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Comment Dear China. (Score 2) 412

This April we are holding our annual war games with South Korea. We expect North Korea to rattle it's sabers and embarrass you again while this exercise is conducted. We propose the following: Approach the leadership of North Korea with helping them conduct a war game of their own. Get a couple hundred divisions of your army into Pyong Yang under those pretenses, then capture or kill Kim and destroy his regime before he even realizes what's happening. Allow the South Korean army to take over the north and in exchange we will completely withdraw all troops from the Korean peninsula.

Comment Re:Oh dear god..... (Score 3, Informative) 339

Jupiter seems to be at a curious point between being a planet and a star. Planets don't get much bigger, by volume, than Jupiter - they just start getting denser and denser until nuclear fusion begins. A brown dwarf an order of magnitude more massive than Jupiter would still be roughly the same size - so no, it's not a brown dwarf. Stars outright can be considerably smaller than the sun.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

20. The goal of terms in science is to aid our understanding of the universe, not hinder it. For this reason, definitions, particular baseline definitions, need to be simple. I'm not an ornithologist but I have a pretty good idea of what a "bird" is and any 5 year old does as well. Yet I guarantee most if not all ornithologists cannot name all 10,000+ species of birds. In a similar vein, why does it matter if kids can't name all the planets?

Agreed that the IAU is so far off the mark it's not funny considering they are supposed to be a major scientific body. What is needed is a taxonomical approach to astronomical object classification with increasingly complex definitions - and the IAU definition itself could be allowed to one of them.

1. World - a body that is massive enough to enter hydrostatic equilibrium but lacking mass sufficient to undergo nuclear fusion at its core.

2. Planet - a world orbiting a star.

3. Moon - a world orbiting a planet

The above excluded what are now called "rogue planets" from being planets since they aren't orbiting a star, but rogue world isn't too detached. Phobos and Deimos would no longer be considered moons under the above - they are merely satellites.

Moving to the more specific: "Classical Planet" - A planet visible to the naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). "Major Planet" - A planet which is the dominant body in it's orbital path, meaning it has more than 99.99% of all mass in the path or other objects in that amount are in tight orbit around it (earth/moon). "Dwarf Planet" - A planet which is not the dominant body in its orbital path.

Comment I wonder... (Score 1) 82

Fascinating article. This stuck out:

If Williams or anyone else can prove the existence of an edit-distance algorithm that runs even moderately faster than normal, SETH is history.

The edit distance between book and back is 2 ... In latin characters. It's 1 with kanji. The edit distance is probably several hundred if you're comparing the two on a per pixel basis instead of per letter. Edit distance varies by scope.

Surely I'm misunderstanding something. It can't be that simple.

Comment Re:Science and Christianity are NOT compatible (Score 2) 260

They seek from the Bible inspiration, a cultural identity, etc., but not doctrine.

Well, I hate to tell you, but the vast majority of Christians would consider you to be a heretic at best.

Wrong. This is the stance of the Roman Catholic Church, which is larger than any other Christian denomination by an order of magnitude. The principle that all truth comes from the Bible and that it is *literally* true is known as the sola scriptura heresy, and is limited to a handful of Protestant branches.

The truth here is the reverse of what you believe.

Comment Re:Whatever, I only play Pong (Score 1) 193

These newfangled games are lame. I tried ET once, never again.

Have you ever *played* ET??

Over time I've gotten sick and tired of seeing it trotted out as the worst game ever, cause it isn't. Not by a long shot, not even on the Atari 2600. There are literally hundreds of worse games on the 2600 which is why it sank like a stone.

ET's largest problem was development time - 5 weeks. Beyond that though is it was ahead of its time. It was a game you had to read the manual to play in an era where no one read the manual because almost all the games of the time were too simple to require one. It had a title screen, an attempt at a soundtrack on that screen.

I own it and a working Atari 2600, though I usually play it and other games of the era on the Atari 7800. It's playable and I've dealt with far worse on even modern consoles. It's a bad game but it doesn't live up the legend. And honestly, I've gotten tired of people cracking jokes about a game most have never seen played, let alone played for themselves.

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We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra