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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/19/18 in all areas

1. 5 points

Serial abusers of the reputation system

In previous threads, staff have mentioned that we have on occasion curtailed or removed the ability for people to use the reputation system. In previous versions of the forum software we were able to limit positive or negative reputation limits separately. This meant that the impact of people who wished to use the reputation system to target specific members was always low, and staff could easily reverse it. This no longer being the case means that the system is more open to being abused by people wishing to use it as a form of personal attack. Thankfully, we have had very few cases where staff have had to intervene. For those cases where we have had to do something, admin have created two new member groups with reputation point limits set to either 0 or 2, which limits the use of both positive and negative rep points.
2. 5 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

People are starting to argue with reputation points. I see more and more negatives, on both sides, even for valid points which deserve deliberation. It is a very sensitive subject but, I have come to know that everyone involved in this discussion is a sensible person. Discussion leads to understanding, so if you want your viewpoint understood, discuss it. Don't neg rep opposing views, they're just trying to make their viewpoint understood.
3. 5 points

Is masturbation healthy?

You will find all relevant answers in this excellent resource: http://stopmasturbationnow.org/
4. 4 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

Oh come on, INow… Let me bask in the glory of finally starting a topic which has lasted more than a page.
5. 4 points

Negative rep - (split from B Kavanough and MeToo)

While that's not outside the realm of possibilities, arguably a plausibility, it is not "essentially" doing that. If he is getting neg reps for understanding the difference, where you don't, there is something wrong with that.
6. 4 points

Is it possible to construct a functioning miniaturized nuclear reactor?

Depends. Some space probes have a very small plutonium reactor (e.g. Voyager), but they are not based on nuclear fission, but the natural decay of plutonium. Plutonium-238 is so highly radioactive that the heat of this decay is enough to produce electricity with it. Then there are other types of fission reactors, e.g. aqueous homogeneous reactors, that are pretty small: But they also work just with highly enriched Uranium-235. In the article the KEMA Suspension Test Reactor is also mentioned ("the reactor consisted of a reactor vessel (ø310 mm, content 18.3 liter"): My father worked at KEMA (but he was not associated with the reactor laboratory). You brought back a few melancholic associations with your question... And last but not least, there are experiments in Germany with nuclear power for smart phones. Sorry, I only found a German video of its promo, but I think you can understand what it is about, just looking at the video. It is worth it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nezImUP0w
7. 3 points

Perfection in Nature and Frank Sinatra

The moment you stop believing that Darwin is regarded as some sort of scientific god, and therefore one has to believe or accept everything he wrote as scientific gospel, will be the moment you will be able to make progress.
8. 3 points

Galactic Panspermia: Spreading Life from Star to Star:

Gravity on a large body like Earth is not a trivial hurdle for life to escape, survive space and survive re-entry on another hospitable body, which would also likely be large. I'm not saying it's impossible but it's not a simpler solution than life starting on Earth. Executing Occam's Razor would tell us to start here, on Earth, for signs of the abiogenesis of life on Earth.
9. 3 points

Negative rep - (split from B Kavanough and MeToo)

Some of the negatives probably came from me. When you immediately dismiss someone coming forward with a claim of sexual assault as a liar, and ridicule/criticize the circumstances of their claim despite them being typical, you perpetuate the toxic environment which effectively silences victims of sexual violence and prevents them from coming forward. The way in which mistermack discussed ford's assault was toxic, and symptomatic of the animosity typically faced by victims of sexual violence coming forward.
10. 3 points

Negative rep - (split from B Kavanough and MeToo)

But "victim blaming" is based on the blamer assuming that the person was a victim. It's not a decision from the wave of a hand, it's a conclusion based on a premise that was already provided, even if it's provisional. miscasting someone else's position is another thing one might give negative reputation for, which is not opinion.
11. 3 points

What is movement?

! Moderator Note This is not the place to grind an axe, nor the place to post non-mainstream science responses. Discussion of an aether, except as an historical reference, is completely off-topic. edit: upon further review, this was a massive hijack of the discussion, and the whole mess has been dropped in the trash can.
12. 3 points

Will a Second Civil War Happen in The US?

I love how one or two Democrats taken out of context result in everyone’s parties getting in a twist, yet not a peep about years of screaming lock her up and saying people,should be carried out on stretchers or Obama tarred and feathered. Myopia, hypocrisy, who cares? Same result.
13. 3 points

Is ancient Greek history grand?

And where did you get this idea? I mean if you would have said "religion" maybe I would not bring it up but what makes you think Christianity "established laws"? The concept of "laws" was there far before Christianity. And what about let's say Japan, South Korea. Seem pretty evolved from many points of view. Would you say that they are not part of modern society because Christianity is as present there? Also I wanted to add that many see the Middle Ages (dark age especially) as a period of social regress dominated by religion. "Age of Faith" Personally I think Christianity overall did slightly more bad than good but that is just my opinion. Also what do you mean "for white man"? You know where Christianity comes from right? It ain't from Wisconsin, Vermont, Amsterdam or Oslo, I'll tell you that. I recommend you read more about ancient history and also stop using the phrase "white man". It's offensive.
14. 3 points

Earth's Greatest Environmental Issues

Hello everyone, As a 28 year old elementary school teacher, I am currently in the works of an extensive school program that educates children not only in academics, but in global environmental issues and moral values as well. As it stands, if all information proves to be true, I believe that our planet is on a path to certain doom if certain environmental issues are not addressed and seriously handled. In hopes that we are not doomed by then, I plan on helping educate the younger generation of serious environmental issues that surrounds our planet in hopes that the next generation of human beings can help find a way to save our planet. I have done research from various articles found across the web, but am interested in any other resources or issues that need to be addressed. Here is a list of some of the issues I am including: Air Pollution Water Pollution Plastic Waste Garbage and Waste Disposal Overpopulation Natural Resource Depletion Global Warming Deforestation If you have any other ideas or topics that you think the students should know about, please feel free to post your thoughts. If you have any other resources about the severity of the issue, please post them here. I greatly appreciate and value the feedback from the members of the environmental science community and want to make sure that I am doing the students justice. Thank you!
15. 3 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

I didn't neg rep you, but I've seen a trend about the types of posts that seem to generate them for you. It's when you decide conspiratorial thinking is okay, or when you speculate and post about completely unfounded things like this: Also, embellishing may have been a better word choice since embroidering sounds like she was knitting a doily.
16. 3 points

Genotype and Phenotype - correct usage?

Genotype: refers to the set of a genetic material of an organism, but can used on different levels. E.g. you could distinguish genotypes of members of a species by allele variations on a single locus. Phenotype: refers to observable trait, often connected, but not exclusively to gene function.
17. 3 points

Disproof of Riemann Hypothesis

1) Using the standard definition of real numbers, you can't. If you think you have a definition or construction that will allow it, you will have to provide it; in doing so, you may have to demonstrate the properties you usually take for granted. 2) You defined (or claimed) "neighborhood of infinity" to mean numbers that can be expressed as "infinity hat minus a real number". That is not standard at all, and would break the usual real numbers. 3) You are discussing your own construction, which is not the usual complex numbers. No complex number (or real number) is of the form "infinity hat minus b".
18. 3 points

Is a man with a gun the strongest predator on earth?

Middle of the ocean, you with an AR-15 and a full clip, orca swims up from below. You get stopped. I would avoid using absolute terms like "unstoppable" when it comes to complex organisms and the behavior between them.. Environment is too much of a factor to claim we're the top predator. In most environments, with our tools, we're pretty incredible. But outside our prime zones, there are many creatures that can survive better, or escape us if we're hunting them, or even kill us if we corner them.
19. 3 points

Do objects move faster when you move towards them?

By what you would visually see, then yes, you would see events occurring faster at Andromeda. Though you couldn't actually travel at the speed of light, just close to it. The equation for this relationship is fo = fs sqrt((1+v/c)/(1-v/c)) Where fo is the observed frequency, fs is the source frequency, and c is the speed of light. Note that if you make v=c then you end up with fo = fs sqrt(2)/0) And the division by 0 is undefined. ( but since travel at the speed of light is not allowed, this never arises.) However, just because you are seeing events unfold more quickly at Andromeda, does not mean that you would conclude that they were unfolding faster. Once you account for the effect caused by the decreasing distance between you and Andromeda, you would conclude that events were actually unfolding slower at Andromeda. For example, if you were traveling at 0.99c, you would see events at Andromeda as happening 14 times faster, but would conclude that they were happening 7 times slower. The 7 times slower would be due to time dilation, while the 14 times faster you see is due to Relativistic Doppler effect, which is a combination of time dilation and the effect caused by the decreasing distance. Even this is only a part of the whole picture. In order to understand what happens over the whole trip from Earth to Andromeda according to both Earth and ship would involve delving more deeply into Special Relativity.
20. 3 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

At this point several of Kavanaugh's references during his testimony have been proven false. From making false claims about one of his accusers (I linked in my previous post) to mischaracterizing his drinking which fromer classmateshave come forward regarding Here it is plainly clear that Kavanaugh has been dishonest during this process. At this point it is purely argumentative state otherwise.
21. 3 points

When a is persons body at peak performance?

The meaning of what you are asking would be quite clear in lay circles, maybe discussing this around a drink. But you have asked on a science forum and science can do better than that. Much better. Hence, people here have much higher expectations. People are asking what might appear to you to be stupid questions to hone your question into something more amenable to investigation. If you don't want to go through this process, fair enough, but then be content with vague 20 - 40 type answers. For example, you are using a term called 'physical peak' assuming it has a universal meaning. What sport to you like/play? I'll take football (the one where athletes can't use hands) because that's one i know. A striker is said to peak around 29ish, measured by goals scored. A goalkeeper peaks around 33ish, measured by goals conceded (although modern metrics are a little more sophisticated than that). They peak at different times because they are performing different physical tasks. The discrepancy will be even greater when comparing gymnasts ('peak' maybe in mid teens? Based on what i see at the olympics) to weightlifters (mid 20s?): maybe a whole decade of difference. Maybe you want to look at bone density as well as medals won. Maybe you want to include fertility - i've heard some female athletes sacrifice their fertility when pushing their boundaries at the top levels. Maybe you just want to know when your body will 'peak'? Maybe... I hope this helps clarify why people aren't just giving you simple answers.
22. 3 points

That is clearly not how things work. You may get shunned if your goal is to disprove its existence by any means necessary. There are plenty of folks working on the intersection of e.g. ecological systems and global flows. And due to the increasing effects quite a few have to add it into their models. I.e. that claim is nonsense. Whenever I read such threads I almost feel obligated to go through Eise's post and upvote them as in essence he makes a very basic statement that should not be controversial but many science fans fail to grasp it. Different areas of study have different methodologies to gain insights. To use an example of what is often considered a "softer" natural science: In biology there are only limited area where we can do proper modeling (and even then they often they are extremely rough). The reason is that complexity and data quality are bigger issues than in e.g. physics. Especially a few decades ago this was a huge issue, yet it did not prevent us from making assumptions and create working model based on the data available. Of course the work of historians can not be based on experiments and requires critical examination of evidence. While lack of data and experimentation invites more freedom of interpretation, proper historians (i.e. not youtubers or bloggers) spend a lot of time sourcing their arguments. Dismissing it wholesale is just disrespectful and rather show a lack of understanding how historians work.
23. 2 points

Perfection in Nature and Frank Sinatra

I think you are applying the criterion of 'perfectness' on the wrong level. It is not between different species: in your example of the gazelles and the lions we see a continuous 'arms-race'. But animal bodies, how greatly adapted they might be, have some 'design errors'. E.g. the placement of our trachea and the oesophagus, which has the risk of suffocation when eating. There is an evolutionary explanation for it, but as a design from scratch, it should never have been made like this.
24. 2 points

Serial abusers of the reputation system

For the sake of transparency, we have decided to announce who has been added to the groups mentioned in the OP. Currently, they are as follows: 0-point (aka Curmudgeon) xyzt (now banned) et pet TED888 2-point (aka Malcontent) Itoero John Harmonic
25. 2 points

Negative rep - (split from B Kavanough and MeToo)

Yes, this is exactly the type of post that might get me to give a neg rep. Thanks for the example.
26. 2 points

Things without a start can't exist

You need to define start. It's a vague term, that can mean lots of things. But without you defining it, this thread is a joke. When does a loaf of bread "start" ? Making it doesn't start it. It merely brings the ingredients together in a certain form. I asked you earlier to name something that had a start but you didn't reply.
27. 2 points

Supreme Court as an extension of partisanship

Amended means changed.
28. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

Why do you hate due process, Ten Oz?!? It’s a sad state of affairs, summarized nicely by this song (“A Scary Time for Boys”):
29. 2 points

Will a Second Civil War Happen in The US?

It's even got Taylor Swift out telling people to vote Democrat. Must be serious.
30. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

Trump says far worse things nearly everyday than Hirono has every said. Your equivalency is absurd.
31. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

You try sitting in front of the nation, on TV, as someone accuses you of being a monster with no evidence presented, while you also realize that because of this half the nation hates your guts, you'll never be looked at the same and that potentially, what you've worked your entire life to achieve could be about to disappear. Men shouldn't cry, agreed. It shows a lack of strength as most news companies are pointing out, and a lot are comparing him to a blubbering baby girl for it. But under that? Look at it two ways. Either he is innocent or he is guilty. If he was innocent, can you blame him?
32. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

That is an important point, to which there are currently no solutions. Partially, because only fairly recent it has been seen to be an issue. To date there are only two larger reports (UK and Australia) who have looked at why reporting rates are low and even in cases of reports, why many women withdraw before the full trial. One thing that we can do, without changes in the legal system per se, is to remove the social stigma of rape victims or the taboo surrounding sexual violence. A big issue has been the fact that victims are seen as damaged goods, that it is their fault (e.g. for getting drunk or having a promiscuous lifestyle) or that they are just too weak and/or cannot be raped in the first place (mostly men). As long as these stigma persist and/or if certain folks attack the victims for not behaving in a certain way (reporting right away, trying to downplay the situation in an effort to regain control etc.). A second aspects that is relevant is that the reports have highlighted that law enforcement may be another gatekeeper. Typically young victims or victims from lower social status or vulnerable groups are not considered trustworthy by default. That makes them ideal victims as rarely there are any follow-ups. A general issue here is also that many are assuming that folks need to be protected from accusations as the first response. Which means the bar for investigations are raised as the default assumption is that the accused is innocent and therefore the accuser must be lying. Even if law enforcement tries to neutrally address this situation, the stigmata regarding the situation result in far larger polarization than in other crimes. Much again because of the stigma surrounding sexual vs "regular" violence.
33. 2 points

How to active more muscle fibers?

According to one study, ape have less grey matter in their spinal cord. This leads to fewer neural connections to the muscles. Basically, a single nerve impulse triggers more muscle fibers than it does for humans. This gives ape more brute strength. The greater amount of grey matter and larger number of neural connections human have means each nerve impulse controls a smaller group of muscles. While this reduces the strength potential for humans, it increases their fine motor skills. Apes are strong, but are poor at doing delicate tasks, while humans are not as stronger but are capable of doing all sorts of delicate tasks. It's a trade off between fine muscle control vs. pure strength. You just can't "have it all". Even in your post about breeding faster and stronger humans. The truth of the matter is that you would likely be forced to choose one over the other. People genetically disposed to be great weight lifters aren't going to be particularly fast on the race track, and a great marathon runner isn't going to excel at the clean and jerk. You probably would even have to qualify what you mean by "fast"; a good sprinter isn't going to fare well as a long distance runner and vice versa. For one thing, muscle fibers come four types that are categorized by their "twitch speed" and fatigue factor. Type I is a slow twitch fiber. It doesn't contract as fast but has good endurance as it also doesn't fatigue quickly Type IIA is a fast twitch fiber. contracts quickly, but fatigues rapidly also. Type IIB is a combo, doesn't twitch as fast as IIA, but doesn't fatigue as quickly either. Type IIC fastest response, but fatigues the easiest also. What separates these types of fibers is where they get their energy. Type I gets it aerobically (by using the oxygen we breathe) Types IIA and IIC get it anaerobically (using stored energy sources which deplete rapidly) Type IIB uses a mixture of both. A good sprinter might have an abundance of Type IIA, while the long distance runner might have an abundance of Type I.
34. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

