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Comment: Food insecurity at University? Marginal (Score 1) 390

by idunham (#46797263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

First, suggestions (aka what I ate):
Oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches (especially with bananas or home-made jam), and the cheapest organ meat you can find. Ground beef heart can make a decent meatloaf, in a pinch.
(I got that from the "Meats Laboratory" at Chico, which is a slaughterhouse run by the university to train students.)

Now, observations:
Yes, it can be a problem.
I ended up spending around $10/week, for about the cheapest food I could get.
Most of the money I used to pay for a university education was from work I did in the meanwhile for $8.15/hr, so it's not impossible to work your way through.
The biggest thing is to find a place to stay that's close enough and cheap enough. I was working at the university farm and staying there as well, for ~$150/month. If I'd had to pay the $500+ that would be more typical, I don't think it would have worked.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 2, Informative) 397

by idunham (#46797175) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

First, if you can't trust the byproducts from breweries to be safe, you've got a bigger problem: the beer would be poisonous.
Second, it's unlikely to cause problems that can bioaccumulate in livestock; if it goes bad, the livestock get sick, at which point the milk and meat cannot be used without treating them.

But what would I know? I only have a BS in agriculture.

Comment: Re:where is the controversy? (Score 1) 642

Thanks for bothering to look something up. A lot of people seem to not even be interested in doing that.
So, here are a couple verses that get quoted in this context:
Psalm 112:6: "Surely he [a good man] shall not be moved forever; the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance."
"moved" is the same word in Hebrew.
The argument goes something like this:

Surely the psalmist could not be teaching that "the good man" is physically immobile; this must obviously be taken as meaning that he cannot be moved from his course.
Apply that same meaning to "the earth can never be moved", and it's consistent with the earth orbiting the sun.

Job 26:7: "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the world upon nothing."

Comment: Re:where is the controversy? (Score 1) 642

May I suggest that you try asking some, or at least enquire where your source is?

Because I happen to have had BJUP science textbooks in school, and I read Ken Ham as well as Gould, and the claim that literalists are geocentrists doesn't sound at all like any of the books I've read.
On the other hand, that claim does sound like a claim I've heard before, which is discussed in a paper by Lindgren (2014).

+ - An Excursion To Slashdot Terra Incognita: Hacking The Bible-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Christianity Today reports, "From If someone releases a new API (code that lets applications interact with each other), or if Google unveils a new tool in beta, or if a new dataset is published online, it's a fairly safe bet that Smith will try to connect it to the Bible. In 2012, Stanford University published a Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. Smith used it to calculate the time and cost of each of Paul's missionary journeys. The photo-sharing site Flickr lets users search by GPS coordinates, and he created a tool to feature contemporary photos of Bible places. Smith also used Flickr's API to look up each word in each Bible verse, grab the top 30 photos for each word, layer them on top of each other, and then take all the images from all the words in each verse and layer them on top of each other. That experiment didn't turn out well. Almost every verse just becomes a big orange blob. But it was an interesting idea. Smith's new idea isn't so innocuous. It's scary. And Smith knows it. But he loves it anyway. The Franken-Bible "There are about 30 modern, high-quality translations of the Bible in English," Smith announces to the BibleTech group. "Can we combine these translations algorithmically into something that charts the possibility space of the original text?"""
Link to Original Source

Comment: A lot of the same...and some I didn't see (Score 1) 531

by idunham (#46384073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

My list:
-Vim (usually I'll go for a motif build of gvim).
-Links2 for a lightweight browser that works with many websites in text, framebuffer, and X11.
-Iceweasel (preferred) or Firefox for a full browser.
Chrom{e,ium} and Midori don't cut it; I liked a number of the features of Opera, but not everything. QtWeb is nice when it works but doesn't have enough security updates (WebKit has fixed several vulnerabilities since the last release).
-xli and fbi/ida for image viewers. (Yes, I use three: one for framebuffer, one for a quick view in X, and one for going through photos and making small adjustments).
-xpdf for a PDF viewer, preferably with a certain small patch.
It's fairly light, doesn't waste much screen, and has rectangular selection. Ever tried copy-pasting from a 2-column pdf that was output wrong?
-ksh (OpenBSD pdksh, ksh93, or mksh. NOT oksh.)
Floating point shell math as in ksh93 is nice.
-Ted for a word processor. Yes, it's almost forgotten, and it only edits RTF. But it displays RTF right, and writes RTFs that show up the same anywhere else. When you could end up using any version of Microshaft Office, Wordpad, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, Textmate, or even vde, that's nice.
-mpg123 is great for audio...
-ffplay or vlc for video
-Xiphos and libsword
-gcc, python, dc, groff/nroff and man.

+ - CDE 2.2.1 is released.-> 1

Submitted by idunham
idunham (2852899) writes "Version 2.2.1 of the Common Desktop Environment was released on March 1, featuring several bugfixes/warning fixes/portability improvements, localization, and a new port. UTF8 support has been greatly improved, to go with a new Greek UTF8 translation; an en_US.UTF8 locale was also added. dtinfo now builds and works (at least on Linux and FreeBSD). The new NetBSD port expands the BSD support to the big 3: FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:You've been snookered (Score 1) 170

by idunham (#46033809) Attached to: Voynich Manuscript May Have Originated In the New World

Looks like an herbal product trade group; that said, I'd hesitate to describe this particular one as "crackpots".
I expect the "Botanical" would be better read as "Botanicals", which is very roughly "plants used for non-food purposes".
That disclaimer is virtually mandated by US laws.

Full disclosure:
I'm an ag major who comes down on the side of conventional agriculture. While I was still at the university, I knew some people (professors included) interested in "alternative medicine", partly because of the restrictions related to organic production.
My impression of alternative medicine is that it's a very mixed bag, with too much room for quacks in a field that could include legitimate work.

Comment: Re:Difficult article (Score 1) 116

by idunham (#45803151) Attached to: Winners and Losers In the World of Interfaces: 2013 In Review

Besides criticizing Twitter, he praises newspapers.
Several of his points are good, but...

Random or structured search instantly possible (go directly to what you want without complexity or scan for higher level content without additional cognitive complexity. This type of information-seeking and process-switching is every site designer's dream although impossible to acheive.)

Um, what?
I can scan a newspaper page in probably 15-20 seconds (5-10 seconds for a very quick overview).
Then read the relevant section, in another 30 seconds or so.
Of course, a third of the stories require a reference to another page, which you must go fumble for to get a clue what they're talking about...

Meanwhile, I could have used Google, or pressed Ctrl+F or /, and found what I was looking for pretty quickly.

Overall, he manages to point in the general direction of problems, but making it into content that actually can be meaningfully applied is something he completely misses...
like all too many "UX designers".

Comment: Re:Good luck keeping the genie in the bottle (Score 1) 215

by idunham (#45748477) Attached to: China Rejects 545,000 Tons of US Genetically Modified Corn

Those who say that genetically modified products are safe are not necessarily saying that all GMOs are safe.

Genetic modification is a process which leads to a food with a different genetic profile than the original stock it came from.
It's quite possible to introduce a toxin this way, or an allergen; it's also possible to increase production of a vitamin, or to make a change that has no effect on the food portion. And it may be possible to reproduce the genetic code of a different species (which is what most of the de-extinction efforts are trying.)
And since it is a process, there is not necessarily any genetic or phenotypic characteristic in common between two GMOs.
So the obvious answer is to test everything and approve what is found to be safe.

Now, to finish the point, a genetically modified product has already been tested. Those who say that it is safe are not stating that it never should have been tested; they are saying that the testing was sufficient.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970