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Comment: Re: Lazy farmer (Score 1) 57

by Rei (#48671173) Attached to: Scientists Say the Future Looks Bleak For Our Bones

But it does raise a serious issue - they're studying changes that don't necessarily reflect the selective pressures of present-day life.

Think about it: what are the leading causes of death for people in the prime breeding age (15-34)? Car accidents - by a good margin. So isn't this significant selective pressure to beef up the neck against whiplash, the skull against forehead impact, survival during significant blood loss, etc?

#2 is suicide. I don't know how this rate has changed over time or whether the methods modern humans choose for attempts are more effective than would have been chosen in the past. For example, while men commonly turn to firearms, which are a very effective way to commit suicide, women more often turn to prescription medication overdoses as a method, which overwhelmingly fails.

#3 is poisoning. While humans have always been around poisons, the sheer number that we keep in our houses, most of types that we didn't evolve to, suggests that this may be a stronger selective factor now than it was during our agrarian days, perhaps comparable to that when we were hunter-gatherers or worse.

#4 is homicide. We've definitely gotten a lot better at that, a person is far more likely to die from an intentional gunshot wound than a beating or stabbing. Selective pressures: surviving blood loss, mainly. Stronger, thicker bones may help in against low velocity penetrations.

#5 is other injuries. Again, we're not as likely to suffer from, say "crushed by a mastodon" as an injury, but we've developed plenty of new ways to get killed or maimed in our modern lives.

Then it gets more complicated on the basis that the issue isn't just about survival of the individual, but their social group as a whole, so even nonbreeding members can have a major impact...

Comment: Re:I was suspicious from the moment they denied it (Score 1) 167

by Rei (#48670095) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

To make a political statement? Since when was this "a political statement"? It was an attempt to stop a movie that made fun of the Great Leader. An attempt that mostly succeeded. Which was done after previously threatening Sony about the issue.

What, exactly, is to gain by admitting culpability? Is that usually what criminals do? "Why, yes, officer! I threw the brick through my ex's window to get back at her and scare her. I'm telling you now so that you can go ahead and punish me!"

Comment: Right. (Score 2) 167

by Rei (#48670077) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

Because the world is just full of people who would hack a company to blackmail them not to release a movie about Kim Jong Un. Because everyone loves the Great Leader! His family's personality cult^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HVoluntary Praise Actions only take up about 1/3rd of the North Korean budget. And I mean, they totally deserve it. I mean, did you know that his father was the world's greatest golf player who never had to defecate and whose birth was fortold by a swallow and heralded by a new star in the sky?

No, of course it wasn't North Korea. Clearly it was the work of America! Because America wants nothing more than a conflict with North Korea right now. Because clearly Russia and Syria and ISIS aren't enough, no, the US obviously has nothing better to do than to try to stir up things out of the blue with the Hollywood obsessed leader of a cult state whose family has gone so far as to kidnap filmmakers and force them to make movies for him. It all just makes so damn much sense!

Cue the conspiracy theorists in three, two, one...

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 3, Insightful) 250

by TheGratefulNet (#48669453) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

people are NOT saying 'enough' ! they should, but they are sheeply accepting everything that is told to them and forced upon them.

its some of us geeks that object; but we are a tiny minority, pretty much entirely powerless in this world (where it counts).

the UK folks are not pushing back at all, from what I can tell. but then, the US and canadians aren't doing much in that direction, either. the difference is that, in the US, we do have a formal set of laws that allow free speech. many other countries don't have that on their laws.

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 1) 250

by TheGratefulNet (#48669425) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

also the same nation that gave us The Prisoner (tv series). interestingly, one of the episodes was about 'anti social behavior' and how number six was shunned by the village when he didn't play by their rules.

the UK seems obsessed with 'anti-social behavior' problems. ie, they INSIST you be social (huh??)

Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 1) 320

by Catbeller (#48668733) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Tom Bombadil served as a projection of absolute mystery in a fantasy world where much wonder was already well documented. Even the Valar didn't know who he was. Probably. Tolkien believed you should never tell all the secrets, and frankly HE didn't know what Tom was, and was happy that way. Even mysteries should have mysteries.

And TB was his young son Christopher's favorite doll, in the real world. He put it in to make his son happy, I think.

Comment: Re:print fans (Score 1) 320

by Catbeller (#48668655) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

As a cloaked and rather spiritually amnesiac Maia, Gandalf has, along with all the other Ainur now locked into Arda who listened to the Eru Illuvatar Lecture about how the new worlds would work, has sort of a feeling, based on impressive but never quite remembered foreknowledge, of how the rabbit is gonna jump. He's got prophetic mojo, in small amounts, and he's on a Really Real Mission from God, or at least God's lieutenant, Manwe.

(Ever wonder who foretold all those prophecies everyone keeps talking about? Foreknowledge is part of ME. Some have it).

Comment: Re:miscreation (Score 1) 320

by Catbeller (#48668597) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

The crap was in the LOTR appendices. Tolkien just never had time enough to fill in the blanks. Christopher won't let Jackson have the other books, but the story Jackson told IS what happened off-screen, as it were, in the Hobbit book. Galdalf went off mysteriously, met with the White Council, got imprisoned, went after Sauron with the others and drove him out of his body (again). He interacted with a lot of people off-book, and Tolkien wrote a history documenting it. There are other creatures under the ground than Tolkien listed - practically an infinite number left over from when Ea was a void- inumerable other sentient species and far-off lands and continents. I was happy to see a little fill - there's so much room to grow the world. Doesn't make the movie bad, unless you think the Hobbit was bad, which it kinda was, as a novel, being a child's story. The Battle of Five Armies *was* that vicious - Tolkien simply Knocked Out the Protaganist and moved the story past the hero, keeping the violence down. ME wasn't a bonnie bucholic place, not at all.

Comment: Tolkien would have changed the story if he could (Score 1) 320

by Catbeller (#48668521) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Tolkien wrote the Hobbit for small children. Twee in tone - the dwarves had green, and yellow, and blue beards, for instance. In his short piece, A Meeting in Erebor (adapted into the movie!), he had Gandalf and Aragorn meet at the Pony, I think, and they discussed dark and grave matters in an adult tone, setting the Hobbit events up for the LOTR. Had Tolkien not had a day job, he'd probably had rewritten the Hobbit to bring in in line with the LOTR and the older stories.

Jackson had the appendices of the LOTR to work with, but nothing else from the Simarillion or Untold Tales, because the Tolkien estate doesn't like what he did. Perhaps that was shooting themselves in their own feet, as he had little story material and so had to make up filler.

Do recall that the Hobbit, as a story, is rather thin.

C for yourself.