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Everything posted by geoguy

  1. What is 'grassroots' science as opposed to 'science'? Science is science and is not about agendas, popularity or political correctness. If you want the broad population involved then give them the tools of scienctific understanding....chemistry, physics and so on. This goes back to your: "Such as the production of a new chemical for some particular application should have in its process or generation really the environmental reality that such a product will have, how will it react in the atmosphere, the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere." The 'grassroots'? how the heck can anyone begin to assess any environmnetal impact without nitty gritty understanding of matter and energy? Otherwise what 'environmetalism' is (as it has become) are folks lapping up someone else's statements and using them as 'evidence' to prove some point or another. Students in chemistry need a handle on mathematics to even begin to understand chemistry.....students in the environmnet need a hard science base to understand complex issues. Any one can follow the instructions on a chemsitry set and mix three chemicals to turn a red liquid bto blue. That's the level of environmentalism. Teach science. Hard science. This will create a well educate populations and a larger base for advancement in all the sciences from space exploration to environmnetalism to the health sciences.
  2. "Such as the production of a new chemical for some particular application should have in its process or generation really the environmental reality that such a product will have, how will it react in the atmosphere, the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere.' If you can get any consensus on that then we'll make you God. Your 'environmental reality' will be removed from mine and someone else's. Claiming any reality or 'the answer' on complex subjects moves out of the realm of science and into the sphere of politics and ideology. In theory I agree with you but in the 'real world' science needs to be independent of myopic views and agendas.
  3. I agree with much of your sentiment and some of your approach. I'd put the emphasis on basic 'science' more so than any one aspect of science (such as environmnetalism). A strong scientific basis for judging information gives citizens' awareness and understanding of environmental and other issues such as health care, information technology, energy use, etc. When one emphasizes environmental variables beyond 'motherhood and apple pie' then education is politicised and lobbies line up from Libs vs Cons, first world vs developing countries... less government vs more government and so on. You don't want to take an issue such as 'global warming' and just entrench existing positions. I'm a confessed Econut but it 'pisses me off' when some groups make the environment a political issue. Important issues get lost in the muck of ideological debate. Not everyone has the same opinion on 'wind power' as a positive energy source or agrees that 'vegetarianism' helps the environment. Teach science and give folks an understanding of what good scientific methodolgy is. I don't have a friggin clue about the properties of gases and their impact on global warming...haven't looked at a gas molecule since first year university. How do I receive the flavour of the day announcement on 'proof' of global warming? I look at the science behind the pronouncement. Is it actual nitty gritty science with nitty gritty controlled variables or is it a statement tossed out as a sound bite based on some educated speculation but not actual 'science'. I don't care 'what scientists say'...I'm a scientist and my opinion on areas outside of my field has no more value than the mailman's. Teach SCIENCE, Physics, chemistry, biology, etc. A population understanding scientific methodolgy will do more to impact the environment than environmnetalism without the science.
  4. Sure, I've been to Tenessee. Several times. Hot spot for Paleozoic paleontology. Stop ten of those 'nice Tennessee people' at random on the street. Then give them a map with no names on countries. Go ahead....I bet either one or 'none' wold be able to find Iraq. Few would even start looking at the right spot on the globe. This after almost 5 years of war the 'red' state eagerly supported.
  5. That's probably 95% from your state that couldn't point out Iraq on a map. TN is one of the chubby, low academic states. 10 to 1 they could tell you where the nearest Mcdonald's is and the name of some football team....but find Iraq on a map after almost 5 years of war?...Ha Ha:D ...forget it.
  6. Most Americans don't pay a lot of attention. Many know who Hillary is...perhaps know 'some' of the other candidates but couldn't tell you if McCain is a Demo or Rep, etc. DrDNa is more or less on the mark when he states "Because the TV/radio/newspaper/internet pundits said so." Few could name a single 'liberal' Hillary policy or a single Thompson 'conservative' policy. Most of the images are PR jobs and are subject to the latest ad campaign. 10 to 1 that 50% of Americans couldn't pick out more than one candidate, Hillary, by name in a police line up and 90% so ignorant they couldn't find Iraq on a map.
