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 Author Thread: The Gulf of Mexico Is Dying
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 45 (view)
 
The Gulf of Mexico Is Dying
Posted: 1/11/2011 11:55:20 PM
Check the picture here.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology#Quaternary_sub-era

It suggests the current warm has been right on schedule as part of the 100,000 year temperature cycle and that we are possibly overdue for a dramatic cooling. It also suggests that CO2 was higher than present 320,000 years ago.

The notion of oceanic current changes and their effect on climate isn't new .... http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 60 (view)
 
Ethical questions of an understanding about Life
Posted: 1/11/2011 10:41:57 PM
Puppy - not sure if you Googled anything about violence and animal rights. A personal friend of mine was car-bombed by an animal rights group. They even sent letter bombs to government ministers (including Margaret Thatcher) in the UK.

You could start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Liberation_Front#Animal_Rights_Militia_and_Justice_Department
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 15 (view)
 
Refinancing - loan officer asked
Posted: 11/28/2010 5:09:09 PM

The reason I won't put in extra payments now with my 30 year is because it won't go to the principal.
Of course it goes to the principal. I did it for years. Another thing to check with your bank.
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 81 (view)
 
Why be just/fair/good/etc ?
Posted: 11/28/2010 3:48:08 PM
Perhaps there is an underlying error in assuming that individuals are the important components of society. In reality a society is much, much more than the sum of its individuals and is therefore a higher organization (and a much more long-lived one) than any individual. Society and its attendant benefits wouldn't exist if individuals failed to look beyond themselves for a raison d'etre. Self-interest now requires individuals to look well beyond their individual sphere and recognize the value of others in their society. Nurturing those other members of society benefits the individual, even when they are not necessarily known to the individual.
Would you even exist if the cells which make up your body decided to simply act in their own immediate self-interest? Cooperation makes our bodies work. Could society be any different?
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Refinancing - loan officer asked
Posted: 11/28/2010 3:33:21 PM

The rates have since dropped.
Sounds like you have a fixed rate and want to get a lower rate.

I'd guess your current mortgage doesn't have an early repayment penalty clause, or it would be activated by your refinance. If you're using the same company, the chances are the new mortgage won't have an early repayment penalty either but check before you commit!. That means you can consider a 30-year mortgage and pay it off in 20 years (or less) anyway. Just get the loan officer to calculate the repayments on a 20-year mortgage and make that your monthly repayment rather than the repayment for the 30-year mortgage. Basically, you're just paying more off each month than the bank requires. I've just paid off my house early by doing precisely that. There is NO difference in total payout between a 20-year mortgage and a 30-year mortgage paid off in 20 years (assuming the same interest rate, costs, etc.). You basically determine when you own your house by how much you pay off. It usually doesn't even need to be the same amount each month provided you cover the bank's minimum required payment but check with the bank.

The other consideration for a 20- vs a 30-year mortgage is the up-front costs. There may be different points and interest rates for the 2 terms. Possibly 20-years will be a little cheaper. I opted for the shortest (cheapest) mortgage term I could afford with what I felt was a comfortable "margin" to allow me some savings against possible deterioration of my financial situation in the future. Enough up-front costs and it may not be worth refinancing. Basically, you have to ask if the money you save on lower interest is more than the amount you spend to refinance.

Other thing to be wary of is refinancing for more than your existing mortgage and extending the term of your mortgage. It's always tempting to pull a little cash out, but that ends up costing you money in higher mortgage payments (or a longer repayment time). If you've had the 30-year mortgage for 10 years, that existing mortgage is now effectively a 20-year mortgage. It doesn't really matter if you plan to pay off early, but refinancing with a 30-year mortgage and making only the minimum repayments means you will wait 10 more years to own your house than you would with the existing mortgage.

Bucsgirl is right (as usual) - there is tons of information on the Internet. Google something like mortgage refinance advice to come up with helpful material (like http://homebuying.about.com/od/financingadvice/qt/92709_Refinance.htm)
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 7 (view)
 
Refinancing - loan officer asked
Posted: 11/28/2010 12:08:23 PM
Why refinance? - is it free?
The only reason for YOU to refinance is to make the loan cheaper for you. Part of that may be a bet on whether interest rates will go up in the future or not. If you have a variable rate mortgage, you always run the risk of higher mortgage payments if interest rates go up. You also stand to gain if interest rates go down (not much with current interest rates). If you have a fixed rate loan, you gain if future interest rates increase. Under current practices, you can refinance a fixed rate loan at the new fixed rate if interest rates go down, so you don't lose if interest rates go down.

It makes sense to refinance if you can switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate loan (in my opinion, even if the fixed rate is slightly higher interest), and it makes sense to refinance a fixed interest rate loan if you can get a lower interest rate than the one you currently have (assuming you don't have to pay much for the refinancing process).

There may not be any advantage changing from a 30-year mortgage either. Usually mortgage loans have a clause related to early repayment or paying off the mortgage. Most don't charge any penalty for early repayment, so having a 20-year mortgage rather than a 30-year mortgage offers no advantage if there is no early-payment penalty. Check on that. You can simply pay more per month than required on a 30-year mortgage and pay it off in 20 years. This option also helps if your circumstances change and you run into difficulties with making monthly payments in the future.

The other reason financial advisers recommend a long, maximum mortgage is the argument that average returns on other investments exceed the cost of a mortgage. For example, they may argue that the stock market historically averages an annual 10% growth whereas current mortgage rates are around 5-6%. That means that taking out a mortgage and investing the proceeds in the stock market nets you around 4-5% - assuming all the averages work. Unfortunately, when they don't you may lose money on the stock market and have to sell your house. A part of what happened in the recent financial meltdown. Some may want to take the risk. Personally, a bird in the hand....
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 47 (view)
 
Is America the Greatest (deluded) or what?
Posted: 11/28/2010 11:44:11 AM
Cabin, appreciate much of your sentiments, but I'd argue that the US has DEstabilized as much as it has helped. "Just a few generations ago", the US wasn't interested in getting involved with other countries' problems. There was a jump in national debt during WWII to somewhat under a half trillion dollars. That stayed almost constant until the 70s, reached 2 trillion in the later-80s, when Russia was beginning to fail and is now more than 4 times that amount at about 9 trillion dollars. What have we been "defending" at such great expense since the mighty Soviet Union fell? Is there a delusion here?

so i hope his local single payer healthcare system will cover the full cost of his psychiatric treatment. i sure as hell know that *i* wouldn't want to foot the bill for that with *my* taxpayer dollars.
True, your taxpayer dollars don't pay for health care. However, there is a delusion here. Most comparable nations pay around the same tax rate as the US (The US proudly proclaims it is the lowest - by a few percentage points). Those comparable nations pay for healthcare from those taxes. In the US, the healthcare insurance premiums add up to about the same as the taxes you pay. So, you're paying double what most countries pay in taxes plus healthcare. If both those payments were taxes, the US would be one of the highest taxed nations in the world. By taking healthcare out of the list of national responsibilities, the US deludes many into thinking it pays low taxes.
And are those who criticize the author of the quote in the OP also deluded into thinking that we would be better off discouraging those who articulate perceived problems so that we might consider what to do to prevent those problems in the future? Or do they believe that we would be better off not recognizing problems?
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Haudenosaunee Confederacy
Posted: 11/28/2010 10:35:48 AM
Given that the American (colonists?) were recently credited with "inventing" the great principles of American life, I wondered what our forumologists thought of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Apparently originating in the 13th century Americas, before much European contact, it is credited with being one of the earliest representative parliaments on earth.
Among its underlying principles was individual freedom and equality.
Well known to such illustrious founders as Franklin and Adams, the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace placed high value on individual freedom and strived to control government - to such an extent that every lawmaker (possibly even every individual) of the confederacy had the power of veto over new legislation.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 83 (view)
 
What do you deem as a useless/pointless invention?
Posted: 11/27/2010 2:42:07 PM
Those no-spill fuel containers that became compulsory in California a few years ago. I've never managed to use one without spilling fuel - or even having fuel spill out of them if I leave them in the sun for a few minutes. Never had problems with fuel spills using the old cans.
I guess the greatest part of this invention is persuading legislators to make laws preventing the use of something that works well and forcing us to replace it with something that doesn't work! Sheer genius!
 QuietJohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 57 (view)
 
Losing the moon?
Posted: 6/7/2010 11:05:14 PM
Why did you challenge me in the Mexican Space Agency thread? This is pretty much exactly what my argument was.
Not the thread to respond to this.


Biosphere 1 was the model, and it was a severe failure....
life will go on just fine without our mucking about.....
The world without humanity will recover.
Not sure why all that has anything to do with the moon....
But it seems like contradictions to me....
Unless Biosphere 1 was specifically for "humanity".

How about what's been spent on the 'war on terror!?'

We could have been to Saturn and back on that!


Oh god, no. Do you know what NASA's budget is? It's something like 20 billion dollars a year.


That would be about a fifth of the $1 trillion 10-year cost of just the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2611591520100126). If you consider the private sector is targeting a 90% cost reduction on launches, Saturn may not be too distant a target for 100 billion bucks a year!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 48 (view)
 
Losing the moon?
Posted: 6/5/2010 5:01:11 PM
I guess many people are currently thinking that a bit more money spent on deep sea exploration / technology would have been a better investment than messing around in space.

Hadn't heard much of these guys, but they seem to be getting on with the space travel job very quietly.... SpaceX.com. -

In an era when most technology based products follow a path of ever-increasing capability and reliability while simultaneously reducing costs, launch vehicles today are little changed from those of 40 years ago. SpaceX aims to change this paradigm by developing a family of launch vehicles which will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access by a factor of ten.

They just completed an on-schedule launch and orbital test flight of a 4-man capsule - http://www.spacex.com/updates.php, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_hi_te/us_test_rocket. Not bad for a company founded only 8 years ago!

They have plans and a NASAcontract for 2 Space Station deliveries next year and a further 10 thru 2015 - http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

Here's what SpaceX's CEO, Elon Musk said about Obama's decision to cancel:

By the time President Obama cancelled Ares I/Orion earlier this year, the schedule had already slipped five years to 2017 and completing development would have required another $50 billion. Moreover, the cost per flight, inclusive of overhead, was estimated to be at least $1.5 billion compared to the $1 billion of Shuttle, despite carrying only four people to Shuttle's seven and almost no cargo.

The President quite reasonably concluded that spending $50 billion to develop a vehicle that would cost 50% more to operate, but carry 50% less payload was perhaps not the best possible use of funds. To quote a member of the Augustine Commission, which was convened by the President to analyze Ares/Orion, “If Santa Claus brought us the system tomorrow, fully developed, and the budget didn't change, our next action would have to be to cancel it,” because we can't afford the annual operating costs.

Musk is a very interesting and accomplished character.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 18 (view)
 
Commercial space flights 2011.
Posted: 6/5/2010 4:43:11 PM
Someone else is beating them to it..spacex.com

First succesful test flight put an (empty) 4-man capsule into orbit. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_hi_te/us_test_rocket. The company already has plans (and a NASA contract) for 2 Space Station deliveries next year and a further 10 scheduled thru 2015(http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php).

Looks like we have a Brans(t)on pickle!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 165 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/27/2010 11:53:57 AM

CNN, Larry King Live, newsfeed, Wednesday broadcast
I agree with much of what you have said in this thread, Krebby. And I hope your comment on 'defending' BP wasn't aimed at me. I'm not trying to defend them, just expressing frustration at the dishonesty of much of the hype surrounding the issue, thinly disguised as "reporting", or based upon such "reporting". Larry King, and his sidekick, Anderson Cooper are clearly biasing their reporting to stir up emotion and elevate their ratings rather than reporting reality - Who's "keeping them honest"? Larry King's newsfeed included a statement that "today BP sprayed 800,000 gallons of dispersant in the Gulf". According to BP-Amoco's letter to the EPA, their total stock of dispersant is about 246,380 gallons, so how could they possibly spray 800,000 gallons? And what reason would they REALLY have to choose NOT to use another dispersant they claim have in stock, other than a genuine concern that it may be trouble? And what should BP do about the oil during the 10-14 days other manufacturers have quoted for delivery of the alternate dispersants? Anybody bother to look at BP's response to the EPA - released by the EPA on their site? - http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/dispersants/5-21bp-response.pdf. Even the EPA spokespeople seem to be engaging in hype over the use of dispersants rather than responding to the realities of the situation. No-one seems to have clarified WHY BP is doing what they are doing with dispersants.

Sure, there are a great many problems/issues raised by this disaster. BP and others deserve a great deal of criticism - and have a responsibility for cleaning up the mess. Personally, I'd like to see jail time for everyone reponsible until the shores and wetlands are completely clean again. The Persian Gulf and Prince William Sound still aren't oil-free. To be generous, I'd let them out on the clean-up chain gang. Unfortunately, that would rob a major multinational company of its management staff and upset the stockmarket. That wouldn't do for a company paying 7% dividends to its stockholders from $50 billion gross profits per year (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23653196-how-safe-is-the-bp-dividend.do, http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/BP/financials).

Thank goodness the leaks seems to have been stopped. Let's hope it stays that way! - and lessons are learned here, rather than manipulated to serve those most practised at manipulating.


If it wasn't, my guess is that a trillion? dollar corporation
Ah, one understatement, possibly in the entire thread. BP is capitalized at about $70 trillion with annual revenues of around $300 trillion(the financials link above).
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 153 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/24/2010 10:22:13 PM

Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America

Yes, this has the makings of a major tragedy. A secondary tragedy is the (mis)use of the tragedy to misinform and push personal and political agendas rather than looking for real solutions. The kuwait oil release was about 500 million gallons - which will take the Deepwater Horizon spill 160 days to equal at 3 million gallons per day. Didn't hear much fuss about that one - and a little research on it and its aftermath may chase away utter doomsday scenarios - if you are so inclined (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War_oil_spill).

Here is the link to the REAL Exxon report mentioned in msg 148 - http://www.iosc.org/papers/00020.pdf. It says the toxicity is variable,depending on conditions and species. What is the relationship between Corexit toxicity and at-risk species in the Gulf of Mexico? Contrary to the claims in the quoted article, Corexit was reported to have 'modest' toxicity. It made no other comparisons with other dispersants.. It also finds lower toxicity for many species than the toxicity quoted in the message here - and lower than that quoted by the EPA for most species. The temperature sensitivity quote is a stretch!!!!
.
A page with the alternate dispersants - http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/05/20/congress-gets-results-on-corexit/. Note some are even more toxic than Corexit on some organisms and less on others. This seems to be the source of the 2.61 ppm toxicity quote. Even the EPA doesn't seem immune to the hype syndrome. One toxicity they quote is for Menidia, one of the most sensitive fish to Corexit. Interestingly, the Exxon report quotes a range of 25.2 - 86.9 rather than 2.61. The other value of 3.4 is for Mysidopsis, representing custaceans, the most sensitive species to Corexit. The Exxon report quotes 19 for the same organism.

Why BP is still using Corexit? - http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/dispersants/5-21bp-response.pdf. BP says it only has stocks of Corexit and Sea Brat. Manufacturers of other products quoted a 10-day delivery time. What should BP do for those 10 days? Why does the media have to hype it up rather than report reality? And why do self-appointed 'environmentalists' have to pick obscure, dubious sources rather than doing a bit of real research? Green means naive? A related issue is the concern raised over the value of even using dispersants. Would it have been better to allow the oil to float away and clean it up on the surface and shoreline rather than have it disperse and remain in the oceans? Given the massive and probably uninformed outcry from environmentalists and others and the public relations disaster of having oil wash up on the shoreline, did BP have any choice other than to respond to a hype-fueled public outcry rather than a well considered response based upon what is best for the environment? The missing part of the picture is that the above quoted values for chemical dispersants kill 50% of the population in 4 days. How long is BP planning to pump them into the water? Is anyone monitoring the concentrations? However, here is an article which suggests that BP's use of dispersants is reasonable.. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521092626.htm or http://www.sintef.no/Home/Press-Room/Research-News/SINTEF-assists-US-oil-spill-combat-efforts/

As for the Russian story ..

Where to begin? Well, the "tens of millions of gallons of Corexit" Here is what the BP statement says...

BP has an inventory of 246,380 gallons of Corexit that are available for immediate use, and the manufacturer is able to produce an additional 68,000 gallons per day, which is sufficient to meet all anticipated dispersant needs at this site.
So, it takes about 15 days to make 1 million gallons of Corexit, 150 days to make 10 million gallons of Corexit. How many "tens of millions of gallons" are the Russians planning on? You don't suppose they sunk the rig and caused all this, do you?

Corexit evaporates much more slowly than oil (it has a higher boiling point than water), so it seems unlikely that the atmospheric effects of the spill would be greater than Kuwait - especially considering that atmospheric dispesal isn't being helped by burning.

Here are the 10 biggest oil spills in the world (http://envirowonk.com/content/view/68/1/)

1.Kuwait - 1991 - 520 million gallons
Iraqi forces opened the valves of several oil tankers in order to slow the invasion of American troops. The oil slick was four inches thick and covered 4000 square miles of ocean.
2.Mexico - 1980 - 100 million gallons
An accident in an oil well caused an explosion which then caused the well to collapse. The well remained open, spilling 30,000 gallons a day into the ocean for a full year.
3.Trinidad and Tobago - 1979 - 90 million
During a tropical storm off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, a Greek oil tanker collided with another ship, and lost nearly its entire cargo.
4.Russia - 1994 - 84 million gallons
A broken pipeline in Russia leaked for eight months before it was noticed and repaired.
5.Persian Gulf - 1983 - 80 million gallons
A tanker collided with a drilling platform which, eventually, collapsed into the sea. The well continued to spill oil into the ocean for seven months before it was repaired.
6.South Africa - 1983 - 79 million gallons
A tanker cought fire and was abandoned before sinking 25 miles off the coast of Saldanha Bay.
7.France - 1978 - 69 million gallons
A tanker's rudder was broken in a severe storm, despite several ships responding to its distress call, the ship ran aground and broke in two. It's entire payload was dumped into the English Channel.
8.Angola - 1991 - more than 51 million gallons
The tanker expolded, exact quantity of spill unknown
9.Italy - 1991 - 45 million gallons
The tanker exploded and sank off the coast of Italy and continued leaking it's oil into the ocean for 12 years.
10.Odyssey Oil Spill - 1988 - 40 million gallons
700 nautical miles off the cost of Nova Scotia.

