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Comment Re:Why, oh, why.... (Score 1) 48

Also, this is a prize for literature, not a prize for journalism. Literature is mostly fiction.
It's even less damning than this. What the original poster remembers is the account of an interviewee, not something told in the author's voice.

Color me surprised than a woman who lost her husband over two weeks filled with agony may have a rather muddled recollection of the details.

So we have a maybe-not-so-reliable narrator and an award for fiction. Clearly a smoking gun!

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 191

In the late 80s, which was the last time I drove in Germany, I twice saw people being pulled over for hanging on the left of a car without passing quickly enough. Tellingly, it was non-German plates, both times.

I was myself nearly ticketed for waiting for someone to pull out of a parking spot instead of driving further into a parking structure. I had law enforcement papers at the time, so I got a free pass, but also quite a lecture. The Germans have amazingly strict driving laws, and few enough law breakers that they can actually enforce them. Here in the California, I see literally dozens of vehicles with obviously illegal modifications. You probably won't get pulled over for it, but if you are in an accident, you will regret having them.

Comment Re:Living life (Score 4, Insightful) 323


I went to a lot of trouble to replace my 1990 Supra which was rear ended by cop (after I had enjoyed it for 18 years) I found one, rebuilt the engine, redesigned and milled, myself, replacements for almost every rotating part in the gear box, and am enjoying my daily commute a lot more than when I was doing it in a 460hp car that costs five times as much as what I've put in my 'new' old Supra.

Money spent on something that you enjoy is money well spent. Some people spent their cash on boats, others wears $10,000 watches, and even have walls covered by bookshelves holding comic books.

If all you care is about saving every dollar you make, you have a sad life. If you do have a hobby, I am sure that you can find people who think as little of it as you think of those of us who enjoy driving.

This said, I've driven a friend's Tesla for a few days, and although it can leave every car of mine in the dust, I did not particularly enjoy it. He had my Supra for these few days, and I think he enjoyed the experience more. Different strokes for different folks, though. His wife thinks that using a 30 years old I6 is a crime against Nature.

Comment Re:Risk (Score 1) 272

An asteroid that can cause an extinction level event will not be stopped by a nuke. It will not even be deflected to any useful amount, even if we had a way to deliver it far enough from Earth, and somehow detonate it exactly where it would do the most damage.

This is as if someone insisted on wearing his 9mm in a bar because it would come in handy when an alien fleet decides to take over Earth.

Comment Re:Effect of nukes on NEOs (Score 4, Insightful) 272

Yeah, and I think that the danger from any NEO that is small enough to be affected by those space based nukes is way, way, WAY less than the danger from space based nukes that can be seized, one way or another, by some nutcase... leaving aside the fact that those who thinks they are a good idea in the first place are nutbags themselves.

Comment Re: would have worked (Score 1) 125

> > So Glen G nuked the original article,

> to make sure you haven't misinterpreted anything, Glenn G didn't nuke anything

The original posted used "nuked" in the sense "demolished as if with a nuclear blast". He and you mean the same thing, but he is using an idiom that you may not have encountered before.

Comment Re: Are all U.S. Laws enforced in the U.K.? (Score 5, Insightful) 125

There is a document called something like "The European Electronic Commerce Directive", and the British have something that is supposed to satisfy it.

You have to admire the way the Sunday Times is brazenly trying to get its way: they delete the most blatant lies from the story on the their web site, they use copyright law to prevent people from quoting or displaying the original article, and now they only have to do something about the physical copies.

Hell, before the advent of the Internet it might have worked. It would have probably worked before printing. I bet some of the people involved regret the good old times when the peasants had no way of learning things on their own.

I wonder how much of a chance there is those times come back...

Comment Re:1000 times (Score 1) 622

As if that's the only problem with his numbers. He is comparing a large luxury sedan to an entry level, small car.

I know two people who own Teslas, and neither of them got it to save money. Teslas are quite comfortable, halfway good looking, and offer good performance. They are also a statement that goes beyond 'I can afford this.'

I have a heavily modded 460hp S60-R Volvo, and a very clean 26 year old Toyota Supra. A Tesla pretty much covers all the strengths of my two cars: performance, turning heads, comfort on long trips, maturity... in one car.

If I wanted a Tesla, I'd buy one. Saving money on gas would not be amongst my reasons... but unless something drastic happens to my cars, I'm happy with what I have. I cannot imagine what would make me buy a new Civic. Losing my job, having my savings wiped out and becoming unemployable wouldn't. I'd buy an old car I could fix and maintain myself.

Comment Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 626

Well, now that I posted, I am thinking about exceptions. For example, in Russian, you have to know where the accent falls, or you may mispronounce the letter 'o'. There are a few tricky things about Hungarian, as well. But in general, English is much harder to get right than any language I know. Hell, I've been told that I can read a Japanese paragraph and sound perfectly understandable, and I have never studied Japanese, I just picked up the phonetic alphabet because I ran out of reading materials on a long flight.

