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Bryan Elliott's Comments

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John Boehner: 'I'm Not Qualified To Debate The Science Over Climate Change'

John Boehner: 'I'm Not Qualified To Debate The Science Over Climate Change'

Commented May 29, 2014 at 23:24:38 in Politics

“Oof. Start with an honest statement, proceed with non sequitur.”
14 Decor Trends Hipsters Need To Calm Down About (PHOTOS)

14 Decor Trends Hipsters Need To Calm Down About (PHOTOS)

Commented May 21, 2014 at 08:51:27 in HuffPost Home

“Mmmm... thinly veiled ageism. How did this nonsense find its way off of BuzzFeed?”

pciorlandosales on May 21, 2014 at 23:17:52

“LOL”
John Oliver & Bill Nye School Climate Change Skeptics On 'Last Week Tonight'

John Oliver & Bill Nye School Climate Change Skeptics On 'Last Week Tonight'

Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:41:57 in Comedy

“"ALL HUMAN LIFE ENDS."

Not going to happen. We're way too greedy and tenacious. Worst that can happen is it costs billions of dollars to remain comfortable, and those without billions of dollars die of starvation and exposure.”
John Oliver & Bill Nye School Climate Change Skeptics On 'Last Week Tonight'

John Oliver & Bill Nye School Climate Change Skeptics On 'Last Week Tonight'

Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:37:18 in Comedy

“Nobody's claiming that 450 PPM is going to make people pass out. They're claiming that the additional insulation granted by that additional 60-90 PPM CO2 would be enough shift of the CO2 equilibrium to melt the icecaps, flooding a lot of coastal land, killing a lot of salt-water creatures, releasing even _more_ CO2 (and methane), significantly changing the world's temperature, and making our weather more intense (short answer here: what drives our weather is the temperature gradient between the earth and space; increase the temperature gradient, and you drive harder weather).”
John Oliver & Bill Nye School Climate Change Skeptics On 'Last Week Tonight'

John Oliver & Bill Nye School Climate Change Skeptics On 'Last Week Tonight'

Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:33:11 in Comedy

“Climate is the average weather over a long period of time, weather being the regional atmospheric conditions at a given point in time. Global climate is the same concept, but with the "region" argument expanded to encompass the entire planet.

Or, to be more explicit: climate is patterns of weather over time. It's a broader subject than the moment's weather.

To say it's cold right now, where you are, and therefore no climate change is a bit like saying you're eating right now, therefore you'll never be hungry. It's simply not enough data to examine the picture you're trying to refute; it's a fraction of a fraction of that data. For example, during North America's snowpocalypse this past winter - mildly cold, but snowy as hell - Australia underwent the hottest summer it's had on record.

So, you're scoffing at climate change because it's snowing where _you_ are, _today_ - which would be _merely_ wrong, except that, when it's already cold, snow is not really an indicator of cold; it's an indicator of moisture.

One of the predictions of climate change, aside from hotter summers, is wetter spring and fall weather, and snowier winters - because while the annual temperature variance hasn't yet pulled the winter lows out of freezing, the higher annual temperatures has made more moisture available in the air. Refuting climate change would take a steady rise in global temperatures over several years - not just one snowy winter, which is predicted by the theory.”
Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is

Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is

Commented May 8, 2014 at 09:01:11 in Comedy

“Sure.

It's Robert Lustig's talk, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth". You can find it on YouTube. Usually I'm not one to take these kinds of things on their face - but unlike most pseudoscience, he does a good job of explaining the mechanisms and metabolic pathways, in detail, for different types of sugars.

Further research on my part (mostly just independently checking how fructose/glucose is metabolized, and that the health claims of the metabolites are actually supported by current research) convinced me of his claims' accuracy - the only problem being that, while the mechanisms appear to be sound, there's only been a few introductory studies to test the predictions that he (infuriatingly) promotes as plain truth in the talk.”

