Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty
I would modify that last statement to be "not letting your social agenda affect your research, your report or the your release of either" (or something more compact that gets the same point across). Very few foundations fund research out of the goodness of their hearts, so most of the time (if not *all* of the time), their research is structured specifically to give them what they want (e.g. wording survey questions a specific way). Or if that's not possible, they cherry pick data. Or they simply don't release their findings, if it turns out it won't help their cause.
Anyway, the links in the parent post show some incredible stuff, and pretty much all the scientific criticism I can find is led by one man, Dr. David Briske from Texas A&M. So we have one guy with extensive credentials that says it works, one guy with extensive credentials that says it doesn't, and a slew of others who have tried it (or something similar) with varying results. I'd like to see Savory get a bigger tract of land and a larger herd to see if it can scale. Same with the permaculture stuff: we've got deserts right here in the US, let's see what these guys can do.
Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"
Feynman, in the first of his Lectures on Physics asked his reader to imagine that some cataclysmic event has wiped out all human knowledge, but that one single sentence could survive to be passed on to the next generation. What would he suggest that sentence be? The universe is made of atoms.
Feynman is awesome, but that dude has a serious under-appreciation for abusively long run-on sentences filled with literary non sequiturs and mathematical and chemical formulae.
Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams
The issue here is evolution. Any version of creationism that denies evolution is incompatible with science.
It's not really incompatible, Creationism is just an unnecessary and illogical addition to it that has been around for all of recorded history and beyond. The ancients thought gods were the reason behind everything, like the Sun moving across the sky. The only difference between that and modern Creationists is that they no longer believe a god has to manually push the Sun around. I imagine they have different beliefs about how the solar system formed, spanning from the YECs belief that a god placed the planets where they are today, though the people that think a god just kicked off the Big Bang and nudged a few cosmological constants around.
You don't even have to think in such grand terms as evolution, just look at how people think giving birth is a miracle and that the baby is a gift from their god. Never mind the fact that the billions people they condemn to eternal torture for not believing in their particular god have just as many children. It's the same for evolution: some people accept evolution as the overwhelmingly likely scenario, but choose to see their god as the guiding force behind it. Or perhaps it's just like the YECs, who think god placed fossils on Earth in their current form: their god just happened to make human embryos go through stages where they develop several repetitions of temporary organs -- sometimes appearing and disappearing before they even become functional -- very similar to ancient aquatic animals.
Or perhaps the GP has read on anti-evolution sites that Haeckel's recapitulation theory ("ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny") was discredited, which is often used as justification to throw out the entire theory without bothering to understand why Haeckel's theory was discredited (he wasn't completely wrong...embryonic development is just not as straightforward as he claimed) or how modern biologists understand evolution.
The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class
No, instead they just cancel your flight if it's half empty and make you wait a few hours to be crammed onto the next flight.
Random anecdote: I was once speaking to my wife wondering if that's why our flight was cancelled, and an airline employee that overheard me became very offended that I suggested it. I wasn't even speaking sarcastically or anything, because they actually put us on a better flight that got us in earlier (shorter layover at an airport that wasn't so far out of the way). It was genuine curiosity, but I guess they hear enough customers complaining about that to make it a sore spot with them.
GNU Octave Gets a GUI
We all wish Mathworks/MatLab well. I used it at university and I use it at work. I use Octave at home (and sometimes at work). Octave is good for getting answers, not so good at graphing.
Are they competitors? Yes. Is there room for both? Yes.
There is room for both even within the same organization. Wherever your scripts are fairly standard MATLAB and don't use GUIs or toolboxes, you can use Octave as a drop-in replacement and save money on floating licenses. With a little legwork, I had Octave producing very nice graphs comparable to MATLAB. I never got the go-ahead to attempt a more substantial deployment, unfortunately.
Anyway, congrats to John Eaton and the Octave developers on the final GUI release. I remember checking the early versions out a year ago or so and chatting with the guy who added JIT as part of the Google Summer of Code about static JIT versus tracing JIT (in general terms only, if I was good enough I would have added it myself).
Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?
"Missing large parts of the conversation" is more likely to occur to people raised by luddites who make their children play outside rather than "socialize" as many kids do these days. Already, most of my kindergartener's (my oldest kid's) homework is given online, aside from a few worksheets sent home with him (we went two weeks and a couple missed recesses before we realized that he was in trouble because he wasn't doing all his homework). I can only imagine in the later grades he'll have to be glued to a computer screen in order to get his work done.
