Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


TheVat last won the day on August 29

TheVat had the most liked content!


Profile Information

  • Location
    Western U.S.
  • Interests
    Biology, AI, Cognitive Sciences, philosophy, and ego-deflating attempts to understand current physics
  • College Major/Degree
    Biology, Information Science
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Life Sciences

Recent Profile Visitors

830 profile views

TheVat's Achievements


Atom (5/13)



  1. My position is simple and nonnegotiable: I want Sandra Bullock (as seen in the space adventure "Gravity") onboard with us, and I want her to hold my hand when I get scared. She must also be scared and then we will bond as we both bravely master our fears.
  2. (with thanks to new member @Doogles31731 for sending this)
  3. The endless drudgery of finding loopholes. Very taxing. Sometimes they need a long massage and a nap, after. Pretty much EVERYTHING that allowed you to amass a billion came from what taxes support -- roads, ports, railways, bridges, access to raw materials, skilled workers, healthy workers, military and police defense of lands and properties and supply chains, government organizations and councils that promote your country's products to the world, etc. CHIP IN, ASSHOLES. (excuse my French -- just really tired of all the entitled whining from rich people)
  4. Odd survey results -- would seem to suggest that many rock stars would be seen as creepy. Unkempt, pale, oddly dressed. heheh.
  5. Hi, Z. I agree on risk. I was really just saying that remote control (for non-drones, with humans aboard) has some challenges. Even planes cruising at a relative snails pace, at low altitudes, can lose radio contact. With projectiles shooting through the ionosphere at hypersonic speeds trailing ionized plumes, and problems that can get critical in a split second, there may be a ways to go. There could be some alternatives, though, that mitigated risk -- laser link, perhaps? I won't deny that for some of us there's a psychological component where we, right or wrongly, want that seat-of-the-pants person aboard who lives or dies with us.
  6. FbW refers to avionics internal to the craft. It doesn't mean remote piloting is possible. It just means there's no hydraulic tubes or mechanical cabling in the airframe that's carrying a signal to control surfaces.
  7. Hope for no radio interference, then.
  8. I assume you all know what the Darien gap is. If I were going to drive to Panama, and then walk across the gap, arguably the world's most dangerous jungle, to Colombia, I would want an experienced guide with me, no matter how intrepid I was, no matter how well equipped and fluent with phrases to charm drug runners and guerillas. Side note: Arthur Clarke's space elevator is sorely needed. Conventional impulse rocketry to LEO is incredibly wasteful and expensive. Our approach to space is like having cellphones but still getting lunch with a bow and arrow.
  9. That is a rather precocious child! There are many things children can do to learn about scientific activities and which don't require dangerous chemicals or tools. Microscope is a good start, for sure. (she sounds a lot like me at around age 7-8, mere words can barely describe my excitement looking at my first samples of pond water, and human blood) Ant farms are classic, and fun. At the other end of the scale, there's the telescope (though those can require a bit more parental participation if you live where there is a lot of urban light pollution and need to drive out into the countryside -- an older child can join an astronomy club and join group trips to "star parties"). There are also simple kits for making electrical circuits and which don't require household current, just batteries. There's also that classic naturalist's observational tool: binoculars. Some quality instruments are a bit heavy for a six year old to hold steady for prolonged periods, so a small tripod is handy. I love the idea of a miniature greenhouse kit - neither I, nor my kids, ever tried one of those. Damn, I want to be six all over again!
  10. Algae are one thing (eukaryotes, and they provide food to zooplankton), cyanobacteria are another (prokaryotes) and far more threat to ecosystems with toxic blooms, as @CharonY notes. Algae are also a food source for humans now, as anyone who's ventured into a health food store may notice. Switching from DHA (the most bioavailable form of omega-3 FAs) rich fish to DHA from algal oil would also allow us to eat less fish and still get the primary health benefit, which would ease pressure on stressed fisheries. The best plan for oceans is not to use them for experiments, unless the experiment is "what happens if we decrease present pollution?" We want to save phytoplankton, which are producing 70% of oxygen, and restore them to their normal levels by decreasing pollutants and nanoparticles of plastic. I've heard that, in terms of planting things in the ocean and pulling carbon, one of the best approaches that wouldn't mess around with ecosystems would be establishing big underwater meadows of seagrass. Here's a quick read on that.... https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/underwater-meadows-seagrass-could-be-ideal-carbon-sinks-180970686/
  11. There are a lot of subjects that many twenty year olds aren't looking for, but which would make them more well-rounded, smarter, and with better tools for critical thinking. Which is why I believe undergraduate education shouldn't be driven by a consumerist philosophy, i. e. by market demand. For that reason, I resist the notion of purely vocational tracks -- I think lack of cultural literacy and intellectual tools evident in diploma mill grads is what got us the abyss of the Trump years and the continuing fallout. The "liberal arts" education that was honored when I was young should be available to everyone and actively promoted as a public good.
  12. This is soapboxing. Nothing Inbred says is supported by facts. And the constant application of "slavery" to people who live in developed countries is rather insensitive to people whose forebears were actually enslaved.
  13. Yep. Having education be profit-centered has the same basic problem the USA has with medical care being profit-centered.
  14. I didn't condone the sealioning, just meant I missed the Reg Prescott who brought a lot of interesting philosophy to his former haunt at my erstwhile website. When he's not playing the games, he can be quite the scholar and introduce a fascinating array of colorful characters in the philosophy of science and make them more understandable. Maybe I just don't understand the Scots.
  15. @inbreeding -- what I fundamentally don't understand in your posts is how, if the web is stealing our minds and enslaving us, you seem to be so willing to use that web. If we were just talking about Twitter and FB, and all the clickbait "journalism," I might be inclined to agree with you on the potential for brain damage and meme enslavement. Your comments on Afghanistan are not well informed. I invite you to travel there, or to North Korea or Gaza or Zimbabwe or Russia or Cuba or Yemen or Syria or Venezuela (et al), and see how well you do there.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.