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johnnydr87 last won the day on July 27 2011

johnnydr87 had the most liked content!

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    Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas
  1. Cafe La Petit Roche

    I still like Arkansas a lot, and I tell people that over here on the left coast. So let me just make that clear (since I set off some crazy above). If they were to move the tech park downtown, I think it could really attract creatives. The area near the library is legit. You're right that I'm not too aware of the local nanotech scene, but I have a very close pulse on the Arkansas startup scene (I read about it every day), including a friend working at what is certainly in the top 5 startups in NWA that is technology related. I would tell you what it was, but I don't want to reveal too much. He was fortunate to find really great coders with Arkansas ties (but who had already left the state), but a major issue is a lack of depth of in-state talent. A very very large portion of Arkansas' top talent leaves the state, and he hasn't met anyone who he considers comparable to the coders he has. You're right. Every place has luddites. Some more than others. And just to re-emphasize: Arkansas is making great progress in tech. But it still has quite a way to go.
  2. Cafe La Petit Roche

    I work in the tech industry on the west coast. Personally, I think a tech park is an ill-conceived idea. Smart people look for overall culture/coolness/progressiveness; hence the fact that every tech city is a progressive city (San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boulder, Austin, etc.) Energizing the progressive and cool spots, like downtown, would be a far better use of money. I find it very odd that people who have no tech background think they can just buy a tech center from top down, when it's notoriously difficult to replicate. When you speak of the tech industry, you're speaking of people who fall in the top 1% of intellectual ability, so the question is: what makes those kinds of people happy? Arkansas has made great strides recently in tech, and the momentum should be kept up. I am impressed with what's been accomplished over the past year or two. That said, although I'd want to, I couldn't recommend Arkansas for any serious tech company. Maybe in the future, but not now. First, it has a largely anti-intellectual, anti-science culture--which is at complete odds with science-based technological change. The fact that climate change was called a conspiracy in this thread by a wide variety of people attests to that fact: in nowhere else I've lived have I encountered such resistance over what is the most significant issue of the next several decades. Forums are one thing, but I've also encountered this skepticism from thought-leaders in Arkansas--those who are supposed to be at the forefront of ideas and science. (Fortunately, BusinessWeek gets it http://www.huffingto..._n_2056407.html ) Then there are related issues: I can't think of one National Merit scholar of the 15-25 I directly or indirectly know who stayed in Arkansas, and when you deal with the tech industry, you're essentially speaking of people who are at or near National Merit-level talent. If you can't retain those people, how are you going to attract them nationally? The bulk of tech talent comes from top universities, but there is not a computer science program in the state ranked in the top 120, and nearly all of the smartest kids I know went to out of state universities. Society's response to climate change and our transition to a sustainable world--where we more effectively deal with the constraints of a finite planet and our role on it--is the biggest issue of our time. Sustainability is partially a technology problem. I hope that on issues of tech and sustainability Arkansas can help lead the way. At the moment, there are bright spots here and there in Fayetteville and LR, but for the most part, Arkansas is pretty far behind. Like a lot of people I know, my path has led me elsewhere. Cheers, A-state!
  3. Cafe La Petit Roche

    It would be interesting to know what your opinions are on global warming, with another record breaking heat year, ever-dropping crop yields, and a planet that is fundamentally different than it was even 10 years ago. (Shockingly, I realize that 10 years ago isn't that long ago, since I joined this forum 7+ years ago.)
  4. Cafe La Petit Roche

