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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It is only difficult when fallacious (189 comments)

You know what, we're getting caught up in what models can or cannot do but in the end it doesn't matter. Climate models are just tools to investigate our understanding of the interaction of the different components of the climate system. As I said they will always be imperfect but they are useful. So I guess I'm changing the subject but so be it.

The diagnosis of anthropogenic global warming comes from the basic science of the radiative characteristics of greenhouse gases. That is fundamental falsifiable science that you can't get around. The effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can be measured by taking radiative energy reading starting from the surface to the top of the atmosphere and observing how that changes at different elevations. The effects of the different greenhouse gases are relatively easy to extract from that data.

The scientist who Gore cited whoever that is is late to the parade after Fourier, Tyndall in the 1850's, Arrhenius in the 1890's, Gilbert Plass in the 1950's and James Hanson in the 1970's & 1980's. His change of heart doesn't really change anything else.

Regarding UN reports, the IPCC Working Group I reports were all completely written by scientists involved in the research. Even the Summary for Policy Makers is written by scientists although it gets vetted by politicians. Still nothing gets through it without the approval of the authors of the WG1 full report. The Working Group II and especially the Working Group III reports do have some non-scientists helping to write them but the WG1 report is the critical one to our scientific understanding of climate change.

The politicization of the issue is almost entirely due to people who don't like the implications and proposed solutions. As Upton Sinclair said "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

Can you cite a reference for the Japanese studies? I'd be interested in see what it actually had to say rather than just taking your word for it.

So far as I can see the output of models has generally been pretty good and nothing that has happened has shown the models are just flat wrong. Of course they will be better in the future as we learn more and can apply more computing power to them but they're the best thing we have now so we might as well use them. It seems to me that your expectations for what models are capable of may be a little off. Here is some suggested reading to help you understand them better:

FAQ on Climate Models
FAQ on Climate Models: Part II
Why trust climate models, it's a matter of simple science

yesterday
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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

riverat1 Re:"Breakthrough" (380 comments)

As I understand it Alan Gross was just a freebie thrown in. We traded 3 Cuban spies for the spy we had in Cuba that helped us catch them in the first place.

yesterday
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

riverat1 Re: But but but (313 comments)

What was exceptional about this drought was the temperature. It had record warmth that dried out the soil more than in the past.

yesterday
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It is only difficult when fallacious (189 comments)

There is an average time between ice ages and we're getting due for it.

Oh, you must be talking about the glaciation cycles of the current Quaternary ice age. For about the last 800,000 years there has been a cycle of about every 100,000 years but from 2.8 million years ago until 800,000 years ago the cycle was more like every 41,000 years. Before the Quaternary the last ice age was the Karoo that ended around 260 million years ago.

As to CO2 concentrations, where are you getting your information? Because the ice core records are known to be unreliable indications of CO2 concentration.

Of course the CO2 levels I mentioned were not found from ice cores but from other proxy measurements because ice cores only go back about 800,000 years at best and the CO2 levels I mentioned were from ~300 and ~440 million years ago. The scientists who study ice cores consider their CO2 concentrations to be quite reliable so you're going to have to present some real evidence that they aren't rather than just making the assertion. Maybe you're thinking that they aren't precise because they show an average of maybe 100 years of atmospheric CO2 rather than a year by year account.

Regardless, the levels of CO2 have gone up and down many times in earth's past without correlating temperature swings. The notion that CO2 is a relevant driver of global climate makes very little sense.

Again, rather than just making the assertion you need to provide some real evidence. I've heard a number of scientists, notably Richard Alley say you can't understand temperature during any period of the Earth's history over the last billion years without taking CO2 into account.

Mostly this is because it makes up a relatively small portion of our atmosphere. ...

There is overlap between the absorption spectrums of water vapor and CO2 but it isn't 100% for either of them. In areas where the humidity is low CO2 has a larger effect. The latest studies I've seen on clouds effects on global warming show they have somewhere between a slightly negative and moderately positive effect on it. As far as the effects of snow, I think we have a pretty good handle on the albedo of the Earth after observing it from satellites for the past 50 years.

Ultimately, I think you have grounds to be concerned but I think without reservation anyone that says they know what they're talking about on the issue is talking out of their asses.

That would include you? (Sorry, I guess that isn't respectful but I couldn't help myself.)

Not one of the models subjected to scrutiny has withstood it. ...

