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Comment: Re:Erh... I don't get it (Score 1) 104

As an American, I wonder... how do you do Christmas in warm weather? Or do you just do Christmas in July?

Couldn't we just get some mad scientists to invent something to rotate the Earth 180 degrees? Or if they're really mad, 360 degrees.

A: yes, we do Christmas in July (well, some of us do) ... and Christmas in December - so two Christmases, if you want

B: we put fake frost on shop windows, sing songs about sleighs and reindeer, and wear shorts and T-shirts and go to the beach and get sunburnt. I am not used to your wintry Christmas, so I have nothing to miss.

C: the world has already been rotated 360 degrees by mad scientists - didn't you get the email?

D: how do you do July 4th in warm weather? July is cold, and when we used to have "cracker night" (24 May - so one week short of winter) we would wrap up, sit around a bonfire in the street, and let off "bungers" (large, noisy, unsafe exlosive fireworks). Definitely a cold weather thing.

Comment: Re:Erh... I don't get it (Score 4, Informative) 104

I mean, yes, it's true. And yes, it's interesting. But ... news?

Yeah, not really. In Australia I have known for decades that we have a great opportunity for our telescopes because we see portions of the sky that are out of sight for all you Northern Hemisphereans. Hardly news. That is also why bases in Australia are very useful during space flights, when the capsules or whatever go out of range for the Nrothern Hemisphere.

Oh, and it's summer here - a balmy 25 degree Celsius (=77 degrees F). And I live three minutes walk from the beach ....

Comment: Re:Everyone's on the spectrum (Score 1) 109

by ignavus (#48503591) Attached to: Workers On Autism Spectrum Finding Careers In Software Testing

Workers On Autism Spectrum...

Everyone is on the autism spectrum. That's why they call it a spectrum.

Alternative post: No thanks, I'll wait for the Autism Amiga.

They call it a spectrum because autistic people vary quite a lot from each other - not because "everyone is on the spectrum". Not everyone is tall, even though everyone has a height. Not everyone is smart, even though everyone has an IQ. Not everyone is autistic, even though everyone can get an AQ ("autism spectrum quotient") test score greater than zero.

Comment: Re:Facebook indistinguishable from a scam (Score 1) 116

by ignavus (#48332535) Attached to: Users Can't Distinguish Scams From Facebook's Features

I can't tell Facebook vs a scam... both ask for personal information, promise a fantastic experience that is never delivered, and sell my personal information for a profit...
I can see why people struggle to differentiate the two.

Any commercially greedy social medium is indistinguishable from malware.

Comment: Re:I solved the mystery (Score 2) 276

by ignavus (#48081511) Attached to: Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

Actually, there is strong evidence that the Native Americans discovered America.

No. Their ancestors did. The Asian people who first discovered North America were not, by definition, native to America - they were native Asians. Their descendants were native Americans, but by then, North America had already been discovered.

Comment: Re:Science is not about trust (Score 1) 460

by ignavus (#48024933) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Science is about reproducible results. Publish the details of your experiment, so I can perform your experiment (and variations on it) myself. Your claim is strengthened if I get the same results you do.

The only person who could reasonably reproduce an experiment would be another scientist within the same area of science. A random member of the public lacks knowledge, time, and equipement to reproduce any scientific experiment - and most of all any person, scientist or otherwise, lacks the time to reproduce all the experiments they would need to do in order to avoid trust.

Trust is at the core of science - you trust journals and reputable scientists not to lie, because you cannot afford universal scepticism.

Comment: Re:Experience with long distance hiking (Score 1) 89

by ignavus (#47971213) Attached to: Ancient Campfires Led To the Rise of Storytelling

Early human life must have been gritty when things weren't bountiful.

With twelve hours of darkness per day (on average), and needing only eight hours sleep, they had a LOT of time in the dark while awake. Especially in winter. I reckon they must have had a lot of snuggling up time on their hands.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.