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John Cuthber

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Posts posted by John Cuthber


  1. There are plenty of full-scale electricity generating stations that run on methane. At the moment it is natural gas but, if the price of methane from, for example, sewage or landfill gas, became cheap and plentiful they could easilly use that. A search on "biogas" will give you more info.


  2. The idea that, because antihistamines relieve (some of) the symptoms of hayfever, it follows that hayfever is caused by histamine doesn't quite wrok.

     

    I woke up this morning with a headache and I took a couple of asprins. They made the headache go away. The headache was not caused by a shortage of asprin; it was due to too much whiskey last night.


  3. One form (calcite) is stable at low temperatures and the other (aragonite) at high temperatures. Whichever form is more stable is less soluble at any given temperature. Since the transition temperature isn't excessive you can get both forms in shells. The proteins that the organisms add also affect the crystalisation.


  4. I'm no theologist, but I think the Christian version of the explanation is pretty much the same (no suprises there). Of course it's equally possible that this explanation was put forward by a bunch of priests who didn't want the masses coming up with logic as a reason to disbelieve the priests and therefore remove their power.

    Can anyone thing of a way to distinguish these 2 possible reasons for the statement that "God is beyond any human's understanding and beyond logic"?

    It could be true or it could be a good cover story.


  5. This is an example of the sort of question that proves that omnipotence is meaningless. Another classic example is Can God set himself a task he acnnot acomplish?"

    There is the related matter "Does God know of question to which he doesn't know the answer?" which proves He's not omniscient too.

    All this is great fun, but the theologists got there first and redefined omnipotence to exclude questions like this. Devout believers just ignore the fact that their omnipotent omniscient God is neither.


  6. I understand that, so far, where the ban has been brought in (Scotland Ireland, France and others) it is accepted and complied with.

    It's interesting to note that most of the smokers I know are quite happy with the ban. They know they should give up or cut down and this is a great incentive to do so. If they get that desparate for a smoke they can always go outside. (Incidentally many of them only or mainly smoke when they are out drinking so this will be a major reduction in their overall exposure to smoke.)


  7. Has anyone considered the idea that the French might want to vote for a right winger because they feel that the left wing has gone a bit far?

    Could it be that in this matter, both sex and America are not important?


  8. Here in the UK the government has introduced legislation that will prohibit smoking in pubs and clubs in a couple of months time. They are not doing this because smoke annoys people. They are doing it because the people working in those pubs and clubs are being unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals while they are at work. Personally, I don't think people should have to put up with being poisoned at work for no good reason. I also accept that, while cars do produce pollution, they also provide a substantial benefit.

    By the way, I have seen many restaurants with no smoking areas; unfortunately the smoke seems unable to read the signs. As someone once pointed out, "Having a non smoking area in a cafe is like having a no pissing area in a swimming pool."

     

    Of course, if someone wants to say "passive smoking for just 20 mins might be bad for your health" then it's only fair to ask them to provide the evidence. If they cannot prove their claim is true (or at least reasonable) then nobody will trust them next time. This will not help their career.


  9. I suspect that their "right wing" candidate will have policies that are to the left of our "left wing" prime minister. Mr Blair.

    Also, while it spoils the telegraph's story, surely the French have addressed this problem before? The French word for teacher is masculine; not all teachers in France are men.


  10. Given that the answer to 40 is a fairly common liquid, is it really true to say that it has abnormal behaviour?

    Normally I sugest Google but for #14 I'd try wiki and see what it can tell you about ternary compounds.

    I'm a long way from convinced about your answer to #5

    Someone said

    "If you mean alkali metal, then look no further than your kitchen for a compound that is formed between an alkali metal and a halogen.". What about if you don't mean that?


  11. "you realise the distinction is an artificial one? if you agreed with the IRAs struggle, then they'd be a bunch of civillians mass-resisting. if not, then they're a bunch of terrorists.

    Exactly, which makes my point."

    I thought the difference was that, if the majority took part in the mass resistance it was legitimate and if it was some small self-interested group then it's terrorism.

     

    The talk of the IRA is largely irrelevent; the gun laws in the UK (and N Ireland) are so tight that many of their attacks were with bombs and most were with baseball bats.

     

    "in the middle of no-where, you could get away with it. so i don't think your example is that good, tbh."

    Err? in his example they didn't get away with it; the cops got them. Peter Blake is still dead and he's still dead because he tried to act the hero (of course, if he were trained and well practiced it might have been different, but there would still have been dead people).


  12. "although it doesn't actually contain krypton so it can't be called kryptonite."

    Does that mean that witherite in some sense contains the apex of an animal's back? Is M. Jean Baptiste Biot trying to escape from biotite?

    Names of rocks are pretty much arbitrary.


  13. Any legal system that depends on a jury to make decisions has a risk of mistakes being made; that's the reason there are appeal systems.

    It's hardly a reason to avoid making laws just because the outcome could depend on a jury.

     

    Why do you say this "giving an intruder the consideration of clearly establishing his intent is MORE consideration than he is giving."

    There is no requirement for any clarity of intention. All you have to do is show that it was reasonable for you to think that what you did to defend yourself, was what was required in the circumstances.

    If he pulled a club and you mistook it for a knife so you got a knife and stabbed him you would be in the clear (provided that the jury believed you)

     

    If it's dark then the jury will accept that it was a reasonable mistake.

    Even if you say that you didn't think clearly because you were to frightened then (particularly if you are old and frail) the jury will take that into consideration.

    "What do you do whe

     

    Can I check on something?

    If a lunatic walks into a house in the States, naked and gibbering and comes across, for the sake of argument, a bunch of gun fans showing each other their prize possesions, and one of them (the home owner) shoots him, would that be legal?

    Would it be fair?

    I feel that decision should be made by a jury who are aware of the facts rather than a prescriptive law that says "he's in your house; he's fair game".

     

    "What do you do when the police come for you?"

    Well, either I have faith in the judicial system, or I accept that there's no point discussing gun control law or any other law because it won't be enforced. Even with a gun I couldn't take on the police in a fight. How does this make a difference to gun control?


  14. I can't see this idea

    "The reason we are allowed to bear arms is for the people to defend themselves against their government. Which means that the people should be able to own any weapon the government has."

    working while the government has more money to spend on guns and mercenaries than you have.

    Don't get me wrong; I have alot of sympathy for the idea; I just don't believe that it will work.


  15. Err, what about the fact that, since the police carry guns, it's simply not true?

    Oh, I just realised, it's a waste of breath with folks who don't see the obvious common sense in that. If you don't get that, then all logic is apparently useless in convincing you...


  16. You show me a safe drug and I will show you a placebo.

     

    Anyway, just a handy hint for those looking for details of syntheses on the net. Put the word "flask" in the search string. That will get most of the sites with practical detail and lose a lot of less directly useful stuff.

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