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Comment: Well it makes sense, sorta... (Score 1) 692

by DarthVain (#49594089) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

If you believe that some thinking being actively and purposefully constructed the Earth, it isn't that much of a real leap to presume they might not like us trashing the place...

Also he could really just play the Pope card. He is the voice of God on Earth right?

"I was recently talking to God just the other day and he mentioned to me that as it turns out Climate Change is real, and that we are the ones causing it! So there!"

Comment: conflict of interest (Score 2) 109

They can have all the secret talks they like so long as there is no conflict of interest.

I find it hard to believe however that their isn't a conflict of interest when you have the Minister in change of copyright (Minister of Heritage or something or other, which I don't even fathom how they are in change of copyright in the first place) whole election campaign is/was predominantly funded by big media. How is that not a conflict of interest. They'll come out and say they were not influenced, and that they always believed in whatever bunk they are selling that day. It is a ridiculous farce.

Comment: Re:Bullets are OK, but... (Score 1) 245

by DarthVain (#49576481) Attached to: Breakthough Makes Transparent Aluminum Affordable

"imaginary airplane"

I always liked the version of the Avengers that had everyone think Thor was nuts. That he was just some "normal" superhero, with the delusion that he was a God. Suuuurrrreeee you're the god of thunder there guy... going off to, where was that again, Azguard?

I like to think of Wonderwoman as a bit unstable, and just a superhero that can fly. I don't really know the canon, but wtf did she get an invisible airplane anyway? Did they have a lot of invisible aerospace engineers on the Amazon island that built swords and spears in their off hours? Anyway I like to think the other superheros were like; Yeeeaaahhh, you just get into your invisible plane there Dianne if that makes you feel better about flying and everything... You got some invisible engineers maintaining that thing, I hope all that invisible fuel is topped up...

Comment: He shouldn't have to "fail" anyone. (Score 1) 353

by DarthVain (#49576389) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

It sounds more like the fault of the university not enforcing academic discipline. The fact that it seems for a while it was known that students were cheating, and they were not suspended. It seems they were abusive and not suspended. It seems they were threatening and not suspended. I mean the university posted security? Ridiculous. Kick the students out of program. There is no fail if they are not in the program, or not in the university at all anymore. It is certainly not the fault of the professor. The students who didn't get suspended or kicked out could then finish the class. The only fault I see, is it seems rather unlikely that ALL the students were at fault, so failing everyone seems a bit unfair of the professor.

While not the same thing I've been in classes that were, let us say very hard. I started in a CS 300 level class which I think was "Unix Programming" with about 40-45 students. At the end of it, there were exactly 6 of us who passed the course. The rest dropped out or failed. I think I was #6 and probably only passed on a curve or something. I know there was some student complains about that class. At the same time the professor I think was pretty frustrated with us dumb students. Though I think the fault was somewhere between. It probably should have either been a full course rather than a half, or two halves with one being the pre-requisite for the other. There was just a lot of material to cover, so we probably went over everything rather fast. Also unlike a lot of other courses, we pretty much had to use the facilities to do all the work, which meant going into a computer lab that you didn't always have access to. In many cases it might have been some peoples first introduction to Unix as well which wasn't really fair. It wasn't something that you could do on your own (I don't believe the facilities had remote access either at the time). Anyway it did certainly separate the dedicated to those that were not. Though I know some dropped it simply because they didn't want the low mark affecting their overall average...

Another more funny story, is I had a geography 101 prof yell at his entire class of probably 200 after the first exam. One of the questions was "What is the title of your textbook?" Apparently most people in the class got it wrong (can't remember if I did or not). He seriously threw a fit and stormed out calling us the dumbest class he had ever had! Anyway I could argue that the title of a textbook has exactly nothing to do with geography or any geographical content, so I think he was a bit off base. Why the hell would anyone study that? Other than maybe remembering it because you have seen it so many times.

