zephyn Re:It's a Big Universe (110 comments)

Or leftover dust from the stellar disc that's more prevalent in the outer areas. The orbit gradually degrades until it reaches a clearer area closer in.

about 10 months ago
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Kepler-78b: The Earth-Like Planet That Shouldn't Exist

Zephyn Re:It's a Big Universe (110 comments)

That, and the results of both of our effective planet detecting schemes - transit and doppler - skew proportionately towards these hot worlds, as for both methods a shorter period will give a stronger signal and therefore be more likely to be detected. So just like with the hot jupiters detected by the doppler method, they are probably actually a minuscule fraction of the planets out there but happen to be the easiest to detect. So even though they are rare, we are guaranteed to see them, and then muse about their rarity.

It's just like scientists to be racist and not be willing to detect the black planets.

No it isn't.

about 10 months ago
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I've done my current job in X time zones ...

Zephyn Re:options are confusing (167 comments)

Gah. Almost forgot:

ATLM = All the little Meridians

about a year ago
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I've done my current job in X time zones ...

Zephyn Re:options are confusing (167 comments)

AM = antemeridian
PM = postmeridian

UM = Uncle Meridian

Still living Dangerously after all these years....

about a year ago
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Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

Zephyn Re:As someone who runs an IT company (655 comments)

No, He's saying he values employees who understand how the technology, that their job is based on interacting with, actually works, and can derive answers to their own questions instead of him doing their job for them.

Which is just great until they start deriving the wrong answers. And since they don't ask any questions to confirm, they wind up either being useless (doing something tangential to what they were supposed to be doing), or worse than useless (irreparably screwing up their work and possibly their coworkers' as well). Not asking enough questions is a much greater concern than asking too many.

about a year ago

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