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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

Comment Re:Waitrose (upscale supermarket in UK) Twitter (Score 1) 172

I was surprised to see a mobile phone company's official FB page flooded with complaints, and one service rep trying to tell people to email her so she could fix their problems. I guess FB does not allow holding comments for moderation like you can with typical forum and blog software. In FB you can disable commenting, but that's it as far as I can tell.

Comment Re:Reverse notation (Score 1) 110

Are you sure that was part of thee DNS? Usenet used that kind of hierarchy: humanities.classics, humanities.design.misc, alt.binaries.nice, alt.tv, etc. Also, you see DNS names reversed like uk.co.bbc in algorithms. Makes a much more readable sorted list.

Comment Re:Should be .gb not .uk (Score 1) 110

At one time there were three countries without much geography in their common names:
United Kingdom (of...)
United States (of...)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (no geography at all).

Then there's the (Roman) Empire and the (Roman) Catholic Church. Anglicans talk about a "catholic" church, meaning "universal," which is confusing.

Comment Re:Poor sods (Score 1) 110

I find "subzero" confusing in Canadian or British weather. Adds to the wind-chill confusion, but that is less common.
I read somewhere British phone numbers are the most difficult to remember. Maybe it's the punctuation, but I mostly like the U.S. system, except for the newer area code regime.

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