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Comment Re:Allow me to burn som Karma by saying (Score 1) 489

If you want population-proportional representation in the HoR, get their dumb asses to unlock the 435 limit and set it per-X-residents with no fixed number of representatives (only the ability to change "X" in that calculation when every state has a minimum population value for X). Currently, 1 representative per 700k residents is just about right (300M / 700k = 428-ish). Alaska has just above 700k residents, and North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming have a bit less, but could have 1 representative each anyway.

Agree in principle, but your representative counts are way, way off. The 435 limit was set in 1911 for the 63rd Congress, and followed that up in 1929 with the "Permanent Apportionment Act", because they couldn't get their shit together and fulfill one of their obligations (which was to properly re-apportion, including ADDING OR SUBTRACTING seats based on the census results). Kinda like today - you had members of Congress playing the anti-immigrant card as hard as they could, and in the process, really broke things for us a hundred years later.

Anyway, the US population after the 1910 census was a bit over 92 million (92,228,496) giving a population to representative of ~212k. If we were to maintain even a remotely similar representation, we would be looking at a HoR with ~1456 members, with the least populous state (Wyoming) having 2 representatives - which is, interestingly enough, directly in line with Madison's original Bill of Rights proposal for Article the First, which explicitly set the minimum number of reps per state at 2 after crossing the 30k per rep line, and setting 30k per rep as the hard line for the number of representatives in the HoR (which would have today's HoR be 10,300 and change)

Hell - I'd be okay with setting the reps per population to, on average, be roughly equivalent to smallest state population divided by 2, until such time as that's back up to, say, 350k, after which it becomes divisible by +1. That would mean that, should Wyoming's population reach 700k, we would, instead of dividing their population by 2 to get the population per rep (and the total number of reps from there). This would allow for the HoR to increase in membership still relatively infrequently, but unlikely to stay static for a century as it has, largely due to incompetence.

Comment Re:Allow me to burn som Karma by saying (Score 1) 489

Yes, that is its political effect, and it is extremely anti-democratic. But the reason it exists is simply that independent states varied in size at the time of the Constitutional convention. There was no intention at that Convention to give rural people a political check over those living in cities.


That was almost precisely the intention of the proponents of the New Jersey Plan prior to its combination, in modified form, with the Virginia Plan, also modified, to form the Great Compromise. The entire point of the Senate was to provide a check against large population state representation, and force the rest of the Congress to actually listen to the needs of the smaller states.

Comment Re:Allow me to burn som Karma by saying (Score 2) 489

You, and everyone else bitching about the makeup of the US Congress and specifically the senate, need to go back and retake middle school civics.

The Senate, at the country's inception, WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE POPULARLY ELECTED.

You have a bicameral legislature - the House of Representatives, who's members are popularly elected by the residents of the states, and the Senate - who's membership was, until the horrific fuck up that is the 17th Amendment was passed shortly after the turn of the 20th century, selected by the legislatures of the states to represent their interests in crafting national law - and SPECIFICALLY to prevent large states, like California, New York, Florida, and Texas today; New York and Pennsylvania in 1789, from running roughshod over the interests and needs of the smaller states. So yes, the Senate makeup IS DELIBERATELY set up to fuck over the large population states, because they are able to fuck over the small states in the House of Representatives.

Welcome to basic civics.

If you want to fix the Senate, repeal the 17th.

Comment Re:Reflective Armor (Score 1) 173

answer is no. HELSTF did a bunch of tests during the 1980s with spinning reflective cylinders against different laser powers. The results were surprisingly negative for protection: the battlefield is dirty/mirrors like to be clean and mirrors for lasers tend to be VERY wavelength sensitive.

Comment Re:Get a local phone number (Score 1) 506

The digital front in Portland, ME is about 110 miles south of you in Boston. Might be able to find something in Concord or Manchester (NH), but those are also pretty hefty commutes from Portland.

Honestly - if you can bootstrap it, start something up. Write apps, do SOMETHING in addition to pounding pavement. A year 'vacation' can be overlooked if you took the effort to keep your skills up to date, and can prove it.

Submission + - U Washington Demonstrates First Brain to Brain Interface 1

anzha writes: Researchers at the University of Washington have successfully demonstrated the first brain to brain interface. One college successfully controlled another's movements. The implications of the demonstration of the technology is pretty profound, even if its in a very early and ideal form. Beginning of Star Trek's Borg? Or David Gerrold's Teep Corps?

Submission + - Researcher controls colleague's brain from remote location (

vinces99 writes: University of Washington researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with one researcher able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher. Using electrical brain recordings and a form of magnetic stimulation, Rajesh Rao sent a brain signal to Andrea Stocco on the other side of the UW campus, causing Stocco's finger to move on a keyboard. The researchers believe this is the first demonstration of human-to-human brain interfacing. Rao looked at a computer screen and played a simple video game with his mind. When he was supposed to fire a cannon at a target, he imagined moving his right hand (but didn't actually move it) to cause a cursor to hit the "fire" button. Almost instantaneously, Stocco, who wore noise-canceling earbuds and wasn't looking at a computer screen, involuntarily moved his right index finger to push the space bar on the keyboard in front of him, as if firing the cannon. Stocco, who jokingly referred to the phenomenon as "the Vulcan mind meld," compared the feeling of his hand moving involuntarily to that of a nervous tic.

Submission + - Has Supercomputing Hit the Shoulder of the Sigmoid? 1

anzha writes: Horst Simon, Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has stood up at conferences of late and said the unthinkable: supercomputing is hitting a wall and will not build an exaflop HPC system by 2020. This is defined as one that passes linpack with a performance of one exaflop sustained or better. He's even placed money on it. You can read the original presentation here.

Comment Re:Speaking as a Team Leader... (Score 1) 74

AFAIK, no. If there is someone to talk to about that, point me that way! That'd be awesome and I'd happily list /. as a backer/sponsor. That said, if you are looking for an open source team, you are looking at FredNet. If you are looking for the Silicon Valley big money team, you are looking at Moon Express. If you are looking at the university student/professor teams, you are looking at Astrobotic, PennState, and Omega Envoy. If you are looking for the traditional aerospace guys, you are looking at Rocket City Space Pioneers. If you are looking for very STEM oriented, educator focused, you are looking at JURBAN. If you are looking for the scrappy Silicon Valley startup, that'd be us: Team Phoenicia. There are more. Go to the Google Lunar X Prize website ( to check us all out. Take a look at what Mike Doornbos of evadot has to say through his rankings of the teams:

Comment Re:Speaking as a Team Leader... (Score 1) 74

The Romanians considered the rockoon approach and discarded it. Instead they are building - yes, really! - a rocket powered seaplane to do an air launch of their rocket carrying their moonbot. They are nuts. And they are soooo fscking awesome. The problem with the rockoon is that even once you are outside the atmosphere, you are still subject to the rocket equation of getting to the moon with the delta V. Some things just don't scale down well.

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