User Profile: Chris


Member Since: November 29, 2010

CommentsDisplaying comments newest to oldest.

  • January 13, 2014 at 9:25pm

    Communion in both species (bread and wine) has always been optional. For many years it was relatively rare to find a Catholic church that did communion with both bread and wine. That has become more commonplace recently (over the last 30 years or so, I think) but you never have to and from my observations a pretty sizable fraction pass up the cup when they go to communion.

  • October 19, 2013 at 11:47am

    Furloughed federal employees were not unemployed. They were still employees of the federal government meaning that they were still bound by all of the normal outside employment rules. Even if you could find somebody to hire you for a couple of weeks most jobs in your immediate area of expertise need to be reviewed to make sure there isn’t a conflict with the federal job and, of course, there wasn’t anybody working to do that kind of thing.

    This whole “non-essential” argument starts from a false premise. When the government used to use “essential” and “non-essential” it was to differentiate between people that had to keep working to protect life & property and people whose work could be safely suspended for the duration of the shutdown. The “essential” personnel are supposed to represent the minimum “skeleton crew” that has to be kept on hand.

  • March 26, 2013 at 10:23pm

    You guys are aware that the “three Laws of Robotics” aren’t actually laws, aren’t you? They were made up by Isaac Asimov for use in his robot stories. Other than the fact that they are probably a pretty good idea for robots interacting with humans there is nothing that requires any robot to follow them and nothing that prevents it from violating any or all of them.

  • September 3, 2012 at 12:19pm

    Desmond needs to take off the tutu and STFU.

  • August 28, 2012 at 10:30pm

    The world has a lot of poor, starving people in it. if you took NASA’s entire $18B budget and applied it to feeding the poor, the world would still have a lot of poor, starving people and we would have even less chance of doing anything about it. Technology has driven our standard of living, and aerospace technology has been a major driver. We feed the world because we have the technology, the economy, and the land to do it.if we lose our technology we just bring to poor and starving closer to home.

  • August 28, 2012 at 10:17pm

    Before you send a manned mission, you send unmanned missions. Mars is a long trip so you have to bring enough supplies to stay for a while. People also require a lot more in the way of support than robots do. When you are trying to land, Mars has too much atmosphere to ignore but not enough to make things simple. Getting into practice at landing bigger and bigger things will be really useful when you try to send a manned mission.

  • August 26, 2012 at 12:55am

    Actually, I believe that he went to work for NACA’s Lewis Laboratory in Cleveland. NACA became a part of the newly created NASA in 1958. Armstrong He even flew the X-15 at one point in his career.

  • August 25, 2012 at 6:53pm

    There are, by my observation, three types of people that don’t believe that we went to the Moon.
    1) The ones that have seem somebody’s explanation of why we couldn’t have done it and are too scientifically illiterate to understand that the explanations they hold to don’t hold water. These people are innocently ignorant.
    2) People that know that the reasons that they give for why we couldn’t go to the moon are lies but use it to push their own agenda. These people are, in a word, liars.
    3) People that believe that because the government says so, it didn’t happen. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, but it is a sign of intellectual laziness. It is easier to believe that everyone in government is lazy, a liar and/or corrupt than to realize that the government isn’t a monolith. Rather, it holds some of everything. Every part of the government has conservatives & liberals, believers & nonbelievers, lazy and hardworking. There is no way that you could keep a secret like this with that many people involved. I’ve worked in and around NASA for the last 25 years and there really is something in the nature or scientists and engineers that won’t let a lie stand, at least on a technical issue. If the landings were faked, somebody (actually a lot of somebodies) wouldn’t be able to contain it, or themselves.

  • August 21, 2012 at 9:29pm

    Invests in devils? I suspect that he gets stock options from the Devil.

  • August 15, 2012 at 9:04pm

    Before anybody’s tiny little head explodes, an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract allows the government to purchase up to a preset number of items over a particular period of time for a pre-negotiated price. It does not mean that the government will necessarily purchase that number of items. They can draw from the contract repeatedly until either the time period runs out or until the total number of items have been purchased. It keeps the price constant and consistent over the life of the contract no matter what happens to the market price.

    Responses (1) +
  • August 7, 2012 at 10:54pm

    The US has missed Mars at least once and crashed a couple more times. I believe that the Russians have missed every time they have tried.

