Very true, but the discussion started in gallons and related units and containers, so sticking with 5 gallon and 1 gallon jugs and the like for visualization seemed appropriate. I'm not trying to get a probe to Mars here.
Change his argument?! Are you joking? I may have misread the analogy, but the poster I replied to seemed to be implying either that there were no forces in the universe that would cause galaxies to go into collision courses or, alternately, that the universe isn't expanding. That's what I got from the stilted baseball analogy, anyway. My point was that there are more forces in play in the Universe than his little model/analogy accounts for. That's not changing his argument, that's just telling him that his model is broken and incomplete.
Some people have memories that reach back before whatever happens to be in the news right now.
Galaxies are collections of stars (and their satellites and interstellar dust and gas, etc.) bound together by gravitational forces (and maybe other forces we don't understand yet). When galaxies collide, they can merge without their stars physically colliding. The forces that bind the separate galaxies and allow us to think of them as discrete objects will bind the two galaxies into one discrete object without requiring that the individual stars merge. For your objection to make sense, galaxies would have to consist of only one giant black hole with no stars.
Well, if the baseballs have elastic cords stuck to them, it certainly becomes possible. If we're doing some sort of analogy to galaxies colliding here we can call the elastic cords: "gravity".
My point wasn't about automatic vs semi-automatic. It was automatic vs machine gun.
My point is that if I had said that automatic=machine gun, someone would have been all over me telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about and that the term "machine gun" only applies to certain guns which are a subset of automatics.
A great example I have seen showing processed vs non-processed foods is to simply put the food in a bowl of water. A lot of processed food will within a matter of minutes puff up to a multiple of their size, and when stirred will simply break up into a liquid solution. Natural (unprocessed, even minimally processed) foods will generally stay together for a lot longer.
That's not exactly a surprising observation. Same thing is true of most particleboard vs. unprocessed wood as well. You've failed to demonstrate at all why this would be a problem. Try your test on some chicken flesh compared to an identical piece of chicken flesh that's been chewed, swallowed, then chemically processed by enzymes and stomach acids in a human stomach. After you've tried that test, you may understand why your argument is easily dismissed by most people when you put it that way.
That said, there are reasons more heavily processed foods may be worse for you than unprocessed. One of those reasons is that the processed foods often simply come from poorer base materials than the unprocessed foods, which is why they needed to be processed in the first place. If the unprocessed food is a nice cut of chicken breast and the processed food is ground up chicken cartilage with a little bone and other otherwise less than usable bits of the chicken after everything is else is stripped off, then the processed food typically won't be as good. That's not universally true though. The hydroxyl-apatite in ground bone can actually be an ideal source of bio-available calcium, for example, and various organ meats which people typically shun in low-processed form are full of great nutrition. The majority of what goes into the processed chicken patty, however, is crap. Figuratively and also, to some degree, literally. Processes get developed to extract the maximum nutrition from food. This should be a good thing in a hungry world. Unfortunately, it's a hungry world with marketing departments and a heavy profit motive.
Processing of food isn't inherently evil. People have been processing food to extract more nutrition from it for millennia. Grinding bones to make your bread (bone cakes are full of calcium and nutritious bone marrow) is just one example. Another set of great examples are demonstrated by Pellagra and Kwashiorkor which are two medical conditions. You may not have heard of Pellagra, but just think of a typical portrayal of leprosy and you won't go far wrong. Kwashiorkor you have probably seen in ads for hunger-relief charities: swollen ankles, distended belly, hair loss, loss of teeth, dermatitis. These conditions are specialized forms of malnutrition that can occur in individuals who may actually be getting enough food to survive (although they may frequently be generally malnourished as well), but are suffering from niacin or protein deficiencies. They both tend to show up among people who live essentially exclusively on corn (poor Italian peasants in the case of Pellagra, and mostly African children living on food aid for Kwashiorkor). The all-corn diet might be providing enough calories, but is deficient in some vital nutrients. As it turns out, South American natives living on the same diet weren't suffering from these same issues. The reason comes down to food processing. Traditional preparation of corn involves nixtamalizing it, which basically means boiling it in a lime (the mineral, not the fruit) solution. The resulting processed food, called nixtamal is more nutritious (technically, it has fewer calories, but it provides a wider variety of nutrients) and people using it as a staple food are less likely to develop extreme nutritional disorders.
Going back to the downsides of processing food, there's the issue of preservation. Some processing, of course, preserves much of the nutritive value of the food for a very long time. Examples of this are salting, dehydrating and pickling. The processing does, however, often destroy some of the nutrients in the food as well and it typically involves preservatives that can be harmful when taken to excess (such as salts) or possibly preservatives that are harmful no matter the amount. Certainly any process that grinds up a food increases its surface area and potentially exposes it to rapid oxidation among other potential issues. Killing a food that's technically still alive can certainly destroy nutritional value. On the other hand, living foods stay alive by eating themselves, so you may lose nutritional value that way if you don't kill the food somehow.
