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Comment: Re:Going for cop's gun drastically escalates situa (Score 1) 324

by Mr. Slippery (#48667159) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Brown was shot because he escalated the situation to a "high risk arrest" by going for the cop's gun. Period.

We have no evidence that Brown was trying to take Wilson's gun, only the word of a cop who's been caught lying before. Cops know that "he was going for my gun" are magic words to justify themselves when they commit murders.

And of course it's irrevelvant whether Brown tried to get control of Wilson's gun earlier in the confrontation. Brown was not trying to do so when he was murdered, he was (according to the majority of witness testimony) attempting to surender.

Comment: Re:No soul (Score 2) 318

by PCM2 (#48664059) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Peter Jackson ripped the soul out of Lord of the Rings when he neglected to film The Scouring of the Shire.

But he did film it, kinda. He just didn't put it into the story. It shows up a little bit in the Mirror of Galadriel sequence.

One could argue that that was the correct way to play it, too. I know people who claim to have "walked out of the theater after the first ending and skipped all of the other ones," as it is.

Comment: Re:It looks like a friggin video game. (Score 1) 318

by PCM2 (#48664031) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

You can turn that off, I havent seen a tv yet that didnt have interpolation as an option the user could turn off. Sometimes they give it some gimmicky name though

Yeah, on my set there are two settings that combine to create the effect and I have each set to "most of the way off" because that's the way I like it.

Comment: Re:Big bags of water... that's what we are. (Score 0) 155

by Mr. Slippery (#48648969) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Yes there are good reasons for going to Mars. Greatest among them is to safeguard the species from any catestrophic impacts on Earth they would extinguish us.

No potential impact to Earth would render it less hospitable to life than Mars is. For speicies survival a set of fortified underground bunkers/mini-cities would be far more practical -- and unlike Mars, we do have the tech to do that.

The suggestion that we currently have the technology to colonize Mars is, in brief, ridiculous. No human has been move than 500 miles from Earth's surface in over four decades, and the farthest we've ever sent a human is under 250,000 miles; at its closest, Mars is 38,000,000 miles away. We do not know how to safely get a human being that distance through interplanetary space, and the first few people we try to send are quite likely to die.

That investment of blood and treasure might be worthwhile if there was something useful for humans to do when they got there, but there isn't. We'll get better scientific results by building and sending better robots.

There is no practical reason to send humans to Mars in the near-term -- say, next five centuries. Especially not when all of our resources are needed over the next century or so to put human civilization on a sustainable footing. We can probably do some useful stuff with humans in Earth orbit and maybe on Luna, but deep space is for robots.

The only justification to put humans on Mars is some vague hand-waving about "inspiration" -- i.e., it's a huge performance art project. Maybe someday humanity can afford that. But not now.

Comment: Well that's inconvenient for the dominant theory (Score 2) 208

Feminists are always saying there are no mental differences in men in women. And because of that, the gender disparity in CS must be due to sexism.

Now they're altering the content of CS curriculum to appeal to women, and it is apparently working.

So if women do actually need to be taught CS differently, why is all that dark matter sexism still necessary to explain it?

Comment: Re:Mandarin vs. Spanish (Score 4, Interesting) 150

by diakka (#48606997) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

If you're having trouble with pinyin, and since you already seem to prefer traditional characters, then just use bopomofo/zhuyin fuhao. Once you learn one pronunciation system well, it's trivial to learn the other because the sounds they represent are the same, all you have to do is link them up in your mind. I personally used pinyin for many years, but using an Anki deck, I learned zhuyin fuhao in a matter of days after I moved to Taipei.

Learning Chinese is a loooooooooong road. For the casual language learner, I'd say your best ROI on your time is going to be with Spanish. But then again, it all depends on what you're motivated to learn, because motivation is the worst thing to waste. I will say however, that if your motivation is even remotely to raise your value in the eyes of Chinese girls, don't bother, because of the girls that date westerners, given the choice between fluent Chinese and six pack abs, they'll choose the abs about 90% of the time.

Comment: Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1) 368

by Mr. Slippery (#48595317) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Science fiction isn't fiction that has elements that aren't science but might appeal to geeks who like science....Science fiction is science that is fictional. Very different animal and naturally restrictive.

You are using a defintion of a term, which is at odds with the defintions of that term used by almost every other educated native speaker of English. This will probably make it hard for you to communicate. You might want to look to that.

Comment: Re:not faith, economics (Score 1) 168

by im_thatoneguy (#48591027) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

Airbus is only a quasi-private company. Their entire operations are heavily subsidized by the government. It would be a bit like.. I don't know... The Airforce using a European Airbus airframe instead of a US one. Politicians will be (?justifiably?) pissed that it's tax payer dollars being diverted into an overseas corporation.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller