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Comment Re:Babel, Creationism at the AAAS? (Score 1) 323

Replying to myself a quick googly shows the AAAS has been strongly opposed to teaching creationism, but in some edge cases has been accused of "accommodating" creationists by engaging with them. Or, in a publication for students, telling a little story about a fictional biology student who learns that her Christian faith is compatible with evolutionary science. At the end she is on an archaeology dig, but also prays at sunrise! http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/aaas-also-engages-in-accommodationism/

That may explain the thinking behind the caption, if there was any, but to me it goes over the line. Or is an insulting joke at believers. Bad either way.

Comment Babel, Creationism at the AAAS? (Score 1) 323

What is the deal with the caption on the Tower of Babel in the article in Science News? "Out of one, many. The 'babel' of far-flung languages spoken in Europe and Asia, perhaps resulting from the fall of the Biblical tower, may derive from a single common ancestor."

I though the AAAS was a mainstream scientific organization. Guess they have a prankster on board. Didn't notice it until I read the comments in the article, to give fair credit.

Comment Fix, by the way (Score 1) 786

Classic Shell is the way to go with Win8 by the way. Works like a... *not*charm. I am never in Metro besides a brief instant on startup. And all the edge mouse gestures are gone! I now prefer Win8 to Win7. Thank gawd for whoever is writing Classic Shell. MS should pay them.

Comment Re:I never understood why Iomega was so popular. (Score 2) 58

Iomega was competitive at pricing a notch below Syquest and getting stuff to market early, probably before it was ready. They were the new kids on the block, well-capitalized from Utah, competing with California and Northeastern companies, as I recall it. (Aggressive marketing, just look at how they co-opted the "zip" name from common usage.) One of several episodes from the Computer Shopper era when customers were just relentless on shopping by price & spec, to the detriment of quality. I think the Syquest cartridges were $70 and the Zip disks $25 (though smaller) at one point, or some such stuff in the trade press that made Syquest look just a bit over the line. In other words, I almost bought a Syquest! When Zip disks became the standard, you had to have one to exchange data anyway. I have a box of those blue drives somewhere, parallel port, SCSI, internal.

CD writers were pretty iffy back then too. I have a stack of CD's that only work in the HP drive that made them. So many useless coasters were made at 1x and 2x speeds on Windows systems that they got that name, coasters. Close all other programs before proceeding! Buffer underrun! Or was it overrun?

Comment Re:Congress can Butt Out. (Score 1) 295

And the movement is towards putting *nonfiction* in English classrooms. The all-business-all-the-time ideologues want English teachers to finally drop that literature stuff (or a good chunk of time for it). This is seriously happening and the curriculum may look a lot worse in ten years. Of course the schools the rich can attend will still have all the good stuff. This is just a policy they want to foist on the rest of our kids.

Comment Re:Wrinkle (Score 1) 295

It looks more like a cube in 3-dimensions, not a cube within a cube. That diagram is not what it would look like projected onto 3-space, it is rather some scheme for conveying information about the shape. See the pictures and animations at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesseract

I'm thinking of that other classic book, Flatland. Picture a cube if you lived in 2-dimensional space. You might see it as a square, or as an oblique slice through a cube. But not as a matrix conveying the facts about a cube.

Or maybe I'm missing something. The idea of projecting 4-space onto 3-space, or 3-space onto 2-space, may not be the correct analogy for perception here. Also, the space itself in which the tesseract or cube or square lives may not be straight. Think of curved space-time. A standard 2 dimensional space is the straight x/y coordinate system, going off to infinity in all directions. But another is the outside surface of a sphere, closed up eventually, but locally looking nearly flat (measure the angles of a triangle and subtract 180 to get the slight curvature). An then there a are distorted versions of each, x/y or sphere.

Really I just want to think of a tesseract as a solid shape I see at one moment in time, followed by another moment and another moment until it is gone. That way time is my 4th dimension. If everything is laid out straight, I guess a one-meter tesseract is a one-meter cube the appears all at once and stays the same until it disappears, after 1/c ( = speed of light) seconds (?). But if it lays at an angle in 4-space, or 4-space is curved, or 4-space is closed, then who knows. I just can't picture it being a cube within a cube. Then again, I feel like I live in Boxland at a moment.

Add to that, the time dimension really does seem to different physically, and 4-space has an infinite number of smooth coordinate structures, not just straight, closed spherical, etc. While 2-space, 3-space, 5-space, 6-space, etc. all have a limited number of structures, 4-space is the exception and has an infinite number.

Comment Use a 3rd party program to get the start button (Score 1) 628

Works great. I like the Win8 machine I occasionally use better than the Win7 one. Not sure why, it may be as simple as the ugly folder icons in Win7. The 3rd party app (not an "app") I found for Win8 makes it boot to desktop, restores the start menu, turns off the weird mouse actions at the edge of the screen. It's Classic Shell or StartMenu8, forget which.

Comment Re:Title not entirely accurate (Score 5, Informative) 131

Story broke in 2008 (Randi), NYT (2009), and then in 2010 the BBC did more work on it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8471187.stm
Here's the original WIkipedia page, from 2009, with the links to NYT and Randi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=ADE_651&oldid=323934632

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