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Comment: Inhaling (Score 1) 397

by zooblethorpe (#46807051) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

I am in favor of sensible regulation. This one isn't sensible, so I oppose it.

It's amazing though. Express any support for any sort of law or regulation, even the law against murder and suddenly some think you want to decide how many times they can inhale in an hour. I have no idea why.

Sometimes I think it has everything to do with how many times they inhale in an hour, and quite what they are inhaling. Some of their viewpoints just don't make sense otherwise.

:-P

Comment: Does spent grain lead to *any* food poisoning? (Score 1) 397

by zooblethorpe (#46806893) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

Cry freedom all you want, but when something goes bad in the industrialized food chain, millions of innocent people are affected. And if there is no trace, fixing the problem may take months or years.

The last big food poisoning scare I recall hearing about was E. coli in tomatoes and lettuce that had been grown using untreated sewage. Spent brewery grains have nothing to do with that.

The last big meat-related food poisoning scare I recall hearing about was E. coli in processed chicken that had come from offal winding up in the machinery, and then in the meat. Spent brewery grains have nothing to do with that.

The last big meat-related scare I recall hearing about that wasn't E. coli was from BSE caused by cattle eating feed mixed with dead cattle. Spent brewery grains have nothing to do with that, at least directly.

So what would this proposed change in regulation possibly have to do with preventing food poisoning? I'm honestly at a loss for what problem this would fix.

Comment: Comparison to code bugs a bit flawed (Score 4, Informative) 236

The fine article submission asks:

Is it a good thing that people who engineer for a living can now get their names on national news for parts designed 10 years ago? The next time your mail goes down, should we know the name of the guy whose code flaw may have caused that?

One key difference here is that the engineer(s) responsible for redesigning the switch and not changing the part number were not just implementing an everyday change that happened to be buggy. By not changing the part number, their actions are more akin to trying to fix a known bug that has exposed the company to huge potential liabilities, and then hacking the version control system to make it look like the bug was never there, in full intentional pursuit of obfuscation and ass-covering.

Cheers,

Comment: Language geek details on French nouns and gender (Score 4, Informative) 60

by zooblethorpe (#46468405) Attached to: First Mathematical Model of 13th Century 'Big Bang' Cosmology

Wouldn't that be "grosstete"?

The first "e" in the French word tête has that funny hat on it, technically called a circumflex. This tells us that this vowel used to be followed by an "s" in earlier stages of the French language. So tête derives from older form teste.

The word tête is also feminine, so any adjectives must also use the feminine form. French gros (from Latin grossus) in the feminine form becomes grosse.

So, just as expected, gros + tête == grosse tête as spelled in modern French, and grosse teste in Old French, whence the Norman French language and names of 1200s England, courtesy William the Conqueror.

Cheers,

Comment: Codetalkers (Score 1) 195

by zooblethorpe (#46085663) Attached to: FBI Has Tor Mail's Entire Email Database

Phone lines, but only if you speak in Navajo.

Historical trivia -- the Navajo codetalkers didn't just speak in the Navajo language, they spoke in a strange code that used Navajo vocabulary. So instead of simply translating the word abreast for so many people walking shoulder-to-shoulder, they would encode that first as ant breast, and then translate that into the corresponding Navajo, probably wóláchíí be’. More here. Other Navajo speakers who hadn't been trained in the code wouldn't understand what was being said. The Japanese even captured a native Navajo speaker in the Philippines, Joe Keiyoomia, but since he hadn't ever been trained as a codetalker, he wasn't able to make any sense of the codetalker code.

Cheers,

Comment: Handful of genome samples does not a species make. (Score 4, Interesting) 144

by zooblethorpe (#46083631) Attached to: How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

What is this silliness, that "humans" in the broad, blanket sense could not digest starch? Feh.

We already know from analysis of Neanderthal remains that they could digest starch, and did in fact eat things like starchy tubers and grains. By 8000 years ago, it's generally accepted that the Neanderthals were no more, at least as a distinct population, and that any remaining Neanderthal-specific genes had been absorbed by the wider Cro Magnon population. (Interestingly, it sounds like the Neanderthal genes might give their descendants, i.e. non-sub-Saharan-Africa humans, extra resistance to viral infection.)

This study, where evidence from one individual is extrapolated to the entire human population, sounds silly in the extreme. "One Size Fits All!" never really does.

Cheers,

Comment: Aversion to offal rises with industrialization? (Score 1) 543

by zooblethorpe (#46051177) Attached to: 20,000 Customers Have Pre-Ordered Over $2,000,000 of Soylent

For some reason in the past century or so, Americans and other Western cultures have started to develop an aversion to offal, but that's a recent and somewhat stupid development.

I wonder if that timing is indicative -- I wonder if the Western aversion to organ meets is at all related to the ways in which 1) organ meats typically contain higher concentrations of environmental poisons, and 2) the number and dangerousness of environmental poisons has increased substantially since we started learning how to make more of them.

Cheers,

Comment: Why not convert to Sithrak! (Score 1) 770

by zooblethorpe (#45992029) Attached to: Creationism In Texas Public Schools

You may be on to something there. The creator as incompetent and sadistic cretin sounds pretty consistent with observable facts.

Have you noticed that life is cruel and insensible?

That's because the creator is angry and insane -- Sithrak the Blind Gibberer!

So why not convert to Sithrak -- the god who hates you unconditionally.

http://imgur.com/gallery/YmOBmx1, sourced from:
http://oglaf.com/sithrak/ (use caution: other pages on this site are definitely NSFW)

Cheers,

Comment: Amplified, sure enough. (Score 1) 110

by zooblethorpe (#45728295) Attached to: Ted Nelson's Passionate Eulogy for Douglas Engelbart

In other words, the world we're living in, except for that bit about "amplified intelligence".

No, no, things are certainly amplified, so that part is correct. It's the "intelligence" part that's a bit off the mark here. Networking can help leverage the abilities of each of the networked nodes (people, in this case). When many of those nodes excel at being dumb animals, well, you get a heavy preponderance of lolcats and porn. Many (perhaps most?) of us humans are just living day to day and trying to get by. Not a lot of room there for higher-order thinking.

Lest we lose sight of all hope, it's important to recognize that it's not all gloom and doom, though -- despite all the porn and lolcats, there's also a good bit of smart thinking that is also amplified. That's easy to miss amidst all the noise, but it's definitely there.

Cheers,

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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