  7. I said 'sort of war'. I couldn't care less of the internal legalities of the USA. That's irrelevent. Call it a legal war or any other term and it doesn't change the reality. Americans have been mired Iraqinam for years and the day after a major speech by President Pinnochio , the 'war' can't even push OJ off the top of the headlines. Discussion of the war around America is no more animated than who is going to win American Idol....gets less air time than college football. Americans aren't going to accept a draft and send their 18-year-old princesses to be killed for a cause that gets less press than Brittany Spear's flabby belly. It's September, 2007. After all this time stop the average American on the street and ask who the 'enemy' is in Iraq. 'Who' exactly are American soldiers fighting? According to President Pinnochio it's al-Quaida....General Lapdog this week answered the same question by saying Sunni insurgents and Shiite militia....the American in the street would say what? Muslims? terrorists? Iraqis? Iran? or maybe an answer like 'those Sunni guys, no wait, the other ones....what are they called again? Cards and Sheets or something like that. The Muslim ones'
  8. Not at all. All any Demo or Rep candidate care about is winning in 2008....the 2012 election might as well be on Mars in their mindset. 'Iraq' for most Americans has little to do with 'Iraq'. It's all to do with American public opinion and internal domestic politics. Republicans are on the wrong side of the public opinion on Iraq. The republican President has been a master at out manouevering the anti-war majority but it will be to the detriment of Republicans in November 2008. Clinton and Dems running for Congress are salivating that the issue will be the doublspeak of the Iraq fiasco. The odds of a draft is zero. There won't be a draft a draft when the USA is 'sort of' at war. The day after the President Pinnochio's speech, the lead story on CNN is OJ Simpson. Double the troops, triple them or 'whatever' and Iraq slips into the hands of the Islamic fundies whenever the Americans leave....next year or five years from now....the fundies have played Americans like a fish on the line. 'Stability' is a fundi Iraqi state that is 'best friends' with Tehran and instability is a fundi Shiite majority in league with Tehran.
  9. Lots of eggs and canned tuna/salmon. Most fresh vegetables are inexpensive, but more importantly, healthy. note: Let people know you are a struggling student when you go into a store. A lot of business people empathize with your plight and will give you good deals on food and 'stuff'. The 4 years I was at McGill in Montreal I paid next to nothing for food. I'd got to know a lot of shopkeepers, etc. and would do small jobs for them. Instead of earning a dollar an hour and leaving with 3 bucks, they'd pay me in groceries worth many times that. Most folks are always happy to help a student who is trying to better themselves....a bit like buying girl guide cookies or supporting veterans by buying a poppy on Remembrance Day.
  10. Wrong as usual. The Demos definitely want the 2008 election to be about Iraq. Clinton et al are rubbing there hands with glee today. American troops are going to me in the Iraq toilet floating along with hunks of shit in Novermber 2008. The Demos will be declaring 'bring them home' and Republicans will be spouting the same 'progress' garbage. Demos and independents will give Clinton about a 56% Presidential victory and Demos will win another 5 senate seats (that's an estimate from Pat Buchanan, arch 'real' conservative and not a Bush lapdog)
  11. what the heck? This is gold and mica. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Pour them in a glass of WATER and the gold and mica will separate. Odds are the mica silicate plates will float. No need for mercury etc.
  12. I'm not sure what you are trying to do. You have a residue containing gold and mica? Or, to the contrary, is this in a matrix rock such as quarzite? If it's a residue then simply dump the gold and mica into a tall clear glass of water and the gold will sink much quicker....the difference so obvious that you just have to tilt the glass after the gold sinks to separate them. I have to question if you actually have flakes of gold and mica....they will be quite distinct if you look with a hand lens. There couldn't be an element and a mineral easier to separate just by vibrating them on a sheet of paper. No fancy solutions or equipment are necessary. Even blowing on the residue will separate them.
