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About PeterMP

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    The Dirtbags
  • Birthday 07/11/1972

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  1. It is true, but not as big a deal as you might be taking it to be based on the writing. IMO, it is written a bit sensationally. They originally put out the genome back in January. (Though, generally, advances in the biomedical sciences are are making it much easier and increasing the probability of going from nothing to vaccine in a short period of time. The issue here, as stated in the piece, is the natural variation of the spike protein. Plus making the jump to a new host almost always results in a rash of evolution and changes. The stability of the protein structures to make a vaccine to one of them isn't really clear yet. As a point of comparison, we've known the same information from HIV for decades and still no vaccine. Now, the similarity between this and SARS makes it seem like that won't be as much of an issue. Antibodies against SARS work against the new virus so even a current SARS vaccine might be effective.
  2. Technically, natural gas is a mixture of things and is mostly methane.
  3. "Natural gas has been billed as a "bridge fuel" between coal and renewable power sources for its supposed lower environmental impact. And while burning natural gas produces far less carbon dioxide than coal-fired power generation, the methane emissions associated with natural gas production are a serious problem for the planet. There have been several reports in recent years suggesting that large amounts of methane emissions from oil and gas activity are seeping into the air unaccounted for. Last year, a report found that a 2018 blowout at a natural gas platform in Ohio likely released as much methane in 20 days as many countries do in an entire year." This has come up before here, but until and unless the fossil fuel industry is going to be much more honest and open then they have been with leakage and release (accidental and otherwise) of things like methane, the idea that natural gas uses and increases are helping fight climate change should be met with skepticism. The necessary controls in terms of preventing leakages and release in a way that make it useful in terms of climate change would almost certainly drive up production costs, drive down supply, and drive up prices.
  4. Defense spending actually went down under Obama and should be even going down further under Trump (with ISIS at least being greatly diminished). Trump got $1.4 billion to construct and maintain border fencing the last 2 years and general border spending is up. Border security in general was pretty flat under Obama before going up under Trump (it goes up the 1st 2 years of Obama and that was largely tied to a law that was done under Bush to build a border fence):
  5. 1. We are spending money because of Democratic and Republican priorities. The wall, increased border enforcement, and defense spending are huge costs. 2. Your graph is not debt, but debt vs. GDP. That makes recession look particularly bad because the GDP goes down. Even if you hold the line and don't add to the debt at all during a recession, the debt vs. GDP will go up (because GDP went down). Here's a good source for data like this. That's debt per capita (per a person), and you can see it's still going up
  6. I don't understand why this point isn't made every time in places like CNN. The economy isn't doing well. We are where we are because of huge deficit spending. The very thing that the Republicans fought Obama on. It would probably more useful if we went to talking about deficit/GDP in 2019 was 5.1%. The largest since 2012, and from what is being reported, it will be even larger this year. And minus the years of the great recession, that's the greatest value since 1983.
  7. PeterMP

    ***2019-2020 NBA Season Thread***

    Then the kid was wrong and changed their minds? Like every kid, ever.
  8. The two HIV drugs are protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors are known to be effective against other coronaviruses. So possible, but the HIV ones are pretty specific to HIV so that particular claim I'd be dubious of (though they also both have been used to treat other virus infections). But there also a lot of known viral protease inhibitors out there. It would be somewhat surprising if something didn't work. The problem is going to be the rate at which the virus mutates. Drugs like this are generally used against and work well against viruses that don't spread (and therefore reproduce) rapidly, like HIV. But we also probably could create new protease inhibitors pretty quickly.
  9. PeterMP

    Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash

    I think it might be useful to review Kobe's apology. "First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, Colorado. I also want to make it clear that I do not question the motives of this young woman. No money has been paid to this woman. She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter. I issue this statement today fully aware that while one part of this case ends today, another remains. I understand that the civil case against me will go forward." This is partly where the yes means yes comes from. Even Kobe essentially admits that she didn't consent to everything that was done to her. There's a difference between being willing and even wanting to have sex with somebody and wanting and willing to be chocked to the point that it leaves bruising around your neck.
  10. PeterMP

    Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash

    The results from the rape kit would have been known for months before she refused to testify (the incident happens in July 2003, she decides not to testify as a cooperating witness in Aug. 2004), and she could have refused to testify any time during those months, and the prosecuter could have decided to drop the case too.
  11. PeterMP

    Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash

    That's not really what happened. The criminal case was dropped before the civil case was started. The criminal case was dropped because she refused to testify because her name had been released by some and she was being harassed, including things like death threats. If there had not been the harassment and things like death threats, there is really no reason to believe she wouldn't have testified and Kobe might be have gone to jail.
  12. And beyond that just the variation in the human population makes it almost impossible for a virus to infect and kill all of us. Even something like Ebola only kills 90% of the people it infects, and then there are other people that are resistant even though they've never had Ebola. (The only way we go extinct through disease is if we genetic engineer the natural diversity out of the human population.)
  13. Kids learn from their parents. If you do it, they'll do it. Plus, if you are on your screening, you aren't interacting with them, which is how kids learn to communicate (actually talk, babies learn to talk by watching adults talk to them) and generally socialize.
  14. It is doing the worse of this trilogy (each one has been worse than the one before it.).
  15. PeterMP

    The Outer Space Thread

    I'm not sure there is a filter, much less a great one. It certainly is possible that intelligent life (in reality) is rampant, and we don't see it (we are a simulation, we are being "protected" by superior beings from superior beings (for good or bad reasons, etc.) I'm also not sure why the emphasis on a single "great" filter. It seems to me that multiple smaller filters result in the same out come. If the evolution of life is actually pretty rare, if the evolution of multicellular organisms is pretty rare, if the evolution of intelligence is pretty rare, etc. it seems to me the net out come is the same. For whatever reason, it seems to me that people tend to think of it as something like having one occurrence where you have a 1:1,000,000,000 chance of rolling the right number (that would be a probability of 1E-9). Why can't it be 29 different cases where there is a 50/50 chance (the net probability of getting each one right is 2E-9 so in the same ball park)? And then some of the filters are behind us (e.g. multicelluar life evolving) and some are ahead of us (creating a society that will actually put resources to inter-solar system colonization (and yes, as somebody states above, I am talking about spray and pray as colonization). (But if there is a great filter, I'd bet it is behind us. I suspect we might see life elsewhere in the solar system, but I don't think we are going to see evolutionarly different life elsewhere in the solar system. I suspect we're going to find the inter-solar system diaspora of life is pretty common and pretty easy, but intra or inter-galactic is much less common or easy. But I suspect it isn't that simple that there is one great filter.)