Also, there are so many cultural references people miss that Biblical ones aren't really a big deal these days unless you send your kid to a private, religion-affiliated school or something. We have never taken our children to church, and they are very rarely exposed to religion in general. Still, religion has some easy shortcuts for dealing with tough subjects like death (actually, that's the only subject I can think of at the moment). Luckily nobody in our family has died since my son was born, but my in-laws dog did. It's just so much easier for kids to understand that the dog went to some abstract place to explain why they'll never see the deceased again. I'll never forget my dad coming home from a hospital after saying goodbye to his father when I was twelve, because that is the only time I've ever seen him cry. He hugged my mom, looked at me and said, "this is why it's so easy to believe in heaven." It was probably ten years later before I stumbled upon usenet and realized how profound that was.
Anyway...point is, as long as you don't make a big deal about praying and all that, your kids won't either.
Microsoft Adds Node.js Support To Visual Studio
Replying to myself. I just did some searching, and it seems that up until VS 2010, it didn't have zero-width selection, which I have just verified to be true in VS 2008. I can see how that could be a bit annoying, though there is a pretty simple workaround (select the column, press tab, then column select the new whitespace). Notepad++ (6.2.2) and gVim (7.3) both have zero-width selection. Any others?
Microsoft Adds Node.js Support To Visual Studio
Note that AC specifically said, "that nothing else does quite as well," which is not quite the same as "that nothing else does." Personally I'm not aware of any bothersome differences in implementation, but I'd be interested to hear them. I want to say that one editor I've used will plop a bunch of whitespace at the end of a line if you copy and paste the uneven ends of lines, but I just tried the three at my disposal at the moment (VS, Notepad++, gVim) and none of them did that.
Here is how to do it in a bunch of different editors, by the way.
Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?
That may not be your personal point of view, but the wider "Anti-ACA" movement is not nearly as enlightened as you.
You can say that again: a Kaiser poll last year found 36 percent of people believe that death panels are part of the ACA, and 20 percent weren't sure. And people like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are still talking about them.
You have just confirmed everything I was saying. There was a political atmosphere against the ACA, and the Democrats pushed it anyway despite the fact that the result was completely predictable.
Hindsight is 20/20. Was it really predictable back then, when Democrats were cutting major provisions out of Obamacare like the government option and making it more and more like Romneycare, trying to appease the Republicans? Sure, it seems obvious to us now, but who could have predicted that they'd change their minds about things like the individual mandate and insurance exchanges?
Gravity: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?
At some point you really have to accept that "stable" is an estimation or else it's completely meaningless. The moon's orbit increases by 3.8 cm per year, which means it's stable to 1 part in 10^11. The Earth is moving away from the Sun 15 cm per year, so it's stable to 1 part in 10^13. Atomic clocks are stable to 1 part in 10^15.
I haven't seen the movie, but the original question was about the orbital decay time of the Enterprise, and one poster said to make the orbit higher. If it had started in a proper geostationary orbit, for example, drag, solar wind, and all the other sources of orbital decay would be small enough that it would take many, many years to bring it down, in which case the engines could be repaired well before reentry. In that case, calling it a stable orbit isn't even close to a bad approximation.
Gravity: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?
Guess what, no object in orbit can maintain it's orbit without propulsion.
Smartass responses aside, I wonder if there are a moon-synchronous orbits that use the tidal bulge effect to counteract drag forces. I was just reading about LAGEOS satellites, which have no altitude control but are in a "highly stable" MEO that supposedly won't decay for 8.4 million years, which might as well be forever since they'll probably be destroyed by micrometeorite/debris collisions well before they have to worry about burning up on reentry. A brief look at their orbital properties makes the moon-synchronous thing unlikely, but I wonder how they calculated that orbit lifetime.
Health Exchange Sites Crushed By Demand; Shutdown Blanks Other Gov't Sites
It's not 34 distinct state exchanges. It's 1 exchange for the population of 34 states.
My point is that it *should* be 34 distinct exchanges. The thing is, the system has to refer to a database of available coverage based on the user's home state. This is one of the Republican ideals that did not make it into the final bill: people in one state cannot purchase insurance offered in another state.
Health Exchange Sites Crushed By Demand; Shutdown Blanks Other Gov't Sites
Well over a million users and their site couldn't handle it? Mr President, call up Yahoo or Go-daddy... they could have your site up and running in a few minutes.
