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Everything posted by SMF

  1. Lemur come on, please be serious. Moving people between cold and warm regions not only requires transportation fuel but, in addition, twice the living space. All it takes to keep reasonably cool in the summer and reasonably warm in the winter at an acceptable cost is efficient appliances and good insulation. SM
  2. Swansont. I presume what you are referring to are lights, like sodium vapor lamps, that are very efficient when run for a long time but take a large warm up period to come on. It would be silly to use such a lamp for instant-on security, but somebody should be able to easily pick the correct technology for each specific application, or to decide that light-as-needed won't work at all. For example, there are streets in cities and towns that are left lighted all night when there is only a couple of cars or pedestrians per night who need it so a different lighting technology should be used. It is not simple, but this strategy could certainly save a lot of power. Lemur. I think maybe your response is an attempt at humor, but I don't get the joke. The only people who are deriving warmth from their lighting are those that run incandescents. They are effective but expensive heaters. SM
  3. Marat: First. All of the significant forcings that can affect climate (not weather) have been accounted for. How the greenhouse effect works is well studied and the amount of CO2 that society releases accounts for most of the current warming nicely. Also the amount of insolation change in the northern hemisphere from Milankovitch cycles is well understood, and enough cooling to just counterbalance current CO2 concentrations is not occurring, much less an imminent ice age. Second. You are confusing local events with global events and weather with climate. These sorts of events are under intense study and will eventually be well understood and I think the science is advancing rapidly. There were not a lot of greenhouse gasses released until the last century because the level of industrialization and world population was relatively small. One interesting thing regarding the Black Death is that it has been estimated that the decrease in agriculture caused some regional warming because of decreased albedo. The biggest forcings for the little ice age were decreasing sun output and increased sulfates in the atmosphere from volcanic activity, but other contributors are under investigation. The cooling was pretty much over by the mid-1800s and it was less than 10 C at its mid point and may have had more effect on the northern hemisphere (probably because of the reduced insolation). For our current climate, we know that the sun output hasn't really changed much recently and the last volcanic eruption that caused noticeable global cooling was Pinatubo. After this you shift back to your economic arguments for which one should first gain some accurate understanding of the science before speculating. I will make a couple of observations. A large group of competent scientists in many countries are saying that CO2 warming will cause some serious problems. Ocean biologists are telling us that increasing CO2 has a very serious potential to exacerbate the already seriously damaged oceans. Meanwhile we are passing peak oil and peak coal is not that far off. I just don't see why you don't think this combination is going to be very bad for the rapidly growing numbers of poor people in the world. All three problems require moving to a non-fossil carbon economy. Also, why is it that new wigits to save fossil energy won't stoke the economy? The people I know in the solar pv and solar water heating industry are making money hand over fist and can't get trained employees. Also China has pretty much taken over the worldwide PV market while we dither. SM
  4. Random. Start here- http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbw.cgi SM
  5. Marat. My mother made it just over five years from cancer treatment before its return got her. During this period she wrote a novel, took a couple of trips abroad, and enjoyed her children and grandchildren. The second and final round of treatment was pretty ugly, but it didn't have to be in pretty obvious ways. SM
  6. Here is a thought. I have many lights that don't draw any electricity at all. They are the ones that I turn off when they are not needed. Fly over the country on a red eye flight and look out the window. Large buildings, parking lot lights, street lights, night lights are on all over the place. I wonder how much electricity goes to this. Turn them off, and when security or safety is needed an efficient proximity or movement switch can turn them on as needed. SM
  7. A practical note. We could get a light device with very high efficiency, but it is not so good unless the manufacturers can also be persuaded to produce a power supply for converting from household AC to whatever is needed, that doesn't turn on until the light, or whatever, does. Those little cube power supplies that come with various electronic devices can draw as much as 5 watts while idling, even when the appliance is turned off. Someone needs to look at the big picture. SM
  8. Again, this is in the wrong section of the forum. Edtharan, good post. Here is mine- Marat, you say: What you have suggested is that a regional warming in Greenland was global. The land around the southern tip, where the Norse colonies were, was and still is ice free and there is solid evidence that the glaciers that cover most of the continent have been intact for 800,000 years (http://www.scientifi...en-earth-warmer). Recent research shows some regional warming in the far north during the period of the Norse colonies (http://www.meteo.psu...alScience09.pdf), but not as warm as it is now. I wish I could get this article- http://www.sciencema.../6016/450.short, but I can't find it with full text access. There is also some interesting information in the Wiki article on Greenland regarding the settlements (http://en.wikipedia....nland#Etymology). There are several known factors besides CO2 that can affect local warming including several ocean oscillations that change the path of warm currents, volcanoes can cause both cooling and warming depending on where they are, and water vapor is also a greenhouse gas. In the longer term, Milankovitch Cycles cause changes in insolation, but this is on a long time scale. CO2 works both as a forcing or a positive feedback, and all periods of past global warming show increased concentrations. There is a lot of research on this information. The best overall literature review of current climate information is in the scientific section (Working Group 1) of the IPCC report- http://www.ipcc.ch/p...n/contents.html I presume your cow burp comment is intended to be humorous, but in fact natural methane that is part of the carbon cycle does not act as a climate forcer. The gas is produced from forage that was made from CO2 that was removed from the atmosphere. The methane degrades to CO2 in around 10 years to be made into plants again. There are spontaneous changes in regional temperature, but none that are global. Provide a reference to some science. The forcings for slight cooling periods during the instrumental period are pretty well understood. Here are a couple of nice articles. http://www.skeptical...ry-advanced.htm, http://www.skeptical...termediate.htm. Even though they are on a blog most of their articles are written by scientists and so give links to primary sources so you can check what they say. I think I heard about a NOAA 20-30 year hurricane intensity cycle, but not any climate research. Do you have a couple of peer reviewed articles I could look at? There should be multiple publications if this is true. There was no scientific warning about eminent world cooling in the 1960's. The only climate science research that were investigating cooling were concerned with long term cooling related to Milakovitch cycles and the next solar minimum would be thousands of years off. The urban legend was started by a Time Magazine article. Read here- http://www.skeptical...termediate.htm. If you have a reference please provide it. Who do you think coined the term "global warming," this guy?- http://www.realclima...global-warming/ Finding two science professors (do they actually do climate research?) that doubt the consensus is not good evidence of an alternate view. There are many thousands of research articles that support the current global warming scientific consensus and many thousands of practicing climate science researchers worldwide that sign on to the idea. Here is a nice article about how 97% of climate scientists agree with the consensus and links are provided for the polling research- http://www.skeptical...ntermediate.htm CO2 is a well-mixed gas throughout the atmosphere and doesn't cling to the surface. The rest of your post is political. This is a science forum, and political arguments regarding what to do, both conservative or liberal (e.g. your neo-liberals and the British Green Party reference) should be informed about what the science actually says, and if the scientists are correct their will be plenty of problems for the "vulnerable people" to deal with along with the other big gorillas in the future survival room. SM
  9. I think that during a gravity assist (planetary slingshot) maneuver a spacecraft is in free fall and would therefore not be subjected to stress from the acceleration, but I am willing to learn different. SM
  10. It would help if you could explain further. For example, what is the "non creation only conversion cycle?" SM
  11. I thought this was a science forum. I am surrounded by silly Jorges. WTF? SM
  12. Jerryyu, I read your project that you linked to, and in it you made the case for how much electricity could be saved by having it turn on by your piezoelectric trigger instead of running full time. You said that a camera would draw 50 watts and the associated electronics would draw another 50 watts (=100 watts). This sounds about right because the computer I am typing this on only draws about 50 watts. The costs for this much electricity for a year is much less than what you said. Check your calculations. SM
  13. Jorge1907, I did not say or imply that Gore’s presentation was a scientific text. It is a presentation for the general public. Taking my caution about the problems of presenting complicated science at a non-expert level, the presentation is pretty much in agreement with the IPCC report which is the only scientific review of all current climate change/global warming research and it is performed by a large group of practicing (an important distinction) climate scientists. The only solution that is suggested by climate scientists is to reduce carbon emissions, how this is done is a political decision. Gore has taken a policy stand on these issues, but this is separate from the scientific evidence. If you wish to discuss the contentious policies being discussed for the solution to this problem, I suggest you bring it up in the climate change section of this forum for a rousing argument. I would like to discuss the importance of the various technological suggestions for making a sustainable human society that you suggest are fetishes. For example, I have a lot of personal real world experience with solar PV electricity. If you wish to discuss the actual science presented by Gore you should stick to specific scientific claims because I, for one, can’t deal with “tearing the social fabric” because I think there is going to be a lot of ripping and tearing no matter what we all decide to do. What we should do is to understand what the actual science says and then decide on a course of action, not the reverse. SM