  13. I'm quite rejuvenated by the healthy skepticism on this topic. It's a positive that individuality and creativity and INDEPENDENCE are alive and well in the scientific community. The last thing scientists need is the nanny state with nanny principles sticking it's nanny nose in the labs and experiments of the world. "Im a geologist and see no contradiction believing in Jesus and Creationism" Respect that? My respect is 'F' off and go drown yourself. Science is not about respect, political correctness, community service or other seemingly 'noble' values. It's about scientific methodology....period.
  14. How can brain activity or anything not be linked to QM? Everything in existence is based on the reality of the physical properties of the Universe. Whether or not we can measure QM impact on the brain and it's functions is irrelevent as to the reality. Any model that doesn't take into account first principles is veneer and subject to revision to account for the properties of matter and energy.
  15. what about -Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day? -Don't forget to wash behind the ears? 'ensure your research is justified and lawful' !!!!!! what the 'f' does that have to do with being a good scientist? 'Hey, Hans, I know your real name is Jacob and you are breaking the law by not reporting to the Gestapo and I'm breaking the law letting you work on a cure for polio'. 'discuss issues science raises for society';....PLEASE!!!!! 'Yes, litte Johnny. There is no god and you are an ignorant little boy if you believe such crap your parents teach you. I'm raising this issue to show you that your parents are idiots believing in such mythologies and don't ever believe another word they say on the matter".
  16. It wasn't about 'which party' but 'the system'. Conservative philosophy in Revolutionary revolved around the teachings of Burke. It wasn't a British/colony split but a philosophical one. Tradition vs change. It wasn't even a question of change to what as much as 'how' does one bring about change. Since the Revolution the USA has embraced Burke's conservative philosophy of chage. This is the antithesis of what many of the revolutionary leaders accomplished by independence. For the most part the USA has functioned well since the Civil War but as layers are added it gets harder to turn around the ocean liner in the bath tub. Regardless of what party controls what, fewer citizens remain content and get disconnected from the political process. Governments and politicians become 'them' insead of 'us'. Send 'them' to Washington and despite good intentions 'they' act the same . The process is cumbersome and has an inertia. The original colony representatives might have sat down and changed some provision on state rights in an hour over a mug of ale whereas today the same provision might not have a hope in heck of being changed after a decade of lobbying even if the majority of Americans were in favor of it. The suppression of the will of the People was what the Revolutionaries wanted to avoid. They understood that there is never a single answer but that the consensus of the People shouldn't get buried under a landslide of systemic obstacles.
  17. Good point. Many folks view the Constitution almost as a third book of the Bible. Some how divinely inspired by and conceived by 'extraordinary and wise' minds. The input of Jefferson, Adams and others have taken on a kinship to the gospels of John and Mathew. the irony of this 'belief' in the Constitution is it's the antithesis of what Paine, Franklin and others wanted it to be .... they wrote against creating another entrenched set of laws binding future generations and stifling future revolution and social experiments. Each generation or at least every century free people should tear down the old and re-invent their institutions.
  18. You mention the scientist. There is a seminal series of paleontolgy that is focused on the Devonian of Morocco....first started under the French and then continued under the Moroccans. The publications are in French and despite being written by various researchers 'never quite seem clear'. There is just something not expansive enough about the French language that doesn't lend itself to the preciseness of English, German or Russian (the other principal languages in Devonian study). I get requests to translate a few lines here and there and going from French into English is much less accurate than German or Russian into English. It's not onlya positive that a universal language (English) has dominated scientific publications in thel ast 50 years but that the language of domination, by chance, is precise and unambiguous. I prefer French in novels, poetry, songs, etc. but it's a pain in the butt when describing the minutia often needed in taxonomy.
