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Comment: Re:Who owns the island? (Score 4, Informative) 176

by PvtVoid (#47574223) Attached to: Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

That person should tell the UN to mind its own business!

The island is owned by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, i.e. the Irish government.

From the UNESCO web page on Sceilg Mhichíl:

When in 1578 Queen Elizabeth I of England dissolved Ballinskelligs following the rebellion of the Earl of Desmond, under whose protection it had been, the island passed from the Augustinian Order to John Butler. However, although the monastery no longer existed, it continued to be a place of pilgrimage. Around 1826 the owner sold the island to the Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin (later to become the Commissioners of Irish Lights), who built two lighthouses on the Atlantic side.

Sorry to burst your little libertarian bubble there, dude. Better luck next time.

+ - The linguistics of climate change, and why it matters 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Climate scientist Peter Friederici with a wonderful piece on the linguistics of climate change.He traces the Republican embrace of the term "climate change" to GOP consultant Frank Luntz because, as Luntz put it, 'Climate change’ is less frightening,' and presumably, less likely to inspire action. Friederici cites a study that examines the use of both terms in the US, and then looks toward Germany's inspired coining of the phrase 'Energiewende.' This is a delightful read with implications for American environmentalists and policy makers."

+ - The National Review has had it with nerd chic. ->

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid (1252388) writes "One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world. Prominent examples include MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki, and Chris Hayes; Vox’s Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Matt Yglesias; the sabermetrician Nate Silver; the economist Paul Krugman; the atheist Richard Dawkins; former vice president Al Gore; celebrity scientist Bill Nye; and, really, anybody who conforms to the Left’s social and moral precepts while wearing glasses and babbling about statistics.

The pose is, of course, little more than a ruse — our professional “nerds” being, like Mrs. Doubtfire, stereotypical facsimiles of the real thing. They have the patois but not the passion; the clothes but not the style; the posture but not the imprimatur. Theirs is the nerd-dom of Star Wars, not Star Trek; of Mario Kart and not World of Warcraft; of the latest X-Men movie rather than the comics themselves."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Been there, done that (Score 1) 121

by PvtVoid (#47567825) Attached to: Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

I was a Missile Launch Officer in an earlier life and it was without a doubt the worst job that I ever had. Boredom with massive micromanagement. Drive 2-3 hours to get to site, sit in an underground control center about the size of an RV for 24 hours, drive back 2-3 hours to base. Seven times a month, then a few days per month for training. Would never recommend that job to anyone that has an once of creativity.

I for one am very glad that you (and all of your colleagues) spent your time bored.

Comment: Re:Why is the Local Group moving closer? (Score 4, Informative) 119

by PvtVoid (#47567077) Attached to: The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

The article says that most of the galaxies are moving apart, but the Local Group is moving closer. Why would the local group be different than the other galaxies? Are there other groups of galaxies that are seeing the same effect, or is the Local Group an anomaly?

The galaxies in the local group are close enough together to be a gravitationally bound system, and are therefore "decoupled" from the expansion. This is true of any cluster of galaxies, and there are many, many examples of such systems in the universe.

It's the same reason your body doesn't get bigger as the universe expands: the binding forces holding it together are stronger than the (tiny) force pulling it apart due to cosmological expansion.

Comment: Re:Dark? (Score 1) 119

by PvtVoid (#47567047) Attached to: The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

lHow can they possibly tell how much of the matter is "Dark"? I can get the idea of what they're doing - using the relative speeds of each local galaxy to determine the masses contained within each, but how could they possible determine how much mass in each galaxy wouldn't be seen by using light within the bounds of the visible spectrum?

You can see the light. So you do this: 1: Measure the mass of the galaxy. 2: Add up all the mass from the stuff you can see. Subtract (2) from (1).

Comment: Re:Reality is... (Score 1) 125

by PvtVoid (#47534549) Attached to: Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

You don't really believe that, do you? There are already tons of reports rolling in of people being denied treatments, being told that the cost of a procedure wouldn't go towards their deductible, and finding out that their $150/mo insurance program has a $25,000 deductible attached to it.

Which, no doubt, you believe utterly uncritically.

Comment: Re:Reality is... (Score 1) 125

by PvtVoid (#47534421) Attached to: Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

I'll start a pool and take odds on that utopian conclusion - I'll bet against it myself.

Would you rather life insurance companies base their actuarial decisions on crystal balls or witch doctors? Personally, I wouldn't buy insurance from a company that didn't use the most accurate and complete health statistics available. Such a company would likely fold before I died and my beneficiaries could collect on the policy.

As far as insurance companies trying to find excuses to weasel out of paying claims, it's pretty fucking hard for a life insurance company to do that, no? Once you're insured, it's pretty unequivocal when you have a claim.

Comment: Re:Reality is... (Score 4, Insightful) 125

by PvtVoid (#47534205) Attached to: Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

Lol, naivete can be funny.

Sure, they can't outright deny you coverage, but what stops them from making your coverage so expensive you can't afford the deductibles? The answer is, "not a damn thing."

Which is why it's so great that the ACA has rate controls to prevent this kind of thing from happening, and mandates that everybody get insurance, so the many low-risk insured create a pool which makes it possible to cover the high-risk population in an affordable way.

Comment: Re:Reality is... (Score 1) 125

by PvtVoid (#47534177) Attached to: Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

Only some types of insurance. I have been denied life insurance because of a pre-existing condition, for example (putting my entire family at risk in the process).

This is entirely reasonable. Most life insurance companies require a physical exam before they'll insure you. They also keep tons of actuarial data on health risks already. Google will just be duplicating this -- and probably doing a better job of it, which will likely make it easier for people with pre-existing conditions to get life insurance, not harder.

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