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From what I've heard the Chinese have been using Roman letters to help their students learn their own language for years now, and especially use roman letters to make it easier to enter Chinese text into a computer.
But there are still good reasons to use their traditional characters - including the fact that although China has many spoken languages, the use of characters allows most of them to share a single written form.
Curious but not entirely unexpected. We are only beginning to understand the microbiome, but clearly it is important.
I wonder if cold weather might affect our gut bacteria too. I have unintentionally lost a good deal of weight in a short time in a cold, dry environment (at least 30 pounds in three months), but regained it when returning to a hot, humid climate. Of course, the cold weather also burned more calories - but I also ate a good deal more than usual. More notably, I note that people living in hot, humid environments often tend to put on weight more than those in colder climates - but there are likely many other factors.
"I cruise upright at ~12mi(~20km) per hour instead of ~18(30) in an aerodynamic hunch-over"
Nothing against mountain bikes, but a recumbent can be an excellent choice too, especially if you don't have many hills. (It would be great in Denver, which is surprisingly flat, and not so good in Seattle, which is surprisingly hilly.)
"Of course, in those days when you wanted to ride your bike, you just jumped on it and off you went. If we'd had to dress up like quarterbacks every time we wanted to run to the store or a friend's house, we probably would have lost our taste for bicycling, too."
Yes. We all rode bikes everywhere when I was a kid, but I seldom see kids on bikes now. Bicycles weren't just for fun - they were our transportation to friends' houses, or really any location within a mile or two from home.
However, I don't think it is just the helmets (though that plays a part). It is the general trend of children seldom going outdoors, driven largely by helicopter parenting.
More generally - I approve of helmets for highway use, but think we would be better off without helmets for casual cycling on city streets with low speeds. For one thing, most people don't want to carry a bicycle helmet with them everywhere they go, and helmets mess up your hair too - which might seem silly but do you really expect office workers to put up with bad hair every day when they could just drive instead?
On the other hand, some of us just can't do algebra. I've taken plenty of classes, had tutors, understood every step of the problems
On the other hand, I frequently astonish people by doing simple math in my head, and by figuring out the math I need from scratch when I need it. When I took geometry, I didn't have to memorize the axioms because they were second nature to me.
I know I would have been a good engineer for almost every purpose, but I never got to the practical stuff because I did so poorly at algebra.
So - is it really helpful to demand that every student know every branch of every field well? Or would we be better served to allow students more latitude to develop their strengths without regard to their weaknesses, and to use their time wisely by learning what they are capable of learning rather than what someone else with different strengths thinks is appropriate for them?
Um, it looks like they may have started making cave paintings about 5000 years before modern humans moved into the area.
I know that at a distance 5000 years may not seem like much, but in fact a lot can happen in 5000 years.
Those glyphs aren't meaningless. You just don't know what they refer to.
Here's a thought: combine driverless cars and driverless buses for a commute. One of the chief problems with buses is the sometimes long waits when one needs to change buses, but if a company could assure that one never needed to wait more than two minutes to change from car to bus or bus to car, the advantages in reducing traffic might be well worth it.
Consider, a small queue of buses waits at an interstate entrance ramp - only two or three buses, not enough to waste much time but enough to be sure no one will need to wait long for a delayed replacement vehicle - and most of the cars that would have gone onto the interstate stop and their passengers get onto the bus. At two minute intervals, the bus hits the road - taking probably 30 and perhaps (if a double-decker) over a hundred cars off the road. If this is happening at rush hour and at every major intersection on main routes going into a center city, ten thousand cars could be replaced on the roads by one or two hundred buses. Aside from reduced parking, consider the reduction in traffic in city centers. Add in traffic lights (or other controls) coordinated on the fly with buses, and riders could be assured of a smooth commute into town almost every time.
Of course, not everyone would be going to exactly the same place, but walking two or three blocks is healthy anyway, and not much further from a destination than most parking lots - or for more spread out city centers, more cars could be waiting at the exit ramp - with less than 30 seconds to transfer. With reduced traffic and higher safe speeds, commute times could actually be reduced, and of course commuters could spend their time more productively than driving. Driverless services could include options for breakfast or a snack on the buses, or even bunks to take a nap on long commutes - and of course wi-fi and the like.
True - self-driving cars will make car ownership unnecessary for most people and could reshape cities - a point that Brad Templeton made a long time ago.
Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine. -- Andy Warhol