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Comment: Re:Actually a good encyclical (Score 1) 305 305

by RDW (#49958707) Attached to: Lawrence Krauss On the Pope's Encyclical: Not Even Close?

I'm an atheist, but I agree with the pope about what's in there. No need to dismiss his opinions because he doesn't talk about contraceptives or whatever, this is not what it is all about.

Lawrence Krauss isn't just an atheist, but a self-described 'anti-theist' who can't resist taking a crack at the Pope even when (or perhaps especially when) he's doing something positive like this. Which is rather a shame, as this is something people of good will ought to make common cause about.

Comment: Mobile base and suction cup? (Score 1) 108 108

by RDW (#49829045) Attached to: Building Amazon a Better Warehouse Robot

Their winning design combined a WAM arm (complete with a suction cup for lifting objects) and an XR4000 mobile base into a single unit

The chief designer, a Dr Davros of Skaro, CA, welcomed his 'supreme victory' in the competition, but questioned Amazon's decision not to proceed with the immediate replacement of their entire human workforce with his creation: 'Do you believe that I would let a lifetime's work be ended by the will of spineless fools like you? You have won nothing. I allowed this charade to be played out for one reason only. To find those men who were truly loyal to me and to discover those who would betray me! WE... I WILL GO ON!' Amazon officials, earlier invited to a demonstration of the improved 'Mark III Travel Machine', could not be reached for comment.

Comment: Re:Waiting for 'derms (Score 1) 43 43

by RDW (#49820843) Attached to: How Biostamps Can Replace Clunky Biomedical Sensors

I'm waiting for Mona Lisa-style 'derms.

I was thinking of this bit from Neuromancer:

"He stepped out of the way to let a dark-suited sarariman by, spotting the Mitsubishi-Genentech logo tattooed across the back of the man's right hand. Was it authentic? If that's for real, he thought, he's in for trouble. If it wasn't, served him right. M-G employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors that monitored mutagen levels in the bloodstream. Gear like that would get you rolled in Night City, rolled straight into a black clinic."

Comment: Re:Because I did not read the original article... (Score 1) 260 260

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) 158 158

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) 461 461

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: . 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) 461 461

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:


The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.