Science fleeting thoughts

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:38 pm UTC

plytho wrote:There's also the fact that a lot of sewage efluent flows into rivers instead of directly into ocean, so concentrations will be higher there.

I found this article (pdf) about bio-accumulation of pharmaceuticals. (I don't know what their affiliations are though.)

Right, but the quoted post was talking about marine life downstream from major cities, so I was assuming he was talking about coastal cities on rivers. Maybe he meant aquatic life.

Anyway, yes, bioaccumulation could pose a problem, though I had expected that metabolism of the drugs would be rapid enough so it couldn't accumulate much. The paper you linked is interesting and does mention that one rainbow trout was found with plasma concentration of levonorgestrel more than 12,000 times that of the surrounding water. It also is specifically talking about fish living in surface waters in rivers immediately adjacent to sewage effluent. In that case, I can start to see the issue.

On the other hand, these fish are literally living in (treated) sewage, so I wonder if pharmaceuticals are their biggest worry.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby plytho » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:08 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Right, but the quoted post was talking about marine life downstream from major cities, so I was assuming he was talking about coastal cities on rivers. Maybe he meant aquatic life.


TIL the difference between aquatic and marine.

Eebster the Great wrote:On the other hand, these fish are literally living in (treated) sewage, so I wonder if pharmaceuticals are their biggest worry.


I suspect standard pollutant levels are monitored at these plants, while pharmaceuticals are not.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby SDK » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:58 pm UTC

plytho wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:Right, but the quoted post was talking about marine life downstream from major cities, so I was assuming he was talking about coastal cities on rivers. Maybe he meant aquatic life.


TIL the difference between aquatic and marine.

My bad. Slip of the fingers. Aquatic indeed.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:11 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
SDK wrote:Some work has been done on the environmental impacts of common medications too, such as birth control pills which have shown measured impacts on marine life downstream from big cities. The idea that a pandemic situation would cause something like this in the short-term is interesting, but also obvious once you think about it.

I have often wondered how this could even be possible. The dilution of the medicine in the ocean is beyond extreme. Even close to the sewage pipes, it's just hard to believe the concentration could7 be anywhere remotely near high enough to have any measurable effect on anything.

I mean, if the average person flushes one dose of X drug per week and 1000 gallons of water, then even if you took that pure sewage with no dilution by ocean water and drank only that, even a large fish would take in something like 0.0001 doses per week. In reality, considering the dilution by ocean water, I would expect perhaps 1% of that, or one millionth of a dose per week.

I can't see how the math works out.
Why is the fish only drinking a tenth of a gallon per week?
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:14 am UTC

I have no clue how much water saltwater fish drink. Obviously it depends on the fish. 50 mL/day seemed fair for a small fish. Is it not? I really don't know.

For freshwater fish, I guess they don't really "drink" per se.

In either case, I guess most exposure would be through skin or gills, not through actually drinking, so my figure is probably way off.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Angua » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:44 am UTC

I imagine the gills absorb medication just was well as drinking would though. We can absorb medication through our lungs (salbutamol, insulin - even steroids inhaled still have systemic effects, but we use much smaller doses).
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:16 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I have no clue how much water saltwater fish drink. Obviously it depends on the fish. 50 mL/day seemed fair for a small fish. Is it not? I realy don't know

You said that was for a large fish, which after all is the size of fish where counting human doses would be relevant.

I just wondered if you were basing the number on anything other than a wild gues.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:21 pm UTC

I wasn't basing any of those numbers on anything but a wild guess. I was trying to get across the more general idea that diluting even a lot of drugs in the ocean seems like an inefficient way to get fish high.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:55 pm UTC

Meerkats: the most murderous animal!

There's a link to Nature, which I don't have a subscription for.

I assume the study is limited to placental mammals.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:10 pm UTC

The abstract calls it a "comprehensive sample of mammals," so probably not. Anyway, that's not what the study was about; it was about predicting a murder rate for prehistoric humans based on phylogeny.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby plytho » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:04 am UTC

I've seen this being hyped around the internet: cheap carbon dioxide to ethanol reaction. It sounds quite promising.

the article wrote:Given the technique’s reliance on low-cost materials and an ability to operate at room temperature in water, the researchers believe the approach could be scaled up for industrially relevant applications. For instance, the process could be used to store excess electricity generated from variable power sources such as wind and solar.


Using sustainable wind and solar to capture carbon dioxide, too cool to be true?
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:53 am UTC

I don't think CO2 "capture" is the right word.
It's more energy storage - replacing batteries with ethanol.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:11 am UTC

If there's something better than keeping vast lakes of ethanol sitting around (e.g. converting to longer-chain molecules1 into a sequestable/usable solid with less propensity to flammability or other issues) then I could see a 'permanent' carbon-sink being made, as well as the "hydrogen-cell variant" of temporary energy buffering.


