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Comment: Re:Finnish (Score 1) 85

by ilguido (#47959607) Attached to: Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings
It tends to support more some fringe theories than the mainstream theory and it's written in a slightly misleading way. As an example, the Korean and Japanese languages are generally _not_ included in the Altaic family, while they're overwhelmingly considered isolated languages, but the article fails to emphasize that their inclusion is frowned upon by the experts of both languages. Another fact that is almost overlooked by the article is that many proponents of this language family think that it is a useful classification, but are agnostic about its origin: apart a small hardcore group, most linguists think that the similarities between Turkic, Mongol and Tungusic dialects are adequately explained by their historical proximity and are very dubious about the possibility to even demonstrate their genealogical relations. Here comes the pet theory: the hardcore proponents of the Macro-Altaic language family need the inclusion of some other language to demonstrate that genealogical link, some language that is both old and distant, so to hint at an ancient relation and to discard the idea of a more recent mutual influence; if you can demonstrate that Mongol/Tungusic are related to Japanese and Korean you can say that their relations, not only between those two groups, but even between Mongol, Turkic and Tungusic are probably due to an ancient genesis and not to documented centuries of common life in the steppe. The problem is that none, so far, has given an accepted demonstration of that link, while many have given reasons to believe it's not valid (the more you go back in Japanese and Korean, the more those languages diverge). All these difficulties are overlooked in the article, so to lean toward a Macro-Altaic point of view.

Comment: Some calculations (Score 1) 56

by ilguido (#47033287) Attached to: SpaceX Cargo Capsule Leaves Space Station For Home
So NASA spent $1.6 billion for the CRS program, that is for 12 missions [1]. That is $75 million for mission. The payload of the CRS-3 mission, the biggest so far by the way, was 4,605 pounds (the declared maximum is 7,300 lb)[2], in other words $16,200 for pound of payload, including packaging. I'd like to know how does that compare to other space transport services.

Comment: Re:A bit of common sense maybe? (Score 1) 747

by ilguido (#46483603) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC
Wrong! You go to jail if you fail to assess a reasonable risk. (1) After a four months long earthquake swarm many buildings were weakened, (2) the earthquake swarm wasn't over, so (3) more earthquakes were probable (for the swarm was going on) and many buildings weren't ready for more (because they already suffered damage), conclusion: there was a reasonable risk, and the experts failed to assess it. That's how it works for technical evaluations.

Comment: Re:A bit of common sense maybe? (Score 1) 747

by ilguido (#46483239) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC

The GP post was clearly referring to the United States.

I know, funny smartass, but since I also know that in the US there's this little thing: criminal transmission of HIV, I was questioning if the parent post was right or if it was just the usual 'murican screaming "Constitution!!!11!!", when there's something he doesn't agree with.

Comment: Re:A bit of common sense maybe? (Score 1) 747

by ilguido (#46482755) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC

- fines for not vaccinating your children

Unconstitutional.

Really? In Italy if you don't vaccinate your underage children you'll be fined for sure, because it's regarded a threat to public health. I think you can even lose the "patria potestà" (that is your children are no longer yours) if you refuse to conform.

Comment: Re:"pro-Russian forces in Crimea" (Score 1) 479

Yes and it has nothing to do with what I said. I wasn't talking about Crimea, I was talking about Ukraine at large. You are a fool if you think that Putin is doing all this just for Crimea: this is not a battle for Crimea, that was already lost to Ukraine the moment that they let ultra-nationalists take a big part in the revolution, this is a battle for the whole Ukraine.

Let's get back to the point of my previous post. Things for the Russians would be much, much, much harder, I'd even say impossible, If there weren't these idiots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... (BBC Newsnight). In the moment of maximum weakness of an already weak country, they brought division and idiotic nationalist mumble jumble, when they should have cared about political and ethnic cooperation (you know, "United we stand, divided we fall"). That's a big fault and it's not a Russian fault.

Comment: Re:"pro-Russian forces in Crimea" (Score 3, Interesting) 479

The 'Ukrainian people' means different things to different people - if you're an ethnic Russian in Crimea you live in Ukraine but probably have much more allegiance to mother Russia than the government in Kiev. If you're a kid in Kiev born post-Soviet era to ethnic Ukrainian parents, different deal. Ethnic Tatar, different again.

I don't want to start a heated debate, so I'll answer only this point: saying that "the 'Ukrainian people' means different things to different people" is the exact mistake that brought them at this point. The Ukrainian people is all the people that dwells Ukraine: Ukrainians, Russians, Hebrews, Romanians, Poles and Tatars. The opposition parties should have been more levelheaded: if they really wanted to keep Ukraine united, they should have tried to keep the people (all of them) united. Instead they let the nationalists take a big part in the whole process, including rejecting a reasonable deal mediated by the EU with a president that was actually democratically elected and had a lot of support in vast areas of the country, taking three seats in the government including ministry of defence, and removing the Russian language from the list of the official languages of the country.

I'm not saying that Russia is right, but that the revolutionaries acted quite stupidly: they should have tried to wheedle ethnic minorities, not stir them up.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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