80 posts • joined 6 Aug 2010
I think this emphasis on sexual matters is unbalanced: I think porn is of minor concern compared with realistic and extreme violence, for example. But on top of all this, we need to ask ourselves how can this harm children? If they can clearly distinguish between reality and fantasy (and we need to research this, rather than rely on our own prejudices if there is no pre-existing facts and empirical evidence) then may be all that is required is for parents to take their responsibilities more seriously and talk to their children about respect, love, relationships, etc, and about how violence of any type (and this necessarily involves rape, and other non consensual activities, because it and others are power and violence things, rather than sex things) diminishes us all.
Where will he go...?
I imagine a revitalized "Just say No" campaign could make use of his talents because of his proven track records in responding to questions like "Can Ofcom take action to protect me here?"
I thought it looked like a slightly extended enactment of the Monty Hall Problem, with a suspect being the star prize, and just an empty toilet behind the other doors.
Please let it come to Beijing
I know it would never be allowed, but it would be wonderful if Uber, and similar facilities, were allowed in Beijing. At the moment, we have: (a) droves of taxis that become unavailable all at the same time, because drivers share one taxi, and they all handover at the same time, (b) taxi drivers who have little or no training, so they don't know how to drive to quite famous landmarks, and don't want to be shown, either, (c) taxi drivers who just say "I don't want to go there", either because it's too far, or they don't make enough money from the trip, (d) taxi drivers who try to find out who you are so they can calculate if they can go on a "scenic route" to charge you lots of extra money, (e) taxi drivers who just refuse to take foreigners and pretend to not see you unless you stand in front of them when they are driving down the road, (f) taxi drivers to agree to take you, then decide they can't and ask you to get out but still charge you the minimum price, and (g) whole areas where you just cannot find a taxi, and they are as rare as hens' teeth. I know places far from a metro station where you have to walk for more than 20 minutes before you have a chance to hail a taxi, and they seem to have no concept of taxi ranks in Beijing except at stations and airports. If you want to complain about some taxis, the authorities say there are safeguards, but it isn't easy to get the information the authorities require to take action, and you're not sure if they even do take action in many cases. So, something like Uber would be a godsend.
Re: Don't get too upset
I don't think it is advisable to go tunnelling in a flying plane: after the cargo hold, there's nothing for thousands of feet.
Alternatively: I don't think many plane routes involve flying through tunnels.
Finally: Oh, I see what you meant!
Wong kinds of tests
It's all very well quoting details of the equipment characteristics, but the only way of directly testing this is to set up and carry out a well-designed randomized double-blind test. Opinions from experts don't carry much weight because of biases that come about from them knowing what they are listening to, and these may be unremovable by conscious action. Call in an experimental psychologist (I can recommend a few good ones from UK academia who have acted as expert witnesses in related areas), and let them carry out the experimental research.
All you need is a few body-mods, like hooks, to enable things to be hung from them. A certain fruity company could introduce a kit to facilitate all this: the iPiercing.
"...there will forever be something Steve-esque about Apple."
Introducing not so innovative things that look nice-ish and cost an enormous amount more than their equally good rivals. A concentration on making money via the power of their brand-name.
I've heard that the next stop on this exchange student's visits around Europe is to the Large Hardon Collider. I hope he doesn't get shafted there (unless he would like to be).
Why not add a lot of places?
Ok. Railway stations, like the old Red Star or BR Parcels service. But why not any local Post Office? That would at least give them a chance of being kept open, but I do appreciate that with many of them now inside other kinds of shops that there may be agreement and opening hours problems.
Until it can handle Chinese and some of its input methods (for myself, preferably pinyin), then they can forget it!
Douglas Adams but changed a little
These new-fangled power companies will be intent on making money from us. What we should all do is insist that they reimburse us for excreting for THEM! Insist on getting a receipt every time you use a lavatory!
Would that the UK history of failed IT projects within the NHS was handled in a similar way.
But the repeated incompetence of the NHS negotiating teams to properly specify a project and some real conditions of acceptance with penalty conditions is always matched by the greed of the IT companies to walk away from such badly described and negotiated projects.
Petulant children often forget what little moral reasoning they have achieved.
So, the USA, still smarting at being outwitted by China at playing the game of capitalism as they themselves play it, now go into a complete strop when China plays the game of international espionage better in this move than the USA does, and so they forget the rules against hypocrisy and what Snowdon revealed.
There's nothing so pitiful as a little emperor screaming and kicking when its petty little games are thwarted. Mind you, China is just as bad...
Mistakes are necessary for learning
If you are not prepared to make mistakes, you cannot easily learn. This has been known for many years, even though it is sometimes dressed up with some Russian person's saying. The Chinese want to learn, and I am sure they will learn a lot from the mistake. However, they already achieved a lot, and I hope they go on to do much much more in this direction.
Re: Impact location
Jerusalem or Globe?
Re: Not exactly flashing
3 layers if he was having safe sex, surely!
Re: Not exactly flashing
...and if other non-policemen did this, they could be done for being peeping toms or voyeurism (in the UK at least)
A wonderful life and writer
Frederick Pohl's works were some of the first I read as a new SF fan back in 1964, having been introduced to the genre by a librarian who thought I would like the stories. I did, and still, after so many years, I can return to and read any of his works with great enjoyment. I recognise him as being a very significant author in my intellectual life, because he did write thoughtful fiction, and some of his non-fiction work was equally thought-provoking.
Re: Hot Wireless Dogging.
Don't worry: I think it was a beta-test of the next generation software for Google Translate.
Re: I'm there in Beijing
Just to add: flat fare for all metro journeys is 0.20UKP
I'm there in Beijing
The problem is that sometimes I have read time-and-date-stamped reports about the bad air quality in Beijing, and not being able to see from one side of the (rather wide) roads to another, when I recall on those days that the air was very clear and you could see further than normal. The BBC had a few rather biased reporters in the past in that way, as far as I could see. However, the air quality is often as bad and sometimes worse than other major cities around the world. This latest event was by far the worst I have ever experienced in a number of years of living in Beijing. It felt as if I was smoking 100 cigarettes a day all the time, and my lungs and breathing generally was terrible, with me feeling faint and having a raw cough that doubled me up. That was with staying indoors all the time. Outside, you could not see far, and everything had a slightly yellowish-brown tinge to it. Apparently, there were not many people outdoors, and most of them who were wore face-masks that I doubt would filter out the particles of the size that people are concerned with. The Chinese government did issue warnings, but I imagine this has only come about after being embarrassed into doing it. Today (Wednesday) the air quality has improved greatly and the sun is shining. I think much more effort is required to reduce the pollution here. There are too many cars so many of the roads face almost constant delays: removing them would help, but that cannot be done easily. Many buses (with flat fare of 0.04UKP or 0.08UKP) are almost always full to bursting at the moment, and the new metro lines that opened about 3 weeks ago are already stuffed full of passengers. I think a more radical solution may be required, but that may take time, of which there may not be so much if greater disaster (like London's 1952 smogs) are to be avoided.
Unknown species to science: Homo Teapartyensis
If no one were allowed to voice and opinion about something until they had had direct personal experience of it, then I doubt we would have many comments here on anything. The sensible option is to agree to a variation of what Pericles of Athens is reported as saying: "Although only a few may have the skills to initiate or decide upon a policy; all may comment on it."
Re: Unlikely it will change anything
I've crossed into China numerous times in the past 10 years, usually via Beijing or Shanghai. During that time, I saw one person stopped at entry into Beijing and told off for bringing in a sandwich they hadn't eaten whilst traveling. On my first visit, I was worried by the stern notices about the banning of CDs and so on at the customs posts (this was before the new terminal was opened at Beijing Capital Airport). So, I declared my 3 CDs containing music I wanted to losten to whilst there. I was told off by the customs officer for interrupting his dozing by such a small matter and waved through without anything being confiscated.
做得好! It might also be useful to add: 不耻下问
The hardest thing I have had to get used to is the fact that when I change languages on my Win7 machine, the layout of characters on my keyboard changes. I now normally just use the Chinese set up which can handle both, and accept that typing pound signs is a bit more involved.
Re: I'm still wondering....
The appeal is also not completely correct
If you read the appeal judgment, he has not escaped any punishment, but has merely had it reduced. In my view, this is also unsatisfactory: he should have been completely acquitted, because there was no intent involved in what he did. Suppose someone painted on a large roadside billboard "I want to fuck you!" If that person was found, would he be up in fron of a judge accused of attempting a sex-act with any under-age child who happened to see the graffiti? Of course not, it would be a nonsense. The same principle applies here, except that he was not guilty of either breach of the peace or of damaging other people's property with the graffiti.
Re: Not as pretty - or scary
"They do sing like hell if you annoy them"
A poorly-rendered version of Arthur Askey's Bumblebee Song, perhaps?
... it seems to me that the US Patent system is patently absurb
Dar God, No!
Not another project that, judging by previous efforts, I predict will be doomed to failure after becoming a money-pit for pricvate companies who continue to fail to deliver yet still get awarded contracts. Surely the idiots in charge of this initiative should have learned something by now!
David Cameron's administration seems to have mirrored the USA in some respects: it has gone from the beginning phase of "enthusiastic yet inexperienced amateurs" to "corrupt self-serving incompetents managing a slow-motion disaster" without the usual intervening phase of "roughly all right, could do better, but so so disasterously bad" in the middle.
... is repeating errors, time and time again after having them pointed out. "Trick cyclists" refers to psychiatrists (a branch of medicine dealinng with abnormal psychology from a medical pint of view), not to psychologists or sociologists. I and others have pinted this out a number of times before. Until the author of this "article" stops making such elementary errors of using the wrong ter]ms, how can we be sure that the other facts are in any way correct (ignoring the point about it seeming as if it contains a cut-and-paste job from Fox news)?
From what this guy did, has had happened, and was stated he was planning to do, it seems that he has gone from burger-flipping to doing time, and afterwards, even burger-flipping may no longer be an option.... As for a degree course on something to do with programming computer games, I guess it's bye bye to that. He couldn't even get the ex post facto excuse convincing, in my opinion.
Yes, Health Minister
Given past histories:
(a) It is wishful thinking and will just be another money-sink
(b) It won't work in the way they want.
(c) Nevetheless, all NHS records will be online by 2015, though it will be a result of their usual lax security, because they will appear on the version of wikileaks that operates then.
Look at China, UK citizens: it is your future unless you start trying to oppose it now! Given the current legislation proposals on snooping of all computer-based communication, it just illustrates that, generally, governments are always into the game of control and increasing their own power at the expense of the ordinary people, which they are supposed to serve.
Long ago I realised that most of the ordinary USA citizens won't give an inch on metric measurements.
Re: Haven't heard of them in over 40 years
The sequel "Return to the Islands" is also quite good. I first read both of them in the early 60s after being intrigued by a section we read during English lessons at school. I was so intrigued, in fact, that I pestered my parents to seek out and buy both books to read in full, and I've re-read them with great pleasure quite a number of times since.
already well-known and well-used
Keeping pee, and using it (suitably diluted) for fertiliser is an old trick used by generations of UK gardeners. In my experience, the most use of it is to help compost heaps get going. However, when in the UK, our family used to use it diluted to water various vegetables, and got very good results from it; our moolies (very large radishes), onions, and beans did very well on it, and the garden flowers also benefitted. It gave a whole new insight into the euphemistic phrase: "I have to water my onions".
Ludicrously late recognition of Rush Limbaugh's qualities by firms whose only concerns are not what they state, but merely whether anything affects their profits. For those of us who have known about Rush Limbaugh, he has never changed in well over 15 years of broadcasting, and, indeed, is the subject of a book ("The Bum's Rush: The Selling of Environmental Backlash. Phrases and Fallacies of Rush Limbaugh" by Don Trent Jacobs) that aims to teach people critical thinking: his contributions are the bases of many illustrations of fallacious and poor arguments in the book. The book hopes that by showing these flawed arguments up for what they are, people can better avoid them and recognise them, and it has been used as a textbook in various US universities.
