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Comment Re:New Atheism (Score 1) 647

I tend to like comparative religion. Karen Armstrong, Joseph Campbell for religion. I also like a lot of Zen stuff, but the things I like are often labelled philosophy.

I also like the psychology of religion. I liked Jung, but think I need to reread it before I say I got enough out of it. Jung was a student of Freud, but not so absolutist about religion.

Comment SF/Fantasy/history/philosophy/religion/literature (Score 1) 647

I try to mix it up. I used to just read "what I felt like". But, I almost always wanted to read SF, sometimes fantasy. Now, I make sure to alternate between SF/fantasy and "other stuff". I also try to balance out "light" and "heavy".

"Other stuff" includes history, philosophy, religion(mostly eastern), classics of literature, and generally things that have a strange point of view

History: Just finished the second in a trilogy about the Third Reich by Richard Evans.

Philosophy/(religion?): Currently reading a novel by Hermann Hesse. He usually writes a sort of Western view of Eastern philosophy/religion. This novel(Narcisuss and Goldmund) discusses a philosophy of duality, though maybe like Steppenwolf the main character may change his viewpoint.

Classics of literature: most recent was Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.

"strange point of view stuff": while my taste in SF/fantasy tends toward this, the best example of it I can think of is Freakonomics. I like to get my mind blown.

Science Fiction/Fantasy: I either like to laugh or get my mind blown. Books don't often do both. Currently reading Old Man's War by Scalzi. The main characters are all the same, otherwise ok. Last great one I read was Olympos by Simmons.

My "light" tastes might be something like Pratchett. Some old school SF fits this, but a lot of old school SF writers can't do characterization. Some are too linear in plot development, too. My "light" is almost always SF/fantasy.

My "heavy" might be something like Dostoyevsky/Frank Herbert.

Comment Re:Neal Stephenson (Score 1) 647

I can't agree about Cryptonomicon. Stephenson seems to have a problem "ending" a book.It's a LOT longer than Snow Crash/Diamond Age, so it's a much bigger problem. So, I skipped Baroque Cycle.

It might have been the style of novel, but I didn't really see that problem with Anathem.

Social Networks

"David After Dentist" Made $150k For Family Screenshot-sm 234

It turns out recording your drugged child pays pretty well. 7-year-old David DeVore became an overnight sensation when his father posted a video of his ramblings after dental surgery. To date that video has made the DeVore family around $150,000. Most of the money came from YouTube, but the family has made $50k from licensing and merchandise. From the article: "The one seemingly minor decision to make the video available all over the Internet set off a whirlwind of changes for the DeVore family. Within just four days, 'David After Dentist' received 3 million views on YouTube and the younger David quickly became an Internet celebrity. His father quit his job in residential real estate (did we mention they live in Florida?), and the family started selling T-shirts featuring cartoon drawings of their son post-dental surgery."

Comment Re:What about Official English? (Score 2) 284

I can't say about Japanese. I think they use a combination of kanji and an alphabet.

But, with Chinese, there have been several systems(pinyins) created to use alphabets. Originally, it was meant to eventually replace kanji. Now, it's basically just used to show people how to pronounce the word. The reason it is not an effective replacement for kanji is because context is a LOT more important in Chinese than in English. Like, the word "shi4" has about 50 meanings. At least that's one reason.

To avoid confusion, I'll mention that the "4" denotes tone. Tone is mostly used for emotions and to mark questions in English. In Chinese, EVERY word has a tone. "shi1" and "shi4" are completely unrelated words.

Comment Re:spin-offs are always awful (Score 1) 385

Yeah, but how many of those good movies are as good as the books? Usually, the original source material is better. It's a translation to an entirely different art form. Movies, books, and comic books, are at least similar in being mostly passive and linear media . So, the translation from mostly active and (AT LEAST less) linear is often difficult. Actually, look at a direct comparison, translations of books. If you get a bad translation of a book, it'll suck.

With action movies/games, I'd think it'd be easier. Plot and characters are less important. If you focus mostly on the special effects and fight sequences, I'd think you'd be good.

PC Games (Games)

Blizzard vs. Glider Battle Resumes Next Week 384

trawg writes "You paid for it, you have the DVD in your drive and the box on the floor next to your desk, but do you own the game? That's the question the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on next week in the case between Blizzard, publisher of World of Warcraft, and MDY, publisher of the Glider bot. The Glider bot plays World of Warcraft for you, but Blizzard frowns on this, saying it voids the license agreement — you don't own the game, you only have a license to use it, and bots like Glider invalidate the license. The EFF has a good summary of the case as well. The case is due to be resumed on Monday."

Snails On Methamphetamine Screenshot-sm 93

sciencehabit writes "Science answers the question: What happens when you put a snail on speed? From the article: 'The results suggest that meth improves memory, something that has been previously observed in creatures with large, complex brains like rats and humans. But since the snails store their memories in a simple, three-neuron network, the team hopes that studying the meth effect in these gastropods will help pinpoint how the drug's memory magnification powers work.'"

3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession Screenshot-sm 804

theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

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