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Comment Re:"antivax" people (Score 1) 416 416

My 3 year old and 11 month old were both diagnosed with atypical chicken pox, today. The doctor told me that the 3 year old's vaccine prevented them from being about 50 times worse (in terms of number of rashes, severity of symptoms & fever, etc). He also immediately ordered the vaccine for the younger one, as it has a proven benefit if given immediately after diagnosis. So I'll go ahead and recommend that you give your hypothetical kid the vaccine.

As an aside, the doctor was asking about where they could have picked it up. I mentioned that they had recently started at a new daycare. The doctor immediately remarked that it was probably an un-vaccinated classmate. So, once again, I recommend you vaccinate your hypothetical kid. If not for your own kid, then for everyone else's.
Classic Games (Games)

M.U.L.E. Is Back 110 110

jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."

Comment Re:Orbiting the moon is exceptionally difficult (Score 2, Insightful) 186 186

While that sounds pretty good, I'm fairly certain from a logical standpoint the odds of impacting the moon are as good or worse than the odds of leaving orbit and flying out into space. (Especially with the low gravity levels of the moon.)

I'm less than certain. Intersecting with the Moon would only require changes in ellipticity, whereas causing the satellite to become unbound would require a considerable increase in the satellite's kinetic energy.

Comment PUFF? (Score 1) 211 211

There's a nice bit of software called PUFF that was written at Caltech. It is available as an MS-DOS binary, which you can run on XP or Mac through DOSBox. Also, on the PUFF website they report that the source code comes with the program, and some have had success in compiling it for Linux. Unfortunately, you can't buy the software directly. Some textbooks come packaged with it, though. I can recommend the Rutledge book as a nice overview of lab electronics.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

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