International Adventurer, Entrepreneur, and Man of Science.
Let's see.... reasons include fighting, bringing home made explosives to school, and various acts of alleged vandalism, which I insist were social commentary, satire, or "art", such as hoisting a giant pirate flag over the school, covering every surface in a teacher's office with over 200 fried eggs held in place with staples, and rigging a bust of JFK to cry tears of blood, and so on.
If you look at the high cost of the uninsured, this is often because people without insurance postpone treatment until something is serious and then end up at an emergency room or other critical care type facility. And, many who are uninsured due to economic reasons then skip out on the bills, and these costs get factored into overhead of operating medical facilities, plus the additional cost associated with bill collection which goes nowhere. So, universal coverage will actually bring down the total percent of GDP spent on health care simply by bringing everyone into a framework where treatment can be done in an appropriate environment, and, ideally, before conditions become critical, and not pushed into the emergency rooms.
Beyond that, though, we do need additional serious improvements in overall cost reduction. Personally, this is why I've long been an advocate of a nationalized single payer system as one of the choices for health care. It can be placed in competition against private insurance, sure, but it needs to at least be an option for everyone. While many claim that government programs are inherently less efficient, I don't see how this is the case in health care. Just take a look at Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth. His total compensation often exceeded $40M per year, no one working in the Medicare administration makes nearly that much. Of course, the claim is that superstar CEOs like this are worth it because of their ruthless drive to reduce costs and drive revenue. But did Scrushy do that? Well... he manipulated accounting practices and made the company look like it was making lots of money, something he's just been convicted of and fined $2.88B for. I don't think that really counts as driving overall system efficiency. Plain and simple, government sponsored health care should be run like a business, but run like a non-profit business. The $40M a year Scrushy was taking home could have been spent on actual health care. So, in the context of cost reduction, removing senior management compensation from health insurance cuts quite a bit of expense.
And, as you point out, insurance becomes more efficient the larger the pool of participants becomes, as this spread risk and achieves best possible outcomes at lowest possible per person cost. What could be a larger pool than the entire nation?
So far I remain fairly unimpressed with the health care plans floated because none of them provide a strong position for single payer health care, whether nationalized or provided through non-profits, as is done in Japan and Germany. Every other advanced nation on Earth has this, and they all have longer life expectancies and lower health care costs as a percentage of GDP. This seems like a pretty big clue that this may be the optimal system.
Germany, for example, spends 10.7 percent of their GDP on health care for a really world class system. It's not nationalized, but rather operated through a network of government sanctioned non-profits. On top of this, private for-profit companies provide upgraded health care packages, both as extensions of the standard systems or as a full coverage package for people willing to pay for luxury treatment, which usually involves quicker appointments, posh waiting rooms, and whatnot.
Japan uses a very similar system, and spends a little over eight percent of their GDP to do so. This is especially amazing given their legendary smoking rates and aging population. Despite this, they maintain one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
The US, on the other hand, has the lowest life expectancy of any advanced industrialized nation, and we spend over 15% of our GDP to achieve this. Clearly we're doing something wrong. I think a good place to start is to tell people like Scrushy that we no longer wish to pay them $40M a year to defraud investors.
it gives the Vne (the "never exceed" speed, which is to say the speed at which is ceases to be a controllable aircraft and proceeds to become a collection of scrap metal and bolts traveling at the whim of momentum and gravity) as 120 mph, so with five gallons per hours consumption, that would give a not too terrible mileage of 24 miles to the gallon. Provided, of course, that you actually want to be skimming along at terrifying and near catastrophic speed in something which resembles a flying office chair. I'd give it a try! Looks like fun!
Unfortunately, I don't think ornithopters are practical at this time, and may never be. Biological materials, like bird bones and feathers or insect wings, are amazingly good at achieving strength to weight ratios, but they're hard to scale up. Sure, we can build toy ornithopters, I think we all had one of those when we were a kid, but making one large enough to do useful work runs into serious materials strength issues. Of the large flying animals on this planet, the largest tend to be more gliders than flyers. The largest pterosaurs reached up to 40 feet in wingspan, but probably couldn't really fly so much as glide.
The largest known bird, the Argentavis magnificens, known only from the fossil record, had a wingspan of 21 feet, but, despite that size, had a mass of only about 70 kilos. Even so, computer models suggest it was also more of a glider than anything else.
So, flapping isn't a very good way to get a large object off the ground.
Personally, I think we need more zeppelins. You can never go wrong with a good zeppelin... well, except for that one that exploded... oh, and that one that crashed in a storm.... uh, and the other one that went down in a storm... and...
Well... we'll just have to build them better this time around.
they need a runway and forward motion to get into autorotation mode before they generate lift. Models with collective pitch control can take off in very short distances, and all can land in near zero-rollout conditions, but they're not quite true VTOL.
Much better is the Gene Corporation GEN-H4 personal helicopter:
Unlike an autogyro this is a true helicopter and can take off and land vertically. It's powered by a 125cc engine, and reaches a top speed of about 55 mph. I haven't been able to find fuel consumption figures for it, but it's probably pretty efficient considering the size of the engine. Unfortunately, they cost about $40K, plus they're not legal anywhere yet. That's pretty damn cheap for a helicopter, but since it currently amounts to a toy that you can only buzz around at low altitudes on your own private property with, due to legal restrictions, it's not so useful.
I think for myself and that concept scares the hell out of you doesn't it?
Yes, it is rather scary to watch, but not in the way you think it is. It's scary in more of a "watching Mr. Magoo drive down a busy street" way than anything else.
You just suggested that I'd support Hitler in 1938. Clearly, a world of difference. You really need to cut it out with this passive-aggressive routine. Your use of the "I never SAID that, I just GUESSED it" routine is about like someone who says "You know, I'm not a racist, some of my best friends are black, but..." followed by a horrifyingly racist comment. It's childish and it's passive aggressive. Similar with "Hey, I didn't call you a Nazi" as a way of distancing yourself from saying I'd have been a supporter of Hitler in 1938. It's the same damn thing, you're just using passive aggressive wording to give yourself an "out". That doesn't work, and you know it.
I also find it funny that you think I'm threatened by you. That's absolutely hilarious, and pretty much proves my point that you seem to be an ill-informed kook with an inflated sense of self-worth. I keep replying because it's good batting practice. It's easy to swat you, it's something I can do with one eye open while sipping my morning coffee, and you keep popping back up for more. You're like one of those inflatable toy punching bags with the face of a clown on it. You punch it and it pops right back up, still grinning like an idiot and ready to be punched again.
I have a lot of spare time, so having my own willing punching bag gives me some mild amusement.
>"In science, there are no closed doors, no final answers, no absolutes. Hypotheses and theories must ALWAYS be debated. Science is always in flux, as someone such as yourself ought to understand."
I don't think these words mean what you think they do. What you've stated is basically true, but what you think it means is completely wrong. What you've conceptualized it is a strawman view of science that nutjobs like you frequently use. If science were unable to come to any conclusions at all, and everything was always in flux, then it would be useless. So, while science as a whole always has change in it, there are some things we can say, not with absolute "capital T 'Truth'" certainty, but within the specifications of the resolution of our current theories and data. For example, if I'm operating a catapult, I can use a fixed value of gravity and basic kinematic equations and be pretty damn accurate. If I'm calculating the orbital behaviour of a satellite, I can use Newton's laws, and the law of universal gravitation, and be close enough. If I'm operating a phase correlation locator system, like the GPS network, I have to use Einstein's laws of special relativity to get accurate positions. So, we have different theoretical structures which have varying levels of resolution. These levels of resolution are always there, but in many situations the added accuracy isn't needed. The advancements don't invalidate the utility of the preexisting theories, it just extends it. Then of course, there's the question of whether gravitation actually bends space-time, or just looks like a bend in space-time, and what exactly it is on a fundamental level. So, the foundations can be reassessed, theories can be modified and extended, but a correlation seen at a particular scale and well substantiated by data isn't up for reconsideration. The model or theory will come with its own error bars, which is why no one is quite sure what climate change will look like in a century, and no one can say for sure that it will drive a hurricane in this particular month, or melt that particular glacier at such and such a rate, but taken as a whole, and applied to the level of resolution we need to know that there will be widespread and drastic changes, it's not up for debate, even though science continues to expand and change the basic theories underlying it, producing more accurate models and better predictions.
