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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

whathappenedtomonday Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (306 comments)


Also, there's nothing controversial about geo and climate engineering, it's just a dumb idea, since we don't actually understand climate yet, or even just the weather. Let 'em write papers, but make sure they keep their hands off of actual "engineering" for a few more decades. We'll be busy coping with our most recent climate engineering attempt and its results, the release of several hundred million years' worth of carbon.


The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

whathappenedtomonday Re:Uh, simple (246 comments)

I want people to get off this planet.


It's the updated version of get off my lawn.

about two weeks ago

Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

whathappenedtomonday Re:Surely there's more to come :( (324 comments)

Um, no: Orban publicly announced that he plans to eliminate liberal democracy in his country and turn Hungary into an 'illiberal state,' modeled after China or Russia. Pretty much no other country does that, which shows that Orban's Fidesz is not like any other authoritarian regime IMO.

about 1 month ago

After Dallas Ebola Diagnosis, CDC Raises Estimate of Patient's Possible Contacts

whathappenedtomonday Re:Do some research first please? (258 comments)

Valid points within the science we know, but it is probably wise to consider aspects outside of settled scientific knowledge:

  • So far, Ebola outbreaks were confined primarily to tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa; we will only just now be able to study how "well" the virus spreads "airborne", i.e. by commercial airlines, and we do not yet know what happens when the virus encounters a completely different set of hosts/environments/influences it wasn't exposed to so far.
  • While Gorillas are often associated with Ebola outbreaks, bats are considered the most likely natural reservoir of the EBOV. You'll probably have a hard time finding gorillas in your neighborhood, but bats ... . I'm not sure how relevant this might be, but once you have a rising number of infected people on a global scale, the buildup of new reservoirs is not unlikely.

In the 100 or so years we have been really studying viruses, we have seen a virus mutate and change its infection vector exactly ZERO times.

While this is probably true, the science we acquired during these 100 or so years is often based on epidemiological conditions and assumptions that no longer apply, or have changed dramatically, or which have been made considerably more complicated because of the way the world changed since the Spanish Flu -- not talking about those things we just kinda missed. Point being: aside from hemorrhagic fever making clickbait headlines right now, it's the same with influenza: we'd better not underestimate it, be it airborne, avian or whatnot.

about a month and a half ago

States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

whathappenedtomonday ruthless criminal (217 comments)

warlords in South America? Don't forget the pharmaceutical industry, and all those other industries that benefit from prohibiting a natural competitor that needs little cultivation because it basically grows like ... well, weed.

about 3 months ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

whathappenedtomonday Re:What's actually going on (579 comments)

And in other, completely unrelated news, MS has announced that it's moving it's German HQ to.... yes, you guessed it.... Munich!

While you are correct, it's rather old news: the lease agreement was signed back in 2013, and the building will be finished 2016. Still, interesting fact to keep in mind.

about 3 months ago

Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

whathappenedtomonday Re:It's tinfoil time! (232 comments)

Also, remember that this is an arms race. A few more similar cases and press coverage, and those people you target will know that a false identity only works if it comes with plastic surgery. And: whatever benefits they say face recognition has, they are dwarfed by the potential abuses. But we don't talk about those, we're busy thinking of the children, while trying not to think too hard of the children, because that would put us in a different camp.

about 3 months ago

Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

whathappenedtomonday Russia sponsoring environmental groups? (461 comments)

They might be, but the "sophisticated information and disinformation" game works both ways, you know.

Russia in secret plot against fracking Nato chief says. "I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations - environmental organisations working against shale gas - to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.

I have met neighbors who said they know someone who is sure that Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is full of shit, but I prefer to rely on facts instead of hearsay.

Anti fracking groups have AFAIK demanded that Rasmussen provide evidence for his "interpretation" or else apologize. Ah, here's the open letter.

It is interesting, though, Nato doing some product placement for the fracking industry, lashing out at Putin and saying: the devil hates fracking, so it must be a good thing. If you oppose it, you're obviously bought by the Kremlin, because everybody in the EU but Gazprom just loves fracking.

Next thing you know, we'll see some sort of a global Foreign Agent Law ... no, treaty, I mean treaty! Not a law, a treaty. My bad. Let's call it an agreement. And always remember: you can't trust the ... Russians.

about 5 months ago

EFF Tells Court That the NSA Knowingly and Illegally Destroyed Evidence

whathappenedtomonday Re:U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records. (269 comments)

I find this case particularly amazing - in just three paragraphs you'll find a dozen reasons to be outraged -- or to dispair. After the first sentence you wonder if it is a parody, but it gets even better:

Recently, the Tallahassee police department revealed it had used stingrays at least 200 times since 2010 without telling any judge because the device's manufacturer made the police department sign a non-disclosure agreement that police claim prevented them from disclosing use of the device to the courts.

