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Fumesucker

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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 37,236

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http://www.discussionist.com/10165053

It's been a long time and I had forgotten why I stopped doing it

Arguing with conservatives I mean...

So against my sober better judgment I went over to Discussionist and made myself a screen name and plunged in, started arguing with the other side.

It's too easy, if you're reasonably good at this stuff and have your facts, rhetoric and snark down pretty well after a while the replies start slowing down and eventually they come to nearly a complete halt.

That's the way it used to play out back in the day when I could find a conservative site that didn't automatically ban liberals. Currentevents was one of my hangouts for while and it got to the point I could post almost anything no matter how inflammatory and not get replies from conservatives. I posted for a while at Reihlworldview too and basically the same thing happened there, conservatives just stop replying to you if you're not nasty and stick to facts, logic and maybe a little snark to lighten things up. There were more sites I went to but those are the two I can remember for sure the names of.

It's kind of fun for a while but it's a bit like pulling the wings off flies, it feels a bit cruel to taunt people who can't really fight back. I guess that attitude is why I'm a liberal and not a conservative, they'd never say something like that.

Detect known exoplanet with a DSLR and telephoto lens

Here's some science you can try at home, kids!

It's amazing what you can do with enough raw computer power and extremely modest instruments.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6526774/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1#Post6527906

My target was HD189733b, which seems to be one of the easier transits to capture. It is also right next to M27, making it easy to find. I used the ETD (exoplanet transit database) site to determine transit times for my location. For my location, WV, there was a transit starting at 3:45am local time, ending at 5:35am local time on May 13th.

I used an unmodified Canon t3i and a Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 telephoto lens stepped with a 72-52 step down ring to about f/5.7. I took 15 second exposures every 30 seconds at iso200.

I then loaded 272 canon raw files into iris to register and align the images, and then used the automatic photometry tool in iris to generate the raw data. I used 4 reference stars on plus the HD189733 target star. I then ran 5 reference stars for a baseline. Here are the resulting light curve plots.


Meteorite trail photos

I've been going through my sky shots that I took for my contest entry and so far I've found two meteorite trails out of maybe five percent of the total shots I've looked at so far..

Nothing spectacular but they are kind of hard to get...



On The Beach

NASA-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:

"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."


Read the rest of the article at the link.

Asimov's guide to understanding people...

Since we have been talking about Asimov lately I thought this quote from Foundation's Edge was interesting.

“There’s nothing to it. All you have to do is take a close look at yourself and you will understand everyone else. We’re in no way different ourselves... You show me someone who can’t understand people and I’ll show you someone who has built up a false image of himself.”

Chapter 11 “Sayshell” section 3, p. 205

"If you suspect that my interest in the Bible is going to inspire me with sudden enthusiasm"

If you suspect that my interest in the Bible is going to inspire me with sudden enthusiasm for Judaism and make me a convert of mountain‐moving fervor and that I shall suddenly grow long earlocks and learn Hebrew and go about denouncing the heathen — you little know the effect of the Bible on me. Properly read, it is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. -Isaac Asimov

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it."

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time." -Isaac Asimov

The single most powerful moral statement the USA could make against Putin moving into Crimea

Put Dick and Dubya on trial for Iraq.

Extra points for conviction of war crimes.

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