You are the one who doesn't understand science. Retreating to the whole "science is always up for debate" argument, and misunderstanding that idea in such a way, is one of the classic tropes of the scientifically illiterate. I've heard that same line from a dozens of anti-scientific fools trying to pick apart everything from evolution, to climate change, to relativity or quantum mechanics. Invariably, these are people who insist that science must change or become dogma, therefore it must accept some totally unsubstantiated piece of bullshit cooked up by some kook. Here's a hint for you: that's called pseudoscience. It tries to look like science, but it isn't.
Also, you still don't know shit about batteries. Have you ever seen a 100 year old battery? Taken one apart? Measured the performance characteristics? Talked to battery engineers? Even lead acid batteries, like the one in your car, have advanced. Do you even know what a really large scale battery looks like? Here's a hint: it's not lead acid. Have you ever even heard of a vanadium flow-cell bank? Is Tesla using lead acid batteries? Is Phoenix? Are any of the new generation of electric cars using lead acid? No.
As for carbon neutral hydrocarbons... yes, gas is about $2 a gallon now, and a couple years ago it was pushing twice that, and a few years from now, who knows? Manufactured gasoline, whether from solar reforming of CO2 and water vapor or thermal depolymerization of organic waste, will give us a product that has a much more easily controlled price which will be stable over the long term, and which is not too drastically higher than current prices. Ultimately a slightly higher and stable price is more economically beneficial than a wildly fluctuating price which is sometimes lower and sometimes higher than the stabilized price. You can feel free to add economics to the list of "things Hotrod doesn't know shit about".
>Methinks you are more of a politician than a scientist Sir.
What is this? The early 19th century? Are you going to challenge me to a duel next? Take off your white glove and slap me in the face with it? Insult the style in which I powder my wig? Why is it that kooks so often adopt this sort of stilted language? Methinks it is because, you, Sir, are of the belief that it gives gravitas and substance to your puerile blather, &C. Nope, sorry, it just makes you sound like a nutcase. It's also a style which is rampant among right wing and Libertarian pseudointellectuals. Is there some sort of special right wing kook edition of Stunk and White out there that you guys all use? I'll give you ten points for conforming to the classic style of an ill-informed and delusional dipshit with an inflated sense of worth, but, in my opinion, that's not really the sort of contest you want to win.
there was anything wrong with using petrochemical products for building materials, pharmaceuticals, or plastics? No.
Also, if you really think there has been almost no advancement in batteries in the last hundred years, you're a complete idiot. Lithium ion batteries today are significantly better than they were just five years ago. Twenty years ago, early cell phones, like the Motorola "brick" were the size they were largely due to low density batteries. Modern laptops and other portable devices would be unwieldy and impractical without the advances in battery technology just the last couple decades have seen, let alone the advances of the last century.
So, you can't effectively power a passenger jet or a long haul truck with batteries, so what? I've never claimed you could. In fact, I've never even had anything bad to say about chemical fuels. They're devastatingly effective for high density power storage with reasonably low cost conversion to mechanical power. I think they're great, actually. But, we don't have to get them from petrochemicals. We can make carbon neutral hydrocarbon liquid fuels from air, water, and sunlight. I even mentioned that up thread. You don't really read anything I write, do you? Your mind is totally shut and incapable of even assessing anything you don't agree with.
Carbon neutral hydrocarbons can be made, potentially, for about $3.00 a gallon. Of course, building sufficient infrastructure to do this at a scale to meet the fuel demands of the US will take decades, and, ultimately, the conversion of available power to useful transportation using this method is less efficient than use of battery powered vehicles for most applications, so I expect it'll be used for jet fuel, long haul trucking, racing fuel, and expensive luxury cars. I fully expect the Ferrari of 2030 to be gasonline powered, I just expect that gasoline to be manufactured in a carbon neutral way.
As far as me jumping on you for your innocent little hypothetical, what you've done is the equivalent of saying in response to an essay on the need for more cancer research that, hypothetically, you don't think cancer kills anyone at all, and it's all just the evil chemotherapy and radiation that's used to treat it that kills people, and suggesting that we treat cancer with homeopathic "medicine", bleeding to balance the bodily humors, coffee enemas, or, if that fails, waving a crystal wand over the patient's ass, and going on to link to a bunch of bullshit by new age conmen about how all this supposedly works. And now, you're hurt and surprised that an oncologist shows up to call you on your bullshit. Are you really that far out of touch with reality that this surprises you?
