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Comment Re:Hello!!! (Score 1) 484

Perhaps, you would care to reread Judges 21. Here are some selected highlights:

10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.
11 “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.”
12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards
21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife.
23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.

This is according to the most recent translations. Trust me, the older translations are worse.

Comment Re:Hello!!! (Score 1) 484

If you will claim that it glorifies violence, would you also say that the Diary of Anne Frank glorifies violence? Because both are the same style of literature-- that is, historical writings, and both contain violence.

I guess I was not very observant, but I failed to read any approval of the violence in the Diary of Anne Frank. When "the lord" burns people who murmur against him, tells his people to kill all the non virgins of a town they have captured, but keep and rape all the virgins, mandates death for homosexuals, and a thousand other acts of violence in the OT, it is in the context that everything God does is beyond approach.

Comment Re:Hello!!! (Score 2) 484

It's the Old Testament! THAT, isn't a childrens story!

It also is of dubious artistic merit, contains explicit sex scenes and glorifies violence. If one is going to justify censorship at all, I can see no reason why the sale and possession of this filth should not be banned.

Comment Re:That's not the first memorable 09-11 (Score 1) 804

I am not a history buff, but even my hazy recollections were enough to know that your post contains some pretty dubious thinking

Catalonia wasn't a nation then (otherwise they wouldn't have taken part in the war to choose Spain's next king, would they?)

Based on this logic, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Portugal and the Holy Roman Empire would not have been nations either, since they most definitely took part in the war. Nevertheless, I would tend to accept that Catalonia's independence by that point in its history was questionable.

Feel free to point _any_ time of history before 1714 when Catalonia was an unified entity

The same Wikipedia article you researched contains these quotes:

... after the defeat of Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqiwas's troops at Tours in 732 local Visigoths regained autonomy , though they voluntarily made themselves tributary to the emerging Frankish kingdom, [emphasis mine]


As part of the Crown of Aragon — most historians would say the dominant part — the Catalans became a maritime power, expanding by trade and conquest into Valencia, the Balearic Islands, and even Sardinia and Sicily.

This second quote suggests to me that, at a certain point of time, the Crown of Aragon amounted to a Catalonian empire. As with all empires, it eventually collapsed, but Catalonia has arguably as much right to a claim of nationhood as England, (previously the centre of the British Empire, and now a constituent part of the United Kingdom)

Comment Re:Murky: could be good or bad (Score 1) 142

This brings up some interesting points: if you have a property interest in a domain, then what do you pay the yearly fee for?

Administrative costs. In a similar way, once I stake a claim to a particular trademark, I continue to own it as long as I do not abandon it. IMHO, this is an easy decision, though I agree there will be pressure in some quarters to get it quashed.

Comment Re:Dr. Roy Spencer... (Score 1) 954

Note that the study is freely available at link from "Polution Free Cities" blog

For those who do not have the time to read this quite convincing 31 page paper, here is one quote from the introduction confirming that credible sources cite second hand smoke as a risk factor for lung cancer:

Second hand smoke (SHS) is also an established cause of both lung cancer and cardiovascular disease (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2004, 2006, 2010).

Comment Not a fake, but seriously overhyped (Score 4, Informative) 289

Right now, the focus seems to be on the UAV market. If the technology is ever used for manned flight, this will not be for a long time. Whether the technology is truly a major advance for UAVs in constrained spaces (the current objective) we shall need to wait and see. From the company website:

The current status of D-DALUS D-DALUS is currently in prototype stage. Over recent weeks IAT21 have conducted extensive constrained flight tests in a specially prepared laboratory near Salzburg, including the transition from vertical to forward flight, and are now ready to move to an open test range for free flight tests. In trials to date D-DALUS has met the performance criteria placed upon it and appears to be scalable, becoming more efficient and less complex as it increases in size. It will therefore be ideally suited for applications that range from maritime search and rescue, through the carriage of freight, to operating alongside and within buildings during fires or, for example, nuclear accidents.

Comment Re:Annoying.. (Score 1) 452

The "hack" proved that databases with huge amounts of sensitive data (not just users, passwords, and personal private information by the way) were easily accessible via an SQL injection attack. In theory, they could have downloaded the lot, but it would have taken a huge amount of time and resources to do so using remote SQL injection. Their objectives were not criminal use of the data, but to embarrass Sony, and probably massage their own egos. They did not need everything to do that. Be thankful that this group launched the attack, and hope they did so before a criminal enterprise grabbed all the data. The damage from exposing this small sample, especially with the content available to assist in mitigation, will probably be pretty limited. That would not be true if the mafia silently acquired the data, and used it before the data breach came to light.

Comment Re:Apertium (Score 1) 95

I really like the idea of an open source, community content, translation system. Maybe, at some point in the future, Apertium might develop to the point it can be compared with Google Translate. Right now, it is no near.

Google supports nearly 60 languages, including all the most important languages worldwide. It can usually automatically identify the input language and provide understandable translations in any of the 58 supported languages. Apertium supports a handful of European languages, and cannot even support translation of some permutations of the languages it does include.

Apertium needs a huge group of contributors, similar to that enjoyed by Wikipedia, as well as linguists and engineers from around the world. Given that, maybe the need for proprietary translators can be assigned to history. Today, they are essential.

Comment Re:Priorites, please!!! (Score 1) 370

First, I accept that use of nuclear power will need to continue. That said, to believe the Fukishima nuclear accident is anything short of disastrous shows a high level of ignorance. This is an area with quite high population densities where
  • expert opinion is already saying that a 10km radius around the plants will be uninhabitable for a generation or more;
  • dangerous levels of radiation, necessitating evacuations, have already been detected over 40km from the plants;
  • several people have already been hospitalized for treatment of very high radiation exposure;
  • three huge explosions, causing destruction of the concrete containment buildings, cooling systems and monitoring equipment (as well, in at least one case, damage to the steel containment vessel) have already occurred;
  • major releases of highly radioactive water into the seas near the plants have already occurred;
  • the safety of food supplies in the area has already been jeopardized.

Meanwhile, attempts to stabilize the situation and end the emergency continue. There remains the possibility that the worst is not yet over.

I think it is too early to draw full conclusions, but I think we should already demand

  • no new boiling water reactors should be built near major population centres;
  • nuclear fuels allowed in nuclear reactors should be limited to those with short half lives (ie no plutonium as in Fukishima 3) until there is unanimous agreement among nuclear engineers that containment is guaranteed under even the most extreme circumstances.

Comment At Last ... (Score 1) 78

... an explanation that I am willing to accept for why I appear to be overweight. Obviously, I am just living in an area where the gravitational pull is unusually strong. The same reason explains my low level of activity. More effort is needed to move, so I am justified in moving less.

I love science!

Comment Re:Misleading summary (Score 1) 537

40 year old badly designed reactors survived the worst earthquake and tsunami in living memory ... not much of a story there

This may or may not turn out to be substantially correct. Frankly, I doubt we shall be able to state this with any confidence for quite a while. Further, I do think that there are much safer (but less economic) designs than boiling water reactors, but I have yet to be convinced that modern boiling water designs are a big advance on the older designs. The problem still seems to be that accidents are potentially very difficult to contain. Remember that the initial events in Japan were not worst case. Three of the six reactors were in shut down mode in advance of the earthquake and the other three shut down correctly before the tsunami. The situation would have been quickly critical if the reactors could not be shut down before major damage occurred (surely feasible if unlikely).

Comment Re:TFA? (Score 1) 129

Well, technically, I think it could be done. I created a Windows image at one point without IE and added IE7 back as a VMware ThinApp package. Even if IE invoked higher priority programs, these were also sandboxed (assuming no bugs in ThinApp).

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What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. -- Bengamin Disraeli