+1 to that. I believe I have only given positives in this thread, including a couple to posters that seem to disagree with my positions (on what I consider their better or more informative posts, or corrected me when I clearly got something wrong) Badgering with negatives isn't going to change anyones mind. It may have the opposite affect. As an example, this post by a very new member currently has 2 negative reps, Why, I have no idea...I can't even guess what is being objected to.
35. 2 points

definition of derivative

113, It would help to know if you are starting calculus at high school or restudying the subject more deeply at university? It may seem silly and obvious to say that when you start something you have to start somewhere. The way calculus was developed and the way we learn it is not the way it is formally collected together and written down in textbooks. So when you start (or restart study) there is much they don't tell you at first. This is not due to any malevolent intent, it is simply to make the presentation understandable. One of the reasons that differentiation is presented in the form it now appears is because there are many types of differentiation. You are studying the functions of a single real variable. The modern form can be extended to differention of Vectors (and tensors if you have heard of them) for instance. The idea is that we make a (small) change to the variable concerned and compare the result in the function of that variable to the starting point. With a single real variable there is only one sort of change that can be made, so implementation of the modern formula looks a bit over the top. But coming on to more advanced forms of differentiation, the 'derivative' is not even a single function but a matrix (called a Jacobian) or other multidimensional entity. On a historical note. Newton was basically a Physicist, who needed to invent most of the Maths he needed. He came to calculus of functions from the calculus (there are several calculi) of finite differences, which he invented. There are many formulae in this calculus which bear his name. He was doing this because he was interested in producing (interpolating) tables of values he needed and he was one of the pioneers of this subject. With the completion of most tables and the advent of computers, Finite Difference methods are not taught so commonly today. Leibnitz was primarily a mathematician, studying and developing the 'analysis' of his day. So he came to calculus directly from the theory of functions as it then existed as graphs drawn on paper.
36. 2 points

Conceptions

It's a good question, and one that tests our intuitions. My first reaction, counterintuitive though it may seem at first, is to say "yes!" (though interested to hear other members' thoughts) After all, what is the Grand Canyon, say, if not a great big hole in the ground? Yet no one seems to deny it bona fide ontological status. How about that hole in our faces that we use to speak and eat, and er, other things too? Ever been told "Shut your hole!" What is one supposed to reply? "Pfft! There's no such thing!" Then we could talk doughnuts... LOL You guys fill in -- pardon the pun -- the rest. Edit P.S. And consider this: If holes are not real, then a hole in your parachute is no cause for alarm. Right?
37. 2 points

Which Animals Would Thrive in Low-to-No-Oxygen Environments?

I looked up Loricifera to familiarize myself and found this lovely picture:
38. 2 points

Conceptions

Nice thought-provoking topic, Acreator. My own take on this would be that concepts -- on pain of denying their existence altogether -- must be instantiated somewhere in the brain. Supposing you're six years old and Dad takes you to the zoo. He points to the first kangaroo you've ever seen, "Look, son. That's a kangaroo". You have now added to your inventory of concepts that of a kangaroo, and presumably this would be reflected by certain changes in the neurostructure of your brain. Now, one common mistake we must be wary of is to confuse a representation with that which is represented. For example, surely we don't suppose the concept heaviness is itself heavy, or that the concept immortality is itself immortal? And by similar reasoning, the concept Bigfoot, say, is not itself Bigfoot, any more than a painting of Bigfoot is itself Bigfoot. Can we agree that paintings of Bigfoot exist? Well, there's bound to be a few out there somewhere, I suppose. Can we agree that Bigfoot exists? Well, maybe yes, maybe no; but I hope it's clear that this is quite a different question from that of whether paintings (cf. concepts) of Bigfoot exist. I'd say so, unless you're willing to bite the Cartesian bullet and deny that concepts are part of physical reality. But again, we must be wary not to confuse the physical properties of the concept with those of that which the concept represents.
39. 2 points

Is a man with a gun the strongest predator on earth?

