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Comment Re:If you want to know what's wrong with "lively". (Score 1) 305

"More lively" does not mean "complete other end of the spectrum." It means "something more engaging and able to garner more public interest, which is the objective of NASA TV," in other words, make it watchable. That's why the submitter mentions Carl Sagan; he was able to mix science, inspiration, and entertainment so that people still watch Cosmos today.

Submission + - Israeli Knesset approves Biometric Database law (

Lord Duran writes: The Israeli Knesset approved a bill tonight that will require every Israeli citizen to submit a visual scan of their face and a biometric scan of their fingerprints to a national database. I, for one, fail to see how this is anything but evil. TFA mentions the Israeli census was breached — I'd like to point out, for comparison, that it's still freely available on your peer-to-peer file sharing network of choice.

Comment Re:That's cool, but... (Score 1) 260

Weeeeeeeeeell, the the Star Trek timeline really diverges from ours drastically from this point. By now we're supposed to have driven Khan into space after the Eugenics Wars which devastated the world and be on the way to WWIII. You could say that the path is very different now.

Comment Re:Three points (Score 1) 234

In other words, the NIF will be used, at least some of the time, to re-create the conditions inside of an exploding nuclear warhead so we can design new nukes without testing them and therefore violating the test ban treaties.

Actually, this has been a well established practice for years in high energy density (HED) physics. On all of the big lasers like NIF, OMEGA, and NIKE government projects doing largely classified research get first dibs on operations time. There are many groups doing peaceful energy and astrophysics research as well, but they tend to be less priority and have to do a lot of work proving their experiments before getting shot time. NIF, for example, is only just going to be accepting proposals from outside groups this December.

Comment What's with the tags? (Score 2, Insightful) 277

A story is posted about Google apparently engaging in some healthy (and frankly long needed) competition against Apple/Amazon, and the tags we get are 'donoevil,' 'queuethefanbois,' and 'fuckgoogle.' At least someone came along and put a ! in front of the last one but the tag being there at all is an artifact of seriously unconstructive vitriol. This is a story about Google expanding into new markets, not about Google doing anything wrong. These tags must be here accidentally at best and as flamebait at the worst.

Comment Re:Fusion!? (Score 2, Insightful) 404


If we keep treating people like they're too stupid to understand the science behind things, then it's going to just get harder and harder to get any real change in the technology our society uses. Not to mention the young people we scare away from science and technology. Rebranding a technology works only in the short term until the public catches on or some uses the exact same tactic against you. No, what we need to do is work to slowly win the culture war and continue to make the work of scientists again treated with appreciated with appreciation instead of suspicion.

Comment Wrong way (Score 1) 776

Soda? Who would like to consume NaCO3 in any form?

Jokes aside, the whole area of luxury consumption - like junk food and sugar-drinks - is highly inflamed and mired down in huge, economic interests. Whole sectors of industry all across the world would collapse if people suddenly started to eat and drink only healthily; yet there is no doubt that this same consumer life-style is the biggest cause of preventable, early death, disability and general bad health.

People often say "nobody is forcing you to buy junk food", when you criticize the junk-food industry; but that is a superficial argument that is not justified. As all modern research into the causes of obesity shows very clearly, it is not simply a matter of personal choice, whether you eat too much junk; and anybody who has tried to fight a serious weight problem will know from experience that it takes more than mere will-power to stay away from the calories. Our bodies and instincts are programmed to make us fatten up when we are surrounded by abundance. When you turn on the tv you are constantly indoctrinated to go and consume junk food, and when you go to the supermarket the displays are brimming with it; you will be hard put to find a quick and easy, healthy option. So is it really a matter of personal choice? I don't think so.

What one should remember is that these things are neither human fundamental rights nor basic food-stuffs; they are luxuries. And while luxury can be nice from time to time, it simply get trivial and not actually enjoyable when you have it all the time.

I don't know what is the best way forward, but the present situation is simply not sustainable. Personally, I would like to see a situation where basic, healthy necessities were abundant and easy to find everywhere, but luxury items were something you would have to go out of your way to find; not the other way around.

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy