Posts by OBAFGKM

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  • Bush military file lacks required records

    09/06/2004 3:00:18 PM PDT · 44 of 77
    OBAFGKM to bitt

    This article appeared on the front page of my berg's Monday rag under the byline of Matt Kelley. Matt Kelley is Secretary of "UNITY, Journalists of Color, Inc." Wonder what his politics are?

  • Pro-Lifers Say Embryonic Stem Cell Researchers Not Motivated By Possible Cures

    08/12/2002 9:00:03 AM PDT · 2 of 7
    OBAFGKM to ZGuy
    Researchers could use them to test new chemicals and cosmetics for the lucrative drug and cosmetic industries, he argued in the Canberra Times in late June.

  • Instant fines for thugs

    08/12/2002 8:50:58 AM PDT · 5 of 10
    OBAFGKM to Fixit; Boonie Rat
    The article makes it clear that people will be cited for their actions, not their thoughts.

    Sounds to me like Saudi Arabia's morality police in a different wrapper. Maybe they should be called "Britawa"

  • What's the Bible's Position on the Death Penalty?

    08/09/2002 9:20:34 AM PDT · 27 of 28
    OBAFGKM to hopespringseternal
    You rejected the bible before you ever looked at it, so your opinion is pretty much worthless to someone who is seriously asking what to take literally.

    You, sir, presume much. You don't know me from Adam, but you put words to my mouth and thoughts to my mind, and then disparage me for them. You attribute me a "tiny" mind for failing to see with your clear vision. You slanderously accuse me of dismissing children's murders because I "obviously" reject your narrow-spirited views on faith.

    I apologize for mistaking your posts for an interest in thoughtful discourse -- I now understand that they were intended primarily to show off your piety and depth of "Christian" faith at the expense of your Satan-du-jour. Frankly, the cause of Christianity would be better served were you to lighten up, for you, sir, come across as a world-class pompous jerk.

  • New Method Said to Solve Key Problem in Math

    08/09/2002 7:56:23 AM PDT · 17 of 27
    OBAFGKM to I Hired Craig Livingstone; SkyRat
    PGP is still "PGP." The new algorithm provides only a sure-fire method of determining whether or not a large number is prime. Cracking PGP requires factoring a large number that's the product of 2 primes -- a much more difficult problem that nobody seems to have much of a handle on using conventional computers. (So-called "quantum computers" may eventually make PGP useless, but none have yet been built. Do a search on "Shor's algorithm" for more info.)
  • Cigarette tax hike pushes sales down, but drives revenue up

    08/09/2002 7:39:53 AM PDT · 3 of 11
    OBAFGKM to Tumbleweed_Connection
    Cigarette tax hike pushes sales down, but drives revenue up

    Well, Duh! -- Adam Smith

  • What's the Bible's Position on the Death Penalty?

    08/09/2002 7:27:40 AM PDT · 24 of 28
    OBAFGKM to hopespringseternal
    It is generally speaking not hard to tell what to take literaly and what not to.

    As I see it, it's not hard to tell that about 95% of the Torah shouldn't be taken literally. Why is that interpretation less valid than that of a "Fundamentalist" who believes in the Torah is 100% literal truth? The point is that if one acknowledges the subjectivity of one's own interpretation, one should respect that of others.

    Like I said, if you reject the construct of an afterlife, it is just a bunch of savages killing each other and hardly noteworthy.

    This is just not true. Most Buddhists, for example, utterly deny an afterlife, and yet most vehemently condemn "savages killing each other" and hold all life to be highly noteworthy. "Secular humanists" (Let me nip this in the bud -- I most assuredly am not of that persuasion. In groups of more than about two, they generally make my skin crawl.) who deny an afterlife state that we are ethically bound to doing good in this life because that's all there is.

    Killing is only allowed in defense or at the direction of the state (war, criminal prosecution.) Unlike Muslims, Christians are forbidden to do evil that good may result.

    You are mistaken -- Muslims are similarly enjoined, the actions of bad eggs and wackos notwithstanding.

  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/09/2002 6:32:30 AM PDT · 162 of 241
    OBAFGKM to aristeides
    Speaking of stability, I just read that the Great Red Spot on Neptune, discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989, had disappeared by the time the Hubble Space Telescope looked at the planet in 1994. How could that be, if the reason the Great Red Spot on Jupiter has not disappeared for at least 300 years is that it would have to be disrupted by a larger storm, which does not exist (at least not yet) on Jupiter?

    Current wisdom is that Neptune's "Dark Spot" and Jupiter's "Red Spot" are different phenomena. I wouldn't place too much credence on "explanations" of either, though, because neither is yet well understood!

