Author Topic: Episode #718  (Read 1904 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4919
Episode #718
« on: April 14, 2019, 11:00:17 AM »
News Items: Quantum Acupuncture, Flying Cars and Space Planes, Picture of Black Hole, Quantum Engine; Who's That Noisy; Questions and E-mails: Mexican Wave, Plastic Bags; Science or Fiction
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4919
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 11:00:54 AM »
Since Steve forgot or maybe was just too busy, I made this thread for this episode. :)
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Online daniel1948

  • Isn’t a
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8401
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 04:15:49 PM »
Thank you, Quetz, for starting this thread.

The segment on VTOLs (flying cars) was a fail on several levels. For one, in comparing efficiencies, they assumed the car would have 1.5 poeple in it, and the flying car would be full to capacity. What makes them think that people who will not car-pool would car-pool in their flying cars. For another, they compared the congestion of roads with the emptiness of the sky. Sure, the first person to own a flying car will have the sky nearly to him/her/it-self. But if flying cars became affordable, the skies would become just as congested as the roads, with the added complication of crossing paths at any point in the sky, rather than just in intersections, as wil cars. Lastly (for now) we already have VTOLs, and they are extremely useful. They're called helicopters. Multi-rotor aircraft might have advantages, and autonomous aircraft will eliminate the need to have or be a pilot.

We will see more VTOLs as the tech improves, and even now there are routes that are cheaper to fly commercial than to drive, so there's nothing really new there. But the hype is way overblown. There will be applications where a VTOL will be the clear choice, as is already the case. The hiking lodges I visit are accessible only by helicopter. But getting a significant percentage of drivers off the road and into the sky is a pipe dream.
Daniel
----------------
"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 Friendly Angel

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4429
  • Post count reset to zero in both forum apocalypses
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 05:46:49 PM »
Quote
"Fruit machine" is a term for a device developed in Canada by Frank Robert Wake[1] that was supposed to be able to identify gay men (derogatorily referred to as "fruits"). The subjects were made to view pornography; the device then measured the diameter of the pupils of the eyes (pupillary response test), perspiration, and pulse for a supposed erotic response.

The "fruit machine" was employed in Canada in the 1950s and 1960s during a campaign to eliminate all gay men from the civil service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the military. A substantial number of workers did lose their jobs. Although funding for the "fruit machine" project was cut off in the late 1960s, the investigations continued, and the RCMP collected files on over 9,000 "suspected" gay people.[2]

The chair employed resembled that used by dentists. It had a pulley with a camera going towards the pupils, with a black box located in front of it that displayed pictures. The pictures ranged from the mundane to sexually explicit photos of men and women. It had previously been determined that the pupils would dilate in relation to the amount of interest in the picture per the technique termed 'the pupillary response test'.[3]

People were first led to believe that the machine's purpose was to rate stress. After knowledge of its real purpose became widespread, few people volunteered for it.

Amend and resubmit.

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2687
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 09:27:26 PM »
The segment on VTOLs (flying cars) was a fail on several levels. For one, in comparing efficiencies, they assumed the car would have 1.5 poeple in it, and the flying car would be full to capacity.

Indeed. Jay was talking about how they're more efficient if you pack them full and travel large distances, i.e. so that you travel in the most optimal way for the most amount of time. Which is how air travel in general has become more efficient, compared to (one type of) personal transportation on the ground. More people in the same space. Traveling by yourself in a car is not necessarily better than being stuffed inside a tube in the sky.

Of course, flying is still far less efficient than if you do the same thing, stuffing people into a series of tubes, on the ground. They could've mentioned more than just the two examples of transportation.

But getting a significant percentage of drivers off the road and into the sky is a pipe dream.

To be honest, I'd hate it if people started flying everywhere instead of being confined to the road system, especially if it meant randomly but frequently flying over areas far away from traditional traffic.

I'm already opposed to helicopter traffic becoming more common. They're too much of a disturbance to be justified, unless there's a significant need for them. There's some guy in Norway who wants to fly helicopters to chop ice off of a glacier to sell "luxury ice cubes". I don't think I've heard of a more inefficient way to accomplish something that can be made easily and cheaply available at home. At the very least there should be a 1000% luxury tax. Make sure that the stupidly rich contribute to public budgets if they have money to throw away like that.

We don't need people to spread out more, we need people to learn to love where they live, love their neighborhood, or to move to where they want to be.

Build more rails for freight, electrify boats and optimize transportation across oceans, even if it means slower delivery. If some things don't last long enough for it, then stop shipping it, stop using it or start producing it closer. And stop expanding airports. As much as we need to eat less meat, we need less tourism. But instead, airports and governments are expecting and investing in increasing traffic.

