Dan H.

Dan H.

  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    Unicorns were never really all that nice; the supposed source of unicorn legends was an especially gracile Ice Age rhino species. Now, given the general descriptions of black rhinos in Africa (A Peter Hathaway Capstick terms them "Old Dimwit" and...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Most wealthy people do not accumulate large amounts of actual currency, or currency sitting in a bank account. What they do is invest their money in various investment vehicles, which end up being stocks, shares and the like. If you...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Charlie, Just a wee correction regarding coal mines. When you're mining coal using what used to be termed the Welsh Method (because the Welsh coal miners were, a couple of hundred years ago, at the forefront of mining technology) and...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    I think that when we are looking at modern protests such as the state of politics in the UK and the French Yellow Vest movement, we may be being blinded to the broader picture by a couple of special cases....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Actually what may be going is something slightly more sinister. The current Labour leadership are very strongly left-wing interventionists by nature, and are directly stating that they would like to make some fairly large alterations to the UK economy. Things...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    One thing that is very hopeful is the slow adoption of electric vehicles, without a simultaneous improvement in the nature of electrical transmission grids. This sounds barking mad on the face of it, but a very useful feature is hidden...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    OK, serious suggestions time: the deal negotiated by May is a shit sandwich and should be dropped. Default to a no-deal Brexit and trade on WTO terms, with reciprocal zero-tariff deals being offered. All EU citizens currently in the UK...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    As OGH intimates earlier, we are in grave danger of becoming slaves to our monetary system. Please note, this is not, repeat NOT as argument in favour of blockchain currencies, but merely an observation that money probably has limitations in...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    One thing that strikes me is that sooner or later, someone has to invent something better than money. The original idea wasn't too bad; use something rare and hard to duplicate as a proxy for stuff that you wanted. However,...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    OK, another daft supervillain idea for you. Take a biologist, a DevOps engineer and an academic and put them in a pub together. After several pints, they start talking about how good it would be to build massively parallel neural...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Unfortunately Mr Corbyn, for all his virtues is something of a Marxist and unfortunately seems not to have the wit to keep quiet on this belief system. Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future,...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Referencing levels of drug smuggling, I would like to draw your attention to the flurry of papers which followed an innovative drug use survey carried out in Rome: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/topics/pods/waste-water-analysis_en The results of these surveys are actually rather enlightening and quite...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    The other problem for the Tories, aside from a migration of voters away from them, was the fact that at that time a certain Jeremy Corbyn was still enjoying something of a honeymoon period as a new Labour leader. For...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    You may just be forgetting the original reason for holding the referendum; I can assure you that the May administration have not forgotten the meteoric rise of UKIP. UK politics is generally a slow, staid sort of an affair. We...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I would like to add a few other possible conspiracists to the mix, if that would be OK? First of all, we have that rarest of beasts the sensible economist. Over in the EU we have a situation brewing whereby...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    He's being too optimistic about governments and a cashless society, and that is paradoxically a cause for hope. To understand why, you have to work out first what happens when a population cannot escape taxation by a state. Answer: the...
  • Commented on GDPR compliance notice
    Well done sir, for producing probably the best-written and least tedious GDPR disclaimer I have yet seen, and I have had to complete the standard GDPR and Personal Information Handling course where I work. I prefer yours; easier to understand...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    I dare say this has already happened. You *did* read our gracious host's introduction about the Green family, didn't you?...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Corporate manslaughter caused by a malfunctioning machine. This sort of law is fairly well worked out; the machine is supposed to avoid deaths, and it failed in this objective. The corporation is thus guilty of corporate manslaughter, and the only...
  • Commented on Test Case
    As a budding scientist many, many years ago I was always taught that when building a hypothesis, I should state my assumptions. In this case, you are assuming that cars can be driven by a human, or driven by a...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Set up solar turbines. What you do is set up a large area of greenhouse, with open sides and a huge chimney in the middle. Colour the ground black, with some sort of heat-absorbing system and pump sea water through...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Satoshi Nakomoto is in fact a small group of Discordian hackers who, not satisfied with the efforts of the KLF, intended to have another crack at getting the Discordian alchemagical system to work in real life. Unfortunately they have misplaced...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    The great attraction of ammonia (NH3) is that you can contain it in a fairly similar spec of tank to that which is already used for Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). Due to some work done at Leeds University, a catalyst...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    If memory serves, biology uses left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars. Chemically identical sugars that are left-handed fit our sensors for what a sugar should taste like, but don't fit amylase enzymes so cannot easily be metabolised. Sweetness of a...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Not relying on one single clone of potato plant which was completely vulnerable to a few strains of potato blight, and not having a population that had grown to the point that it was living year to year would be...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Amino acids come in chiral forms, left-handed and right-handed (chemistry structural nomenclature here). Earthly organisms only use the left-handed forms, despite the right-handed ones being chemically (but not structurally) identical. Indeed, a few antibiotics are right-handed versions of amino acids....
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Any time spammers are screaming that something's a sure-fire money-spinner, that's the time to be getting out of it. Gold is only really a refuge for small amounts of capital; it will never become a currency again (and barely qualifies...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Unfortunately, most of the studies on human sexuality tend to be more on the lines of "Just so" stories rather than proper trials as such. My training in science was a PhD on sex pheromones in a plant parasitic nematode,...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    A lot of these sorts of statistics regarding human sperm counts are, to my mind as a biological scientist, of somewhat dubious nature. If we start with what we do know of vertebrate sexual behaviour and work over to humans...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    To clarify what I said (and not what you read into the statement), the implied austerity in the UK at the moment basically isn't austerity as usually defined. State funding of things isn't decreasing. What is decreasing is the rate...
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