You beat me to it. I was literally type that same when you posted. A human alone anywhere with a AR-15 wouldn't be absolutely safe. Armed hunters have been killed by bears and large cats. Alone a human isn't the most difficult animal out there to sneak up on. Groups provide humans more protection than a gun.
40. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

I think the most damning part of the whole circus is not whether he is guilty of a sexual assault 36 years ago, but the fact that under questioning about it he threw a full scale toddler tantrum. Regardless of whether or not he was a drunken groping frat boy in his youth, he put on a epic display of behavior and temperament that did not befit the position he was seeking appointment to. Given the Republicans have a comprehensive list of possible nominees to the supreme court, the best move for everyone would be to move on to the next candidate.
41. 2 points

Really a Science Forum?

I didn't give you the -1, BeeCee. But if we gave people a chance and were not so quick to assume the worst, some of those newbies might stick around. We were all newbies at one time, and I know I asked silly questions.
42. 2 points

B Kavanough and MeToo

You have this exactly backwards. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mitch-mcconnell-fbi-kavanaugh-report-public_us_5bb3c909e4b0876eda992325
43. 2 points

expedition to the Atacama Trench

It's not a stupid question. Making colour pigments takes energy (food, which will be scarce in the dark depths) and there is no evolutionary reason, like protecting from harmful light rays, hiding, etc for the fish to evolve to be coloured. To put it simply: deep sea organisms generally aren't going to make something they don't need to survive or reproduce, especially when food is hard to find.
44. 2 points

45. 2 points

could matter be converted into light?

Let's see... You would convert matter to light, then store it in matter and transport it conventionally, instead of allowing it to move at c, the maximum speed possible. Is it just me or does that ( even if was possible to encode all the needed information ) make no sense at all. Hope your 'future' never gets here !
46. 2 points

Continuity and uncountability

That's exactly what it means, by definition. Any set with the same cardinality as the naturals is countable. If it's strictly smaller it's finite. If it's strictly larger it's uncountable. That's all the word uncountable means.
47. 2 points

Why do Pharmacists use a very different definition of valent from Chemists?

You two love birds...
48. 2 points

I am not a scholar on this subject and therefore am not able properly evaluate the subject myself. However, I do seem to read Eise's posts differently than you do. My interpretation is that a) on balance mainstream historians evaluate existing information in favour of a person like Jesus Christ having existed and b) that the Christ myth theory is generally held by a fringe. I may have missed the point where Eise claimed that historians know Jesus to be real (which would be a somewhat odd claim for researchers of the antiquity to begin with), but from the latter posts this is what I am getting. Both claims seem to be accurate and what I feel is that you add your own evaluation to the mix, which is not the equivalent of historic standards (which Eise also already pointed out). It is not unusual to use secondary sources as well as indirect evidence to assume the existence of certain persons. In addition, a cursory view of proponents supportive of the myth theory shows roughly three elements: members of secularist groups, non-academics and academics in their emeritus phase. While this does not in itself invalidate their reasoning it does seem to be rather typical for fringe views. It also does not mean that it will never become mainstream, but neither does it seem to be supported by historians working in that field. And especially the relatively high amount of emeriti publishing in that area indicates that they are not in their field to begin with.
49. 2 points

Charge conservation (split from Magnetic Vector Potential)

$e^- + e^+ \rightarrow \gamma + \gamma + 1.022 MeV$ Prior annihilation we have charge Q=-1e + 1e = 0e After annihilation we have charge Q=0e + 0e = 0e Prior annihilation we have rest-mass 2*me (and energy E=2mec2= 2 * 0.511 MeV = 1.022 MeV) After annihilation we have energy E = 2 * 0.511 MeV = 1.022 MeV) in two gamma photons (after a while they're absorbed and/or scattered by matter, and changes to less energetic photons in much larger quantity).
50. 2 points