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  1. J

    Energy sources and manpower required to maintain operation for x time

    What's the typical size of a skeleton crew required to maintain operation and deal with plausible unexpected circumstances without outside intervention, say per GW of output for a limited amount of time? For how long would such a skeleton crew typically be able to maintain operation...
  2. J

    Why do men live shorter? Because they have a Y chromosome!

    Sometimes, the simplest explanation really is the best... In humans and other mammals, males have significantly lower life expectancy than females. Various prima facie plausible adaptationist explanations could be, and have been, proposed: Males live shorter because of fiercer competition...
  3. J

    Asia submits voluntarily

    Imagine a mainstream supermarket or soft drink producer im Germany, Austria, or France starting to print a "certified to be halal" on products are halal by default, like bottled water chips, tuna or instant coffee. Ie not changing the product in any way, just kind of signaling to potential...
  4. J

    Last common ancestor of great apes might have been bipedal

    A new study reports on a Miocene ape fossil from what is today Germany. The ape, about the right age to be the common ancestor of great apes (including humans) or a closer relative, shows indications of bipedal posture when waking on the ground, though his predominant mode of locomotion wad...
  5. J

    Curve fitting is not modelling

    I stumbled upond this "paper" which appears to be published in a reputable journal, but oh boy is it naive: The human physiological impact of global deoxygenation Basically, they look at just over 20 years of atmoshperic oxygen concentration measurements, find that oxygen content is currently...
  6. J

    Venus may have once been habitable

    There is a recent study that claims Venus may have been habitable until "recently", 700 million years ago. It's long been known that essentially all of Venus's surface is young in astronomical timescales, about that age. The reason appears to be that due to a lack of plate tectonics, pressure...
  7. J

    The aliens will be speaking with an Austrian accent

    As the secretary general of the United Nations at the time, a certain Kurt Waldheim was tasked with recording a message to whoever might get hold of the Voyager probes. Here's it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrCaPuQn4_Q Given this, why isn't it a standard trope of SciFi that the aliens...
  8. J

    advent of code

    Get a new puzzle everyday to solve in your favorite programming language (or in a new one you're taking the opportunity to get a first feel for): https://adventofcode.com/2018
  9. J

    Implementation of quantifiers (all, any) in programming languages

    What's the cause for quantificational operators operating the way they do on empty lists? Note that I'm asking for the cause, not the reason. If you wish, the implementation. I'm fully aware that any(<empty list>) should return FALSE and all(<empty list>) TRUE, not least because you want to...
  10. J

    UK only 82 miles wide, Fox News science reporters found out :)

    Probably better for the humor section, but whatever: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/06/27/monster-asteroid-4-times-than-uk-is-so-close-to-earth-can-see-it-and-heres-how.html?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral
  11. J

    Career changers in Dev

    Yes, that's me. Or it might not, depending on how well I sell myself. I have a background in academia in a field that's widely conceived as part of the humanities though in terms of its methodology, it's arguably closer to the sciences than to most of the humanities (linguistics, to be precise...
  12. J

    Photographing the moon with a filter?

    Any (amateur) astronomers? Alright, I have this pipe dream to one day measure the moon's distance through the diurnal parallax method with my kid as soon as he's old enough to understand the math involved (basic trig, which isn't my strongest suit either so I'd rather wait till someone who does...
  13. J

    Flat-Earth Resurgence

    I only recently stumbled upon what seems to be a real segment of the "truther" movement, at least on youtube (yeah, don't tell me, youtube): The "Flat Earth Conspiracy". It seems to be a rather recent phenomenon - most or all of the videos are from the last couple of years, and a lot of the...
  14. J

    Спасибо, Россия!

    70 years after Nazi Germany was defeated, when we1* think of how the war was won for the allies, we think of D-day, of British and American fighter pilots, maybe of the desert war and the French resistance, and in this context we might even remember the civilian losses of the Blitz in London and...
  15. J

    To our resident transhumanists

    I'm not sure this is the right forum, but on the old board our resident transhumanists seemed to mostly hang out in the science section, so there goes, via SMBC :
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