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CaptainPanic last won the day on October 3 2014

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About CaptainPanic

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    The little swamp at the end of the river Rhine
  1. Family Trees

    In my family, it was figured out the hard way: by digging into the old sources, such as tax records, marriage documents and registration of houses - those date back sometimes hundreds of years (at least in the Netherlands). Typically, it is rather easy to trace it back as far as the time of Napoleon, since Napoleon (or rather his officials, not him personally) kept pretty good records. Beyond that, you gotta be creative and get lucky.
  2. Large Scale Solar Plant in Gobi Desert

    I suspect that despite the article's title calling this "large scale", the Chinese consider this 200 MW plant a 'pilot/demo' plant. If proven to be economically and technically feasible, their idea of "large scale" may just be a little larger than we realize. I would suggest you look at this regarding the price (which is closely related to the usefulness) of the land you're using. If you place this in the Gobi desert, which is largely uninhabited, and non-arable, nobody really cares if you use lots of land there because it has no (or very few) other uses. The Drax powerplant is located smack in the middle of a densely populated and cultivated land. It's actually using up land that could easily be used for many other purposes. The main issue of the location is that you must transport that electricity to somewhere else, which comes with its own investment and energy losses. I wonder how robust and efficient the Chinese electricity network is. It's mostly quite new, but it is a topic that I don't see a lot of news about.
  3. Air Trecks

    This thread is ancient (it started in 2008), but it appears this is the first actual Air trecks built... even though their name is Razerblades, rather than airtrecks. Congrats to the creator (named Charles). Check out that website, it is worth it.
  4. How to destroy the Earth

    Destroy humanity (and leave the rest of the planet alone): probably easiest with a virus? Nuclear war might be another option. Destroy all life on our planet (but leave the rocks alone): you'll need more than all the warheads on our planet. But building many many many more warheads might achieve it. An asteroid of 10 times the diameter of the one that finished the dinosaurs too (but I didn't do the math, so if you wanna make sure, get an even larger one). Break our planet apart (but allow it to settle back into a new planet): smash something the size of our moon into it. Break our planet apart permanently: either slow it down enough to make it fall into the sun (you can calculate the kinetic energy you need to overcome), or smash something incredibly large and fast into it. Janus gave you an answer a few posts above, but I am not able to check it. But since the question was not clear: I advise all of the above.
  5. A Modest Proposal

    Harold Squared, In this thread, you made a lot of claims, and explained a number of ideas. And people asked you a bunch of times if you can show any evidence about how this is supposed to work. When people ask that, it means you show some publications, or some studies, or some research papers, or even some news articles that back up your claims. It does NOT mean that you must explain your idea a little better, as you have been doing until now. The joke about the unicorns was quite serious. Of course, people here know unicorns don't exist. But until you start showing on which underlying assumptions you have based your claims, your story is just as good as the one about unicorns.
  6. A Modest Proposal

    Funny that you choose a Chinese investment: The Chinese are by far the largest investors in sustainable energy. And that always makes me wonder: If sustainable energy was such a bad idea, then you wouldn't expect that they would invest so much, as the Chinese government obviously doesn't have to please the tree-huggers in the next elections. Source for the claim that the Chinese are the biggest investors: Bloomberg report (see page 10 for most comprehensive chart of 2014 investments) Note: .pdf warning
  7. Sugar is 8 X more addictive than cocaine.

