Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Big Bang == Creationism For Nerds (Score 1) 129

by RussellSHarris (#39926647) Attached to: Astronomers Find Most Distant Protocluster of Galaxies

According to one theory that I've heard, the lensing effect that gravitational fields have on light also alters its local speed, sort of increasing the density of the space/time fabric. Just as a dense material such as water, glass, or diamond will have a dramatically lower local speed of light, so too is the speed of light in proximity to a gravitational field lower than the speed of light in deep space. According to this theory, the true speed of light in the absence of any gravitational field would be infinite.

So you get light accelerating (causing a red-shift) as it shoots off into deep space, far from any gravity sources, and then decelerating again (causing a blue-shift) as it approaches another gravity well. If the net effect is a red-shift, it basically means that the galaxy the light originated from is more massive than your own - which would explain why pretty much every distant galaxy which is bright enough for us to see is red-shifted. (A puzzle for the Big Bang, in fact, which has led to further theories of the universe expanding to explain the fact that it looks like everything is moving away from us.)

Comment: Re:That (Score 1) 650

Ever think that poverty and other factors weigh heavily on someone being a troop?

Yeah, I have. Other factors like "not being particularly bright".

Grades were A/B, but not enough to get a full scholarship. ... I'd be willing to bet that my IQ is higher than yours.

Well, I did get the full scholarships that you admittedly weren't bright enough to get.

Comment: Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (Score 1) 394

by RussellSHarris (#39711581) Attached to: My most recent tax bill was ...

yes, using the government as a sort of "intrest free savings" is entirely valid... no, being smart and putting it into a real savings account is not actually being smart

The only difference between the two is that the government won't give it to you until the end of the year.

Which, for most poor people, is an excuse not to stick it in the savings account where it belonged, but rather to take a vacation you can't afford, buy a TV you can't afford, etc., depending on the size of the return. Because if they did stick it in a savings account, they'd just piss it away, exactly like the rest of their money.

The problem is that poor people simply can't not spend their money. They have to be faced with the imminent threat of homelessness and starvation before they'll give up the overpriced stuff that they buy because they think it makes their lousy life a little better. If they saved it, something might come along and they'd actually need it, and then they'd not have it and not have any fun. So they might as well have the fun now, and scrape up whatever they can when the actual need comes along.

Comment: Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (Score 1) 394

by RussellSHarris (#39711459) Attached to: My most recent tax bill was ...

As a matter of fact, I'm paying about $10/mo. so that poor people can use the library. It's line-itemed in my property tax.

I'm not complaining, but it's almost ungrateful to pay hundreds of dollars that you really can't afford on cell phones, cable TV, and other ridiculous expenses when hundreds of people are paying for libraries that are provided to you for free.

Comment: Re:Comes with every paycheck (Score 1) 394

by RussellSHarris (#39711215) Attached to: My most recent tax bill was ...

We're not paying off the debt. Nobody's even talking like that's a sane possibility. We're barely even "reducing the deficit". And we're patting ourselves on the back when we manage that.

Time for another simple math lesson. "Reducing the deficit" still means "increasing the national debt". If you could even just swing the deficit all the way into a surplus and actually start reducing the national debt at all, that would be a step in the right direction. Never mind that it would still take hundreds of thousands of years to actually pay off the debt completely. (Plenty of people say that having a national debt is actually beneficial to trade, so there's actually some room for argument there. However, pretty much nobody is trying to argue that out-of-control debt growth can continue in perpetuity.)

Comment: Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (Score 1) 394

by RussellSHarris (#39710639) Attached to: My most recent tax bill was ...

http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/savings/savings-results.aspx?prods=33

Not sure why it's not showing up there anymore, but currently 0.85% (compound daily, pay monthly) with check writing features, no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and free electronic banking and transfers (up to 6 per month, per Federal law):
https://www.salliemae.com/savings-and-cds/money-market/

Comment: Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (Score 1) 394

by RussellSHarris (#39710149) Attached to: My most recent tax bill was ...

That's typical poor-person mentality. Every last penny is spent on "surviving".

Needless to say, if they didn't have that last penny, they'd still manage to survive, and with an enviable standard of living compared to hundreds of millions of people who actually struggle to survive - people who subsist on staples such as beans, rice, potatoes, cabbage, and who use meat as a garnish rather than the main course.

Exhibit A: income taxes are withheld. And people survive. They didn't really need that money for survival. It follows that your statement is false: they didn't need the money to survive, so if they blow it, it's not on "surviving".

It's on "poor planning", "poor decision making", and/or "keeping up with the Joneses"... but Jones makes $120,000/year and you make $12,000, and you think you need a $90/mo. cell phone plan, and as soon as you have enough for the down payment you get that big-screen plasma TV that you've been wanting from the pawn shop or Aarons' where you end up paying above its real worth. Etc.

Comment: Re:Sun Tzu (Score 1) 139

by RussellSHarris (#39486491) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Alleges Studios Wanted to Work With Megaupload

Here's a way we might be able to work together and both make money ina a cooperative way...(and succeeding that, we'll see your butt in jail and make all the monies for ourselvesies, my precious)

FTFY. The music industries wanted Kim Dotcom on a leash so that they could better drag him to Shelob's lair.

Comment: Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (Score 0) 198

by RussellSHarris (#39486299) Attached to: Microsoft Blocking Pirate Bay Links In Messenger

I'm much more concerned about Ron Paul than Santorum.

The President can do jack shit about people's religion. Really. I'd like to see him try to outlaw porn. It'll be a cold day in hell before he does. But the President has quite a bit of control over the military and a fair amount of say in what the Federal Reserve decides to do (well, it's its own thing and can pretty much do its own thing, but the President can tell it what he wants it to do and it can get spanked if it doesn't).

See, I'd rather have a President who has batshit crazy notions about religion than one that has batshit crazy notions about foreign and fiscal policies. You can't win them all, but if you can pick the ones you want to win, those are the ones I want to win.

Comment: Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (Score 2) 198

by RussellSHarris (#39486213) Attached to: Microsoft Blocking Pirate Bay Links In Messenger

A "banner ad" is a block of HTML which is supposed to stay within its allotted "banner" area.

As such, it can contain anything that HTML can contain and which doesn't clearly (i.e. noticeably) break out of its rectangular frame when the site's admin tests it out.

Scripts, Flash, Silverlight, Java, you name it; if it's installed and can be embedded in HTML (or included by the HTML referencing another file), it's possible. But the only reason the banner's HTML would really ever contain a Java embed would be if the banner's designer wanted to execute a Java exploit on visitor's computers. And a conscientious site's admin would delete the offending banner in short order if this was discovered to be the case.

Does that clear up your question any?

Comment: Re:16-year-old kids have too much free time (Score 1) 160

It wasn't pure musical notation. (I was thinking along the same lines when I enrolled.) It was rote memorization of the names of dead people and the classical pieces which they had composed. I was bored, and got an F. And as I said, the art class was much more rewarding, so I'm glad I didn't just skid through with a passing grade in the class that I had hated.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

Working...