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Comment Re:Safety (Score 1) 509

Sometimes I think that you have to be stupid and inconsiderate to want an SUV and that is why they are generally driven with such stupidity and inconsideration. Other times I wonder if maybe sitting so high above the road ensconced in steel has psychological effects that makes average people act like jerks.

I almost always walk which gives me free time to observe driving habits. I have lost count several times, but roughly speaking, SUV drivers endanger my life about 20:4 over cars. They are typically the drivers who enter the crosswalk while I'm crossing, gun their engines to try to hurry me along, swerve onto the shoulders when there is no sidewalk, burn rubber to hurry around a round-about so they can barrel down on me, and etc. The problem cars are generally cheap sports cars driven by students yakking on cellphones.

Comment Re:Probably will be harder than they think (Score 1) 156

Did you pick 8.5 to specifically exclude Hong Kong (8.4), to specifically include Iceland (8.5), or was 8.5 just a good number? ;-)

I was thinking a committee of about 11 countries would be about the right size and since it is an odd number, they wouldn't have to worry about ties in voting. However, I really should have counted countries instead of looking at the ranks since I ended up with the wrong number.

I personally wouldn't put too much trust in their figures, though, given the subjectivity of the questions they ask to "country experts" (e.g. "Is the country’s economy free of excessive state involvement?" You would get wildly different answers from a socialist and a capitalist).

Actually, I hadn't heard of Transarency International until I came across it in one of the Wikileaks. The following cables (as of yesterday) reference it:

  • /cable/2006/02/06SKOPJE105.html
  • /cable/2008/06/08TUNIS679.html
  • /cable/2009/11/09MOSCOW2823.html
  • /cable/2010/02/10MOSCOW317.html

i read it in one of the Moscow ones. I figured if it was good enough for diplomats, it is probably half-way descent. However, I do your see points and those of stdarg who also replied. Do you know of a more reliable dataset to base a possible selection?

Comment Re:Probably will be harder than they think (Score 1) 156

I think those with a score of 8.5 or better at Transparency International should temporarily get the power to re-organize the UN to make it better. Until the UN is fixed, I can't agree with allowing it to set Internet law since it basically means the corrupt majority of countries would end free speech. I really like the idea of an international government, so long as it protects human rights.

Full disclosure: My country, the USA, scores 7.1, so it wouldn't get the temporary power.

Comment Re:Going back to reading slashdot. (Score 1) 810

If only we could quoth the Burkster...
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for a few good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for some good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for all good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough good men do nothing
  • All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
  • All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
  • All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing
  • All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for enough good men to do nothing
  • All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing
  • All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
  • All that is required for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is required for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing
  • The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
  • All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All that’s necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • All that’s needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing
  • All that’s needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing
  • For evil to prosper all it needs is for good people to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing
  • All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing
  • All that is required for evil to triumph is for good [wo]men to do nothing
  • The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for enough good men [and women] to do nothing
  • The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men (and women!) to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men (and women) do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing
  • For evil to triumph it is necessary only that good men [and women] do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing
  • All that it takes for the triumph of evil is that good men and women do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing
  • All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing
  • All that needs to be done for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing
  • The only thing that has to happen in this world for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for enough good men and women to do nothing
  • Evil thrives when good men do nothing
  • For evil to triumph good men need do nothing
  • For evil to triumph good men have to do nothing
  • The best way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • The surest way to assure the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • Evil will triumph so long as good men do nothing
  • It is necessary only for good men to say nothing for evil to triumph
  • It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph
  • For evil to triumph it is necessary for good men to do nothing
  • For evil to triumph it is sufficient for good men to do nothing
  • All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing
  • All that is necessary for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • All that is required for evil to triumph over good is for good men to do nothing
  • Evil can triumph only if good men do nothing
  • The only thing evil men need to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for enough good men to do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men stand by and do nothing
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing
  • The only way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • Evil prevails when good men do nothing

Don't cower, it's unseemly.

Comment Re:Is this Wikileaks day? (Score 1) 810

Is it just barely possible that there is no world wide conspiracy to bring about a global police state?

