Comments Posted By Bubba
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I can't wait for 2008. Your heads are just going to explode.

Comment Posted By Bubba On 9.08.2007 @ 01:18


Make that 'genetic component' rather than 'nature.'

Comment Posted By Bubba On 12.07.2006 @ 18:29

Further Quibbles:

Quibble One:

It should be noted that even though jet fuel and the tower fires never reached heat levels of "thousands of degrees," the fires nevertheless caused the towers to fall.

The following from a Popular Mechanics article:

FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength--and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

Quibble two: Shockley may have been wrong about a lot of things, but the genetic nature of IQ differences among various groups was not one of them. A similar furor arose over the publication of "The Bell Curve" a decade or so ago. Please see the latest information discussed by one of the authors, Charles Murray, in a 2005 article at Commentary Magazine entitled "The Inequality Taboo."

It is now archived and requires subscription, but one of the telling points is that the difference between blacks and whites remains about one standard deviation and is related to ethnicity. He suggests that we not hide scientific truth from open discussion, since more harm than good often results:

"The Orwellian disinformation about innate group differences is not wholly the media’s fault. Many academics who are familiar with the state of knowledge are afraid to go on the record. Talking publicly can dry up research funding for senior professors and can cost assistant professors their jobs. But while the public’s misconception is understandable, it is also getting in the way of clear thinking about American social policy.

Good social policy can be based on premises that have nothing to do with scientific truth. The premise that is supposed to undergird all of our social policy, the founders’ assertion of an unalienable right to liberty, is not a falsifiable hypothesis. But specific policies based on premises that conflict with scientific truths about human beings tend not to work. Often they do harm."

Comment Posted By Bubba On 12.07.2006 @ 18:24

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