Leadsled on May 8, 2014 at 09:54:32

“Thanks, for the source info, doing the research yourself to look into things, and for forewarning me about the weaknesses in the prediction part of that. I very much appreciate it all, as it's rather rare to find someone able/willing to do all that in these kinds of conversations.”
Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is

Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is

Commented May 8, 2014 at 00:00:24 in Comedy

“That said, fructose metabolism can be, in the absence of soluble fiber, significantly worse than glucose metabolism (hepatic fructose metabolism produces a fair amount of free fatty acids, VLDLs, inhibits hepatic production of nitric oxide, and contributes strongly to insulin resistance; glucose does none of these things, being almost entirely metabolized by your cells to energy and waste products, or hepatically to glycogen).

This is, of course, not a thing I worry about since my only gross source of fructose is whole fruits (which has the fiber that mitigates all of this); I use sucralose or aspartame in any non-water fluids I consume.

This is not to say HFCS is worse than sucrose - as you said, they're chemically the same about 5 minutes after you've swallowed them. But it _is_ to say that, for example, wheat flour is actually better for you than HFCS, gram for gram, since the starches in it are essentially chains of glucose, slowly broken apart.

Interestingly, it means that baker's corn syrup (e.g, bottles of Karo) are in fact a "healthier" sweetener than HFCS _or_ sucrose, since baker's corn syrup is almost entirely free glucose.

Karo also makes fantastic lemonade and mixed drinks; I'll generally thin it to the consistency of simple syrup and match its sweetness to simple syrup using EZSweetz drops. I can't claim that using it in place of real simple syrup is less hangover-inducing - but the reduced hepatic load certainly can't hurt.”

Leadsled on May 8, 2014 at 08:21:36

“Ya know I hadn't thought about Karo being glucose, that was an interesting discussion on your part. Thanks for sharing.

Do you have a citation I could look through on the fructose - fiber = worse than glucose w/o fiber? That seems quite interesting to me as at first guess I would't think there would be a difference. So I'd very much enjoy getting to read that part of this info direct from the source.”
UK 'Porn' Filter Will Also Block Violence, Alcohol, Terrorism, Smoking And 'Esoteric Material'

UK 'Porn' Filter Will Also Block Violence, Alcohol, Terrorism, Smoking And 'Esoteric Material'

Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 09:27:54 in World

“This is why we need all web traffic to be end-to-end encrypted, and why we need a darknic. We need the technology we use to be unobservable noise to anyone who isn't the server or client.”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 24, 2012 at 02:13:53 in Green

“What makes an fuel arrangement critical is how many fission events happen per fission event. A key part of what makes this possible is the relative density of the fissile material. If SFP 4 collapses, and the assemblies drop and scatter, they will become less relatively dense as a result. Lower density = lower criticality.

Spent fuel is "spent" because the presence of fission products makes it harder to maintain criticality. It's placed in an SFP to allow the short-lived radioactives to decay off - but since the ones with a higher propensity to absorb neutrons - the "oxygen" of the fission "fire" - without fissioning tend to have longer lives. It's like trying to light ash.

There are 1,535 fuel assemblies at SFP4 - none of which are, to my knowledge, unspent. It wouldn't make sense to store unused fuel there, after all. I could be wrong though.

Still, criticality is extremely unlikely at SFP4 - though the mess from a collapse would be only marginally less epic than the reactor disasters.”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 24, 2012 at 01:50:09 in Green

“It is a NIMBY problem - specifically Mr. Reid's NIMBY problem (he's the guy who got Jaczko the job).

Yucca mountain wasn't a perfect site, nor a perfect idea, but it was geologically stable - which is the primary requirement. Transportation of nuclear waste is as safe as our best engineers can make it - google for videos of impact testing for dry casks, you'll see what I mean. It wasn't a great plan, but it was a plan. The utilities - and you and I, by proxy - have been paying for some kind of plan to exist.

No rush, mind; above-ground dry cask storage is entirely safe as well. But if we're not going to reprocess our fuel, we should do something with it, right?

Incidentally, while spent fuel is toxic (i.e., the multitude of fission products would be hazardous to your health (to eat) even if every atom were stable), the primary hazard of it is its radioactivity - but thankfully, dry casks contain that nicely in thick steel-and-concrete shells (gamma emitters are allowed to decay off in the year stay in spent fuel pools before the fuel goes into dry casks).”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 24, 2012 at 01:40:17 in Green

“Correction: efficiency _can be_ cheaper per kwh, if the cost of R&D, production and outlay are under the cost of electricity for the difference in consumption. The smaller the total consumption, the smaller the difference is - so efficiency has an obvious point of diminishing returns.