  14. Also http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~hsstffg/preprints/Bilalic%20et%20al%20--%20intelligence.pdf SM
  15. Jeff. This may not be a very satisfactory answer to your post. As I said before, the fact that neurophysiologists are recording the activity of neurons that indicate recognition of a specific activity in the self and also, separately, while observing it in others is straightforward evidence that they exist. The real question is- What does this mean in terms of cognition? If an animal demonstrates behavior that indicates the ability to see this self/other behavioral relationship there has to be some physical evidence in the neural activity in their brain. So, finding this neural activity in primates is not surprising because they demonstrate this ability in their behavior but one might expect that this should also be demonstrated in other animals with big or agile brains. I wouldn’t be surprised if mirror neural activity also exists in elephants, cetaceans, and some parrots as well. Further, for a pretty low level intelligence, anyone who has watched a flock of chickens foraging has observed that when one pecks avidly the others will often gather looking for food. Perhaps this is a feature of social animals that depend on their group members to earn their daily living wage. What I don’t know much about is the debate regarding the importance of this phenomenon among cognitive scientists (psychology and neuroscience). I just don’t see what is controversial. There are some here who might know about this and I would like to hear more. SM
  16. Because color is based on subjective experience, and has only a passing relationship to light frequencies, my monitor produces quite a nice yellow from a mixture of red and green phosphors. Similarly my eye is capable of seeing a whole spectrum of colors with only three cone pigments. Color is manufactured by the retina. SM
  17. SMF


    The ultimate theoretical height of a mountain depends upon its mass and constituents. If you had a pure lead mountain, it would sink if it got very big and this would be long before it was a very tall mountain. If you had a mountain of Styrofoam you might be able to climb it to reach orbital altitude if it was strong enough to bear its own weight. Where did you hear about the "certain Height" rule. SM
  18. Jorge1907, I think you might want to work in your teaching skills a little. SM
  19. Marat. I am working through this. I think I agree that we "assess people according to their group membership and our stereotypical assumptions about the predominant characteristics of that group" and this "is just characteristic of the way thinking normally proceeds" for us, but only because of our evolutionary past in a very different environment. I don't agree that this "is just characteristic of the way thinking normally proceeds," except within our previous evolutionary history. I think that in terms of our current information world it is possible to act much more rationally, outside of our confining evolutionary past, such that evaluations of others is based solely on the evidence available. A sort of scientific approach to social and societal interactions. SM
  20. SMF

    Potato-shaped Earth

    Janus. I am pretty sure that Clement's novel "Mission of Gravity" was based on the Whirligig idea. This was a really fun book and Clement's science fiction was a factor in getting me interested in science a very long time ago, so I am going to have to dip into deep storage to find the novel. SM
  21. Lemur. Good ideas, however my opinion (with no scientific evidence) is that racial and other stereotypes are part of our evolutionary heritage from when we lived in small isolated groups. It probably had survival value then and now the only antidote is good education for all. Fat chance. SM
  22. Hi Jerryyu, you are doing a pretty good job with your project, but I see a couple of problems. I did a Google search for "piezoelectric security system" and got a large number of hits. If originality in projects is important you will have to be able to distinguish your idea from the already commercial ones that are available. Also your calculations of the cost of electricity for a 100 watt security system left on 24 hours/day seem to be off. I calculate that 100 watts for one hour is 0.1 kilowatt hours X 24 hours/day X 365 days/year X $0.15 (15 cents per kilowatt hour in California where I live) = $131.40 for the electricity cost per year. Good luck. SM
  23. A fun factoid-- We are all familiar with the bit about ice cubes in a glass of water where melting of the ice doesn't change the water level. However, when an iceberg melts in the ocean the ocean level goes up just a little. This is because icebergs calve from fresh water glaciers, and fresh water is not as dense as salt water. Melting of sea ice will also raise the ocean, but even less than icebergs because even though sea ice is salty it is less so than sea water. When ocean water freezes to make sea ice there is a process, whose name I forget, whereby salt is partially excluded from both the forming and formed ice. A little more-- The process of excluding salt from sea ice was used by Eskimos for getting fresh water when hunting out on the sea ice. They cut a piece of fairly pure sea ice and set it in the sun. After the ice is partially melted, what is left is fresh enough to drink. Successful low tech is nifty. SM
  24. Swansont. I think you have reversed scotopic (rod, low light) with photopic (cone, bright) vision. Photopic is 555nm and scotopic is 498nm. SM
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