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Comment Re:We're already in one (Score 1) 473

Oh yeah, that 3000 foot ice cliff is a worry alright - in those alternative universes in which the world isn't warming. I wish those alternative Earth-dwellers the best of luck in digging up all the fossil fuel they can find, and burning it in enormous bonfires. Meanwhile in our own universe ... not so much. Perhaps we should consider saving some of that fossil carbon for when we really do need it.

Comment Re:Problem? (Score 1) 343

Why, we could solve crime across the world today if only we lifted the prohibition on theft, rape and murder.

That argument is ludicrously fallacious.
I don't know about the United States, but in New Zealand, where I come from, almost half the population are drug criminals. That is a pretty obvious indication of how seriously these crimes are actually regarded by most people in NZ, as opposed to the official legal position enforced by the state apparatus. Even among the slim majority of people who've never used illegal drugs, there are plenty who disapprove of drug use but don't regard it as a big thing, or just aren't into drugs themselves but are tolerant of drug use. As I say, I don't know about the US, but I imagine the situation is similar. You have to wonder about how truly democratic the political systems of these countries are if the state is so out of touch with the people it supposedly represents.
Now, ask yourself, what percentage of the population are rapists and murderers? How do people in general regard rape and murder?
Isn't it true, actually, that your facetious equation of drug crime and serious crime is entirely spurious, without any logical basis to it at all?

Comment Re:Problem? (Score 5, Informative) 343

Ending prohibition set a really bad precedent in that it gave people the idea that if they refuse to obey the law that they can get it over turned.

When a socially repressive law which is opposed by the mass of the population is overturned because of that popular opposition, that is a good thing.

But I take your point that once the state starts to bow to the will of the people, they are setting a very dangerous precedent. People might start to take the word "democracy" seriously.

Comment Re:If that's not playing God, (Score 2, Funny) 206

On the other hand, in a few short years we've gone from picoseconds to 16 seconds.

Ha! You Americans with your old-fashioned units of "years" and "hours" and so on ... get with the programme people!
If you had 28 grammes of sense you would just take 6 dekaseconds to learn the Systeme Internationale - it's not that hard.

Comment Re:XML? that's so 1990 (Score 1) 51

I'm perplexed why people continue to use XML when there is YAML. What is it that makes XML so attractive as a durable format? it's not human readable in a practicale sense, and YAML very much is. Since it's delimeters are comlicated and variable, It's harder to parse in ad hoc ways than yaml (line and white space) which means that for rapidly extracting things there are no shorcuts to instantiating a whole document. It's hard to grep. And both formats can fully do the other ones job so they are interchangeable.

I would actually dispute all of your comments, but picking up on the last point in bold, one of XML's key features is "mixed content", which is apparently (according to http://yaml.org/xml.html) not possible in YAML.

Comment Re:Posting for Team Stupid (Score 1) 241

There are actually many times more capitalist property owners in Cuba now than there were before the revolution.

Almost all of these private businesses are agricultural; in urban areas the state-owned sector is far more dominant. This is the result of the Agrarian Reform that was instigated at the very start of the revolution. Before the revolution, agricultural ownership was concentrated in very few hands. The Reform expropriated those holdings and transferred them to the farm workers themselves. It's true that they are rather constrained in how they can run their businesses, but they nevertheless do have the right to grow crops on their own land for sale direct to their Cuban consumers, so they are at least small capitalist enterprises.

Comment Re:Photos from the same spot but not the same seas (Score 1, Informative) 895

Dude, get off your high horse for a moment and check out the photographic exhibition website where they say that we are talking about 100m (actually they say "320 vertical feet") of ice that's been lost in Rongbuk glacier. That's a lot of ice, and is far more than anything attributable to seasonality.


Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.