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Take the advice and do watch in full screen if you can.  :)

Star Wars Episode III had some great moments, the Battle of Corsucant is one of them.  John Williams expertly set the scene, the base drum setting the martial tone early.

Thank you Star Wars for a dramatic rendition of what space battle might be like.  Unfortunately, it resembles nothing of what it would actually be like.

Sadly Battle Star Galactica is closer, but ultimately in the same boat.   Aw Frack. :/  Okay Science…do your worst.

 

Given that computers are excellent at computation, one would think that we’d let them do a little bit of extra work to make colour blending look good.

Apparently not.

Physics! Science! Facts!  – Entertainment that edifies. :)

You’d think we would have given up on common sense by now…

 

Our resident health care professional takes issue with some of the statements made in the video.  As with most things on the internet, the best policy is trust, but verify.  Please take note of Bleatmop’s objections and corrections to what is being put forward as fact:

“At rest your hemoglobin is 99% saturated with oxygen.” False.

At rest, a healthy newborn runs a SPO2 of 99 – 100%. This rapidly declines with age to when you become an adult 92% or above is considered normal. The older you get, the worse your lungs work, to where many elderly naturally SPO2 at 88%. Therefore it is perfectly possible that hyperventilating can increase the oxygen level in your blood.

Furthermore, a SP02 does not equal the partial pressure of oxygen in your blood. While true that SPO2 from 1-99% does usually correlate to a specific PaO2, a SP02 of 100% can mean a PaO2 of 1% more to the amount it takes to create a hyperbaric accident, which is somewhere around double the normal amount of O2 in the blood. Therefore, while you cannot hypersaturate your hemoglobin, you can increase the total amount of O2 in your blood (note, blood does not equal red blood cells), making you be able to hold your breath longer.

What does this mean? Well, hyperventilating can actually increase the total oxygen in your blood beyond that what it takes to saturate your hemoglobin to 100%. The author is right in why hyperventilating causes drowning, as the PaCO2 does mediate your breathing response. However he did not prove that “more oxygen” isn’t why you are able to hold your breath longer. In fact he actually proved that more oxygen (in combination with less carbon dioxide) is why you can actually hold your breath until you pass out

If you want to take down somebody else’s argument, a certain familiarity with the nature of intellectual or philosophical (as opposed to playground) argument is required, so that you can construct your own counter-argument.  In an intellectual argument, the person putting forth an argument sets out a number of premises (statements of facts), which, when you add them together, at best makes it impossible for their conclusion to be false (deductive argument), or at least makes it much more likely that their conclusion is true (inductive argument).

If you want to show that somebody’s argument is wrongity wrong, there are two, and only two, tactics allowed:

  1. Show that at least one of the premises of the argument is untrue.
  2. Show that even if the premises of the argument are true, the conclusion does not follow logically and/or inductively.

Tactic #1 requires good research skills, including the ability to find good sources, and the consideration to provide links and references so that others can evaluate those sources.  Research does not include saying, “Well it’s never happened to me, and nobody whose opinion I consider valid has every described anything like this to me, therefore the person recounting their experience must be mistaken.”

Tactic #2 requires an understanding of formal logic and logical fallacies, as well as an understanding of inductive reasoning, for example, the scientific method and statistical inference.  Be sure you know what a Straw Man argument is, both so you don’t make one, and so you don’t go calling somebody else’s argument a straw man incorrectly.  Be familiar with Ad Hominem and Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacies, and again, refrain from using them, and don’t go accusing others of using them, unless you actually know what they are.  Understand that correlation does not equal causation, but that scientific research can still draw meaningful conclusions even if not all of it can meet the gold standard of perfectly-designed, randomly-assigned, double-blinded, longitudinal, etc etc etc experiments.

I know, I know… that’s a lot to ask of somebody who just wants to assert that their knee-jerk, market-wisdom-based, common-sense, status-quo-supporting opinion is Truth.  Especially since going through the work of checking facts and reading the research may prove you wrong, and then what do you do.

Orac brings the pain to the masters(?) of woo.

 

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