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Comment: Re:Changes based on the Season (Score 1) 304

by dasunt (#49134129) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

(I don't, my hands get frozen already when it's below 10 degrees C (50 F?).

For warmer weather (10C is warmer), get some good gloves. For colder weather (around -10C) buy some pogies. Here's a good brand.

(I envy your nice weather in Norway. Its just my luck that my ancestors left for somewhere that was actually colder. :p But I can tell you that it's usually about -20C when the bike itself tends to stiffen up - it gets harder to go fast. But some people to the north go in weather far colder than that.)

Comment: Re: About right (Score 5, Insightful) 241

by dasunt (#49110635) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

You don't consider the threat of being shot and then having your property taken a violent crime? The fact the weapon turned out to not be able to shoot bullets doesn't matter, nor should it.

Assume a criminal has either the choice of a BB gun or a regular gun to commit a crime with.

In scenario A, the BB gun is considered a lesser offense than robbing someone with a regular firearm.

In scenario B, the BB gun is considered the same as robbing someone with a regular gun.

Under which scenario do you assume that more people are held up with weapons that are actually capable of killing them? In which scenario are more crime victims shot?

Being tough on crime sounds good, but it can have unintended consequences.

Comment: Re:Never finish (Score 4, Interesting) 180

He may not finish it, but you can be damned sure the producers of the series have a solid plot line at their disposal should he kick the bucket.

True, but I don't expect them to have the same level of detail or intricacy the completed series would have.

It's quite a complicated world. It's easy to miss out on the little clues scattered here and there - such as Young Griff's possible ancestry; who was responsible for Balon's death; the creaking hinge of Aeron's memories; the identities of the Sphinx, the new Pirate King in the Stepstones, the brother on the Quiet Isle, Robert Strong, and more; or what actually happened at the Tower of Joy, etc.

And that's what we actually can claim to be pretty certain about, if you're a careful reader. There's so much unrevealed or left ambiguous - what is up in the Land of Always Winter, who is Septa Lemore or Coldhands, what happened to Benjen (and no, he's not Coldhands, they killed him "long ago"), what's on the Isle of Faces, what did Rhaegar read that lead him to become a warrior, where did Tysha go, etc. Now some of these won't be answered most likely, but we'll get more answers, both in the main series and in the Dunk & Egg novellas.

I think the television series can pull off a satisfactory conclusion, especially since it veers off on its own direction occasionally (Yara's plotline, for example) and by the necessity of the television medium it must be more simple than the books. But I don't think the written series will be the same if someone else finishes it.

Comment: Re: Agent Smith was Right (Score 1) 110

by dasunt (#48802213) Attached to: Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

I'm not saying humans are awesome, and I'm not dismissing our environmental impacts. I'm just pointing out the flaws in that speech.

Take "Collapse" by Jared Diamond, since you mentioned it. The regions he talked about still have a human population. It's not similar to a virus, but instead a boom/bust population cycle common to some mammals (e.g. the infamous snowshoe hare)

We may cause the end of our civilization in many ways. But humanity is likely to still be around even after the end.

Comment: Re:Agent Smith was Right (Score 5, Interesting) 110

by dasunt (#48799723) Attached to: Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

Agent Smith: "I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops an equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not.

Cute sentimentality, but considering how obviously untrue it is, that monologue always bugged me.

First off, what areas have humans consumed so many natural resources that they can no longer survive there? About the only arguable cases I can think of is areas of desertification - and even then, humans do manage to live there.

Second, mammals have no instinct to come to an equilibrium with their environment. E.g. rabbits in Australia - introduced a century ago, and definitely did not come to an homeostasis with the environment they found - instead, growing so numerous that they are a serious ecological problem.

Comment: Re:Dupe (Score 1) 840

That was a time when you could actually easily fix something. Take cars, for example. Fixing a modern car aside from trivial cases is not easy.

I may not drive the most modern vehicles, but they were built this century. Had a few problems with one - alternator went out (replaced it), serpentine idler pully locked up (replaced that - required disconnecting an engine mount), did the timing belt, pulleys and water pump at 100k, and had a faulty sensor, throwing the computer out of wack (pulled the trouble codes, did some research, pulled the sensor, tested the resistance (fine), threw it in some boiling water, and tested the resistance again (out of range) - hence explaining why the car would fail only once the engine was warmed up).

It's all in knowing what to do, and we're in the golden age of being able to research. I've worked on everything from refinishing wood floors (and damn they look good) to recapping electronics. And I'm under 40!

It's all in the attitude, the ability to search for help, and the patience and willingness to step back and think.

I think much of the excuse of things nowadays not being able to be fixed is people not willing to learn how modern things work.

Comment: 100th idiot (Score 3, Insightful) 34

The only way I can see these people getting their crazy plans funded is through the 100th idiot effect amidst venture capitalists.

From _Matter_ by Iain M. Banks: "100 idiots make idiotic plans, and carry them out. All but one justly fail. The hundredth idiot whose plans succeeded through pure luck, is immediately convinced he's a genius."

Comment: Re:Races are different (Score 1) 53

by dasunt (#48672973) Attached to: Russian Hackers Stole Millions From Banks, ATMs

Now the elephant in the room is, do all the races have exactly the same IQ distribution amongst their population? Test results say no. Need citation? Just look up anything, SAT, GRE, MCAT, police dept entrance exams, fireman exams, military exams, straight IQ tests, anything. The body of evidence is overwhelming.

The body of evidence is overwhelming. IQs have been steadily rising over the past century. The phenomenon even has it's own name: The Flynn Effect.

It seems that for the population as a whole, nurture and not nature has a strong effect on IQ. We have some indications of what that "nurture" may be - nutrition, education, household stability, etc.

So lets not jump on the "some races are naturally dumb" bandwagon quite yet, until we even out the nurture part.of the equation. Until we eliminate food insecurity in poor households, until an inner city school is just as good as a private school, until we've brought livable incomes to all, we should not and can not excuse the problem by saying some races just don't have what it takes.

We need to fix our society, because as it happens, we've set up a class of people (which partially correlates to some racial groups) to more likely fail than succeed. And that's a drain on the present and the future.

Comment: Re:Tired of this shit (Score 1) 448

by dasunt (#48613575) Attached to: Virtual Reality Experiment Wants To Put White People In Black Bodies

I just think it would be interesting to see how it affects you psychologically when you are a treated differently by society.

Don't bath or shave for a few days, throw on some dirty tattered clothes and a hat, and otherwise look like a homeless person.

I suspect you'll get some different views of people.

Comment: Re:How is that startling? (Score 2) 413

by dasunt (#48479847) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Why not include a census question asking people what neighbors they feel they are closest to?

That way, with a few simple rules, it's possible to calculate census areas which are culturally distinct. So a major urban area won't dilute a rural area, a black majority-area won't be diluted by being split up into multiple districts, etc.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 167

by dasunt (#48423507) Attached to: Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

Agreed. I'm a cyclist, both short and long distance.

I've never had a problem with getting water. A cyclist can easily travel 10 miles an hour, even fully loaded. Its easy enough to refill every few hours. Even if I was in the boondocks, I could carry a water filter and fill up from streams.

I suppose there are places without sources of water for tens of miles, but it's a very rare corner case.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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