Being precise about terminology can help a discussion, especially when words have specific legal definitions. A major problem with immigration discussions is that people use terms incorrectly and don't make important distinctions. People don't understand the differences between asylum seekers, refugees, the many different kinds of work visa holders, and so on, and they don't understand the criteria for entry or the entitlements for each category, so they form opinions based on misinformation.
Grading is not, or should not be, about the grade, it should be about the feedback that the lecturer gives to the student. Even if the computer can grade an essay well (which I remain to be convinced of, although I am sure I will soon have the chance to test it for myself), there is no claim made about the computer giving useful advice to the student. Can a computer explain how to refine a research question or structure an argument? Sadly, many lecturers don't in fact give good feedback, but we should be looking for ways to enable lecturers to give better feedback, not accepting poor feedback as the norm.
With Russia embracing democracy, more or less
I'm going with "less"
there are very few observable physical phenomena that we cannot currently explain.
95% of the universe is made up of "dark" matter and "dark" energy -- we don't know what they are, but we know there must be something there because we can see gravitational influence on "real" matter and energy. It would surprise me if that 95% region of the universe were perfectly uniform, featureless, and uninteresting. Once we figure out how to observe it, we may find quite a few more phenomena worth exploring!
For most of biology, we haven't yet been able to create numerical models. There are a huge number of variables, interactions, and feedback loops, and frankly we don't even fully understand how many biological processes work, so creating mathematical models is very difficult. But this is sure to be a productive area of research so any young computer geeks with an appetite for the squishy science should take note!
The protesters are not the problem. The protesters are the symptom. Fighting the symptom doesn't solve the problem.
This. This this this this this. This!
Why do we still put a mandate of "liquid water" in the hospitable zone requirement?
It's not a "mandate", but it's a way of identifying the first and most likely places to look, for two reasons:
1) Water is necessary for "life as we know it", and we have a good idea of some indicators of life-as-we-know-it that we could observe at a great distance. We have no clue how to recognise life-as-we-DON'T-know-it from a great distance, we just don't know what to look for.
2) There is actually good reason to think that there is a high probability that alien life might be based on the same chemistry as life on Earth. Life on Earth is mostly made of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, which are also three of the four most common elements in the whole universe -- the fourth being helium, which doesn't react with anything so doesn't make any interesting chemistry. And out of all of the elements on the periodic table, carbon forms more compounds than all of the other elements combined. So our biology is based on the most common and most readily-combining elements in the universe, which suggests that we are unlikely to be unique.
There is no such thing as "accent-free". We all speak with an accent, the accent of the place where we learned our language. You may think your way of speaking is "normal" and everyone else's as "different", but you are not the center of the linguistic universe; it is all relative. People from other places can hear your accent and can probably tell where you grew up by listening to you.
I suspect that discrimination on the basis of accent would probably violate the civil rights of U.S. citizens to travel freely and work in any state in the USA. You can't discriminate against someone just because they sound like they are from Boston, Brooklyn, or Charleston.
Neil deGrasse Tyson makes some interesting points in relation to this: (1) The five most common elements in the solar system are hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. (2) Of all the elements, the one that makes the most compounds is carbon -- there are more compounds containing carbon than all other compounds of all of the other elements combined. (3) Life on Earth is made mostly of H, O, C, N, plus some trace elements, and is based on C. ("Organic chemistry" means the chemistry of carbon compounds.)
In other words, we are made out of the most common available materials (discounting helium which doesn't react with anything so doesn't produce interesting chemistry), including the element that produces the most complex and varied chemistry. So if you are looking for complex chemistry (i.e. life) elsewhere in the galaxy, it actually does seem to be a reasonable starting point to expect that it is fairly likely to also be based on the most common elements available, and on the element that produces the most complex and diverse chemistry.
Do we expect to send colonists on a one-way trip that takes most of their lifetime?
Why not? In human history, people have set out on one-way trips countless times. European colonists coming to the Americas never expected to return. Colonists heading west across the Great Plains of the USA never expected to return. People are absolutely willing to uproot themselves and head out on daring expeditions with uncertain results and no expectation of return.
And don't forget another effect: a spaceship launched later, but developed with better technology, can overtake a spaceship that flew earlier and slower. It would be pretty sad for a crew of an earlier ship to arrive and find a colony that is established by humans decades ago.
But you have to build that first spaceship anyway, because if you don't, then you never develop the technology to build the second, faster one. The Wright brothers' first airplane only flew 852 feet, which is pretty lame compared with what we have now, but they had to build that one so that they could figure out how to build Flyer II and then III, and so on until we have Airbuses. But you cannot jump directly to building an Airbus without first building the Wright Flyer.
Must I rely on Google searchs and Wikipedia for all my answers?
Safer to rely on Google and Wikipedia for all of your answers than to rely on Slashdot for any of them!
Not quite the first thing you put in your constitution, actually; I think you are probably referring to the first amendment to your constitution, i.e. the first thing you changed in it.
You know what, in the UK for about 20 years the Liberal Democrats were a joke party.
They were a non-joke for a brief period this year during the campaign, from the first television debate until election day. Now that they have gotten into bed with the Tories and abandoned all of their pledges and principles for a taste of power, they are once again a joke.
Everything takes longer and costs more than you think, even when you take into account the fact that it will take longer and cost more than you think.
640k and 32 bits *were* wayyyy overboard. But exponential growth will make fools of us all.
Sorry, I have to disagree. It is NOT good to see that it's not only cops in the US that are douches.