1 Polyninyl Alcohol was my first thought, but that's got other problems along the way.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby p1t1o » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:15 am UTC


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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:09 am UTC

p1t1o wrote:Snopes did a piece on this:
http://www.snopes.com/2016/10/19/method ... o-ethanol/

It does deal with the issues (as expected, and no surprises) but from that:
The notion that the process would be carbon neutral is not necessarily accurate, however, as electricity (which could come from carbon or an alternative energy source) is required to convert the CO2 into ethanol, meaning that the process represents a net loss of energy.
The fate of the energy does not stop it from having carbon-neutrality. A carbon-neutral 'feed' of energy1 would ensure the otherwise heat/energy wasteful process would still be carbon-neutral, even if it had to 'top itself up' and took 999 units of every 1000 batches of fuel produced to create the next 1000 units, leaving just 0.1% efficiency beyond even the issues of the solar input inefficiencies...


It does raise the issue, though, of the new "Global Warming" being not atmospheric adulteration exacerbating Earth's adverse thermal albedo trajectory, but a surfeit of 'energy-capture technologies' (including orbiting solar stations capturing Earth-missing energies and beaming/inducing that power directly down to our grounded devices 'safely') giving us entirely carbon-neutral energy but to a degree that the machines and devices and converters pump put the Warming directly, even (especially!) if they include refrigeration and cooling add-ons to actively shunt that heat away from the device.

Spoiler:
Could be a "What-If?" By current and/or theoretically viable technologies of the near future, what actual power sources could we use to run, say, a three-bar electric fire continuously for every single person on the planet, and how damaging would these power sources be to the planet..." (i.e. in the case of burning coal, massive discharge of CO2 and worse polutants expected, maybe would also only last a ridiculously short amount of time, say a week, before this coal-exclusive system has fully burnt through even the most inaccessible of known reserves, whilst a massively space-solar array might possibly fry a few unfortunate migrating birds but not run out for at least a billion years or add to planetary pollution barring launching costs of starter matetials) "...and then how damaging to the environment would be all those heaters!"

(Tidal power? How much 'tide' would need to be captured, and could we ultmately force the Earth to spin slower... Slow enough to bring about Earth-Moon lockstep in both directions, or something even weirder?)

But I feel I've pre-empted the direction I'd half expect Randall to go through in. He'd have to find a diffeent spin, now, if I actually submitted something like that. (Curious though I am, I'l hang back on that for the time being...)



1 And naturally an allowed offset or temporary defecit to account for the bootstrapping industrial processes that may have ultimately required a 'dirty' carbon-rich precursor to set up this miracle of modern electrochemical engineering...

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:16 am UTC

p1t1o wrote:Snopes did a piece on this:
http://www.snopes.com/2016/10/19/method ... o-ethanol/

It does deal with the issues (as expected, and no surprises) but from that:
The notion that the process would be carbon neutral is not necessarily accurate, however, as electricity (which could come from carbon or an alternative energy source) is required to convert the CO2 into ethanol, meaning that the process represents a net loss of energy.
The fate of the energy does not stop it from having carbon-neutrality. A carbon-neutral 'feed' of energy1 would ensure the otherwise heat/energy wasteful process would still be carbon-neutral, even if it had to 'top itself up' and took 999 units of every 1000 batches of fuel produced to create the next 1000 units, leaving just 0.1% efficiency beyond even the issues of the solar input inefficiencies...


It does raise the issue, though, of the new "Global Warming" being not atmospheric adulteration exacerbating Earth's adverse thermal albedo trajectory, but a surfeit of 'energy-capture technologies' (including orbiting solar stations capturing Earth-missing energies and beaming/inducing that power directly down to our grounded devices 'safely') giving us entirely carbon-neutral energy but to a degree that the machines and devices and converters pump put the Warming directly, even (especially!) if they include refrigeration and cooling add-ons to actively shunt that heat away from the device.

Spoiler:
Could be a "What-If..?" By current and/or theoretically viable technologies of the near future, what actual power sources could we use to run, say, a three-bar electric fire continuously for every single person on the planet, and how damaging would these power sources be to the planet..." (i.e. in the case of burning coal, massive discharge of CO2 and worse polutants expected, maybe would also only last a ridiculously short amount of time, say a week, before this coal-exclusive system has fully burnt through even the most inaccessible of known reserves, whilst a massively space-solar array might possibly fry a few unfortunate migrating birds but not run out for at least a billion years or add to planetary pollution barring launching costs of starter matetials) "...and then how damaging to the environment would be all those heaters!"

(Tidal power? How much 'tide' would need to be captured, and could we by this ultmately force the Earth to spin slower quicker... Slow enough to bring about significantly earlier Earth-Moon lockstep in both directions, or something even weirder?)

But I feel I've pre-empted the direction I'd half expect Randall to go through in. He'd have to find a diffeent spin, now, if I actually submitted something like that. (Curious though I am, I'l hang back on that for the time being...)