As George Box famously said "All models are wrong, but some are useful". The rightness or wrongness of climate models is not a binary choice but rather a question of degrees. We don't have anything better than current climate models to help us understand the evolution of climate. They're not perfect but they're better than nothing.

I'd like you to give me some examples of a falsifiable test that climate models have utterly failed because I can't think of any.

What you probably don't know is that the scientist that came up with the green house theory disavowed it before he died.

The guy who came up with the greenhouse theory was Joseph Fourier in the 1820's but I doubt that's who you're talking about. Maybe you're talking about Svante Arrhenius who in 1896 quantified the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere. Never the less we've learned a lot since their time.

This whole thing is a lesson in the ability of money to pervert science.

Whenever someone brings up money it makes their argument seem more political in nature. Yes, scientists live and die by their grants but they're not getting rich on them. Money can at best only temporarily pervert science because in the end there is the fundamental reality that scientists have to account for. If they are deliberately perverting the science it should be relatively easy for another scientist to disprove their work and destroy their scientific reputation. There are too many scientists around the world studying climate for a conspiracy among them to be credible, especially for as long as it's been a contentious issue.

I had some time this afternoon as I was home from work after a medical procedure so I don't know how much time I'll have going forward but I'll probably respond to a reply.

2 days ago
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

riverat1 Re:But but but (313 comments)

It may be raining but there's a long way to go before the drought is truly over. Most importantly you need a good snow pack in the Sierras this winter to end the drought.

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It is only difficult when fallacious (189 comments)

I just spent the past hour or so researching ice ages. Great fun and I learned a lot more details about the history of ice ages. Thanks for that.

There are 5 known ice ages in Earth's past. The Huronian (around 2.4 to 2.1 billion years ago), the Cryogenian (850 to 630 million years ago), the Andean-Saharan (460 to 420 million years ago), The Karoo (360-260 million years ago) and the current Quaternary (since 2.58 million years ago).

You must be talking about the Andean-Saharan ice age because during the Karoo CO2 levels were under 300 ppm. It's true that during the Ordovician and Silurian period CO2 levels were over 10 times as high as they are now. It's also true that the Sun was about 4% fainter than it is now and the land where the evidence for the A-S ice age was found was part of the Godwana super-continent and was located right at the South Pole at the time, both conditions conducive to ice forming. As I said, CO2 is a factor but not the only factor.

I'm not sure what you mean by "the normal cycles of ice ages" because it's not clear that there is one.

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It is only difficult when fallacious (189 comments)

The impact of CO2 on climate is not controversial in climate science circles. Even such notable contrarians as Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen admit that CO2 will cause warming. They just think there are other factors that will counter that effect.

When specifically was it you think we had an ice age with 4 times higher CO2? My interpretation of that was back when we had a snowball Earth more than 650 million years ago. Back then the Sun was at least 6% fainter than it is now and the land surface was all gathered into one giant continent, Rodina, located at the Equator, both conditions conducive to and ice age.

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It is only difficult when fallacious (189 comments)

Yeah, back when the Sun was fainter and the configuration of the continents was completely different. CO2 isn't the only factor, just a major one. Notice I said "With the current conditions on Earth ...".

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It is only difficult when fallacious (189 comments)

We are probably going to go into an ice age in the next few thousand years. At least, that is what the climate records show... we're due an ice age. When that comes, I hope we have the foresight to pump something into our atmosphere to limit it. Ice ages are a thousand times worse then any of the silly predictions about Global Warming. A Global Ice Age would make much of the world uninhabitable.

There is no chance of that happening for the foreseeable future. With the current conditions on Earth it is impossible for an ice age (glaciation) to occur as long as CO2 levels in the atmosphere are greater than around 250 ppm even if Milankovitch cycles would otherwise lead to one.

Technically speaking we're currently and still in an ice age and will be until the Antarctic ice sheet melts away. /pedant

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:They'll make something up eventually (189 comments)

Too hard for your simple mind to understand the subtleties of science? It's all a hoax to take power over us and take our money!

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:We should expect fewer droughts from warming (189 comments)

If you're going to do percentages with temperatures you have to use an absolute temperature scale like the Kelvin scale. So 90 degrees F = 305.37K and 20F = 266.48K, the difference being 38.89K. That's a 12.8% difference (39/305).

Regarding less extreme weather because of smaller temperature differences between different air masses that's possible but don't forget that warmer temperatures mean more total energy in the system overall so it's not clear exactly what will happen. The simple fact of a warming Earth means extreme heat waves are more likely. Also a warmer atmosphere means more water vapor in it which means more water available for extreme precipitation events.

