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OldChemE

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Everything posted by OldChemE

  1. Probably too unscientific for this forum, but I long pondered the meaning of life and decided, at least for me, "What is the meaning of life?" was the wrong question. I don't like being alone. The question for me was "Who is the meaning of life." Wife, family, friends
  2. If you think about it a little it makes good sense. Helium and Argon are Noble gasses. They have 8 electrons in their valence shell. They do not form ions particularly well and are largely non-reactive. You need ions in order to have significant electrical conductivity. Noble gasses don't conduct well.
  3. I think the OP question is answered, but would point out that DNR decisions are not the only way government guidelines bring life to an end on a cost-benefit basis. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with operable prostate cancer at the age of 79. His doctor and insurance company refused to recommend or support prostate surgery. The basis given was that, according to US Government and Medicare protocols, a person of his age did not need the surgery as he would likely not die of the cancer anyway. This was, in effect, a cost benefit analysis. He was a healthy alert man of good mind. He could not afford the surgery on his own. Untreated, the cancer spread outside the prostate gland and killed him in 4 months.
  4. Culture is most of the above, and maybe more. But i particularly agree that Language goes a long way to define culture. I lived and worked 6 years in the 'German' speaking part of Switzerland, and had to learn to gt along with the local dialect of German in order to do my job well. The biggest benefit to learning parts of the local language was that I began to understand the local jokes. So-- I became convinced that if you want to understand a culture you must learn enough language to understand the jokes. Culturally specific humor goes a long way toward encapsulating the essence of a culture.
  5. Check out letters that are on opposite sides of a standard keyboard. when a touch-typist has to type one letter with the left hand and the next with the right (or vice versa) typos arise if the fingers of the two hands are not equal in speed of movement. For example, I have a tendency with words that end in 'tion' of typing 'iton' because my right hand seems to be a little faster (I am right handed). Similarly, I tend to type 'hte' instead of 'the' again because I seem to reach the letter h with my right hand a split-second faster than I can hit the 't' key with my left. I haven't done any research, so I don't know if this is just because I am right handed, or if it is just an age thing-- my left slowing down a little, or some other factor.
  6. Really?? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170411085742.htm Cross-cultural study strengthens link between media violence, aggressive behavior Date: April 11, 2017 Source: Iowa State University Summary: Media violence affects aggressive behavior, compelling evidence demonstrates. This first-of-its-kind study, conducted in seven different countries, confirms six decades of research showing the effect is the same, regardless of culture.
  7. While I am coming very, very late to this thread, I notice the discussion bouncing back and forth on the question of what might be different about the US relative to other countries. How about entertainment?? I haven't researched in detail, but it seems to me that gun toting and shooting are high on the list of prominent TV programs and movies. Much more blood and gore than I recall from my youth. Video games, as well, come to mind (such as "Call of Duty"). Could it be that we have an increasing gun problem in the US also because we are making killing less upsetting? Could it be that we are becoming desensitized to the blood, gore and horror of taking lives? Could this be leading to a change in attitude of people with borderline attitudes being more willing to kill for the fun of it?
  8. and in addition to much already said, neutrons help to stabilize the nucleus by spreading out the repulsive effect of the charge on the protons. As you add neutrons, stability improves to a point, but with too many neutrons the dynamics of the nucleus (the parts don't stand still) reach a point where stability declines again. This is why you see a limited range of viable isotopes for elements.
  9. I came out of retirement to teach. Do I want to be armed? Absolutely no. Truth is, I have a gun permit and don't carry one anyway. I think the principal of our school has about the best advice of any. He told all of us that if we hear gunshots in the school we should do two things: (1) Pile everything we can think of in front of the classroom door and (2) toss the kids out the window and tell them to run. Above all-- he told us not to have the kids try to shelter under desks or wait for "proper authorities" to take action.
  10. I'm going to take a little bit of a contrarian position on the OP. Scientific equations do not have to be dimensionaly consistent, per se. They relate terms that the user has to make dimensionally consistent. For example, F = ma. If the user is calculating in metric units they have use newtons, kg and acceleration in m/sec^2. The user has to make the correct choices in order to assure dimensional consistency, and they have to know the definition of the Newton in order to know this usage is consistent. The same equation could be used in the English system using pounds of force, mass in pounds mass and acceleration in ft/sec^2-- but the user will have to introduce conversion factors to attain dimensional consistency.
  11. I've always considered myself to be a Conservative. I'm amazed at how many of the items on the list I agree with.
  12. Firechicken18--- don't forget to count atoms and charge. The number of atoms of each element have to be the same on both sides of the equation (unless, of course, you are converting matter to energy or vice versa which we don;t much do in chemical reactions). Notice how Amphibole has made sure the number of atoms on each side of each element are the same.
  13. Wish I had thought to say that. Good point
  14. At the risk of maybe offending someone (for which I will apologize in advance), comparing Philosphy and science seems to me to be almost (but not quite) like comparing Barbers and Doctors.Many years ago I attended some sort of seminar (can't remember the details) where the speaker commented on the origins of medicine. He commented on the practice of bleeding people to remove evil elements, which was done by barbers. He then pointed out that from this simple practice eventually we developed medicine and the profession of Doctors, whereas the barbers were still just cutting hair. I do agree that Philosphy is more advanced than that, but still believe the comparison has merit.
  15. Its primarily a timing thing. In a fast reactor, the fuel used readily fissions with high energy neutrons ("fast" neutrons). This is a very fast process. In a thermal reactor, the fissile material is chosen that fissions best with lower energy neutrons ("Slow" neutrons). The moderator (water or graphite) is used to slow the neutrons down to where they will cause fission. The slowdown process creates a time lag in the chain reaction which aids control. In addition, most thermal reactors that use a water moderator are designed so that the expansion of the water moderator as it heats reduces the water density just enough to become less effective at slowing the neutrons. This gives the reactor a negative temperature coefficient-- that is, excessive energy production acts to reduce energy production. The overall effect is that thermal reactors react less quickly to power excursions-- which is a control benefit. Fast reactors, by comparison, do not need a moderator and respond much more quickly to reactivity changes. Its really a trade-off. Thermal reactors are easier (less costly) to build and operate but don't do well at breeding, while fast reactors breed much better but have greater challenges in technology and materials.
  16. I've been out of this aspect of the field for way over a decade, so this is pretty general. Thermal reactors are set up such that the immediately released (Fast) neutrons from fission are themselves not sufficient to maintain the chain reaction-- the neutrons released in a slower time frame are necessary. This makes them somewhat forgiving from a control standpoint. Fast reactors do not have this somewhat forgiving time lag in the chain reaction-- making them less popular from a design standpoint. And-- they use coolants, such as liquid sodium, that are a lot more difficult to work with than water or graphite. The combination of control complexity and materials difficulties made the fast reactors less popular. Technology has been changing so I may be out of date. Back in the 60's and 70's the US (Via Admiral Rickover's organization) actually built and successfully operated a thermal breeder reactor at the Shippingport power plant which converted Thorium into usable nuclear fuel. But, as I recall, the breeding ration was very slim (something like 1.05). The advantage was that thorium is very plentiful, but it was never pursued because fast breeders (on paper at least) had much better conversion ratios. For an interesting perspective on fast reactors you should search for a very old science fiction story called "Blowups Happen" written, I think, by Robert Heinlein. It described an accident at a fast reactor, predicated on the assumption that, if you don't design for the slow (thermal) neutrons to maintain criticality, things can get out of control very fast.
  17. the operative word in the OP is "again" I don't think this is nearly the issue many others see it as. Shutting down the government has become a standard strategy for both the current dominant political parties. It too shall pass. Although I have no evidence, I suspect that the main reason why the congressional budgeting and funding process has remained structured the way it is is because both parties Like having this ability for political grandstanding.
  18. Interesting question. If, as I understand the current state of brain science, all consciousness and memories are the result of connection between brain cells, it would seem that there is nothing that could be passed on to another brain. That is, to pass anything along it would be necessary to structure the new brain to be identical to the old brain (at least as regards individual cells, connections and presumably other details). Assuming that the person you want to pass the information to already has a structured brain, there is nothing you could pass on without restructuring them (as in erasing a hard drive and copying new data-- but in terms of brain cells and links, not files).
  19. I agree with the issue of Oil Company responsibility where they have discouraged alternative fuel development-- But I still think NY and others are crazy to launch a lawsuit. They fail to recognize that a huge majority of vehicles currently in service need fossil fuels. For the oil companies to continue to supply that demand they will simply raise prices to cover what they lose in the lawsuit. They will be able to do this because, with our current transportation infrastructure, we cannot afford to regulate them out of business.
  20. Answers (in question order) are b, a, True, False, False scores (in order ) were 2, 1, 0, 4, 3 Good puzzle-- easy if you set up the possible permutations on a spreadsheet-- but fun.
  21. Conceptually it seems workable to me. The drawback is that, if I recall correctly, Ethanol provides about 60% as much energy per gallon as regular gasoline, so this solution would increase carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere for the same power delivered to the vehicles. Seems like this is going in the wrong direction. I'm not sure of the numbers here, but that's what I would look into.
  22. missing number is 12 (the rule is that the absolute value of the difference between the first and second number, multiplied by the smaller of the two, equals the third), |15-6| x 6 = 54, |12-10| x 10 = 20, |8-12| x 8 = 32.
  23. Find some decaf that you really like and switch to it, and keep the same hours you used to. I had to do that 30 years ago due to a caffeine allergy that developed in my early 40's. I had headaches for about two weeks, then was OK. Now-- a nice cup of hot coffee (decaf) seems to be just as good a wake-up as caffeine was before.
  24. I don't like the choices. But.... if a choice had to be made I would go with #2. Choices 1 and 3 are very risky. What if the Alien idea of curing global warming turned earth into an ice-ball? And # 3???? Think of what curing all disease would do to average life expectancy and global overcrowding. Disease can be very bad-- but it is nevertheless an essential element of the balance of nature.
  25. You don't have to get rid of the Electoral College to have popular vote decide the election. Every state has the right to divide its electoral votes any way they wish-- a couple (NH and maybe Maine-- I'm not certain) already divide their electoral votes based on their state's popular vote. The real issue, I believe, is that the Electoral College system gives States a small degree of leverage in national elections, which they would not have if the Electoral College was abolished. For example, with the Electoral College all the votes from New York and California went to Clinton, even though both states has significant votes for Trump. In this election, of course, Clinton would have won if the election was by popular vote, but that kind of situation doesn't happen very often. So, in order to switch to popular vote, the politicians in the big states would have to be willing to risk the loss of leverage. I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon.
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