Bigfoot search

I have the lottery project for programming practice, but that would require much more statistics knowledge than I have to come up with the algorithm and to interpret the results.

Another I have might not require as much stats knowledge. Possibly some, because it’s looking for correlations, but not nearly as heavy on the numerical analysis. A bigfoot search.

Bigfoot is, of course, a legend of a large hairy primate running around North America. The big problem with that- there’s really no way a large primate could maintain a breeding population large enough to account for the legend, but small enough to escape scientific notice for so long.

But- while it’s rare, humans do occasionally get large and hairy enough to be mistaken for a bigfoot(and even normal sizes might be so identified under some viewing conditions). Humans also occasionally just disappear never to be seen again. It seems likely to me that if any Bigfoot sightings are actually of a large primate, Homo Sapiens is by far the most likely source.

So, my thought is to comb through missing persons data, and bigfoot sightings, and see if there are any good correlations between the sightings and the last known location of the missing person. Focusing mostly on any missing persons with gigantism and/or hypertrichosis. I won’t reject non-mutants from the analysis entirely, if someone

Is the Bigfoot legend based on humans with various mutations that left or were ejected from society? A handful of mutant humans could escape capture or positive ID in the wild indefinitely, and they don’t require a large breeding population that has somehow escaped notice.

Again, like the lottery idea, I’m not expecting much. But it would be useful practice in writing code to do data analysis, and has the added advantage of requiring less additional knowledge to implement it, so I can focus mostly on the programming itself.

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Woman Whose Gut Makes Its Own Alcohol Escapes Drunk-Driving Charges | IFLScience

This is something I’m not sure how to feel about.
 
Certainly, since her BAC was not at all her fault and prior to the arrest she had no reason to suspect something like this might happen, dropping the charges was absolutely the right thing to do.
 
But while she might not have felt tipsy, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t impaired.
 
Should she be allowed a drivers license at all? This might not be her fault, but if you cannot drive safely, you shouldn’t be doing it. It sucks, but road safety is kind of important. Can a battery of tests be devised to see if her alcohol tolerance actually is good enough that she’d be safe to drive?
 
I wouldn’t be shocked if she has an extreme tolerance to alcohol- if you make it internally all the time, it’s going to build tolerance. And if she never noticed an issue, genetic factors helping tolerance are probably breaking in her favor. But is it high enough that she’d be consistently safe to drive, or low enough that she’d notice when she isn’t safe to drive?

Source: Woman Whose Gut Makes Its Own Alcohol Escapes Drunk-Driving Charges | IFLScience

Angry Blacksmith Shows How Jet Fuel Can Indeed Weaken Steel Beams – Christine Rousselle

Home heating oil can burn hot enough to weaken steel beams holding up a bridge, through the asphalt and concrete road surface above. There was a fuel truck explosion and fire in Bridgeport, CT in 2004, and that’s what happened. Heat would tend to escape above, but still, enough went down through the asphalt and concrete to weaken the steel beams enough that the bridge was drooping and had to be entirely replaced. And this was a *new* bridge, of all bridges in the state, one of the ones most likely to survive an incident like this(source: CNN).

Focused the way it would have been at the WTC, and combined with a significant kinetic impact, I’d be shocked if jet fuel couldn’t critically weaken the steel beams used in the construction.

Add in that the specifications called for survival only against a significantly smaller and slower aircraft, if anything we should be impressed that they stood as long as they did after the impact, rather than be at all surprised that they would have gone down in the end.

Angry Blacksmith Shows How Jet Fuel Can Indeed Weaken Steel Beams – Christine Rousselle

Possible MH370 part found

There’s No Doubt: This Debris Is MH370 – The Daily Beast.

“No doubt” is probably a bit too strong at the moment, until Malaysia Airlines and/or Boeing engineers have looked it over and reported their results, but the odds this came from MH370 are rather high.

Shouldn’t take long for confirmation.  They don’t even need serial numbers(which are probably on there).  Just a conclusive ID as a 777 part, MH370 is the only 777 it could possibly have come from.

This solving the case is a longshot, though.  Small chance they’ll be able to determine if it was an in flight breakup or a breakup on impact, but that’s likely as far as they’ll get with what they’ve found. What may be more important than this specific part will be using the fact that it turned up here to plan out further searches for more debris, which might give them enough to crack the case.

Robot Chef That Can Cook 2,000 Meals Set To Go On Sale In 2017 | IFLScience

Robot Chef That Can Cook 2,000 Meals Set To Go On Sale In 2017 | IFLScience.

The price mentioned in the article is $15,000. While hugely expensive for a consumer gadget(now- it will likely come down over time if the thing works well), robots like this at that price could be amazing for anywhere that has to produce huge numbers of standardized meals. For a military mess hall, for instance, this would be a BARGAIN over a human cook. Get rid of every human cook job that only supports cooking in garrison. Free up budget for some savings, perhaps more infantry, more guns, or whatever. Prisons would benefit- maybe send the savings to oh, I don’t know, rehabilitation programs? That would be nice.
 
Fast food might benefit, though there might be some question over the things capabilities to modify a recipe on the fly- which happens even at McDonalds in response to customer requests.

It might be interesting to see how the economy reacts to increasing automation. A lot of jobs will be lost, and it’s hard to see how we’ll replace them all unless we start doing something that is fundamentally new. Manufacturing is already highly automated, there are only so many maintenance jobs out there, and robotics reaching this level can start wiping out jobs in the service sector – so we can’t count on that saving us like we could with manufacturing automation. High unemployment will become a constant when there are more people than jobs the economy can possibly come up with even under ideal circumstances.

Hopefully, costs will drop enough with the increased automation that we could afford a vastly expanded social safety net- basic survival will have to simply be given to people because it will be fundamentally impossible for many people to get a job to pay for it. Even if we legalize dealing drugs, how would you find customers when you’re dealer #700 in a neighborhood of 750?

To The FDA, Everyone Transgender Is a Gay Man | Advocate.com

I could see an argument for trans women being treated as AMAB men for this policy for sexual history when they were living as men, or perhaps while they still have a penis should be the determinant- the risks under those circumstances would be comparable .  But for activity after SRS?  The risks at that point are comparable to those of AFAB women, and their sexual history from that point should be judged by those standards.

Though I don’t think the MSM donation ban should exist anyway. Screening for HIV has improved dramatically- the reliability of the tests is much better, and the detection window is much shorter. It’s not 100%, very few medical tests are, but it’s quite good these days. And on the small chance it slips through?  Treatment options are far superior. An HIV+ person who is treated by current standards can expect to live pretty much a normal life. It’s not ideal(especially when considering issues of access to treatment), but the consequences of HIV positive blood slipping into the supply are far less severe than they used to be.

I do think the ban was justified in the early days- little was known about how the disease spread except that it was spreading faster among gay men(at the time).  But science marches on, and policy should change to reflect that. With the reduction in the chance for HIV+ blood to get into the supply, and the reduction in severity in the event it does, the importance of ensuring we have enough blood supply becomes more significant in the risk-benefit analysis.

It’s time to drop the ban.

 

To The FDA, Everyone Transgender Is a Gay Man | Advocate.com.

Study: E-cigarettes could be more deadly than regular cigarettes – WFSB 3 Connecticut

“The take home is we don’t have the data”

Important line in the article.

More data are needed.  Specifically what needs to happen is studies comparing different vape liquids and different devices, with different settings.  This hasn’t happened much that I’ve seen, and it’s important.

While the studies I’ve seen come up so far do seem fairly unanimous in saying that e-cigs aren’t as harmless as e-cig companies want you to think, I haven’t seen anything that really says more dangerous than regular cigarettes- especially not when looking at overall risk.

And the risks will vary- different liquids have different chemical makeups, different devices have different stuff that might leech into the liquid, different temperatures can affect the chemical reactions and thus what the user inhales.

We need good studies comparing different devices and liquids to figure all this out.  With that, sensible regulation might be possible that mitigates the risks with minimal intrusion on the freedom of e-cig users and makers.  Maybe a bit of intrusion, but if we have to go on the fairly limited studies that exist now it would be much worse if we want any useful amount of mitigation.

And this headline really isn’t justified IMO.  Yes, it’s possible that under some circumstances they could be, but that’s not established and the headline implies that this is fundamental to the concept of e-cigs, not an implementation specific detail like the actual information in the article suggests.  This is kind of a big deal sort of distinction.

 

via Study: E-cigarettes could be more deadly than regular cigarettes – WFSB 3 Connecticut.