    Neptune's Great Dark Spot of 1989

    Unlike Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the Great Dark Spot of Neptune is thought to be a hole, similar to the hole in the ozone layer on Earth, in the methane cloud deck of Neptune. The white clouds shown in the picture are above the "hole". In many images of Neptune, the Great Dark Spot can be seen to change size and shape.

    The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is thought to be a hurricane which has been raging on Jupiter for at least 400 years. The Great Dark Spot, seen here by Voyager in 1989, disappeared (either dissipating or being masked) in 1994, and was replaced very soon by a similar "Spot" in a similar place, but in the north instead of in the south.

    This is an image of Neptune's Great Dark Spot of 1989.
    Click on image for full size version (80K JPG)
  • What's the Bible's Position on the Death Penalty?

    08/09/2002 6:23:10 AM PDT · 19 of 28
    OBAFGKM to Blood of Tyrants
    Sounds good to me.

    I might have known. Sort of puts a new slant on "Dash away, dash away, dash away, all!" doesn't it?

  • What's the Bible's Position on the Death Penalty?

    08/09/2002 6:21:27 AM PDT · 18 of 28
    OBAFGKM to hopespringseternal
    1) It is poetry and employs hyperbole.

    In other words, the Bible is not literally true and you have to "interpret" what it means.

    2) Notice it is the parents and not the children who are being punished with the childrens' deaths. (This seems rediculous on its face, but there are a couple of things to remember. First, God is able to fully compensate for the evils of this life so that murdered infants could presumably look back on their demise without horror. Secondly and furthermore, even the beloved saints of God are said to be blessed even in the face of horrific persecution, and scripture implies saintliness is in some way modeled on childhood.)

    You'll have to pardon me, but it would be a middling horrible God who tortures children to make the parents feel bad. Are you sure you should be worshipping such an entity? As for loving such a god, well maybe, given that Winston Smith learned to love Big Brother.

    3) The infants are actually being saved from a pagan life that would condemn them.

    Ick. This recommends that Christians go about murdering babies of non-believers whereever they can be found. Pardon me if I politely decline allowing you to babysit my kids!

  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/09/2002 6:04:37 AM PDT · 159 of 241
    OBAFGKM to far sider
    It's easy to measure the dissolved salt content of rivers. It's easy to calculate the total flow of rivers into the ocean. It's easy to calculate the amount of salt in salt deposits. The math proves that the earth can't be 4.5 billion years old. The oceans should be worse than the Dead Sea by now.

    This recalls a Mark Twain essay, which I excerpt here:

    "In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore ... in the Old Silurian Period the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long ... seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. ... There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."
    My goodness! If the earth really were 4.5 billion years old, the Mississippi had to start out over 6 billion miles long! It would have wrapped around the earth nearly a quarter million times!!!! Nobody but a fool could believe such nonsense.
  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 2:01:18 PM PDT · 100 of 241
    OBAFGKM to far sider
    No way (are ring systems stable). NASA was shocked to find rings around Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, because they were not thought to be stable.

    Not necessarily true. "Shepherd satellites" can maintain rings for many 100s of millions of years. NASA was more delighted than "shocked" because the rings hadn't been observed and nobody anticipated them. In fact, their presence cleared up the long standing puzzle over why only Saturn had rings.

    It (the Kuiper Belt) doesn't exist. Neither does the Oort Cloud. They were both theorized to try to explain where comets come from, but there's no evidence they exist.

    There's plenty of evidence for the Kuiper Belt -- Kuiper hypothesized it on the basis of patterns in hundreds of comet orbits. Over the past 10 years or so dozens if not hundreds of Kuiper objects have been observed and catalogued. The Oort Cloud is another matter, but it's a good hypothesis in that it explains several observations without contradicting physical law.

  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 2:00:46 PM PDT · 99 of 241
    OBAFGKM to far sider
    No way (are ring systems stable). NASA was shocked to find rings around Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, because they were not thought to be stable.

    Not necessarily true. "Shepherd satellites" can maintain rings for many 100s of millions of years. NASA was more delighted than "shocked" because the rings hadn't been observed and nobody anticipated them. In fact, their presence cleared up the long standing puzzle over why only Saturn had rings.

    It (the Kuiper Belt) doesn't exist. Neither does the Oort Cloud. They were both theorized to try to explain where comets come from, but there's no evidence they exist.

    There's plenty of evidence for the Kuiper Belt -- Kuiper hypothesized it on the basis of patterns in hundreds of comet orbits. Over the past 10 years or so dozens if not hundreds of Kuiper objects have been observed and catalogued. The Oort Cloud is another matter, but it's a good hypothesis in that it explains several observations without contradicting physical law.

  • What's the Bible's Position on the Death Penalty?

