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Comment Large Scottish Collider (Score 1) 338

Um. It's the UK that has superior plugs. If only they'd had the common sense to build the damned thing in Scotland like I told them, it wouldn't keep having all these failures.

The problem with Scotland is that you'd have the locals constantly attacking all the scientists and giving them a damn good kickin'.

OTOH, we could hope for an ideal solution, where a black hole is formed, but then evaporates just after it has consumed the matter in a sphere extending to Hadrian's wall.

Comment Re:The one crucial point (Score 1) 430

I'm not sure how Europe normally handles vaccine liability, but I'm sure a /.er can fill us in.

I have no idea how liability works here. Contrary to the US, it's not an important question.

This may be because our governments haven't been so badly owned by corporate interests. Although that's just a pet theory of mine. ;)

Comment File system choice for databases (Score 1) 268

ext3 is also a journaling file system. Perhaps you meant ext2?

I'm not sure you want to run fsck on an unclean shutdown on your nice big database partition either. Maybe using a journaled file system isn't such a bad idea. Also, it can be much faster for certain workloads:

http://en.oreilly.com/oscon2009/public/schedule/detail/8432
http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/HP_ProLiant_DL380_G5_Tuning_Guide

Note that while sequential writes could be much slower with journaled file systems, random writes were typically much faster. This is what one would expect, given how journaled file systems work.

Comment Re:People definitely neglect science... (Score 5, Insightful) 656

People, especially young people, just wait until someone tells them what happens next.

Nonsense. Young people are naturally curious. Only after years of exposure to a spoon-feeding "educational system" do they become mindless drones waiting to memorize the next factoid. If we can change the system to work WITH their natural curiosity, it won't be difficult to motivate them - the hard part will be trying to keep them focused on just one topic.

Nonsense. Anyone with experience with young children (say 2 to 5 years old) will know that kids are curious, but incredibly lazy. So they ask, "why?" and wait for an answer. And then they ask "why?" about that. And then "why?". And then "why?". And then "why?".

If you don't teach them how to reason for themselves, then they behave exactly as the original poster describes. They just wait until someone tells them what happens next. It is work to show children that they can reason for themselves, or investigate causes on their own.

Comment Re:This is America (Score 1) 528

Each incident like this makes me realize that things have only gone downhill since I was in school.

When I went to school there were pregnant teens, drug and alcohol problems, suicides, kidnappings, attempted murders:

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/faculty_archives/principalship/d/148duncan.html

I don't recall us having any civil rights, praise be unto Reagan and his War on Drugs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_v._T._L._O.

Maybe you're a baby boomer and lived in the schools supplied by the Greatest Generation. If you're anything near my age (37) then I honestly doubt things are much worse now than they were when we were in school.

Comment Re:Trouble in the air (Score 1) 793

You know, taking every last thing a person has leaves you with someone who has nothing to lose.

Or, as Sun Tzu said:

23. Throw your soldiers into positions whence there
        is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight.
        If they will face death, there is nothing they may
        not achieve. Officers and men alike will put forth
        their uttermost strength.

24. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose
        the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge,
        they will stand firm. If they are in hostile country,
        they will show a stubborn front. If there is no help
        for it, they will fight hard.

  .
  .
  .

36. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.
        Do not press a desperate foe too hard

Okay, I admit a lot of what Sun Tzu wrote was common sense, but it's good to write such things down. :)

Comment Re:Gravel roads are cheap but need more maintenanc (Score 1) 717

If we're closing schools, the solution is to fund them properly from the appropriate source (those who use them)

Hm... an interesting idea that, making those who use schools - children - pay for them.

The average college graduate in the USA already starts with something like $20k of debt. This does not seem to have any ill effects that anyone can discern, so it does make logical sense to extend this to those free-loading high school students at the very least.

Since megacorporations warmed to the idea of turning children into consumers via well placed franchises, I am sure it would be easy to convince MasterCard and Visa to give "KinderCard" or "Visa Princess" cards to elementary school children. Other types of financial constructions are surely possible, since the banks are no longer free to be creative in home loans any more, they can turn their attention to this vital new sector.

The false dichotomy between lower taxes/crappy schools and higher taxes/good schools finally solved, thanks to your libertarian genius!!!

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