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Comment: Re:Just Askin' (Score 1) 216

by smooth wombat (#49202591) Attached to: Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video)
the common militia, which consisted of all the people, and a "Well Regulated Militia", which was the standing army.

False. You're using semantics to cloud the obvious.

The Militia Act of 1792 clearly indicates the militia is composed of citizens who own a gun and not a standing army. Here is the most telling part of the act:

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the militia employed in the service of the United States, shall receive the same pay and allowances, as the troops of the United States, who may be in service at the same time, or who were last in service, and shall be subject to the same rules and articles of war:

Pretty darn clear the difference between militia and standing army. In fact, if you read the entire act, the word militia is used and defined throughout as well as the regulations regarding the militia, not a separate standing army.

The Founding Fathers wanted citizens to own firearms while at the same time letting the citizens know they could be called up at any time to suppress insurrection or invasion. The only way to do this was to regulate them, set down specific requirements for what they must bring and how they were to be trained. The act lays this out in plain, clear language.

To use Jefferson's own words:

that the militia would "be our best reliance in peace and for the first months of war until the Regulars may relieve them". Link to source

Comment: Re:Boston, in the winter? (Score 1) 103

Are these potholes so wide they can't be straddled?

It depends. Sometimes you can, but sometimes the way they have grown they're just large enough for one wheel or the other to drop into. If the pothole is on your right, you could try to swerve right to straddle it but you might also hit the curb or parked cars.

If you try to swerve to the left, you might miss it, or end up perfectly hitting the target, but as the OP said, you run the risk of driving into oncoming traffic.

As to reporting potholes, every major city responds to reports of potholes needing patched, but the sheer amount of requests, traffic, time of year, etc, prevent them from quickly filling them. When you include limited monetary resources, things get much worse.

If you have never driven in colder climates where potholes are ubiquitous this time of the year, you don't have a frame of reference to understand how bad these things are. It's like people who have never lived down south don't understand the perpetual heat and humidity combined with insects left over from the dinosaur era roaming about.

Comment: Already discussed via sci-fi (Score 3, Insightful) 191

The movie, In Time, touches on the subject of a timeline for a person. As Wikipedia relates, Harlan Ellison had already written a similar story as well as a few others.

Despite this, I can see people not appreciating or caring about a timeline. I know it's hard to believe but there are millions (billions?) of people who use the Net strictly for general communication and research rather than the be all and end all to life.

As we've seen with smart phones, more technology does not necessarily make our lives easier. People are becoming so addictive to being connected, of needing to see if their lives are validated through tweets and pictures, that this timeline may send some over the edge as they desperately search for something to make themselves seem like someone.

Comment: Re:Mixed Feelings? Try "Terror". (Score 1) 327

by smooth wombat (#49184213) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

Well, I still have the paperback with the reversed artwork, showing Mannie with the WRONG ARM being cybernetic,

Ha!. Just looked at mine since I'm finishing this book (see my post lower down) and my Mannie's arm is the correct one. Left.

However, is it just me or does Mannie look like Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike of the Enterprise a la J.J. Abrams)?

Comment: Finishing the book right now (Score 1) 327

by smooth wombat (#49184143) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

Funny this story should come up. I picked this story up at a library book sale a while back and hadn't gotten around to it until recently.

Not a bad story, typical Heinlein. I had read The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and it was better, up until he went off topic with the timeline stuff and the ending, wtf? Maybe I missed something.

So far this book is good. Understandable, logical, and interesting.

Comment: Re:Information Wants to Be Free (Score 2) 62

by smooth wombat (#49173813) Attached to: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement

Yes, Russia does do this. Evidence has surfaced (just like Russia sending troops and equipment to invade Ukraine) of locations and the amount these people are being paid to post Russian propaganda.

The nice thing about these trolls is they are easy to spot for several reasons including:

1) They use the word fascist when describing Ukrainian leaders
2) They use the words junta and Kiev in the same sentence
3) They describe Ukrainian troops as Nazis
4) They consistently ask for proof of Russian equipment and men invading Ukraine despite giving them photos and videos from Russian state tv showing this. It's like talking to a Creationist: no matter how much evidence you have to show they're wrong, they'll never believe you
5) They talk of Eastern Ukraine being part of Russia anyway so the Ukrainian troops are actually the invaders

Once you spot these trolls, it's easy to ignore and flag them.

Comment: Re:Information Wants to Be Free (Score 4, Informative) 62

by smooth wombat (#49172567) Attached to: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement
they are able to change their thoughts and opinions and recognize that what they're being told to think doesn't match up with reality.

Apparently all those people are dead and Putin has been able to destroy history. Despite the overwhelming evidence of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the vast majority of Russians still believe one or more of the below items as told to them by Putin and his state-controlled media. Just a quick rundown of the lies encompass:

- the U.S. was behind the overthrow of Yanukovych (False. Once again our vaunted experts were surprised by the downfall of a country's leader)

- Yanukovych fleeing was the result of a U.S. coup (False. Similar to above, but slightly different as the Russians are claiming the U.S. sponsored a coup, which it wasn't. Yanukovych fled because the Ukrainian parliament abandoned him when he ordered the murder of protestors in Maidan Square)

- the current Ukrainian government are fascists (False. Fascists are people like Putin who use taxpayer money to support selected businesses or people. Also, it is well known that Putin's government orders the confiscation of personal and business property to be managed under state control. Witness the annexation of Crimea and how businesses there are feeling this effect)

- the current Ukrainian government are Nazis (False. Only one militia group, Azov battalion, is known to use Nazi symbols and/or policies in their organization. As they are not under direct control of the government, they're privately funded, to claim the entire Ukrainian government are Nazis is of course false)

- the Ukrainian government ordered attacks on Russian speakers in the East when it came to power (False. No such attacks by government forces has ever been documented, even by the people claiming such attacks.)