The Arctic warming faster than the Equator is a predicted and observed effect of global warming from increased greenhouse gases.

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

riverat1 Re:It's difficult but (189 comments)

The climate system is too chaotic for us to predict conditions in 1-5 years time accurately, you scientific illiterate. Yes, of course we know what it will look like in 100 years time, why wouldn't we? Don't you understand the science???

Predicting conditions in 1-5 years time is weather prediction. Predicting that the 30 year running mean temperature of the Earth will be 1 degree C warmer than it is now is a climate prediction. Chaos in weather and chaos in climate are two different things.

2 days ago
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The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

riverat1 Re:Methane part of the summary...comment (382 comments)

Yes, but there is an active carbon cycle which is the carbon that cycles through the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere on relatively short time scales and carbon stores that are not actively in the cycle and has been fundamentally sequestered from the active cycle for millions of years. The Earth's biological systems are well adjusted to the current level of carbon in the active cycle and will be disrupted by changes in it.

2 days ago
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The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

riverat1 Re:A Bridge Fuel... (382 comments)

Well, I believe it already is the main feedstock of for the production of hydrogen and for anhydrous ammonia for fertilizer.

4 days ago
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The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

riverat1 Re:Methane part of the summary...comment (382 comments)

The difference being that the carbon in the methane that cows emit comes from CO2 the grass that the cows ate absorbed from the atmosphere in the first place so there is no net increase in carbon in the carbon cycle. Fossil fuel derived methane on the other hand does increase the total carbon in the carbon cycle.

4 days ago
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The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

riverat1 Re:A Bridge Fuel... (382 comments)

Switching from coal to natural gas doesn't stop the CO2 levels from rising, it just slows it down by around 30%.

4 days ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

riverat1 Re:What we actually Need is some Bloody Panic (329 comments)

First let me just state that realistically we won't end the use of fossil fuels overnight. It's at best a 30 or 40 year process. Second the price of fossil fuels doesn't include the cost of a lot of externalities such as pollution and global warming so from a holistic point of view the price is artificially low.

As far as the economics of alternative energy and batteries they are reaching the point of being competitive with traditional fossil fuels and I expect they will continue on the path they're on for some time to come. Regarding Tesla batteries don't you think the factory that Elon Musk will bring the price down and other advances will do the same? I am confident that within 20 years or so it will be fossil fuels that aren't competitive for most applications.

On nuclear power I'm not against it per se but the biggest reason there hasn't been more nuclear over the past several decades was that it's very expensive compared to the fossil fuel plants they were building.

about a week ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

riverat1 Re:Nothing we can do about it (329 comments)

Because man made CO2 is not causing global warming. The sun drives our climate, not CO2. Read the NIPCC reports.

Tobacco companies and others published reports about how tobacco use wasn't bad for you too. The even include some of the same people such as Fred Singer.

about a week ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

riverat1 Re:What we actually Need is some Bloody Panic (329 comments)

Ohh that is a whole nother can o worms.

That question is "when is the science good enough to dislocate the entire world and crush people's dreams of a better life"

My question to you is why are you such a pessimist that you think it's impossible without the use of fossil fuels to have a better life?

about a week ago

Submissions

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Extreme Hot Temperature Days Increase Despite Warming "Hiatus"

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 10 months ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "A new study published in Nature Climate Change (pay walled) finds that despite the "hiatus" in global temperature rise the the area and time span of extreme heat days continues to rise. As explained in an article at Phys.org temperatures for every day were compared to the same calendar day from 1979 to 2012 and the hottest 10% of days were classified as hot temperature extremes. They found on average extremely hot events are affecting more than twice the area they did 30 years ago and the upward trend in the number of days and area affected persisted right through the warming "hiatus".

"Our analysis shows there has been no pause in the increase of warmest daily extremes over land and the most extreme of the extreme conditions are showing the largest change," said Dr Markus Donat.

"Another interesting aspect of our research was that those regions that normally saw 50 or more excessive hot days in a year saw the greatest increases in land area impact and the frequency of hot days. In short, the hottest extremes got hotter and the events happened more often."

