Author Topic: Episode #733  (Read 1527 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #733
« on: July 27, 2019, 12:39:36 PM »
Whaddya Know: Beryllium
News Items: Telescope Protests, LightSail 2, Free Speech vs Professional Licensing, Autism Genetic, Bird Conspiracy
Who's That Noisy
Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2019, 05:12:11 PM »
Beryllium copper non-sparking wrenches and hammers are readily available and non-toxic to the user. If you were to sand or grind these items the inhaled dust is toxic. Some people collect elements and you can buy beryllium online to hold in your hand and ponder,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302923548599

Osmium is prettier though.

Offline swan

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2019, 07:25:26 PM »
It was shocking that Steve could talk about beryllium without a single one of the rogues mentioning Galaxy Quest.



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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2019, 09:36:45 PM »
It was shocking that Steve could talk about beryllium without a single one of the rogues mentioning Galaxy Quest.




One of the best movies of all time! Though I had forgotten that a beryllium sphere was what they were after in that scene.

Daniel
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2019, 09:57:56 PM »
I have mixed feelings about the TMT. Living in Hawai'i (though not on the Big Island where people want to put the telescope and others don't want them to) I respect the Hawaiian culture. But I feel that all religion is bullshit, and that includes the indigenous religions with their notions that certain places are sacred. The people operating the telescopes probably treat the land far better than the tourists that form the basis for the economy here.

I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know whether opposition to the TMT is a majority opinion among the native Hawaiians or a minority opinion. We stole this land from them as we stole every other square inch of the United States. I guess if the rightful owners of the island don't want another telescope there, they've got a right to be upset, but it's sad that something that would probably do more to protect the island than the tourist industry, and would advance science, is being opposed because we've never dealt fairly with the people we stole our country from.
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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 #733
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2019, 10:10:29 PM »
Regarding the comment that the industrial nations have used up the world's carbon budget and are now telling other nations they should not use the same path to prosperity that we did, it's far deeper than that:

The militarily strong nations going back hundreds of years, but most especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, invaded the rest of the world and stole everything they could get their hands on, from gold and silver, to natural resources, to human beings as slaves. The strong nations literally raped the weak ones and plundered them of all the wealth they could carry away.

We owe those nations far more than a carbon-free path to energy development. We owe them a standard of living equal to our own because we built our wealth by plundering and enslaving them. And we totally fucked the climate by dumping our CO2 into the atmosphere, which we can survive a little longer than those other nations can because of the wealth we stole from them. The myth that we accomplished what we have through hard work is pure self-serving lies, because most of that work was done by others, and to the extent that it was done by our own countrymen and women, it was laborers who were never paid more than a minuscule fraction of the value they produced.
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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 #733
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2019, 10:21:31 PM »
The last time I saw an old-fashioned hand-cranked adding machine it was in the general store in Arthur, North Dakota, that was owned by (I kid you not!) Charlie Ross. Certainly not the Charlie Ross who answered the noisy, since old Man Ross who owned that store passed away, I think it would have been some time in the 1980's. That adding machine was used to add up people's purchases. They wrote down everything you bought, along with the price, on a pad with carbon paper, one copy for their records and one for the customer, and added up the total with the adding machine. One time Charlie gave me back something like 10 or 25 cents because he had discovered an error in my favor. That store had groceries, clothing, tools & hardware, dry goods, almost everything you could need. Garrison Keillor's tag line about Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery, that "If you can't find it at Ralph's you can probably get along without it," was pretty much true of Ross's store. The Democrats shopped at Ross's, and there was another general store where the Republicans shopped.

Sorry for the digression, but the mention of old-fashioned adding machines and the name Charlie Ross was too much of a coincidence to pass up.
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 #733
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2019, 10:42:47 PM »
I cannot watch shows with canned laughter. I find it annoying and offensive.

I still think flat-Earthers are funny. A few are mentally ill and actually believe it, and that is sad. Most are just there because it's silly. One or two people on the flat-Earth discussion board are seriously angry that anyone would believe the Earth is flat and argue as though the mentally ill could grasp their arguments, or that the people just being silly would even care. One of the silliest arguments going on right now is "Rockets cannot work in a vacuum because without an atmosphere there's nothing for the rocket to push against." They just cannot grasp, no matter how many different times and how many different ways it's explained to them, that a reaction engine does not "push" against anything.
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 2397

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2019, 01:23:08 AM »
Humans destroy any environment they move into. The difference between "indigenous" populations and more recent immigrants is that a new equilibrium has had time to be established. Unfortunately after climate change, it will take millions of years.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2019, 07:30:01 AM »
If humans destroy the environment, so do beavers. I think it's more accurate to say we modify our environment in drastic and disruptive ways.

