I also think the idea that you deserve respect for your bigotry because it's based on religion is preposterous. Being born in the 18th century is a good excuse for being a homophobe - being a mormon isn't.
I expect less than half of those who have learned to write are actually able to do so.
Wait a minute, how did you come up with this figure? If you can't write an actual letter that is sufficiently intelligible to serve a simple purpose, then by any reasonable definition you can't write. Are you saying half the people who have learnt how to write have since forgotten it, or that they have a level of writing that isn't even sufficient to compose a letter? I don't buy that. If you've learnt how to write, you can write a simple letter.
This isn't off topic either, because the analogy carries over to programming. If you've learnt how to program once, then you can probably use that skill for simple tasks like writing VBA macros for Excel. It doesn't matter if you don't know the exact syntax - you can always search the web for that - but the basic knowledge of variables, formulas, loops, how code is executed line by line, how to step through the function to debug and so on, that's something that far more people than actual programmers can use. I should know - I'm not a programmer and I wouldn't know how to write a standalone program that could do anything remotely useful, but I do save a lot of work every day with my custom-written macros.
In my eyes this fact, if it gets confirmed by subsequent studies, is the biggest discovery about the universe since the theory of relativity. When I grew up I was taught there were 9 planets in orbit around the sun, and the existence of (or at least abundance of) exoplanets where largely speculative, with the first observations just being confirmed during the 90's. When my kids grow up they'll be taught there are thousands of exoplanets in our very vicinity and millions in the galaxy. And there are free-floating bodies as well, rouge planets that are not gravitationally bound to a star! How cool isn't that? To top it all, we will soon have instruments sensitive enough to measure the very spectrum of an exoplanet atmosphere and look for biosignatures. If it finds free oxygen and methane, that's a very strong indication of life as we know it. (Since oxygen is highly reactive, it tends to show up in compounds such as carbon or silicon dioxide. Biologic activity is one possible supply of free oxygen.) The search for extra-terrestrial life, long belonging to the realm of science fiction, has turned to a serious and highly active field of research in just a few years.
Because if we save that botle of milk long enough, it won't be worth drinking.
And that, in this case, would be the best thing that could happen.
- Defamation. If you maliciously spread false rumours about someone, that constitutes a crime in many jurisdictions.
- Perjury. You're not allowed to lie under oath.
- Causing danger to others (not sure about the English term for this). It might be illigal to shout "fire" in a theatre, to take a classic example.
To uphold free speech we must protect it from abuse. As long as the wording of the law is clear and precise and proper trials are held, I think laws like these are acceptable. Online bullying and harassing are big problems today, so you need to see both sides of the coin. If you're making life a living hell for someone and constantly send them harassing text messages or slander them on Facebook, you can't expect to hide behind free speech.
Note that I still strongly disagree with any kind of law that tries to limit free speech that's being "offending". That's bad for two reasons: 1) What's offending is different to different people and 2) it can be used all too easily to silence inconvenient voices.
What makes you think the car was a "bad example"?
Something like this perhaps? http://newcovermagazine.com/2010/08/23/going-no-were-chinese-traffic-jam-enters-9th-day/
This also applies to grownups. I play floorball once a week with my colleagues (a simple game played indoors with a plastic ball and clubs, sort of like field hockey, big in Sweden and Finland). All of us probably tried first it in PT classes in school, and it's highly unlikely we'd do it if we hadn't tried it before and realized it was fun. That's how you usually develop an interest for something - you try it once, decide it's fun, and start exploring the possibilities of doing it more regularly. With obesity rising in the world, more grownups being physically active can only be a good thing.
Explanation: Someone else's computer.
The Earth is also not a thermodynamically closed system, precisely because you cannot ignore sunlight and thermal radiation in the equation (this is, in part, what climate science is about). You also have things like meteorite bombardment and gas losses from the atmosphere into space that prevents the Earth from being a closed system.