* Posts by Marshalltown

345 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: El Reg eggs Benedict

Marshalltown
Pint

Re: Don't think so

A big bag should be the "germ-free" variety. Otherwise the corn meal will turn rancid over time.

Eggs Benedict - bah. Another good use for corn meal is as a finish to chile. The basic chile pepper (this is southwest US cowboy style) consists of pulverized chile peppers (ideally a mix of poblano and some serious chili like tepines or scotch bonnets for heat, the jalapeno can be sliced or diced and used raw for garnish), oregano and cumin (ideally toasted or better added to oil) before browning the meat and onion in a dutch oven. Add a very healthy dose of mixed chile pepper, oregano and cumin to the pot with the browned meat and onion. Deglaze with a decent beer (use a lager, don't waste the ale). Add tomatoes crushed (canned or fresh) simmer until really tasty. Add a handful of corn meal and stir it in, then simmer until thickened. Stash some fresh chopped onion in a bowl in the refer. AFTER that go to the pub. Return with your hang over, reheat the chile now well rested and better tasting than it was when you left, top it with onions and jalapeno and extra sharp cheddar, and pour a beer to wash it down.

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SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS that 2014 was record HOTTEST year? NO

Marshalltown

Re: Well

Why do you persist in this without actually reading up on the methods and debates regarding the adjustments applied to the raw data. The idea of filtering for long term, stable stations like houses and developing an independent data set is a brilliant one and could be done far more easily than the incredibly clumsy methods used by GISS, NOAA and HADCRUT now.

Right now, given the available information supplied by the agencies that generate the major data sets, we *know* that that there will be a trend that pushes each succeeding year upward. The adjustments will not swamp the general pattern of any given year, but over the data span the adjustments force trends even on trendless data.

The replacement of standard thermometers by electronic systems is also KNOW to impose a +1.5 C bias on the measurement. This increase does not seem to be removed from the adjusted data. It might be, but finding documented adjustment methods is far more difficult than it should be.

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Marshalltown

Re: Well

In fact, the debate continues about the adjustments to the data that modify past temperatures downward without offering any serious kind of ground truthing. The regions showing the "greatest" warming are in fact all in areas lacking any real data: regions like large portions of South America, Africa, Asia, and the Arctic. These "data" are purportedly interpolated, but astonishingly, they seem to have larger "warming trends" than the actual stations used for interpolation do. These imputed "fictional" data are then used to calculate that "warmest year ever" figure. Seriously.

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Marshalltown

Re: Cut the sh*t!

Ah, but which data will you be using to estimate that average. As it is, the estimated temperature change over the last century is pretty weak. When you research the adjustments applied to the raw data, and note among other things that these adjustments ALL BY THEMSELVES would impose a mild warming trend on raw series that is a constant value, then you have a problem. The adjustments are biased and the justifications are mostly either weak, or nonexistent. Only the TOBS seems to make any sort of rational sense. At the same the "adjustment" of historical data downward as you move into the past with an imposed trend is a problem. Some, possibly most, of the methodological decisions that drive these adjustments are clearly "theory" driven rather than developed to address empirical reality. You want to remember Kevin Trenberth's heart-felt complaint in the Climategate emails. He states in the same email where he describes the climate science community's inability to detect ocean warming as a travesty, that the data MUST be wrong. That, my lad, would have set Sir Francis spinning. The entire point of the scientific method as delineated by Bacon was to remove the observer's assumptions as far from the reality of the experiment as possible. To adjust the data prior to analysis based upon the theory being tested is to engage in echo-chamber science. No publication on climate change should report "analytical" results on adjusted data without summarizing the comparable results from the raw data as well. The GISS announcement regarding 2014 as the "hottest" actual assigned a probability of 38% to that assertion if you read the text. That would mean that in all likelihood, 2014 was nothing special with a 62% certainty. BEST's results in any other field using statistical methods would not have been reported, let alone attention drawn to the "rise." It was not significantly different from no change. If you are, as you say, a professional time series analyst, then you know that.

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FERTILISER DOOM warning! PESKY humans set to WIPE selves out AGAIN

Marshalltown

Re: LERN TWO PHUQUEING SPEL!! LOL

You want to recall the remark often attributed to Thomas Jefferson:

"I have nothing but contempt for a man who can spell a word in but one way."

Anyone who was required to read English literature in high school or college in the US actually would know that "civilisation" is a common British spelling. So there is a potential lack of education - or memory failure - showing but just whose?

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

Marshalltown

Re: Wacky the lot of 'em

Urrk. Bacon should not be crispy unless you are crumbling on baked or mashed potatos.

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Marshalltown

Re: American bacon... What's wrong with it?

You want to get your bacon some place else. Burger King and Carl's Junior are sources of decent bacon, nor are super markets unless you frequent the butcher's counter.

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Marshalltown

Re: American Bacon

There's good bacon and bad bacon here in the USofA. Good bacon runs leaner, cured with salt and pink salt, and then smoked, though these days you can get "uncured" bacon which apparently isn't just pork belly by another name. You want it thick-cut because the exterior is the only place the smoke settles. US bacon is what the relatives on the far side of the Atlantic call "streaky bacon." You avoid the syrup by asking for it on the side.

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LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

Marshalltown

Re: practically next door

"... unless there's a mountain pass or something in the way."

Even then, the pass would only be a consideration when it snowed.

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Marshalltown

No food or beer comments?

Seriously, New Mexican food is worth a trip there all by itself. Hatch chilis, posole, Navajo mutton stew, locally made beers. Please say you didn't just drive and skip all the best.

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Why has the Russian economy plunged SO SUDDENLY into the toilet?

Marshalltown

Re: So if I have this straight

The US still has law in place that prohibits the export of crude oil. Refined petroleum products can be shipped out of the US but not crude. Many of the multinationals that were once American companies would now like to shipe crude out of country. Skilled refinery help out side the US would increase profit margins when the out put was shipped back.

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Marshalltown

Re: So if I have this straight

Israel is more tolerant of religious nuts than most of their neighbors, There are huge numbers of fanatically religious Jewish, Christian and Muslims that crowd into the old cities. Mostly they get along better between rather than within religions. The orthodox argue orthdoxy not with Christians or Muslims, but with other orthodox. The flavours and varieties of Islam and Christianity also by and large reserve their special bile for their erring co-religionists. So, in old Jerusalem, the rock throwing riots you run from are not between religious groups but within them. The shopowners will just slam the shutters and share a cup of coffee with shoppers trap inside while the rock-throwing debates are conducted. With a little luck, the trapped shoppers buy something.

In other ways Israel is nearly as cast-ridden as South Africa used to be before Mandela. Israelis of Palestinian-muslim decent are right at the bottom of the heap, competing with out-of-country labor for a very small amount income. There are plenty of patriotic, muslim Israelis of bedouin descent, who can get quite peevish if you mistakenly treat "Israeli" as a synonym for "Jewish." They aren't Jewish, they ARE Israeli, and they have aboslutely no use for Hamas of any other out-of-country bunch that lobs rockets and suicide bombers at Israel, even if some of that OOC group are relatives. They could well be in the house or on the bus that gets hit. I've been there and talked with them and listened to their hopes and wishes.

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Marshalltown

Re: @Mage

The point you seem to have missed is that debt is being "monetized." Banks do not loan "money" per se, that is credit symbolic of existing value. They loan future money - Wimpy's promise to pay tuesday for a hamburger today. They accept your promise to work your butt off so that you can buy a house and they can collect interest which will roughly double or or more the amount you actually need to pay. Banks are allowed under the FRB system to loan a certain amount based upon what they have in reserve. In addition if you were to deposit the loan you received from them back into the same bank, that loan then - at a discounted rate - becomes part of their reserve. That can then also be loaned, and that cycle can be repeated over several iterations: house-car-boat-credit card-... All the bank actually loans is your or someone else's promise to work long enough to create the value, plus interest at a compound rate. Also, if you look closely at your example, the one thing you are not doing is making a living. So, out of that "bit" you set aside, or out of the interest made to repay that loan you are extracting a living yourself, and the "value" you added to the transaction is debatable. Monetizing debt is inherently inflationary and cannot be avoided - and hasn't been during the entire span of western history. The problem with banks is not that they are bad some how. They impede the research into and development of any better methods of reconning values and costs, or where "money" should come from. At present in the US, although the Constitution places the creation of moeny squarely on the shoulders of congress, with the exception of [relatively] tiny amounts of cash printed or coined at government mints, essentially ALL money in circulation is monetized debt issued by private sources (banks - that is).

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BOFH: A miracle on PFY Street

Marshalltown
Pint

Re: Don't turn off the network!!!!

Wow - for a moment there I thought you had types "BUILDING HAVOC CONTROLLS." Those can be tricky to by pass.

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Marshalltown

Re: Aren't there three issues here?

As a Republican myself, I can't really say what I really think should be done with both the MPAA and the Google board. However, the MPAA are not constituents of Hood's. Their attempt to develop and dialog and persuasive raport with Hood muddied waters that Google exploited to the extent that we now have this repulsive result.

The truly creepy aspect of all this is that this kind of politics hearks back to science fiction stories such as Kornbluth and Pohl's Space Merchant and William Gibson's novels. We are in the position of seeing massive corporations demanding citizen's rights under national laws and the same arguing that those same nations and states have no jurisdiction. Think about that a bit. Would it not be poetic justice a judge were to agree that some specific government has no jurisdiction and that because of that the corporation also has no standing to complain? Where would Google and the MPAA really be then?

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I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!

Marshalltown

Re: Sorry

Well, yes. But I did wvae politely.

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Marshalltown
Pint

Re: Sorry

The OP *did* use the word "entitled." True story: Driving along a rural road in California. Rural roads in the Central Valley in California tend to follow Section or Quarter Section lines - a section being nominally one mile on a side. The gotcha is that since the earth's surface is curved, that neat rectilinear projection occasionally has to be as adjusted slightly so the rural road has an occasional right angled zig in it. Unlike mountain roads or some of the roads I've experienced in eastern Europe, California's rural roads, because of the tendency to follow such a nice neat grid, are deceptive to outsiders. I am tooling along at a reasonable pace when a Porsche SUV comes tearing up behind, blowing its horn, the road is two-lane, no passing, and no shoulder, so I can't pullover and let the tailgating knothead by. He doesn't like that. The double line ends. The Porsche driver hits the accelerator and blasts past waving at me with one finger. He's up to 80 MPH before long and dwindling in the distance, when suddenly I see brake lights, some swerving and then a cloud of dust. When I caught up, the Porsche was 100 yards out in a pasture trailing considerable barb wire and a few fence posts. I smiled and waved all my fingers as I negotiated the jog in the road and continued on.

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Marshalltown

Re: Sorry

Heh. I knew that the world had changed when it became clear that the FIRST thought upon seeing an erratic driver was "cell phone" instead of "drunk."

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BOFH: Capo di tutti capi, bah. I'm having CHICKEN JALFREZI

Marshalltown

Re: This is not going well.

Pretty sure that Gina might find "headlights" inappropriate in this context.

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Marshalltown

Nuts

The sole justification for modern airport "security" is to convince people not to travel. What metric is available that shows that "security" either benefits me or in fact even catches the occasional smuggler? What we do hear about are folks that jump the que, dodged the security bods and disappeared into the mob beyond. We hear about people with health problems arrested, detained, and expiring in TSA custody, of folks with poor fashion sense arrested for trying to meet their significant others wearing t-shirts fitted electronic signs (and that was outside the security perimeter), and more fail after fail. The problem is "security" personnel with their common sense de-installed. "I'm sorry, that is a full liter of water. You can't take it through security." "But, it's just water! And besides, it isn't full. I've been drinking it!" "I'm sorry sir. The container is just too big." Tcha!

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BOFH: Santa, bloody Santa

Marshalltown

Gina

I think you will find that with Gina around, the lifts will actually be more reliable.

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Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

Marshalltown

Re: Peculiar targeting...

Actually, the targeting - more than the code quality - suggests a nation origin. Telecom and power dispatch systems in workings, as well as encryption experts, paints a very specific picture. Presumably with adequate knowledge of those areas you can 1) disrupt power distribution over nay geographic scale; 2) disrupt or intercept commuications over any geographic scale, and 3) encrypt securely, or potentially decrypt encrypted information with proper information regarding how the data was encrypted.

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FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Marshalltown

Re: I'm three terrorists at least!

"It could be worse, you could be an illiterate fat, smoking, drinking terrorist!"

Sounds like someone from Idaho, well, except the Mormons. They mostly don't drink officially.

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Marshalltown
Headmaster

Re: reducing energy consumption

You are not reading closely. Both parts ARE considered and the truth is that current "renewable" technologies are too expensive and too inefficient to do the job that those who are afraid of AGW ask for. Not only can these technologies NOT do the job, they never will be able to. You are up against the laws of thermodynamics. That is why these engineers are saying that we need a "disruptive new energy technology." Both solar and wind power are, when applied on an industrial scale, environmental catastrophes. Look up for instance the problems with the Ivanpah solar plant in the Mojave desert. The "development" of that plant destroyed - yes, destroyed - several thousand acres of desert habitat pushing aside desert tortoise and kit fox, and archaeological remains, not to mention the mining, manufacture, and transportation of the materials to construct it, in order to send power to greater Los Angeles. It has never met the production levels that were "expected" because clouds and dust interfere more than expected. The odds are the plant never will meet those levels for any significant span. A couple of new nuclear plants in the LA basin would have done the job vastly more efficiently with far LESS environmental impact, even considering the threat of earthquakes, which is just as high at Ivanpah as it is in LA.

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Marshalltown

Re: reducing energy consumption

There is a recognized negative correlation between birth rate and wealth and that correlation has been present since the days of Classical Greece at least. Poor people have strong reasons for many children, not least that child mortality increases as wealth decreases. To have any surviving children and thus a family to care for you in your old age, you need more children in proportion to the incidence of child and infant mortality, and that is the case at present in industrial societies. Drop back a few centuries when the majority were agrarian and not only are you worried about your old age but simply getting the harvest in. More children is more working hands and thus lighter work. Overseas Chinese families often operate this way even at present. Even farther back, hunter-gatherers need large families because individual heads where the culture resided - that's what a "traditional society" is, one that operates in head space alone.

The "replacement levels" for the poor are not the same as for the rich. The point here is that the aggregation of large amounts of wealth in a very few hands may indeed cause overpopulation. Not deliberately but just the same.

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Marshalltown

Re: reducing energy consumption

... is wasteful, shameful, and expensive. -- Fixed it.

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Marshalltown
Coat

Consommation???

What, pray, is "consommation?" If it has anything to do with thin, clear soup, it is off topic. Besides, I doubt that consomme is a genuine environmental problem.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Marshalltown

Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Arnaut the ignorant)

Palin would be a catastrophe in hip boots. Go to Alaska and you encounter the mystery that no one seems willing to admit having voted for her. However you might be right about Palin vs Biden. Palin's handicaps are blatantly obvious while Biden is likely to be far more plausible.

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Marshalltown
Pint

Re: Still wrong

Well, at least you have a head start on the loathing this week.

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Marshalltown

Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

Heh, there is no company on the planet, for profit or NPO that doesn't want to reduce the staffing levels in hopes of a bigger bottom line. You might think NPOs would be immune but that is not true, and in some instances, like healthcare orgs, not even humourous. The plan is inevitably to be "more efficient," keeping the client/patient happy by smiling more (no joke). My SO works in a hospital where the management thought that a patient's stay should be pleasant (in hotel terms of pleasant) and that less face time with nurses for instance could be repaired by the nurses smiling at the patient.

Nurse rushing in to room to turn off call on for half an hour: "There you are Mrs. *****!"

Smiles broadly.

Patient no response: "How are we today??"

Even broader smile: "I'm so sorry it took so very long to respond. There's only me on the floor at the moment, and I was attending to another patient."

Nurse whispers, "They've let go all the attendants."

Patient: No response.

Nurse: "Mrs. *****? Are you awake? I have to take your vitals while I'm here. Oh my gosh!" Hits emergency button.

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Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

Marshalltown

I am not entirely a fan of the current (later Doctor) series, but still, that has to be a summary by a viewer expecting and finding the worst - confirmation bias in short. First off, and most glaringly, Gavin Clark seems to have missed points, both in this and other episodes involving cybermen that show they aren't precisely perfect. It is clear for instance that the very LAST cyberman in the episode was the revenant of Lethbridge-Stewart, who saved his daughter or grand daughter - I forget and don't really care which. So it wasn't just Danny who was not fully taken over by the hive mind of the cybermen. L-S finally gets a salute from the Doctor too.

Second, and far more potentially important to the storyline (or tangle) is the fact that we DO NOT KNOW what the doctor saw at the coordinates provided by Missy. The audience sees straight out the door into empty space, the Doc is looking down and to the right at something not shown to the audience. We get to look out the door and see nothing, but never get a glimpse of what the Doctor sees. So, was his rage in that scene because he still doesn't know where Gallifrey is, or because Missy, the reincarnation, more or less of his "childhood friend," actually DID tell the truth. That friend, who clearly expressed the need for HER friend, is now gone and the Doctor failed her again.

Third, it is also clear that we still really have no proper clue as to just who (or what) Clara Oswald really is. She was a Dalek once - more faulty technoology, a Victorian governess come Torchwood associate, and once more a school teacher in 21st C London. She has already been dead twice and yet seems to have the endurance of the Energizer rabbit - or a Time Lord. I vote she's really the Rani.

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Yes! It's DRONE PORN. And we don't mean shiny pics of UAVs

Marshalltown
Pirate

Heh, heh, heh

As a native of the Golden State, one of its charms, visible in the video, is Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum). I've no problem with it myself, but irritating rashes and even, if it goes systemic, hospital stays are not unknown.

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BOFH: Stop your tiers – when it comes to storage, LESS is MORE

Marshalltown

Re: Jaz drive

Cha ... I liked the Caleb. Cheap media, large capacity, fit a regular 3.5-inch drive bay.

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Plasma-spaffing boffins plan spaceships driven by FRIKKIN' LASERS

Marshalltown

Planetary defense centers or onboard devices

It is pretty clear that a ground-based laser would never work adequately to consistently power a jet. You would need a wide spread network of laser bases - (planetary defense bases when not employed propelling aircraft). The obvious alternative would be an onboard system with a highly efficient power supply. Such a system would have several major advantages. For one thing, the inverse square law says that the nearer the beam source is to the target, the less energy at the source is required to deliver a given amount to a target, so distances of fractions of a meter would be less costly in energy than distances of kilometers. Clearly, small, powerful laser sources would be a better solution than even multitasking planetary defense bases.

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Guns don't scare people, hackers do: Americans fear identity theft more than shooting sprees

Marshalltown

Heh

A similar story comes from Orange County, CA, where a single clerk scared that heck out of five would-be robbers. One ran away, the rest stood with their hands up until police arrived.

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Marshalltown

Re: The media strikes again!

"There's been more in the last decade than in all of US history before 1990 though."

And you can prove this how? You might well be right, but how would you determine it with any confidence? In fact, has the dwell time of children in school increased? If so, has that had an affect on the number of shootings? Prior to WWII there was considerably less demand for "children" to remain in school and get a diploma. A trade that could support a person or a family was more encouraged.

Consider serial killers as another example of truly egregious behavior and our perceptions of them. Modern fiction and media would have you think they are springing up more commonly now than ever before. Yet looking back in history, there were Gilles de Rais, Countess Bathory both remarkably monstrous. No media per se though so no "media" accounts. Burk and Hare, serial killers for profit: limited media. Jack the Ripper (not just a serial killer but also a cannibal) who likely moved to the US and continued his career for years: lots of English media, but it takes serious work to comb through various disparate and geographically remote city news papers to discover that Jack may be been active for a long time after he disappeared in from England. Albert Fish, another cannibal, but US media is coming into its own. Then, the depression and WWII eclipses a good deal of what would otherwise be front page news. The FBI is only starting to keep statistics, Korea, Viet Nam, and Zodiac. All we can be sure of is that the media itself has become remarkably proficient at reporting things and that increased efficiency correlates very well with increased public perception of risks.

It maybe that there really are more shootings. It may be that the media inspires more shootings, or it may be that the incidence is a function of population growth and increased media efficiency combine to create a perception of changes that are illusory.

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Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar

Marshalltown

Re: That reminds me...

Do you remember the monitor and desk?

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Man brings knife to a gun fight and WINS

Marshalltown

Re: "Commands were given for the male to come out"

The "20-foot" (six-meter) rule. Inside that distance, unless a gun is drawn (and even sometimes if it is) the knife has a distinct advantage. That would also pertain to any hand-wielded weapon (e.g. a walking stick for instance). The problem lots of gun users have is the faith that their weapon makes them invulnerable.

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HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist

Marshalltown

Such a relief

They have an "estimate" of the extinction. I wonder if they included that late Pleistocene C-14 dated Megalodon tooth? And, excluding the living ones, what is the estimated date for the extinction of the Ceolacanth?

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You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data

Marshalltown
Coat

Coin flipping

I once demonstrated to a statistics teacher that coin-flipping is not the ideal example of a random process. More over, the larger the coin, the longer a run could be maintained before breaking. If you are consistent, then when the coin is tossed, it reaches about the same height each time and the rise and fall occupy a consistent span for each toss. If your thumb is consistent in starting the spin, the rate of spin is consistent. If you can maintain the height at which you catch the coin, the number of turns during the rise and fall is consistent. With a larger coin the variation in the spin rate given by your thumb is lower relative to the mass and diameter of the coin meaning the uncertainty in the rate of spin in each toss is less. US Morgan dollars are thus better than US pennies. Good physical skills can control the result with very little error. I've tossed runs of 50 to 100 at a time and won beer money from unsuspecting physics and stat students many times. On a really good day, you can vary the catch height and control to a degree the length of alternate runs. The only uncertainty in a coin toss is during the first toss. You need that first toss to "calibrate." This is why a single coin toss is used to break a stalemate. Three or more and chance may have gone out the window depending upon the "tosser." ;-)

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Marshalltown

Re: Eric Raymond's (in)famous quote

I disagree with Raymond's quote. "Being direct" means telling what's wrong, why, and how to fix it.

The problem takes multiple forms. The worst is equifiniality. There's no effective quality difference in one coder's work, other than the fact that he just doesn't give a rip about making it integrate well with the essential standard being followed by others. Others are just too blind to see that problems their code has. It's broken, buggy, and has too many problems to enumerate. Yet the coder simply cannot believe the fault lies with him. The former is a total pain because he simply cannot accept the premise of cooperative work. The latter is what boot camp is for.

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Marshalltown
Pint

And there it is

Volunteers are not all equal and their abilities are often less than they believe them to be.

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OMG!! With nothing but MACHINE TOOLS, STEEL and PARTS you can make a GUN!!

Marshalltown

"Tell that to the native Americans ..."

This remark reflects a profound historical ignorance and an idealization of "noble savage" status disguised as PC. Let's see, starting with Cortes, myth says he an a handful of conquistadores brought down the Aztecs. Reality was, the Aztecs were detested _cannibals_ (really, no joke, those human sacrifices were governed by a "waste-not, want-not" ethic). Their neighbors hated the ground they walked upon - AND MANY STILL DO. Reality was that Cortez was joined thousands of local indians who allied themselves to the Spaniards. Estimate range from ca. 40K to over 100K took the side of the Spanish.

Or, consider Pizarro. He took on the Incas. Again, history seems to favor this myth that the Spanish did it by themselves, but they arrived during a pause in the expansion of the Inca Empire. The Inca tended to assault a region, and having won, forcibly remove large portions of the population to other areas, similar to the Jewish diaspora but on a larger scale. The conflict between the Spanish and the Inca saw the Spanish joined by numerous "tribes" - the survivors of full-blown civilizations destroyed by the Incas - who happily waged war on the Inca again. There are no good estimates of how many joined in the war, but the Inca Empire was larger than the Aztec's, and their foes were far more sophisticated than many of the societies the Aztecs destroyed.

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Marshalltown
FAIL

Apples and pears

Yes, indeed, firearm related deaths are higher in the US than in the UK. However, the rates are immensely closer when you look at "intentional homicide" instead. That includes all the other weapons around you, including bludgeons, frying pans, poisons - visit the Agatha Christy "poison garden" some time - cars, bare hands, boots, bats (cricket or baseball), and etc. You also fail to mention how many of the UK firearm deaths are instantiated with a legal weapon. The odds are very low that more than a very small fraction are from legal weapons of any kind.

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Marshalltown

Re: Missing the point

"It's difficult to imagine how anyone can think it makes sense for the population to be armed."

Obviously you are not Swiss, are you, AC?

And, please, do expound upon why it is more stupid to allow gun ownership. The reasoning supporting the opinion would be interesting, if it is actually informed.

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So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

Marshalltown
Pint

Supercalc

I liked it better than Lotus.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

Marshalltown

Energy efficiency

Until we can revoke Carnot's theorem we are stuck with engines that operate based upon a disequilibrium between two thermal environments. That remains as true for electrical systems as it does for systems running on combustion sources. So, replacing hydrocarbons as energy sources comes down to how great a gradient can be developed between ho the energy is stored, how it is extracted as work, and how it is dissipated as heat after the work is completed. If you can develop a high energy (battery, fuel cell, photoelectric unit) that can release energy in a flow equivalent to hydrocarbon combustion, and costs no more to fabricate than gasoline costs to extract from petroleum, you might have something.

However, there's very clear evidence from nature that this probably won't happen. Life - as we know it - is carbon based. Primary producers (plants) use hydrocarbons for energy storage as oils, sugars and starches and all the rest of us carbon based life forms consume those very same stored energy sources at one or more removes. Life is not only the movement of energy through the ecosystem, it is the movement of fixed carbon. Less available carbon means - inevitably - less life. There are no ifs, and or buts here. Less carbon means less living mass, regardless of how much light falls on the planet.

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THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

Marshalltown

Re: Corporations paying zero tax, a solution?

The situation is far too complex to depend on taxes as a solution. Besides which, as the author pointed out, governments are hopeful monsters. They tax in hopes of scrambling back into a tenable situation which remains a hope on the horizon. If you are going to try using taxes as a solution, you need to tax even "off-shored" business as if it were on shore. If a multinational doesn't like that, tough. They can do business somewhere else. That would at least open the domestic market to domestic producers. The real problem however is the consumer-based model which, as the author pointed out, requires "consumers" to be idiots who buy stuff to ship to the dump/land fill/tip. The reason that "luxury" goods are expensive is that they arrive at the landfill at much lower rates proportionate to the annual numbers produced. The primary buyers include a disproportionate number who simply want to buy a single item that will last a very long time. Quality goods are excellent drivers of customer loyalty but very hard on profits. Crap goods on the other hand are first class sources of profit but draw very little loyalty. They require monopoly markets before they can be really big.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Marshalltown
Pint

Re: Banking Jobs

Just about any business that will be affected by the vote is likely to say this, whether the managerial lot think it or or not. They would not want their customer base changing drastically ahead of the vote. There will doubtless be contingency plans for IF Scotland becomes independent and for IF it does not. Anything said ahead of the vote might be exploited by competitors afterward unless it takes just the right tone. What I want to know whether there will be a new wall marking the border. The old Hadrian's and Antonine walls never worked.

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Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000

Marshalltown
Pint

Re: So, a beer-fulled jolly this most certainly isn't.

Of course there is beer in America, even "good beer," as an English acquaintance said in shocked tones, staring into her glass blankly, "even though its cold!" You just want to avoid stuff made by the big names. For New Mexico check:

http://nmbeer.org/

If you are feeling adventurous you could even try Cave Creek Chili Beer, though I'm pretty sure the beer is made less interesting than the pepper in the bottle.

Besides there are also decent Mexican beers (well, lagers) to had.

In New Mexico just avoid the Hatch chilis. They sell more than they grow.

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