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Nitack last won the day on January 22 2009

Nitack had the most liked content!


About Nitack

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  • Biography
    A backyard scientist with more curiosity than is good for him
  • Location
    Washington DC
  • Interests
    physics, energy, environmentalism, terra preta, gardening
  • Occupation
    Health Care Lobbyist
  1. It's actually really as simple as Calories-in vs. Calories-out. The laws of physics win... shocker! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221125020.htm
  2. Thanks for the input! Although, in the time between when this was dreamed up and now I have had two children and finding the time to tinker with this design and build a prototype has disappeared. Maybe when they are a little older :(
  3. Interesting study on the Placebo effect. Apparently the patient doesn't even need to be deceived about being given a placebo to experience beneficial results. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015591
  4. Here is the thing. It is important for there to be candid, brutally blunt evaluations of foreign actors. Diplomats need to record these impressions because they help establish a profile on the person so that other diplomats, or future diplomats to work with that person walk into any situation with as much knowledge as possible. At the same time, it only makes things volatile to make those candid evaluations public. Prince Andrew may be rude, cocky, unmannered and uncouth; and knowing that will help you handle him more effectively, but making that assessment public will only insult him and
  5. A whole lot of conjecture and "what if" talk going on here about organisms that we currently have no proof even exist. Shall we spend billions of dollars to shoot carbon dioxide to the moon just on the off chance that an organism might live below the moons surface and might find said carbon dioxide beneficial?
  6. Yes, and the staple crops that we feed ourselves with may not be able to cope, leading to wide spread starvation of our species. So, your premise of sending CO2 to the moon will likely have a detrimental effect to the life you believe may exist there.
  7. Significantly changing the environment of any living organism almost always ends badly.
  8. I agree with you whole heartedly. Although I made the same arguments a while ago in this thread and was told that I was "oversimplifying" and lacked an understanding for the nuances of weight gain and loss. I think that in a lot of ways obesity research has been perverted and people grasp at it for a "not my fault" answer. If obese individuals can tell themselves that there is a genetic, viral, or specific food responsible for their weight gain, then they don't have to feel responsible for their own misery, and also don't have to put in the effort to fix it. As long as they can take som
  9. You are kind of arguing in circles here. Your original premise was that we would colonize the moon with plant life from earth, which is not possible for MANY reasons, just a few of which were listed. Now you jumped the argument to the possibility of life already on the moon and evolved to that environment. Sticking to one premise at a time would be helpful.
  10. Interesting questions: The short answer is that western society was heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian philosophy. Think Adam and Eve, tree of knowledge, fig leaves. Although we also find clothing in non-western society as well, so that explanation only really explains why western society finds nakedness wrong, not why humans in general do. Is there anything inherently wrong with a naked body... nope. We are the only animal that sees fit to cover our bodies out of modesty (that I know of). How this translates to your freedom of expression is that societies develop a communal standa
  11. This is true. But what you are suggesting is to transplant life that has evolved for the conditions here on earth to a much different environment. Constant variables on earth that we don't necessarily think of as relevant to life have a profound impact if changed. To name a few: Gravity impacts many facets of how a life form operates. Solar radiation levels will be much higher on the moon than on the earth because the moon's magnetic field is only 1/100th the strength of earth's. Surface temperature on the moon is also way outside hospitable levels. That might change a bit with an ap
  12. Just a thought. The capsaicin that gives hot peppers their kick is a pretty hostile chemical... would it have a detrimental effect on the yeast?
  13. Seriously wet down the charcoal before you feed it into any chipper. Charcoal dust can react similarly to coal dust, it doesn't have the same energy potential as coal so should not explode, but you could find yourself with a flaming cloud and set fire to anything near by.
  14. He actually explained a very good point to this whole debate. This very thread is indicative of the problem. Science has provided us with a wealth of data that suggests that there are mitigating factors which can explain why some people burn less calories or might be prone to eat more than they need. The problem is that people in general tend to rationalize in order to protect their fragile egos. Science has provided a way for obese people to rationalize out that it must not be their fault because they heard on the radio, or read a blurb in a newspaper that says that some people are pro
  15. Can Wind Power Get Up to Speed? - TIME Just read this article. Very nice mention of a scientific report that says that there is enough wind energy swirling around our planet to meet our current energy needs 40 times over. The article also does a very nice job of laying out the challenges to a wind powered future. It sparked a new question for me though. Wind turbines siphon off the energy that carries air as wind. This is all driven by a very complex system of thermal fronts and such well beyond my comprehension because I have not yet read up on them. But, here is the part I do get, we
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