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Comment Re:Concept car == who cares? (Score 1) 118

I pick on fashion shows because the dresses are butt ugly.

(I didn't even have to work for this shot. It is literally the first image Google threw up for "Fashion show".)

That looks like a promo shot for the Zoolander 2 movie they are making....Almost like a Derelicte Carnivale line.

Comment Re:Anti-GMO does not equal anti-science. (Score 1) 240


You're using BASF to represent some kind of moral high ground against Monsanto (the progenitor of DDT and Agent Orange)?

Get a hint -- BASF is one of the four spin-off companies of IG Farben, the company that produced Zykon-B for the Nazi regime that was used to gas 6,000,000 German Jews.

You Fail. Try again.

So, I'm guessing you always take the stairs instead of elevators, right? Because the Panzer IV tank, which was the 2nd most manufactured German Armored vehicle of WWII was manufactured by Krupp. And Krupp is now part of ThyssenKrupp, who make a lot of elevators/elevator parts. And you must really hate air travel, since Boeing B-17s were involved in the firebombing of Dresden and one of the original founders of Airbus was Fokker, who in WWII made parts for the Junkers Ju-52 which was used as one of Hitler's personal transportation aircraft.

Comment Re:Bring on the cat videos ... (Score 1) 58

Do you really want to restrict the choice of camera angles to a decision made by a highly experienced professional artist? Surely I should be given the freedom to accidentally be looking the wrong way as a major plot point unfolds, because then I get an individualised experience of "what the hell is happening here?!?"

That would actually increase rewatchability for movies. Watch it once to get the story line, then rewatch it and look around scenes to see what you missed. Imagine doing this with a war movie or a space exploration movie. A good example would be Saving Private Ryan. Imagine watching the D-Day scene from the beach like normal, then watching it again from the vantage point of a German bunker. Hell, even deep sea or animal documentaries would be awesome with this type of technology. Of course, production costs would be a lot higher and would force an even heavier reliance on CG than movies do now, which could be a slight drawback.

Comment Re:"Best military science fiction novel ever?" (Score 1) 241

I don't know what other mil-SF the OP has read. I really wonder how much. Before I read Haldeman's TFW, I read Heinlein, Drake, Moon, Laumer, and Harrison. Perhaps that jaded me, but all those authors are both better writers and had truer depictions of the military.

I'll admit, if I want lighter scifi reading, I'll grab Starship Troopers (haven't read any others of Heinlein's work). If I want scifi that makes me think and feel, I'll grab The Forever War. I enjoyed Scalzi, really like Campbell, was kind of disappointed with Steakley and Armor. That's about the extent of my experience with military scifi. And I disgree, I think TFW is a pretty accurate depiction of the military and those in it in the context and time period of Vietnam. I don't feel that it reflects the current military or our society, since thankfully we learned from Vietnam about how to treat returning veterans.

Comment Re: I've always said (Score 1) 241

That's not the M16, that was with the M4, which has a shorter barrel and therefore the bullet exits the barrel at a lower velocity. This leads to less of the tumbling effect upon entering a body which was exhibited by the round used in the M16 and M16A1. Further, the M16A2 and beyond uses a heavier bullet that also doesn't exhibit as much of the tumbling effect.

The Battle of Mogadishu was in 1993. The M4 wasn't adopted by the US military until 1994. The Delta Force members there, along with the SEALs, may have been armed with M4 prototypes but more probably with carbine versions of the M-16A2. But the Rangers and other support personnel present at the battle were most certainly armed with M-16s, not M-4s.

Comment Re: I've always said (Score 1) 241

The classic criticism of the M16 is that while it is accurate at long range, light and handy but the bullies will not kill somebody hiding in thicket for example or behind a brick wall because they won't penetrate bodies of wood or brick walls that the big brutal AK47 round will simply smash through. You can equip the M16 with a high tech armour piercing bullet that will perform as well in terms of penetration as the bog standard AK47 round but then you can equip the AK with a similar round and it will still outperform the M16 in terms of penetration.

If you read the book Black Hawk Down, they note instances where a target would be shot multiple times in the torso, but because the soldiers were issued rounds designed to penetrate body armor the rounds would pass right through the target. If they missed major organs the Somalis (a lot of whom were high on khat) were able to keep on fighting.

Comment Re: I've always said (Score 2) 241

Saudi is sucking up, and driving down oil prices to reboot? the US economy, and delay 'we cant pay and your loans are trashed' situation where US companies MUST declare non performing loans as Kaput.

The Saudis are forcing OPEC to keep producing oil because they have the cash reserves to operate at a loss for a good while and are trying to drive the US oil producers-who rely on fracking-out of business. The problem with that strategy is that fracking is becoming more efficient, which lowers the break-even point. Basically the Saudis are playing the long game in order to try and shore up their monopoly status.

Comment Re:"Best military science fiction novel ever writt (Score 2) 241

Close call, but try Starship Troopers instead.

They are equally good. They just have different scopes. Starship Troopers focus is on why a soldier fights, while The Forever War focuses on what can happen to a soldier when fighting. They also reflect 2 different societies: one where the soldier is not only celebrated but serves as the core for society (ST), and one where the soldier is alienated and returning to a world they no longer recognize (TFW-this was also the experience for many Vietnam War vets). There are some interesting parallels in that in both cases the soldiers aren't dumb cannon fodder but are specifically selected for intelligence and physical ability. They both also touch on the impersonality of war. In ST the comparison of the cap launcher to a gun (capsules lined up like rounds, fed into a chamber, and shot out) is very apt as the soldiers are essentially aimed at a target, shot at the target like the living willing bullets that they are, and allowed to do what they do (ie, cause lots of targeted damage). In TFW we see soldiers that are used as cogs put into a machine that has a specific purpose, and when one cog breaks it is quickly discarded and another one gets pulled out of the box and stuck in its place. Again this is a direct response to Haldeman's experience in Vietnam, where most soldiers were drafted, placed into a combat unit with no one they knew, and when killed or wounded simply replaced with another draftee. The cold heartlessness of this process is reflected in the way that soldiers were selected and used by the military in TFW.

Of course, ST is the more "upbeat" of the two, and reflects their author's own view towards war: that war is a necessary evil (Heinlein) and that war is just plain evil and mostly unnecessary (Haldeman). Both books are excellent in their own rights, but it is perhaps telling to note that, according Wikipedia, Scalzi wrote the foreword for the most recent printings of TFW and that Heinlein called it "may be the best future war story I've ever read!". I am really looking forward to seeing how they adapt the film version. If they keep to the theme of the book it could be an excellent movie, kind of along the lines of a scifi Platoon. If I don't leave the movie depressed but slightly optimistic with humanity I will be disappointed.

The trouble with a lot of self-made men is that they worship their creator.