This is the official site for the spill - http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/

Another perspective as we feel this tragedy and ponder
The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife
is to wonder how that damage, horrible as it may be stacks up against the wholesale reclamation of wetland areas to provide for places to live, such as along the Gulf Coast and Florida. How many fish has that killed,or prevented from ever coming into existence?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 138 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/23/2010 8:06:43 AM

QJ, are you going to respond to my answer to your question? Or were you not really interested in what I had to say to begin with?
I don't see any value in responding. You state twice that you don't know if a laissez faire economy would have dealt with the situation better and then come up with unsubstatiated, unsupported conjecture about how the world would operate better under the economic system that you favor. Going down that path would simply lead the thread off topic. Plus any disagreements with you generally end up in you baiting and using abusive language with those who don't agree with your point of view. It's too tiresome to deal with - as several in the forums have pointed out to you. Do you find this approach to people to be good for your business life and for attracting love interests?

You seem to feel, however that even laissez faire would require legislation to make it work. If you wish to pursue that, or other aspects of your preferred economic model, why not start a new thread instead of polluting this one?

The reason I asked the question I did was because I have an interest in economic philosophies and was simply interested in how a self-declared 'expert' in one economic model felt that their model would perform in avoiding and/or responding to the current circumstances.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Are programmers really paid per line of code
Posted: 5/23/2010 1:19:26 AM

Just imagine making a program, being a programmer, and writing a bunch of unnecessary crap, just to get paid more.

Well.... yes, but the same could be said for a software company too, couldn't it? So they pass the programming costs to consumers. You see, I don't see a 10-fold improvement in my software, even though there are 10 times the LOCs in a 10-year period (The Build Master: Microsoft's Software Configuration Management Best Practices by Vincent Maraia). All I see is software which seems about 1000 times slower - because hardware is now 1000 times faster and the programs aren't any faster!!!! What's going on?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 129 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/22/2010 1:45:03 PM

The first 4 or 5 chapters deal with Rhetoric, in an attempt to show the student what they should avoid at all costs.

Unless, of course, you prefer debating to win at all costs rather than respectfully discussing to reach a meaningful conclusion. These days, debate seems to be the communication of choice. No wonder we are in such a mess!

Soit dit en passant, annasthasia, j'ai apprécié votre profil énormément et j'espère je suis nourrir le correct loup. Hélas, il me semble que je suis parmi les personnes que vous préférez n'ecrir pas a vous. Should I say, 'forgive my French'?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 102 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/21/2010 11:11:00 PM
I wonder if this could have been avoided if the US had adopted laissez faire capitalism? What do you think, Ubi - would less government control have resulted in a lower likelihood of the oil spill?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Question: Outdoor flooring
Posted: 5/21/2010 5:55:55 PM
Google rubber outdoor mats. Also interlocking rubber outdoor mats. This site has 12" square interlocking tiles http://www.duragrid.com/
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 5 (view)
 
Are programmers really paid per line of code
Posted: 5/20/2010 1:10:33 PM
A little more research suggests that IBM rather than Microsoft may have been the source of the "legend". Steve Ballmer, in his interview in the documentary Triumph of the Nerds criticized IBM for trying to use Lines of Code (LOCs) to determine how much they should pay Microsoft.

".... if we have - a developer's got a good idea and he can get something done in 4K-LOCs instead of 20K-LOCs, should we make less money? Because he's made something smaller and faster, less K-LOC. K-LOCs....."

Still, that's not to say they don't use it in-house.

Measuring programmer productivity still seems to be a challenge. The Air Force in 2009 still seemed to favor LOCs (www.psmsc.com/UG2009/Presentations/19-Wallshein-LOC.pdf). Other companies, such as Alcatel struggled to find a solution (http://www.compaid.com/caiinternet/ezine/ebert-productivity-metrics.pdf) and the problem has been the topic of books (Best practices in software measurement: how to use metrics to improve ... By Christof Ebert, Reiner Dumke, Manfred Bundschuh)
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 26 (view)
 
Water/Weight Conundrum?
Posted: 5/20/2010 10:05:46 AM

Drinking a gallon of water would change your current mass but would not change your weight.

This from a teacher? I'm a confused student!

Weight is a vectorial magnitude and depends on the Mass of the body generating the gravitational field.

Weight (on this planet) is a measure of the gravitational force exerted between the earth and the object being weighed. It is related to the product of the two masses. Change one of the masses and the weight changes in direct proportion to the mass change. Newton said so!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Are programmers really paid per line of code
Posted: 5/20/2010 9:29:02 AM
Recently, I was told that Microsoft paid its programmers according to the number of lines of code they generated. Is this really true?

It surprised me to hear this, though it suddenly made sense why most computer programs now seem so huge.

I would have expected more lines of code to equate to slower execution time and more memory, which seems to be the way things have gone. Hardware which goes 1000 times faster running software which uses more memory and doesn't seem any faster.

Is code size a good measure of a programmer's ability/worth, or are there other measures that are taken into account? Professors used to grade on program size and execution speed amongst other things. Is this no longer encouraged?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Planting seeds.
Posted: 5/19/2010 12:39:33 PM

Keep in mind that you need both a female and male fruit trees to have fruit, as pollination must occur.
Most citrus trees are self fertile/fruitful (http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg0606420132637.html)

Earthpuppy - this thread is about germinating lemon seeds. You seem to be way off course!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 7 (view)
 
Planting seeds.
Posted: 5/19/2010 9:21:38 AM

started an orange tree once...it never bore fruit

A problem with growing fruit from seeds. Even if growing conditions are perfect, the productivity of seed-grown trees is lower than a sapling/tree bought in the store.

