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Comment Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 1) 189

Yes. It was Hitachi-Zosen. I'm guessing the training center is no longer there. It was a bit of ghost building at the time, and the company was suffering severe problems. I've read about the POWs. I doubt the fact that the company was founded by a man from Belfast made them feel any better. I'm glad the ferry is still running.

I have in-laws on the Shikoku side, and so Onomichi is the first symbol of civilization for them. :-) Sadly, I heard the opening of the expressway led to the closing of the Hiroshima-Imabari passenger ferry (sea bus?). That was one great boat trip.

Comment Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 1) 189

The shinkansen station may have been built because of pork-barrel politics, but Onomichi is not such a dead end. Shipbuilding used to be a major industry, especially on the nearby island of Innoshima. These days, it sits at an important transport junction where the Nishi Seto Expressway crosses from Honshu to Shikoku. I once spent three works in a company training center on the island of Mukaijima, immediately across the water from Onomichi. This was about 30 years ago. I remember taking the cable-pulled ferry across the water and then queuing for ramen. At that time, they had started building the bridges that would connect Honshu and Shikoku. I got to drive across about seven years ago.

Comment Re:Stupid Question (Score 1) 162

Doesn't seem a stupid question to me.

But at the speed of light not only does time slow, but space contracts. So I'm not sure we can say that light "travels" through space. It just attaches itself to whatever is touching it. So if we could convert all our body mass to photons, attach those photons to say a planet in another galaxy, and hope someone at the other end has a tool for reconverting those photons back to their original state, then perhaps it's possible. But if you did the return journey because you'd forgotten your swiss army knife, you'd find yourself a huge number of years in the future and that knife might be hard to find.

Comment Re:Common sense to you and me, but... (Score 3, Informative) 98

A note for those who think language should be descriptive. A "public school" in the UK is a very, very private school, often associated with unhealthy sexual practices and strange ways of speaking. Not everyone who attends such a school is a twat. Some are just plain cunts.

Comment Re:Before the Big Bang (Score 1) 429

I didn't intend to bring religion into it. I just wonder whether there are things of which we must remain forever ignorant. The "god" reference was a sarcastic stab at those who are not comfortable with ignorance. We seem bound to concepts such as "before" and "already existed" and find it difficult to shed the concept of time in our understanding of cause and effect. But this always leads to endless turtles. "created from nothing" is a convenient answer, and it may well be true. But I'm not sure how we would ever know.

Comment Re:Look at the geography (Score 1) 494

People in Newcastle, Carlisle and parts of Lancashire might disagree about the benefits, but I agree with your general point. And rather than simply waiting to be charged, I hope Scotland will take a more active approach. For example, rail improvements from Scotland to the north of England might be something that Scotland would propose and be willing to fork up the lion's share of the cash for. But it would resolve to money, and who perceives most benefit. These things can usually be thrashed out round a table.

Comment Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (Score 1) 494

For me, it's not about whether they guarantee my enemy's destruction, but whether they increase or lessen my own chance of destruction. Under the cold war, while uncomfortable, I believe they probably reduced the level of warfare. And I still think that three superpowers having such weapons may be a good thing. But for the life of me, I can't think of any circumstances in which the UK would actually fire one of these things independently of the USA or what a possible target might be.

Comment Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 494

But, but, all those resources make us an obvious target for evil countries who would like to exploit us. Aren't we much safer to share those resources with a friendly and mature country in return for their protection, guidance and economic skills? Especially a country that has the clout to negotiate on our behalf with those devious Europeans.

Comment Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (Score 1) 494

Could you explain how the Trident missiles help to defend me or my family? I prefer not to pay for them because I see them as pretty much fucking useless.

On the other hand, we frequently get low flying military aircraft over our house, on training runs. These don't come cheap either, but I see them as a useful thing to have and am quite happy to pay my share for them.

"Live or die, I'll make a million." -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater