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Everything posted by Skye

  1. I was being blunt there deliberately to be in contrast with the author. If I was a politician trying to sell health care reform I wouldn't use the term rationing. But then if I was a politician I might use language to side step the issue like Mackey did. I agree that you can get better, cheaper health care by giving people choice and responsibility. That responsibility is to the government who will be footing the bill though, and can only occur if the government takes their responsibility to taxpayers seriously and limits spending. Which in the case of Medicare will mean rationing since (I think) it will need fairly heavy handed treatment to be brought under control.
  2. Maybe I am missing something here but the main issue is Medicare costs. He writes this: • Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility. I think what it means is reduce spending in the ways his company has with employee plans. Ok, fine but it's not going to solve the problem. This is about hard nosed rationing of services for aged health care, not efficiency dividends unfortunately.
  3. In case you didn't know the guy who coined the term lateral thinking is Edward de Bono and he thinks humour is often "lateral thinking".
  4. The absence of a proportional representation system is a major reason for the lack of success of minor parties in the US.
  5. That modeling ignores changes to the distribution of plants though, and plants that are better suited to hot dry conditions are likely to expand their ranges.
  6. Pretty much. If it's just a fuel, and doesn't include an oxidiser, then it won't combust and nothing will happen. If there is a fuel and an oxidiser then it will combust and expand due to the production of gases (and also due to the production of heat to a lesser extent). As it expands into the surrounding gas it will transfer the pressure (and heat) into that gas quite like it transfers pressure into surrounding air. Liquid fuels are used extensively in explosives. The most common industrial explosive, used for blasting, is the mixture of the fertiliser ammonium nitrate and a liquid explosive, such as fuel oil or diesel. It is cheap and highly energetic. However for military use it isn't ideal. While it is releases a lot of energy, it does so fairly slowly. The effect of an explosive on materials depends to a large extent on the speed at which the blast expands. In most cases the desired result is for the material to break in a brittle kind of way, and a higher velocity explosive causes brittle fracturing more readily. In industrial blasting, most often rock is being broken. Rock is quite brittle and so it fractures easily. In military weapons, most often metal is being broken, which is much less brittle and requires higher blast velocities to fracture.
  7. In reality, whether you have an explosion or a slower combustion, there is a contribution to the work done from both the production of gases and the expansion of gases due to the production of heat. However often one is ignored to simplify calculations or comparisons between systems. In explosives the expansion of gases due to heat production is often ignored. This is because much of the useful work done is by the rapid production of gases. The rate at which explosives react is such that heat transfer can't keep up with the expanding pressure wave and has a small enough effect to be ignored. The rate of reaction is also so fast that it quickly exhausts the oxygen in the surrounding air, so an oxidiser must be included. In slower combustions, such as in a jet engine or a car engine, the productions of gases can be ignored at a simple level. The combustion is then considered to be a 'heat addition' and the chemical reaction is ignored. However this only provides a basic level of information and chemical reactions are included in a lot of analyses. As far as your opening questions, the basis for choosing fuels comes down to a range of factors. The first internal combustion engine was powered by gun powder. The Diesel engine was envisaged to run on coal. However liquid fuels, distilled from oil, have many advantages which have ended up in them dominating internal combustion and jet engines. The are easy to transport and transfer and contain lots of energy by weight and volume. Given that internal combustion and jet engines are used for transport these are very useful advantages.
  8. It depends on how you measure evolution. Large changes can occur in, say, the body of animal because of small changes in the genes that control development. Is this a large or small change? The physical constraints on animals means that few of these changes are likely to be successful, so is this a plateau?
  9. Well the Governor General has the power, but there's always some debate on the context under which that power can be exercised.
  10. You know I have this old MAD magazine somewhere. In it they are saying the US government should should get Chrysler to start making a car Americans want, given all the cash that was spent propping them up. And they had a picture of a VW Beetle. More things change eh?
  11. Be careful if this happens because the "explosions" can happen multiple times if oil and water remain in the container. The oil may be at around 130 C, the container probably at a higher temperature. So these are transferring heat into the remaining liquid water, which heats up until some of it turns to gas, explosion. The process repeats until there's no water or oil left, or until the temperature of the oil and container drop below 100 C.
  12. Skye

    36-38 atp

    ATP is adenosine triphosphate. It's a molecule that is used to power many enzymes in the cell. In the process it is converted to adenosine diphosphate. Cellular respiration uses energy from the breakdown of sugar to convert adenosine diphosphate to adenosine triphosphate. So the energy is in the form of the chemical bond of the third phosphate attached to ATP.
  13. Many biology academics do field work fairly regularly. Most have classes to teach, students to supervise, papers to write and probably lab work to do as well. Plus field work costs reasonable amounts of money, and there are plenty of academics writing grant applications. Government agencies, such as fisheries, forestry, environmental protection, etc., have jobs for graduates that involve working in natural environments. It really depends on where you live though. This sort of question has come up before, and so I've said before the people that generally spend the most time actually in the field work aren't scientists but support staff. This more applies to larger operations such as established research stations. An example the Australian Antarctic Division, and you can see the sorts of people they need to run their stations here: http://www.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=24404 So jobs like plumbers, doctors and electricians etc. Ok, they are doing plumbing, doctoring and electricing, but they would be spending long periods, maybe permanent, out there.
  14. The Toshiba plant is 200 kW, the Hyperion plant is 25MW. Sounds good for remote industry such as mines where they will have fairly constant and predictable demand. A community would would have to be designed with its limitations in mind, i.e. reduce peak space heating and cooling, if it were to be off the grid,
  15. Here's an example from wikipedia. I hadn't seen it done before. Zany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_area#Sphere
  16. You have two dimensions. You need three. To be able to do that you need to know have to do double integration and find the area of parametric surfaces.
  17. Skye

    Real Change

    I'm not sure the JSF program costs have escalated that much. There's a lack of information, a bit of misinformation and some accounting issues that need to be taken into account. There are about half a dozen different ways of costing the JSF, depending on what you include. For example, the development costs can be included, but doing so means you need to set a given number of aircraft being built, which is an estimate at this stage. The year that these costs are given in must also be taken into account. Between these two variables the given cost could easily double without actually changing in real terms. That being said, the way that the JSF program was put together was problematic in that there were no serious competing aircraft should the program fail and that several different projects were rolled into one. But I think it has worked out ok so far. You've got to expect some issues with a project of its size. I personally would be far more concerned with the major sea and land based projects. The sea projects I'm talking about are a future destroyer, cruiser and frigate replacement, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). seven destroyer were planned to be built. They would have a new hull forms and a range of new technology, possibly including a rail gun at some stage. They'd also act as a technology demonstrator for the new cruiser. However costs spiralled and unless their Congressional backers can save them then only 2 will be built, which given the development costs will come in at around 5 billion a piece. The cruisers will probably continue but they early in their development and plenty can go wrong if whatever went wrong with the destroyers isn't taken into account. The LCS is currently two different designs based on high speed ferries modified to be able to carry modules, such as air defence, mine or anti-sub warfare equipment. Using commercial designs was supposed to make them cheaper than a conventional frigate, but costs have blown out a bit now. Probably worth persisting with I guess but no one seems really happy with it. When it comes to the US Army, it's sort of like they got a post-modernist social deconstructionist designing tanks. Oh wait, not tanks, a family of vehicles that leverage evolving technogies developed in tandem. Or something. This is simply called Future Combat System. There's about 14 different systems here, including aerial and land based robots. It's about six years behind schedule. The Army says it will stay within its $160bn budget but it's more likely to blow out to $200+bn. And that doesn't include any of the communications gear, perhaps requiring new satellites, that'll cost around $80bn. So by contrast JSF looks great!
  18. Skye

    Air fish

    Just as birds serve as a good inspiration for the design of heavier than aircraft, fish are a good inspiration for neutral buoyancy aircraft. Here's a video of a model airship that uses a tail, pectoral fins and dorsal fin for thrust, direction and stability control.
  19. There's also this: Mozilla and Google have had a long and very fruitful relationship. Google is the default search engine on the Mozilla Firefox browser, and the company pays Mozilla large sums for the privilege: $56 million of the $66 million that Mozilla Corp. made in 2006. That financial arrangement expires in 2011, and I don't see any reason for Google to extend it beyond that point, assuming Chrome isn't a total flop. From: http://techblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/09/googles-chrome-browser-could-b.html
  20. Do you like horses? You sound like you have the right build for a jockey.
  21. The key is whether doing that increases revenue to the extent that it makes up for the reduced share of all revenue. So if an income tax cut returns $50 per week to a household, and that household returns it to the general economy and pays a sales tax of 10%, then $5 goes to the government, rather than $50. That's not a bad thing necessarily, the government shouldn't be trying to constantly increase its share of the economy, and tax cuts can aid the economy generally. But while tax cuts may help the economy, it takes some fairly interesting economic reasoning that it helps the governments tax revenue. There has to be a huge growth in economic activity, which occurs over a period of time, to make up for it. In the meantime the government has to live off reduced revenue.
  22. Good guess CaptainPanic. Austempering is heat treatment for steel. I'm guessing it's just another word for that. The aus- comes from austenite, a phase of steel.
  23. Skye

    Obama VP Choice

    As it turns out, all the candidates older than McCain are Galapagos tortoises. They aren't expected to poll well with the mammalian voters though, so you can scratch them for VP.
  24. The Russians are just pissed about the US encroaching on their sphere of influence. Same old games.
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