As Cara pointed out with plastics, it's not just about the GHG emissions. Tourists are literally killing animals to take pictures with them, and cause direct damage in addition to the impact on the climate. At least plastics have a purpose and also help reduce waste. Luxury travel becomes increasingly pointless as we improve our ability to experience the world remotely (and can do more things with technology in general). People travel the world to take photos to share online, and spend a lot of time looking at screens, and there's no difference between you producing the photos vs. you looking at the photos someone who lives there took and published. Or you could hire a local photographer to get the exact shots and footage you want, if it's that important.

If people took more of an interest in their own neighborhood, they could both enjoy it and take the time to learn how to preserve it for themselves, and for their kids and community.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 09:44:54 PM by 2397 »

Offline arthwollipot

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8744
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 11:37:10 PM »
This episode saw all of Australia tweet at Cara saying "Ee-myoo is correct! Ee-moo is wrong!"
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him.
Morticia Addams was elegaunt.

Online Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13206
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 09:48:01 AM »
I found the follow up to the discussion on the Mexican wave to be even more eye roll inducing than the original.  Cara explaining her ignorance by saying, "Well Americans are Racists so......".  Then followed up with some special pleading to insist that plastic bags really are that bad. 


Offline lonely moa

  • A rather tough old bird.
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4930
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 02:35:43 PM »
The issue of single use shopping bags is that plastic is killing marine animals and birds.  Those bags have been phased out in Godzone well before legislation.





"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Online daniel1948

  • Isn’t a
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8401
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 12:58:42 PM »
Steve did acknowledge that energy efficiency is only the first part of the equation, and that pollution must also be considered. I have two cloth shopping bags that I bought about a dozen years ago, and another that was a promotional give-away from about ten hears ago. I use them all about 2 or 3 times a week. So each of them has been used around 1,500 times, and still going strong. In addition to using no more energy than their original manufacture, they are not being thrown into the ocean every time I go shopping.
Daniel
----------------
"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 ninja2

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 7
  • The older I get, the faster I was...
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 06:39:04 AM »
As a long time South Aussie listener of SGU my ears instinctively prick up whenever something antipodean comes up. For example I was both delighted and impressed by your pronunciation lessons our the fine city of Melbourne ('Melbun' :)) for which I gave you 10 out of 10.

Then, by way of contrast, I was **highly** amused by your touristy pronunciations for Emu and Kookaburra. Please allow me a few seconds to further your honorary Aussie credentials a little:

1) Emu is pronounced e-µ not e-moo, where µ is the 12th character of the Greek alphabet, pronounced 'mu'. Or given your science obsession you may prefer: µ is the conventional symbol for permeability in electro-magnetism, as in B = µH :) I don't know what e-moo is, other than very funny.

2) Kookaburra is pronounced cook-a-burra not Kook-a-burra. The way you guys say Kookaburra makes me chuckle so. Sounds like some kooky bird that laughs until it falls off it's psychological perch :)

Oh, and one last little thing, you Americans really need some genuine Aussie beetroot on your burgers, it's **absolutely** the secret ingredient behind delicious  ...
Chris

“The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs.” Marcus Cicero 106 BC- 43BC

Offline Ron Obvious

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 209
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 07:05:57 AM »
2) Kookaburra is pronounced cook-a-burra not Kook-a-burra.

Well, that it makes it all clear then.

Offline seamas

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2394
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 10:40:09 AM »
2) Kookaburra is pronounced cook-a-burra not Kook-a-burra.

Well, that it makes it all clear then.

My daughter, when in preschool pronounced it kookiberry.

Offline Tassie Dave

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2252
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2019, 04:18:56 PM »
Oh, and one last little thing, you Americans really need some genuine Aussie beetroot on your burgers, it's **absolutely** the secret ingredient behind delicious  ...

No, beetroot is horrible  ???

As long as you don't ask them to pour pea soup over a meat pie (The Pie Floater). That is one thing from South Australia that's never taken off outside that state. For obvious reasons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_floater

2) Kookaburra is pronounced cook-a-burra not Kook-a-burra.

Well, that it makes it all clear then.

Cook (as in make food) -a-burra not Coo-Kah-burra

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • *****
  • Posts: 7614
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 04:58:47 PM »
1) Emu is pronounced e-µ not e-moo, where µ is the 12th character of the Greek alphabet, pronounced 'mu'.

I find this post amusing because in my own accent (and, I imagine, that of the Novellas who live quite near to me) there is no distinction between the pronunciation of the Greek letter 'mu' and word 'moo.'  This is a matter of accent, and it's called yod-dropping.
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

Online Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13206
Re: Episode #718
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 05:40:10 PM »
1) Emu is pronounced e-µ not e-moo, where µ is the 12th character of the Greek alphabet, pronounced 'mu'.

I find this post amusing because in my own accent (and, I imagine, that of the Novellas who live quite near to me) there is no distinction between the pronunciation of the Greek letter 'mu' and word 'moo.'  This is a matter of accent, and it's called yod-dropping.
F@$#ing yod droppers!

 

personate-rain
personate-rain