    08/08/2002 1:32:36 PM PDT · 5 of 28
    OBAFGKM to Blood of Tyrants
    Hey Blood, what's your take on this death penalty?
    Psalm 137:
    8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, joyous is he who takes vengeance on you -
    9 he who dashes your babies against the rocks.
  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 12:23:16 PM PDT · 75 of 241
    OBAFGKM to sheltonmac
    It is easy to demonstrate that the speed of light is not constant. Just take a stopwatch and measure the length of time it takes for the bathroom light to come on after you flip the switch. You will come up with a different reading each time.

    I tried it and I was about to correct you, but then I realized the batteries in my watch were dead.

  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 12:20:46 PM PDT · 73 of 241
    OBAFGKM to Jimer
    What does the age of a planet have to do with light coming from an older distant object? If a new planet is formed tomorrow, it too will receive the same old light.

    Far Sider's objection is that in a young universe the light would have to be created already on its way to earth at all points between earth and the distant source. No problem with that so far, but, it means that some observers in the universe will have sharp disagreements about the order of events in various places. I.e., cause and effect get to be ambiguous, and, I suppose, free will goes out the window.

  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 12:10:47 PM PDT · 65 of 241
    OBAFGKM to Alamo-Girl
    Way Cool!! Thanks!
  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 12:09:40 PM PDT · 64 of 241
    OBAFGKM to RightWhale
    Then it comes down to what is meant by "vacuum." It might be necessary to add a term to the equations and that will disrupt their apparent canonical simplicity. That's the way it goes.

    I think it goes even deeper than that. The speed of light is assumed to be constant on the basis that any observer anywhere who measures electrical and magnetic properties of a vacuum will get the same numbers. E.g., the electric field due to a unit of electrical charge is the same here as it is halfway across the universe.

    If those properties can change from place to place, then the speed of light can likewise change, and an observer can detect his motion through a vacuum by monitoring its value. Who's to say they don't change?

  • Inconstant Speed of Light May Debunk Einstein

    08/08/2002 11:57:24 AM PDT · 57 of 241
    OBAFGKM to aristeides
    Which raises another question -- again as I remember relativity, one space-time point is unambiguously earlier than another if the distance between the two cannot be covered in time at the speed of light. Otherwise, different observers can decide that two different space-time points are both earlier and later. So, if the speed of light varies, how do we decide?

    You remember right. The hitch comes when we assume that different observers must agree upon which space-time point is earlier and which later. Having different light-speeds in different parts of the universe guarantees that there can be observers who disagree.

    Looked at in different ways, it guarantees that somewhere and somewhen a traveler could set out on a journey and return to the same place and time he started, or that he could travel backwards in time. The bottom line is that cause and effect need not be absolute, but may just depend on who's doing the looking. Lots of people object to such a universe on religious grounds and reject its possibility out of hand.

  • Debit card victim wins against odds

    08/08/2002 7:18:55 AM PDT · 14 of 14
    OBAFGKM to Lorenb420
    Was this translated through babblefish?

    No that's why it's unintelligible. To remedy the problem, I ran the phrase through Babelfish. Unfortunately, there is no selection for English-to-English, so I had to use the route English-to-German-to-French-to-English. The result was not quite satisfactory, so I ran it through an English-to-Korean filter. This makes use of Korean's highly logical syntax to resolve inconsistencies in the grammar. The resulting translation should now be much more clear to speakers of American English:

    Cameron was on a hiding to nothing,
    =
    The Cameron to anything was not to the dissimulating,
  • UNC Draws Fire, Lawsuit for Assigning Book on Islam

    08/07/2002 7:57:04 AM PDT · 4 of 12
    OBAFGKM to Owl_Eagle
    Exactly where in the Bible does it say that a Christian should "Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (Koran 2:191) or "Not to make friendship with Jews and Christians" (Koran 5:51)?

    Deuteronomy 13:6-18, maybe? It doesn't sound too friendly to me.

    6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. 9 You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

    12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, [1] both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt. 17 None of those condemned things [2] shall be found in your hands, so that the Lord will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, 18 because you obey the Lord your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

  • Pakistani school attacked

    08/07/2002 6:33:50 AM PDT · 12 of 12
    OBAFGKM to texson66
    Where does it say in the OT for Jews to go and kill non-Jews for not becoming a Jew?

    Ya gotta be kidding! The general OT take is to kill them anyway -- "becoming a Jew" is not an option. You can find such divine instruction throughout the OT, but if you're looking for quick results, check out Deuteronomy -- it's particularly bloody in that regard. Look at Deu 13:6-15 and 20:13-16, for example, although you really should take time to read the whole thing if you want to put it in perspective.

    Along these lines, Psalm 137:8-9 offers an interesting insight into OT social reform:

    8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, joyous is he who takes vengeance on you -
    9 he who dashes your babies against the rocks.
    The gist is that it's instructions to Children of Israel on how to sack a city with prejudice -- dashees don't get the chance to convert. Of course, that's cited out of context, but I have a difficulty imagining just what would be a proper context for baby-dashing; don't you?
  • Pakistani school attacked

    08/06/2002 12:29:45 PM PDT · 10 of 12
    OBAFGKM to texson66
    ...the koran, which actually instructs a "good" muslim to kill the infidels IF they won't convert to islam.

    Oh, come on Tex. The Bible instructs Jews to kill non-Jews. If you cherry-pick the verses, you can make both the Bible and the Qu'ran out to be terrorist manuals.

  • Getting the rails back on track

    08/06/2002 10:10:10 AM PDT · 2 of 3
    OBAFGKM to JohnHuang2
    The burden is not negligible. Amtrak has been paying some $3 million annually on these taxes...

    ...while generating red ink at some $1 billion annually.

    I agree that the diesel tax is an abomination, but it's a negligible contributer to Amtrak's fiscal problems. Amtrak would still be losing money if they got the diesel for free.

  • Pakistani school attacked

    08/06/2002 8:47:24 AM PDT · 4 of 12
    OBAFGKM to texson66
    Islam is no different than Communism or Nazism: they want the world!

    Uh, the only people to die in that attack were Muslims, including guards who can honestly be said to have given their lives protecting Christian children attending Murree Christian School. School officials have expressed sincere gratitude for the support and sympathy of their Muslim friends and neighbors in Murree, and local and federal Pakistani cops are pulling out all stops to protect the school.

    Ergo, your remark not only isway off base, it's downright insulting.

  • New Comet Hoenig (And how it was discovered)

    08/06/2002 6:28:17 AM PDT · 8 of 11
    OBAFGKM to Willie Green
    All those who missed the opportunity to escape Earth's lunacy on the comet Hale-Bopp...

    Actually, it was media lunacy. They glommed on to the most extreme speculations about Hale-Bopp's expected behavior and then hyped it like it was scientific gospel. Cooler heads found Hale-Bopp to be pretty dang spectacular as it was!

  • Six killed in massacre at Christian school in Pakistan

    08/05/2002 1:18:56 PM PDT · 11 of 44
    OBAFGKM to Destro; Malacoda; reagan_fanatic; nonliberal
    I can understand risking ones own life for adventure or money, but I would never endanger my own children. One wonders if they love their children?

    It took about 2 minutes to find the Murree Christian School website and find out what they are doing there. As usual, the gratuitous, knee-jerk, self-righteous, anti-Islamic slander on this thread and similar threads is way off the mark.

    The following is a news item from their site. Sounds to me as though they get along just fine with their Muslim friends and neighbors:

      Press release from Murree Christian School  

    05/08/2002 Press release from Murree Christian School
    05/08/2002 MCS ATTACKED
    09/07/2002 Year ends on positive note

    Shortly after morning break, masked and armed men forced their way into the main school campus and over the next 10 to 15 minutes fired indiscriminately before making their escape over the fence at the rear of the property. The area has been fully secured by army and police personnel.

    It is a matter of thanks to God that no students were injured in any way and that no expatriate staff were injured. Students are all safe and being cared for by parents or guardians.

    The cost to the community, however, has been very high. Two hired security guards, a cook, our reception clerk, a hired carpenter and a bystander all died in the attack. Three people were wounded directly including a Pakistani cleaning staff member, a neighbour and a missionary parent who sustained a gunshot to one hand. Other injuries were sustained by national staff running to escape the attackers.

    The school has cancelled classes, initially for 24 hours, and has set up three counselling teams for students, national staff and expatriate staff.

    The Board of Directors and school management team will hold a joint meeting late tomorrow to discuss the immediate future.

    We ask for earnest and sustained prayer at this time from Christian people everywhere, and are grateful for the support we have received from our Muslim neighbours and from the Authorities.

    Murree Christian School is a boarding school in the Himalayan foothills. It was established in 1956 to provide western education principally for the children of people serving Pakistan in Christian missions offering medical, educational, agricultural and community building services across the country. The school has an enrolment of 150 from kindergarten to Grade 12, with some 35 teaching and boarding care staff from western countries. Students are drawn from some 20 countries from both hemispheres and both sides of the Atlantic. The school enjoys the warm support of the local community and has alumni scattered through the world.

    Test

  • UNC Asks Judge To Dismiss Five From Suit Over Islamic Book

    08/02/2002 12:01:29 PM PDT · 32 of 36
    OBAFGKM to Lee'sGhost
    Good Lord, man, did you even read your own post...

    Good Lord yourself. Did you bother to read to the end of the sentence? "...if any students or their families are opposed to reading parts of the Qur'án because to do so is offensive to their own faith, they may choose not to read the book."