    Mars may be big but it is a long way away.

  • August 5, 2012 at 1:05pm

    Most of this stuff is either authorized and paid for in the budgets of federal agencies, either directly in the law, as an earmark, or as the result of a program set up by an agency under the direction of Congress. The poop throwing was probably not funded explicitly, but through a program that was in the budget for the agency that supplied the money.

    The thing that jumped out at me in the “Wastebook 2011″ report as not belonging there was #98 – the one about $1 bills.

    We still have $1 bills – even thought they are more expensive than coins – because people still seem to want them. Does it make any sense to save money trying to force people to use $1 coins that they don’t want?

    As far as #69 – the high risk research program – is concerned, that may well unnecessarily duplicate other programs, but performing and funding high-risk research is something that I think that the government should be doing, at least in selected areas. There are a number of areas where foreign governments are pumping money into their industries to try to help them take market share away from the US. Supporting high-risk research – stuff that would have a huge payoff if it works but is too high risk for a company to invest in – seems like a reasonable thing to do, primarily to thin out the possibilities, remove the worst of the risk and let private industry spend their time and money trying to develop something they can sell.

  • August 1, 2012 at 7:58pm

    There is nothing wicked about it. Give them the stiff jail sentence that they deserve for what they did. I don’t care that they are old and will probably rot in jail, they deserve it.

  • July 31, 2012 at 10:09pm

    They should not only throw the book at these three idiots, but maybe write a few more and throw those at them too. Then you go hammer the people in charge of security at this facility. The security people could have easily and justifiably shot them, but even better, they should have been arrested before they got over or through the fence.

    Responses (3) +
  • July 10, 2012 at 9:54pm

    Where I live the Lawn Nazis stick a notice on your door giving you 72 hours to cut your lawn, or they threaten to do it for you and charge you $150. If you don’t pay it they can put a lien against the house. They started this because there were so many empty properties and they wanted to make sure that the grass wasn’t growing wild. If a bank foreclosed on a house, they are responsible for some minimal upkeep.
    Unfortunately the people writing these notices are getting a little power mad, writing up occupied houses with a normally kept lawn that has a small patch of weeds sticking up more than 6″

  • July 8, 2012 at 10:15pm

    All of the “spinoffs” from NASA technology occurred in the free market.Either NASA had a requirement for some technology that they contracted with a company to provide, and that company developed and sold products based on that technology, or NASA invented the technology and a company either adopted the technology and sold their own products based on it or developed a competing product that they owned themselves.

    If NASA develops and patents a technology, companies that want to use it have to license it, and the government usually does not grant exclusive licenses. If they want to control the technology themselves they have to invent something as good or better that is different enough to allow them to patent it themselves. One of the big reasons why jet engines are as powerful and safe as they are now is because of this technology competition between the engine manufacturers and NASA,

  • June 16, 2012 at 9:36pm

    The Gaia concept wasn’t an eco-religion when it started but it was rapidly picked up by the Earth worshipers that were already in the green movement.
    As the scientists explained it, Gaia was a shorthand term for the idea that there is a whole system of competing equilibria involving the earth and living things that keep things pretty much the way that they are. There are processes that create CO2 and processes that consume CO2, for example.
    One of the basic pieces of data is that, unlike the other planets in our solar system, the Earth’s atmosphere is not in chemical equilibrium and the existence of life is what keeps it that way.
    There is no intelligence guiding things in this concept – just a bunch of processes in competition with and reinforcing each other. Another concept is that the current conditions aren’t somehow “right”. If things change enough the system settles into a new stable condition although not necessarily on that people will thrive in.
    Some of the eco-freaks took this basic idea and injected the concept that “Mother Earth” somehow “knows” and keeps the environment the way that she wants it.

  • June 11, 2012 at 8:58pm

    Remember that there are TWO types of Nobel Prize – The Nobel Peace Prize and the Prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physilogy or Medicine and Literature. The Peace prize is awarded in Norway, the rest in Sweden.

    Particularly judging by recent history, the peace prize has a lot of politics involved, the rest tend to be about real achievement.

  • June 8, 2012 at 9:19pm

    After what he poured on Cleveland, I have no sympathy for him.

  • June 7, 2012 at 7:33am

    Why would you want to teach science in a science class, after all?