"
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Comet ISON Nears Date With Sun

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about a year ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Now visible in the morning sky comet ISON will swing around the Sun on November 28. ISON will pass 730,000 km above the surface of the Sun at closest approach (Mercury's perihelion distance is 46 million km). If it survives its near brush with the Sun it could provide a spectacular sky show from December into January. This NASA timeline shows that ISON will be the most observed comet ever as instruments ranging from a balloon carried telescope to the Hubble Space Telescope to the STEREO satellites will be brought into play. Lowell Observatory astronomer Matthew Knight lays out three possibilities for ISON, spontaneous disintegration before it gets to the Sun (less than 1% chance), disintegration as it rounds the Sun or survival. If it survives its closest approach to Earth will be on December 26 at about 1/3 of an AU."
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NWS Announces Big Computer Upgrade

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "After being embarrassed when the Europeans did a better job forecasting Sandy than the National Weather Service Congress allocated $25 million ($23.7 after sequestration) in the Sandy relief bill for upgrades to forecasting and supercomputer resources. The NWS announced that their main forecasting computer will be upgraded from the current 213 TeraFlops to 2,600 TFlops by fiscal year 2015, over a twelve-fold increase. The upgrade is expected to increase the horizontal grid scale by a factor of 3 allowing more precise forecasting of local features of weather. The some of the allocated funds will also be used to hire some contract scientists to improve the forecast model physics and enhance the collection and assimilation of data."
Link to Original Source
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BEST finds surface temperature changes track GHG emissions and volcanoes

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature studies latest release finds that land surface temperature changes since 1750 are nearly completely explained by increases in greenhouse gases and large volcanic eruptions. They also said that including solar forcing did not significantly improve the fit. Unlike the other major temperature records BEST used nearly all available temperature records instead of just a representative sample. Yet to come is an analysis that includes ocean temperatures."
Link to Original Source
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Chinese Build Sperm Extractor

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "In a bid to help men with infertility problems a Chinese hospital has built a sperm extractor.

Designed as an entirely automated and hands-free solution, the massaging device comes with a wide range of customizable features that allow patients to adjust the temperature, amplitude, frequency and speed to his liking. The machine also features a display screen and a surround sound system users can connect to using headphones.

According to the article the machine cost $2,800. Will this be the new must have accessory for /.'ers living in their mom's basement?"
Link to Original Source

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Sea Level Rise Can't be Stopped

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Sea level rise won't stop for several hundred years even if we reverse global warming according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. As warmer water is mixed down into the oceans it causes thermal expansion of the water. Under the best emissions scenario the expected rise is 14.2 cm, under the worst 32.2 cm in 2100 (6 & 13 inches) from thermal expansion alone. Any glacial/ice sheet melt and water pumped from aquifers is on top of that. An easier to read summary is available at Reuters."
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Predator Drone Helps Nab Cattle Rustlers

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "KTLA reports police in North Dakota arrested 3 men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone from nearby Grand Forks AFB. The sheriff of Nelson Country was chased off by 3 armed men when he went to serve a warrant so he came back the next morning with reinforcements including the drone which, while circling 2 miles overhead, was able to determine the whereabouts of the men on their 3,000 acre spread and the fact that they were unarmed. A SWAT team quickly moved in and apprehended the men. Local police say they have used the Predator drones for at least 2 dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and DEA have used the drones for domestic investigations as well.

Big Brother is watching."

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IBM scientist to launch TV series on computing

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "A story over at InfoQ reports Grady Booch, IBM's Chief Scientist for Software Engineering, is going to create an 11 episode TV series on Computing — The Human Experience. The projects web site says:

Computing will explain the essential science of computing, present the stories of the people, events and inventions of computing, examine the connections among computing, science, and society, contemplate the future. In the spirit of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Computing will inform, inspire, entertain. Computing is neither a lecture, nor a textbook, nor a dramatic recreation. It's an exploration and a conversation between the viewer and one of the industry's luminaries, delivered with wit, depth, and provocation.

The projects advisory board includes Vint Cerf, Alan Kay, Tim O'Reilly, and Mary Shaw."
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Dropping CO2 levels caused Antarctic ice sheet to

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "In a news release from Purdue University a new study finds that CO2 level dropping below ~600 ppmv lead to the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet about 33.7 million years ago. The team studied geochemical remnants of ancient algae from cores drilled in geologically stable areas of the ocean floor. The focus was on two sites in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Mark Pagani, the Yale geochemist who led the study cautioned it doesn't necessarily mean the ice sheet will melt at 600 ppmv of CO2 and said even if we reach the tipping point it will take thousands of years to completely melt it. The study is published in Science Magazine (paywalled)."
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The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes " The classic operating system turns 40, and its progeny abound.

