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Comment What was missing (Score 2) 233

A movie can only be as great as its source material. It can almost never be greater than the sum of its parts.

Here, the one lacking element was the screenplay, and it's a shame. The acting was superb and the direction took the script as far as it could go.

There were too many Asgardian minor characters. Sif, Hogun, Fandral, Volstagg, Tyr, etc. None has enough to do. It feels like there was more to the Sif-Jane-Thor triangle that was left on the cutting-room floor, which is a shame. It would have been better to drop any nods to the Warriors Three.

Another problem was the ridiculous hand-waving that got the Aether into Jane. The Portal-like... - well, portals were cool but there had to be a better way to release the Aether. Maybe there was a better way to drive the plot and forget the Aether completely.

Speaking of handwaving, isn't it a bit ridiculous that Heimdall didn't see the dark-elf attack coming? Isn't that his job?

It's a shame, because the small touches were all there. It was funny, adventurous, and unpredictable.

Comment Re:OT: Dehydration Question (Score 5, Funny) 413

OK, I know this is kind of OT for this thread and has little to do with Snowden, but I was flipping through channels last night and ran across this movie where everyone was in a life raft. I don't know what movie it was, but it went on for a while with people in a life raft, and they were fighting off sun poisoning, sharks, and dehydration. They tried to create an evaporation still with some saran wrap and a cup and lick the condensed drops off, the bottom of the plastic, but it didn't work. Here's the thing- so they were completely dehydrated, but the two women with larger boobs seemed OK. Why do they never talk about drinking boob milk when they're out there on a life raft or in the desert with no water or whatever? Big boobs have to carry at least a few quarts of liquid.

I think we just found someone who hasn't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years.

Comment Re:Quite interresting (Score 5, Informative) 98

It's unlikely that this creature had feathers. Feathers are only known in Coelurosauria, which is a subset of theropods that, for example, includes Tyrannosaurus but not Allosaurus.

The hadrosaur under study is an ornithischian - a very, very distant relative that's more closely related to Stegosaurus and Triceratops. Psittacosaurus, a primitive horned dinosaur, did have tail bristles, but they appear to have been decorative for display and not feather-like at all.

Comment I've done this (Score 5, Informative) 500

I'm in Montreal and I've served as a scrutineer. The system works pretty much as described in the article, but I can add a few details.

The voting section of the ballot is done with blank/white circles on a black background. This way, there is no confusion about making marks outside the lines. One circle and one circle only must have a mark for it to be a valid vote. The ballot is fairly large, maybe four by five inches or so, and that allows plenty of space between circles.

The counterfoils are strips that are torn off the ballot with the help of perforations in the paper. The counterfoils are saved in a plastic bag and the number of counterfoils is compared to the number of cast ballots as part of the process of counting votes. It's a simple process, but there is some human error. When I did it, the two numbers didn't match up. We were off by one or two, as I recall.

The biggest problem we had, and a potential source of fraud the scrutineers can do nothing about, is the list of registered voters. We get a stack of papers stapled together that contain the names and addresses of all voters eligible to vote at our poll (there are several polls at each voting location). This list tells us who has already voted in advance polls. Either some of these are in error or some voters don't remember going to the advance polls, but we had a few cases in which we had to refuse voters because they were marked as having already voted. Some of them got really angry, but there is nothing we at the polls can do about that.

The voting and counting are open to the public and to party witnesses. Anybody can watch the process take place, but it is absolutely hands off for them.

The hand-counting doesn't take very long. Each polling station (ballot box) only has to count a few hundred votes, which is then reported to the officer in charge of the voting location, and so on up the chain. The entire station - ballots, papers, counterfoils, etc. - are sealed in the box with special tape and returned, so that any recounts would be easy to accomplish.

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