- the Ukrainian government shot down the Malaysian airliner (False. Substantial evidence shows the Russian-backed rebels shot down the plane thinking it was a Ukrainian military plane and then bragged about it on Twitter and elsewhere before they retracted their statements once the truth was known)

- there are no Russian troops fighting in Ukraine (False. Documented graves of dead Russian soldiers show a MINIMUM of 1,000 troops dead. Other estimates gathered by Russian mothers has put the estimate closer to 5,000. It is known 100 or so died in one incident in late 2014 around Donetsk. Further, Russian state tv showed the equivalent of Russian marines fighting at the Donetsk airport with their arm patches visible).

- Russia is not supplying equipment to the rebels (False. Near daily convoys of Russian equipment are seen crossing into Eastern Ukraine, this is in addition to equipment captured by government forces, equipment which is only manufactured in Russia and never owned by the Ukrainian military.)

Comment: Re:Can someone please answer (Score 2) 419

by smooth wombat (#49154835) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

I said elsewhere that this is a scam for the following reasons.

Her Tumbler account (Swiked) shows the initial photo asking what color is the dress. A day or so later she posts a second picture of someone wearing the blue/black version, stating:

this is the dress as i saw it on the day of the wedding. blue and black. It's just that one photo bUT it's so weird???!??

Here's the thing, she does not say the second photo is the same dress ON THE DAY of the wedding, only that the photo shows what she saw.

What most likely happened was she took the first picture on a different day and because it's white/gold, it took on the cast of the lighting to give a blue hue and her friends had a disagreement over the color which started the whole thing, especially if someone is red/green colorblind.

Second, if you look at the top edge of the dress in the first picture you can clearly see what would be considered "virgin" light, i.e. light which is not reflected but directly falling on to the dress. If the claim is that our eyes are fooling us because of the bright background or because we can't be sure what the lighting situation is, this light should produce a different color under it, just as light shining across a rippled surface can produce different colors.

Except it doesn't. There is no transition from the slice of light to the shaded portion. It's one continuous tone. In fact, as the picture shows, there are multiple shadows of different angles and lighting conditions which should produce different colors, but they don't. For instance, under the cape/shawl toward the upper right, the area under the shadow is darker but not a different color.

Further, if our eyes are being deceived by the bright background, covering up all but a small portion of the dress should reveal the true colors because then there would be nothing to confuse us. Except that doesn't work either, the dress stays as white/gold with a blue hue.

And finally, if you look at the edging in the middle of the picture then down to the lower left corner (our left), you can see shadows under the gold edging. If the dress in the picture was blue/black you would not see such distinct shadows as are shown in the picture.

So, the dress in the original picture IS NOT the same dress she shows a day or so later but is the same style.

One final thought. The opposite of blue on the color wheel is gold and the opposite of black is white. However, if you look at what is blue and black in the "good" picture, they are not the correct parts. The bodice is blue which means in the reversed portion the bodice of the original picture should be gold and the edging should be white. Except that is not what is shown. The bodice is white and the edging is gold.

And for the record, I am not red/green colorblind. I pass all the Ishihara color tests without issue.

Comment: Re:Why Not? (Score 1, Interesting) 320

by smooth wombat (#49127019) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP
They borrowed it from Republican Mitt Romney who referenced Republican Newt Gingrich.

Which makes sense when one considers the voodoo Republicans have with trickle down economics (witness the wonderful state Kansas is in) or that swallowing a small camera can somehow lead to being able to perform a gynecological exam.

Comment: Re:Whoa (Score 1) 129

by smooth wombat (#49089385) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck

Both companies seem to have a penchant for holding packages. Previous package for UPS was delivered at 3 AM to my local facility. We don't get our UPS deliveries until after 12 noon.

Apparently it's not possible to load a package at a hub on to a truck within five hours but instead takes over 24.

Then there's my current FedEx delivery. Shipped on Monday, to be delivered on Wednesday.

Nope, some excuse about them having problems at their sorting facility because of weather. Delivery now for Friday.

I guess government workers being told to take their time getting to work when the weather is bad is absolutely outrageous, but when a private company uses weather as the excuse for not doing their job, something they're paid to do, well that's okay.

Comment: To quote Sheldon Cooper. . . (Score 4, Funny) 132

by smooth wombat (#49088037) Attached to: Resistant Bacterial Infection Outbreak At California Hospital

Sheldon Cooper: To a hospital? Full of sick people? Oh, I don't think so.

Penny: Okay, well, your friend and his mother are there. We're going!

Sheldon Cooper: I can't.

Penny: Oh, don't tell me you're afraid of germs.

Sheldon Cooper: Not all germs. Just the ones that will kill me. The same way I'm not afraid of all steak knives; just the ones that might be plunged in my thorax.

Leonard Hofstadter: Ah-uh, fine, I'll tell Howard you didn't come because you're more concerned about your own well-being than his.

Sheldon Cooper: I would think he would know that.

Penny: Okay, you know what? You are unbelievable. You buy all these superhero T-shirts but when it's time for you to step up and do the right thing, you just hide in the laundry room.

Sheldon Cooper: Fine, I'll go. Just for the record, my Aunt Ruth died in a hospital. She went in to visit my Uncle Roger, caught something, and bit the dust a week later. The two of them now share a coffee can on my mother's mantel.

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