Profs can be weird people also and stubborn. I had one weirdo on joining his class late (because I dropped another) had to hand in a paper the day I join, which obviously I couldn't. I asked for some time to complete the assignment so I didn't just get a zero (otherwise why let me transfer in?). He refused. Said it wasn't fair to the rest, and suggested I get a petition together and if all the other students signed it he would consider it. So that is what I did the first week or so, when the lecture was over I would stand outside the door and got people to sign the petition. I got the whole class to sign. I presented it to him, and I don't think he remembered it at all. Anyway he just said fine, delegated it to a TA, who I gave an oral presentation to at their house (which was kind of weird), and got a mark for it in the end. It was for some weirdo CS lite course like Cyberspace or Artificial Life or something...

Comment: 2 is not enough (Score 1) 299

My work laptop only has two, and I find that is not enough. Typically I need a USB stick for my data files (shared laptop), and one for my mouse. That doesn't leave any for anything else. Probably only really need one, but they usually come in pairs, thus 4 would be idea. If you really need more than that, get a hub or something.

Comment: Fat Smat! (Score 1) 629

by DarthVain (#49572379) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

I do that.

However I am not doing it to lower caloric intake or because I am trying to watch my weight.

Bottom line is too much refined sugar is probably the worst thing for you. I'll eat as much fat and salt as I want, and not be as concerned. Avoiding the 100g of pure refined sugar that is in that drink is why I do it.

Avoiding sugar can be awfully hard to do in a lot of products. Opting for a Diet Coke or whatever is an easy way.

Mind you I put sugar in my coffee, I'm not a savage. I try to avoid it as best I can otherwise.

Comment: Wrong. (Score 1) 480

Only three big questions:
1) Is the process net positive? From acquisition of CO and Water, to whatever process is used to arrive at the end result.Otherwise pointless.
2) COST. If 160 liters cost 10000$ it is going to be pretty pointless.
3) Scale-ability. So far they are talking 1 barrel of oil a day. Consumption is in the Millions. Is that reasonable or even feasible? Otherwise of little impact.

There have been a number of alternatives to oil thrown out there over the last number of years. How efficient is only a small part of the problem. It can be the most efficient process in the world, but if it costs too much, or can't be replicated in any amount that matters, it just isn't that useful. (other than perhaps R&D which may lead somewhere that is)

For reference:

Germany consumes about 2.4 Million barrels of oil a day... The world is about 90 Million.

Comment: Standards (Score 1) 352

by DarthVain (#49570385) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

Different example here from my point of view. I know many liberal people poo poo making everything standard, and having schools more flexible and whatnot. However when I went to school, my school didn't have a calculus class. It did not exist (it did several years after I graduated, but that is of little help). Upon graduation I wanted to go into University for Computer Science. One of the prerequisites for the degree of course was Calculus 101, which in all cases assumes you took calculus in high school. Some university's wouldn't even let me major in it without it, and suggested that I start as a General Science major and switch over eventually. One school allowed for an equivalency test. Which I took. Guess how well a calculus test goes when you've never taken calculus? Not good. I found a university that didn't require the test, and went there. I tried taking Calculus 101. Well you can imagine how that turned out with zero education in it previously... I ended up dropping it. Fortunately the higher level mathematics classes I needed to take didn't have Calculus 101 as a requirement, so for the time being I skipped it and took those. So I'm taking things like advanced statistics and binary algebra prior to Calculus 101. However I need it eventually for my degree. I even went and took a post university college degree from a partner school. In the end, I took it in my 5th year. I was by far the oldest guy in the class despite being a year younger than everyone when I was initially admitted. I tried very hard, which isn't something I really had to do a whole lot of in school. I went for extra help from the professor constantly (who I am sure was just as frustrated with me, as I was with calculus). I got help from others. I passed with a 55%, which was enough to graduate with my degree. To this day I am not sure how, and I can only conclude that the professor (who was a younger woman, probably not so long divorced from her own graduation) felt sympathy for me, knew that I couldn't graduate with my degree without it, and felt sorry enough for me to say well he tried really hard, so I'll give him a pass so he can get out of here. I got a job in my field a couple weeks after final exams, and have been at it for 15 years now. Fortunately for everyone involved I have not ever had to actually use calculus... :)

Anyway, long story short. All that struggle could probably been simply avoided had that course been a core standard at every school. So if you kid has special needs, great. If you or your kid wants to go a specific direction early, also great. However please at least offer the standard courses that might be required should a student want to advance though higher education.

Comment: Fix the real issues. (Score 1) 352

by DarthVain (#49570115) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

Education professionals already get well paid, and attract good folks. I know lots of teachers. The problem is not with the teachers, or the system, but rather with the larger issues of the day. Namely that of jobs. Why should a kid be motivated in school, if getting your high school degree is rather meaningless. Used to be if you got your diploma, you could still use it to get a good job in manufacturing. As we all know, those have largely been outsourced. It also used to be if you did well in high school, you could get into a good college, which would lead to gainful employment. Now however you have tons of unemployed people with degrees, or having a degree and driving a taxi. Why put yourself into massive debt for that, or try hard in school to obtain that opportunity. Again in some sectors, this is largely due to outsourcing.

Even the Trades, so long as you finish your high school, go into technical college this was a safe bet. However very generally speaking your big trades like construction, plumbing, electrical, are largely dependent on housing. With the housing market crash, and influx of immigrant and migrant work in those sectors, there is only so much demand.

Then you have the education mills. Basically fake colleges that give meaningless degrees (and hope), when all they are doing is gaming the US student loan program for profit. They accept EVERYONE. Doing well in high school doesn't matter at all. All they want is to get you enrolled in the student loan program which insures they make massive profits with aren't subject to non-payment.

On top of that you have a culture that doesn't really endorse education and science as something worthwhile.

So fix the inherent problems with barriers to employment based on education and the culture that glorifies get rich quick schemes, and encourage a culture of hard work and education (no small task I am aware). Then fix corrupt politicians from taking large contributions to their campaigns from the education mills that are really just bleeding the student loan program for profit (I'm sure that will be easy). Do those things and you instantly fix whatever "failure" that is perceived of the education system as students will want to do well rather than be ambivalent about the whole affair.

My favorite example of this is comic book superheros. If you look at most of the superheros that were created back in the day, how many of them were scientists? Who are your heroes today?

Anyway as a result I think the "system" will be somewhat broken for the foreseeable future baring some pretty drastic changes that really have little to do with the education "system" itself.

Comment: Hate the game, not the player... (Score 1) 352

by DarthVain (#49569797) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

I think (without any citation) that the number of kids that care about getting into good colleges is smaller. I think the rise of the corporate fake college mill has more kids simply starting their debt slavery sooner. I'm not sure I'd blame either of these things on the school system or teachers however. In the US I see it more of a failing of government to enact regulation from preventing educational corporations from taking advantage of the student loan system, and generally a culture that encourages other things to be seen as more desirable than education and science. Also with the glut of unemployed folks with college degrees many kids probably fail to really see much value in college anymore, which largely has to do with globalization and offshoring jobs to overseas. So in summery, one could look at the "failure" of the school system in that why should a student try hard in school, if getting into college is meaningless. Fix the larger inherent problems regarding barriers for those with college degrees to get a job, you will get more demand for good college degrees, and more kids who *want* to do well in school (and parents who encourage them to do so), and you "fix" the school system. It is the larger more connected system that is broken, not the schools or the teachers.

Comment: Drug Addicts (Score 1) 104

by DarthVain (#49569371) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Maybe in the Winter they are jonesing for a fix that they leave to find it despite it being winter, and as a result die. Due to all the bees leaving, the hive becomes unsustainable. It could also be that I think bees also provide warmth, if enough leave the rest just freeze to death.

Drug users from an external observation point of view do all sorts of crazy things to try and get their next fix, particularly when their supply or their ability to get it (money) runs out. Could be as simple as that.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.