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Comment Re:South Park did it first! (Score 1) 610

Get them an Android phone, subscribe them to Google Latitude and optionally install Backitude to increase the precision and update frequency.

Odds are they'll never know it's there if you don't tell them. If you do when they're young, they probably won't care. If you do when they're moderately young but you get the parents of their friends to do the same so that they can see where their friends are, they'll probably enjoy it. And then promptly forget that their parents can see it too (akin to the fact that kids always seem to forget when their parents are friended to them on Facebook).

Comment Re:Good one (Score 1) 1142

He's using God as a rhetorical device. Same as Einstein was when he said "God doesn't play dice with the universe". What, you think Einstein was saying "The beginning doesn't play dice with the universe"? He was talking about *present day* vacuum fluctuations.

Hey, want to talk Hawking? Tell me how these fit into your imaginary world where Hawking really means "The beginning" - try substituting "the beginning" for God in any of these (and remember that hawking *does* believe there was a beginning to the universe):

"What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. "

"Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen."

"We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There's not much personal about the laws of physics. "

"If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God', but it wouldn't be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions."

"There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe"

"...the universe can and will create itself from nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going."

Please come back to Earth, AC.

Comment Re:Crossing my fingers (Score 1) 179

Nanobots: the modern substitute for "magic".

Do you realize how hard it'd be to build self-replicating robot at any scale, that has to mine and refine and cast every component in itself, from structural components to pneumatic fluids to computer chips? And it gets orders of magnitude harder at the nanoscale.

Comment Re:Crossing my fingers (Score 5, Informative) 179

The advantage isn't taking metals back. It's using them on Mars. If there really is even just metallic iron, that'd be a HUGE benefit for colonization. Trivial to mine (scoop dust, blow over rotating magnetic collector), trivial to process (I once sketched out the resource chains to run a blast furnace on Mars and it's just staggering - if this is metallic iron and it's pure enough to be structurally sound if simply melted and cast, it'd be huge deal).

If it applies to metals other than iron, all the more the benefit. Anything you can do to reduce the massive resource chains needed by modern tech could be a godsend for actual colonization.

Comment Re:Widespread religion (Score 1) 1142

And there's no saying that it was even proteins to begin with. If there was a less efficient form of life, and proteins proved to be more efficient, as soon as that previous form of life started "learning" to utilize proteins, they'd gradually sieze more and more functionality from it. There are all sorts of chemical structures which can engage in complex catalytic chemistry. One of my favorites is silanols. :)

Also there's this concept that many people have the earliest forms of life had to be complete self replicators, using basic building blocks. But that's just not likely the case. The very simplest ancestor of "life" was probably just a set of naturally occurring chemicals which did not self-replicate, but instead simply tending to make more of their "family". Creating "similar", not "exact". Their building blocks were probably far from the sort of barebones water + co2 + sunlight -> oxygen that modern plants do, but instead they probably took some of the sort of complex chemicals that get produced naturally through inorganic processes.. Over time, the greater the precision that certain chemicals reproduce themselves or reproduce specific other chemicals which reproduce specific others, etc all the way back around in a cyclic pattern... the more efficiently this happens, the more these particular chemicals take over the mixture. There is, at this point, no concept of "cells", of discrete units; however, eventually that will occur when members of a hypercycle happen to protect themselves from destruction with any sort of membrane or other defense. From there, the ability to destroy other ur-cell membranes and to defend its own becomes an advantage, and the seeds of cellular competition are laid.

Of course, I wasn't there. I can't say that's how it happens. But it's certainly what one would expect. And while the ubiuqity of modern life in our world seems to rule out the re-evolution of (absurdly inefficient, undefended) protolife, we can see shades of this even in our world. For example, there are a number of diseases of incorrectly-folded proteins, the most famous being BSE. These are self-replicators which came into being from a random change to an existing organic chemical. Now, to replicate, they need a *very* specific input - namely, a correctly folded equivalent protein. But they are true self-replicators which occurred through random happenstance in historic times.

Comment Re:Widespread religion (Score 3, Insightful) 1142

So which is more logical - we live in a universe with a basic set of rules that "just happens to be", or we live in a universe created by an infinitely more complex deity who "just happens to be"?
Occam's Razor, anyone?

Honestly, my view is, the reason for the universe is: "Everything" Existence, yes or no? "Everything". By the anthropic principle, we can only exist in the scenario where the universe exists, so we don't percieve the scenario where it doesn't. What rules to the universe? "Everything". All happen. Any possible scenario where nothing comes into existence to perceive it, it's like it never even happened. We perceive this universe only because it made us.

But hey, if you think a sentient being just happening to exist is simpler than the rule "Everything"....

Comment Re:Good one (Score 3, Informative) 1142

Indeed. For just our known solar system, these are known, believed or considered to have current liquid water oceans:
* Earth (obviously)
* Europa
* Calysto
* Rhea
* Titania
* Oberon
* Triton
* Pluto
* Eris
* Sedna
* Orca
* Enceladus
* Titan
* Uranus
* Neptune

And liquid water droplet clouds:
* Venus
* Jupiter
* Saturn

And believed to have past liquid water for a non-insignificant length of time:
* Mars
* Venus
* Ceres
* Wild-2 (and thus probably many other comets)

Apart from Earth, how many have we done sufficient analysis on that water? If *any* analysis on? And that's even assuming that life inherently requires water.

We know so damned little even about our own solar system. Heck, we're already finding extrasolars which are believed to have liquid water (in some cases, multiples in a given system), but *good luck* getting a probe out there...

Comment Re:Good one (Score 1) 1142

Really? God means "The Beginning"? When was the last time you watched a movie and the person said, "By the end I was enjoying it, but in God I wasn't so sure"? When was the last time you heard someone say "I heard the keynote speaker is going to be delivering his address in God."? When was the last time you head someone say something like like "I made it to God of the concert just in time"?

Sorry, that's not what people mean when they say God. They mean an invisible, all-powerful sentient being, not "the beginning".

Comment Re:Sausage snipers on Non-USA-centric polls (Score 1) 437

Hehe, yeah, Icelandic Christmas has a bit of "creepy" mixed into it, kind of making up for the fact that we don't do Halloween. You know, when you have a Santa walking around your house with a meat hook or staring through your windows with giant eyes... ;) And they're not the only ones. I made an allusion to Jólakötturinn, the Christmas Cat, a giant black cat who will eat your kids of you don't get them new clothes for Christmas. They're also the matriarch of the family, Grýla the troll-lady, who kidnaps naughty children in a sack to make into soup. She has a husband also, but he's usually harmless.

Comment Re:special request (Score 1) 110

Five minutes, usually 5 first minutes of interaction. So basically from the moment you notice each other. Looking away immediately when your eyes cross is not going to reflect good. (Seems your hiding something, like being a perv)

Then personality would almost never come into play for me. Usually I'm at a concert or something and I scan the crowd and notice what guys are there, but it's usually not until the middle of the concert or afterwards that someone comes up to me and starts talking. In Iceland it's kind of seen as a sign of desparation to hit on someone when sober. The nature of concerts changes dramatically as time goes on and people drink more. You could have Muck (death metal) play first and everyone would sit still listening, but if Sigur Rós played at 3 AM you could even have a mosh pit break out during some of their faster-paced songs ;)

It's not so much as making them look good physically. But good character lends to confidence and charisma and those are attractive to women. Women will take confidence and charisma over looks most of the time.

Lol, um... oh, never mind, if you haven't figured it out yet, I won't bother to mention it. ;)

And I disagree, it's almost as if they do look better. You notice their negatives less and their positives more. Just the very fact that the guy has the confidence to approach me and start talking, to me, makes him seem more attractive. That doesn't mean that I'm interested in anyone who approaches me, but it stresses the importance of confidence and boldness. Nothing more frustrating than a guy who comes up and starts chatting or dancing, and you get the impression that he likes you, but he just never makes any moves - it's like, geez, do I have to be the dominant one here? And it's not just that boldness in a guy is attractive in and of itself (although it is); there's also the subtle implication that, hey, this is probably the sort of guy who'd push me up against a wall and just... well, you get the picture. ;) Not everyone's into the same stuff, but at least for me, that sort of knowing-what-he-wants-and-not-being-afraid-to-go-for-it is really appealing - *within bounds*. If it crosses the line to where it seems like he won't take no for an answer, it rapidly goes from "attractive" to "scary". Heck, most "no"s in such a situation would in effect really be "not yet" anyway. *Always* listen for "no", spoken or implicit in her actions, and whatever you do, don't delay in responding to it. Trying to take another 5-10 seconds before backing off will seem like an eternity to her in which she goes from "concerned" to "totally freaked out". "Pro-tip": Don't freak the hell out of your partner!

An additional thing to mention: a major negative is if a guy seems drunk. Not just a little buzzed, but drunk. Drunks aren't cute. They can also be dangerous, especially in regards to the above. And there's even legal issues with sleeping with drunk people (drunks can't legally consent), although in practice that's usually only an issue the other way around. But it's still both illegal and immoral to sleep with someone, either gender, who's too drunk to realize (or later remember) what they're doing.

Comment Re:special request (Score 1) 110

Oh, isn't the 101 like the high-class, rich part of Reykjavík? lol

Lol, I'm not exclusive to the 101, it's just happened to be where most of the people I've dated are from because I usually meet people at concerts or clubs in the 101, and a lot of people walk there. It's not all high class, but it is expensive. But you can live there without lots of money by living in a smaller place, having a roomate, stuff like that. Plenty of people with mundane jobs live there too.

Comment Re:special request (Score 1) 110

Haha, skimmed that and most of it is right, although I personally strongly disagree with the "Fact: Women love long hair! It's an instant chick magnet." - to each their own! Got a number of my own comments that aren't in there, too. But in general, looks pretty solid.

And lol, I'm currently in the middle of playing the Reykjavík circuit, so unless you live in the 101... ;) Oh, and there should be a extra addendum to that guide, just for Icelandic guys: Stop talking about your penis! I get it, it's really impressive...

Oh, and another thing about that guide - it focuses on evolution too much. For example, they stress the confidence, boldness stuff, which is really good. But then they mention it as if it's *only* a side effect of evolution, when it can have some... um... practical applications. ;)

Oh, and at risk of going too far off tangent, my favorite thing (in the context of "amusing") that a guy I was dating said to me.... Context: we were driving home to my place, and he had previously been talking about how much he wanted to sleep with me, what he planned to do to me... then it was suddenly derailed by an offhand comment I made on a side tangent of conversation. Him: “Wait, you've never seen Dr. Who!?!" (beat) "Okay, we're going to get to your place, download and watch the first episode of Dr. Who, and *THEN* we're going to have sex!”

Nerd priorities - so endearing. ;)

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