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Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies

bored_engineer Re:Seems strange. (151 comments)

. . .except maybe inuit, since there isn't much to 'gather' on the ice. . .

They didn't really live on the ice. It was just a temporary place to use while hunting. While the Inupiat and Yupik (as well as other Inuit people) obtained (and many still do) most of their calories from hunting, they still gathered and preserved tubers, lichen, seaweed and berries. I don't think any Inuit cultivated crops, but some did practice animal husbandry.

about a month ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

bored_engineer Re:Good! (619 comments)

When will the bike riders pay their fair share of the road?

Probably when they actually cause wear and tear on the roads. I can assure you that when an engineer does the pavement design for a road, bicycles don't enter into the design life calculations.

about a month and a half ago
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

bored_engineer Re:Is God falsifiable? (649 comments)

Interestingly, my father-in-law, an orthodox sephardic rabbi, insists that there is no contradiction. (I love this guy. I've never met anybody, except my wife, more capable of mental flexibility while maintaining his dogma.) He asserts (very briefly) that the timeline before the seventh "day" is God's, while the timeline thereafter is ours. He also asserts that our understanding of the universe is incomplete, and we *need* science to improve our understanding, and that accepting scientific knowledge about our world and universe will lead to a better understanding of God. (Or, our scientific tools are another of His ways to help us understand the Universe more completely.)

Please note that this is a two-sentence distillation of 20 years' intermittent discussion between him and me; much is lost in my delivery.

about a month and a half ago
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US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

bored_engineer Re:Out of control (272 comments)

That's from "The Hunt for Red October," isn't it?

about 2 months ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

bored_engineer Re:Lets wait and see (535 comments)

. . .teenage girls.

Which is all that was needed to make it interesting to teenage boys as well.

about 4 months ago
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Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

bored_engineer Re:Bans Drones not Guns. (397 comments)

Probably less affluent hunters. Using aircraft (or FPV drones) would allow wealthy hunters to potentially lock out subsistence hunters who have little to no income, or perhaps for whom this is an important cultural activity, rather than a fun trip for the weekend.

about 4 months ago
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Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

bored_engineer Re:Redefine hunting. (397 comments)

. . .have a pretty powerful drone to have the kind of range. . .

I live outside Fairbanks, AK. In the outdoor section of the local paper late last fall, was an unconfirmed mention that "a friend" of the editor was using a fixed-wing drone and FPV setup to locate moose. I don't recall any mention of success.

about 4 months ago
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The Mammoth Cometh: Revive & Restore Tackles De-Extinction

bored_engineer Re:Kentucky Fried Dodo (168 comments)

I had a hard time finding a translation "walgvogel" other than as dodo, so I'll put it here for others. From An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language I discovered that:

Walgvogel in Dutch means "nauseous bird;" it seems that the sailors killed them so easily that they were surfeited of them.

I also discovered that both dodo and booby (the bird) are probably portuguese words.

about 5 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

They certainly can't say you're not allowed to have a data-capable phone which doesn't have a data plan.

Is that right? I thought that their networks are sufficiently under their control to allow them to exclude whomever (and whatever) they want. Am I wrong?

Perhaps a carrier like T-Mobile ignores out-of-defined-use of smartphones, but do other carriers?

about 5 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

unlimited calling ad unlimited texting

That should be "and," rather than "ad." GCI doesn't serve up ads as you use their service.

about 5 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

I don't have a contract, and will never have another one again. When I was on a contract, I hated being locked in when I discovered that AT&T sucks in interior Alaska and couldn't switch without incurring a penalty. (While in Cantwell, I had a signal, but couldn't make a call: They couldn't tell me why. There were at least two more reasons I wanted to switch away.)

I have a vague memory, though, of reading that carriers can get the model of your phone, and will happily add data if they find you're using a smart phone without a data plan. Perhaps I should be more bold.

Right now, I'm paying $30/mo for a local plan, with an older phone. It includes unlimited calling ad unlimited texting with 1 GB of data and fantastic coverage. I don't have a strong incentive anymore for trying to dump the data fees, though I did give it serious thought and eliminated the possibility because of the limitations I perceived.

Do you mind sharing which carrier you use?

about 5 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

My daughter has an iPhone without a data plan. . .

How did you (or she) manage that? Every carrier I've seen requires data with any smartphone connected to the network, and I thought I read that they can detect the phone. I've thought about doing exactly this, but haven't been bold enough to give it a go.

about 5 months ago
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China's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover Officially Declared Lost

bored_engineer Re:Philosophical question: (131 comments)

Sorry, I should have expounded a little more. I read the article and the discussion here intending to ask the same question that ericlowe did. I answered much too concisely after I looked up the definition, so I skipped some of the thought process.
I didn't mean to imply that it was successful, only that the machine deployed from its lander. I suppose that I would have been more complete had I said that it had deployed properly up to "x" point, then failed at "y." (In the example that dictionary.com provided, even if the landing gear of a plane deploys properly, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will "accomplish its mission" and land safely.)

about 6 months ago
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Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record

bored_engineer Re:Gravity charging? (357 comments)

I calculate the potential energy of water at about 2.7E6 J, while a gallon of gasoline has 130E6 J. A close equivalence, I think, is to assume that only 1/5 of the gasoline can be converted to mechanical energy at the wheels. That leaves about 26E6 J from a gallon of gasoline, ignoring any inefficiencies in the systems on the electric car, about 10X more energy than your hour-long (minimum, assuming an 8% grade) trek to grab water.

about 6 months ago
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California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

bored_engineer Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (374 comments)

For every rhetorical question, there is an answer. I used to live in Beverly Hills, and was surprised when I learned that a permit is required for a garage sale. (I was amused to see in my search on Google that Beverly Hills, TX also requires a garage sale permit.)

about 5 months ago
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Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

bored_engineer Re:Natural Gas (734 comments)

I don't think that this is feasible. I ran a quick calculation, and assuming that you wanted to melt an inch of snow within one hour, and also assuming perfect heat transfer, you would need to supply 2.2HP, or about 1.7kW for the heat of fusion, assuming 1,000 sf of panels. (Somebody above suggested this as appropriate to completely supply a home and car.) This is nearly 15A at 120V for a heating circuit, and I've not yet accounted for heat loss or the latent heat to bring it up to 32F.

about 6 months ago
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Alleging 'Malpractice' With Climate Skeptic Papers, Publisher Kills Journal

bored_engineer Re:Killed because of the message (314 comments)

I've never before commented concerning moderation, so I hope that this carries some small weight in the moderation that follows my reaction. It seems to me that this should be (Score 2 or Score 3, Interesting), rather than the flamebait and troll that seem to dominate. This person has given a reasonable, though not fully considered, response to the grandparent. Please refer to the other responsive comments before you moderate.

about 6 months ago
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Alleging 'Malpractice' With Climate Skeptic Papers, Publisher Kills Journal

bored_engineer Re:Killed because of the message (314 comments)

If they are obviously jumping well outside of their field. . .

Are they? I'm not qualified to say that both of the editors are engaged outside their field. It certainly looks to me, though, like geophysics is closely related to studies of climate change. (The geophysical institute at the university I finished with some years ago has produced a number of researchers on both sides of this particular debate.)

. . .silly vanity press rag.

I don't think that you've looked or studied far enough to reach this conclusion: This paper, and lots more like it seem relevant to geophysics. I read the abstracts of the papers in the second edition and begin to sympathize with the publisher, but I'm not qualified to make a blanket statement that the editors are unqualified; are you?

about 6 months ago
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Alleging 'Malpractice' With Climate Skeptic Papers, Publisher Kills Journal

bored_engineer Re:Killed because of the message (314 comments)

. . .really, really skeptical about people whose science can be bought

My general position is so close to that which you've expressed in this posting that it sounds like words I may have said. This last bit, though, deserves a slightly cautionary warning. As my username makes clear, I'm not a scientist, but an engineer. For more than a decade, I worked as a consulting engineer preparing traffic, parking and other transportation studies, generally for private enterprise. Over the last 2 1/2 years, I've worked in the public sector designing highway safety improvements, as well as preparing parking studies. Right now, I'm repairing a parking study, initially prepared by other engineers, that is so badly skewed in the public favor, that I strongly suspect an ill-favored bias on the previous engineers' part, or perhaps a ridiculous incompetence in the subject matter. (Both positions are difficult, as I know the engineers involved in the previous study.)

While I used the previous paragraph to make a point, I'm going to use this one to counter it. I don't know about scientists, but engineers (ostensibly) work under a code of ethics that should prevent a bias. My experience in the private sector, with primarily private sector clients, and my work in the public sector with some truly outstanding people, suggests to me that the majority of engineers are mindful of the ethics governing our profession. (I want to be clear, here, that I'm not a scientist. My work was strictly a stochastic analysis of empirical data to hypothetical future conditions.

I don't know if geophysicists (or climate scientists) in Stockholm, Algiers, Timbuktu, or Bumfuck, Ohio are governed by a professional code of conduct. I tend to think, though, that most are really trying to do good work, even if I think some are misguided. Others will make their bias clear, while a few will be completely incompetent or have a problem with judgment (like our friend the water-dowser) that makes their professional work suspect.

The sum result of my blathering should be that you ought to be as suspicious of research funded by, edited by or done by the public sector or the WWF as you are of the same performed by a petroleum institute.

--

p.s. I don't give a pass to oil companies or to institutions in the field. My initial degree study (3 years) was for a BS in petroleum engineering. My first internship was with a drilling company; an internship which caused me to change my major. I also live in Alaska, whose legislature was recently convinced to change our taxes on oil production. I *know*, first-hand, how short-sighted and selfish these companies are. I also understand quite well how dependent the related academia is on money from the industry.

about 6 months ago

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