dpb

dpb

  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Teaching children why perpetual motion machines are impossible is a core duty of science teachers IMHO....
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    The usual problem is that the further south you go the less likely people are to have seen scottish money. People don't like accepting anything they can't evaluate. Sometimes it gets really absurd though. A couple of years ago my...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Different regulatory environments. Ordinary chemical plants are mundane, therefore safe. Losing track of eight tonnes of hydrogen fluoride near a major city is less newsworthy than a few grams of fission fragments....
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. Engulf him in a deluge of 500 degree molten salt and he'll be warm for the rest of his life....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Most go quiet when they are caught. Some just get louder....
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    In the short term I expect a very well funded (dis)information campaign to ensure that everyone knows that summer storms have ABSOLUTLY NOTHING to do with increasing temperatures. There are no ice caps in Texas etc. Longer term we have...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    I think people worry too much about that sort of thing. Clever ideas are ten a penny. Execution is hard....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Yeah. This was up around Tromsø in winter, and in the few areas that weren't covered in snow the road surface was knackered....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    I used studded tyres for the first time in Norway a couple of years ago. They were magic on packed snow. I could easily drive on surfaces I couldn't walk on. I don't think they are legal in the UK...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Not as such; it uses less energy to keep a typical 100 year old Scottish sandstone house at ~18c than it does to heat it up from ~5c every day. All insulation does is reduce the rate of heat loss....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    2 hard winters per decade isn't a real problem. Surviving 4 years out of every 5 should be good enough for anyone....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    They are good though though. I got a Miele washing machine half price about 10 years ago and it is still practically brand new. If it hadn't been half price I would probably have gone for Bosch....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Of course the withdraw approach works perfectly all the way to the moment they kick your door in......
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Ironically you are probably better off with an older house than a newer one for that sort of thing. These days the "fossil fueled something" is often a combi boiler that really isn't all that big. Large hot water tanks...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    I strongly suspect that even if it was technically legal for Charlie to set a nuke off someone would invent new laws to punish him with if he did it. There are precedents....
  • Commented on Radio silence
    That requires everyone to have AR kit that takes its information from the same approved source. Maybe AR is the way forward for museums but I would expect the alt right types to have their own facts....
  • Commented on Radio silence
    I have been seeing rumours for months that Trump really didn't like people suggesting that Bannon (or anyone else) was really in charge so I half expected them to fall out sooner or later. Whether that is what happened, or...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    So Bannon is out. It will be interesting to see whether Breitbart still love Trump in the morning....
  • Commented on Radio silence
    Something like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDKHmlBzG6o...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    I know all this, but OGH has suggested on more than one occasion that what we think of as the elder gods are trying to get away from something bigger and nastier....
  • Commented on Radio silence
    If they had any sense they would be off down the shadow roads as soon as they got the chance. Not sure it would help though, as Charlies previous "what are the elder gods running from" and "singularity" comments suggest...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    That should read "On the subject of cosmology..."...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    On the subject of inflation there is currently an entertaining debate going on in cosmological circles about the usefulness of inflation. TL;DR - there is a good argument that it doesn't solve the problems it claims to solve, and introduces...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I just checked and I wasn't quite correct about the discard thing. Recommended practice is actually to have a final "match everything" rule, but if you don't know what is coming in it amounts to a discard anyway. My excuse...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Erlang is a derivative of prolog with a message passing system using the CSP model. It supports lots of light weight threads, and has a runtime that handles messaging and knows how to route messages over a network to make...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I think the reason for the fear of SSD failure is that many people, including a lot who do know better, never really bother with backups until the spinning rust starts to fail and the error messages start appearing. Then...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Put the bottom of the tube on an equatorial railway, anchor the other end to the moon and use the gas for lunar fracking....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    When I hear about schemes to store large quantities of CO2 underground long term I always think of Lake Nyos. Short term storage with a plan to crack the CO2 somehow once there is a decent non fossil power surplus...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    The old ways be best. If something costs more than most people earn in a year and you can convince them that it is vital* to their future then you get them to take out a loan. It's essential work,...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    Agreed. These days I tend to put books down when I hit the dreaded wall of text that begins with "As you know....". Life is too short. Life is never too short to read all the digressions in a good...
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