Now, what if (or even another "What-If..?"?) we started capturing solar energy on Earth and then broadcast it back out into space? (Covering the planet with mirrors, wherever possible, would be more practical but a bit of a boring way to emulate an ice-cube Earth.) As long as more than 50% of the energy especially collected actually gets out of the atmosphere again, that'd be net cooling, right? ;)


1 And naturally an allowed offset or temporary defecit to account for the bootstrapping industrial processes that may have ultimately required a 'dirty' carbon-rich precursor to set up this miracle of modern electrochemical engineering...

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Nicias » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:49 am UTC

You might want to look into http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/

it's a blog by a physicist who got into an argument with an economist about why a perpetual growth model for the economy is impossible on "boiling the oceans" grounds.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Sableagle » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:33 pm UTC

Nicias wrote:... a perpetual growth model for the economy is impossible ...
I tried to argue that point once and the other guy said "I choose not to believe that because I don't want to live in a world where that's true."
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby TvT Rivals » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:36 am UTC

That reminds us - there seems to be no thread about cognitive dissonance yet. We'd start one, but are too new yet.

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Naomi Watts/Naomi Amperes

Postby gd1 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:29 am UTC

There is a person named Naomi Watts. I wonder what Naomi Amperes would be like?

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby stekp » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:00 pm UTC

gd1 wrote:There is a person named Naomi Watts. I wonder what Naomi Amperes would be like?

I think she would be potentially different.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:00 pm UTC

stekp wrote:
gd1 wrote:There is a person named Naomi Watts. I wonder what Naomi Amperes would be like?

I think she would be potentially different.

You're thinking of Naomi Volts, who isn't as well known anymore because Naomi Amps is more current.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby doogly » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

nice nice
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby JudeMorrigan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:43 pm UTC

I'll resist the temptation to make a Naohmi joke.

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Angua » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:49 am UTC

Love citations.

Pretty sure 'States, U' is the US.

States U, General Accounting Office: Global Health: Challenges in Improving Infectious Disease Surveillance Systems. Report to Congressional Requesters. Washington, D.C, 2001.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:00 pm UTC

Is that tongue-in-cheek, or did someone actually think that breaking up "United States" so alphabetically it's an S rather than a U was somehow a good idea?
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:37 pm UTC

A result of genuinely not understanding why personal names are rendered that way on the references page and applying it to everything. I've seen students do that before.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Angua » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:54 pm UTC

I'm suspecting it was an automatic citation manager.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:57 pm UTC

Ah, yeah, that'd explain it a bit.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:36 pm UTC

Solidarity is important. However, there are lesser states that can still possibly be acceptable. Like liquidarity or gasiarity. Not sure if plasmiarity counts, though people do get really excited about it.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Carlington » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:43 pm UTC

The world has rarely seen the material conditions for true Bose-Einstein condensatiarity, though.
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Terminal Velocity of Quasimodo

Postby mcdlibrary » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:39 pm UTC

Would Quasimodo have reached terminal velocity if he jumped or fell from the Cathedral. Also, would he survive the fall?

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Re: Terminal Velocity of Quasimodo

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:37 am UTC

mcdlibrary wrote:Would Quasimodo have reached terminal velocity if he jumped or fell from the Cathedral. Also, would he survive the fall?

Nope.
Wikipedia wrote:Using the figure of 56 m/s for the terminal velocity of a human, one finds that after 10 seconds he will have fallen 348 metres and attained 94% of terminal velocity
The spires of Notre Dame are only 90m high, so he wouldn't have gotten close.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:00 am UTC

The terminal deceleration at the bottom, however...

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Re: Terminal Velocity of Quasimodo

Postby p1t1o » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:43 am UTC

mcdlibrary wrote:Also, would he survive the fall?


This depends mainly on his mass and how much rocket fuel he carries.

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Re: Terminal Velocity of Quasimodo

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:55 am UTC

p1t1o wrote:
mcdlibrary wrote:Also, would he survive the fall?


This depends mainly on his mass and how much rocket fuel he carries.

Does it have to be rocket fuel? Would a double load of reasonably pure alcohol do? Perhaps the Bells, the Bells...

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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Diadem » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:14 pm UTC

With his hunchback Quasimodo is shaped somewhat like a boomerang. So logically he'll end up where he started.
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:25 am UTC

Does anyone know how to feel when someone gives you the Googly Elmos with Macaroni?
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Sableagle » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:32 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:
mcdlibrary wrote:Also, would he survive the fall?


This depends mainly on his mass and how much rocket fuel he carries.


Burn rate, heat shielding and stabilisation capabilities are also important.

gd1 wrote:Does anyone know how to feel when someone gives you the Googly Elmos with Macaroni?
Does anyone ever know how to feel?
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Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:50 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:Does anyone ever know how to feel?
Tactilely?


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