    So you, who never believed global warming existed to begin with, are willing to say it exists but not due to human activities? And just to indulge your political leanings. The truth is you really don't know what you stand for, but so long as it gratifies your political preferences, it must be right. *we learned in my class that rising sea levels has more to do with the expansion of water molecules at this point than melting ice, but as more ice melts, it will become the bigger factor. Here is a nice review of reactions to Climate Gate: But those with the tin foil hats can't be swayed, I understand. Nevermind friends/students and professors independently working on projects in ecology and other sciences that corroborate climate change! E.g. a close friend who studied the migration of plants in Oregon due to climate change. We're all in on the charade! Oh wait, I forget if the opposition viewpoint is that "global warming is not real" or "global warming was not started by humans." It changes depending on the uninformed skeptic speaking at any given moment. At the end of the day, it comes down to who cares enough to be informed (or who has the time to get informed) and who is capable of being informed. People who care to be informed understand what constitutes reasonable skepticism and what does not. I really have to wonder if these views are more prevalent in certain regions than in others, due to the ultimately cultural underpinnings to the mostly farcical skeptic viewpoint. Scratch that: I know the answer. Sigh. My latte-sipping, Prius-driving self sticks out like a sore thumb. If you were to calculate a multivariate regression between the dependent binary variable of whether a person believes global warming or not (yes or no; 1 or 0) and the independent variables of education levels, region of the country, urbanization, political preferences, you would probably find the following: -lower education levels--> more skeptical of global warming -lower levels of urbanization (i.e. more rural) --> more skeptical of global warming due to lack of proximity to educational institutions and the correlated variable of education levels -Political preferences --> more conservative, more likely to be skeptical of global warming -Region of the country --> since cultural/education/political preferences correlate with regions, you would find that the south is probably significantly more skeptical of global warming than the north, for example. But I know. That last paragraph probably came off as black magic to some. Again, if anything significant breaks with respect to the mainstream scientist view on global warming, it will be scientists who break the news--scientists, who, due to the structure and nature of scientific research, will want to be THE person(s) who gained new insight into the condition of our planet and universe. Including overthrowing a pretty bad-A scientific theory! When that happens, you can dance in the streets like you understood what was going on in the first place.
  5. Cafe La Petit Roche

    New Study via National Geographic on Kilimanjaro's snows confirming what I said earlier in the discussion:
  6. Cafe La Petit Roche

    We studied solar variation in our class. Thanks for the additional evidence. The consensus of the article remains that man-made global warming is real; however, some scientists argue that other forces (e.g., solar variation) are lessening the extent of man-made global warming. Most in the article agree, however, that the strong global warming trend will resume--it's simply a question of how soon. As the article linked says: Facts are that ice is melting at significant rates--in addition to scientists, family friends living in Canada have noticed this. This sets up a positive feedback mechanism: it unlocks CO2 and CH4 (methane), which are both greenhouse gases. Positive feedback mechanism means that extra greenhouse gases further heats up atmosphere, which in turn melts more ice (which, by the way, reflects 90% of sunlight), which in turn unlocks more CO2/CH4 and reduced the reflectivity of the Earth, and the cycle repeats. So the urgency remains unchanged: based on what we know, we have no choice but to act. I'm happy to see you linking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of hundreds of scientists working on climate change organized through the UN. I guess now that a member has (rightly so) raised the issue of solar variance and questioned the extent of man-made global warming, we can agree that it's a credible body. Still, let's try to understand this article holistically among the complete body of evidence: there are hundreds of scientists in the IPCC, and it is unanimous that man-made climate change is real. A few, however, as the article notes, believe that solar variance, might be lessening the effects of man-made global warming. Basically all agree that global warming will continue to the same speed--probably faster--as it was in the late 90s. Thus, the need for action remains the same. In fact, it would not surprise me if even more scientists are studying the strength of solar variance on climate (in addition to global warming), they just prefer to not even publicly mention it because they understand that global warming is still an issue, and it might confuse the public to come out with a more nuanced argument. In other words, people will post on message boards: "looky here, this article says global warming isn't an issue anymore," when in actuality it is...the effects of global warming in the system of forces are just more nuanced and harder to comprehend, though the essential trend remains warming.
  7. Cafe La Petit Roche

    Some levity: (Sept 23 09) NASA and universities find glacier melting in Antarctica and Greenland increasing at a much faster rate than predicted due to global warming: CS Monitor article that illustrates the complexity of issue:
  8. Cafe La Petit Roche