    Not having read the book, I'm not in a position to pontificate about it's being "utter BS and a blatant attempt to brainwash students." I doubt that you are, either. If you have read it and simply sincerely disagree with Sells' choice of important Suras, I apologize for my presumption. In that case, you might consider writing a book, yourself.

    If you want further to research "wife-beating" and ill-treatment of "enemies" in the context of religious scripture, I might refer you to the Bible, which seemingly approves of both, even recommending gleefully dashing babies of nonbelieving enemies against rocks. But I wonder, would you consider inclusion of such verses important in a course on foundations of Christianity?

  • UNC Asks Judge To Dismiss Five From Suit Over Islamic Book

    08/02/2002 11:07:48 AM PDT · 24 of 36
    OBAFGKM to 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
    And it's not racism, but a well-founded fear of a group of people out to kill a lot of us.

    Odd recommendation coming from someone who seems likely never to have cracked a copy of the Qur'an or Mein Kampf. Where did you say you were educated?

  • 4 Sue American Airlines Over Search

    08/02/2002 10:59:53 AM PDT · 10 of 20
    OBAFGKM to Mr. Bird
    And it's not racism, but a well-founded fear of a group of people out to kill a lot of us.

    Easy for you to say. You're not the one being made to drop his drawers in the aircraft cabin under penalty of incarceration.

  • UNC Asks Judge To Dismiss Five From Suit Over Islamic Book

    08/02/2002 9:05:50 AM PDT · 14 of 36
    OBAFGKM to 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
    As a UNC alum I can say I am ashamed of my university.

    Why? For trying give their incoming freshmen a college level education? In any case, the reading assignment is not mandatory. This is from the UNC Summer Reading Program page:

    This year's reading is Approaching the Qur'án: The Early Revelations, translated and introduced by Michael Sells. Although the summer reading is required, if any students or their families are opposed to reading parts of the Qur'án because to do so is offensive to their own faith, they may choose not to read the book. These students should instead complete their one-page response on why they chose not to read the book.

    My take is that the students are intellectually lazy -- to lazy to read the book and too lazy to write an essay.

    As for the book itself, here's an excerpted description:

    Approaching the Qur'án: The Early Revelations, translated and introduced by Michael Sells, consists of thirty-five suras, or short passages from the chief holy book of Islam, that largely focus on the experience of the divine in the natural world and the principle of moral accountability in human life. Easily accessible to any college-level reader, these suras are poetic and intensely evocative, beautiful meditations, comparable in many ways to the Psalms of David and other classics of world literature. This book includes a CD with recitations in Arabic from the reading.

    Michael Sells, the editor and translator of Approaching the Qur'án, is a distinguished professor of religion at Haverford College. A widely published author and highly regarded expert on Islamic literature, Sells provides clear translations of the original Arabic, brief commentaries on each sura, and a concise introduction to the Qur'án's literary and historical context. Relying on this material, students and discussion leaders from all backgrounds will need no additional preparation for discussing this edition.

    Easy reading and informative: sounds to me like it would be pretty much apropos for freshman level humanities. In fact, it sounds downright interesting; I may try to find a copy for myself.
  • Freed prisoner wants compensation: 18 years for a crime he didn't do

    08/01/2002 9:23:01 AM PDT · 30 of 86
    OBAFGKM to unixfox; FatherTorque
    I hate it when I have to explain sarcism. On the other hand, I suppose my post doesn't differ all that much from some of the other, presumedly serious, posts on this thread.
  • Freed prisoner wants compensation: 18 years for a crime he didn't do

    08/01/2002 8:41:07 AM PDT · 21 of 86
    OBAFGKM to rface; Doctor Stochastic; general_re
    If the state had done the right thing and just fried the convicted rapist, we wouldn't be having this embarassment. The problem is really that our criminal justice system is just too lenient. If he had been executed, his death could serve as a deterrent for other would-be rapists. Instead, he costs a bundle of tax dollars in prison and now he's whining about being on some sort of welfare for the rest of his life. He should be grateful to be alive!
  • Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’

    08/01/2002 6:25:30 AM PDT · 106 of 127
    OBAFGKM to Dead Dog; Physicist
    Dead Dog: Propellentless propulsion is a holy grail in it's own right, it doesn't need the hype.

    Physicist: Claiming to break Newton's third law constitutes hype, IMHO.

    Newton's laws are approximations in general relativity. In that context, strange things can transpire: Warp Drive. There's a link to Alcubierre's "warp drive" paper on that web page.

    Alcubierre demonstrates that, not only does general relativity permit propellentless propulsion, it permits inertialess propulsion to faster-than-light speeds. Stuff of science fiction.