Commercial fruit trees are generally produced by grafting choice stems to vigorous rootstocks.

Nonetheless, most seeds will germinate. I don't think the GM food companies have produced many crops with sterile seeds. Food Inc dscribed how farmers were stopped from using their own seed because the GM seed from nearby farms "contaminated" their crops, as seeds are likely to do. Companies like Monsanto then sued the farmers for "stealing" their GM seed. Amazingly, they won the lawsuit so local farmers could no longer use their own seed, now contaminated by stray seed from Monsanto. Seems like it is in the interest of GM companies to make their crop seeds as viable as possible so they contaminate and bring even more farmers into the GM fold.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 6 (view)
 
Why is the min wage so low in the US??
Posted: 5/17/2010 6:11:58 PM
from http://www.quintcareers.com/surviving_low-wage_jobs.html

approximately 30 million workers between the ages of 18 and 64 earn less than $9 an hour in their jobs -- a full-time annual income of $18,800, assuming a full-time (40 hour week), 52-week work schedule -- the income that marks the federal poverty line for a family of four. These are folks making somewhere around the minimum wage ($5.15 an hour for nontipped workers, and $2.13 an hour for tipped workers)......

The working poor toil as retail clerks and cashiers, child-care workers, nurses aides, call-center operators, housekeepers and janitors, food preparation workers, security guards, farm laborers, sewing-machine operators......

These low-wage workers have neither the skills, education, nor power to lobby for better jobs with better wages -- or even basic benefits or tools for career advancement. Many of these workers lack healthcare, paid sick days, paid breaks, and other benefits that most higher-wage workers simply take for granted. Many of these folks are living on the brink -- one small misstep and they could be deep in debt and out of work.


http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1648055,00.html....


Things are especially tough for service workers in three low-wage U.S. industries: laundry services, supermarkets and nail salons.....


Dry cleaners' wages average between $250 and $400 a week for about 60 hours. Workers are often pressured into reporting that they�ve worked fewer hours than they have, and non-union workers are forced to skip meal breaks.


Grocery store workers earn an average of $332 a week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with average weekly earnings of $529 for all workers in the private sector. But some baggers don't even make $300, because they are paid only in tips.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 8 (view)
 
Why the universe isn't a black hole
Posted: 5/17/2010 10:06:29 AM

It is, as Wikipedia is happy to tell you, “a region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape.”

Has anything ever escaped the universe - or could it?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 4 (view)
 
Phycology/Philosophy Helps You Mature
Posted: 5/16/2010 2:24:50 PM
Thanks for clearing that up, Island.

Although the study of organisms which have been on the planet for more than a billion years may have something to teach the mere upstart human race, I was a little perplexed by the combination of the two topics of the OP.

As for clarification, it now isn't clear if the OP is indifferent to the confusion or if it arose because of a lack of attention, or if even less care could have been exercised.

Ah, the subtleties of language. I wonder how those unwilling to learn will cope. A spellchecker may have flagged the problem, but Google would have proved it wrong.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 4 (view)
 
10 Feel Better Reasons to Just Do It
Posted: 5/13/2010 7:20:54 PM
^^^^^^^30 minutes! I'm impressed - I'd need to recharge my pacemaker before that - and the treadmill hurts my knees! I much prefer the bed!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 204 (view)
 
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 5/13/2010 5:56:02 PM

some physicists

Who ARE these people and what are their credentials?
I haven't found many credible expert quantum/theoretical physicist who are saying what you claim.

And of those who do, the experts seem to find their ideas unacceptable enough to persuade a judge that they can be ignored.

Most of the naysayers seem to have a record of attention-seeking and also come from fields somewhat removed from the topic they criticize.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Do at will employees have any rights?
Posted: 5/13/2010 2:09:49 PM
Sorry about your plight RDtoo. ..
The US is the only major economy which does not require paid vacation. You can Google legally required vacation time for more info. This is one site commenting on it.. http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/no-vacation-nation/

The Supreme Court has rules that same-sex sexual harassment is prohibited under Federal Law. This is a selection of the Justice's comments on sexual harassment.. http://law.jrank.org/pages/10224/Sexual-Harassment.html.

One requirement for a sexual harassment case seems to be that "it must be severe enough to change the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment"

This seems to be a pretty good article on the topic - http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/laws-government-regulations-employment/280881-1.html

Good luck!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 27 (view)
 
Kagan for Supreme Court???? Another Proof, Obama Totally Lost It.
Posted: 5/13/2010 1:48:58 PM

I don't think we need 3 women in supreme court to represent women's issues.

May it be OK for them to represent 50% of the population, or do you think men are better qualified than women to represent everyone? Why would you think that?


Don't you think it is totally a political nomination?

Everyone knows supreme court nominations are 100% political


I think you answered your own question. How could anyone NOT think so, when everyone KNOWS????


First hand direct experience as a judge should be a pre-qualification for this position.
To continue your sports analogy, aren't the SupremeCourt Justices like the REFEREES for the 'players'. An academic seems extremely well qualified.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 77 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/12/2010 4:17:23 PM
^^^^^^^Other professions would call it a "Hail Mary" shot.

Good luck to them anyway
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 200 (view)
 
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 5/11/2010 5:56:13 PM
Thanks, Abelian. Rossler is a biochemist. This is a site with information about the lawsuit - http://www.lhcfacts.org/

The individual I was thinking of was Rainer Plaga who is an astrophysicist. He posted his criticismson the web at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0808/0808.1415v3.pdf but as far as I know, he couldn't get it published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The first site also lists Shahn Majid who appears to be a reputable theoretical physicist. I suspect his forthright views (found at http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2008/09/particle-accelerators-cern-and-doomsday/) were hi-jacked ny the LHC opponents. There seem to be a few other (fringe?) scientists who may qualify as possibly knowledgeable, but perhaps a little off-center - Paul Werbos, Raj Baldev, Richard Webb.

