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Comment What I like about Phoenix (Score 1) 555

I work here since 2009. I was basically forced to move here when my previous employer closed shop and this was the best job I was able to find back then.
Yes, it is hot in summer. And I hate scorpions that crawl inside the house.
But there are some good things about this place, too:
  - I can afford a nice house with a pool in a good neighborhood 2 miles from the office. Nowhere else I would be able to live in such luxury. Maybe in Austin. In California, I would be living in a tiny townhouse that would cost me more (in percents of my salary), and commuting on a congested highway an hour one way.
  - I bike to work every working day of every month, even in 115 degree heat. It is not bad at all because of the short distance and dry air. Also, the morning and the evening temperature is significantly lower than the max.
  - Quite a few outdoor attractions are within driving distance: Sedona, Grand Canyon, Mogollon Rim, etc.
  - Winter is nice. I like snow, so we drive to Flagstaff every now and then for some fun

Comment 1, 3 and 4 (Score 4, Interesting) 106

I like all stargazing options available to me, but voted for 4.
My radio telescope is a very simple one: a receiver tuned to remote (500-1500km) Mexican analog TV transmitters on channel 2, connected to a "rabbit ears" antenna in the attic. I can hear reflections from meteor trails as short "pings". The next step is to connect it to the PC sound input and use SpectumLab+Colorgramme software to count the reflections 24/7/365 and then upload the data to www.rmob.org. About $200 worth of equipment (the PC is an ancient laptop), and I collect some real scientific data.

Comment Re:The Cold War mentality again (Score 2) 451

Regrettably, the russians have gone back to that silly Cold War mentality. Their own propaganda tells them constantly that they are unique, superior to the others, and surrounded by vile enemies that miss no chance to do harm to russia.

Don't speak for all russians. Hysterical propaganda is usually the sign that the population becomes difficult to control and has opinions that the propaganda is desperately trying to change.

Comment Positive moments (Score 2) 304

1. Very detailed (down to individual voting stations) voting results were made available, although they were used to do similar analysis after the past elections.
2. United Russia was barely able to get the majority in Duma, even with all the "irregularities"
3. Internet was used to organize a mass rally (30-50k people in Moscow, thousands in other places). This one is a first. And these were not radicals that are happy to rally for whatever cause, but middle class - people that didn't go to the streets since 1991.

This is the first time in a while I have some hope for the future of Russia.

Comment Bunch of crackpots (Score 1) 195

I did a quick search on this "conference" and I can tell right away this is a typical pseudoscience gathering.
The organizer, Igor Burtsev, holds a degree in a different area (history) and everything he published about yeti so far was sensationalist drivel, not scientific research.
Oh, it is on Fox News website? Must be fair and balanced then. Sorry.

Comment Arizona - not that much better (Score 1) 137

In Arizona, I can not just go out to the middle of nowhere and set up my scope. There are land owners with shotguns. I have to arrange with them where I can set up. Otherwise they shoot first and ask questions later.
And then there are scorpions and snakes. Granted, they are not as bad as landmines, but they are somewhat of a deterrent.

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