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Thread: The Official Cricketweb Science Thread!

  1. #346
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Just had a quick look, essentially it's a battery. More correctly, it's a fuel cell. You put in a source of fuel, and you output power. People have been using fuel cells since the advent of electricity. The advantage that this seems to have is basically durability - e.g, fuel cells don't usually last very long but they seem to have (maybe) figured out a way to have cells that last long term.

    You still need fossil or other source of fuel of course, but depending on its efficiency, it could end up being much cheaper. It's still a bit of a weird thing to say that you won't need to pay your bills to a power company. Technically that could be true, but it's also true that you can put solar panels and not need the power company. It's about convenience.

    You are going to have to constantly fuel it. If it breaks down, are you really going to go without power until you order another bloom box in a week? Most likely the use for this would be at the power companies themselves - that way they have failover, etc. Meaning, instead of them using coal or whatever, they would have a central plant full of bloom boxes (or their competition), and you'd still pay your power company the same way you do now. Bloom box in every house would be unlikely and impractical. It could potentially lower costs.

    I say potentially because fuel cells have been expensive to make, and it depends on how much they can get their costs down. The fuel cell technology is not new, the thing that is potentially new is that they've been able to make them cheaper and more durable. I don't know about this 'revolution' business - that would depend on the exact cost/benefit ratio. I doubt it would make power 10x cheaper or anything (or even 2x cheaper - You may more likely see 10-20% reduction in your bill, which if you average out through the whole country, is significant).

    I keep using the word 'if', because there've been a bunch of close calls with this stuff. We'll know in five years.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 27-02-2010 at 10:32 AM.
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  2. #347
    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    Been too long since the last ground breaking invention. What do you consider to be the last great invention? I would choose the internet.

  3. #348
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    More interested in discoveries than inventions to be honest, but I'd definitely say the internet too in terms of impact. And that's about 20 years really, so hardly 'too long'. Two-three per century is pretty good really, in terms of true global impact.

  4. #349
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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  5. #350
    International Regular Steulen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Holy crap! Go UK!

    http://www.publications.parliament.u...tech/45/45.pdf

    Page 43 (page 47 of PDF) for conclusions. Awesome awesome news, hopefully the recommendations are accepted.
    "The Government should stop allowing the funding of homeopathy on the NHS."

    Conclusion 23. Brilliant. Says it all, really.
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    God, I just worked out Steulen's avatar is a hedgehog, not a brain...
    Not sure how to feel now tbh...

  6. #351
    International Regular Steulen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metallics2006 View Post
    Been too long since the last ground breaking invention. What do you consider to be the last great invention? I would choose the internet.
    The mobile phone. Slightly younger than the Internet, and has done more for the world especially in those parts where computers and Internet access are hard to come by..

  7. #352
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metallics2006 View Post
    Been too long since the last ground breaking invention. What do you consider to be the last great invention? I would choose the internet.
    Thing about science these days is that the paper and peer review process is so stringent and pervasive - I mean, you can find a PhD thesis on (I kid you not) the homoerotic necrophiliac tendencies of a particular species of duck (I forget which), so something truly earth shattering such as a 80% efficient photovoltaic, or a 20GHz microprocessor chip or something like that - "great inventions" are remembered partly because they were so utterly unexpected - take, for example, the aircraft, who would have bet on the Wrights succeeding? Or what I think is the single greatest invention of the 20th century, the transistor - that came completely out of the blue as well (even the guy who was supposed to be in charge of the project! He was none to happy about having his thunder stolen. He was a crazy SOB though)

    I've gotten a bit sidetracked. As I was saying, nowadays truly earthshattering inventions don't occur because it simply isn't possible to create something truly brilliant on your own shielded from the scientific community - it's just anamathea (sp) to any half-decent scientist or engineer. Nowadays they are a collaborative and gradual process and "eased" into the world rather than exploding on the scene with great fanfare. Sure, it's not as romantic, but it's a helluva lot more efficient.
    Last edited by Spark; 02-03-2010 at 04:14 AM.
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  8. #353
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Thing about science these days is that the paper and peer review process is so stringent and pervasive - I mean, you can find a PhD thesis on (I kid you not) the homoerotic necrophiliac tendencies of a particular species of duck (I forget which), so something truly earth shattering such as a 80% efficient photovoltaic, or a 20GHz microprocessor chip or something like that - "great inventions" are remembered partly because they were so utterly unexpected - take, for example, the aircraft, who would have bet on the Wrights succeeding? Or what I think is the single greatest invention of the 20th century, the transistor - that came completely out of the blue as well (even the guy who was supposed to be in charge of the project! He was none to happy about having his thunder stolen. He was a crazy SOB though)

    I've gotten a bit sidetracked. As I was saying, nowadays truly earthshattering inventions don't occur because it simply isn't possible to create something truly brilliant on your own shielded from the scientific community - it's just anamathea (sp) to any half-decent scientist or engineer. Nowadays they are a collaborative and gradual process and "eased" into the world rather than exploding on the scene with great fanfare. Sure, it's not as romantic, but it's a helluva lot more efficient.
    That's definitely true. The days of people hiding their manuscripts for decades (ala Newton's time) are very much over.

  9. #354
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steulen View Post
    "The Government should stop allowing the funding of homeopathy on the NHS."

    Conclusion 23. Brilliant. Says it all, really.
    55. Under the homeopathic principles, “the greater the dilution, the more potent the
    medicine”.
    58
    Dr Peter Fisher, Director of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital,
    described how homeopathic dilutions are made:
    [They] are prepared by a process of sequential dilution with vigorous shaking at each
    stage of dilution, known as succussion. Dilution is usually in steps of 1:10 or 1:100,
    referred to as x or d (decimal) or c (centesimal) respectively.
    59

    56. For example, a 30C dilution indicates that the solution has been diluted in the ratio of
    1:100, thirty times successively; one drop of the original solution would be diluted with 100
    drops of water and the resulting solution would be diluted again, and so on until 30
    dilutions had taken place. According to the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, in
    some homeopathic products “not even a single molecule of the original substance remains
    in the diluted medicine prescribed to the patient”.
    60

    57. Dr Fisher stated that the process of “shaking is important”61
    but was unable to say how
    much shaking was required. He said “that has not been fully investigated”62
    but did tell us
    that “You have to shake it vigorously [...] if you just stir it gently, it does not work”.
    63

    58. A number of theories have been proposed to explain how water that does not contain a
    single molecule of the active ingredient can retain the properties of that ingredient and
    have a physiological action on the patient. The most frequently mentioned in the written
    evidence is the theory of “molecular memory”, which proposes that water can retain some
    imprint of substances previously dissolved in it. Some of the explanations for how water
    might remember substances dissolved in it cite electromagnetic properties,
    • frequency imprinting,
    • quantum physics
    • and supra-molecular behaviour of water (that is, large-
    • scale interactions).
    I cannot believe they trotted out the quantum mechanics BS in front of parliament. I thought it was only quack mystics on the internet who said crap like that.


    "Uh, yes Mr. MP, I do believe that thoroughly shaking water vigorously will result in quantum entanglement."

    That is hilarious. This is why we need science education. If you're shameless enough to say that with a straight face to the parliament.....you've just achieved boss level stupid.

  10. #355
    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Thing about science these days is that the paper and peer review process is so stringent and pervasive - I mean, you can find a PhD thesis on (I kid you not) the homoerotic necrophiliac tendencies of a particular species of duck (I forget which), so something truly earth shattering such as a 80% efficient photovoltaic, or a 20GHz microprocessor chip or something like that - "great inventions" are remembered partly because they were so utterly unexpected - take, for example, the aircraft, who would have bet on the Wrights succeeding? Or what I think is the single greatest invention of the 20th century, the transistor - that came completely out of the blue as well (even the guy who was supposed to be in charge of the project! He was none to happy about having his thunder stolen. He was a crazy SOB though)

    I've gotten a bit sidetracked. As I was saying, nowadays truly earthshattering inventions don't occur because it simply isn't possible to create something truly brilliant on your own shielded from the scientific community - it's just anamathea (sp) to any half-decent scientist or engineer. Nowadays they are a collaborative and gradual process and "eased" into the world rather than exploding on the scene with great fanfare. Sure, it's not as romantic, but it's a helluva lot more efficient.
    !!!

    Love this post.

    +1000000000

  11. #356
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    That's a perfectly good topic!

    Then again, to me, there is no such thing as a bad topic so I'd be the worst administrator of funding grants. I'd just fund everything on a first come first serve basis, my only criteria being if I find it interesting .

  12. #357
    International Debutant andmark's Avatar
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    For give me if this is very ignorant, but, would anyone agree that potential energy is a phrase made up by scientists to keep known theories (i.e how you're not able to create energy) ?
    Well the Irish did it on St Patrick's day

    Rip Fardin Qayyumi, Bob Woolmer and Craig.
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  13. #358
    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steulen View Post
    The mobile phone. Slightly younger than the Internet, and has done more for the world especially in those parts where computers and Internet access are hard to come by..
    Phones were older. The mobile phone was just a more useful piece of phone. Like how laptops compare to desktop PCs. But yeah, the little bastards are orsome tstl.

  14. #359
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    In terms of discovery, last thirty years:


  15. #360
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andmark View Post
    For give me if this is very ignorant, but, would anyone agree that potential energy is a phrase made up by scientists to keep known theories (i.e how you're not able to create energy) ?
    No.



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