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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

jdagius Re:Makes perfect sense, sort of, ... (423 comments)

> Wow, another right wing sheep spouting off about the 18-year > thing your masters keep telling you about.
FYI, most climatologists accept the "18-year thing" you speak of. They call it the "Pause", which is definitely not a term coined by skeptics.

The rest of your comment is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. Typical of the warmist AC's who blindly follow what their leaders tell them. It is also customary, BTW, for warmists to accuse skeptics of the very things they themselves do wrong.

Skeptics have a tradition of _not_ swallowing whatever is fed to them (even though it seems to cost us mod points. Free speech?)

about three weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

jdagius Re:Say "No more!" to Climate Posts (423 comments)

> Just because something is not 100% does not mean we should not protect against it.

True. But you're overlooking the cost-benefit analysis.

"Buckling up" has little or no adverse cost associated with it. Yes, it slightly increases the chance you'll be trapped in a flaming wreck. But that is probably less likely than your skull crashing through the windshield in a head-on collision. So the benefits outweigh the costs.

So, if we could just wear some simple appliance like a seat belt that would mitigate, without penalty, even the most farfetched climate catastrophes (e.g. sharknado), then, yeah, why not do it? Same as 'affordable insurance', right?

But the economic and political consequences of rushing in to replace our fossil-fuel-based infrastructure with wind and solar are substantial, with threats to our political and military stability. And the benefits are negligible in the sense that the proposed replacement systems will not come close to fixing the problem as it is being described. So, not an effective 'insurance policy' at all.

[Unless you think the rabble-rousers who will benefit from our self-destruction are the "good guys".]

about three weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

jdagius Makes perfect sense, sort of, ... (423 comments)

... manmade CO2 warms the atmosphere. But atmosphere has not warmed as much as climate models have predicted over the past 18 years.

So there must be some 'missing' heat lurking about somewhere. If we believe the models.

Oh look at all the heat in the ocean that we have been observing for many years without really 'noticing'. (But now we really 'need' this heat, because it confirms our favorite theory of catastrophic manmade global destruction)

Hmm. Problem is that the models make the assumption that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is true. How does flow from a cooler body to a warmer place?

It's best to remain skeptical of reports like this until reliable mechanisms and models are presented to explain and predict it (in the past and in the future).

about three weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

jdagius Gold Weight vs Feather Weight (942 comments)

An ounce of gold surprisingly "weighs" more than an ounce of feathers because gold weights are in Troy units (1 oz=31g) whereas feathers are Avoirdupois (1oz=28g).

But a pound of feathers weighs more than pound of gold, because Troy pounds have only 12 ounces.

about three weeks ago
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Developing the First Law of Robotics

jdagius In theory it's nice. In practice it's ... (165 comments)

... never going to work.

One could argue that computer viruses are merely robots without a solid body. So the First Law has already been trashed by all the big powers on the planet.

And who's going to decide what is 'harmful'? Governments again are producing semi-automated robots (drones) which harm people. But that's OK because "it's to prevent an even greater harm" they say. But who decides if 'they' got it right?

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

jdagius Quirk in MATLAB array syntax (729 comments)

MATLAB was one of the first languages to allow lists of comma-separated numbers between square brackets e.g. [1,2,3,10] to be interpreted as indexed numeric arrays or vectors. A lot of languages do that now, but MATLAB was perhaps the first to do this in 1984. A little-known quirk is that the commas are optional! [1 2 3 10] etc. This was probably introduced as a 'convenience' feature (though typing a space isn't that much faster than typing a comma). But there is a glitch ("feature") in the syntax that interprets space-separated negative numbers differently than you'd expect. So [ 1 2 -3] is interpreted as [1,2-3] (value = [1,-1]) because the precedence of arithmetic operators is higher than list operations.

MATLAB hasn't fixed this 'feature' yet, because it would undoubtedly break a jillion apps around the world. So you must be careful to type [1 2 (-3)] if you are allergic to commas.

BTW it's been fixed by default in OCTAVE, MATLABS free-software clone, but you turn 'quirks' on, if you want to preserve the quirky behavior.

about 1 month ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

jdagius Does Learning Mechanical Engineering Outweigh ... (546 comments)

... learning to operate a rivet gun or steam shovel? A bridge or building could be more cheaply built by skilled operators with little or no knowledge of stress and strain, but how long would these structures stand?

The same could be said for computer programmers, who may be skilled in coding, but have little or no knowledge of the best methodologies for constructing robust and reliable software systems and structures.

about 2 months ago
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Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

jdagius Re:Structure preserving? (60 comments)

@tsa > I don't think it suggests that at all.

Did you read TFA? It says. "In this very simple process, the salt acted as a heat absorber while the magnesium removed oxygen from the quartz, resulting in pure silicon. "

So the article does indeed 'suggest' that Mg is removing O. My question was concerning how is this oxygen removal related to creating porosity. Or not.

In any case, it seems likely that some formerly filled space must be vacated to create porous openings.

Does anyone know how this happens?

about 3 months ago
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Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

jdagius Structure preserving? (60 comments)

The article suggests that making nano-scale silicon by using magnesium to remove oxygen solves the usual degrading issues. Why is this? Does the quartz lattice have optimal conduction geometry, which is somehow preserved after the oxygen is removed?

about 3 months ago
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"Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health

jdagius Elephant in the room... (166 comments)

... lipid hypothesis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...
So I get that the "Eskimo Diet" doesn't improve cardiovascular health. But then it doesn't degrade it either. Then why all the "heart smart" low-fat, no-fat, low-cholesterol propaganda we're constantly bombarded with?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...
It seems Uffe Ravnskov may be right. Dietary cholesterol very likely has little or no bad effects on health. It is probably "good" for you. In fact, statin drugs used to treat CAD are far worse for your health.
Proof: If statins actually were effective against CAD, then the ads on TV could make that claim. If you listen carefully, they don't make any claim that they lower the incidence of CAD. Their sole claim for "effectiveness" is that they lower your blood cholesterol numbers. It would be more compelling if they could claim health benefits of course, but their is no compelling evidence for this.

about 4 months ago
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Satellites Providing Internet To the 'Under-Connected'

jdagius Re: In space ... (50 comments)

Objects "in orbit" around the Earth are actually falling freely to the Earth. But thanks to the very large horizontal component in their motion, orbiting objects always overshoot the horizon and thus stay in orbit.
Such objects have no "weight", because weight is defined as, F=mg, a force F exerted by an object with mass m in a gravity field g, resting on a surface preventing the object from falling freely.
The mass of an object is thus independent of gravity, but it's "weight" is just an artifact imposed by surface constraints, and can vary greatly.

about a year ago
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Lowest Mass Exoplanet Ever Directly Imaged. Probably.

jdagius Re:Probably pretty cold (43 comments)

> ... sad part ...

No need to be sad. Increasing effective aperture size of the telescope increases its resolving power. The imaging element doesn't have to be a single mirror or lens, but can consist of an array of elements scattered over a large area. Tricky part is getting all of the elements in phase agreement. Also doesn't have to be visible light. We are already 'imaging' surfaces of planets with synthetic aperture radar, operating on the same principle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_Large_Telescope

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_Large_Array

So imagine a much larger optical array network, many miles in diameter, for imaging the surfaces of these exoplanets.

about a year ago
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Declassified LBJ Tapes Accuse Richard Nixon of Treason

jdagius Sounds familiar... (536 comments)

So ex-VicePresident Nixon communicated with a foreign leadership, telling them to wait after his "re-election" and that he would be more 'flexible' in his dealings with them. Hmm, where have we heard that treasonous trash talk before? :-|

about a year and a half ago
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Atlantic Crossing By Amateur Radio High Altitude Balloon

jdagius Re:wikipedia's got the wrong name (51 comments)

> Wikipedia has the name wrong.

No, you are wrong. Bob Bruinga, WB4APR, the inventor of APRS has reverted in the naming convention, and now supports the "_packet_ reporting" moniker because he wants to emphasize that APRS is not just for position reporting. For example, it's extensively used for weather reporting from mostly non-mobile CWOP (Citizen Weather Observers Program) volunteers, who include a lot of non-amateur radio enthusiasts who augment NWS mesolevel forecasts with thousands of home-made stations reporting every ten minutes or so over the Internet. (The ham-radio CWOP volunteers can also report weather via amateur RF frequencies).

Also APRS has been used ("firenet") for reporting brush and forest fires.
http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/get_nws_shapefiles.htm

more than 2 years ago
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Robots Successfully Invent Their Own Language

jdagius No Big Deal (159 comments)

The first humanoid "words" were probably grunted utterances representing names of other humanoids, animals, places and (eventually) events.

Even so, automatically generating unique labels is no big deal for a computer. Every automatic "builder" program already do this. Except they're usually enumerated (i.e. box1,box2, box3, ..., box999), instead of randomly generated ciphers ("xyzzy" etc). But computers don't do anything randomly, it all has to be programmed by a human.

more than 3 years ago
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German Military Braces For Peak Oil

jdagius Re:Thorium Reactors people! (764 comments)

>> ... thousands of years of _safe_ operation ...
Completely "safe"? Then how do you explain this paragraph about 'decommissioning' the ORNL test MSR from the article you cited?
"After shutdown the salt was believed to be in long-term safe storage, but beginning in the mid-1980s, there was concern that radioactivity was migrating through the system. Sampling in 1994 revealed concentrations of uranium that created a potential for a nuclear criticality accident, as well as a potentially dangerous build-up of fluorine gas —"

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Big Meteor to Strike Earth Tonite

jdagius jdagius writes  |  about 6 years ago

jdagius writes "Don't panic! The Minor Planet Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is responsible for monitoring the solar system's small planetoids, comets and other space rocks, including those which might be heading our way. They have detected a meteor, several meteors wide, which will impact Earth tonite at 0246 UTC in northern Sudan. http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/10/meteor-predicte.html No biggie, these kinds of meteors hit the Earth every few months. But this is first one which has been predicted by the MPC and validates the notion that they might catch a bigger one which could cause a lot of damage. This one is expected to burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere, but will nevertheless be equivalent in energy to a small nuclear weapon, roughly a 1 kiloton blast."

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