The ACLU has filed numerous records requests with police departments around the country in an effort to uncover how often the devices are used and how often courts are told about them.

In the Sarasota case, the U.S. Marshals Service claimed it owned the records Sarasota police offered to the ACLU because it had deputized the detective in the case, making all documentation in the case federal property. Before the ACLU could view the documents Sarasota had put aside for them, the agency dispatched a marshal from its office in Tampa to seize the records and move them to an undisclosed location.

about 6 months ago

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

whathappenedtomonday Re:purchase time (405 comments)

I might with the next one, but this one is still running fine after > 22.000 km, consumes around 2 l/100 km of gas (7 l tank, excellent cruising radius) and ~ 300 ml/1000 km of 2-stroke oil. Plus, I don't have to worry about the rather huge distance between my electrical outlets and the scooter's parking space. Also, I'd have to spend ~ 4.000 EUR for a decent electric model, which I don't currently have to spare.

Additionally, the direct injection engines are quite powerful. I have yet to test an electric scooter (other than a Segway, which is fun to drive, but no alternative), but I guess that an equally powerful electrical engine would have a considerably lower mileage. Things might look different at the time when I have to consider a new purchase.

about 8 months ago

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

whathappenedtomonday Re:purchase time (405 comments)

It's an Aprilia Scarabeo, see here or google ditech engine. Good overview of the advantages here.

about 8 months ago

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

whathappenedtomonday Re:purchase time (405 comments)

Granted, 2-strokes can be and usually are annoying and a source of serious pollution. They don't have to be, though. I drive a direct injection 2-stroke, and while it still does burn oil, [t]he amount of oil is so small that it has no noticeable effect on emissions, and it has none of the pass-through problems with oil as in a carbureted 2-stroke. It is a rather silent, efficient, low-cost and comparatively eco-friendly means of transportation. So, while carbureted 2-stroke scooter engines are annoying, that does not mean that all scooter suck.

about 8 months ago

The Science of Solitary Confinement

whathappenedtomonday retributive justice? (326 comments)

I'd call it torture. Do it to your dog and people will say you are torturing it.

Solitary Confinement is Torture:

The devastating psychological and physical effects of prolonged solitary confinement are well documented by social scientists: prolonged solitary confinement causes prisoners significant mental harm and places them at grave risk of even more devastating future psychological harm.

Researchers have demonstrated that prolonged solitary confinement causes a persistent and heightened state of anxiety and nervousness, headaches, insomnia, lethargy or chronic tiredness, nightmares, heart palpitations, and fear of impending nervous breakdowns. Other documented effects include obsessive ruminations, confused thought processes, an oversensitivity to stimuli, irrational anger, social withdrawal, hallucinations, violent fantasies, emotional flatness, mood swings, chronic depression, feelings of overall deterioration, as well as suicidal ideation

about 9 months ago

High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

whathappenedtomonday Re:Sort of Weird (169 comments)

No, not a bullshit concept, and not that hard to understand: Fundamental human rights are not "a privilege society around you grants you"; you can buy a car and drive it, or buy land - those are privileges. You need to follow some rules to do either. Not so your human rights: as you -- hopefully -- are a human being, you possess certain rights; if society or any government for that matter does not grant you those rights, you are deprived from what civilized humanity has agreed to be the most basic things each and every human being posseses. Not so much a concept, it's rather a state, and you entered it simply by being born. There is no debate whether those rights exist. They just do. You did not just miss a memo here.

about 9 months ago

Is Europa Too Prickly To Land On?

whathappenedtomonday This is ... (140 comments)

... not completely unrelated and not exactly offtopic, but if we ever land there, I'd like the footage to resemble this: Europa Report.

1 year,25 days

Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water

whathappenedtomonday Re:Not possible (237 comments)

After a year of monitoring

Yay! It's safe! *phew*

about a year ago


whathappenedtomonday hasn't submitted any stories.



2006 warmest year on record in the U.S

whathappenedtomonday whathappenedtomonday writes  |  more than 7 years ago The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reports that 2006 was the warmes year on record in the US. "No cause for alarm. Enjoy it while you have it," said Mike Halpert, head of forecast operations at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center. Jeff Masters disagrees and "had a lot of trouble enjoying the phenomenally warm weather of the past month here in Michigan." Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog at as usual has lots of interesting graphs and charts.

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