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Comment: Re:I had that picture in my course some years ago (Score 1) 513

by Moridineas (#49602187) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Hell, I was in the National Gallery a while back and it had a famous exhibit of a sculpted goat being penetrated by a man. Just there, in the museum. There was a warning sign that that gallery contains such works, but that was about it. Kids were roaming freely through it and past it and looking at it. No parent did anything more than "Yes, it's very funny, keep moving" and a sly smile between them all.

I'm mostly surprised that goats were roaming freely through the exhibit.

Comment: Re:This is news - how? (Score 1) 49

by Moridineas (#49582891) Attached to: Fetch Robotics Unveils Warehouse Robots

Hey, this is off-topic, but I've been interested in the topic of color blindness recently, after figuring out that my son is color blind. He has not been officially diagnosed as colorblind (and he is only 4), but he has a lot of trouble with certain shades or blends, and the Ishihara plate graphics that we tried online seemed pretty definitive as well.

I'm just curious about your experience. My son seems to have NO trouble with red and green most of the time (which I didn't expect), but rather colors like purples, oranges, even yellow.

Another person I've spoken with said something like "I can figure out green...and I can figure out red...but don't ask me to find a red bird in a green tree!"

I'm just curious if these impressions match your experiences at all?

Thanks for your insights!

Comment: Re:Reality does not have a rest button son. (Score 1) 85

in other words, the lives of thousands of funny looking furiners are inconsequential when balanced against the greed of you and your corporate friends. The fact that you have the nerve to show your face among decent human being with that attitude is insulting.

No, you're changing the topic of conversation. I did not say that our presence is the Middle East was good for the MIddle East--it of course has been terrifically destructive. I did not say that is morally right--it's morally reprehensible. I said that American interests have not been hurt. Given that President Obama has continued--and intensified--many of the worst abuses of American supremacy (most notably drone killings), the only conclusion a rational observer can arrive at is that Republicans and Democrats have the same end goals--destabilize the Middle East. Our alleged enemies do have their hands full in what's rapidly becoming a full-blown Sunni-Shia crapfest. Please don't put words in my mouth or play Internet couch psychiatrist. It rarely comes across well.

Comment: Re:The Revolving Door Argument is Thin Anyway.... (Score 0) 85

Wow, I was honestly hoping for better! Of everything you can pick from the Bush administration, that's the best you can come up with?

First of all, where's the "toxic" revolving door here? I understand that you disagree with the decision that the Bush FCC made regarding unbundling (though the article you linked to is completely incoherent), but that's not at all what this discussion is about.

Secondly, if unbundling was so disastrous, why has gigabit internet rapidly proliferated around the country over the last decade? If it was such a bad decision, decreed by a "toxic" individual, why has the Obama FCC shown zero interest in changing the rule? Here's a thought: "...by the time Barack Obama took office in 2009, [unbundling rules] had become so discredited that the FCC didn't try to revive them."

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/26/8117489/conservatives-winning-net-neutrality

Here, btw, is a Slate take on Michael Powell, who they call "an earnest technocrat, out of place in the politically calculating Bush administration. ... Powell is the closest thing to Al Gore in official Washington today. ... But Powell's not a fire-breathing conservative and shill for big business. Like Gore, he's a wonk with an abiding interest in policy minutiae and a deep faith in technology."

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2003/02/the_real_michael_powell.html

Toxic revolving door? Hilarious.

Comment: Re:Reality does not have a rest button son. (Score 1) 85

I know you're under no onus to fulfill my request, but I did say specifically, not incredibly broad and general strokes!

Well there was widespread deregulation of financial markets that made for the great recession

Are you talking about Clinton's repeal of Glass-Steagal?

Going from no deficits and a path to paying of the national debt under Clinton to tax cuts and war debt bringing the national debt to new highs

And debt has risen even faster and higher under President Obama. So is he even worse than President Bush? Would have been nice if the 90s dotcom boom and the post-Soviet boom had continued forever.

Rolling back all of the Clinton controls on CO2 emissions and encouraging the building of more coal power plants

What Clinton regulations were rolled back?

Destabilizing the middle east and getting thousands of service men and women killed on some unjustified search for wmds

Honestly, destabilizing the Middle East seems to have succeeded wonderfully and I don't see how American interests are hurt at all. All of our alleged enemies have their hands full now. The loss of American lives is very unfortunate.

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 493

by Moridineas (#49555607) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

I sometimes think that Islam hasn't had it's version of "The Reformation" yet. In the west that somewhat reduced the power of religion compared to nation-states.

This is, more or less, Bernard Lewis's thesis. Check out the book "What Went Wrong" by Lewis. Interesting read.

But In "Islam-land" the Religion has more even MORE power than it does here.

