Author Topic: Episode #696  (Read 2002 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #696
« on: November 10, 2018, 12:29:57 PM »
What’s The Word: Agglutination; News Items: Oumuamua Update, Glasses for Color Blindness, Anti-Gravity, NASA Retires Kepler, New Controversial Opioid; Who’s That Noisy; Your Questions and E-mails; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Online The Latinist

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 08:20:08 PM »
Because the power of a telescope is determined by its collecting area, not its diameter, comparing objective diameters does not reflect the actual difference in capabilities. The collecting area of the HST is 4.525 m2, while that of the JWST will be 25 m2.  The JWST will therefore be 5.5 times as large as the HST.

Of course it is also sensitive at much different wavelengths, so a direct comparison even of collecting areas may not be an accurate comparison of their capabilities.
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 lucek

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 08:09:10 AM »
Yet to listen to the answer for wtn but I'm puting my nickel down.
(click to show/hide)

And i was correct but steve was wrong.
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« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 08:38:05 AM by lucek »
You have the power, but. . .
Power is just energy over time and. . .
Energy is just the ability to do work.

Offline ultraforce

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 04:22:47 PM »
I think the reason why William Mulholland is memorialized so much in Los Angeles has to do with his contribution to making the city as big as it is now by setting up the Los Angeles Aqueduct which gave the city access to much more water then it had prior to his work. At least that was the impression I got from a podcast that talked about the California Water Wars and the Wikipedia article on Mulholland which are definitely not definitive sources.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 06:01:07 PM »
In my opinion, the biggest weakness of the SGU is that some of the rogues cannot separate their sci-fi enthusiasm from their reporting on science. So, science news: the LHC will measure the weight of atoms of anti-matter. That's cool. We'll find out if they weigh the same as their regular matter counterparts. Great. Fascinating. Enter the rogues: "Wow! Maybe they'll have negative mass and we'll be able to use them to make anti-gravity." All of modern physics will be broken. Come on people! The chances of this happening are a googolplex raised to the googolplex power to one against. It ain't gonna happen. This is one of those cases where if your mind is too open your brains will fall out. And not satisfied with this silly speculation, they rant on and on and on about it, wasting time they could use for something interesting.
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."
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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 06:40:40 PM »
In my opinion, the biggest weakness of the SGU is that some of the rogues cannot separate their sci-fi enthusiasm from their reporting on science. So, science news: the LHC will measure the weight of atoms of anti-matter. That's cool. We'll find out if they weigh the same as their regular matter counterparts. Great. Fascinating. Enter the rogues: "Wow! Maybe they'll have negative mass and we'll be able to use them to make anti-gravity." All of modern physics will be broken. Come on people! The chances of this happening are a googolplex raised to the googolplex power to one against. It ain't gonna happen. This is one of those cases where if your mind is too open your brains will fall out. And not satisfied with this silly speculation, they rant on and on and on about it, wasting time they could use for something interesting.

I think you fail to appreciate, Daniel, that what makes the science palatable to many people is the emotional connection they have with the rogues, and that their enthusiasm for science fiction and fondness for speculation are part of their charm.
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 arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2018, 07:59:30 PM »
Myself, I value the personal connection with the hosts. The banter and the sci-fi enthusiasm makes me feel like the hosts are real people, rather than merely robots repeating the news. Robots who had none of that personal touch would be incredibly boring to me.
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Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2018, 11:30:19 PM »
I was stunned that Steve used Bhopal as a SoF item. I had always assumed that it was a universally known name, like Chernobyl, Katrina, or Fukushima.

Offline gebobs

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 09:58:58 AM »
Whatever can be done to help the military with IUDs, I'm all for. ;-)

(Cara corrected herself but it made me laugh because I have made the same mistake)

Online Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 11:05:32 AM »
I'm glad they corrected the Tacoma Narrows Bridge thing. I got my MS in Structural Engineering from the University of Washington.  Aero-elastic flutter was what they pinned the failure on.   It is however commonly misidentified as resonance.

Mulholland was actually involved in 3 dam failures.  St Francis, Calveras, and one in Washington State.
He was the City Engineer for LA for decades, and was responsible for steeling water from Owens valley to feed the retches in LA.  The only Roman Polanski movie I recommend is his documentary, China Town.  In some US states you can still become an Engineer or Architect without a degree.  You need to practice under a licensed professional for nearly a decade. 

The Hyatt Regency is taught about in almost every civil engineering program in the US.  Like many such failures, it was a change during construction.   They did the math on the original design, the builder asked the engineer to modify it during construction.  They didn't think the change would be significant and allowed it without proper analysis. 

Side, note, we actually didn't have that much seismic design requirements in the Building Codes in 1971 and almost none east of the Rockies.  The rules were generally, "Design for a lateral force equal to 10% of the gravity load" until sometime in the 70s.  Don't quote me on 10%. 

Also, I think I know Randy the R2D2 Builder.  I know a guy named randy who builds R2D2s in the San Francisco Bay Area.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 11:25:06 AM by Ah.hell »

Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 12:39:51 PM »
I'm glad they corrected the Tacoma Narrows Bridge thing. I got my MS in Structural Engineering from the University of Washington.  Aero-elastic flutter was what they pinned the failure on.   It is however commonly misidentified as resonance.

Mulholland was actually involved in 3 dam failures.  St Francis, Calveras, and one in Washington State.
He was the City Engineer for LA for decades, and was responsible for steeling water from Owens valley to feed the retches in LA.  The only Roman Polanski movie I recommend is his documentary, China Town.  In some US states you can still become an Engineer or Architect without a degree.  You need to practice under a licensed professional for nearly a decade. 

The Hyatt Regency is taught about in almost every civil engineering program in the US.  Like many such failures, it was a change during construction.   They did the math on the original design, the builder asked the engineer to modify it during construction.  They didn't think the change would be significant and allowed it without proper analysis. 

Side, note, we actually didn't have that much seismic design requirements in the Building Codes in 1971 and almost none east of the Rockies.  The rules were generally, "Design for a lateral force equal to 10% of the gravity load" until sometime in the 70s.  Don't quote me on 10%. 

Also, I think I know Randy the R2D2 Builder.  I know a guy named randy who builds R2D2s in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We had a job here where we repaired a church roof.  The owners of the church added some A/C units, and didn't have an engineer review the truss designs.  The whole roof fell in.  They were extremely lucky that the building was unoccupied at the time.  We repair an average of 3-4 roofs per year for similar reasons.  Most, however, are not catastrophic failures.  Building safety codes have vastly improved over the past 50 years.
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Online CarbShark

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2018, 02:27:55 PM »
One more correction from last week's description of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: The guy couldn't save the dog. The dog died when the bridge collapsed.  :(
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 03:25:12 PM by CarbShark »
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

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Offline Zerowantuthri

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2018, 03:15:15 PM »
Even if antimatter works opposed to gravity be careful what you wish for.

The first thing we are likely to invent if we can mass produce antimatter is an antimatter bomb.  Consider that in most fusion bombs only about 1% of the bomb's mass is converted to energy.  With antimatter you could fit a city buster nuke into a pen.  A gram of the stuff could orbit the space shuttle.

Neat stuff but I would not trust any of our governments with it.

Offline CookieMustard

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2018, 04:00:36 PM »
According to this linked article there are currenly more than 2000 dams in the US that are considered to be at high risk of failure.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-infrastructure-reportcard/u-s-infrastructure-gets-d-plus-grade-in-civil-engineers-report-card-again-idUSKBN16G21I

Online Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #696
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2018, 04:08:55 PM »
John Oliver has a funny bit on that.  While bad, having the American Society of Civil Engineers give a report on the state of infrastructure is similar to having the American Society of Golden Retrievers give a report on the number of balls being thrown.  There are not enough balls being thrown. 

ASCE Member in good standing, Ah.hell P.E.

 

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