After AT&T dropped the Multics project in March of 1969 Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs through a combination of discarded equipment and subterfuge continued to work on the project eventually writing the first programming manual for System I in November 1971. A paper published in 1974 in the Communications of the ACM on Unix brought a flurry of requests for copies. Since AT&T was restricted from selling products not directly related to telephones or telecommunications they released it to anyone who asked for a nominal license fee. At conferences they displayed the policy on a slide saying "No advertising, no support, no bug fixes, payment in advance." From that grew an ecosystem of users supporting users much like the Linux community. The rest is history."

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"Game Changing" Furnace Improves Solar PV Producti

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "

A game-changing Optical Cavity Furnace developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory uses optics to heat and purify solar cells at unmatched precision while sharply boosting the cells' efficiency.

So states a release by the NREL. The furnace uses about half the energy of a conventional thermal furnace, costs one quarter to one half as much and processes wafers in a significantly shorter time. Researchers ultimately expect to be able to improve solar cell efficiency by about 4% using the furnace."
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NASA explains sea level drop

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 writes "In 2010 sea level dropped 6 mm (nearly 1/4 inch). An August 23, 2011 update from NASA's Sea Level Sentinels explains the shift from El Nino to La Nina in early 2010 led to changes in rainfall worldwide that produced massive flooding in places such as Australia and the northern Amazon basin. Data from the GRACE satellites shows that the missing water has piled up on the continents. But the drop won't last, water flows downhill and will eventually find its way back to the sea."
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Gaddafi's monitoring of the internet

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "The Next Web has a story on Muammar Gaddafi's monitoring of the internet and other telecommunications. As you might expect the monitoring was intense. The story names companies that supplied the monitoring software, most notably Amesys, a unit of the French company Bull SA. There is apparently a more detailed story behind the paywall at the Wall Street Journal here."
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Satisfaction Higher With More Government

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Dr. Patrick Flavin of Baylor, said the effect of state intervention into the economy equaled or exceeded marriage when it came to satisfaction in a study is published in the spring issue of the journal Politics & Policy. The article at physorg.com reports that the data comes from the World Values Survey 2005 that included 10,405 people from 15 advanced countries who were asked the question "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?". On a scale of 1-10 the overall average was 7.39. In the US it was 7.26. Flavin says the results hold regardless of the wealth, political leanings, marital status, health, education and other factors."
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Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 4 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "On December 1 Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that a creationism theme part is expected to open in 2014. The Louisville Courier-Journal has the story.

The park called Ark Encounter will have a 500 foot replica of the Ark with live animals on it and a Tower of Babel explaining how races and languages developed. The park will be turned over to Answers in Genesis after it is built. They are a non-profit organization which may allow them to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion."

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Building Roads With Sand And Bacteria

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Sand mixed with a solution containing Bacillus Pasteurii could be used to create engineered sandstone roads replacing asphalt with a cheaper, lighter colored surface that reflects more solar radiation and requires less nighttime lighting than asphalt. Bacillus Pasteurii cements sand grains together with calcium carbonate. It currently takes 320 barrels of oil to make the asphalt for a kilometer of roadway. Thomas Kosbau and Andrew Wetzler won the iida 2010 prize for their idea. Requested attribution: The iida awards are organized by designboom in collaboration with Incheon Metropolitan City."
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Real party animal helps study alcohol abuse

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "From TFA: "Prairie voles, by their nature, stick with one mate for life and devotedly care for babies together. But given alcohol to drink, many become staggering drunkards prone to stepping out on their partners."

A study of the voles at Oregon Health & Science University found that unlike the traditional lab rats or mice they prefer alcohol (6%) to plain water. A single vole will drink equal amounts of water and alcohol but two of them living together will party down taking 4/5ths of their drinks from the alcohol spiked bottle suggesting social bonds play as big a role on drinking behavior as they do in any college fraternity. The study may lead to insights in human drinking."

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Air-fueled Battery Could Last Up to 10 Times Long

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

riverat1 writes "British researchers at the University of St. Andrews are investigating technology that could lead to longer lasting, lighter and cheaper lithium batteries. The battery uses oxygen from the air as a re-agent and replaces the lithium cobalt oxide cathode with porous carbon. So far they have more than tripled the capacity and are targeting a 5-10 fold increase in storage capacity. The battery could have applications all the way from personal electronics to vehicles up to storage of power for later use when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing."
Link to Original Source

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