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Topics - borealis

The Soap Opera / FX Spamming
Making this public.

FX has been spamming almost continually, making threads with a quoted post or PM one after another. He's hard to keep up with.

Speaking as an Admin, I'm considering the possibility of giving him a timeout 24 hour ban or something like that.

Input please?
Science / Tyer Wind Converter
Flap like a hummingbird...

The unique design doesn't generate quite as much power as a similarly sized wind turbine, but it provides other key advantages that could expand where the Tyer Wind Converter can be installed. Not only are the flapping winds quieter, its creator claims they are less prone to being damaged in high wind scenarios. They also pose less of a threat to birds, and thanks to a smaller footprint can be installed in dense urban areas, or packed even tighter in a large wind farm to maximize power output.

The Tyer Wind Converter isn't available for sale yet, but its creators have built working prototypes that are currently being tested in real world conditions to see if it can actually deliver on its promised improvements, and most importantly, actually generate enough power to be worth the cost.
TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / Tilikum is dead
Heroic and long suffering orca Tilikum has died, at the approximate age of 36.

Born off Iceland, kidnapped to Sealand Canada, later sold to SeaWorld Orlando, it is to be hoped his fame as an unpredictable, powerful, intelligent wild animal will help to end the breeding and display of cetaceans in big fish tanks everywhere.

He is famous for being implicated in the deaths of at least three humans, and for being a subject of the documentary Blackfish.

While the breeding program continued, Tilikum was SeaWorld's most prolific male orca, forced to sire 14 calves during his time at SeaWorld Orlando.

He was notable also for his great size, at more than 22 feet and 11,800 pounds.

Vale, Tilikum.
What the hell?

Are these laws likely to actually go into effect?

This week, Texas lawmakers added another particularly bizarre and callous step to this already arduous process. On Monday night, state health officials finalized new rules mandating that all fetuses aborted in a hospital or clinic must be buried or cremated, regardless of gestational stage. These regulations will now take effect on December 19; reproductive rights advocates say the effect on women in the state of Texas will be devastating.

When the law takes effect, Trigilio added, abortion clinics that cannot find a nearby funeral home willing to provide fetus funeral services could be forced to close their doors, exacerbating the dire lack of access in the state. And, as the director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas noted in July, the costs associated with cremating a body are substantial: An average basic services fee costs $2000. Though health officials in the state insist that clinics, not women, will be forced to cover the costs, it's very unlikely that there won't be some sort of financial effect on abortion patients.

Critics call it a "fetus funeral" law and say such legislation is a blatant attempt to impose a specific moral agenda on women and reproductive healthcare providers, to legally enshrine the idea that fetuses can die--which also implies that they're distinct, living beings at some point. Texas isn't the only state to propose a fetal burial rule in the past year or so. South Carolina and Mississippi legislatures voted on similar bills, though they both failed to pass; Ohio is currently considering one; and Indiana and Louisiana have both enacted laws of their own, though both are currently on hold pending ongoing litigation.
TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / Elephant refugees
Whole article is intensely depressing.

To avoid ivory poachers in neighboring Namibia, Zambia, and Angola, elephants like this family are fleeing in astounding numbers to Chobe, where illegal hunting is mostly kept in check. (See National Geographic's elephant pictures.)

"Our elephants are essentially refugees," says Michael Chase, founder of the Botswana-based conservation group Elephants Without Borders, which works to create transboundary corridors for elephants to travel safely between countries.

Illegal killing for ivory is so intense that in 10 years scientists expect to lose 50 percent of Africa's remaining elephants, Chase says.
British red squirrels are being afflicted by a medieval strain of leprosy that was thought to have disappeared from Europe over 700 years ago, according to a new DNA analysis. Researchers say the chances of the dreaded disease spreading to humans is low, but the discovery suggests this strain of leprosy has been lingering for quite some time.

A DNA analysis performed by researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) has shown that leprosy in Britain's red squirrels is being caused by the same species of bacteria responsible for human infections. Human cases of leprosy are practically unheard of in Britain, but scientists say the red squirrels could be a source for the bacteria in the UK, frustrating attempts to eradicate the disease.

Humans have little to worry about, but sadly the squirrels:

This news comes at a particularly challenging time for the British red squirrel. Their numbers have drastically declined in the UK over the past few years, and only 140,00 remain. These creatures are being threatened from habitat loss and the squirrelpox virus carried by invasive grey squirrels.
Arts and Entertainment / Leonard Cohen Dead
Mafia / Stuffed Toy Mafia on Mindromp
A video shared with CBC News and produced by the Arctic Research Foundation appears to show images of the submerged HMS Terror, one of Sir John Franklin's two ships lost in the doomed 1845 Franklin Expedition, in a Nunavut bay.
On Monday morning, British newspaper the Guardian reported that the ship, which was abandoned in sea ice in 1848 during a failed attempt to sail through the Northwest Passage, was found "in pristine condition" in Nunavut's Terror Bay, north of where the wreck of HMS Erebus -- the expedition's flagship -- was found in 2014.
The crew of the Arctic Research Foundation's Martin Bergmann research vessel found the shipwreck, with all three masts standing and almost all hatches closed, on Sept. 3.
"Resting proud on 24 metres of water, we found HMS Terror -- 203 years old, it is perfectly preserved in the frigid waters of the Northwest Passage," Arctic Research Foundation spokesman Adrian Schimnowski says in the video.

Arts and Entertainment / Art and Gentrification
I'm not sure I agree with this guy. What do you think?

Some anti-gentrification protesters do. In one of the daftest and most perverse logics of the modern left, campaigners in the Boyle Heights neighbourhood of Los Angeles say that while they are "not against art and culture", they see the art galleries opening in their streets as part of the problem. According to activist Maga Miranda, "the art galleries are part of a broader effort by planners and politicians and developers who want to artwash gentrification."


The ideology feeding into Boyle Heights' "artwashing" fears is similar to what led London protesters to single out the Cereal Killer cafe in Shoreditch last year. But it is a destructive logic. Art, culture and, yes, cafes are not weapons of corporate capital. And even if they do add value to property, that is not all they do. There is such a thing as civilisation - and it has a way of looking a bit like "gentrification". All over the world, the most enjoyable, exciting parts of cities are the districts where galleries and bars flourish and where, as a result, hugely diverse crowds congregate in cultural enjoyment, collective pleasure, and community.
It doesn't match any other known meteorite.
It doesn't match anything known on Earth.
It doesn't match anything known on Mars.
It is, in all ways, alien.
Strange meteorite.

From mid-Ordovician ~470 Myr-old limestone >100 fossil L-chondritic meteorites have been recovered, representing the markedly enhanced flux of meteorites to Earth following the breakup of the L-chondrite parent body. Recently one anomalous meteorite, Österplana 065 (Öst 65), was found in the same beds that yield L chondrites. The cosmic-ray exposure age of Öst 65 shows that it may be a fragment of the impactor that broke up the L-chondrite parent body. Here we show that in a chromium versus oxygen-isotope plot Öst 65 falls outside all fields encompassing the known meteorite types. This may be the first documented example of an 'extinct' meteorite, that is, a meteorite type that does not fall on Earth today because its parent body has been consumed by collisions. The meteorites found on Earth today apparently do not give a full representation of the kind of bodies in the asteroid belt ~500 Myr ago.

Nature paper:
Some of us have encountered problems and/or things we don't like with the text editor:

Quote from: borealis on Today at 10:40:10 AM
What problems are you encountering with the editor, Jon? I've encountered a couple myself, but most of my problems initially were due to unfamiliarity. Still a few things I don't like.

1. If you have two sequential quotes, you can't get the cursor between them to reply to them separately.
2. Cursor placement is restricted in other ways - you can't just click in the box, you have to click specifically where you want to start typing.
3. You can't use your shift key to highlight text, it either deletes the text or takes you to the beginning of all text in the box.

If you can add some things I'll copy it to a more appropriate thread and see what Os and Raven have to say.
    Quote from JonF:
  • It insists on pasting with formatting (Control-V), and if I delete the formatted text and re-paste after passing through a text editor sometimes there's invisible formatting marks that restore the unwanted formatting.
  • Note the different fonts in my previous message.
  • In the list in my previous message it added a visible "[ / * ]" to each item
Responses, thoughts, help?
Introductions / anybody there

I swear I was reading posts and everything disappeared.