Author Topic: Episode #649  (Read 4684 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #649
« on: December 16, 2017, 09:46:25 AM »
Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Kathleen Drew-Baker; News Items: Space Policy Directive 1, Group Perception, Ticks Dinosaurs and Amber, Antarctic Extremophiles, Water Cloak; Who’s That Noisy; Your Questions and E-mails: Earthing; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 06:29:52 PM »
On the subject of paying attention, there's a (presumably) true story about an old land-line telegrapher on the day he first got his job: He had answered an ad in the paper for a telegrapher and gone to the address in the ad, and a receptionist directed him into a waiting room, where there were a bunch of other people, all of whom had come in response to the same ad. At the far end of the room was a closed door. Everyone was talking among themselves, when our man heard clacking from a small speaker mounted on the wall. The clacking said, in Morse code, "The first person to walk through the door gets the job." He was the only one who noticed, so he got up and went through the door, and got the job.

Land-line telegraphers had to be alert to the clacker at all times, because every station along the line would respond to every signal that came down the line, and they wanted people who would be alert to a call for their own station, and not miss anything. Nobody else in the room that day noticed, because they were not expecting it, even though they were all trained telegraphers.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 06:37:39 PM »
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!

On using scrap metal and electricity to sequester CO2, I have to wonder, given the small amount of CO2 captured this way, whether there might be better uses for the scrap metal. And for the electricity. Even though they want to use solar panels to create the electricity, that electricity could be used to displace internal combustion engines for transportation. That is, instead of burning gasoline, producing CO2, and then using electricity to recapture some of the CO2, would we have a better net effect on atmospheric carbon if that same electricity were used, instead of gasoline, to power the cars in the first place?
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Ron Obvious

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 06:52:40 PM »
A friend of mine once met Isaac Asimov at a Gilbert & Sullivan society meeting. The randy old goat even spontaneously composed a limerick on the spot praising her beauty. She had no idea who he was, and to this day refers to him as "that Gilbert & Sullivan guy".  Grrr....  I wish I could've met him.... >:(

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 06:59:24 PM »
A friend of mine once met Isaac Asimov at a Gilbert & Sullivan society meeting. The randy old goat even spontaneously composed a limerick on the spot praising her beauty. She had no idea who he was, and to this day refers to him as "that Gilbert & Sullivan guy".  Grrr....  I wish I could've met him.... >:(

Cool story. Asimov enjoyed the smell of phosgene, and knew not to enjoy it too much.

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 05:24:06 AM »
:) yay, they used my noisy! (not my singing, just my suggestion)

but there is a slight skeptical twist to it -- though it's considered an old Swedish 'herding call', like whistling to a sheep dog or something, you can find youtube videos of people testing it or debunking it by showing that cows will come to any old sound at all (though they're iffy about people, once people stand still cows don't mind approaching them ... and _perhaps_ any old call is a herding call ... so maybe this comes down through tradition and is only confirmation bias, 'herding call attracted cows' just like 'dowsing rod found water').
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 05:26:21 AM by GodSlayer »
Quote from: Thomas Carlyle
In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.

Online 2397

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 07:21:48 AM »
there might be better uses for the scrap metal. And for the electricity. Even though they want to use solar panels to create the electricity, that electricity could be used to displace internal combustion engines for transportation. That is, instead of burning gasoline, producing CO2, and then using electricity to recapture some of the CO2, would we have a better net effect on atmospheric carbon if that same electricity were used, instead of gasoline, to power the cars in the first place?

That line gets used a lot. Treating it as free energy, because the source is solar. Well, why isn't everything (that can be) powered by solar already, if it's so inconsequential?

Steve mentions it as scrap metal that isn't being recycled, indicating that it otherwise is just waste, but we should ask why it isn't being recycled. If we can pick it out of the landfill, then we should have more options. Maybe we can use it to build solar panels.

And he estimates that the method could reduce net CO2 emissions by 2% (at most) of current levels. That's less than what's estimated to be released from wild coal fires, going by this 7 year old article (3% of a slightly smaller total).

Cara says she wishes we'd stop increasing annual emissions. We probably have done that now. Which would've been good news if we did it 40 years ago.

I'd like to see the numbers for a straight up sequestration process, scalable to much more than 2% per year, with no fuel as a byproduct to mislead.

Offline gebobs

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 05:31:23 PM »
A friend posted a video on Facebook about Earthing. I thought about ripping into it, but I need to resist these temptations.

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2017, 06:03:56 PM »
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
We really need to work on your hyperbole detection. And if that is tuned okay, we really need to speak to you about how different people live different lives, and that's ok.  :laugh:
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Offline mjfoley

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2017, 09:57:19 PM »
I always thought, and once mentioned to a NASA presenter at MakerFaire, the distance and time to deal with problems of a Mars mission has a solution... the surface mission would be orders of magnitide more dangerous than just getting to Mars orbit, so put all kinds of help in orbit. Put the equivalent of a small manufacturing city in space, imagine an aircraft carrier sized just-in-case-they-need-it thing. We're going to have fueled return-to-orbit vehicles on the surface before anyone descends. Keep fueled Earth Orbit Return vehicles in orbit. We'll apparently need to get the spinning-for-gravity idea working for people to be prepared to land healthy enough. This will take time. Lots of it. Time to robotically go hunting foe ice and rocks to park in Earth orbit or at Lagrange points for manufacturing ships and fuel. NASA didnt think anyone could be talked into goung to Mars orbit but never to Mars, I think that's underestimating us. At the same time we could also get to the Asteroid belt. Elon, you listening?

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 09:56:57 AM »
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
We really need to work on your hyperbole detection. And if that is tuned okay, we really need to speak to you about how different people live different lives, and that's ok.  :laugh:

The tone in which he said it sure sounded serious to me. So much so that he didn't want his kid to see the movie without him. The poor kid is in for such a disappointment after all the build-up. Star Wars, as bad as it was (IMO) was something new and different. With all the space operas out there now, a new space opera, even if it is a decent movie, is not going to have the same impact on a kid today as the original had on a kid back then.

And, yes, I really think it's sad if at their age, you've never had anything more exciting happen in your life than seeing a movie with your dad. A lot of people are stuck in dull lives. And that is sad.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2017, 10:06:45 AM »
I always thought, and once mentioned to a NASA presenter at MakerFaire, the distance and time to deal with problems of a Mars mission has a solution... the surface mission would be orders of magnitide more dangerous than just getting to Mars orbit, so put all kinds of help in orbit. Put the equivalent of a small manufacturing city in space, imagine an aircraft carrier sized just-in-case-they-need-it thing. We're going to have fueled return-to-orbit vehicles on the surface before anyone descends. Keep fueled Earth Orbit Return vehicles in orbit. We'll apparently need to get the spinning-for-gravity idea working for people to be prepared to land healthy enough. This will take time. Lots of it. Time to robotically go hunting foe ice and rocks to park in Earth orbit or at Lagrange points for manufacturing ships and fuel. NASA didnt think anyone could be talked into goung to Mars orbit but never to Mars, I think that's underestimating us. At the same time we could also get to the Asteroid belt. Elon, you listening?

All this makes sense. And you've just increased the cost of a Mars mission from 10% of the entire US economy every year for the next 20 years, to ten times the entire US economy every year for the same period.

It's cheaper just to send some volunteers on a one-way mission, knowing they probably won't make it there alive, and if they do they won't last long. And if they don't make it, send some more volunteers. Until finally someone makes it there alive and lives long enough to send a "Hello Earth" message. Then, having contaminated Mars with all the bacteria in the astronauts, we can go back to ruining the one really suitable planet we have.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online 2397

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 10:52:52 AM »
Keep sending volunteers until the radiation runs out, or until it hits its predetermined kill limit.

Online The Latinist

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2017, 11:21:52 AM »
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
We really need to work on your hyperbole detection. And if that is tuned okay, we really need to speak to you about how different people live different lives, and that's ok.  :laugh:

The tone in which he said it sure sounded serious to me. So much so that he didn't want his kid to see the movie without him. [...]

And, yes, I really think it's sad if at their age, you've never had anything more exciting happen in your life than seeing a movie with your dad. A lot of people are stuck in dull lives. And that is sad.

First of all, Daniel, I would have thought you would have learned better, by now, than to try to interpret people's tone.  You aren't capable of it, and you know it, but you keep trying to do it anyway.

Second, what made that memory special was that he saw it with his dad and was able to connect with him over a shared love.  It's about the relationship, not the movie; indeed, I would go so far as to guess that much of his appreciation of the film is inextricably bound up in this memory of sharing the experience with his father.

Third, I would forgive you this oversight because I understand that through no fault of your own you complete lack the ability to comprehend interpersonal relationships (indeed, I didn't respond the first time you made this comment), if it weren't for the fact that your response is so horrifically judgmental and offensive.  Who the fuck are you to tell others what is important in life?  And who are you, someone apparently incapable of any human emotion, to judge Jay for his?

Fourth, and most horrific of all, you are telling a man who just weeks ago lost his father that one of his most cherished memories of his father makes him sad and pathetic.  That is monstrous, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #649
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2017, 12:33:44 PM »
Sorry. I still don't understand why my posts were so offensive as to arouse such anger, and I've long been under the impression that the rogues don't even read these forums. But I accept your statement that they were. I will delete them if you feel that's preferable to leaving them up.

FWIW, your statement that I am "incapable of human emotion" is simply untrue. I am unable to read certain kinds of social signals, often read jokes as literal, do not understand some sorts of irrational beliefs, cannot understand why some kinds of music or other popular culture have any appeal, and generally have near-zero interpersonal skills. But I feel as much as the next person, and I give money and volunteer time to help out people in need. All my adult life I have spoken out against injustice, supported peace and social justice causes, turned out to protest against war, and served six months in federal prison as a stand against militarism in general and nuclear weapons in particular, those being the principal face of militarism in the state in which I then lived. And I did those protests in a manner that led the arresting Air Force officers to put in their report that my actions were peaceful and respectful.

Now, let me know if you think I should remove the posts you consider offensive in this thread and I will.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

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