Good point about time to equilibrium.
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2019, 07:56:29 AM »
Beavers are inconvenient to humans. They indiscriminately create ponds and wetlands useful to many other species. During drought the water they've sequestered is useful to many species. Beavers did not create Los Angeles or Hoover Dam or Perdue chickens.

When beavers inconvenience humans we do not hesitate to kill them. I think Daniel could concoct a similar management system for destroyers of the environment,  but his targets wouldn't include beavers.

Offline lucek

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2019, 08:36:46 AM »
Sustainability of native culture is basically evolution. Cultures like the early people of the middle east, the clovis or the first aborigines of Australia and New Zealand desimated their environment and died back or died off leaving only caring capacity limited populations. Being in balance with nature mean most children don't live to adulthood. It is 100% acurate to say that 100% of native cultures were horrible for the environment or the natives living in the on average.
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Offline Nigel

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2019, 10:27:14 AM »
I found the whole TMT discussion frustrating.  I would be more sympathetic to those protesting a new telescope if it was a virgin mountain without any preexisting telescopes and infrastructure. However, as has been discussed previously on the show there are a number of telescopes already on site.  There is an infrastructure in place.  It feels like bitching about a Burger King being built on the edge of a parking lot of a preexisting strip mall because the mall’s location used to be pleasant farmland.  Now this new building is just one fast food joint too much in an already altered location.  Ok. I get the upset in a broad sense, but protesting now seems more to be obdurate and vexatious than to actually want to keep something from being spoiled. 

While I am aware the Rogues are aware that Hawaii is U.S. territory, they nearly discussed it as if it were some weird exotic location.  It’s the U.S.  It’s a State.  It has a Constitution and the rule of law.  The telescope from what I can find lawfully received a permit.  It was challenged in the courts and the opponents lost.  My sympathy drops further when people protest after due process of law has been exercised, and they outcome was not what was hoped. 

I thought the whole whale and coal energy discussion was some weird tangent that had little impact on the question at hand.  Cara’s reparation drop was even further a field. 

I am not overly versed in this controversy. I don’t think the Rogues are much better.  The exchange was one of the less impressive moments for the show in recently memory. 

Offline Skip Nordenholz

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2019, 10:29:42 AM »
The whole thing about birds not being a real conspiracy but obviously being a parody wasn't obvious to me, maybe if I went to the web site it would be obvious, but I often watch YouTube videos of these kinds of conspiracy for entertainment and people believe something like thing is not at all unbelievable. As well as flat earthers, there are people who believe Australia doesn't exist, that the USA is actually half the size, volcanoes aren't real and any photos and video are CGI, bird not being real is not that bizarre conspiracy theory wise, my only confusion was why was SGU wasting time on it.

Offline wilko

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Re: Episode #733
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2019, 12:13:32 PM »
I find it childish the way we put Native Americans on a pedestal because natives are fragile and all that BS.
Look folks, Native Americans are no different than any group of people, their religions are not any better (or worse) than other peoples religions. In history Native Americans are both victims and victimizers, just like any other group of people.
Natives Americans got their land stolen by the white man.  True, but so what?  I'm from Spain, we got our land stolen by North Africans who occupied Spain for 800 years. Before that Barbarian tribes stole our land, and even before the Barbarians, the Romans stole our land. Then we went on to steal land from natives in America.  Natives tribes are no different, they also stole land from each other for centuries before the white man came. 
Now to the Telescope.  There are actually 13 telescopes on the mountain already. 
Why are we only talking about the opinions of Native Hawaiians?  How about the rest of the people who have lived on the Islands for generations?
The UK doesn't give the vote of a Native Brit any more weight that the vote of a Brit born to Pakistani parents. Why do we treat Native Americans as children who need protection?
You might think of Brits as colonialists, but they too had their land stolen.  First by the Romans, then by the Danes.
Does reading this make you think I'm I a racist? It doesn't bother me if you tell me, but before you do, let me tell you that I have been told on many occasions "go back to where you came from".

 

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