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Comment: Write a song about it. (Score 1) 187 187

Since Mr Hennet Baselton is a blogger, maybe he should write a post about it. Perhaps it will go viral just like this musician's songs about United breaking guitars. Not.

Jokes aside, I have some friends that are travel agents, and they all seem to shy away from letting their clients fly United.

Comment: Re:And...and... (Score -1) 156 156

Though, then again...if that was walking around me all the time, I'd keep my eyes focused squarely on my monitor and my work. My productivity would soar...hmmmmm....

I'm thinking, when I'm at a place with a TV, it seems as if my eyes are involuntarily drawn to it. It's as if my mind just can't suspend its disbelief that people are actually spending time and money watching this, as if it believes there must be something showing sooner or later that will make all that enduring of awefullness worthwhile and vindicate all those people, and it doesn't want to miss it, in case it's a fleeting moment....

With that brain, I guess my productivity would plummet (even further).

Heck, I once, no twice, worked at companies that thought it's a good idea to have a big-screen TV in the open plan office. Then again, some of the places I have worked, we also shared the open plan with the telephone support people - not nice. At another place, we sat adjacent to the marketing department - with seemed to recruit only good-looking female salespersons..... Yeah, in all of the above locales, I had to really get into a "zone" where I only saw my screen (and heard my earphones). And then into a deeper "zone" of flow of concentration.

Comment: Re:I'm sure /. will ridicule it, but... (Score 1) 306 306

I just think kids are better off learning more general areas - math, physics, chemistry, writing/literature, social sciences, economics, and BASIC (pun intended) computer science/programming. Leave the specialization to a time where they know what that even means.

On the one hand, I want to agree with you. My personal feeling is that kids (especially nowadays) should learn to play first, and spend sufficient time outdoors. I think schooling (12 years in my locale, excluding prescool), is mostly a waste of productive (from a kid's perspective) time, designed to keep kids occupied while their parents earn enough to pay the taxes.

On the other hand, there actually were some influences during my primary school days (late 1970's) that may have helped a lot to steer my interests years and decades later: yes, general physics and chemistry as applicable to daily life, but also electricity. I built, or tried to build, various rudimentary switching circuits up to and including home-made electromagnets, home-made microphones, home made electric motors.... On overriding memory about my childhood were that there never was enough batteries, flashlight globes, wire, and other materials and tools (my parents were somewhat frugal, WWII babies as their were) - things had to be improvised and scrounged from garbage, and often my grand plans didn't work out, which left me with a sense of failure. Oh, I also remember a toy built from carton out of a children's magazine that purported to be some super computer (actually just a channel for a marble to roll along and 3 gates that would influence the destination the ball would land at). This was somewhat of a marvel to me at that age, but after I opened it to figure out it's working so as to be able to replicate it electrically with some globes, switches and a battery, I realized just how rudimentary it was.

Then along came secondary school, during which I taught myself to program a relative's ZX Spectrum, as well going to a school which at some point installed a computer lab, and being able to take a (extra) computer class. However, during those days the elder generation still were quite wary of this new-fangled thing and my computer time was minimal. Which might have been good, due to a wide range of other experiences gathered during those days. My eventual decision to go into computer science was only cemented during college.

Yes, I think I agree in general with you. Nowadays, IT is moving so rapidly that I don't think it will do much good to give very specialized instruction to kids, especially at primary school level. Won't help them much by the time they leave school. But exposing kids to as wide a range of interests as possible, and enabling them to explore their curiosity further when they seem interested by something, while also guarding against on-track-mindedness, seems to be the best formative education policy. Which doesn't always gel well with the modern production line school system.

Comment: Re:Computers Kill Trees (Score 1) 128 128

if you cut a 100years old tree, and replant it, the new trees is not gonna sink as much carbon as the previous tree.

I don't know much, but I would imagine that if that tree is turned into paper, furniture etc., (most of) the carbon stays "sunk" in that product - until it is burned, at only this point the carbon returns to the atmosphere as CO2. So, Regularly cutting trees and making something out of them (even compost), while replanting the area with new trees, might actually be better in terms of carbon sequestration, than just leaving the trees stand ad infinitum.

Comment: Re:Hobbit (Score 1) 278 278

I wonder if Mars has enough other minerals to make high-grade steel as easily as on Earth....

I suppose once enough people have died, as the summary alludes, there will be at least some carbon around. Not sure if the decay processes of Earth would work as well there, so might just as well put the raw materials to work. Seeing that they want to have a farm instead of a soylent factory. (Yes, I'm being facetious.)

Comment: Re:Is a reduction (Score 4, Funny) 89 89

Rodents are in the much smaller superorder Euarchontoglires, the only non-extinct members of which are: rodents, rabbits, hares, pikas, tree shrews, flying lemurs, and the various primates.

You forgot to specifically mention managers and politicians in that rodent group..... oh wait, my bad, there it is right at the end: primates.

Comment: no-mister-bond,-i-expect-you-to-frown-... dept. (Score 1) 408 408

Since the byline mentions mister Bond, presumably a derivation from the '64 007-flick Goldfinger ("No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"), I need to point out that "fender" is a decidedly American English term, which one would call "mudguard" in proper English. Not that I care much one way or the other, but I have this vivid picture in my head of agent 007 feigning not understanding the reply.

Comment: Re:boat-loads of horse poop (Score 1) 142 142

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately a lot of non-specific arguments along the lines of "because animals" have been floated above and elsewhere. This was refuted with a specific counter-instance that I feel I am sufficiently knowledgeable about. Sorry, no wolves in my back yard.

I think the take-away message is that one can not take a snapshot during certain circumstances, and only for certain species, and then take that as the be-all and end-all to model human politics on. How absurd. Then again, it seems to be a human tendency to squint "just right" at the data to prove whatever they want.