https://www.vox.com/2018/2/15/17007678/syria-trump-war-win-interview, posted 24 Aug by peter in opinion politics usa war
Since 1945, the United States has very rarely achieved meaningful victory. The United States has fought five major wars — Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan — and only the Gulf War in 1991 can really be classified as a clear success.
The US doesn’t think several moves ahead. The US military is good at taking out bad guys. But the removal of the bad guy creates a power vacuum, and that power vacuum is filled by somebody else.
In Afghanistan, we created disorder and then the Taliban returned — the power vacuum there was also filled by ISIS. And in Iraq, the vacuum was filled by militant groups, most notably al-Qaeda in Iraq. In Libya, the vacuum was filled by a complicated range of militant groups.
We’re still stuck in this view that war is like the Super Bowl: We meet on the field, both sides have uniforms, we score points, someone wins, and when the game ends you go home. That’s not what war is like now. Now there are tons of civilians on the field, the enemy team doesn’t wear a uniform, and the game never ends. We need to know there’s no neat ending.
https://www.cnet.com/news/sending-tiny-spacecraft-to-alpha-centauri/, posted 23 Aug by peter in science space
But if Breakthrough Starshot succeeds, we could get snapshots of the Alpha Centauri solar system 4 light-years away — roughly the same as 6,800 trips to Pluto — 30 to 40 years from now. And maybe we'll get a better idea about just how rare life is in the universe./
https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2018/05/so-you-wanna-go-off-grid.html?m=1, posted 2 Aug by peter in energy toread
"I want to go off grid with solar and batteries!"
I hear this, or some variant, increasingly often. It seems to be a more and more popular concept, especially after some of the recent events in which people were left without power for long periods of time. And, quite often, I assume the people asking are genuinely interested in what they see as the benefits of off grid power. They're just not familiar with enough details to really have an understanding of what they're asking, or what it asks of them.
This post is my humble attempt to put a lot of information in one spot, such that I can link people to it when they ask about off grid power. There are quite valid reasons for off grid power, but it's not as easy or as simple as people tend to think. And it's certainly not as cheap as people assume it will be.
CSS Grids have been around a long time. Often they come bundled in frameworks such as Bootstrap. I'm not a Bootstrap hater, but sometimes using a framework is overkill if all you really need is a grid. Here's how to make your own CSS Grids from scratch.
Complementary Medicine, Refusal of Conventional Cancer Therapy, and Survival Among Patients With Curable Cancers
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2687972, posted 22 Jul by peter in health science
Question What patient characteristics are associated with use of complementary medicine for cancer and what is the association of complementary medicine with treatment adherence and survival?
Findings In this cohort study of 1 901 815 patients, use of complementary medicine varied by several factors and was associated with refusal of conventional cancer treatment, and with a 2-fold greater risk of death compared with patients who had no complementary medicine use.
Meaning Patients who received complementary medicine were more likely to refuse other conventional cancer treatment, and had a higher risk of death than no complementary medicine; however, this survival difference could be mediated by adherence to all recommended conventional cancer therapies.
As Japan sizzles under its hottest summer since record-keeping began in 1880, event organisers around the country are having to come up with creative solutions to entice people outdoors and away from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes this year.
One event which might be able to do just that is Tokyo’s new Bathtub Cinema, the first of its kind in Japan, which is set to pop up at MAG’s Park on the rooftop of the revamped MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 building that overlooks the world-famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing.
Evidence That Lifelong Low Dose Rates of Ionizing Radiation Increase Lifespan in Long- and Short-Lived Dogs
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5347275/, posted 22 Jul by peter in health science
After the 1956 radiation scare to stop weapons testing, studies focused on cancer induction by low-level radiation. Concern has shifted to protecting “radiation-sensitive individuals.” Since longevity is a measure of health impact, this analysis reexamined data to compare the effect of dose rate on the lifespans of short-lived (5% and 10% mortality) dogs and on the lifespans of dogs at 50% mortality. The data came from 2 large-scale studies. One exposed 10 groups to different γ dose rates; the other exposed 8 groups to different lung burdens of plutonium. Reexamination indicated that normalized lifespans increased more for short-lived dogs than for average dogs, when radiation was moderately above background. This was apparent by interpolating between the lifespans of nonirradiated dogs and exposed dogs. The optimum lifespan increase appeared at 50 mGy/y. The threshold for harm (decreased lifespan) was 700 mGy/y for 50% mortality dogs and 1100 mGy/y for short-lived dogs. For inhaled α-emitting particulates, longevity was remarkably increased for short-lived dogs below the threshold for harm. Short-lived dogs seem more radiosensitive than average dogs and they benefit more from low radiation. If dogs model humans, this evidence would support a change to radiation protection policy. Maintaining exposures “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) appears questionable.
https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/07/12/american-cities-are-drowning-in-car-storage/, posted 15 Jul by peter in environment toread urbanism usa
Parking spaces are everywhere, but for some reason the perception persists that there’s “not enough parking.” And so cities require parking in new buildings and lavishly subsidize parking garages, without ever measuring how much parking exists or how much it’s used.
There are four related issues here. First, how did "begging the question" come to be a technical term for (a certain kind of) circular reasoning? Second, do people really need a way to talk about circular reasoning, anyway? Third, why did "begging the question" get re-purposed in common usage to mean "dodging the question" or "raising the question", rather than simply subsiding, along with the rest of the terminology of medieval logic, into the midden heap of obsolete idioms? And fourth, should you go with the flow and use "beg the question" to mean "raise the question", or should you fight for the traditional usage, or what? I'll take up these issues one at a time.