    Kilimanjaro is still expected to lose its glaciers, though in 3-4 decades and not 1 or 2 decades. Its glaciers are also dependent on weather patterns play a significant role. What say you of glacier national park--or any of the others? From Voice of America News (the govt's news service overseas): Maps by US govt of glaciers in the park: Anyways, this won't get anywhere. It's an issue important to me, apparently not to you guys. I'll be going where I can be most effective in sustainability and the like. If nothing else, it's the right thing to do. Evolve.
  9. Cafe La Petit Roche

    Before and after pictures of glaciers in: patagonia:,00.html glacier national park: kilimanjaro: Others (more extensive, check it out): Skirby, there's always a permanent ice bed in the arctic regions. And in very northern reaches, like northern Canada, there's permafrost--permanently frozen soil underground. I misread your first sentence: I thought it said "global waming is caused by reduced ice"--so I didn't bother reading on. My mistake. (edit: actually rereading it that's what it says. No, ice melting doesn't cause global warming; it exacerbates it. CO2 causes global warming. It might be helpful to re-read over the basic definitions of global warming... My point with clouds was just to illustrate the complexity of the earth's feedback mechanisms.) I'm fully aware that not all of the North Pole has land. In fact, US naval submarines have been keeping a map for several decades on where in the North Pole they can burst through the ice--it has to thinner than 3 feet. The US govt mapped the ice to see where this was possible, and more and more area has opened up to surfacing, revealed the startling trend of warming. A friend of my dad in Canada has been talking about how the ice is just different and there's not as much permafrost. As you probably know, huge chunks of Antarctica, the size of several states, have broken off. (Liquid water, on the other hand, absorbs most sunlight, so once melting pools start to form in glaciers, it breaks apart the ice much more quickly than scientists thought, as well as lubricates it...)
  10. Cafe La Petit Roche

    Re-read what I wrote.
  11. Cafe La Petit Roche

    I was wondering if you would ask that. The answer is no. Formerly permanent ice is melting, for example, which reflects 90-95% of sunlight, and once it's gone, it's gone This means that a huge portion of the earth's surface that once reflected sunlight is gone, which means higher temps, which means even more ice melting, which means even higher temps, etc. It's a positive feedback loop. In sum, the resultant effect is warming, despite negative feedbacks, like more cloud cover/lower temps. Moreover, certain areas, like the arctic will receive the warming effects moreso than temperature regions---in other words, more degrees of change--and some areas may actually get cooler. That said, I'm not interested in entering a full fledged debate here. I'm discussing the topic in pm with another member; I can forward you the details if need be. And no, all the hundreds of scientists whose intellects fall in the top 10% of of 1% and devote their lives to its study are not being taken on a ride by George Soros and Moveon. They're pretty apolitical people in general.
  12. Cafe La Petit Roche

    Interesting film coming out: I plan on seeing it in my neck of the woods. I took a class in spring semester from a NASA scientist that covered global warming from a solar system perspective. It really brought me up to speed on the phenomenon--and how complicated it actually is. E.g., higher temps mean more water vapor, which means more clouds, which means cooler temperatures (the color white reflects 90% of sunlight). Or the fact that the temperatures rise faster on the arctic extremes than they do closer to the equator due to the heat diffusion effects of CO2 (which is vastly abundant on Venus' surface, and explains why its polar and equator temps are the same). Or the carbon cycle, solar cycles, and their effects on the earth...and why global warming is clearly not a natural phenomenon or natural cycle. Studying climate change from a solar system-wide perspective--as in, studying the atmospheres of other planets and their moons--really shed light on global warming. Irrefutable--no doubt. I hope to be doing more on this issue once I graduate.
  13. River Rail

    It was pretty far out anyways. Glad to hear they're exploring other options. NLR is really starting to fill in. If development is steered properly, I could imagine a small tram replacing the river rail in 20 years....i.e., by perhaps converting 2nd to tram + pedestrian/bikes only.
  14. The River Market

    Yeah, I guess I wasn't familiar with the issue. Does seem odd that they would worry about crime increases considering they're elevated.