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Comment: Re:Not censorship... (Score 1) 484

by Caraig (#38161138) Attached to: Lego Bible Too Racy For Sam's Club

Just as it is not right to force someone to not publish something, it is also not right to force someone TO publish that thing. Throwing words together does not result in an inalienable right to have it published. You can't force Sam's Club to carry a book they don't like any more than you can force Apple to sell Packard-Bell computers in their retail stores.

Fortunately, for everything else, there's the internet. Last I checked, nobody said Time Cube or Phantom History couldn't be put out there for everyone to see. For better or worse. =P

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 5, Informative) 484

by Caraig (#38161100) Attached to: Lego Bible Too Racy For Sam's Club

No, just... no. Evolution does not work that way. Evolution does not generate new species within a span of 6000 years. Or even 200,000 years. Not like that, not for complex higher mammals.

If the Abrahamic flood story is real -- and it will have to compete with the Babylonian flood story -- then it's possible 'two of every animal' meant two of every domesticated animal on his farm/land. That would make more sense.

But there is no evidence whatsoever of *all* humans dating back to any flood. Mitochondrial Eve dates back to at least 200,000 years ago, when homo sapiens sapiens was just developing, and she was in sub-Saharan Africa. If you really want to contemplate that all of humanity arose from a single population, that is the current theory; and the holes in it suggest that the single population originator dates back even FURTHER.

Could Mitochondrial Eve's population of h. sapiens gotten on an ark to escape a flood? Doubtful. They were budding tool users but not to the extent that it would take to build even a coracle boat. Plus, they were not in a region in which there is geological evidence that there was any flooding.

The best contender for the flood myth is the recurring theme of floods in Egyptian mythology. Egyptian history -- history, not myth -- also has some intriguing events to look into, in particular the establishment of Atenism (the first true monotheism) and the civil war in the Late Bronze Age between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, which was under the control of the Hyskos and Sea Peoples (called in Egyptian the 'Habiru.') The Hyskos were driven out of Egypt, and one theory is that these people went to Canaan. After a period of integration and assimilation, Atenism reasserted itself and the priests of El' (sound familiar?) declared him to be the one true god, purging the priesthoods of other deities including Baal Hadad and Asherah.

There's some fascinating things in the actual history of the world, before, during, and after the Bronze Age Collapse. Between the Sea Peoples and the detonation of Thera/Santorini, the the disappearance of Minoan civilization, there's a gloriously complex world that we've only just begun to uncover. Sadly, if you take the Abrahamic Bible as anything other than metaphor, mythology, and religious scripture, you are going to be sorely, sadly disappointed.

Comment: Re:Renewable or infinite? (Score 4, Informative) 835

by Caraig (#38159578) Attached to: The Myth of Renewable Energy

You mean the battery in my Prius that's still going strong after five years? The Prius that has more cargo space than my old Jeep and can hold four people as opposed to the Jeep's two (four if you cut off two peoples' legs)? The Prius that gets me fifty miles to the gallon because I take the highway to and from work?

Have you even driven one? Hell, have you even SEEN one?

Comment: Re:Is that how that works? (Score 1) 430

by Caraig (#37721414) Attached to: US Bishop Charged For Not Reporting Priest's Child Porn To Police

It would seem strange that an employer would be required to report such a thing, particularly if there was no evidence that any child had been harmed,

If the pornography is photos or videos of real live children (as opposed to drawings/art/renders) then the argument can be and has been made that children have been materially harmed. Not only were they abused in the taking of the photos, but the photos of them -- doubtless embarrassing, certainly a painful remembrance of what happened to them -- still exist and are still being distributed. So there is measurable harm that was done and is still being done to them.

A slightly more specious argument can be made that possession of child pornography enables child pornographers by fostering a demand for it. That's a good debate to have, since it can apply to a number of other situations as well.

Comment: Not Gonna Happen (Score 1) 472

by Caraig (#37464592) Attached to: US Military Moving Closer To Automated Killing

There is no way that the military is going to permit autonomous combatant units. At least, not without having a stake put through its brain.

For starters, the PR would be through the floor if even one of these things killed a civilian (though I guess with how callous the US has been towards civilian collateral casualties for the past ten years, that might not be a big deal.)

The other main reason is that there's no way a manly man is ever going to give up on the idea of manly soldiers charging manly into battle. Basically, it'll take a total discrediting of the entire War College and Army general staff to see ACUs see any sort of serious use on the battlefield, in much the same way that Gates disenfranchised the 'fighter mafia' from the USAF a few years ago. The difference is that the 'combat arm mafia' (not that there actually is one) is a hell of a lot more entrenched. The idea of big burly virile men shooting the hell out of some amorphous Enemy is too much part of the military self-image.

Then again, the fighter jocks had a pretty strong self-image, too, and they've lost a lot of ground in the Air Force to the transport "pukes" (Who's a puke now, Roger Ramjet?) and the drone operators (who are mostly CIA anyway), so who knows?

The ironic thing is that, ideally, you get drones and ACUs on both sides, let them beat the snot... er, silicon out of each other, and call it a day. Pity that won't happen anytime soon. Plus, random freedom fighters^H^Hinsurgents probably won't be able to afford such things, so it'll still come down to bloody gobbets strewn across some hellhole.

Comment: This Doesn't Make Sense (Score 3, Insightful) 183

by Caraig (#37274550) Attached to: Anonymous Claims Responsibility For WikiLeaks Attack

This doesn't make sense, though. Anon -- or at least part of Anon -- went out and slammed a bunch of credit-card companies for denying donations to WikiLeaks. And now Anon is saying they attacked WikiLeaks? I don't buy it. As recently as last week they were still expressing support for WikiLeaks, and were noting that WikiLeaks and their own servers were under attack. And 4chan? 4chan is their home turf, why would they DDoS that?

I grok that Anon is decentralized to the point of schizophrenia, but to this extent?

Comment: Re:Reality Check (Score 2) 208

by Caraig (#37016788) Attached to: Anti-Matter Belt Discovered Around Earth

The only problem though is getting them to collide. While the OP is dramatically off the mark in a lot of areas, they are relatively correct in the need for acellerated streams being needed to cause particle collisions.

A microscopic chunk of antimatter in Earth's atmosphere, however, is something else entirely. It WILL get smacked with molecular collisions. (It is not likely to 'explode' so much as 'boil' though) For this reason, I do not recommend that OP inhale a balloon full of antihydrogen. Hydrogen is toxic and does obscene things to certain gases found in the lungs; antihydrogen can't be any better. The trick, of course, is getting a microscopic chunk of antimatter. Penning traps have only been able to capture individual small amounts for only a short time, on the order of seconds, maybe minutes. Definitely not enough to use for chemical experiments with antimatter a possibility.

But beyond that, can you imagine positron shells trying to interact with electron shells? What a covalent bond between 2 antihydrogen and 1 oxygen might be like? I can't; it probably can't happen, but I'm pretty sure that it would not be good if it could; Uncle Heisenberg is crying himself to sleep in Neils Bohr's arms thinking about it. OP's lungs would get a nice dose of gamma radiation, and he would most certainly NOT turn into the Hulk. I would imagine he wouldn't die from cancer, however; his lungs would be charred into coal from the heat generated by the thermal effects of dumping that much gammas into the residual gasses in his lungs and the cellular walls. (Oh, hey, OP, by the way: All that antihydrogen would NOT be expelled in the next breath, unless you can somehow turn your lungs inside out. This is partly why inhaled corrosives are so nasty: They linger. Coughing won't get them out entirely. The most you can hope for is that they dilute quickly in normal atmosphere and don't do something even worse like bond with molecular gates in the cells of your alveoli.)

Also... WTF? What does this have to do with AGW?

Comment: Re:Wrong (Score 2) 689

by Caraig (#36762558) Attached to: Pastafarian Wins Right To Wear Colander In License Photo

Much of that apocalyptic stuff was oriented towards the end of Roman rule in Judea. 'A better world coming' is basically 'a world without Roman centurions in Jerusalem.' Much of the belief surrounding Jesus as the Messiah meant that he was to be King of the Jews and thus lead them all to freedom, starting with kicking the Romans out of Judea. That's why the Pharisees handed him over to Pilate -- they didn't want the Jews who believed Yeshua to be the Messiah to come for THEIR heads, so they foisted him off on the Roman governor. Either way, they were covered, they thought: They were rid of a rabble-rouser who was flouting the religious law and making the Romans nervous, and if they misjudged the peoples' adulation of Yeshua, they could always blame his death on the Romans if the revolution came. The apocalyptic elements of Yeshua's ministry were nothing more than a lot of people were saying about the creaky, aging, decadent Roman Empire at the time. (Still didn't stop the Romans from throwing a shitfit about half a century later anyway and destroying the Second Temple. Rule One may be 'Do not get involved in a land war in Southeast Asia,' but Rule Three is definitely 'Do not taunt Happy Fun Roman Empire, especially when Batshit Crazy Nero is in charge.')

This is also why St. John of Patmos's psilocybin-induced hallucination of the End of Days is believed to be related to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Comment: Re:They shouldn't have gone after him... (Score 1) 376

by Caraig (#36705052) Attached to: Apple Store Artist Raided By Secret Service

And it depends on what he means by 'security guard.' There's no uniformed 'Apple Store Security Corps' or anything like that. Was it a mall cop? Was it a security guard the store had hired? (Sometimes they do that.) Was it the greeter standing by the door? Any way you cut it, the security guard will NOT have permission to do this. The store manager would. TFA says he went on to give a presentation at the store later, though, so maybe he did have the manager's permission? It's hard to tell from the article. Either way, it doesn't sound like Apple's pressing charges, but that the Secret Service undertook this on their own.

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