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Comment: Re:The official Russian position: (Score 2) 115

by Luckyo (#49364407) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

Out of interest, what do you then call US leaders who reacted the way they reacted and continue to act when Castro took power in Cuba in an overthrow of massively unpopular US-supported dictatorship then? Or when he took USSR nuclear missiles?

That country didn't even have direct ground access to US, nor had been used as staging ground for assault on US heartland several times before in the history. Let me remind you of an obvious fact: all countries do things that Russia does and much worse when they feel their survival is threatened.

The best part is that you're massively anti-democratic with that statement - overwhelming majority of Russian people specifically support the current policy of Russia. Not the leader but his policy. Even pro-Western organisations doing polling in Russia are in full agreement with this. How would you feel about comparing US leaders to North Korean ones in terms of "sanity"? Because one could easily make the point that they are far more crazy. Whereas North Korean leaders are quite logical in their actions being driven by survival of their dictatorship in their country, US leaders are often driven by severely conflicting interests that end up hurting the country itself as they feud with one another.

Please remind yourself that "insanity" and "not being pro-Western" are only synonyms in propaganda.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 211

by ultranova (#49364229) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "alter orbital structure and energy levels"?

I mean part of the electrostatic attraction between atomic nucleus and orbiting electrons should be countered by expansion of space between them, which in turn affects stable electron orbits. In fact all forces should get weaker with distance faster in an expanding space than in flat space.

Electromagnetic force is mediated by virtual photons, who's wavelength gets longer as space expands, thus sapping electromagnetism of some of its native strength and somewhat altering the lowest-energy point of all structures held together by it.

Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 64

by ultranova (#49364033) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

I was a little confused when I saw that wording in the story, and now that I'm hearing this wording is the important part, I'm getting a little concerned. Are we not all citizens? Have we been divided into citizens and ruling class, now?

We've always been divided into serfs and lords. Human spirit simply doesn't have the strength to resist using power to get more. The lords, blinded by the seeming invincibility of their position and the system which grants it then end up draining that very system to the point of collapse and revolution, and the cycle repeats.

Whether it can be broken is anyone's guess. Democracy has slowed and complicated the gravitational collapse of current system somewhat, but it couldn't alter the end result, since all manifestations of power in our societies are not under democratic control, and are thus free to join biggest existing masses of power and make them even bigger.

I'm all for popularizing science among all citizens, but I'd rather we word that as "science for the masses" or something.

That very desire should already answer your question. As our masters keep telling us: if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.

Comment: Re:Occums Razor (Score 1) 211

by dbIII (#49363813) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

My propeller beanie comment was directed at people that rejected the notion out of hand without even considering the issue.

Is that where you want to shift the goalposts? Then apply at least a grade school level of English and make it clear that a blanket insult is not meant to be a blanket insult when you make it then.
Poor little boy can dish it out but not take even a mild rebuke. How do we stop churning these entitled losers out?

Comment: Re:OMG america is stupid (Score 1) 158

by dbIII (#49363745) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

who is often caught saying things like "from my cold dead hand"

Likely to be hot burning hands. An ex-army guy I know who got to play with military flamethrowers before training on them became limited noted that they are tempremental things that don't just roast the thing you are pointing them at unless you are out in the open on a perfectly calm day. Such weapons are "on the backburner" due to it being a real bitch if the bad guys have them, it looking really bad in the press to roast kiddies with them and difficulties in operating them without burning your own guys located anywhere near the operator.

Comment: Re:definitions (Score 1) 158

by dbIII (#49363737) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded
I've got a couple of relatives missing a few fingers each from playing with relatively low powered things that go bang, and a friend who got really bad burns from a plastic bag and candle balloon. Meanwhile an uncle who stole cordite and picric acid from an army dump, who made his own gun cotton and made his own toy cannon got away with just causing a bit of property damage.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the USA (Score 1) 158

by schnell (#49363535) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

What was Churchill trying to communicate with Dresden?

