* Posts by apr400

7 posts • joined 11 Sep 2008

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

apr400

Let's hope the titanium rod doesn't fall off during the rocket launch - that'd do some damage falling from 20 km.

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Climate was HOTTER in Roman, medieval times than now: Study

apr400
FAIL

So if you look in the actual paper you see that the cooling trend lasted until about 100 years ago, and that the temperature now is around about the same as at the beginning of the data set. At the same time we are less than half way through the period of cooling related to the insolation changes that the paper is discussing (MIlankovitch cycle). So basically what the paper is saying is that we should be getting cooler as our orbit shifts on its ~ 25 thousand year cycle, but for some reason in the last 100 years we have managed to cancel out all of the cooling effect for the last 2000 years.

Oops once again El Reg scores a climate sceptic own goal.

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LOHAN finally checks into REHAB

apr400

Re: Is there a daft question?

Most model rockets are combined fuel:oxidiser these days I think. Should be able to run in the complete absence of oxygen - I am guessing that the problem will be getting the ignition going without atmospheric pressure to retard the initial exhaust gases a bit.

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Uni plagiarism site buckles under crush of last-minute essays

apr400

Re: Appallingly bad design?

>"The service also stores all student essays submitted – with

>the result that students are often accused of plagiarising themselves."

>Surely it should also store who submitted the essay, and

>spot that it's being resubmitted by the same person?

If you copy your own previous work rather than producing new and original material then that is still a problem.

>It's wrong that the computer is "scoring" students.

>Surely it should just return the essay marked up

>to show the areas of concern, which the student

>can then revise, and finally hand in the (marked-up)

>essay with a separate explanation for human

>consideration of anything where he can't satisfy

>the big dumb computer!

That is exactly what does happen (with the potential exception that the work is not necessarily returned to the student after checking). The software doesn't accuse a student of plagiarism - it assigns a score based on the likelihood of cheating, and then provides the marked up essay together with the matching source text for the student's lecturer to consider.

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RIP: Peak Oil - we won't be running out any time soon

apr400

Re: Re: Re: This is Clarkson-level journalism

Quite. It was never resource shortage, but rather EROEI that was going to be the problem. The return on some of the newer techniques for extracting difficult hydrocarbons is frighteningly low. Add this to increasing world population, and rapidly increasing energy demands in the developing world, which mean a likely increase in demand of the order of 5 to 10 times current demand over the next 50 years and we have a problem. Biofuel will come nowhere near to filling this, and synthetics will require enormous investment in desert solar thermal, DT fusion, or fast breeder (and that only if we can figure out Uranium from sea water extraction). Nothing else comes close to closing the energy gap.

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El Reg insults 'millions of Irish Catholics'

apr400

There's none as Irish...

...as an American

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Boffinry bitchslap brouhaha: Higgs and Hawking head to head

apr400
Boffin

Answer

I don't know about elsewhere, but our particle physics group has rooms full of data on film, magnetic spools, dats etc mouldering in the basement.

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