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Comment Re: So much stupid (Score 4, Informative) 74 74

Which just goes to show a lot of indie media is composed of fucking retards

It really doesn't fucking matter whether talking about a black or a white or a hispanic or an asian getting shot in the back by a cop, the "officer's pistol" didn't magically "discharge". The cop murdered a non-threat, plain and simple.

And never mind the recent rash of suicides for traffic violations - I have to give them credit, that takes their disdain for the general population to a new low. They couldn't get much more blunt about how the feel about us short of literally pissing on us at every traffic stop. "Don't worry, I've marked you, the next one will pass you by".

Comment Lots of room for methodology issues. (Score 1) 268 268

The lack of accidents and crime are more likely related to a general trend in crime going down from before they started turning off the lights. ... Give me at least one full year worth of data so I can compare it to the prior year, and have half of the country keep their lights on so It can be compared to the same time frame as well.

Hear, hear!

There's lots of room for methodology errors. Here's another:

Comparing murder rates between Great Britain and the US is complicated by differences in reporting. The US bumps the murder stat when there is a body and evidence of foul play. G.B. bumps it when they have a conviction.

Do they do that with other crime? If so, stable stats in the absence of street lighting might mean that any rise in crime is compensated for by a fall in identifying, apprehending, and convicting the criminals responsible. (Indeed, turning off the lights might easily result in LOWERED crime statistics at the same time it was causing a drastic increase in actual crime.)

Comment What hospital is that? (Score 1) 54 54

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

What hospital is that? I'll want to avoid it if I ever need heart surgery.

Seriously: How does your cardiac unit's mortality and morbidity rate stack up against those of hospitals where practice surgery on live animal, models, at least where the surgeon is new to the procedure, is more common?

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 1) 1156 1156

"It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off," said neighbor Kim VanMeter.

So, he says it was over his yard, the kids say it was over their yard, the neighbor says it was over their yard. Does anyone, including the drone owners, dispute that? One would have a hard time arguing it wasn't over their yard.

"Within a minute or so, here it came," he said. "It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky."

"I didn't shoot across the road, I didn't shoot across my neighbor's fences, I shot directly into the air," he added.

That seems like something provable. He only fired one shot, correct? And we know where the drone crashed, and where he was, so we can probably determine if that's a false statement. It doesn't seem like it. He must have shot up in the air, because he hit the drone, and the drone was in the air. And it crashed in a field near his house, not in a neighbor's yard, so the statement that he did not fire over his neighbor's fence does not seem false on the face of it. I wonder if his neighbor actually saw the shot, too.

As for warning about a falling drone, don't know. And we don't know if it was necessary. We'd need a better look at his neighborhood, and the reasonable assumptions one could make (or not make out) about the trajectory of a crashing drone. It depends on how populated his neighborhood is. But nothing in the article indicated any possibility of it hitting someone while crashing. Possible, sure, but you'd think that issue would have been explored if it existed.

The article says he was charged under the Kentucky Revised Statutes with "wanton endangerment in the first degree" and "criminal mischief." Here's the wanton endangerment statute:

508.060 Wanton endangerment in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to an other person.

(2) Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony.

Do you think he exhibited "extreme indifference to the value of human life" and created "a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury?" Clearly not from the shotgun blast. As every hunter and student of simple physics in this thread has already said, there's no danger from falling pellets. And if the direction of the blast checks out (not at anyone, not over his neighbor's fence, etc) then the blast itself did not create any danger to human life.

So how about the falling drone? If he shot the drone down in a crowded area, where it would almost certainly hit someone, then yes. That does not appear to be the case, though. Nothing from the story indicates there was any significant risk of it crashing into someone. If that had been the case, you'd think they'd put it in the story. Obviously that needs to be confirmed, but I think it's likely. If no reasonable person could believe the drone had a reasonable chance of crashing into someone, then I don't see how you can convict him of wanton endangerment.

So how about criminal mischief?

I'm assuming it's in the first degree, as the value of the drone was over $1,000.

512.020 Criminal mischief in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the first degree when, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he intentionally or wantonly defaces, destroys or damages any property causing pecuniary loss of $1,000 or more.

(2) Criminal mischief in the first degree is a Class D felony.

Well he did intentionally destroy property causing loss of more than $1,000. So the question is did he have a right to do so, or any reasonable ground to believe he has such a right? He clearly believes so. He believes he has the right to destroy a spy camera hovering in his backyard. Whether or not that's reasonable is up to a jury. But in Kentucky? Own backyard? Father? Kids who could either be injured if the drone crashes on its own, or by the drone pilot intentionally, or at the very least be spying on them taking pictures? I'd bet a Kentucky jury of his peers would agree that Meredith had reasonable grounds to destroy a spy camera on his property. You own your airspace up to 300ft per the FAA, and there are Supreme Court decisions that agree you have property rights over your airspace.

I hope he takes it to a jury. I'd like to see what they say. I bet he will, too. He believes he's right, and I bet a defense attorney would love this case, if not just for the news spotlight alone.

Comment Re: You don't fight "cyberbattles". (Score 2) 76 76

There has been public outcry. People are talking about it. Laws are getting passed. Opinions are changing. Snowden is in exile for now but I don't think he'll stay that way forever.

The US declared war on Germany on 12/11/41. It took two and a half years to land at Normandy. It's still 1943 and you're declaring Hitler victorious.

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 1) 1156 1156

Do they have a good reason to be firing the weapon?

"Justification" is a thing. You can argue in front of the jury that yes, you broke the law against firing weapons in city limits, but you were justified in doing so because reasons, and they may or may not agree with you.

So, are the neighbors just randomly firing their guns in their air for shits and giggles? If so, he would not respond favorably. If they're firing their shotguns in the air to defend their property and privacy from flying surveillance devices, he'd probably tell his daughter to go inside for a bit while he goes and helps his neighbors deal with a nuisance.

Comment Re:Animals (Score 1) 54 54

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

So maybe I'm not up to date, or things are/were different in research hospitals.

My personal info was based on stories told by my mother, in about the '60s, when she was a special duty RN at the University of Michigan hospital, often handling cardiac recovery.

My favorite was the one where the UofMich hospital cafeteria, which had been purely open seating, established separate rooms for the staff to eat after an incident where patients' families overheard, and were traumatized by, a cardiac surgeon's response to a question. Asked how his operations the previous day had gone (referring to his experimental and/or practice surgery on a collie and another dog), he said "The blonde lived but the old bitch died."

The kids and adopted dogs story was from my wife. The surgeon in question was Dr. Albert Starr in (at least) the '60s through '80s. He was at St. Vincent's and also flew, with his team, to operate at a number of other west coast hospitals, university and otherwise.

Comment Animals (Score -1) 54 54

A possible solution would be better simulations so that a student can learn by doing. I think it is a very different than working on a cadaver or simulated patient using conventional methods.

You obviously aren't familiar with surgical departments or you wouldn't have missed practice surgeries on live animals.

For instance: a typical cardiac surgeon, shortly before EACH operation on a human patient, does a practice operation of the same procedure on a live dog.

One pediatric cardiac surgeon was much beloved by his patents and their families, because (with parental permission) he would let the kid adopt the practice dog, rather than sending it to be destroyed. The kid would wake up from surgery with the new puppy beside him, with the same bandages, etc. (and a day or so farther along in recovery). The dog having been through the same procedure and having helped save the kid's life even before they met made for very strong owner/pet bonds. (There's always a live, healthy, practice dog. If the dog dies (or is severely damaged) the assumption is that the procedure failed. You DON'T do a procedure on a human if it just killed a dog. You analyze, adjust the procedure, and repeat until success.)

Getting skills up does NOT require, or usually involve, a lot of practice on JUST advanced simulations, cadavers or, live patients. The live patients are just the last step, when the skills are already finely honed, and the animal models provide immediate feedback, real situations, and automatically correct modelling of mammalian life processes.

Comment Re:I hope he wins in court (Score 1) 1156 1156

Discharging a weapon in a populated area is unsafe in nearly every circumstance.

Except in this case he managed to check off a number of 'safe' boxes. The described fence would stop the ammunition of choice from the weapon, and the ammunition fired at a relatively high angle would come down safely as well.

That being said, I don't want regular gunfire just because of the noise.

I would have told the drone owners that they can take their broken drone or they can press charges for destruction of property in exchange for the homeowner pressing trespassing/peeping charges on them.

Comment Shooting down drones (Score 1) 1156 1156

This reminds me of the last drone I read about being taken out by gunfire. It was some PETA people using a quadracoptor to harass some hunters - it was really an obscenely loud whiny thing, and their goal was to scare game and such.

They complained to the cops that had shown up that their drone had been shot. The cops looked at them like 'so what'?

The PETA types tried 'but that was dangerous!' Keep in mind that, unlike this case, said hunters were in an area where firearm use was legal.

Comment Re:Not quite that trivial. (Score 1) 1156 1156

You don't think that, in a neighborhood, someone would know who has a drone like this?

Given that the drone operator was there to 'photograph a friend's house', I'm taking it as that he's not local. I could park a van a block or so away, launch the drone from the roof, and never be seen in person operating it.

Comment Re:Or... just hear me out here... (Score 1) 1156 1156

but I think a BB would.

And you're ignoring all the personal experiences posted in this thread by people who have actually been peppered by falling shot why? You even acknowledge that people 'felt it' but our sense of touch is sensitive - I can feel a sheet of paper falling onto me, it's going to take quite a bit more force to actually hurt me.

Now, it's certainly not identical, but I'm reminded of the Mythbuster's 'penny off the Empire State Building' where they determined that a falling penny from that height(assuming it didn't get blown back onto the building like most do), would only sting a bit when it hits.

And a penny is less aerodynamic but much more massive than a birdshot BB. A number of the finer grades look almost like sand.

And a source on the differences between rifle rounds and birdshot.
AK round: 124 grains, TV 265 fps, 23 ft-lbs of force
5.56 round: 62 grains, 245fps, 8 ft-lbs
9mm: 115 gr, 195 fps, 10 ftlbs
00 buck: 54 grains, 130fps, 2 ft-lbs (it's TV is much lower than the rifle round because a sphere is less aerodynamic than the cone of a bullet)
#8 birdshot: 1.3gr, 76 fps, 1 ft-lb (Too low for writer's ballistic calculator).

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