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John Cuthber

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Everything posted by John Cuthber

  1. When you say "I'm thinking it's glass." do you mean glassy carbon (which is a form of graphite)?
  2. Does anyone have any thoughts about this anouncement? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6558569.stm
  3. You might be able to do it. Does anyone here really understand the nature of the coriolis effect? The trade winds seem to find it easier to go one way rather than the other but I don't know how much of that is driven by the sun tracking accross the sky. If the earth were perfectly spherical it would be easier to run round the equator than down zero longitude from the north pole and then up the other side because you wouldn't have to fight the effect, but I don't think it would matter which way you ran.
  4. I think you could sell it as the power supply for a "green" electric fence but I don't think it would deliver enough power for anything else much.
  5. Strictly speaking I'm not sure we are talking about "aircraft that can't land anywhere without said upgrade" We are talking about aircracft that can land at any big airport once. I understand that, in an emergency, it is possible to land big aircraft "safely" without the undercarriage. You get the airport to lay down a big mat of fire- fighting foam and skid to a halt in that. I don't see this idea catching on anytime soon.
  6. Also, per unit of energy released, gas produces less CO2 than coal or oil.
  7. I'm a chemist for a living and I don't know what linear algebra is. I haven't done any matrix arithmetic since I was a student. Having said that you do need to know about matricies, calculus and eigenvalues if you want to do theoretical chemistry and quantum mechanics.
  8. http://amasci.com/emotor/kelvin.html
  9. "Originally Posted by John Cuthber "What does the tactical situation on the ground have to do with the handling of the political aftermath? I don't understand this correlation at all." The only relation is that people are slagging off both without proposing any sugestions as to how they might have been handled better. (Of course, the overall tactics of this conflict are political so the two are not totally unrelated) The politics of selling the stories to the newspapers is another matter- it could clearly have been done better, but it's a relatively minor point. I can understand your frustration at hearing comments made in that manner, but I'm afraid that we can't enforce something like that. It's not SFN policy to require people to have suggestions for improvement before they can post an opinion on a subject. Though I think sometimes that perhaps it should be! " Thanks for that, in the meantime I will just have to take comfort from the fact that, since they aree not rushing to tell me how they would have done better, they are not able to. It's easier to see your country's servicemen and women (and even politicians) criticised by people who seem to have no knowledge, than by those who do. Oh, by the way, can someone tell me does this "You know, it's funny how people like to point out that half the world hates the US, but no one points out that it's only ONE part of that world that targets and kills civilians of that country. Why is it the rest of the world is expected to keep their heads, but the middle east gets a free pass?" mean that only Middle East countries can get away with despotism and terrorism? If so will someone let me know who moved Zimbabwe to the Middle East? It's not the only example, but it's probably one of the nastiest. Or was the statement just nonsense in the first place?
  10. Paranoia, If you left the quote in context, it was clear what it meant. Why didn't you do that?
  11. "when you force air into your mouth and it gets compressed, it can hold slightly more water vapour." Why?, the vapour pressure of water is not dependent on the external pressure (at least, not at the temperatures and pressures we are talking about here). On the other hand, when the pressure is dropped again the air cools, it can hold slightly less water vapour.
  12. "Duh... Of course fighting back pisses off the enemy more. If I walk up and punch you in the face and you hit me back, I'm going to get really pissed and hit you even harder and more. Does that mean you shouldn't fight back?? Does that mean fighting back won't work?? This is a tired, single level thought process point here." I don't care if they get upset; I care that more people on our side die as a result of these actions. I think there's about 300 million people in the states; to a good aproximation they will all be dead in a hundred years so the death rate is something like 3 million a year or about 8000 a day. The worst terrorist atrocity in history, unprecedented in scale, raised the death rate by less than 50% for a day. I think a bad spell of cold weather can do that. I'm not trying to belittle the suffering of those involved but on the grand scale of things, it didn't achieve much beyond making a lot of Americans hate Moslems. If they could get the bomb, they would have used it. They haven't so it's fair to say they can't get it. Let's try to keep it that way. Without the bomb they are just an irritation. As for "No, the problem you suffer from is lack of interest. We've been not very damn interested in anything terrorists have been doing for three decades now. They declared war on us 30 years ago " It's a good deal less than 30 years ago that I was woken up by a terrorist bomb in London. As it happens I was away on business when another terrorist bomb ripped apart a building across the traffic island from where I worked. Another terrorist was arrested at the bus stop just 50 yards or so up the road from where I worked. Fortunately my family were out of town when yet another bomb, planted in a litter bin, tore through the main street in the town centre where they usually go shopping. The terrorists killed a couple of children with that bomb. They were burried in the church where, as a kid, I made brass rubbings. Would you like to explain the sense in which I have had a lack of interest in terrorists please?
