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Comment: Let's Count Them... (Score 1, Troll) 465

by Chagatai (#33752172) Attached to: Hawking: No 'Theory of Everything'
Here's his most recent statements that seem just off:

-Don't contact ET. On the one hand, what are the odds that we will do so? On the other hand, oops, you're about 100 years too late if we count radio signals alone, ignoring the big thrust that took place in the 70s and 80s.

-No need for God, gravity made everything. Creation versus evolution aside, doesn't gravity describe the attraction between particles based on their mass? So, if you have no particles, how could gravity make something ex nihilo?

-No Grand Unified Theory. Seems like a bit of hubris taking its course here. "If I can't find it, no one will!"

Comment: Break It Down (Score 2, Interesting) 725

by Chagatai (#32761784) Attached to: Unique ID In India Causes 'Fear of the Beast'
Hold on. You're doing two things wrong here. First, you're changing the definition of, "tolerant," to, "acceptance," or, "agreement." Second, you're lumping together totally different groups of people.

The gays aren't knocking at my door, telling my children that they are going to burn in hell forever.

Okay, define how this is intolerant. Are they killing your kids if they do not convert? You always have the option of shutting the door if you don't like it.

They aren't shooting abortion doctors.

How many abortion doctors have been shot by self-described Christians? Less than a dozen (which I would say is still too much). And true Christians condemn these acts (that whole Sixth Commandment and all).

They aren't launching suicide attacks on my neighborhood.

Ah, now you're talking about Muslims, which is a totally different religious group. Fundamentalist Muslims will try to blow you up. Fundamentalist Christians just pray for your soul and witness to you.

They aren't polluting science with their fictional delusions.

To turn this around, aren't you being a little intolerant in the way you're presenting their beliefs?

When the theists abandon their irrational bigotry, grow up and stop trying to control their neighbors, they'll be worthy of tolerance.

That also doesn't sound very tolerant.

Medicine

Brain Surgery Linked To Sensation of Spirituality 380

Posted by timothy
from the applied-psychology dept.
the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."
NASA

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-perspective-on-an-old-tragedy dept.
longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

Comment: Truly Dirty IT Job (Score 5, Interesting) 175

by Chagatai (#27477537) Attached to: Even Dirtier IT Jobs
Sorry, but most of these jobs are not that, "dirty," compared to my last job. I did systems administration work for a meatpacker. This meant that several times a year I would go to feedlots and slaughterhouses to help out with the systems. There is nothing like working in a place where you can be walking on guts and dung as you go up and down to the computer rooms. (And by, "rooms," I mean, "modified coat closet with an air conditioner sticking in a hole cut in the wall.") Some of my favorites:

-One abattoir had the intake for the server room on the roof... directly under the exhaust tower for rendering. Even when we moved the equipment into the new offices, I turned on the disk array and got a face full of rendered pork from the fans.

-One place in Texas was a nightmare. Imagine extension cords stapled to the wall for systems, where they were wired so the pronged end was the, "hot," side. Yep, it could double as a cattle prod if needed.

-Communicating with the people at these places was impossible. One night crew person sounded exactly like Boomhauer. It was always fun trying to understand her.

-Other people didn't like the fact that we in IT were generally smarter than them. I got one woman who liked making up big words to sound more intelligent than she was. On one occasion, she said that her screen was, "tricating." I had to ask her a few times to repeat the word to understand it. After I found out that she meant that the column size for her green screen console was wrong, causing the lines to wrap improperly, I told her I had never heard of that word before. "Oh, you're young," she said, "that's why you don't know it." Yeah, neither did Merriam and Webster, and they're pretty old, too.

-Another plant in the south had an adjacent, "smoking room," in someone's office, so the fans were sucking in both slaughterhouse smell and nicotine. Lovely.

-And it was always fun walking on the floors when we had to check out the equipment, since we in IT stuck out like sore thumbs. I remember going to check an electronic scale once and watching these workers with sharp knives cutting things and staring at me. I was thinking, "Why don't you look down at what you're doing with that sharp blade instead of me? You know, that piece of meat that has... an... eyeball looking back at me... oh, boy...."

Comment: The Science Teacher Who Cleaned The Chem Closet... (Score 5, Interesting) 500

by Chagatai (#27343829) Attached to: Mythbusters Accidentally Bust Windows In Nearby Town
A new science teacher came to my high school during the 1980s. During the first week of his job, he decided to help clean out the chemical closet. As he was going through things, he came across a large jar of picric acid, which is an ingredient to some explosives. As he took a more detailed look, he noticed that the acid had crystallized.

He called up the local police department to talk to someone who does hazmat / dangerous chemicals work. The moment he said, "crystallized picric acid," the man on the other end of the phone shouted, "Evacuate the building now!"

The full bomb squad arrived and took the beaker carefully up the hill to the 50-yard line of the football stadium and detonated the beaker. The shockwave went clear across the town.

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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