Not saying we don't need it - but nuclear is the cheapest electricity we produce in the US short of coal - and it's orders of magnitude cleaner in all respects, including releases of radiation (coal is about 12 ppm uranium and 4ppm thorium - fine when encased in a reactor; pretty bad when burned into atmosphere). We know how to make them, and efficiency is largely a research game. We can be doing both, as well as building solar and wind (preferably not natural gas backed - but that's what usually comes with), while decomming our coal plants.”

scotchleaf on May 24, 2012 at 22:52:44

“I'm not talking about researching new technology. How much does a nuclear plant cost? For HALF the cost of a new nuclear power plant, we can retrofit 1,600,000 homes for energy efficiency and save the same amount of energy. Retrofitting the houses would create 220,000 new jobs – that’s 90 times more jobs than you’d get from the replacement nuclear power plant.

To boil down the numbers, according to http://www.energysavvy.com/

"a nuclear power plant is expected to last 40 years and produce at the U.S. average of 12.3 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. The cost of electricity we’re using is 8.4 cents / kWh, which includes the cost of financing, building and operating the plant for 40 years. The total cost for this plant and its power for 40 years is $41 billion.

(NOTICE THEY INCLUDE NO COST FOR WASTE STORAGE OR MELTDOWNS/CATASTROPHES)”

scotchleaf on May 24, 2012 at 22:52:29

“Instead, if you want to retrofit enough houses to eliminate the need for 12.3 billion kWh per year, the calculation works like this: A typical electrically heated U.S. home uses 20,000 kWh per year, which can be reduced by 30% with a $12,000 energy retrofit, based on various industry estimates. You’d need to retrofit just over 1.6 million homes to equal the entire annual energy production of a nuclear power plant, for a total cost of just under $20 billion. Home energy efficiency improvements in electrically heated homes include upgrading the efficiency of the electric heating system, insulating and making air sealing improvements to the home’s building envelope, using solar hot water heating systems and replacing inefficient A/C units and appliances.

Job creation: At peak construction, building a plant would employ as many as 2,400 workers. 400 to 700 long-term employees. For home retrofits: retrofitting 1,600,000 homes = 220,000 jobs.

See illustration at http://www.energysavvy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/IG_nuclear-rev-2.jpg
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 24, 2012 at 01:35:16 in Green

“Your assertions sound to me like, "Just stop being sick!", rather than diagnosis and treatment.

"Stop making so many people"

This happens with prosperity - which is correlated with with energy, education, and infrastructure.

"stop using so much power"

Tell that to the family in Ghana that just wants a washer, a refrigerator, and indoor lighting. The former third world are to be the largest drivers of energy consumption in the next 30 years, as China's been in the last 20. We need to build things that are more efficient - but we also need to supply the new demand that's coming up with little carbon output, and as little capital investment as possible. Nuclear is the best wide-scale, baseload capable, low-carbon solution in this space.

"stop using so many fossil fuels"

Fossil fuels are cheap and easy relative to all other solutions for the jobs they are used in. If they weren't, they wouldn't be used. Until they are not, they aren't going away. Again, build more efficient things, preferably using electricity as their driver, so that greening the electrical grid has greater effect. If we're simultaneously replacing our coal burners with nukes, we're reducing our footprint moreso.

There are clear solutions to the climate problem / energy crisis from an engineering standpoint. They are simply not politically feasible in this backward country, with its anti-science conservatives and its anti-science liberals. I weep for that sometimes.”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 24, 2012 at 01:16:26 in Green

“"So you are saying that water vapor is not a green house gas?"

No. What I said was that nuclear plants are not a significant contributor to atmospheric water vapor the way anthropogenic CO2 is. Way to analyze consequences there.

"Nukers also fail to mention that the carbon footprint of nuclear is the highest of any non-fossil energy production method."

False. Solar PV owns that honor. Pseudogreens like to do this calculation against the nameplate capacity (the pie in the sky value), instead of the estimated annual generation rate (the practical value).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File%3aGreenhouse_emissions_by_electricity_source.PNG

"Pro-nuclears contend that nuclear plants emit no green house gases. That is a lie."

