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Comment Re:I live in my great-great-grandfather's house (Score 1) 332

It's actually an interesting point that I have given some thought about in the past.
If you read Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors, by Carl Sagan, you will find that chimps are "racist" and organize themselves into tribes which would be somewhat inbred, were it not for the occasional contact with other tribes, which freshens up the gene pool.

As I'm sure you've noticed, some people are really attracted to "exotic" types, say, blonde, black, foreigners of any kind, and indeed in my family tree there's occasionally some guy from a neighboring village.
And, of course, you need to take into account that the average distance between villages is about an hour's walk around here.

Each town has a special patron saint, and holds a yearly party on that date, which tends to attract people from other small towns, given the limited options they have for entertainment. It will generally involve an amateur, simplified form of bullfighting, barbecue, wine, fireworks, bell tolls, and maybe some amateur band, though many places have their own small orchestra.

I have no doubt there's plenty of young people rolling in the proverbial hay afterwards :)

Comment I live in my great-great-grandfather's house (Score 5, Interesting) 332

Welcome to Olde Europe ;)
My great-great-grandfather moved to Lisbon from his little village somewhere in the 19th century, and most of us haven't moved out of the neighborhood. Lots of relatives here. We still own the original stone house back in the little village, its origins lost in time.
We've traced our genealogy all the way back to the 1600s when the church started recording baptisms, we were still there then, and plenty of relatives never moved out of it either :)

Comment Re:What would I do? (Score 1) 828

I love cycling, but Segways are illegal in bicycle lanes, and most european cities where cycling is actually used already have bike lanes.
Besides, I've been involved with a local activist group and they're pretty adamant on bike lanes being harmful. In order for bikes to be legitimate vehicles worthy of drivers' respect they must be integrated in the general traffic. And they reduce accidents, by forcing drivers to slow down and actually pay attention to what they're doing.

Comment Re:Applied particle physics? (Score 1) 98

Well, I'm a factual person, not an emotional one, as such, I'm hardly ever afraid of anything.
So let's examine the facts:
1) The rest of the world is not Japan, or the Ring of Fire
2) Germany, in particular, has one of the lowest earthquake hazard rates in the world
3) Hills, where cities were built in the dawn of time, are safe from floods and invaders. Can't go wrong with 100m of solid rock.
4) Any place that's sufficiently inland is safe from a tsunami. The rest of the world is not an island.
6) Profit! ;)

Comment Re:What would I do? (Score 2) 828

Well, I'm a researcher, one of my colleagues got a PhD grant solely on the merits of his self-published papers, and everyone here has had plenty of stuff rejected after peer-review. That's why any normal person only publishes 2 or 3 times per year after applying to a dozen places. Regardless, one should always be wary of extraordinary claims, such as future cities being built to accomodate the Segway :)

Comment Applied particle physics? (Score 2) 98

I've always found particle physics fascinating, though I won't claim to understand any of it.
I'm disappointed that people are so vehemently against nuclear reactors these days that Germany is shutting some of them down.
And, of course, we're not in a hurry to use nuclear weapons either.
Radiation therapy has been a good application, but I would like to believe it will eventually be replaced by something less aggressive and more specific. Super-heavy atoms are really cool, but they're always so unstable we can barely measure them.
What other practical applications can we hope to achieve?
Will fusion be cleaner than fission and more publicly acceptable?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Comment Re:"XP" (Score 1) 471

Mandrake was what people used to use in 2001. I may have rose-colored glasses, but I can't recall having problems with it, and I'm no bearded unix guru.
My then-girlfriend installed it because she liked ksokoban and tux racer. She's not in any kind of IT and we didn't live together back then.
Wasn't Mandrake installed in like two clicks or something?
My first Linux experience was in 1997 when I went to college, and even thought I didn't have to install it, fvwm was not terribly different from the Win95 GUI either, neither was Netscape 3.0. Shrug.

Comment DNA porn (Score 0) 99

100 gigabit connections will open up the vast unexplored market for molecular biology porn!
On a 15 inch monitor, you'd be able to fit enough pixels to make out ribosomes and cell walls, not to mention viruses and bacteria.
Pervs all over the world would devote entire discussion forums to their favorite STDs in porn stars.

Comment Re:lifetime of cameras (Score 1) 248

If civilization falls apart, a generous portion of the billions of cameras that exist will probably still work, the memory cards will still be readable by any of them, and the information contained therein may help us rebuild civilization.
Celluloid, assuming any exists outside a museum, can catch fire or simply decay.
So can paper photographs. Not to mention people have no clue on how to develop film.
My 15 year old digital camera (Casio QV) already had a builtin LCD screen, wrote to an internal 16MB flash memory, could also be accessed via USB, and still works perfectly. It was expensive as fuck and could only take 320x240 or 640x480 pictures. The quality was horrible (esp. in bad lighting). But it did the job.
Flash memory, if left alone, is extremely durable - unlike hard drives, it contains no moving parts, and it is not affected by magnetic fields.
If I wanted to preserve the knowledge of mankind, it would probably be safer to trust flash media than a thin layer of pigment on top of an organic film :P

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