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Comment: Re:And yet... (Score 1) 2987

by Jonathan A (#42295397) Attached to: 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

To put things into perspective: over the last twenty years, there have been fewer than 200 fatalities in school shootings (including colleges and universities) in the United States. By way of comparison, during that period in the US there have been about 1000 deaths due to lightning strikes, 25 due to (unprovoked) shark attacks, 3000 due to international terrorism, and 200 due to domestic terrorism. So we really ought to be more concerned about lightning and box cutters than about handguns.

You're comparing apple to oranges. You compare the total number of lightning related fatalities to a fraction of gun related fatalities (those that occur at schools) and conclude that lightning is a greater concern than firearms. I think it would be more accurate to compare the total number of lightning fatalities to the total number of gun related fatalities. Either that, or count only the number of lightning related fatalities that occurred at schools.

Comment: Re:screw "cyber monday" (Score 1) 174

by Jonathan A (#42095595) Attached to: Cyber Monday and Amazon's Online Dominance

Cyber Monday is about as much of a scam as Black Friday, and furthermore, using the prefix "cyber" in this sense is annoying unless you are in a 1980s novel.

I remember the first web based store I ever saw. It was called Cyberian Outpost. At the time it was a clever play on words. But now, it seems so overused.

Comment: Re:There is a more immediate problem (Score 1) 221

by Jonathan A (#41852301) Attached to: IEEE Standards For Voting Machines

The secret ballot where a ballot cannot be attached to a specific person after it has been cast is a fundamental part of our electoral system.

I always thought that the secret ballot was a legal requirement in the US. Then I saw this article, which prompted me to look into it. Apparently, it's more of a convention.

Comment: Re:I used to think this stuff was cool (Score 0) 262

by Jonathan A (#41552413) Attached to: Successful Engine Test in UK For Planned 1000 mph Car

Nothing is stopping you. Except the laws of physics. I'd suggest grifting the metric. Make it an electric car.

I don't think there's any law of physics that precludes 1000 mpg. You just might have to find a fuel with a slightly higher energy density than gasoline. ;)

Comment: Re:But that's not the real problem. (Score 1) 1651

by Jonathan A (#41530261) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

because it's too awkward to carry around a bicycle helmet everywhere. It's too expensive to leave on a clothes rack, too bulky to carry around easily. A real annoyance. Of course that's not the case if you ONLY ride for sport, or if you ONLY ride to and from work where you have a locker or whatnot... but if you use a bike as your main transportation you find yourself carrying a helmet with you to cafés, meetings, shops, the cinema, concerts, and so on.

When I lock up my bike, I lock the helmet up with it.

Comment: Re:770,000 parsecs? (Score 2) 217

by Jonathan A (#40176793) Attached to: Andromeda On Collision Course With the Milky Way

I thought parsecs was a unit of time though? So 770,000 parsecs is about 4 billion years?

So 12 parsecs is about 20 hours?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec

The parsec (symbol: pc) is a unit of length used in astronomy. It is about 3.26 light-years, which is equal to just under 31 trillion (3.1×1013) kilometres or just over 19 trillion (1.9×1013) miles.

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