Author Topic: Episode #722  (Read 933 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #722
« on: May 11, 2019, 07:18:55 AM »
Interview with Daniel Clark, Director of Behind the Curve; News Items: Reporting UFOs, Phosphorene Nanoribbons, Hearables; Who’s That Noisy; Dumbest Thing of the Week; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2019, 08:35:45 AM »
If you're on a boat without a nuclear reactor and a desalination plant, I think it's reasonable to expect that they'll be more stingy with the resources than on the mainland. Not that it's reasonable to set up a cruise in the first place. A boat with a pool? That alone should tell you the ridiculousness of it all.

IMO, the main problem with cruises is that they're not taxed heavily enough. It's pure luxury, there's nothing to mitigate the damage they do. It's not something we need to develop new technologies to replace and improve on. The cruise industry could be eliminated entirely, and there would still be plenty of things for people to do with their free time. Especially if you're willing to spend some money on it.

If there's something missing, it's people realizing they don't need the excuse of something like a cruise to take time off. Or alternatively, mandatory vacation time that has to be used at some point.

Edit: Invisible aliens breeding with humans, sounds like Christianity.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 09:04:00 AM by 2397 »

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 08:21:47 PM »
If you're on a boat without a nuclear reactor and a desalination plant, I think it's reasonable to expect that they'll be more stingy with the resources than on the mainland.

Speaking as someone who's been on several boats with nuclear reactors and desalination equipment - water conservation was something we took seriously and lived with every day.  My towel got washed once a week or so.
Amend and resubmit.

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 08:29:28 PM »
The Michelson Morley negative result did not show that the luminiferous aether did not exist - it showed that it was undetectable.  It is EITHER not there, or the Lorentz contraction exactly compensates for it.  Other theories developed showing that it was not necessary for light to be a wave.
Amend and resubmit.

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2019, 04:24:58 AM »
Speaking as someone who's been on several boats with nuclear reactors and desalination equipment - water conservation was something we took seriously and lived with every day.  My towel got washed once a week or so.

Yeah, fair point. Whatever the setup, they're going to squeeze as much out of that as they can. If they had the resources for 10 cruises, they'd probably not refuel and restock as often. Or they'd add more passengers.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2019, 11:37:02 AM »
If you're on a boat without a nuclear reactor and a desalination plant, I think it's reasonable to expect that they'll be more stingy with the resources than on the mainland. Not that it's reasonable to set up a cruise in the first place. A boat with a pool? That alone should tell you the ridiculousness of it all.

IMO, the main problem with cruises is that they're not taxed heavily enough. It's pure luxury, there's nothing to mitigate the damage they do. It's not something we need to develop new technologies to replace and improve on. The cruise industry could be eliminated entirely, and there would still be plenty of things for people to do with their free time. Especially if you're willing to spend some money on it.

If there's something missing, it's people realizing they don't need the excuse of something like a cruise to take time off. Or alternatively, mandatory vacation time that has to be used at some point.

Edit: Invisible aliens breeding with humans, sounds like Christianity.

I've never been on a cruise and I've never wanted to go on a cruise. I did once sail on a three-masted square-rigger in one of those deals where you pay to be a member of the crew and work. I agree with all of the above about how ridiculous cruises are. A floating hotel that gives you a few hours in the most touristy, shlocky parts of a succession of resort destinations where you can over-pay to be treated like cattle while you see or do what all the other tourists see and do.

That said, many of us (myself included) spend our disposable income on useless, environmentally-destructive things that we enjoy. I think it's the pot calling the kettle black to criticize cruises and the people who take them as long as we ourselves have such large footprints. I cannot imagine anything other than sex that would get me on a cruise ship, but I won't criticize people who enjoy cruising as long as they don't criticize me for all the travel I've done over the past 15 years or so.
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 #722
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2019, 11:42:40 AM »
I see UFOs every day. If I cannot tell what kind of bird it is, it's unidentified. I never report these sightings to anyone. Last night I saw an unidentified light in the sky that seemed to be moving in an odd manner, first one way, then the other, very slowly. When it got much closer I was finally able to identify it as a commercial jetliner.
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 #722
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2019, 11:59:03 AM »
I'm glad that Steve put some perspective on the "hearables" story. It was so obviously their typical over-enthusiastic sci-fi take on an otherwise rather wacky tech start-up. Even before Steve said it, it was obvious that today's technology is fifty years away, at the very least, from a hearing aid being able to do what the story was claiming.

I'm reminded of when EEStor succeeded in refining the material that they theorized would be an adequate dielectric for their proposed ultra-capacitor, and on that basis announced that the capacitors would be commercially available in six months. And they convinced EV-maker Zenn to give them so much money that Zenn went out of business. The president of the local EV club where I lived told me not to bother having lithium batteries put in my Zap Xebra because within the year I could have EEStor ultra-capacitors instead. EEStor never even built a prototype of their capacitor. "Hearables" have the same ring to me. Nobody reading this is going to still be alive when a hearing aid can do all the things the story claimed it would do.

Bravo to Steve for pointing out what bullshit the story was. The rogues have admirable enthusiasm for science, but only Steve and Cara have the common sense to discern between science and sci-fi.

Now, a directional hearing aid, if such things don't yet exist, would be very useful.
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 #722
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2019, 12:08:55 PM »
Someone called Flat Earth the wackiest thing ever to come down the pike. (My words. I don't remember their exact words.)

In my opinion, Flat Earth is not as crazy, not as idiotic, nowhere near as cruel, and not as destructive as Christianity. The Creator of Everything loves you but will torture you forever if you do not believe in him, and he allows his nemesis to salt the Earth with false religions, and still, if you pick wrong, in the absence of any evidence, he will torture you forever.

