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Comment Astrophysicist Pissing Contest (Score 1) 176

Ethan's a pretty good guy and friends of friends of mine. I have been following their circles has been entertaining over the years. Every one of them has their points and almost all of them should be taken into consideration when "finding" a new planet.

There is a large community of astrophysicists who want Pluto reclassified as a planet. Mike Brown being the Pluto killer, finding a new planet only adds to the frustration.

Yet we know there to be a difference between sensational findings and actual findings.

Two years ago someone claimed they found a large object in the Kuiper Belt. Mike Brown tried to discredit them and failed. As more eyes start to look at where this gravametric distortion exists, the scientific community will validate the existence of the object.

Meanwhile, I am going to watch this conversation between geniuses try and not devolve into name calling.

Comment Khan Academy (Score 2) 90

Khan Academy is probably the first thing I would choose.

An election year is always a good year to look at statistics because Nate Silver is always looking for trends.

Basic Statistics, you could use sports easily. Take the local high school teams and compare how they do to others and what their ratio of hits or misses are for their sport of choice.

Use their own past history in courses to determine how they will do in future courses. A history professor was pointing out that of those students in her class, those who looked at a specific resource had performed the best.

Using something that relates to the students in their day to day lives or at least something they find interesting to teach statistics will most likely yield the best results.

Comment Re:Because Freedom? (Score 1) 352

A good gym has pretty much become a staple to being part of healthcare. I pay taxes because this gym provides services to the community as giving courts for kids to play basketball or volleyball, a track for running, and wellness programs.

Paying taxes for a gym gives some access to resources to help them maintain happy and healthy lives. There are fees with membership to the gym, but they pale in comparison to the private gym. The private gym offers 24 hour access as well as some resources and less crowding than the public gym does. They don't have the basketball courts, or some of the other amenities of the public gym, but they compete very well.

I go to a private gym because I can afford access to that gym. Yet, I have been on my health kick long enough to say that I would rather pay hundreds of dollars on a gym rather than thousands of dollars on medicines for Medicaid and Medicare that could have been resolved with proper education and physical activity.

I pay taxes for public education, yet I have no children and if I did have children, I would probably do what I could to send them to a private school. I don't see how municipal broadband is any different.

Comment Because Freedom? (Score 3, Interesting) 352

I live in a town with a gym that was paid for with tax dollars and a gym that was paid for privately. They compete. There are no problems. If you don't like one, go to the other. Same goes for education.

I don't see the problem, but then again, I don't have a problem competing with the government. Only a protectionist claiming to be a capitalist would.

Comment More than Fantastic! (Score 2) 118

Various experiments have taught us what the effects of micro gravity on humans as well as several other species. Just this year, we have started to grow and consume food in space. We are trying to get more species up there and for longer iterations. These studies allow us to extrapolate what potential long term effects of micro gravity will have as we try to explore other planets and asteroids. I look forward to continued experimentation and exploration.

Comment Re:It might be good but it won't be MST3K (Score 1) 50

Who crapped in your cereal this morning? I mean seriously, someone had to have taken a dump on your bowl of cornflakes for you to be such a fowl individual.
I know I am irritable if I don't have my morning coffee, but I can only gather that someone had loaded your fruit loops with a fecal surprise.

I hope your day goes better.

Comment Flag Waving on the Moon is Old Hat (Score 1) 39

I have seen several cases of conspiracy theorists trying to point to that as evidence. Clearly if they can't see the rod through the top and take in account that gravity will wave a flag as it's being moved around and planted, then you probably shouldn't take the time to explain to them. Stop paying attention to the crazies, that only gives them unneeded attention!

Comment Re:Capitalism (Score 1) 358

On the contrary, there was an article about companies like ImBev who were trying to use vertical integration to reduce the amount of choices a customer had in order to sell additional beer. They saw it as the fact that if customers had less to select from, then they would buy more. Then again, these are monopolistic practices.

I disagree with this on some measure. There are some items which sell more than others and really wish shelving space would address these needs especially in the food industry.

Yet there are companies like Lenovo that built in lots of product diversity. That boded well for them for a bit, but later started to show up in production costs.
Capitalism more than communism wants to keep production costs low though. They will fight to reduce choice in what ever market they can to reduce costs. Competing companies will push for innovation and create market diversity.

Again with companies such as Ford, General Motors and Chrysler; we have companies that had very diverse markets but decided to cut several product lines in order to stay relevant and get in line for those fat government bailouts.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 244

Not if the hackers aren't aware of what they are doing. If someone were to mask their intent as a game of sorts, we could enlist some of the most skilled individuals normally incapable of doing anything outside of standard orders.

Think like giving a soldier a weapon and orders to kill defenseless children, only wrapping up killing children under the premise that they are just playing a sick and twisted version of Grand Theft Auto.

If that doesn't work, we just keep layering the attacks until the system trying to predict its attack is no longer possible.

Ultimately the problem with modelling is that not all variables are accounted for. Most of the variables are accounted for, but who guards for the outliers.
Japan built a wall for a tsunami resistant wall which worked until they had an earthquake that was a 9.0
They built a nuclear power plant on a fault line which would have worked except too many systems failed at once.
We launched shuttles from Florida thinking that the temperature was never below freezing, so we never tested parts at below freezing temperatures. Was a great cost savings until January of 1986.

This list goes on of miscalculations of the worst possible scenario. Eventually the planets line up all at once,and gravity gets just a little more wonky than normal.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 5, Insightful) 403

Because our Cold War Propaganda built a world of allies and didn't do anything like prop up lousy dictators like Castro, Hussein, and the rest of the bunch. Our Anti-Communist policies set back the world in so many ways, yet kept the U.S. sheltered. Along came the Information Age and ended much of that seclusion. We are now seeing the rest of the world for what it is: Pissed at us for decades of mindless meddling.

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