  19. I grew up in a home in which I spoke English to my mother and French to my father and a mix of both on the outside. Language use had a subtle impact on viewing the world around me. My siblings and I would switch back and forth and it was often subject related. It's not a rule but the norm that happens is subjects related to creativity, the arts, music, feelings, disputes and so on are in French and 'practical' subjects (the grocery list, bicycle repairs)) in English. It's almost the reverse of what one would expect as one is tied more emotionally with one's mother as a child (in my case English language). French has a 'texture' to it that adds to one's 'spice of life'. English has a functional richness to tackle 'getting the job done'. The difference, of course, is on a continuum and a matter of degree and not extremes. It makes me wonder, however, just how different an oriental or East Indian might be influenced in their view of the world partially due to use of their language.
  20. The devil is in the details. Does states rights include slavery? Segregated schools? What's individual liberty? Polygamy and freedom to marry off oe's 16 year old daughter to a a 60 year old religious elder? I know you are not advocating these and this is certainly not reflective of most conservatives or anyone else. The question, however, is where lines are drawn. One person's liberty is another's oppression. 'Limited' government is fine if one is holding the reigns of that government....not so great if you're a disenfranchised minority.
  21. The same they will do if the USA gets out 10 years from now. What is going to change among the Iraqis? Unfortunately 'stability' is a pro Iran Islamic dictatorship. I recall the words of one mother whose son, a U.S. soldier, was killed. Her son was 19 years old and has 6 months of military service. The Iraqis have had over 3 years of training. What exactly is going to change in the next few months or year to make the Iraqis more 'prepared'?
  22. True. When was the last time the USA entered a war for moral reasons? I don't see any 'morality' being motivation for selling arms to the Saudis or 'morality' being the motivation for invading Iraq. Where is this record of a moral basis for military intervention? Dictators from Chile to El Salvador to Iran to Guatemala to...were propped up by the Americans. I'm surprised so many American Republicans support the military invasion policy of George W Bush. As Pat Buchanan, a conservative notes: "This President has been a one man wrecking ball destroying the Republican image as a party reluctant to enter foreign conflicts". The man in charge: The hero of the Right. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070907/APEC_BUSH_070907/20070907?hub=TopStories
  23. What a load of baloney. For example the divorce rate is LOWER today than in the 1970's And in the USA it is highest in the conservative Republican 'Red States' and lowest in liberal 'Blue states'. As for God and atheism, etc. hint. The USA, the western nation with the highest belief in mythologies such as the Jesus dude, has the HIGHEST levels of murder, rape and violence and by far the highest level of incarceration. Countries such as Denmark & Sweden with a much higher percent of atheists, have the lowest level of violence. Blacks aren't going back to shining shoes...women aren't going back to playing bridge and Gays aren't going back in the closet. The neo-cons are a minority in a nation that is refinding itself and the USA will soon again be a positive example to the world. You, however, might want to go back to school to learn some facts.
  24. That's why I enjoy being in the field of paleozoic invertebrates, Nobody is after a 'gold star' in the media and rarely is anyone's knickers in a knot if further research questions previous conclusions.
  25. As I've stated, we lived in the USA and the medical coverage our company paid for was fine. My concern with private insurance is the way it's offered in the USA....often through employers. It's a job benefit. Some colleagues in the USA are at times restrained in options in life because of a dependence on work provided insurance. Especially if they have a medical issue in the family. One fellow had a son with cerebral palsy and his wife developed M.S. Since these conditions were after he was employed by an energy company, much of the financial burden was taken care of but his career amd life options are limited. He's 'stuck' in his employment situation. Here in Alberta folks come from all over the western world to work in the mountains in summer and the ski hills in winter. It's revealing that Americans are either young i(n their early to mid 20's) or retired. Germans, Australians, fellow Canadians, etc. seem to 'step out' of life at any age and change course (such as come her to work for a season then off to somewhere else). Americans, in there mid 20's to retirement age, in contrast, seem to only travel or do something new when 'on vacation'...then they have to get back into the grind. One reason they are tied, in part, to their work benefits (such as health). Folks from other parts of the world can go home at any time and qualify for health benefits, maternity supplements, parental leaves of absences, etc. Americans might not be best served by trying to implement universal health coverage as in the rest of the western world. It might be like trying to turn an oil tanker around in a swimming pool. But some type of mandatory pay-in scheme independent of employment might be a compromise.
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