    Of course, if you equate propulsion to reaction drives, Physicist is more or less correct. ;o)

  • Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’

    07/31/2002 1:25:22 PM PDT · 79 of 127
    OBAFGKM to madvlad
    Pardon my skepticism; however, it does not take that much to be published in 'respectable journals'. I have myself co-authored papers in Science...

    Well, you're undoubtedly a better judge of your own scholarship than I. I'll grant you, however, that Science has occasionally published some pretty far out stuff.

    I take it you have some nodding acquaintance with electrochemistry. If so, you should look at Pons and Fleischmanns paper: M. Fleischmann, S. Pons, "Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium", J. Electroanal. Chem., 261, 301-308, and erratum, 263, p187 (1989). (It's transcribed several places on the Web, but I can't vouch for accuracy. Here: Pons & Fleischmann, for example.) Point is, their work was solidly based in theory. That being said, about everything after that could have made a good Keystone Kops plot.

    On the basis of their studies, Pons and Fleischmann applied for a DOE grant in the late 80s. The DOE forwarded the proposal for review to Stephen Jones, who was working somewhat similar lines at BYU. Jones contacted Pons suggesting that they "collaborate," i.e., he wanted to pick their brains. Pons and Fleischmann agreed because they wanted to pick back.

    Shortly after, Pons and Fleischmann, fearing that Jones was about to scoop them, went public in advance of publication of their J. Electroanal. Chem. article. (The article itself was premature; again, because they were trying to beat Jones to the gate.) Jones was furious, and went whining to his sponsers at the DOE. Meanwhile, everybody with (and some without) access to palladium and heavy water was trying to reproduce the results whether or not he had an inkling of what was going on. The DOE sent some major bucks to their pet hot fusion physicists at MIT, again to the consternation of Jones, who by this time was grinding away on his ax.

    The MIT folks, who figured they already knew everything there is to know about D-D fusion, were more dismissive than skeptical. After all, fusion is always attended by lots of high-speed neutrons, and what does an electron chemist know about nuclear reactions anyway. So they came up with a bunch of experiments designed to detect the same sorts of phenomena they had been monitoring in their Tokamaks.

    Well, MIT didn't see any neutrons or tritium, so they concluded that cold fusion must be bovine droppings, but they already knew that. Oh, there was some odd excess energy in some of the experiments designed to detect it, but that was explained away (actually swept under the carpet) by redefining the goals of the experiments. Anyhow, it wasn't very much of an excess. MIT's chief science writer at the time, Eugene Mallove, was so offended about this breech of science ethics that he resigned in protest.

    Since then, the DOE hasn't coughed up any more cold fusion money and MIT has continued with its hot fusion work. Elsewhere, notably in Japan and Italy, but also in the USA under private funding, cold fusion work has continued and does continue to produce intriguing and increasingly reproduceable results. Seems it may be a matter of technique, and the MIT crew, although superlative nuclear physicists, are rather mediochre chemists. Current wisdom is that the crux of the problem is how densely you can load the palladium (or titanium, or whatever) with deuterium. If you aren't skilled and meticulous, you won't see results.

    MIT based most of their conclusions, or rather, preconceptions, on the fact that the reaction D + D -> He leaves He with a lot of energy. So much, in fact, that it almost always spits out an energetic neutron. No neutrons, no fusion, unless the He can somehow unload its energy to other atoms. That never happens in MIT's hot plasma because the time scale of the nuclear reaction is many orders of magnitude faster than the time scale of the atom-to-atom Coulomb interactions.

    But, something else may be going on in Pons and Fleischmann's palladium crystal. The impetus for their work was an estimated 2ev chemical potential for deuterium in the palladium lattice. As they point out in their article, that corresponds to an "astronomically high" pressure -- some 10^24 atmospheres. That's high enough to drop Coulomb interaction times down to the required nuclear interaction times, thereby inducing D-D fusion and at the same time providing a means for the resulting He to unload its energy to the surrounding crystal lattice. The MIT physicists were thinking to much "in the box."

    Sorry for the long post. It's just that I don't believe the last chapter has been written on cold fusion, and that there has been an awful lot of disinformation disseminated against it. Besides, if cold fusion's for real, it'll be raining soup! I'm just not ready to give it up.

  • Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’

    07/30/2002 12:15:47 PM PDT · 24 of 127
    OBAFGKM to hopespringseternal
    Without getting too arcane, what are the theoretical bases for this in a nutshell?

    That's a tall order. You can find references and links (good, bad, and ugly) at Quantum Cavorite.

  • Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’

    07/30/2002 12:09:25 PM PDT · 23 of 127
    OBAFGKM to madvlad
    Anybody remember the cold fusion breakthrough at Utah St or Univ of Utah back in the early 90s?

