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donq_#1
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Population factoid
donq_#1   3/29/2014 2:08:45 PM
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The most interesting population factoid to me is: Because of the exponential nature of population growth, fully half of the people who have ever lived are alive today.

Absolutely frightening.

 

davemb
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Re: Significance
davemb   3/28/2014 2:51:01 PM
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"Don't Panic" is the ultimate piece of advice given in "The Hitchhiker"s Guide to the Galaxy" (author: Douglas Adams). Also, according to "Deep Thought" (the most powerful computer in the universe), the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.

Susan Rambo
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Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
Susan Rambo   3/28/2014 2:39:02 PM
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Would you be willing to write a book review on it for EE Times? We'd love to have it in our Engineer's Bookshelf section? Contact Caleb Kraft to submit book reviews -- that goes for all of you engineers out there.

betajet
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Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
betajet   3/28/2014 2:18:46 PM
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There's a great book by physicist João Magueijo called Faster than the Speed of Light (2003), which proposes that considering C to be a slowly-changing variable rather than a constant solves a number of cosmological questions.  The book also tells you what a "cosmological question" is.  Faster is written for non-physicists and includes how the author got into theoretical physics in the first place, what he was doing when he got his flash of insight, and is a marvelous exposé of modern academia -- especially the sciences.  Those parts are hilarious and depressing at the same time.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: 30,000 lbs of Bananas
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:09:07 AM
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@antedeluvian: The topic reminded of the Harry Chapin song "30,000 Bananas"...

You never fail to surprise me (I'm not saying whether I mean that in a good way, or not... LOL)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:03:19 AM
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@betajet: ...nobody around here can tell that things like the speed of light are very slowly changing.

Interestingly enough, there are suggestions that some of what we believe to be fundamental constants may be changing over time.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:02:01 AM
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@betajet: I don't know the source for this one: "Either we're alone in the universe or we aren't. Either possibility is mind-boggling."

I've heard that one -- I don't know who said it either -- but it is mind-boggling.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Significance
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:00:32 AM
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@Duane: Don't panic

I want a towel that says that!

antedeluvian
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30,000 lbs of Bananas
antedeluvian   3/28/2014 8:59:25 AM
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The topic reminded of the Harry Chapin song (which I only discovered recently) "30,000 lbs of bananas". Seems there is quite a story behind the ending.

betajet
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Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
betajet   3/27/2014 7:49:47 PM
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I don't know the source for this one: "Either we're alone in the universe or we aren't. Either possibility is mind-boggling."

Personally, I like the theory that we're a bunch of tiny Whos or mere 3-dimensional creatures who are incapable of understanding what's really going on.  We may also have a ridiculously fast sense of time, and the Elder Gods or whatever work on such a long time scale that nobody around here can tell that things like the speed of light are very slowly changing.

I also like the theory suggested by Anne Elk at Daily Kos: "Watching the dominant species self-destruct on planet after planet may be God's version of Breaking Bad."

[Subject line is obscure reference to Billy Wilder's One Two Three (1961).]

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