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It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

kanweg Re:Why? (470 comments)

"Why are scientists increasingly concerned about what some people in our society think and believe?"

Well, if you're an astronomer studying the effects of asteroid impacts and their likelihood, you may come across evidence that it has happened in the past and that their effects are rather devastating. As we may well be able to develop the technology to divert an asteroid on a collision course. People running around that the earth is only 10 kY old are not helpful then.

Climate change same thing.


about two weeks ago

Religion Is Good For Your Brain

kanweg Re:Religion... (529 comments)

"God is only invisible to those who choose to ignore him."

Like camera's.


about a month ago

Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams

kanweg Re: If you don't like it.... (431 comments)

Women won't forget the day they delivered a still-born. While they won't forget that they had one or more miscarriages, they won't burn a candle that day (they may well forget which day it was exactly. It won't be on the calendar). And there are certainly no candles in the toilet being burned for a discarded fertilized egg being flushed down the drain.

It is a mental, developing process. So, at some point a line can be drawn. Sure, for some people line will be at a different time than for others, but it is simply not true that there is no difference in how growing life is viewed during pregnancy. You'll have a hard time finding someone pro-abortion that will be in favor of an abortion time limit at 7 months.


about a month and a half ago

Scottish Independence Campaign Battles Over BBC Weather Forecast

kanweg Re:Firrrst post the noo (286 comments)

Successive Tory governments have been absolutely ruthless of stripping Scotland of it's assets

As evidenced by the fact that they don't wear briefs.


about a month and a half ago

How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

kanweg Re:Predictions were made in the 1970s then? (560 comments)

If you face a campfire, your front will be hotter than your back.
That holds true if you were a planet facing the sun.
If you rotate it would spread more evenly.
But at the top and bottom areas of the sphere, still very little sunlight would shine. Thus, these two pole areas would colder than the part in the middle.

There you have it: You have made a qualitative model of a climate cold at the pole and warm in the center area. And you didn't predict what the weather would be tomorrow in any of these areas.

Brains, they are fantastic instruments (if used).


about a month ago

Two Ubuntu Phones Coming In 2014, Aiming For Top 50 iOS/Android Apps

kanweg Re:Third-rate devices (141 comments)

In the beginning, it was mostly wrong at understanding me, but these days it is remarkably correct. Very useful feature for creating reminders on the go (or at night, in bed. No need to find writing material/leave bed).


about 2 months ago

The Search for Life On Habitable Exoplanets

kanweg Cold (69 comments)

With tidal force locking, I'd expect the edges to be rather uninhabitable too, and the center that's facing the sun comparatively hot. There air will rise up, move towards the other side of the planet, cool down and drop. It would cool even further down, get even colder and move towards the lit side. When it enters that region, there is little light there, and the air is very cold. So, even though there is some light, it is uninhabitable. Then the air starts picking up heat when it moves back to the center. It would in particular in that region you could expect life to be.

However, what if that life requires CO2. It might condense on the other side of the planet.
Perhaps if there's a lot of it, you'd get a greenhouse effect, and sufficient CO2 for plants anyway.

And you thought life on earth was tough.


about 2 months ago

Apollo 8 Astronaut Re-Creates 1968 Christmas Broadcast To Earth

kanweg Re:Religions (152 comments)

"Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution."

I think it has.
- people have a greater chance of survival if they cooperate. If there is a further possible bond (apart from being family), than that can help.
- it can also help against power. Suppose the chief of your clan is a grumpy strong man. You could lose your life. But if you tell him that you're in contact with higher powers that will punish him if he doesn't alter his behavior, then that can help you survive.
- it made for good stories in a time without internet. What have you been doing today? Herding the goats. Oh. Well, let me tell you a story (in the bible, there's a story about a well that was sealed off with a rock that required three people to move it. Or a bald guy who was yelled at by kids and bears came out of the wood and killed the kids. What do you think: It is something that god really wanted to tell us or was a good story at the campfire?).

So, while only my hypothesis, I think that there may well be a genetic component to religion/the ease with which humans can be deluded.


about 4 months ago

90 Percent of Businesses Say IP Is "Not Important"

kanweg Re:Shockingly? (185 comments)

Patents/patent applications are open source knowledge before the term open source was coined. You are free to build on those ideas (and are free to take a patent on any non-obvious improvement, if you want that or not if you don't want that). Patent databases are freely accessible (as in beer); they may even have free machine translators so you can read the information in a language you don't speak. Want to know how something can be made, alternative ways of solving problems? Patent documents are your friend. No books to buy. No subscriptions needed. The documents are well-organized, in a standard format and can be searched using keywords from the comfort of your home. (You don't need to register and sell your soul to get the information you want.).

The information in patents becomes freely available to the public in on average about 7 years (drugs take longer, other stuff shorter). No shitty near-infinite term like copyright.

The applicant paid quite a bit to put an accurate description of the invention into words, and it becomes public after 18 months. That may be before the actual product hits the market. You couldn't have know about it otherwise.

Patent attorney (oh, and patents on software? Yes, I agree. They're a bad and unnecessary thing)

about 4 months ago

Clear Solar Cells Could Help Windows Generate Power

kanweg Blue screen of death (87 comments)

And in case of crashing windows, you can see the blue screen of death.


about 3 months ago

NSA Has No Clue As To Scope of Snowden's Data Trove

kanweg Re:Yeah, sure... (383 comments)

If you read about the role of general Groves, Oppie's boss, his personal need to be more than a bureaucrat .

