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Comment: Re:Because I did not read the original article... (Score 1) 223

by RDW (#49792833) Attached to: How a Scientist Fooled Millions With Bizarre Chocolate Diet Claims

So if this is the case, my initial question stands; What was he trying to show? That scientific journals will publish bad science (IMHO it's not their job to check the results and conclusion of studies, that is up to the scientific community)?

Any reputable journal will use a peer review process that will at least provide some level of filtering for this sort of thing, effectively the first step in assessment by the community. Junk journals hardly even bother pretending to do this, and are fair game for sting operations. However, I think that issuing press releases to the mainstream media is more questionable. How many of these newspapers will even bother printing followup articles explaining the sting? A fair proportion of their readers will probably never find out that the claims had no real basis, and will add the chocolate nonsense to their mental store of other dubious 'facts' that get reported in these papers (especially in the 'nutrition' section!).

Comment: Re: Will Technology Disrupt the Song? (Score 3, Interesting) 156

by RDW (#49780929) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?

I don't think it's an arbitrary cut (at least not until you get to, say, Wagner, where selections really do tend to look like 'bleeding chunks'). In earlier operas, there's usually a pretty clear distinction between recitative and aria, not that much different to the songs in a musical today (or even the singles from a 'concept album'). Of course you can argue that composers with a bit of business sense had an eye on the technology of the time - popular arias were sold individually as sheet music, and later as records - I've seen the 78 described (in the LP era) as 'still the ideal medium for a Puccini-length aria'. Puccini died in 1924, and many of his arias were the early hits of the gramophone. Short-form music has always been popular, though. How many popular folk songs go on for more than 5 minutes? In church music, the choir may tackle longer form works, but the hymns the congregation sings generally aren't much longer than a pop single.

Comment: Re:Okay... (Score 1) 455

by RDW (#49774407) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

To the list of excellent pressure-cooker related kitchen gadgets I'd like to add the Bialetti Brikka moka pot: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bialet... . It's one of those Italian stove top coffee makers with the addition of a weighted valve like an old-school pressure cooker. This raises the pressure beyond what you get with the conventional design, making a drink that's closer to a real espresso with a bit of crema. No terrorist applications have yet been reported, though coffee use is allegedly endemic amongst senior members of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the FSF.

Comment: Re:Okay... (Score 1) 455

by RDW (#49770181) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

Harold Blumenthal at The Fat Duck restaurant found that stocks made with pressure cookers were both faster and better-tasting once they understood the effects of diffusion laws on stock making.

His brother Heston speaks very highly of them, too. Not sure I'd want to eat at his restaurants, though:

2011: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-e...
2014: http://www.theguardian.com/lif...

Comment: Re:Okay... horseshit (Score 4, Funny) 455

by RDW (#49770017) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

So you want to encourage people to think those of us using them are out to hurt someone?

You're doing the harm.

The risks of terrorism and illicit drug production are only two of the risks of allowing this dangerous 'dual use' technology to be sold on the open market! A far more insidious problem is the destruction of essential vitamins in the pressure cooking process. Some of these are required for higher brain functions, like the ability to parse textual data for abstract meaning. In one recent study, over 70% of regular pressure cooker users were unable to detect irony, satire or even obvious jokes in posts on internet forums. The end product may be delicious but, like cannabis or Snapchat, the long-term effects on the developing brain can be devastating.

Comment: Re:Okay... (Score 5, Funny) 455

by RDW (#49769367) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

In a fucking gasoline-powered car. Where do they find these geniuses?

Sure, but a pressure cooker? What is this, the 70s? Does anyone use them in 2015 for anything _except_ bomb construction and cooking meth?

"Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker (Large) - Customers who bought this item also bought: 'The Al Qaeda Manual' (Kindle Edition) / Potassium Nitrate (5kg) / Casio F-91W Digital Watch / '100 Things to do Before you Die' (Paperback - used from $0.01) / Pseudoephedrine (100 tablets) / 'The Little Book of Calm' (1 Collectible from $9.96)."

Comment: Re:Funny, that spin... (Score 3, Informative) 412

by RDW (#49765271) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

'Well ... in the unlikely event of it going seriously wrong, it ... wouldn't just blow up the university, sir'

'What would it blow up, pray?'

'Er ... everything, sir.'

'Everything there is, you mean?'

'Within a radius of about fifty thousand miles out into space, sir, yes. According to HEX it'd happen instantaneously. We wouldn't even know about it.'

'And the odds of this are ... ?'

'About fifty to one, sir.'

The wizards relaxed.

'That's pretty safe. I wouldn't bet on a horse at those odds,' said the Senior Wrangler.

-Terry Pratchett et al., The Science of Discworld

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 179

by RDW (#49615305) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Because Tolkein was a Christian I would have thought that the humanist scientists would hate him and his books. I am sure that Bill Nye and Neil Degrasse Tyson hate him.

"Three very large persons sitting round a very large fire of beech-logs. They were toasting mutton on long spits of wood, and licking the gravy off their fingers. There was a fine toothsome smell. Also there was a barrel of good drink at hand, and they were drinking out of jugs. But they were trolls. Obviously trolls. Even Bilbo, in spite of his sheltered life, could see that: from the great heavy faces of them, and their size, and the shape of their legs, not to mention their language, which was not drawing-room fashion at all, at all."

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

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