NPPs, during normal operation, emit nearly no carbon dioxide - the only operation at a plant that emits CO2 is the same process that any building undergoes: the slow post-curing process that emits minute amounts of CO2 per tonne and continues for decades.

NPPs emit an insignificant amount of greenhouse gases in the form of water vapor, and in this respect, fail to shift the climatological equilibrium near as much as the coal plants they replace.

Their construction contributes carbon dioxide at a rate higher only than hydroelectric - which has a necessarily limited outlay that the United States, at least, has largely met.”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 21, 2012 at 16:40:15 in Green

“The water vapor coming off the oceans just by being bathed in sunlight daily exceeds everything our nuclear plants (and every other type of heat plant) put out by several orders of magnitude.

Seriously. The ocean evaporates about 14,000,000 T/s of seawater. Every nuclear power plant worldwide working full-out releases around 300 T/s total. "Drop in the bucket" - assuming the metric "drop" of 1/20 ml and a 5 gal bucket - just about covers it.

By the way, what's the half-life of water vapor in atmosphere? If you said "9 days", give yourself a cookie. That's 9 days, as compared to 25 years for methane or 200 years for CO2. Water is _not_ the problem - though AGW is.

And this is why we do just a little basic math before making bald assertions.”

satellitejam on May 21, 2012 at 19:52:21

“So you are saying that water vapor is not a green house gas? Is that what you are saying?Pro-nuclears contend that nuclear plants emit no green house gases. That is a lie. And yes, the oceans and other bodies of water evaporate and there's nothing we can do about that, it's a given. And of course it's more than nukes put out, no one is arguing that.  Nukers also fail to mention that the carbon footprint of nuclear is the highest of any non-fossil energy production method.”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 21, 2012 at 16:17:24 in Green

“"... if it ever reaches criticality en masse."

You do know that every single operating reactor in the world right this second has reached criticality - and needs to maintain it.... right?

"ANY realistic plan to get rid of the wastes hanging about our running reactors just awaiting some disposal strategy, is a prerequisite for cost analysis."

There was a plan. Jaczko killed it at Reid's behest.”

PenFighter on May 23, 2012 at 12:21:03

“Of course I do. Reaction is controlled criticality, but the absolutely critical word there is CONTROLLED. Where is the opportunity for control if SFP 4 collapses and those 538 freshly-charged and unused assemblies (63 four-meter rods per assembly) trigger a recriticality?”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 21, 2012 at 16:09:39 in Green

“Just based on the numbers, if nuclear is no answer to global warming, there is no answer.”

scotchleaf on May 21, 2012 at 16:45:29

“efficiency is much cheaper per kwh.”

StopThePlanet on May 21, 2012 at 16:37:34

“There is an answer.  Stop making so many people and stop using so much power and stop using so many fossil fuels. But the current business model is to sell more units. Can't do that without more people.  The captains of industry will be filthy rich until they kill off most of the planet.”
Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Gregory Jaczko Resigns: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down

Commented May 21, 2012 at 16:07:37 in Green

“"And now, those who lobby for nuclear power plants have expressed their displeasure against Mr. Jaczko because he is against storing the radioactive waste in a mountain in Nevada."

The U.S. Government agreed to store waste, in return for, so far, billions of dollars in fees from the Utilities, and has had no solution for the last 60 years. Jaczko's been criticized for killing the only plan they had.”

LeftInTheWest on May 21, 2012 at 16:19:21

“Well Bryan, just where are we supposed to store this toxic brew? Is this another case of NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard?”
Jessica Ahlquist, Atheist Student In Prayer Banner Fight, Gets $40,000 Scholarship Fund

Jessica Ahlquist, Atheist Student In Prayer Banner Fight, Gets $40,000 Scholarship Fund

Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 21:56:38 in Religion

“I reject your implication that secular morality is inferior to command theories. Things like demonstration of harm and avoidance thereof are not, in any sense, divorced from objectivity. That moral decisions should be made with reference to the situation makes secular morality superior. It can adapt to real situations, something that command theories - specifically divine command theory - fails to do.

It fails at the detriment of, for example, Africans that should be using condoms to mitigate their AIDS epidemic, but are hogtied by the Christian morality that suggests that protecting yourself is somehow evil.

It fails at abortion clinics, populated in front by boistrous sermoneers, childless and heartless, goaded on by their Christian faith.

It fails at Christan megachurches, where the charismatic and silver-tongued rattle off the articles of faith in exchange for the money to buy luxury cars and luxury houses, while the areas around their parishes fall into economic decline.

Moral relativism brought us Bill Gates - a man who has spent more money on relieving the suffering of the world than the history of the Catholic Church. So don't mind me if I'm not a big fan of "Judeo-Christian ethics". I've seen them in action, and they are not very nice.”

happybeliever on Feb 19, 2012 at 23:24:44

“God created people, and God will not be mocked.

All people, Africans and otherwise, can avoid AIDS by containing sexuality within a faithful marriage.

Abortion fails us all. A society that destroys its young is a weak society, and we are losing our grip.

What people of faith give back to their communities and the world is probably incalculable, whether or not those believers attend megachurches or small groups that meet in storefronts.”
Jessica Ahlquist, Atheist Student In Prayer Banner Fight, Gets $40,000 Scholarship Fund

Jessica Ahlquist, Atheist Student In Prayer Banner Fight, Gets $40,000 Scholarship Fund

Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 21:43:40 in Religion

“Where should it go?”

BurtonDesque on Feb 19, 2012 at 22:12:30

“Oh, I don't know... The "Good News" section, the "High School" section...”

CabinAgue on Feb 19, 2012 at 22:06:36

“I might have picked Education.”
Jessica Ahlquist, Atheist Student In Prayer Banner Fight, Gets $40,000 Scholarship Fund

Jessica Ahlquist, Atheist Student In Prayer Banner Fight, Gets $40,000 Scholarship Fund

Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 21:40:39 in Religion

“She's got $100 of my dollars for her courage.”
Pope Warns U.S. Bishops On Threat Of 'Radical Secularism' In America

Pope Warns U.S. Bishops On Threat Of 'Radical Secularism' In America

Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 23:50:09 in Religion

“Well, I mean, he's not wrong. The rise of secularism /is/ a threat to the Catholic Church - and every other church - because the more people understand that religion should not participate in government, the less power the church holds. The less power the church holds, the more people realize they don't need it at all. The more people realize they don't need the church, the more people realize that gods are imaginary. Hence, collapse of the church.

I doubt it's happening any time in the near future, though.”

Lucy0808 on Jan 20, 2012 at 07:38:12

“In my opinion, the Christianity (its institutions and people) behaves far better when they are a minority. The Christians often forget the golden rule, forgiveness, helping the least among us, and giving up their material goods and obsessions. The control of public society and political power makes them corrupt.”
Why There Is No Such Thing as a Good Atheist

Why There Is No Such Thing as a Good Atheist

Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 13:58:57 in Religion

“Typical apologetic pap. Here's a hint, man: equivocating "objective morality" (e.g., evaluated in the same way regardless of point of view) with "universal morality" (rules applicable in all situations) is not actually useful, nor does it help your case.”
Fukushima Disaster: Japan To Build Costly Subterranean Ice Wall To Stop Nuclear Reactor Leaks

Fukushima Disaster: Japan To Build Costly Subterranean Ice Wall To Stop Nuclear Reactor Leaks

Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 16:30:54 in World

“"The government, however, is not paying for urgently needed water tanks and other equipment that TEPCO is using to contain leaks."

That seems reasonable. TEPCO should be paying for its own tanks and equipment. The tanks aren't particularly special. It's a metal holding tank - they just have to be fairly big and well-zinced (they're holding seawater, after all; the reason any of them are leaking is plain old chemical corrosion).

The treatment systems, however, have to be able to clean water to a high level of purity while holding on to any volatiles. This is a more technically difficult endeavor (essentially, it's similar to desalination, except you have to trap the volatiles, since they'll carry some of the radiocaesium), and, if the government now sees this as more urgent, is the reasonable target for investment in expediting the cleanup.

The subterranean ice wall is also extremely important - if a plant is leaking into the groundwater, there's little that _can_ be done about it short of this. Again, it's expensive and technically difficult; it _should_ be what the government helps with, if they're inclined to do so. They're helping to prioritize the things they care most about.”
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