Famous scholar of Islam and the Middle East Marshall Hodgson coined the term "Islamdom" for "Islam-land" (and to echo "Christendom"). Islamdom thus is Morocco to Western China, Central Asia to Central Africa (roughly). Good term. You can refer to Islamdom without referring to Arabs, Persians, South Asians, etc.

Comment: Re:The study was flawed (Score 1) 104

by Moridineas (#49550937) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

It's easy for the general public to latch onto a particular cause. But once you learn more about beekeeping you realize how incredibly much out there is that can utterly f* up a hive. And which have in history regularly collapsed bee populations, far worse than the collapses we have today. Trachael mites once nearly obliterated beekeeping in Europe, saved mainly by the development of the Buckfast bee. Check out [wikipedia.org] this very inexhaustive list of bee pests and diseases. There's even some really counterintuitive effects in that small levels of some pesticides can actually increase hive survival rates, in that they're deadlier to bee pests like mites than to the bees themselves.

I completely agree with your point. One interesting point of speculation is that it's highly possible that Brother Adam (the developer of the Buckfast bee) was responsible for bringing Varroa to Europe. Brother Adam imported bees from around the world, and the first appearance of Varroa in the UK was not very far from where he operated.

Comment: Re:A first step (Score 1) 295

by Moridineas (#49550897) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Where we moved to in North Carolina, we're only served by two utilities: AT&T (for internet/phone/TV) and Duke Progressive (for electricity).

What about Timewarner?

We use electric heating--which is expensive, and while our neighborhood will be getting natural gas in the next few months, it makes no economic sense for us to replace our central heating system with gas. (The payoff exceeds the lifespan of the HVAC already installed.)

North Carolina generally has cheap electricity. If you have a heatpump, your electricity bill should not be that bad! Heatpumps generally work well in our climate.

I have to admit, the primary reason for not getting solar where we've lived in Los Angeles and now in Raleigh is that it didn't make a lot of economic sense. But as solar cell prices drop, having a battery-backed solar system on my house starts to sound more promising--especially after the last storm which knocked out our power for a couple of days.

I've run the numbers for the Triangle area after getting quotes through several local companies. Including both the federal and state tax credits and depreciation (this was for a commercial installation), break even is generally 7-8 years off. Probably worthwhile, but not a clear case. Add in a number 10 grand plus for batteries and the case is even more borderline. If you've got the cash, I agree it's great--would love to have power after a hurricane!

Since we are on a well and septic tank, if we can get most of our power from solar then we can pretty much be self-sufficient if there is a major disruption in the future--and that's worth a premium over what we now pay for electric service.

Isn't the price of electricity in NC literally 50% of what it is in California? We have cheap electricity.

Comment: Re:My prediction for the Apple Watch's success (Score 1) 174

by Moridineas (#49548703) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

For one thing, you're forgetting that relatively few people (in the US and many other places) pay full price upfront for phones. They buy an iPhone for $99 / $199 / $299 / $399 / etc and then have a subsidized contract over two years. Sure, you could buy it outright, but with most of the US carriers you're not going to get a reduced monthly, so what's the point?

Comment: Re:Comcast and Time Warner, a match made in . . . (Score 4, Interesting) 112

by Moridineas (#49544727) Attached to: Comcast Officially Gives Up On TWC Merger

I know you're making a joke, but I just thought I should add--I've lived in Comcast, Cox, and Timewarner cable areas. I'm commenting solely on Internet service, but Timewarner has far and away been the best. They're rolling out their ridiculously named "Maxx" service in my area in the next month or two. 25/5 will be upgraded 100/10 or 200/20 (I'm not entirely clear which it is). It's no Google fiber, but it will do until Google rolls out next year... I'm overjoyed the merger is not going through.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by Moridineas (#49520937) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Dutch schools are funded per student, with extra budget for students with lower language proficiency and similar problems. There's also some extra funding for schools in small villages, monumental buildings, etc.

There are so many non-native English speakers that I think, in this particular case, it would be difficult to spread them evenly throughout the school district. Any calls to create a ELL (English as a Learned Language) "magnet" school are immediately met with cries of racism and "separate but (not) equal" -- attacks that resonate very deeply in America today.

Secondly, students are put in classes with kids of similar academic achievement (4-5 levels), to allow them to challenge each other. This also separates academic ability from background, although it's not perfect.

Again, anything like this is immediately met with cries of segregation, racism, and classism. If you group kids by academic achievement, what happens is that many of the white and Asian students get grouped together, and black and hispanics get grouped together on the low achieving end. It's "ok" if people move to self-segregate, but public schools doing this deliberately would be shot down immediately.

I don't know if there is a solution.

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