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Comment: Re:Cause of death (Score 5, Interesting) 85

Without a doubt, heart attacks. I work with lab mice every day, and they're very high strung creatures. When we order mice from a supply house they often pack in one or two 'extra' mice in the event a death occurs in transit. This is just regular shipping via truck/plane, so the stresses of going through a launch into orbit being so much more I'd expect a high mortality rate.

Comment: Re:The World is not entirely filled with idiots (Score 1) 582

How much better off would the US -- to say nothing of the rest of the world -- be, if we'd just shrugged off the 9/11 attacks as unique criminal acts by deranged cultists, rather than a military event that called for multi-trillion-dollar wars?

Impossible to say, really, one may as well ponder the state of the world if Christianity hadn't come about as well. But if I had to guess, the US wouldn't be in so much debt and they wouldn't be as hated in some countries. Saddam would still be killing his own people and the Taliban would still be hanging people from goalposts in soccer stadiums. On and on it goes, and I see no relevance in speculating about it. Any 9-11 discussion, especially here on slashdot, tends to get out of hand no matter what your viewpoint, so I tend to avoid them. My point was that it is normal for attitudes to change in response to tragic events.

Comment: Re:The World is not entirely filled with idiots (Score 1) 582

Well, I'm Canadian so I can't speak with certainty on how laws are 'dictated' in the states, but here we vote in our politicians, and so the laws they 'dictate' are a consequence of having the majority of the populace choose their leaders. You may be more informed, but I don't believe that the vast majority of Americans are insane. Maybe what you meant was more like this:

There's something to be said in favor of not letting... the politicians you voted into office to overreact to tragic events and allow insane people to indirectly dictate the laws that the rest of us have to follow.

Don't like your laws? Blame your politicians, and vote them out in the next election. The 'Insane People Dictating Laws' lobby can't have that many supporters, could they?

But I guess that's pre-9/11, pre-Sandy Hook, pre-Dunblane, pre-Oklahoma City thinking, huh.

I think the vast majority of sane people realize that it's normal for world/societal views to change after major events. It's a strange view to take that things should just be a shrug of the shoulders and a 'business as usual' attitude... but that may explain some things in itself.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie