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"Choose Your Own Adventure" On Your iPhone 135

If you spent a good portion of your childhood reading the classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, you'll be glad to know that you can soon waste countless hours at work turning to random pages on your iPhone. Edward Packard, one of the original authors of the series, has helped create an app called U-Ventures which uses special effects to create a story in the traditional Choose Your Own Adventure format. From the article: "The first U-Venture is a sort of a sequel to a classic title, The Cave of Time. In 'Return to the Cave of Time,' the U-Venture, 'you go back in the cave — you don't have a choice on that,' Packard tells NPR's Neal Conan. But from that point on, the reader chooses her own course."

Comment A word from Tony Stark... (Score 1) 152

I think Elon Musk may have said it better than anyone else:

And his calling out of Senator Shelby was pretty epic:

"A lesser President might have waited until after the upcoming election cycle, not caring that billions more dollars would be wasted. It was disappointing to see how many in Congress did not possess this courage. One senator in particular was determined to achieve a new altitude record in hypocrisy, claiming that the public option was bad in healthcare, but good in space!"

Comment Re:Thanks America! (Score 1) 192

A big thank you to America (and yes, Russia too) for getting us started on this whole space thingamajig. I think Europe and Asia can take over now. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Europe - Let's talk when you're able to launch people into space.

Asia - This isn't a country, or even a loose confederacy. If you mean Japan, see above. If you mean China, then I'll be more impressed when you do something post 1965 that isn't bought from the Russians.

Comment Re:First NASA and now Defense... (Score 1) 526

es, those treaties which we can bow out of by giving notice. The ones that George Washington warned us about.

Hold your horses, buddy, I'm on your side here. Self-identified libertarian and all, and I agree with "no entangling alliances." The issue is that, now that we're in some entangling alliances, getting out is complicated if we don't want to trigger some very unpleasant wars.

I don't think its fair to tell nations that we've promised we'd defend that they're on their own all of a sudden. I favor a military stand-down over ten or fifteen years in which our excess military equipment is sold off to allied nations so they can get strong enough to hold off their totalitarian adversaries.

he country's broke. How much further do you want to go into debt for this dick-waving habit of yours?

We're sorta broke. It's complicated. Basically, Japan and our allies are funding us through buying our debt while China is doing it because they needed somewhere to store their surplus, which led to hilarious consequences. It's been clear for a while that if China tries to call in our debt, we'll tell them to go fuck themselves. And then all hell will break loose. Thus, they're in as much of a bind as us.

Though yeah, the less of a debt the better. Though you should recognize that most United States debt comes from our giant entitlement programs. Our military is arguably one of the more cost-effective branches of government, not that that's saying much. ;)

Comment Re:First NASA and now Defense... (Score 1) 526

Who says we're "expected" to do any such thing?

Our defense treaties with Britain, Poland, Japan, Kosovo, South Korea, Norway, Taiwan, etc.

These countries are depending on us to protect them from external aggression, mainly Chinese and Russian. We're moving towards reconciliation with the Russians, but so long as they attempt to bully Eastern Europe with military power and energy supplies they'll keep driving countries into our arms. The major threat we're contending with right now is the PRC.

Even if we were morally or legally obligated to do such a thing, maybe it could be accomplished without spending 55% of all the military appropriations in the whole world, don't you think?

Not when the enemy has home-field advantage. The Chinese are a lot closer to Taiwan then we are, and all of our air support has to operate off of carriers we have in the region. That means the Chinese can deploy many more planes and troops than us, meaning we've got be better than them plane-to-plane and man-to-man.

Oh, and you might want to cite the military spending as percentage of GDP. We're at 4.06%, below Greece, Morocco, and Singapore.

Do you enjoy swatting mosquitos with SAM missiles?

First time I've heard upgraded SU30s referred to as "mosquitoes." ;) But yeah, the less fair the war the better in my opinion. War isn't a game in which each team has to play fairly - I see no reason for ensuring that China can only kill 1,000 Taiwanese rather than 100,000.

Comment Re:First NASA and now Defense... (Score 1) 526

It's reasonable when you're expected to defend a whole range of nations stretching from East Asia to Australia to Western Europe to Eastern Europe to Latin America, while fighting a two-front conventional war (China/Russia) on the enemy's home territory (Taiwan/Eastern Europe) and engaging in counter-terrorism and occupation missions elsewhere (wherever we've invaded recently).

I'd prefer crushing military superiority to losing, personally. I guess you can always move to one of the countries we protect.

Also, recognize that as a percentage of GDP, what we spend is not as insane. Still insane, mind you, but reasonable in perspective.

Comment Re:The Cultural Exception: Preventing US Toxic Was (Score 1) 169

If you believe in freedom of speech, you should oppose muzzling entertainment as much as muzzling political speech. If your political views are less convincing than mine, working on your policies is better than banning my speech. Likewise, if your country is unable to compete with the culture of the United States, perhaps understanding what makes American culture so powerful and pervasive and trying to emulate it is the better move rather than muzzling it because you're unable to compete.

Comment Re:Sub-Orbital == Final Frontier? (Score 1) 190

Very high sentiments. Unfortunately, that and $200,000 will get you a flight to suborbit. ;)

America was not colonized due to the joy of "being out there." Neither was Australia. Not to say that is not a powerful and important emotion but greed, both personal and national has always been the driving force in human colonization and is the key to the next era.

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