    Not reproducible and later found to be fraudulant.

    Commonly restated, this is simply not true. Pons and Fleischmann work was solidly grounded in theory, and they have published in several respectable journals. "Cold fusion" research continues in a number of venues today, and numerous respectable researchers report having confirmed its existence.

  • Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’

    07/30/2002 9:18:01 AM PDT · 12 of 127
    OBAFGKM to hopespringseternal
    Tinkerer makes a claim, usually pretty outlandish and impossible.

    Turns out there really are theoretic bases for this phenomenon, and, although Podkletnov is apparently difficult to work with, his observations really should be taken seriously. For example:

    "The London equations for superconductors in a gravitational field." D K Ross, J. Phys A: Math Gen. 16 (1983) 1331-1335.

    "Gravitational shielding." Donald H. Eckhardt, Physical Review D v. 42 n. 6 (15 Sep 1990) 2144-2145.

    "Effects of a gravitomagnetic field on pure superconductors." N. Li and D. G. Torr, Physical Review D v. 43 n. 2 (15 Jan 1991) 457-459.

    "Interaction between gravity and moving superconductors." H. Peng, G. Lind, and Y.S. Chin, Univ. Alabama (CSPAR), General Relativity and Gravitation v. 23 (11), p. 1231-1250, 1991

    "Absorption of gravitational waves" Corneliu D. Ciubotariu, Physics Letters A v. 158, 19 Aug 1991, 27-30.

    "Gravitational effects on the magnetic attenuation of superconductors." N. Li and D. G. Torr, Physical Review B v. 46 n. 9 (1 Sept 1992) 5489-5495.

    "Absence of a Gravitational Analog to the Meissner Effect." C. Ciubotariu and M. Agop, Technical University of Iaso (Romania), Department of Physics, General Relativity and Gravitation v.28 (4), p. 405-412, Apr 1996.

    "Does a Superconductor Shield Gravity?" C.S. Unnikrishnan, Physica C v. 266 (1-2), p133-137, 20 Jul 1996.

    "A Unified Theory Based on SO(5) Symmetry of Superconductivity and Antiferromagnetism." Shou-Cheng Zhang, Science, v. 275, 21 Feb 1997.

    "Superconductor-mediated modification of gravity? AC motor experiments with bulk YBCO disks in rotating magnetic fields." David Noever, Ron Koczor, and Rick Roberson*, NASA MSFC ES76, Space Sciences Lab, Huntsville, AL 35812, *Tomorrow Tools, NASA MSFC, Huntsville, AL 35812. To be presented on Monday, July 13 in Cleveland at the 34th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Cleveland Convention Center Cleveland, OH July 12-15, 1998, Special Session of Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (Session 6-APC-1), Monday Morning, 9:00 AM Chaired by: M. MILLIS, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, 10:30 AM AIAA-98-3139

  • Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’

    07/30/2002 8:35:07 AM PDT · 3 of 127
    OBAFGKM to RightWhale; Physicist
    Antigravity ping
  • Study: New World Map Is a Forgery

    07/30/2002 8:24:39 AM PDT · 32 of 38
    OBAFGKM to Pharmboy
    "I think that settles it...but the Vikes were indeed in North America before the Genoese guy."

    Map notwithstanding, it's certain that they were in Labrador by the 1200's. Icelandic sagar vividly recount Leif's voyage and subsequent colonization voyages. Remains of Viking settlements have been excavated in Anse aux Meadows in Labrador.

  • Required Reading Of The Koran Contested

    07/29/2002 2:37:08 PM PDT · 8 of 16
    OBAFGKM to per loin
    "In short, the book is a piece of carefully edited Islamic propaganda."

    I dunno. Seems to me that it's adhering pretty close to scripture. From Deuteronomy:

    13:6 If your own full brother, your son, your daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend should seduce you secretly and encourage you to go and serve other gods that you have not previously known, either you or your ancestors, 13:7 the gods of the surrounding people (whether near to or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other), 13:8 you must not give in to him or even listen to him; do not feel sympathy for him or spare him or cover up for him. 13:9 Instead, you must kill him without fail! Your own hand must be the first to put him to death, and then the hands of the whole community afterward. 13:10 You must pelt him to death with stones because he tried to entice you away from the Lord your God, who delivered you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery. 13:11 Thus all Israel will hear and be afraid; no longer will they continue to do evil like this among you.

    13:12 If it should come to your attention in one of your cities that the Lord your God is giving you as a place to live that 13:13 some evil people have departed from among you to entice the inhabitants of their cities, saying, "Let's go and serve other gods whom you have not known before," 13:14 you must investigate thoroughly and inquire carefully. If it is true and certain that this abomination is being done among you, 13:15 you must by all means slaughter the inhabitants of that city with the sword; put under the divine curse everyone in it, even the livestock, by the sword. 13:16 You must collect all of its spoil into the middle of the plaza and burn the city and all its spoil as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It will be an abandoned ruin forever-it must never be rebuilt again.

  • Homosexual Researchers Debunk ‘Born Gay’ Urban Legend

    07/29/2002 2:20:00 PM PDT · 63 of 232
    OBAFGKM to toupsie; ThomasMore; MoscowMike; MAWG; Polycarp
    Cross-cultural anecdote on disfunctional boyhood experiences and their relationship to adulthood homosexuality:

    Sambia

    Evidently, human sexuality covers a pretty danged broad spectrum. I bet the missionaries about pooped in their pants!

  • Homosexual Researchers Debunk ‘Born Gay’ Urban Legend

    07/29/2002 1:48:07 PM PDT · 47 of 232
    OBAFGKM to MoscowMike
    "I am simply saying, there is no scientific basis for the conclusion that homosexuality is of organic origin."

    I would have to disagree. Statistically significant differences in brain function between heterosexuals and homosexuals have been documented in peer-reviewed literature. Animal studies have shown that sexual behavior can be drastically affected by prenatal hormone exposure. Even anecdotal evidence such as MAWG's can can be "scientific" evidence if it is documented to be statistically significant, which some twin and sibling studies apparently have.

    Now, that does not go to say that a person having some particular "organic" element is certainly homosexual. But it does suggest that there is more to it than simply "free choice."

  • Homosexual Researchers Debunk ‘Born Gay’ Urban Legend

    07/29/2002 1:13:54 PM PDT · 29 of 232
    OBAFGKM to Polycarp
    "The most repected researchers on this issue believe the homosexual tendency is a delay in normal psychosocial development that occurs before age 6."

    Citation, please?

  • Homosexual Researchers Debunk ‘Born Gay’ Urban Legend

    07/29/2002 1:10:36 PM PDT · 25 of 232
    OBAFGKM to uncbob
    "Actor or not there is noway they could get me to play love scenes with a man."

    Hmm. Perhaps Rock Hudson was not bothered playing a heterosexual love scene because he was secure in his sexuality.

  • Homosexual Researchers Debunk ‘Born Gay’ Urban Legend

    07/29/2002 1:08:41 PM PDT · 22 of 232
    OBAFGKM to JMJ333; MAWG
    "It may not be preference, but there is always a choice."

    Do you suggest that MAWG's 6-year-old brother chose to be homosexual?? Or perhaps that he wouldn't have "strayed" had he been properly disciplined for acting "fruity?" That's what one ordinarily does for a misbehaving 6-year-old.

  • Belligerent Bingo Players Ravage Quiet Town

    07/29/2002 9:18:14 AM PDT · 2 of 30
    OBAFGKM to H8DEMS
    "Quinn said she is open to the idea of allowing up to 82 players, but won’t open a third room because she wants to hold other activities, such as ceramics and crafts, there in an bid to draw more people to the center."

    Pop quiz: What is the fault in Miss Quinn's logic?

  • Bring Back The Death Penalty. Better Yet, Public Execution!

    07/29/2002 9:11:49 AM PDT · 34 of 158
    OBAFGKM to Stand Watch Listen
    "I want a public execution. I want retribution. I want revenge and I want a deterrent to this happening again,"...

    ...she raves, knitting needles clacking.

    "Twenty-eight," mumbles Madame Defarge, sitting beside her, keeping tally.

  • Local governments can inspect inside your private home

    07/26/2002 2:12:53 PM PDT · 2 of 42
    OBAFGKM to CFW
    Asked what would happen if a person didn't have the money to fix something such as an elderly woman on a fixed income. "Well, we have neighborhood associations. So we would probably go to the neighborhood association and see if there's any help." Asked what would happen if there were no help available from the association, Wallner said, "Then we would ask then to get in touch with... We would do what we could, but at some point someone's got to fix the broken window."

    Sheesh! Looks like it would be easier, quicker, and cheaper if Mr. Wallner just drove out and fixed it himself!

  • Hefty Asteroid to Sweep Near Earth. (Almost a half mile wide. Can be Seen w/Binoculars)

    07/25/2002 1:36:26 PM PDT · 47 of 129
    OBAFGKM to Pharmboy
    "will be able to see an object a mere 1/2 mile across that is 333,000 miles away with a regular pair of binoculars?"

    The article estimates that the asteroid will get as bright as magnitude 9.3. As a rule of thumb, 50mm binoculars will allow you to see a magnitude 10 object. You'll be able to see it with them, barely, if you have a really dark sky and know where to look. No way with 35mm binoculars.

    You might want to check the Sky and Telescope web site or pick up the next issue.