I'd go on but I have to get going now.
Daniel
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-- Otto von Bismarck

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2019, 01:03:54 PM »
I've never been on a cruise and I've never wanted to go on a cruise. I did once sail on a three-masted square-rigger in one of those deals where you pay to be a member of the crew and work. I agree with all of the above about how ridiculous cruises are. A floating hotel that gives you a few hours in the most touristy, shlocky parts of a succession of resort destinations where you can over-pay to be treated like cattle while you see or do what all the other tourists see and do.

That said, many of us (myself included) spend our disposable income on useless, environmentally-destructive things that we enjoy. I think it's the pot calling the kettle black to criticize cruises and the people who take them as long as we ourselves have such large footprints. I cannot imagine anything other than sex that would get me on a cruise ship, but I won't criticize people who enjoy cruising as long as they don't criticize me for all the travel I've done over the past 15 years or so.

There is the issue of hypocrisy, but also the perfect being the enemy of the good. We have to be able to talk about what changes that can be made, or we'll never make any progress. Pollution keeps going up. Best we've managed so far is for it to level off for a bit. We need to cut global emissions by 80% or more.

Even if we keep doing some wasteful things, I think it would be better to admit to how bad they are, to remain conscious of it and maybe have more of a push to make a different choice next time (in particular in politicians), rather than do it and not talk about it.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 01:06:35 PM by 2397 »

Offline gebobs

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2019, 08:59:04 AM »
I went on a cruise once. It was only for three nights but I really don't need to do it again. The ship was old. How old was it? It was christened by Lauren Bacall.

I got a bit excited about the Hearables. I thought it was going to be some new improved hearing aid tech.

I have tinnitus pretty bad due possibly to a bout of typhoid fever about 10 years ago and have about 50% loss in one ear. At my most recent test, they sold me on the idea that hearing aids provide some people with a bit of relief with their tinnitus so I plunked down $2500 for one (Widex Evoke). Unfortunately, that has not been the case for me. And really the hearing aid doesn't seem to help my hearing substantially either. I have a follow up appointment on Friday. I have half a mind to give it back to them.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 12:15:47 PM by gebobs »

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2019, 11:32:25 AM »
I've never been on a cruise and I've never wanted to go on a cruise. I did once sail on a three-masted square-rigger in one of those deals where you pay to be a member of the crew and work. I agree with all of the above about how ridiculous cruises are. A floating hotel that gives you a few hours in the most touristy, shlocky parts of a succession of resort destinations where you can over-pay to be treated like cattle while you see or do what all the other tourists see and do.

That said, many of us (myself included) spend our disposable income on useless, environmentally-destructive things that we enjoy. I think it's the pot calling the kettle black to criticize cruises and the people who take them as long as we ourselves have such large footprints. I cannot imagine anything other than sex that would get me on a cruise ship, but I won't criticize people who enjoy cruising as long as they don't criticize me for all the travel I've done over the past 15 years or so.

There is the issue of hypocrisy, but also the perfect being the enemy of the good. We have to be able to talk about what changes that can be made, or we'll never make any progress. Pollution keeps going up. Best we've managed so far is for it to level off for a bit. We need to cut global emissions by 80% or more.

Even if we keep doing some wasteful things, I think it would be better to admit to how bad they are, to remain conscious of it and maybe have more of a push to make a different choice next time (in particular in politicians), rather than do it and not talk about it.

Yes. We need to understand that cruise ships are bad for the environment. But they are just one of so many things, that there's no point in singling them out. They need to be included in the very long list of stuff we have to stop doing so much of.

Some people enjoy cruises. Before moving to paradise I enjoyed going to fun places, and I used commercial airliners and my car and even helicopters to get to those places. All of these things are bad for the environment, so while I can point this out, it would be hypocritical for me to criticize people who take cruises.
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 seamas

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2019, 03:52:14 PM »
If you're on a boat without a nuclear reactor and a desalination plant, I think it's reasonable to expect that they'll be more stingy with the resources than on the mainland.

Speaking as someone who's been on several boats with nuclear reactors and desalination equipment - water conservation was something we took seriously and lived with every day.  My towel got washed once a week or so.

Never had your experience--but the first thing I thought of was resources--power and fresh water.

I was actually surprised that none of the rogues considered that part of it--especially when they spoke of how isolated a ship will be when out at sea.
Them equating it to just a "floating hotel" was puzzling. They are usually sharper than that--even Jay.

I've only been out as far as 10-15 miles from the coast and it is interesting when you realize that you are really in wilderness at that point. The birds you see are often types one will never see unless there, and ones you might be familiar with would never venture that far out.

It is sad to hear that the light pollution from a cruise ship prohibits star-gazing.
It'd be cool if some cruise ships would find some hours of the night to accommodate it somehow--especially with the historical connection between the stars and maritime navigation.

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2019, 04:10:45 PM »
Never had your experience--but the first thing I thought of was resources--power and fresh water.

I was actually surprised that none of the rogues considered that part of it--especially when they spoke of how isolated a ship will be when out at sea.
Them equating it to just a "floating hotel" was puzzling. They are usually sharper than that--even Jay.


Moreover, pretty nice problem to have in life, the price of coffee on a cruise ship.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #722
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2019, 04:33:01 PM »
It is sad to hear that the light pollution from a cruise ship prohibits star-gazing.
It'd be cool if some cruise ships would find some hours of the night to accommodate it somehow--especially with the historical connection between the stars and maritime navigation.

I was on a dive boat once and they turned the lights off so we could see the ISS going over. Somebody had an app, so we knew exactly when to expect it. Far cry from a cruise ship. Their insurance probably wouldn't let them turn the lights off because somebody might stumble overboard. And of course the navigation lights have to be on. What if two ships had the same idea at the same time and place? CRASH!!!
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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