I know far more about the subjects of energy generation and the climate than you do, and, given your demonstrated lack of an ability to discern scientifically credible sources from crackpots and apparent inability to actually read anything anyone's written without immediately dismissing anything you don't a priori agree with, I know more about these subjects than you ever will.
He's trying to enact policy change on a position that most people agree with. Why should this mean that he should debate any random guy who disagrees with him. And, regardless of what you say, Monckton is not knowledgeable, nor is he a force to be reckoned with. He's a crackpot who thinks that Chinese navigators sailed across an ice free North pole nearly 600 years ago. This is not a credible position. Anyone who blindly admits that sort of idea into his thinking simply because it agrees with his preconceived notions is not a person who you should debate with. This is a person who has a major failure of critical thinking.
It's kind of like me debating with you... you keep bringing up these crackpots like Monckton, or trotting out these widely discredited lists of supposed scientists who deny the general consensus because these agree with your preconceived notions. You have yet to even so much as admit that an international conference of research climatologists, a far more credible source of information, might actually have a point. Furthermore, you keep aiming for Gore for some damn reason, attributing to him pope-like sway over the, as you would have it, cult of climate change. Gore is a useful sideshow. He manages to get most of the facts roughly correct, and does a lot of public speaking and politicking. He's following the conclusions of thousands of scientists, and they're the ones to listen to, not him. Gore could be given another award tomorrow and thereby be tragically killed in a horrible swollen ego accident due to the final unsustainable inflation of his self-worth and it wouldn't matter to the direction of climate research. Research would still show the same conclusions, and people would still be working on the issue. So, why should I debate you? Well, I'm not subjecting all of Congress to it, so it's just my time to waste, for starters. If I were seriously trying to set public policy, and I had the option of telling someone with as bad of information as you keep trotting out to go get stuffed or debating you in a room full of people who have lots of other important issues to deal with, I'd tell you to go get stuffed.
As far as this "biblical" qualities of the whole saga... My personal view, and the view of many scientists, is that a good approach would be to build a shitload of nuclear power plants, starting right now, along with a lot of solar and wind power, and, if that doesn't work, build machines to scrub CO2 out of the air on a massive scale and bury it in a suitable geological deposit. In addition to engineering the climate, we can use this scrubbed CO2, along with a good dose of concentrated solar radiation, to manufacture carbon neutral hydrocarbons for fuel, which would allow us to proceed with the use of hydrocarbon chemical fuels in a sustainable way. If all else fails, we can consider seeding the upper atmosphere with reflective particles, depending on whether the models of how that might work show enough benefit, or try other sorts of daring engineering projects. This hardly sounds like being cajoled into returning to live in harmony with nature. All the ideas I've just mentioned are being researched as we speak. The impacts are being assessed, prototypes are being built, and so on. We are obviously, as you seem to think is a stunning revelations, part and parcel of nature, and we're on a limited planet. If we're going to continue to see a growing, or even static, population and a rising standard of living, if we're going to continue with the technological and cultural progress we've made, we need to start assessing all the impacts of our actions and closing the loop on our energy and manufacturing processes so that there remains a viable biosphere to support us and sufficient resources to continue our civilization. It's as simple as that. Acknowledging that we now know enough to realize that we need to change the way we do things or suffer serious negative results is hardly a case of us being chastised by an angry god. It's more a case of growing up and seeing that actions have consequences, and attempting to make choices that maximize good results and minimize bad ones.
Sure, there are some dippy hippie sorts who get the idea that it's important but think the only solution is to live in mud huts and eat a diet of brown rice and lawn clippings, but that's a tiny minority of people. Claiming that this represents the core of people concerned about global climate change is like claiming that anyone who owns a gun is a bloodthirsty homicidal maniac. Sure, there are some of those out there, but they're fortunately rather rare. There are also people who think that owning a gun does automatically make you a homicidal maniac, but those people are clearly nuts, and that's kind of what you're sounding like at the moment.