I understand this comment is actually a rhetorical question to comment on the morality of the Allies in the Dresden firebombing. (BTW, Dresden was never intended to be "Dresden." It was an area bombing with incendiaries and was thus expected to cause indiscriminate damage to civilians alongside the military targets; but nobody involved had any clue it would turn out to be the indescribable charnel house it became.)

But in case anyone is interested in the actual question for purposes of historical context: there was a putative purpose for the Dresden bombing, and two actual audiences that were supposed to receive different messages.

  • The purported message of Dresden to the world was "Dresden has some military targets of benefit to the Wehrmacht, and we will show you that the Allies can always find and destroy them. This is part of an ongoing program where we will continue to find and destroy everything in Germany that has any military value. Please understand how fucked you are and save lives by surrendering."
  • The actual intended message of Dresden to Germany's leadership was "Yeah, you have figured out that our bombers can't attack from a safe altitude and hit the broad side of a barn. But that doesn't mean we will just give up. Instead, we can and will fuck your cities up to the maximum imaginable degree by bombing far and wide, even though we know lots of civilians will die. We claim that's against our principles, but you know what, Hitler? Given what you have done so far, we are not going to lose any sleep over any collateral damage in order to get you, so please leave some Earl Grey in Berchtesgaden for us."
  • The third message was from "Bomber Harris" and the RAF to SHAEF and Churchill - "Look, we are doing stuff to Germany that is visible and makes Allied civilians feel like Germans are feeling the pain of retribution. Oh, and by the way, look what a great job we're doing so after the war we should be a Very Important Branch of the Military." This, by the way, was pretty much the exact same message that Curtis LeMay's firebombings of Japan were intended to deliver to Roosevelt and then Truman.

Comment: Re:Occums Razor (Score 1) 211

by dbIII (#49363497) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected
So it's OK for you to dish it out to the 'propellerheads", or climate scientists, or like you did to me earlier but it's not OK for it to be dished out in your direction when it's a criticism of your insults?
Yet another reason we should find out what's wrong with your upbringing and make sure the next generation doesn't get subjected to the same mistakes.

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 0) 237

by dbIII (#49363477) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

The prosecutor did anyway because he wanted to stick The Bad Guys with something.

People who believe in the rule of law instead of Chinese or Soviet style "might make right" and like that - they see someone break a law and they don't want them to get away with it. That pardon sure showed them didn't it?

and leaked the name by mistake

I'm offended that you think I or any unfortunate readers who read your words are gullible enough to believe it.

Comment: Re:It's quite simple really... (Score 1) 143

by dbIII (#49363453) Attached to: UK Licensing Site Requires MSIE Emulation, But Won't Work With MSIE
Stanisaw Lem (
He was so prolific that in 1974 Phillip K. Dick wrote a letter to the FBI containing the following:

For an Iron Curtain Party group - Lem is probably a composite committee rather than an individual, since he writes in several styles and sometimes reads foreign, to him, languages and sometimes does not - to gain monopoly positions of power from which they can control opinion through criticism and pedagogic essays is a threat to our whole field of science fiction and its free exchange of views and ideas.

Whatever Phillip K. Dick's state of mind at the time Lem certainly wrote a lot of stuff of high enough quality to get translated into English, so much so that whether an artifact of a large batch of many years work being translated at once or sheer output it looked more like the work of many instead of one.

Some of his satire reflects on any large badly run org (see such things as "The Highest Possible Level of Development civilization" and apply it to places like HP that thought they were so good that they never had to do anything new again). His serious stuff includes "Solaris" which is a good book but probably close to the most unfilmable book I've ever read (it has long lists of imaginary and fruitless academic effort) , yet it got turned into two films that contain a tiny fraction of the ideas of the book, and I'm not sure how well they convey his main theme that aliens are probably going to be so alien that they and we are going to have trouble initiating communication even with years of effort and Godlike technology.

Anyway, Lem was Polish and some of his satire seemed to be based on "iron curtain" government orgs where incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

"I may kid around about drugs, but really, I take them seriously." - Doctor Graper