It seems to me that's exactly what the US has been up to. I don't think those 800+ military bases around the world are landing strips for Santa and his 8 tiny reindeer. I don't believe it is because all of those other countries are too stupid to defend themselves. It is so we can exert control.

Doubtlessly some might argue that we have every right to exert such intimidating force on our neighbors. I say, try to remember what being an American was supposed to be about. What would you say of the bully on the playground who dominates and forces his will upon everyone else through slander, intimidation and violence. I hate those fuckers. Yet, that is what my country has become.

Please read this. That is what we are doing to ourselves and the rest of the world. We are the guards.

Comment Forget Assange (Score 5, Interesting) 919

If any heads should roll over the leaks, it should be those of the guy who stole the data and whatever dunce(s) allowed peons access to the data. Although, overall so far, I'm generally pleased with the leaks because they show that most of the world's leaders are fallible but basically rational human beings. For instance, it is good to see that most of the middle eastern leaders understand that Iranian leaders are nutjobs who cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. Same goes for China's recognition that Kim Jong Ill is off his rocker. I feel much better about the world in general now because so far the leaked info confirms my suspicion that the world's messes aren't as insurmountable as it sometimes seems.

That said, I am deeply embarrassed that the Pentagon is incompetent enough to have allowed the leak of things said in confidence. They are idiots who shouldn't be trusted with so much power.

Even more, I am embarrassed over the USA's strong-arming of Germany over the arrest of one of its citizens. World ***please*** don't take that kind of shit from us (the USA).

I really think it is high time for the USA to turn over the job of policing the world to a democratically elected world government. It is unfair for the US taxpayers to pay so much for world security and to get all of the blame when our leaders fuck up and holy fuck do they ever fuck up. More importantly, it is unfair to the world for the US to have so much say in how the world is run.

Earth

New Fish Species Discovered 4.5 Miles Under the Ocean 96

eldavojohn writes "The University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab (a partner in the recent census of marine life) has discovered a new snailfish. That might not sound very exciting, unless you consider that its habitat is an impressive four and a half miles below the ocean's surface (video). If my calculations are correct, that's over ten and a half thousand PSI, or about seventy-three million Pascals. The videos and pictures are a couple years old, as the team has traveled around Japan, South America and New Zealand to ascertain the biodiversity of these depths. The group hopes to eventually bring specimens to the surface. It seems the deepest parts of the ocean, once thought to be devoid of life, are actually home to some organisms. As researchers build better technology for underwater exploration, tales of yore containing unimaginable monsters seem a little more realistic than before."
Image

Senate Nominee Claims Scientists Have Created Mice With Human Brains 11

jamie writes "Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell claimed in 2007 that: 'American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.' Current polls indicate that 39% of Delawareans plan to vote for her." If elected, O'Donnell and staff promise to do the same thing they do every night: try to take over the world.
Science

Zombie Ants and Killer Fungus 125

nibbles2004 writes "An article in the Guardian newspaper shows how parasitic fungi evolved the ability to control ants they infect, ultimately leading the ant to its death. The fungus controls the ant's movements to a suitable leaf and causes the ant to grip onto the leaf's central stem, allowing the fungus to spore, which will allow more ants to become infected."
Earth

Abandon Earth Or Die, Warns Hawking 973

siliconbits writes "According to famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, it's time to free ourselves from Mother Earth. 'I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space,' Hawking tells Big Think. 'It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.'"
Science

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"
United Kingdom

Boy Builds Wall-Climbing Machine Using Recycled Vacuums 96

Joe McIntosh writes "Hibiki Kono just might be a boy genius. The 13-year-old decided he wanted to climb vertical surfaces like his hero, Spiderman. So, he used two 1,400-watt recycled vacuum cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease to make a machine that allows him to scale walls. Kono has been scaling the walls of his UK school and has told the media that he hopes his invention will help window washers eliminate clumsy ladders from their daily routine."
Science

Empathy Is For the Birds 201

grrlscientist writes "Common Ravens have been shown to express empathy towards a 'friend' or relative when they are distressed after an aggressive conflict — just like humans and chimpanzees do. But birds are very distant evolutionary relatives of Great Apes, so what does this similarity imply about the evolution of behavior?"

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