Not that I'm trying to fuel the debate here - Just suggesting that the "many" physicists claimed to be opposed to the LHC seem in rather short supply, especially when their qualifications are taken into consideration.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 73 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/10/2010 8:44:14 PM
^^^^^They are called oil skimmers (http://www.oilskimming.com). the largest capacity is currently about 200 gallons per hour - about 5,000 gallons per day. which is on the small side for a 250,000 gallon per day leak. I suppose having a few bigger ones hanging around in case of an oil spill makes about as much sense as installing emergency shutoffs on the wells.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 68 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/10/2010 9:34:59 AM
Isn't 25 miles off shore technically international waters?

It is complicated. State waters for the purpose of"offshore transactions" are usually 3 miles.
Territorial waters extend to 12 miles, in some cases 24, although the outer 12 miles may be called a "Contiguous Zone". Then there is an "Exclusive Economic Zone" which extends to 200 miles offshore. Iceland precipitated this development when they initiated the "Cod Wars" which ended in with Britain's acceptance of a 200 mile EEZ around Iceland in 1976. Most nations then jumped on this opportunity to extend their own influence over oceanic exploitation.

Those distances change when the zones of different states/countries overlap. Thus the US and Cuba each have 45 mile EEZs between the two countries. I think someof the Bahamas are even closer than Cuba, but not within 45 miles. Bimini and Elbow Cay are closest, at 50 and 60 miles off Florida.

Recently, there have been efforts to extend national "ownership" of the seabed to the limit of the continental shelf. This is why Canada, Russia and others are playing in the waters north of Canada.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 66 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/10/2010 8:32:28 AM

If the horse breeders of the 19th century had of used their political clout the way the oil companies of today have, we'd....
...be up to our foreheads in horse shit!

I seem to recall that was one of the positive arguments for supporting the automobile. Also, I recall that there were many anti-automobile laws enacted to protect horses - such as having aomeone carrying a red flag walk in front of the automobile.

Sounds very reminiscent of today!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 51 (view)
 
The Dumbing Down Of America
Posted: 5/10/2010 8:25:30 AM
Here is another article summarizing the influence of food, exercise and sleep on the brain.....
http://www.emaxhealth.com/74/23229.html, original article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 568-578 (July 2008) - http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v9/n7/abs/nrn2421.html (needs a subscription)

Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia," he said. "A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in rodents results in impaired learning and memory....

Recent research also supports the hypothesis that health can be passed down through generations, and a number of innovative studies point to the possibility that the effects of diet on mental health can be transmitted across generations....

Excess calories can reduce the flexibility of synapses and increase the vulnerability of cells to damage by causing the formation of free radicals. Moderate caloric restriction could protect the brain by reducing oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids and nucleic acids

Smaller food portions with the appropriate nutrients seem to be beneficial for the brain's molecules, such as BDNF, he said.

Gomez-Pinilla showed in 1995 that exercise can have an effect on the brain by elevating levels of BDNF.

He noted that while some people have extremely good genes, most of us are not so lucky and need a balanced diet, regular exercise and a good night's sleep.


Seems like we're moving in the wrong direction.

This is an interesting page with links to several discussions of the recent reversal of the Flynn effect and the role that TV may play....
http://www.tvsmarter.com/documents/intelligence.html. Much of it is probably controversial.

The brain, like a muscle, only develops through use. So the question is, are people actually using their brains when they watch TV.

EEG readings of people as they watch TV show less of the faster brainwaves (Hi-Beta and Gamma) than EEG readings of people reading, or other activities.

But, why would the brain generate slower waves (instead of Hi-Beta or Gamma waves) during television watching?

Interestingly, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is associated with slow brainwaves such as Alpha and Theta brainwaves...

Unfortunately TV (educational or not) associates a very rewarding experience with no effort. Before TV there was no equivalent experience other than day dreaming. So kids get used to learning and being rewarded with no effort on their part, in other words watching TV is actually training their brain to be lazy.


Another article on TV addiction http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=television-addiction-is-n-2002-02&page=1 which has links to other articles
Even the internet may be a problem.... Internet Use and Collegiate Academic Performance Decrements: Early Findings. Robert Kubey, Michael J. Lavin and John R. Barrows in Journal of Communication, Vol. 51, No. 2, pages 366--382; June 2001....

Self-reported Internet dependency and impaired academic performance were both associated with greater use of all Internet applications, but particularly with much greater use of synchronous communication applications such as chat rooms and MUDs, as opposed to asynchronous applications such as email and Usenet newsgroups.

Guess we're destroing our intelligence on the POF forums!

This is a revealing intro to how corporate America influences kids http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_39/b3901036_mz005.htm

Schor also argues that marketed leisure has replaced unstructured socializing as the primary childhood pastime. Instead of Kick the Can, it's Buy at the Store. One national survey Schor points to found that more than a third of all kids age 9 to 14 would rather spend time buying things than doing almost anything else. Schor uses her own study to buttress the point: She found that the more exposed kids are to the consumer world, the more likely it is that they will suffer from depression, anxiety, and sagging self-esteem.


What a fascinating topic, Margo!!!!
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 46 (view)
 
The Dumbing Down Of America
Posted: 5/9/2010 10:14:01 PM
There are a couple of informative Wiki pages on intelligence and the effects of environment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environment_and_intelligence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Environmental_enrichment_(neural)

I'd forgotten about the environmental enrichment issue which show that environment has a strong influence on the development of cognitive ability. Drugs, cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy are recognized to have detrimental effects on the development of children. As is chronic malnutrition, especially in males and exposure to lead.
There are also social factors. Institutionalized care is widely regarded as detrimental to brain development (http://www.psych.ufl.edu/~smiller/Nelson%20article.pdf). On the positive side, a stimulating environment is known to increase brain size, at least in animals. It is also becoming accepted that it lessens the impact of factors which negatively impact intelligence.

You have to wonder where hours in front of a tv or computer and the experiences of latch-key kids fall in the spectrum of environmental richness and perhaps even how fast-food factors into the nutrition issue. Do busy parents spend as much time enriching their kid's lives these days? Are there more two-income households than there used to be - taking away parenting opportunities?

As for the immutability of intelligence, at least some contemporary psychologists don't seem to agree. Try Rozenweig, Robert Sternberg, David Perkins or Reuven Feuerstein.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 3 (view)
 
Is anyone familiar with the tilt table test?
Posted: 5/9/2010 3:22:12 PM
Google tilt table or tilt table upside down to get a load of info off the web.