Googled quotes:
While Groves credited President Truman with the decision to use the atomic bomb, he qualified this by saying, "As far as I was concerned, his decision was one of noninterference - basically, a decision not to upset the existing plans".

Groves was a prime mover in getting the atomic bomb built, on where it would be used, and on when it would be used.


about 4 months ago

The US Now Faces the Same Dilemma Over Drones As It Did Over Nuclear Weapons

kanweg Re:Drones for Defense (211 comments)

I never understood that.

I once talked to the captain of a boat (that sailed from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean islands) that in the straight of Gibraltar his GPS was inaccurate. He said that it was because of the satellites. But the GPS satellites don't know where you are; you're just receiving signals from them. AFAIK for military purposes the satellites introduce inaccuracies in the timing signals they broadcast, and only military GPS knows how to correct for those. But how is it possible to have a particular region on earth have inaccurate positioning.

Do you know how that works?

BTW, thanks Bill Clinton for removing (most?) of the inaccuracy and making GPS navigation in cars possible.

about 5 months ago

Electric Cars: Drivers Love 'Em, So Why Are Sales Still Low?

kanweg Re:Relatively cheap global oil price (810 comments)

What has changed? The price of solar panels. It will have come down even further.

The sun will be providing us with the same amount of energy every year for quite a few years to come. No shortages are expected.

More to the point: take a closer look at the math.

Item 1 $12
Item 2 $120
Difference in price (e.g saving): $108

Both items 5 times more expensive, the saving is $540. That is $432 more in the piggy bank.

Anyone doing the math on EV vs ECI should consider:
- more than the purchase price
- when doing the math, don't base the calculation on the current fuel/electricity cost, but the average cost over the next few years. (I drive ICE, here the price has gone up in about 8 years with over 30%, and there have been periods when it was 40% higher).

You could consider helping the environment by buying electric now/encouraging others to buy. Technological progress needs sales.

about 5 months ago

Skydiving Accident Leaves Security Guru Cedric 'Sid' Blancher Dead At 37

kanweg Re:That's a shame (332 comments)

"God did protect me, he gave me a well designed parachute and good instructors to keep me safe."

God did design the parachute? It is in the bible? Wow, I must have missed that part.

How about your boss saying to you at the end of the month: Well, that was one job well done! What is god's bank account number? I'll transfer his salary right away.

The maker you don't want to tempt outfitted you on the assembly line with the GULO gene. The gene is broken (a chunk is missing), as a result of which you can't synthesize vitamin C. It is like a car company taking the trouble of installing a broken airco into every car it produces. Makes sense.
Oh, by the way. In primates the same chunk is missing. It is not that we share a common ancestor and your source of reference is completely off the mark. Oh no, the devil planted that gene to confuse us.

about 5 months ago

Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

kanweg Re:Radiocarbon? (366 comments)

Radiocarbon dating relies on fresh 14C being generated (high up) in the atmosphere by solar radiation. It mixes due to air turbulence, so plants have a substantially constant supply of it. The exchange of 14C carbon with carbon below the surface of water is poor. There, plant/animal stuff eaten also results in CO2 but it is absorbed by algae again. So it is recycled there, and doesn't have the good mixing and constant supply like in the atmosphere. So, scientists know: You can't do radiocarbon dating using material that grew in or under water. (Liars for religion use examples like radiocarbon dating a freshly caught fish to be hundreds of years old as evidence that radiocarbon dating is unreliable and proof that their favorite myth book is correct. Sigh). So, no radiocarbon dating on the clam wouldn't work.


about 5 months ago

Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

kanweg Re:Climate Scientists (366 comments)

Economy is just money flowing around. It doesn't matter too much on what you spend it. You could waste for example enormous amounts of money on military forces without any particular benefit.

In case of action against global warming, the very least you get is that you do longer with fuel, keeping the price low which happens to be good for consumers. Also, it keeps stuff like oil available for a longer period of time. Not a bad thing either. And that is true even if climate scientists were wrong. My Dunning-Kruger bet however is that they are more likely to be right than you or I, and in particular that whether they are right or wrong has nothing to do with economy and this bias should be left out when deciding whether they are wrong or right.

In my country, houses used to use 3000 m3 gas for heating, these days it is 500 m3 or less without any loss of comfort. In my country we used to have a huge gas field. It is almost empty now. Instead of 30 years, we could have enjoyed it for over 150 years. Also, there are tremors now in that area of the country caused by the settling after the gas extraction, resulting in (costly) damage to housing. It pays to be frugal with resources.


about 5 months ago

Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

kanweg Re:clemency? (504 comments)

Well, if they do that, they increase the threat level, because non-threating people start to get pissed.

It is a bit like killing civilians in another country. These people get mad. If they have a religion (not unlikely), and it is different from yours (also not unlikely), doubly so. They could go really crazy and fly a plane into building. Or something.

So, remember: Pissing off other people indiscriminately: Not good.


about 5 months ago

Celebrating a Century of Fossil Finds In the La Brea Tar Pits

kanweg Re:8 yards sounds plausible (93 comments)

Yes, they count their weight in decimal stones.


about 6 months ago


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