  13. "What does the tactical situation on the ground have to do with the handling of the political aftermath? I don't understand this correlation at all." The only relation is that people are slagging off both without proposing any sugestions as to how they might have been handled better. (Of course, the overall tactics of this conflict are political so the two are not totally unrelated) The politics of selling the stories to the newspapers is another matter- it could clearly have been done better, but it's a relatively minor point.
  14. Good God! When a theory is put forward by such obvious shysters as the American Meteorological Society; the national science academies of the G8 nations, plus Brazil, China and India; the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the U.S. National Research Council, it's a wonder anyone believes it.
  15. I don't think we are facing "an enemy" any more than we always were. There are people who want to get power over others and there have always been those who for whatever reasons do not like what they see in the West. There is nothing new about terrorism; 9/11 just marks the time they got really lucky. It's not the dawn of some new era, if the IRA had thought of it 30 years ago they could have done something similar. The Arab/Israeli conflict could have done it any time since the invention of the plane. It just happens that the first ones to think of it were anti-American. Since nothing has really changed (except, perhaps the US people's mindset) it's hard to justify any change in policy. If you call the fight against these criminals a war then you glorify them. The talk of whether or not this was a war stemmed from how the people at Gitmo were treated. The question was "Are they soldiers of an enemy with whom we are at war?" If so then treat them as prisoners of war. OK that means lock them up until the war is over. If the war will never be over then you have a problem there. My point of view is that some of them are innocent and should be sent home as soon as possible (yet we are discussing this 4 years on).Some of them are criminals (as it happens,they are that particular group of criminals called terrorists) and these people should be punnished. In order to decide what group they are in they should be tried. You keep pointing out that there are practical problems with trials. Fair enough, but have you not noticed that there are major problems with not having trials? You keep making essentially this assertion "One thing this isn't - a criminal justice exercise. If we approach this with a pre-9/11 mentality, we're going to lose more than 3,000 or so lives, a few towers and a chunk of the pentagon. We're going to lose a city and our liberty along with it sometime in the next 20 years." with no clear evidence in support. The only way to take out a city is with a nuke. You seem muddled- the US govt has lots of these; the terrorists have none. If Al Queada and their ilk had a city the US could possibly nuke it. It doesn't work the other way because AQ don't have the bomb. OK there's a possibillity they could get it and I have no doubt they would if they could. They are well funded and they haven't got it yet which proves that getting the bomb is difficult. It's fairly obvious to me that you can make it much harder by reducing the supply of enriched uranium. The US's gold is still in the federal reserve in Fort Knox. More people are interested in gold than in uranium yet nobody has taken the gold. It seems clear to me that it is possible to lock up the uranium in the same way. For what it's worth, the Russian and Chinese governments' gold reserves are still in their vaults too so it looks like they can prevent theft of stuff if they want. God knows what the so called war on terror has cost in cash terms (never mind human terms). Buying up the world's "loose" enriched uranium and locking it up would be cheaper. ( practically and politically, it might be easier to fund the Russian's uranium storage security than to buy their uranium) OK there are still a couple of nuclear powers out there who might not want to play along and who can produce their own nukes but I don't see (e.g.) Pakistan or India selling a nuke to AQ because they know who would be held to blame if it were used. If the US were to chose to do this they would be seen, by me at least, as helping to tidy up the plannet and getting rid of some nasty stuff. Who knows; that might even get them some positive press across the world. On the other side we could look at what the USA (with the UK's support) has done in response to 9/11. Two reports in the news today both indicate that the "war on terror" has done more harm than good. It has provided fuel for the fires of radicalism and it has reduced (at least the UK's) abillity to act as a force for good in the world.
  16. My best guess is that it was a coil of wire, perhaps with a ferrite core, connected to an amplifier. Any change in the magnetic field would produce a voltage in the coil and if this were amplified and fed to a speaker you could hear it. As you say, there's no way you could hear the IR remote control signal directly, but the IR signal is pulsed in order to carry information to the TV or whatever. Those pulses happen a few times a second so you could hear that. Also, while the IR would have no direct effect on a coil of wire, the current in the remote control would vary as the IR LEDS went on and off. This would produce a variable magnetic field. I bet you are glad you didn't buy it now.
  17. "I know that vinegar dissolves in benzene" I'm pretty sure that something that is over 90% water will not dissolve in benzene. Acetic acid will mix with benzene and the simple reason is "why not?". I think that it stays largely as dimers joined by H bonds, like the vapour, but I may be mistaken. There are no particularly strong bonds between benzene molecules so there's nothing to stop a pair of acetic acid molecules getting in there.
  18. You could argue that the electron density of some excited state of a single carbon atom is more like graphite or diamond than the ground state but I think that would be pushing it. Diamond is different from graphite because the atoms are arranged differently. You can't arrange just one atom. BTW, DU isn't strong; they use it because it's dense.
  19. Incidentally, the current definition of the metre (since 1983) means that the speed of light (in vacuo) is constant by definition. http://www.bipm.fr/en/si/history-si/evolution_metre.html
  20. Haezed You posed a question and I will try to answer it. "Originally Posted by JohnB Well you could try actually answering the damn question, that way other people don't have to guess. For the record, here they are again. 1.Who are you fighting? 2.How will you identify them? 3.How will you know it's over? 4.Who will sign the Armistice? 4 questions, can you provide 4 answers? " To which Haezed, you replied "Four questions can have a single answer. I've given that answer which acknowledges that you have asked difficult questions that help distinguish this from a prototypical "war." However, there are also similarities with a war even though we are not fighting a traditional nation state. For this reason, I have repeatedly said that the US, as the primary leader in this fight, is struggling to develop new rules that will apply to this fight of the 21st century. Why is this not an adequate answer? " OK, I will try to explain. Imagine this; I'm at the station trying to get a train to London. I don't know when the train is due and the information boards are not working (trust me that's not an unreasonable scenario). I want to know if I have time to go and get a magazine and a coffee before I catch the train; I know the current time, but lack the information on the departure time of the train. I ask somebody when the next train to London arrives and they tell me that it's due at 17:00. Before I asked, I didn't know when the train was due. I asked a question and, because I got an answer, afterwards, I did know when the train was due. That's what makes it an answer. If I had asked someone and they had said "I don't know", "that's a very interesting question" or "wibble nuff nuff fishcakes!" this would have been a reply but, since it failed to convey the information I sought, it wouldn't have been an answer. Do you understand the difference between a reply and an answer now?
  21. I'm still waiting for infromation about what other people would have done in Mr Blair's place. While I'm asking; what would you have done if you had been trapped in an inflatable boat by hostile armed ships? Unless you can actually come up with a better response than those who were in that situation, might I enquire as to your qualification to make derogatory comments about them or their country? (And God knows it's pretty rare that I say Blair did a good job.)
  22. There are serious problems with the steady state theory of the universe.
  23. John Cuthber

    Member Survey

    Have fun with the data and your course. BTW, here in the UK most degrees are 3 years long and which income group I fall into depends on the current sterling/ dollar exchange rate.
  24. I think that, while the armed forces take the trouble to explain this to their personnel, they don't tell the BBC about it- perhaps they should.
  25. Well the people are back home now and I have no doubts that they will tell us what happened. It will be interesting to see how the 2 sides are judged after the truth is known. Also, I'm also pretty sure that it is standing policy, if captured like that, to read out any cobblers they ask you to. In this case the "confessions" were in such flaky English it was obvious they were written by someone else. As I said earlier this stunt must have been for the domestic propaganda market. Fundamentally, I have a simple question to ask. Would those who, like Bettina, disagreed with the way this was handled please tell us what they would have done in Mr Blair's place? For example, Britain is a nuclear power so we could have nuked Tehran. Would that have been a better ploy?
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