The man could be humorous in what he says to those who can have fun identifying all the fallacies he uses in his acts, but because most of the public is not skilled in critical thinking, his acts have the power to corrupt further and mislead greatly.
His late apology seems disingenuous in the extreme, given that he steadfastly refused to withdraw his comments until the withdrawal of advertising began to hit his media stations wallets; so, given his previous behaviour, I think the apology is likely to be forced and does not refelvct a change of attitude at all, even though he attempts the usual trick of saying "it was meant as a joke".
It's surely a more subtle ploy
I think it's just a ploy to try to improve the national football team of Thailand, on the basis of completely misinterpreting the over-the-top antics of many western clubs' players after scoring a goal (at football), which often just looks like the preliminary foreplay moves of a group-orgy
Re: DEAR MICROSOFT...
I discovered recently that its worse than that: I had to buy a replacement Windows machine recently because my old one broke irretrievably. I had bought it in the UK, and all was fine with it. Since I am now in China, I had to quickly buy a Chinese PC. The only safe ones I could buy only had Windows 7 Basic on them, and I found that to change the language to English (any kind, I'm not fussy becauise it is a priority), I had to pay mega-bucks to first upgrade to the Windows Ultimate editon. Just another excuse to make money.
The interface is subtly different; in the Chines version, the position of some options are not the same compared with the English version (so I can't use memory to recall what meu item to choose). Also, the shortcut keys are not the same. They seem to have made it as difficult as possible to simply change languages so that they can squeeze more money out of you. Before, I was displeased with Microsoft; now I hate them. Furthermore, if I install software (freeware, shareware or licensed), it often uses as an interface language the settings it finds on the computer, so everything is set up using Chinese as well. The option to change to English is sometimes not there at all, and if it is, one needs to understand Chinese to be able to find out how easily. I used to be reasonably proficient using Windows, but because I cannot read many Chinese characters, I've sudenly become a functional 8 year old or worse when using it in Chinese.
On Linux, such language changes are done easily. The problem for me is that I must use Windows because of reasons completely outside my control. If I could, I'd ditch it tomorrow.
I agree that many people have an opinion about the classics, and I think it demonstrates that the standard of knowledge within China of their classics amongst ordinary people seems to be much greater than the knowledge ordinary people in the Uk would have of UK classics.
The historical dramas are often of high quality. I think if some enterprising person and company did the necessary work, they would prove entertaining if they could be dubbed into English and shown on UK television. For instance the Chinese version of Journey to the West, starring Liu Xiao Lin Tong (so not the most recent re-make though this has better special effects) is far far superior to the travesty that was shown on UK TV many years ago under the title of "Monkey", the most recent remake of "Outlaws of the Marsh" (with a title of "All Men are Brothers"), which was similarly ruined in the Japanese version shown on UK TV as "The Water Margin" is also of good quality. They mainatin the right amound of humour, and the way the plot is developed together with the acting is much better than the version shown on UK TV. They could easily do well, I think, if carefully dubbed into English and shown in the UK. So, it isn't all bad on Chinese TV by any means
stable door time
As a Brit living in China (don't let the name mislead you), I have the dubious pleasure of being able to experience Chinese TV every day. It is an example of what the Chinese did when they responded, under Deng Xiao Ping, to pressures from various international bodies, to begin to introduce capitalist idels into the coubtry (albeit with a Chinese twist to them). What they did, as far as I can see, is select the very worst aspects of American TV and apply them to their own TV programs. So, we have numerous advert breaks (very badly signed, so sometimes it takes a second or two to realise that we are not seeing a continuation of the program, but the start of an advert, and similarly, we have an abrupt unsignalled change back to the program at the end of the advert session); some of the advert breaks go on for 15 minutes and contain just *one* advert for something which involves lots of shouting, repetition, and false claims - examples are mattresses, weight-reduction pills or equipment, complexion improvers, and so on; and there are very many trashy talent shows (like 3rd rate X factor shows), reality discussion shows, or unreal Korean romantic series that rot your brain.
In my opinion, any change that reduces this stream of trash and high-intensity advertising would be an improvement.
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