The problem is, it's all very situation dependant. If you don't want to put in the huge effort of careful evaluation of every food you can form simple rules like: "processed food = bad", which can serve you pretty well. The problem you will run into is when you try to explain the universal truth of these simple rules to people and they demand a bit more than a simple heuristic.
People use pod coffee machines because they
Better than fresh ground coffee? I don't actually drink coffee myself. I actually feel slightly nauseated when the aroma is particularly strong. But it seems fairly obvious that coffee that has already been ground up and left to sit in a packet for weeks or months is not going to taste as fresh as a bean that has just been ground up.
I crossed on one when I was little. Maybe nine or ten. Fairly choppy weather. I remember I was reading a disney comic of some sort. One of the stories definitely involved Mickey Mouse holding some people at gunpoint with a machine gun, but it turned out the guns had no firing pins. Odd the things you remember. Anyway, I didn't get sick at all. It's sort of odd that. I used to get carsick when I was younger, but then I suddenly reached a point where I never seemed to get any sort of motion sickness at all any more.
The whole point behind any form of insurance is supposed to be to eliminate the gamble. If it worked out for you and eight other people, but a tenth person got raked over the coals trying the same thing, you can't claim that the strategy works based on your own anecdotal example.
Why is it that people who have no knowledge at all, people who don't know the difference between a machine gun and a pistol, want to decide on gun regulations?
This is a fact - anti-gunners, including congress-critters, REGULARLY confuse an automatic (machine gun) with a semi-automatic (pistol).
Why is it that in the past whenever I've confused a machine gun with a gun that's merely an automatic I've always been corrected and told that a machine gun is an automatic, but automatic doesn't mean machine gun? I've long come to the conclusion that guns are one of those subjects where, unless you're part of the club, you're always wrong because the actual facts and definitions dance in some mysterious pattern. It's like using some group's slang if you're not part of the group. Even if you get the meaning just right, you're still wrong.
The 600 gallons is an overestimate of what's needed to survive. It's really low compared to what most american 4 person families actually use, but an adult male typically only drinks 3 liters of water per day and an adult female 2.2. Assuming two adult males and two adult females, that's 10.4 liters, which is under 3 gallons and would be 90 liters of water per day. In a true emergency, all of the other uses for water, such as bathing, cleaning clothes, washing dishes, flushing the toilet, etc. can be skipped. Very basic hygiene can be maintained with only tiny amounts of water. Not being able to flush the toilet might be a big problem except that, if there's no water coming out of the pipes to flush the toilets, the sewers will back up in no time, so flushing the toilets with your drinking water wouldn't really help anyway.
90 gallons is still a lot, of course. It's still 18 of those water cooler containers, but thats a lot better than 120 of them. Looked at a different way, a 1 gallon jug is 7 * 7 * 10 inches. So, on a 5 foot wide, two foot deep shelf, you could fit 24 gallons of water in jugs. So, you could keep your month's supply of water on a not particularly huge section of (strong) shelving . If you really were trying to go the survivalist route, a 40 gallon RV water tank can be had with dimensions of 39 * 16 * 16 1/2 inches. I just did a quick check of my closet and I could fit ten of those in there. That would be one and a half tons of water though, so I probably wouldn't want to do that without being sure that the floor could take it. In any case, anyone putting a bit of effort into preparation could relatively easily manage a month's worth of water. For that matter, any family with a hot water heater and a gallon jug of bleach has a third to half of their month's supply already sitting in a suitable container. Aside from that, many people don't live very far from rivers and lakes and other sources of water that are fine to drink in an emergency if they have that gallon of bleach on hand. There's also collecting rain-water and melting snow when possible. Beyond that, anyone with the money to invest can buy a small solar power system and an atmospheric water generator for a few thousand dollars and supply themselves with potable water directly from the air.
All of this requires some preparation, of course, but the point is that preparing for a disaster isn't some unobtainable dream.
When I was a teenager, the father of a wealthy school friend won a hovercraft in a card game. It looked quite similar to the one above. It was powered by a Bombardier snow mobile engine and was extremely loud. It would only hover when the fan was running, as the airstream for the hovering air came from a diverted stream of about 1/3rd of the prop wash air. Steering it felt a lot like trying to push one of those Ikea shopping carts that has four pivoting wheels...during a turn, you end up going sideways for a time. Going over water, it felt not unlike being on a loud boat or a seadoo. Going over land, it felt like being on a loud ground vehicle. The cool part came when we could drive it over a mud flat which alternated between sand and water. It really was an unusual sensation. The problem was that it ate fuel like crazy. It was far worse than a regular boat. The other problem was that when it came to a rest, the sand started to grind down the bottom. We did mitigate this by adding some fiberglass enforced wooden rails. Overall, it was great fun as a teenager, but even if I had the money to dump on such a toy, I doubt I would.
I have an hypothesis:
# of libertarian slashdot posters = k / (average software developer salary)
where k is some real number.