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Comment Re:In A World ... (Score 1) 503

Oddly enough, that reminds me of my college days ...

Ripple flashback.

Subtitle: Lincoln, Nebraska: 1984

My best friend was an EE major. Every Sunday, he, two other buddies, and I would get together to play cards and smoke really cheap cigars.

Both of the other two friends were nuts. They lived across the alley from the local Salvation Army, where they'd go dumpster-diving.

That's right: they would go looking for crap that not even the Salvation Army could re-sell.

Well, one day they found a pair of huge concert speakers that were inoperable save for the very large magnets in them. The one crazy guy placed one magnet at the head of his bed and the other at the foot. He believed this would "align the minerals in his body."

He also found an old ruined lamp. He cut the electrical cord from it, stripped the ends of the wires, and would occasionally plug it into the wall outlet and grab the exposed ends. He'd hang on as long as he could because he thought he could "align the vitamins in his body" via 120V alternating current.

We called it "home electroshock therapy."

Then there was the other guy, the first one's roommate. He thought he controlled the weather and streetlights with his mind.

Well, one night there was a tornado. The first friend, the EE major, happened to be on his bike when it hit and had to dive for the nearest ditch. He emerged unscathed, but he was really rattled for a week after. I think it was one of those moments we all have when we realize we're not immortal after all.

So the crazy dude who thought he controlled the weather was going on about how he'd created the storm and its accompanying tornado. He was all excited about it, going on about how he was standing in his front yard making all this stuff happen.

The EE major finally said:

"Tim, you've got to stop playing God like that! I was almost killed!"

The crazy friend was taken aback, then apologized profusely. We never attempted to correct him because we were too busy laughing our asses off behind his back.

I hear that he found religion later in life, and considers his previous use of his "gifts" as Satanic. He consequently does not attempt to control streetlights not the weather any more.

I guess if you're crazy ... hey, whatever works. :)

Comment Re:In A World ... (Score 1) 503

As the OP mentions, there is absolutely no medical evidence that electronic devices are in any way harmful.

Anyone "suffering" from this "syndrome" is nothing but a hypochondriac with no scientific knowledge whatsoever.

If they had any scientific knowledge, they'd know that just radiation from natural sources (such as the Sun or the Earth's magnetic field) floods them with more EM in an hour than humans could generate in a lifetime.

Well, unless you had access to, say, an unshielded particle accelerator ...

Comment In A World ... (Score 1) 503

... where people think common, everyday contrails are the government spraying all of North America with chemicals, why should anyone be surprised when someone believes more BS?

The truly tragic part is that whatever this girl had, it wouldn't have been treated had you put her inside a Faraday Cage.

You know, maybe I should develop a portable Faraday Cage. It would need to be collapsible and a little larger than a person sitting when deployed. Then, when deployed, it would cover a person sitting in their seat, with special arm holes.

I could make a mint off the tinfoil hat types.

Comment Re:In My Case ... (Score 1) 400

Y'all don't understand how anxiety disorders work:

When we go off our meds, it doesn't turn us into murderous psychopaths. It makes us curl up into a ball and try not to scream for days at a time.

When I said, "go to pieces so fast people would be killed by the shrapnel," I was quoting Ford Prefect. He was talking about Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy

Jeez, you people need some geek cred.

Comment In My Case ... (Score 5, Interesting) 400

In my particular case, I first learned I was on a terrorist watch list in 2004, when I renewed my drivers' license.

The lady at DMV informed me of it, and said there would be an additional three-week wait for my license while they did a background check on me.

Ever since, every time I've flown, I've been pulled aside for additional searches and questioning,

The fun part is that there's no way to get off the list. I've now have three Congressman and a Senator from two different States tell me this.

The really infuriating part is that I suffer from an anxiety disorder. The only danger to those around me is if I go off my meds and then fly to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel.

Comment Why Would Advanced Civilizations Emit Anything? (Score 1) 365

I consider any of these types of studies to have faulty logic.

Humans have only been creating electromagnetic signals for about a century. None of them make it to Alpha Centauri, four light-years away. There isn't a radio transmitter with the power.

Furthermore, as we enter an age in which we live largely in virtual worlds of our own design, strong radio emissions (radio, TV) are decreasing. Sure, there's plenty of wifi, but we all know that signal won't make it more than a couple of blocks, let alone four light-years.

Perhaps it's that I'm in the field, but it seems to me that we're ultimately headed for a world in which human consciousnesses are housed in something we would not today recognize as a machine.

If other civilizations followed our same path (i.e. trapped by the speed of light within our own solar system), then their radio emissions would never be detected. They'd also be fairly short-lived -- a couple of centuries at best.

Once you're a "download" (for lack of a better word) and living your life entirely in virtual worlds that only interface with the real world for power and maintenance, why would you broadcast anything?

In short: these types of approaches assume that civilizations emit greater energy and detectable emissions the older the civilization is. I suspect the reverse is true: the older the civilization, the less it emits.

Comment Re:LibreOrifice - GAY NIGGERS Endorse LibreOrifice (Score 1) 254

What the frak is this?

Ok, I recognize the GNAA trolling group, but the rest ...

Anonymous Coward, please, in the name of Ghu's Holy Purple Robes, learn two basic things:

  1. Learn to use paragraphs.
  2. Learn grammar. Any grammar. I'd take French grammar, if you know it

Oh, and one other suggestion:

Seek psychological help. Now.

Comment Re:Yeerks (Score 1) 167

Lawmakers at the Federal level have not upheld their Oaths of Office for over a century. That includes every President, Senator, and Congressman in my lifetime -- Rand and Ron Paul excluded.

The Constitution is a joke no longer worth the parchment on which it's written. It ceased to be of any relevance a century ago. It's a figurehead, like the Queen of England.

There is no point in discussing Constitutonality. The Constitution is wholly and utterly irrelevant.

We live in a growing Police State. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. Nothing.

The only thing left to us now is simply react to the tyranny and protect ourselves as much as possible,

Get used to bending your knee. The United States as conceived is gone and will never return.

Comment Re:Real Science Is No Longer In the Academic Lab (Score 1) 444

But the kind of science you want is also not occurring in academic labs. It will never again occur in academic labs, because academics has been undermined by the multiple generations of decreasingly literate students.

For details of the long-term problem, see The Happy Days Ahead by Robert A. Heinlein.

(One thing to keep in mind about Heinlein: he was a compulsive newspaper-clipper. That is to say that he would clip newspaper articles about a subject and file them away. By the time he wrote The Happy Days Ahead, he had about 50 years' newspaper clippings on the subject. He could cite long-term trends in education, with the decades of clippings to back it up.)

Comment Re:Real Science Is No Longer In the Academic Lab (Score 2) 444

No, they were illiterate in the truest sense of the word.

I had students who were unaware that books have page numbers. That's how frequently they cracked a book during twelve years of compulsory education:

I.e., never.

They couldn't read the textbooks. They couldn't read my PowerPoint presentations. They were incapable of following lab manuals -- a complete killer if you're in a systems or network administration class. They detested typing and would not accept my assertion that it's a key skill, one that they'll use continuously in the field.

No, sadly, they are simply illiterate,

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