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Comment Re:NASA makes it obvious we are doomed (Score 3, Interesting) 286

On NPR a while back there was an interview with a NASA scientist about the doomsday predictions. He runs the Q/A column "Ask an Astrobiologist" responsible for answering questions posed to NASA, which as of late have mostly centered around Dec 21st. He was incredulous that anyone would believe these stories, but as the same time took it very seriously; he mentioned that many of the people writing to him were of the younger generations (i.e. schoolkids) genuinely concerned about whether the world was going to end. This was the demographic that concerned him. One such excerpt -- "Though some of the questions may seem frivolous and outlandish, Morrison receives queries from people who are legitimately concerned and contemplating suicide. "Another extreme one ... I got was quite touching. It was: My only friend is my little dog. When should I put her to sleep so she won't suffer in the cataclysm?" It's easy to dismiss the doomsday people as loons (and most are), but some of them are just kids so we should focus more on taking them seriously and helping educate them to understand that it's a myth rather than dismissing the entire thing offhand. This can be a very good opportunity to show the community that science > superstition. Interview is at

Comment Re:The game still has its flaws (Score 1) 147

Agreed. Back at launch they were mentioning how surprised they were at the effect the auction house had. Internally they had something like a few dozen people playing it, so the auction house had a very limited pool of items, and as a result was fairly insignificant. Fast forward to a week after launch and they were completely blindsided at the massive effect the auction house had on itemization. On the one hand I feel like they should have seen it coming, but on the other hand, complex, dynamic systems aren't easy to predict.

Comment Re:Meh. Not that big a problem. (Score 1) 404

You're describing an embarrassingly parallel application, the kind where you can actually get linear speedups. Unfortunately many problems don't fit into this category, and once you start getting into inter-thread data dependencies, jagged load balancing, and debugging race conditions it's an entirely different ballgame, not to mention massively parallel stream processors (i.e. GPGPU). Easy threading is easy, but deriding it as something less than "serious" programming belies a degree of ignorance.

Comment Re:I had to laugh (Score 1) 211

What was wrong with the Peter Jackson LotR movies? They were far better than many had dared to hope for. Sure it would have been nice to have have some things that weren't included (i.e. Tom Bombadil, Scouring of the Shire) and some parts were rather silly (Gandalf being unable to perform a pull up in Moria, or the deus ex machina they turned the Dead Men of Dunharrow into, etc), but all in all they were quite good. Not like the previous attempts at LotR movies (1978 animated film. As someone who has read the book (and the Silmarillion) multiple times, I think the Jackson films did quite well.

Comment Re:4 kinds of people... (Score 1) 204

I played WoW vanilla from launch until a few months into the Burning Crusade. I and many others would dispute your assertion that it was "incredible". But if you think vanilla WoW was anything but carebear, then you better refresh on its meaning... WoW was unprecedented in its levels of carebear-ness (take a look at the death penalties in Everquest to get an idea. Hell even Diablo 2 was harsher). Also, your rant about the "Kung fu pandas" is unfounded, as many others have stated Pandarians have been a part of Warcraft lore since Warcraft 3 (i.e. for over a decade before now). They were always portrayed as being large, jovial and fond of food and drink.

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 637

It's not just politically incorrect, it's quite dangerous. In the past these sorts of intelligence tests have been used to justify a wide array of discriminatory policies aimed at disenfranchising segments of the population, and if introduced again, I'm sure history would repeat itself (it's got a habit of doing that). One particularly interesting quote from wikipedia on scientific racism: "Before the 1920s, social scientists agreed that whites were superior to blacks, but they needed a way to somehow ‘prove’ this in order to back social policy in favor of whites. They felt the best way to gauge this was through testing intelligence" The problem with restricting people based on their perceived intelligence is that intelligence is a malleable and largely unquantifiable thing, and IQ tests are not exactly a standardized or objective measure of intelligence. Hence these tests can be morphed and modified to prove whatever objective the tester set out to do. These tests were done away with for a reason; not only are they "not politically correct", but at best unfair and at worst, downright dangerous.
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Submission + - Court rules against Polish rocker who tore up Bible (

hessian writes: "Poland's Supreme Court opened the way on Monday for a blasphemy verdict against a rock musician who tore up a Bible on stage, a case that has pitted deep Catholic traditions against a new desire for free expression.

Adam Darski, front man with a heavy metal group named Behemoth, ripped up a copy of the Christian holy book during a concert in 2007, called it deceitful and described the Roman Catholic church as "a criminal sect".

(They were good once: )"

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