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Comment: It's a Balancing Act (Score 2) 532

by Plumber, Programmer, (#49097407) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: Biggest Human Failing Is Aggression
Too much aggression, and a species dies. Not enough aggression, and a species dies. Sure, the ideal amount of aggression changes, but getting rid of it entirely? I'm pretty sure that's not human. Heck, you're not even an animal. Heck, even PLANTS expand aggressively to fill their biological niche. What's left that's actually alive without ANY aggression?

Comment: And Then There's 'The Clone Wars' (Score 1) 422

by Plumber, Programmer, (#48888097) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts
I hated the prequels. I hated the special edition of ANH so much that I never watched the special editions of ESB or RoTJ.
Han Shot First.

Last fall, I happened to watch The Clone Wars movie and then the TV show. OK, so the first few episodes were a little rough - but I kept finding myself thinking, "This is more Star Wars than the prequels!"
Then, there was even an episode CENTERED AROUND JAR-JAR. Surprisingly, it was actually GOOD. At this point, I was hooked and really impressed. I started watching the little "making of" featurettes included on the disks. It was immediately obvious that Dave Filoni and other folks on the production team are SERIOUS Star Wars fans. (For instance, they discuss the choice of giving Jedi Master Luminara Unduli the wrong lightsaber hilt because they hadn't had time to create the correct model.) They are also clearly very knowledgeable about the Extended Universe, and they do take from it, though they only what fits.

As I watched the series and the featurettes, one name kept coming up over and over again:


Not as a problem, but as a source for ideas and as the maker of creative choices. George Lucas contributed a lot to The Clone Wars, especially to its feel - making it truly feel like Star Wars.

At this point, I have watched all of The Clone Wars except the Season 6 stuff, and I have three conclusions:

One, I really liked this show. Not everything, but most of it.
Two, The Clone Wars is very much Star Wars.
Three, The Clone Wars might not feel so much like Star Wars without George Lucas.

If I had heard this news a year ago, I would have felt like a lot of people - cheering that George Lucas was not at all involved with Episode 7. Heck, I still don't want another "George Lucas Unleashed" movie.

But after watching The Clone Wars? I am worried that without any George Lucas, Episode 7 might not feel ENOUGH like Star Wars.

Comment: Guardian of the People (Score 1) 226

According to the Vermont Senate Rules, you must swear the following oath: (bold case mine)

"I, ...., Senator from ..... County (or Counties), in the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, do solemnly swear, that as a Member of this Assembly, I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to me injurious to the people, nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will in all things conduct myself as a faithful, honest representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of my judgment and ability. So help me God. I do solemnly swear that I will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that I will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof. So help me God. I do solemnly swear that I did not at the time of my election to this body, and that I do not now hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help me God. I do further solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the State of Vermont and the Constitution of the United States. So help me God."

I don't see a way that "voting according to poll results" will match up with "the best of my judgement and ability" unless you have very little of either. Your idea negates the whole idea of representative government. Hopefully, we elect wise, thoughtful, and honest representatives to do the hard work of legislating so that we don't have to. Direct democracy just isn't efficient - if you actually want to get anything else done.
Yes, the people of your district elect you. However, once you swear the oath of office, you must not forget your duty is to the State of Vermont. It is your sworn duty to make the best choice you can to the best of your judgement and ability, even if every single person in your district disagrees with you.

Comment: Re:Mechanical. (Score 1) 466

by Plumber, Programmer, (#40054617) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wrist Watch For the Tech Minded
I have a similar Stuhrling automatic watch. As a person whose work is done entirely with a computer, I like having a reminder that sometimes, there are valid solutions that require no electronics. I used to use a Canon AE-1 SLR camera (mostly mechanical), but now that digital photography has taken over, it has become impractical. However, a mechanical watch is still a valid timepiece. A mechanical watch tells the time with enough accuracy for my needs Bonus: It'll still be ticking after an EMP, either man-made or from a CME.

Comment: Re:H. Beam Piper - Little Fuzzy (Score 1) 1244

I'll Third the recommendation. As a short intro, I'd start with "Omnilingual" or "Edge of the Knife." My favorites are Space Viking and Cosmic Computer; The names are funky, but the stories are prime stuff. Keep in mind they were written in the late 50's, so there's all types of smoking and the regular cocktail hour.

Comment: Re:Using prison to cause insanity (Score 1) 496

by Plumber, Programmer, (#30927288) Attached to: Prison Bans D&D For Mimicking Gang Structure
I was not sufficiently clear. Of course, the suggested "solution" would eventually have to be tested to make sure it actually made criminals not commit more crime. I meant that it should first be tested to make sure that the suggested "solution" would not just drive the inmate insane.

Google Funding the Next Big One? 295

Posted by samzenpus
from the mole-men-approved dept.
wdavies writes "According to this New York Times article, Google is funding a controversial deep drill geothermal project north of San Francisco. Apparently the company, AltaRock, omitted to disclose that the same deep drilling caused a major quake in Basel, Switzerland when it was last used. Given the notorious geological instability of the Northern Californian coast, this strikes me as kind of dumb — and given the known likelihood of this technique producing earthquakes, somewhat EVIL."
It's funny.  Laugh.

John Hodgman Asks Obama, "Are You a Nerd?" 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the gooble-gobble-one-of-us-one-of-us dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Watch a video of comedian John Hodgman speak after Barack Obama at the recent Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner in DC and discuss the central question of our age: "how we can heal the great and shameful division that has plagued our nation for so long — the age old conflict between jocks and nerds" and ask Obama: Are you now, or have you ever been, a nerd?"