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Comment: Re:"to provide support for the cultural sector" (Score 1) 234

Anytime you hear the word "culture" in Quebec, watch out. It has a much more ominous overtone there than in most of the rest of the world.

What do you mean by this? Are you referring to their insistence on being more French than the French (eg. Stop signs say 'Arret' in Quebec, but 'Stop' in France), or something else?

Comment: Re:in further news show tanks (Score 2) 637

by neilo_1701D (#49346135) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

I think BBC may take the opportunity to just clean house and bring in a new set of 3 hosts. The chemistry that those 3 had was great, so just lugging in a new replacement with the 2 remaining would be a disaster. But it could work with a set of 3 completely new hosts.

Doubt it. Top Gear Australia tried that; belly-flop. Then they replaced the prime host. Relaunch; belly-flop.

Other implementations of the show (eg. To Gear US) diverged greatly from the original concept to keep a viewership.

There may be a BBC motoring show, with three presenters, but if it tries to be Top Gear it'll probably fail. Look at Final Gear; it's actually a more informative show than Top Gear, but almost nobody knows about it.

Sorry to see Jezza go, but the BBC did the right thing.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous (Score 1) 112

by neilo_1701D (#49291235) Attached to: How To Make Moonshots

100% agree. This 'fail fast' crap is extremely narrow-minded. We didn't get to the moon by failing fast. We got to the moon by trying like hell to get it right. Failing faster would have led to 100 different aborted attempts at the first sign of trouble in a design. All the approaches had many failure modes that had to be worked through diligently. At what point do you declare failure vs. work through a problem?

You need to go study the Apollo missions in more detail. And how about chasing down NASA footage of the spectacular rocket fails from the late 50's / early 60's. NASA had monumental failures whilst chasing the moon.

Let's not forget Apollo 1.

Yes, NASA tried really hard to get it right. And when reality interfered with those plans, they figured out where their expectations didn't work out, learned and moved on (SA1 .. SA5; AS101 .. AS105; AS201 .. AS203; Apollo 4 .. Apollo 6). Then they staged the moon shots to validate plans: first to LEO (Apollo 7), then moon orbital (Apollo 8), LM seperation (Apollo 9), LM decent / ascent (Apollo 5 / Apollo 10)... and once all those trial runs had happened, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

So to address your point of "Failing faster would have led to 100 different aborted attempts at the first sign of trouble in a design", NASA had 20 launches of the Saturn launch system before declaring it man-rated; and in particular Apollo 6 suffered from pogo vibrations that needed a design change.

NASA failed fast. They had the resources to keep going. We all remember July 20, 1969, either because we watched it live (I was 2 at the time) or because we've seen it / read about it. It's easy to forget the 10 years of testing and failure prior to that, because it's all so long ago.

Comment: Re:Humane Methods and Definitions (Score 2) 1081

by neilo_1701D (#49258943) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

The guillotine .. It's fast, relatively painless

So several seconds of awareness and sensation (see here; SFW as it discusses the physiology) is perfectly acceptable to you?

I don't agree that the State murdering a person when the State has deemed murder illegal to be anything other than hypocrisy.

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 5, Insightful) 1081

by neilo_1701D (#49258863) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

The reason, not excuse, to execute someone is simple, they've executed someone else themselves.

So the State, having decided that murder is illegal, resorts to murder as "punishment". That is hypocrisy of the highest order.

The problem with the death penalty is that you can't undo a mistake. Innocent people have been executed before; DNA evidence is getting people released from Death Row (see, for example, Anthony Apanovitch).

In cases where guilt is 100% proven beyond all shadow of a doubt, there is still the moral issue of the State, which represents the people, being party to murder when the State (ie. the people and the laws they have agreed to live by) forbids it.

Instead of people being terminated quickly, painlessly and with no suffering, now they are fully aware of the end of their life as it happens. This is clearly a much better solution.

The bolding is mine. Under what system of ethics do you follow where killing a person and ensuring their suffering right up until they die is viewed as a better solution?

What happens when a person commits a particularly horrendous crime? Suppose it takes around 20 minutes for lethal injections to work; how long would you have them suffer? The whole 20 minutes? Longer?

I'm sorry you're too simple minded to understand that some people are not worth letting live, but thats the reality of it..

In whose opinion? That may be your reality; it certainly isn't mine.

When someone murders another innocent being, plans it out, does the execution and shows no remorse at all (all of these things are the requirement for the death penalty in most places) ... and it happens to be your loved ones ... then get back to me on your high and mighty horse, until then ... stop pretending you're so enlightened. You aren't, you're just naive and selfish and ignorant of reality.

How many people go on to live better and more fulfilled lives knowing that this person is dead? Retribution is a very natural, normal emotional response. That doesn't mean it's the healthiest response.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 283

If you thought it was easy to cure all the world's ills, wouldn't you expect it to of already happened?

The world doesn't stop on a dime, it takes time to switch to low CO2 technologies.

That's if you fix it at the consumption end.

At the supply end it take a few good armies to stop everyone digging it out of the ground and burning it.

How do you propose to power the army to get there and back?

Comment: Re:We're talking about a tiny change (Score 1) 421

by neilo_1701D (#49111865) Attached to: What If We Lost the Sky?

Help me out here. Full disclosure: I'm an AGW skeptic.

The amount of light that you'd have to reflect to counter even the most extreme climate change models is so minor that it is unlikely to be noticeable with the human eye

So for years we've been told that solar variation is too small to cause the climatic changes we see, correct? [Disclosure: I agree with this statement]

So I don't follow this logic: if the change required is so small, how does that compare to solar irradiation changes that we can see and measure (which, btw, are also very small)? And if the changes required are of equal magnitude... how do we come to the conclusion that solar variation isn't the cause of climate change in the first place?

Comment: Re:Don't fuck with Mother Nature (Score 3, Interesting) 421

by neilo_1701D (#49111779) Attached to: What If We Lost the Sky?

I'd rather have us fuck with Mother Nature after a decade of exhaustive research, debate, and cost benefit analysis

I refer you to the calicivirus experiment in Australia for a truly scary example of exhaustive research, debate and cost-benefit analysis that didn't quite work out as intended.

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease, also known as calicivirus, was trialed in Australia to eliminate the rabbit population. Calicivirus can only infect rabbits; there is no interspecies transmission or carrier.

The trial was conducted on Wardang Island, some 2.4 miles off the coast of South Australia in Spencer Gulf. The island was already loaded with rabbits that were cut off from the mainland, and there was no known way for any of these rabbits to cross the water.

In 1991, the virus was introduced to the island. By 1995 it had spread to the mainland, killing 10 million rabbits within 8 weeks of it’s arrival. Those that were left developed immunity.

So, we have an isolated island with a virus that can only be transmitted within a single species; said species can’t swim; certainly not the two miles. Yet, unintended and unforeseen consequences of this carefully planned, carefully modeled and (apparently) highly contained in a very controlled area that was heavily policed by AQIS went horribly awry and made the rabbit plague in Australia much worse, but managed to wipe out huge numbers of pets rabbits..

We can't get it right on the small scale; how do we know we'll get it right on the planetary scale?

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"