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Comment Save an hour? (Score 1) 525 525

Right in line with my sig, I guess. How far do you have to drive to "save an hour" by going 85 mph instead of 75 mph? I get 637.5 miles (8.5 hours at 75, 7.5 at 85). That's about the distance from Helena (Montana's capital) to Bismarck, ND, purely on interstate highways. Bozeman is less than a hundred miles from Helena; that's over three round-trips a day to save an hour.

Perhaps two quotes got conflated, though; a round-trip out to the northeast of the state, where there might be Bakken shale work sites, could save an hour. Of course, that means you drove all day just to get back to Helena. No wonder we need that frackin' shale oil so badly.

Comment Re:Living Together (Score 1) 447 447

A few other questions that went unasked (and I went to the actual study, not the blog-post summary): Length of engagement; pre-marital sexual relations; and parental marital status. My wife and I got engaged only six months after our first date, and only about three months after our second, but we were engaged nearly two years. Her parents are still married, and mine were married until my mother died a year ago. Both of my brothers are also still happily married (hers are still single, never married, but not necessarily for lack of trying). We celebrated our twenty-third anniversary this past spring.

Comment Re:And many, many more (Score 2) 942 942

To respond to just two of your straw men (three bullet points): Do you really think changing to metric means we'll stop using d/m/y dates? And for liquids, I've been buying 2L bottles for decades now, and you don't order "0.28L," you order (in Germany/Åustria) "kleine" (0.3L) or "grosse" (0.5L).

Comment Re:How to write code (Score 2) 548 548

Oh, yeah, that "someone smarter than you" is often future you! OTOH, I also get to look at the occasional bit of code I wrote ten years ago and think, "Well done, young padawan" (although maybe that means I haven't learned enough yet to know a better way).

Comment How to write code (Score 4, Insightful) 548 548

Write like someone smarter than you will have to fix it ("Who wrote this crap? At least I can tell why he or she did that."), and like someone dumber than you will be adding features ("Bless him or her for making this easy."). You'll be both eventually.

Comment Re:Chess (Score 1) 274 274

I played a lot of bridge in college & grad school, but then only read about clubs playing in the middle of the day. Just six weeks ago, I found a local club that has evening games, and I'm getting back into the groove after two decades of playing only bad contract bridge every other year when Christmas was at my parents' house.

Check for local bridge clubs where you are; they love to have younger players, and most are happy to accommodate singletons until they find a regular partner.

Comment Re:Density (Score 2) 78 78

Yeah, I was bothered by that, too. 8.5x11 paper is 603.22 cm^2, so we can fit roughly 6032200 100 micron^2 on the sheet, or about 736KB. Now, if it's really 75 microns on a side, the density goes up by 16/9 to 1309KB. Maybe they're leaving a margin? TFA gives the "100 micron" and "1MB" values, so it's not the poster but probably the reporter who made the mistake.

Comment Re:How is this remarkable? (Score 1) 467 467

This is pretty much what I was going to say. The other 44% apparently either can't live within their means or can't do the math of simple compound interest.

I'm not even a particularly well-paid developer, and my wife and I are about 80% of the way there (in our retirement accounts) after not quite twenty years of saving.

Comment Re:No shit, Sherlock (Score 1) 135 135

Perhaps it is not just the scientists, but the university administrators and those (legislators, for state schools) who hold the purse strings, who believe that the only credible source of research funding must be the federal government. Then they look at the humanities faculty and ask, "Why aren't you paying for your own research with federal grants? It must not be of benefit to anyone."

Submission + - Fruit Flies are Better Than You at Calculus

DudeTheMath writes: Cornell University scientists studied how fruit flies respond to flight disturbances (instead of wind gusts, they used carefully controlled magnetic pulses) and found that the flies recover in as little as three wing beats (at 250 per second) by doing some kind of calculus in a little "integrated circuit" of neurons that control the wings directly. The pitch and yaw results are already published, and the roll study is forthcoming. (NYT, partial paywall, autoplay of fly that starts with a car ad.)

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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