As for Esperanto, I have found it an insanely easy language to understand, and I think it would be the case for every well-traveled European. But the rverse is not true - I would have no hope of speaking it correctly, because I have no idea how they decided which language to borrow from for specific words.

Comment Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 626

This is more of the rule than the exception in most languages that I know.

English is my fourth language, and when I started getting serious about speaking it properly, I realized two things:
- I had been pronouncing many words incorrectly, and to this day, 25 years later, I sometimes realize that I had the wrong pronunciation all along. Sometimes it is because I am familiar with the word in the original language, but it is pronounced differently in English, and sometimes it is because the pronunciation disobeys English rules.
- Many native speakers have no idea how to pronounce words that they have never heard.

But in Bulgarian, Russian, French, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, German, there are very, very few words that you would mispronounce if you see them written down, as long as you know the applicable rules. Some of the languages above (not all) are also very easy to spell, because as long as you know the correct pronunciation, there is only one possible spelling.

Comment Re:If i can't work on my car (Score 1) 292

Heh. A 2000 Toyota running strong is not an exception, it's the rule.

My daily driver is a 1990 Supra with 7000 miles on its rebuilt engine. It had 310,000 miles when I decided that I was getting too little compression. I have replaced a lot of things on that car (every hose, for starters) but I can do everything but truly major work myself.

On the other hand, I just paid $5,800 to have the clutch, angle gear, etc... of my S60-R Volvo replaced. I could not have began to do the work myself. My regular mechanic was unwilling to work on it, and he has been fixing my cars for two decades. I still like that car a lot, it's a 460 sleeper with a hydraulic suspension that's my choice for long trips... but every repair is a major expense.

If I really want to feel that I own a car, it has to be something that at least a dozen of years old. Anything more recent is either really cheap crap, or is beyond my skills to really fully understand, let alone tinker with. Sure, I'm an CS guy, not a gearhead, but I do have an MEng, and I like cars. When I was thirty, I felt that I could at least talk with my mechanic. Nowadays... Oh, will you kids get off my lawn?

Comment Re: So What (Score 2, Funny) 324

Well, I think that ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE agrees that our taxes are spent on the wrong things. The young think too much is spent on the elderly, the healthy think too much is spent on the sick, the pedestrians think too much is spent on roads, the childless think too much is spent on education, etc... And I bet there are people who think that homeland security, the police and the military are getting way too much.

But until someone comes with a better way to decide where the money gets spent we are stuck with the time honored one: wherever it will bring the politicians more power, which in the US means votes and campaign contributions.

And a lot of noise will be made as to where expenses will be cut... usually, whatever programs do not have powerful, organized groups benefiting from them. You can't cut grandpa's check without losing his vote, but you can cut school lunches or fail to fund infrastructure maintenance.

There are no easy solutions. And speaking for myself, I can a lot more benefit, for myself, by working harder, than trying to influence how much I pay in taxes, and where it gets spent.

I have a choice where I live and work. I chose the US in the 90s, and I do not regret that choice, not even when I have to deal with our healthcare (which is the only thing I think is done better elsewhere). Pre- or post- Obamacare, with my experience of other healthcare systems, the changes are not worth commenting on. It was terrible, it is terrible, but as long as I have a good income, it's survivable.

Comment Re: So What (Score 5, Insightful) 324

We get more from taxes. A poor person may get a pittance for food and lodging, but we, and by that I mean middle class professionals, get roads on which to drive our nice cars, police protection for our belongings, safe streets around where we live... and basically a nice life. And yes, we get it from the society that is made possible by taxes.

If you are one of the brainless retards who think that their guns and mad macho skillz will keep them on top if there is a breakdown in law and order, I won't even bother arguing with you. I'll just say that I lived through Bulgaria's transition from a police state to a society run by organized not-quite-criminals, and saw how happy people were to see an end of the truly lawless times.

Without taxes, there is no law enforcement. Without law enforcement, there is no security. No one is tough enough to guarantee their own security without organizing with like minded and skilled people. Once they have organized, they decide that they don't be keeping themselves secure, they are protecting others as well, and... start collecting taxes.

Comment Re:What good is this? (Score 4, Informative) 103

No, it is not funny. It is actually quite amazing how carefully you have to read the article to understand that the incident was in international airspace, and how little "nearly collided" means.

It reminds me of the CNN report about the Russian missile inscribed "To be delivered personally in Omaba's hands" . You know, the one that our ex-ambassador twitted about, the one that showed how Putin is threatening the United States, the one pundits were discussing, as in "can it reach the United States."

CNN even went as far as to intersperse pictures of the missile into footage from the main Feb 23rd parade on the Red Square. The catch? It was a papier-mache prop carried by two member of a fringe party (Stalinist Youth!) that was marching on a back street. Of course, the picture was cropped by CNN as not to make that immediately obvious.

Frankly, the report worried me. Then, in 10 seconds, I stopped worrying, because I found the original picture, and had a laugh. I was scared again, a few days later, when I could not find the CNN clip, or the MSN article, or pretty much anything about the epic fail on English language sites. Good cleanup.

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