Why would they do that? Makes no sense.
It is called inversion therapy and has been in use for probably thousands of years to treat back pain.

But dawn is correct, the tilt table test shouldn't put you upside down.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 198 (view)
 
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 5/8/2010 4:32:03 PM
Appreciative: you may learn something by reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_of_particle_collisions_at_the_Large_Hadron_Collider and perhaps following up on some of the references.

They also report the naysayers - who I can't say I was particularly impressed with. Only one individual with any reasonable background in the type of physics we're talking about here - and his arguments were found to be "flawed". Maybe some people just want their few moments of "fame".


Black holes are known to consume things.

Black holes as most of us know them also have high mass which consequently have a high gravity and hold themselves together.

a black hole is a region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape. It is the result of the deformation of spacetime caused by a very compact mass
Presumably, such a compact mass may occur in the LHC if 2 particles collide and squish themselves into a very small volume (if you can even talk about such things on this scale). It's hard to imagine such a small mass having a huge gravitational field to keep itself together.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 62 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/8/2010 4:12:08 PM

The fact remains that China is drilling 45 miles off the Florida coast.
Where? - as you have asked others, do you have citations to back up this claim?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 57 (view)
 
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 5/8/2010 1:05:35 PM

One thing to consider is that we don't drill the oil off our coast other countries will.

That's no surprise. The US leases to foreign oil companise. The BRITISH-owned Deepwater Horizon rig which exploded was 41 miles offshore.

China has oil leases 45 miles off of the coast of Florida.
False - a misrepresentation which has been around for sometime, most recently revisited by Rep Cliff Stearns. China currently has land-based petroleum leases in Cuba. Cuba's EEZ is only 45 miles from the US coast in some places. Cuba currently doesn't lease in that region. Whether the US drills or not has no bearing on what Cuba may choose to do. Maybe the US should start talking to Cuba to protect US interests in the region.
They do not have to comply with any of our regulations and it is unlikely that they will clean up any spills they create.
You mean they could do worse than BP? BP doesn't pay for the clean-up either. Most of the cost comes out of an account funded by a surcharge on the price of petroleum products. WE pay!

My claim is based on the personal choices and value-systems of billions of consumers world-wide, not my own opinion.

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible."
Bertrand Russell
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 22 (view)
 
The Dumbing Down Of America
Posted: 5/7/2010 5:35:01 PM
Hi mtn. The academic world may be moving towards your way of thinking ....
Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Perrig, W. J. (2008). Improving Fluid Intelligence With Training on Working Memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829-6833 (reported in http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/05/13/can-intelligence-be-trained-martin-buschkuehl-shows-how/)

I guess we could argue semantics - like wether we consider intelligence to be the potential for something, or the expression of that same something. A body builder doesn't meet their potential for muscle mass until (s)he has done something to help meet that potential. So Margo's question broadens into whether that "intelligence" potential is going down, or if we are failing in our efforts to help our next generation meet their full potential - or if the reported decline is just baloney.

I enjoyed this page of quotes about intelligence - http://xona.com/quotes/intelligence.html Here's a selection..

"...a student completely conditioned to work for a grade rather than for the knowledge the grade was supposed to represent."
- Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I'll remember. Involve me and I'll understand."
- Confucius

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve."
- Roger Lewin

"What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult."
- Sigmund Freud

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."
- William James

"Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance."
- Robert Quillen

"Don't argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."
- Phil

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."
- Arthur C. Clarke

"Smart is believing half of what you hear, brilliant is knowing which half to believe."
- Unknown

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cockure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
- Bertrand Russell


Einstein really didn't like school. But Arthur Clark wouldn't see declining intelligence as a problem.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 17 (view)
 
The Dumbing Down Of America
Posted: 5/7/2010 2:33:15 PM
Did you know, Ubi that the tallest populations in the world are found in socialist nations? (http://www.macleans.ca/science/technology/article.jsp?content=20050404_103140_103140). Maybe it is a factor in intelligence too?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 6 (view)
 
Greece trouble
Posted: 5/7/2010 2:21:43 PM

As we saw yesterday in the stock market we may all suffer financially if Greece cannot pay their debts.

Possibly not quite so badly as we suffered recently as a result of things like the US auto industry going under. Wasn't a chunk of that due to overgenerous layoff and pension provisions......
controlled by unions and socialists who have basically bled the system dry.
????
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 12 (view)
 
The Dumbing Down Of America
Posted: 5/7/2010 12:42:56 PM
Try Googling declining intelligence in the US or declining IQ in the US to find references on this topic. The boffins seem to think it may be because smart people don't breed as much.

The Decline of Intelligence in America: A Strategy for National Renewal by Seymour Itzkoff.

Professor Seymour Itzkoff asserts that the United States' decline in economic power and productivity is due to a decrease in our national intelligence profile. The author, Professor of Education and Child Study at Smith College, argues that the U.S.'s social disintegration is due to the fact that there are fewer U.S. citizens of high intelligence, educational potential, and economic productivity. "There are increasingly more children from the lowest classes of all our ethnic groups," says Itzkoff. "Until we can understand this dilemma and change our country's birth patterns, we will never be able to stop our nation's fall."


The decline of the world's IQ by Richard Lynn and John Harvey

Dysgenic fertility means that there is a negative correlation between intelligence and number of children. Its presence during the last century has been demonstrated in several countries. We show here that there is dysgenic fertility in the world population quantified by a correlation of - 0.73 between IQ and fertility across nations.


Flynn published his work starting in the 1980s. Maybe Margo is talking about how things have changed since then?

"The hypothesis that best fits the results is that IQ tests do not measure intelligence but rather correlate with a weak causal link to intelligence." (Flynn, 1987). Based on the presence of the effect on nonverbal tests such as the Raven's Matrices, Flynn believes that the increase is actually an increase in abstract problem solving rather than intelligence. Flynn (1994, 1999) favors environmental explanations for the increase in test scores.


In terms of Nobel laureates, the US wins hands down with over 300 recipients, leading the world in every category but literature.

