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Comment Re:A child at any price? (Score 1) 358

If "Life's a bitch" meant "we shall do nothing to prevent life from being so bitchy" then we wouldn't have any doctors at all. Granted, this may be seen as less necessary than operations to preserve life, but there may well be some interesting knowledge that comes from this about how we make life. Someone had to have the first surrogacy, and there are many people now who are very glad that someone tried it and figured out how to make it work. As a woman also born without a womb, this is very exciting to me. There's an awful lot of ancestral instinct pushing me toward having my own child, and I'd love to think that one day this process could be adapted to help women like myself who were born with male phenotypes.

Comment Re:You think that's big!?!?!? (Score 2, Interesting) 202

I think more to the point is the size of the bit of the universe we can observe and then process the results of observation for. Something this big is rare for us to see from Earth as it stands and so without an improvement in technology or increase in resources spent on star-gazing it'll remain to be an impressive feat to find another of this size.

..Of course if we talk of this without taking our earthly abilities into account it just turns into a game of looking for an extremely large needle in an infinite haystack.

Submission + - Loss of ice on Mt. Everest is "Devastating" 2

Simmeh writes: The BBC reports on new photos of the Himalayas taken from exactly the same position as ones from 1929 and compares the ice coverage. The Asia Society who did the groundwork are quoted as saying "If the present rate of melting continues, many of these glaciers will be severely diminished by the middle of this century.". I guess the previous claim wasn't too unrealistic.

Submission + - Remix This Game (

An anonymous reader writes: REMIX THIS GAME is an experimental game design contest where participants can re-mix and re-cycle my free-software self-published PC game, XONG. XONG is available under permissive licenses allowing remixes and derivative works of the code, graphics, sound effects, and music—even for commercial use. The source code license is the GNU GPL Version 3, and the media is covered by the Creative Commons BY-SA license.

No special software or programming experience are needed—XONG has been packaged up so that you can just download the game and edit the graphics/code/music/sounds in place, and re-start the game to see your changes. Plus, it is available for Windows, Mac OSX, and GNU/Linux, so you can remix it on whichever OS you use, using whatever programs you like.

Comment Re:Crossdressers/transgendered? (Score 1) 235

As a girl first and foremost (who happens to be described as transgendered by virtue of having a penis) I really wouldn't be happy about this if it becomes widespread.

Of course the reminder (or being "outed" if it's better at detecting gender types than people around) is an issue but what really pisses me off is this imposes the belief that somebody's gender can be determined by appearance alone.

This is a huge issue to people who suffer from the consequences of ignorance. Society daily makes things harder for me purely because of this assumption that I'm not a girl because I have a dark upper lip.

Ideally it'd go on clothes so that if you're wearing jeans it'll advertise jeans.. but that's far from perfect as men's jeans (and the ads for them) are different to girls. I could see me avoiding areas with these as carefully as I avoid tube stations with ads for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (you can't imagine how acceptable the looks I get next to one of those are.)

It sounds like a petty thing but people in my position really don't need any more shit to deal with.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 226

The last line or argument of a proof isn't always (or usually) the most important one as far as insight or bigness of ideas is concerned.

If we simplify the proof process to each of the contributors writing a few lines of the complete proof for a conjecture, with the person who defined the axioms as the first contributor and the Perelmans as the last, there's no reason to measure Perelman's additions as any harder, more important or more impressive.

Comment Alice in Wonderland (Score 1) 402

Seriously, why not study that if you're looking for secret codes? It's very likely there's some stuff that nobody has figured out in there. I know Dodgson isn't as influential as Plato by a long-shot but in terms of the information the writers provide, what Dodgson lacks in ahead-of-his-timeness he makes up for in being relatively recent. I'd say both are about as relevant (somewhere around the "kind of" mark..)

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton