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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 4,121

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Are "Pro-Lifers" against killing germs, as interfering with "God's plan"? Germs are forms of life.

I guess some "Prolife" people are against the "morning after pill" (maybe all of them are, I'm not sure).

I wonder when someone is sick with a deadly disease, should we kill the germs that infect them? Might not "ProLifers" consider that as interfering with "God's plan"??

Just a wondered...

22 Examples of Major Technology Advances That Stem From Federal Research Support (e.g. Google search


Federally Supported Innovations: 22 Examples of Major Technology Advances That Stem From Federal Research Support

Cases of U.S. Technology Innovation That Stem from Federal Funding...

Information Technology

Google Search Engine
Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition

(Pg 10)


Information Technology

Google Search Engine

Two graduate students working on the Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project,
supported with $4.5 million in grants from NSF, came up with an idea for a new
algorithm. PageRank, the algorithm, was the basis for a search engine they called
BackRub. After first testing BackRub on equipment partially paid for by NSF, the
two students sought private financing and founded the now ubiquitous company

Two graduate students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, began work on
an Internet search engine dubbed BackRub in 1996, as part of their academic research.38
Two years later, after an infusion of $100,000 in venture capital funds, they renamed their
search engine Google and incorporated the company of the same name.39 Today Google is
a Fortune 100 company and the dominant force in internet search engines. As of January
23, 2014, Google’s market value stood at $387 billion.40

The National Science Foundation’s Digital Library Initiative supported Page and Brin’s
research. The $4.5 million Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project—supported by
NASA, DARPA, and several industrial partners, in addition to NSF—looked to reimagine
how information would be collected and made available as digital repositories replaced
traditional collections of books. Page and Erin created a new algorithm called PageRank to
search through information posted to the internet.41 There were other internet search
engines available, but the Stanford researchers thought they could do better. PageRank
computed how valuable a page was likely to be by considering how many other webpages
cited it, and the importance of each of those linking pages. PageRank rank helped BackRub
return results that were usually more relevant to the searchers> interests.42 Soon BackRub
transitioned from the academic world to the commercial world as Google, a name Page and
Erin chose to indicate their confidence that they could search the entire World Wide Web
(“Googol” is the very large number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeroes).

The company has branched out into advertising, social networking, email hosting, and
operating systems for the mobile device market, while continuing to improve upon its core
information search and retrieval, which still incorporates a version of PageRank. Google’s
search engine has also created a marketing industry based around search engine
optimization, which aims to raise a webpage’s ranking so it appears near the beginning of
related searches.   Meanwhile federal agencies continue to support research on computer
and information science and are actively exploring strategies for improving public access to
quality information on the web.

Cotton and cohorts don't mind your criticism - it gives their lives meaning.

Cotton and cohorts don't mind your criticism - it gives their lives meaning

Tea Party Republicans are all about Punk Talk and Political Vandalism. That is, saying and doing things which are offensive, irresponsible - and hopefully - shocking. They are devoid of ideas, are completely out of their depth in governing a country or - God help us - in formulating a foreign policy.   Not having half a notion of what to do about any of various issues we face, they opt to criticize the actions of those involved in pursuit of legitimate, constructive goals. Criticizing implies they have some comprehension of the issue and have a better idea of how to approach and solve the problem. But in actuality, TP-GOPers have no grasp of the issues they think they understand.

Believe it or not, when they do or say something shocking, they 'live' to get a reaction out of the 'straights' - those people involved in legitimate efforts to achieve constructive ends. If they get ANY KIND of a reaction out of the 'legit' people, they feel they've done something. Your reaction, whether it be one of approval or contempt doesn't matter a bit. Just getting a reaction, makes them feel they are real. That beats being a cipher. Note that, underneath all the 'show', phonies know their incompetent, that they are frauds. And this is what makes them feel, underneath it all, insecure (like they will be discovered, found out).

Matthew Dowd parrots GOP Propaganda re Clinton on PBS Newshour

On Tuesday, Mar 10, PBS Newshour aired a report on Hillary Clinton's attempts to answer questions about why she used a separate, non-government email account during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Matthew Dowd, who proclaimed himself to be "an independent", couldn't pass up the opportunity to parrot some well worn GOP Propaganda about President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Down said

JUDY WOODRUFF: What about that, Matthew Dowd, and Hillary Clinton’s explanation that this personal server that she and President Clinton have is secure and that what she did was above board, even if she, in retrospect, thinks maybe she should have done it a different way?

MATTHEW DOWD: "Well, the problem she has, which is there’s a whole part of the public that comes in with a lack of trust"

.... "I think, in the end, the problem she has in this — and it’s part of the candidacy, the problem with her candidacy for president if she runs, is that, is this a throwback to the ’90s? Are we going to back to the ’90s, where we have — constantly have to ask and re-ask questions and are we getting the information that we’re expected to get..."

Later Dowd picks up his refrain again, lest viewers not sufficiently catch his false accusations:

"Part of the reason why she’s in this situation where people have a hair-trigger reaction to stuff like this is because there has been a tendency on the part of the Clintons to not always be transparent, to not always be open, to not always answer directly the questions, to not always reveal the information that people are asking for.

OF course when Dowd said: "there’s a whole part of the public that comes in with a lack of trust.." he's of course, talking about the Republican base. These are the same people who TRUST FOX news!

When Dowd says:

"there has been a tendency on the part of the Clintons to not always be transparent, to not always be open, to not always answer directly the questions, to not always reveal the information that people are asking for."

He is hoping viewers will forget the GOP's endless, repetitive witch hunts of the Clintons which revealed NOTHING unethical or illegal that could be attributed to the Clintons. Dowd said the Clintons tend to be "secretive" ... but most people - other than those inclined to believe the Clintons are confederates of the Devil (i.e. Republicans) - would say, just because the Clintons didn't eagerly participate in Republican Witch-Hunts against them, and did not immediately respond to sweeping demands for personal documents from bank statements to emails to fascimiles of every check written over period of several months and other personal information - that does NOT make them "secretive" or "not fore-the-coming". Most people recognize the Republican Witch-Hunts of the Clintons were not legitimate efforts at achieving a just end but were just extra-legal political prosecutions.

Big oil moves into the Amazon rainforest - what's the cost of losing large swaths of the rainforest?


Some of the world's most promising oil and gas deposits lie deep in tropical rainforests, especially in the Western Amazon. With oil at historically high prices, the incentive to develop oil resources has never been greater.


The development of oil in the Ecuadorean Amazon is a particularly poignant example, but it is no means unusual for oil projects in rainforests. Typically, an oil company cuts access roads through the forest. These roads are followed by transient settlers who colonize and damage the surrounding forest through slash-and-burn agriculture, the introduction of domestic animals, hunting, and the collection of fuelwood. Oil companies sometimes "flare" or burn natural gas that is a by-product of drilling. The flames, which burn in the open air, contribute both to local air pollution and increase the risk of forest fires.

The oil extraction process can be messy and destructive. Spills result from burst pipelines and toxic drilling by-products may be dumped directly into local creeks and rivers. Some of the more toxic chemicals are stored in open waste pits and may pollute the surrounding lands and waterways. Oil spills can wreak havoc on rivers and aquatic ecosystems, while clean-up efforts are complicated by the complexity of tropical river systems, which may include floating meadows, swamp forest, oxbow lakes, flooded forest, and sand bars.


Over-reliance on oil can also impact the government's responsiveness to its citizens. Michael Ross, an associate professor of political science at the University of California at Los Angeles, has argued that oil-rich countries do less to help their poor than do countries without oil and are plagued with lower literacy rates, score lower on measures like the UN's "Human Development Index," and have higher child mortality and malnutrition. How is this possible? An article in The Economist explains, "Unlike agriculture, the oil sector employs few unskilled people. The inherent volatility of commodity prices hurts the poor the most, as they are least able to hedge their risks. And because the resource is concentrated, the resulting wealth passes through only a few hands—and so is more susceptible to misdirection." Since oil revenues are sometimes funneled directly to rulers, governments have little need to raise revenues through taxes and be accountable to their citizens.

There is a new role for biofuels that hasn't been considered before. As oil companies, looking for additional sources of oil, move into the tropical rainforests - in a big way - the role of protecting the rainforests may become as significant a consideration for the increased use of biofuels as it's role in reducing GHG emissions (although in the end they are one in the same). I think people should start considering what will be the impact and costs of losing large swaths of the rainforest as drilling for oil becomes a larger fact of life in the tropical rainforests.

Ethanol (and methanol if we invested in it) by competing with gasoline reduces the price of petroleum/gasoline. If we added methanol to the mix, we could more rapidly replace gasoline as the fuel for light vehicle transportation *. Increased use of biofuels and the decreased demand for gasoline will drive down the price of gas even more than it already has. A decreased price for petroleum would make drilling in the rainforests a less viable business plan. While the benefits of reducing GHG emissions from increased biofuel use by themselves make expanded use of biofuels imperative, the benefits of saving large swaths of the rainforest have not been calculated and could very well be of enormous import to the effort to fight Global Warming. (note: the effects of significant increases in deforestation are not linear. Significantly larger losses of rainforest would most likely have much larger impacts than have been considered so far). --- I am not aware of any studies considering the impacts on the climate of significant losses of tropical rainforest.

Considering the jeopardy the tropical rainforests are in, this makes rejection of non-empirically based, hysterical fables about ethanol and oil industry disinformation on biofuels an eminent imperative.

* Our ethanol supply from plant sources is probably limited to about 15% of our needs for light transportation fuel, barring any considerable improvements in manufacturing processes. Methanol is currently made from natural gas, but can also be made from agricultural and forestry waste in much larger volume than ethanol. We could increase methanol production much more quickly than other alternative fuel sources and blend it with gasoline and ethanol. Increased substitution of methanol for gasoline could reduce our demand for petroleum by an additional 10% in possibly a decade (with a serious commitment to this course) and another 10% to 20% in another decade - achieving a 30% to 40% reduction in our demand for gasoline. A reduction in demand for gasoline of 20% would have a very significant impact on the price of petroleum. A reduction in demand of 30% would have an even larger impact - greater than a linear relationship (between demand and price) would produce. This is without consideration of adaptation of engine designs which take advantage of alcohol's higher octane which could significantly increase engine performance - increasing the reduction in demand for gasoline.

Also check out: Deforestation: What’s driving it? Oil in the Rainforest

Dept of Energy Report: Wind power could be 35% of power supply by 2050


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is setting higher goals for wind power, saying it could supply 35% of the nation's electricity by the year 2050.

Wind power currently generates 4.5% of electricity, but that number is expected to more than double to 10% by 2020, says a report obtained by USA TODAY that will be released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Wind energy continues to be one of America's best choices for low-cost, zero-pollution renewable energy, and in an increasing number of markets, may be the cheapest source of new energy available," says a summary of the report by the Obama administration.

The new report — titled "Wind Vision: A New Era of Wind Power in the United States" — replaces a 2008 document produced during the George W. Bush administration called "20% Wind Energy by 2030."

Re HRC's emails: Give me facts, not innuendo


Fact: Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail account when she was secretary of State was lawful. The law restricting such private accounts by public officials was changed in 2014.

Fact: The 2009 Archives Preservation Law was not violated. Secretary Clinton's e-mails were preserved on the server, regardless of whether it was located at home. More than 50,000 pages had already been turned over. On Wednesday, she asked the State Department to review and release them.

Fact: Thousands of State Department officials and others received e-mails from Secretary Clinton during her tenure, and all knew that she was using a private e-mail address. This flat out contradicts all the baseless innuendo that she was attempting to hide her use of a private e-mail address.

Fact: Secretary Clinton's use of a private e-mail account for both personal and official diplomatic communications was not unprecedented. Former secretary of State Colin Powell has said that his private e-mail account was used for both purposes, too.


Fact: Former Florida governor Jeb Bush also used private e-mail for personal and official business. Despite a misleading statement from his spokesperson, Gov. Bush did not disclose all his e-mails. He selected which ones not to disclose.

the PLAC test Detects Your Risk of Sudden Heart Attack and Stroke


A new blood test can accurately identify atherosclerotic plaque that is vulnerable to rupture, and help to stave off fatal cardiac events. By pinpointing individuals who are in imminent danger of an ischemic (no blood flow) event, the innovative PLAC® blood test alerts physicians and patients to the urgent need to implement aggressive protective measures. As the PLAC® test becomes more widely utilized, it promises to dramatically reduce the risk of sudden heart attack and stroke.

When Tim Russert succumbed to a fatal heart attack in June of this year, the world was shocked not only by the loss of an iconic TV news personality, but also by the unexpected nature of his death. Tim Russert had coronary artery disease that was supposedly controlled with medication and exercise. A stress test in late April was unremarkable. The autopsy revealed that cholesterol plaque rupturing in a coronary artery choked off the blood supply through that artery, causing Tim Russert’s fatal heart attack.1

Detecting Vulnerable Plaque

An atherosclerotic plaque, also known as an atheroma, is a deposit of harmful fats, or lipids, on the blood vessel wall. When the plaque ruptures, globules resembling chunks of oatmeal break loose and suddenly clog a blood vessel, causing heart attack or stroke.

Cardiology experts noted the crucial difference between gradual narrowing of arteries, which had been controlled in Russert, versus the sudden, fatal blockage of a main coronary artery by ruptured atherosclerotic plaque on the vessel wall. Because about half of people who have a heart attack have no symptoms before the acute event,1 it is critical that they are recognized and treated before it is too late.

IF Airlines sold Paint - a reprise

this has been around for a while but maybe some haven't seen it. It's a pretty good comment on airline ticket pricing.. enjoy..


Customer: Hi. How much is your paint?

Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends on quite a lot of things.

Customer: Can you give me a guess? Is there an average price?

Clerk: Our lowest price is $12 a gallon, and we have 60 different
prices up to $200 a gallon.

Customer: What's the difference in the paint?

Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same paint.

-- go to link to read whole 'bit'...

Unplanned pregnancies cost taxpayers $21 billion each year - WaPo


Unintended pregnancies cost American taxpayers $21 billion each year, according to a new analysis released by the Guttmacher Institute. That averages out to a cost of about $366 per every woman of childbearing age in the U.S. Overall, more than half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended, and roughly 1-in-20 American women of reproductive age have an unplanned pregnancy each year.

Nationally there were 1.5 million unplanned births in 2010. Public insurance programs like Medicaid paid for 68 percent of those births. "On average, a publicly funded birth cost $12,770 in prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care and the first 12 months of infant care; care for months 13–60 cost, on average, another $7,947, for a total cost per birth of $20,716," the study found.


In some states -- Georgia, Mississippi and Oklahoma -- more than 80 percent of unplanned births were paid for by public dollars. Georgia taxpayers spent nearly $1 billion on unplanned births in 2010, as did taxpayers in Chicago. California spent $1.8 billion, while unplanned births cost the state of Texas nearly $3 billion dollars in 2010.

If these numbers seem high, they could be a lot higher. Current investments in family planning services, like contraception, family visits and STD testing, save taxpayers $15.8 billion and prevent 760,000 abortions each year, according to a 2014 analysis in the Milbank Quarterly. Guttmacher estimates that expanding these services further could cut the cost of unintended pregnancies by an additional $15 billion.
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