Thanks Margo

Here are the links to Maro's articles..

http://www.thehilltoponline.com/global-educational-issues-persist-1.2226763
The http://4brevard.com/choice/international-test-scores.htm link wouldn't comeup, but I found it by Googling choice/international-test-scores.htm. It says:

In short, the tests showed U.S. fourth-graders performing poorly, middle school students worse. and high school students are unable to compete. By the same criteria used to say we were "average" in elementary school, "we appear to be "near the bottom" at the high school level. People have a tendency to think this picture is bleak but it doesn't apply to their own school. Chances are, even if your school compares well in SAT scores, it will still be a lightweight on an international scale.
It goes on... and is quite damning - especially to the education system.

Another take, here.. http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/hp/frames.htm.

Personally, I suspect the problem is that the emphasis is on self, and winning. What it takes to beat everyone else (or appear to beat them) rather than being the best that you can be. A corruption of the capitalist ideal. Value is in perception, not utility.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 227 (view)
 
Can we construct a global egalitarian society? - Part 1 - currency
Posted: 5/5/2010 1:13:35 PM
Understand the principles of the scientific method.

Like recognizing a differing opinion may have value?
Like questioning even your own beliefs?
Like not calling people dummies because they don't agree with you - or peppering comments with obscenities when you disagree?

This thread is about currency - which has been related to money and value in the thread.

A consistent theme is perhaps the notion of money as a reward. Wealth as a goal. Perhaps even hints at Social Darwinism implemented through currency. That the "free market" may best implement this.

But is money and wealth the entire story? Perhaps it is for some, but maybe not for all. We really don't know what completely motivates any creature, but we certainly recognize that it differs between individuals. Isn't there a problem if values are pinned to one notion when individuals may place different values on it.

One value of perhaps some relevance to this thread is altruism. Darwin observed it and pondered how it could have any survival benefits. We seem to have constantly confirmed Darwin's observation, but still haven't come to any real conclusion about how altruism can help survival. However any of us may feel about survival and evolution, altruism is still around and valued, at least by some. To despize it and hang your bets solely on money is to ignore a significant chunk of what the world is telling us.

http://www.livescience.com/animals/070625_chimp_altruism.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/22/AR2007012200374.html
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/

If honor and egalitarianismwere given the same emphasis as money, perhaps they would work. I grew up in an era when a man's word was his bond. A handshake, rather than a signature on a pile of paper, sealed a deal. People kept their word. Now I'm amazed that deals agreed to on paper are no longer upheld. One widely read piece of paper which used to read "Wil pay the bearer on demand" doesn't even bother with such spurious words any more and has been constantly subject to declining worth.

Here's to the Dukkyverse
 Quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 48 (view)
 
Mexico set to enter the space race
Posted: 5/3/2010 8:43:07 AM
I wonder if Carlos Slim will be helping out too. He owns much of Telmex - providing satellite TV services to South America. Maybe he wants his own launch facilities and has persuaded the government to fund it.

Edit:
Thanks for the link, Krebby. I wasn't aware of any plans to build a launch facility and I'm not convinced that the current plans / investments support one. If my calculations are correct, thirty hectares is about a third of a square kilometer which seems a bit small for launching anything other than toy rockets. The $80 million seems a bit light too. Maybe more of a start at a headquarters and maybe research center. It should be pretty good for the Yucatan economy too. That's a fairly poor part of Mexico, other than tourism.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 177 (view)
 
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 5/2/2010 9:15:42 PM
Actually, AGW is one and only one "theory".

Allbeit a very popular one.

But I haven't seen a "theory" to explain why the current climate change is any different from similar patterns which reached higher temperatures 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 and 400,000 years ago. The so-called 100,000 year cycle. Several plots of this and even longer time periods at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png.

And popular theories have been known to be wrong. Flat earth, phlogiston, aether to name but a few.

I'm all for cutting down on burning natural resources and adopting renewable technologies, but let's do it for the right reasons.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 38 (view)
 
Mexico set to enter the space race
Posted: 5/2/2010 8:50:48 PM
There's a reason why their national per capita income is the lowest in North America and why thousands of desperate Mexicans cross the border every day into America. And I put the majority of the blame on the Mexican government's mishandling of economic policy. They tax and regulate too much in areas they shouldn't be involved in and don't handle those areas they should be involved in properly.

I wonder how many of Mexico's detractors here know anything of Mexico,other than what the media washes into their brains.
Or North America for that matter - do you know how many countries there are in N America? At least 15 have GDPs lower than Mexico, however you define it. And many of them contribute to the hispanic immigration most blame on Mexico.

If you wish to inform yourself about Mexico, try starting here...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico

As a regional power,[13][14] and currently the only Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1994, Mexico is firmly established as an upper middle-income country,[15] and is considered a newly industrialized country[16][17][18][19] and an emerging power.[20] It has the 13th largest nominal GDP and the 11th largest by purchasing power parity.


According to Goldman Sachs, BRIMC review of emerging economies, by 2050 the largest economies in the world will be as follows: China, India, United States, Brazil and Mexico.[121] Mexico is the largest North American auto producing nation, recently surpassing Canada and U.S.[122]


And where a Mexican space-related industry may thrive...

The automobile sector in Mexico differs from that in other Latin American countries and developing nations in that it does not function as a mere assembly manufacturer. The industry produces technologically complex components and engages in some research and development activities.[131] ;


In reality, the OP is somewhat deceptive, since Mexico isn't intending to "race" anyone into space. Merely take advantage of demand for space-related techologies, products and services. The demand for high tolerance products with known provenance requires formalized standards which, among other things AEXA will be able to oversee. Very few countries have launch facilities, yet don't seem to be criticized for their space programs as Mexico is being criticized here.


B) when they can easily take advantage of their friendly neighbor's space program (ahem, ours) at a fraction of the cost.
Another deficit in your reporting suggests you know very little about the US space program. It was far cheaper for me to travel to Russia, spend months in a Russian hotel, pay for Russian facilities and a Russian launch than take advantage of the US space program, even though I lived and worked in the US. I guess the US space program must have agreed, since they paid me to do it!
 
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