Why isn't anybody talking about the actual problem? Sixteen states have their own sites, which supposedly run just fine. This was certainly true for Colorado. But the rest of the states opted to allow the federal government to run their exchanges. So what do they do? They put thirty-four state exchanges on the same site! Who the hell thought that was a good idea? Is it really not obvious that the main site should have a map with 50 clickable states, taking you to different sites, hosted on different servers?
USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document
Not existing doesn't bother me, its the dying part I'm afraid of. That said, if it were my job to identify less horrible ways to die than by nuke, I'd be employed for life.
Depends how close you are...standing right next to one as it detonates is probably the least horrible way to die, since your brain won't even have time to register any pain before it doesn't exist anymore. If you're so lucky to be standing right on top of one, some your constituent atoms get blasted out of the atmosphere and spread across the solar system for free.
Join the Efforts of a Manned Mission To Jovian Moon Europa
What worries me is that the site has only one passing mention of radiation, for a mission to Jupiter orbit. Aren't humans in that region going to be almost literally fried?
Wikipedia says there is enough radiation on the surface of Europa to kill a human in a single day (it's tidally locked with Jupiter, but I'm not sure if that helps the far side or not). I imagine they're headed to the subsurface ocean, if it exists, so they won't have to worry about it after they melt/drill their way through as many meters of ice as it takes (the Mars One site claims that five meters of Martian soil provides the same protection as Earth's atmosphere). But yeah, they'd definitely need to do something far more drastic than Mars One to protect the astronauts as they approach Europa until they land and get to a safe depth.
Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil
This program would cover things like: eating habits, sexual behavior, phys ed, and at least a basic program on managing money.
This sounds like trying to teach the kids something that should be taught by parents.
Maybe, but the structured way a school might approach such things could be very valuable. Eating habits, for example, are very much set by parents, but nutrition is an entire field of study. Have the students record everything they eat for a week and estimate a few key nutrition measurements like Calories, cholesterol, etc. Such an activity can and should be repeated several times a year. Telling people how they should eat is probably less effective than showing them exactly how they eat, and what problems they might have if they continue eating like they do.
Elon Musk's New Hologram Project Invites 'Iron Man' Comparisons
+1, Should have been pointed out earlier. This point is more important than the dangers of gorilla arm syndrome, or the technical feasibility of it, or the capability/likelihood of Elon Musk to follow-through with it.
Barring a radical new piece of software with crazy amounts of automation, the utility of such a thing would be limited to design reviews. Don't get me wrong, if impressing the customer with something like this helped sell products, it would totally be worth it, but call me a skeptic when it comes to performing actual work with such an interface (at least, for the foreseeable future).
Google Argues Against Net Neutrality
While I have an android device, it hasn't got google play/appstore, login, nor data service to it... Android 4.3's restrictions, google's no-server limitations, etc are all pushing the masses towards sheepitude...
This sounds confused. Just about the only android devices that don't have data service are e-readers,
I don't think the data service bit was a particularly important point, but I wanted to point out that there are five Android devices in my household: two phones, a tablet, an e-reader, and an Ouya...and only one of those devices has data service (the older phone is not hooked up to cell service at all, but most things work perfectly fine with just wi-fi, and I save tons of battery by keeping the cell radio off).
"Slingatron" To Hurl Payloads Into Orbit
Space nutters... Man they are nuts.
And yet, between the ones who want to terraform Mars tomorrow (which I will note that GP is not), and the people like you who want to kick the can down the road forever, we will make progress. Just as GP said.
One important thing to note is that astronauts will need cargo for the foreseeable future. Just because it doesn't look like we'll ever be able to Sling people doesn't mean it's not useful to manned spaceflight.
Ouya Android Game Console Launches, Quickly Sells Out
Read the comment by M1rth, which I won't quote for it's length, but its +5 rating is well-earned.
Regarding your original post I have a lot of the same issues with mine, but it's a bit early to consider it a failure. I happened to receive my Ouya the very same day that my wife had a baby, so I haven't tinkered with it much, but I agree that the game selection left much to be desired. I even downloaded some racing game that I couldn't figure out how to get to an actual race. But, the PS2 was the last console I bought on launch day; I can't remember how long it was until a game came out that actually made it worth owning, but I assure you it wasn't terribly quickly.
Anyway, for my part, the fact that there aren't many games yet is largely irrelevant. It got me into programming games again in a way that Android didn't do before -- probably has something to do with controllers -- and I heartily disagree with your demos=bad sentiment. So I'm hoping to release something on a platform where I can actually make money (the PSP homebrew scene was not so good for that).
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