    It's all in the dosage. (Same goes for oxygen, 20-21% is good, but both too high or too low can be dangerous). We need sugar, and sugar is an essential part in our metabolism. Sugar (glucose) is vital to provide energy to our cells. But too much of it, and we risk diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Yes, I know that processed foods contain unnecessary amounts of sugar - it is added for taste (test groups will simply appreciate the food with sugar more than the food without), and sometimes as a preservative. But we're not discussing either of those two points. We're discussing whether it is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. And I am not convinced yet that somethibg that is essential to our existance, and which we need on a continuous basis just to survive can be called addictive. Sugars, just like some (all?) drugs trigger the reward system in our brains, and eating/drinking it makes us happy. I am simplifying things here, because I cannot be bothered to up the terminology. The main problem I have with this thread is that as we evolved all these reward systems were purposely set up to be triggered by sugars. It's the other drugs that sort of cheat our reward systems, and are addictive as a result. But we're supposed to feel happy eating sugars. Only since we started making large amounts of cheap processed food have we run into problems, because suddenly foods that shouldn't contain sugars start triggering this reward system... but that does not mean we can call sugars addictive. Googling around for addiction and sugars, I do find some other sources, most of them connect the fact that our reward systems are triggered with sugar use... but I haven't found any credible source that really calls it addictive. [edit] I noticed too late that dimreepr and Fuzzwood also posted. It took me a while (>1 hr) to write this post in between other tasks... I'm afraid I ignored their contributions in this reply.
  8. Sugar is 8 X more addictive than cocaine.

    Meh. I argee with MonDie: Oxygen (O2) is probably the most addictive compound in the universe. We can't go a second without it. Yet nobody has banned it.
  9. How To Not Build Bridges..

    According to the news, the guy in the blue shirt was actually sitting in a small pit, doing some maintenance work on underground cables (internet or phone cables). And in a sad turn of events, today the mayor of the town (called "Alphen aan den Rijn") complained in the Dutch media (in Dutch, obviously) about tourists who want to see the destruction with their own eyes, who climb into people's (private) gardens, and climb onto cars to get a good photo of the accident. About half the twitter updates (in Dutch) from the municipality are requests to not get in the way of the emergency services and investigation teams... That's what you get in 2015 if your accident goes viral on the internet. People will travel to the spot, to take a selfie, so that they can get many likes.
  10. How To Not Build Bridges..

    Dutch media (it happened in the Netherlands) report that there were no injuries or fatalities, except for a dog who didn't make it. Some people got extremely lucky getting away from that. Have a look at this security camera footage of one of the streets near the accident. It's a small miracle that nobody got hurt when you see how many were in or near the place where the crane came down.
  11. Chinese Economics (formerly Economic)

    What I understood is that there were a lot of small investors, who put their life savings into the stock market, or even borrowed money to invest on the stock market. First, all this extra money created a bubble. Once the market went down though, these small investors all got scared (people react differently when they are investing a company's money, or when it is their own retirement). They all pulled their money out, and this caused a more excessive response than you'd normally expect. Together with the fact that it was indeed a bubble meant that the stock market went down a lot, really fast.
  12. Google map pictures from Russia - what is it?

    It would be a pretty low-maintenance defensive line. imatfaal, thanks for the link. It is the best explanation (and the only one with a link) so far.
  13. Linux

    Just a small side note: You can totally use Linux without knowing anything about the command line, just like you can use windows without understanding the DOS command line. But I realize that this is slightly off topic.
  14. Linux

    A quick reply to the original question (post 1). I run Linux on a desktop at home. The desktop has 2 harddrives, which makes my life really easy. One has the operating system(s), and the other has all my data. If I want to (re)install Linux, or try to install a 2nd system next to it, I just physically disconnect the data drive, then reboot to check that I disconnected the correct one, and then proceed in install a new operating system.
  15. As I was taking a little summer holiday in Russia by browsing on google maps, I found some weird features in the Russian landscape that I cannot explain. There are triple or quadruple rows of trees (or other types of green), which extend for hundreds of kilometers through the landscape. Here's an example of a triple line. Here's an example of a quadruple line. Here's one that crosses through a town, to give a sense of scale. Finally, here's one just outside of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), which seems to give a possible hint about what this is... These lines seem to have little to do with the borders of the oblasts or other governmental regions. The line just outside Volgograd suggests to me that this is a line that indicates the furthest advance that the German forces made in WWII (even though it is outside the city, and I thought that the battle took place inside the city)? The scale of these lines (hundreds of meters wide, stretching hundreds of kilometers) is quite mindboggling. I've searched the internet for quite a while now, but I haven't been able to find a single reference to what these are. Guesses are welcome, but links and sources are what I am really looking for!