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Comment Re:In the land of a million laws (Score 3) 398

1 - Turn all citizens into criminals. 2 - Be the one in charge to decide which citizens to prosecute. 3 - Make your position inheritable. 4 - Construct large pyramidal tombs in the desert to be remembered forever.

5 - PROPHET!

6. Invite others to look upon your works
7. Recommend a state of desparation

Comment Re:Ahem (Score 1) 395

I could be terribly mistaken but last time I checked Homo did not refer exclusively to humans its root is "the same".
If it was in this instance the killer whale killing another killer whale it would in fact be a case of homicide. However it is a killer whale killing a member of another species.

Homicide, not homocide.

Comment Re:150 lashes? (Score 1) 506

But what if you enjoyed it? Less lashes in that case?

Well, in the book, it wasn't just lashes or mundane torture. The main character's profession was that of a torturer. They took things like that into account, so someone like those cases that can't process pain would get something like waterboarding as that's more of a basal response than tactile, or induced motion sickness... etc.

Due to nerve damage, I don't feel pain (or much of anything, which means my hands look pretty beat up), but if I were stuck in one of those motion sickness inducing things they put astronauts into, and did that for a week straight, it would not be an experience I would be able to ignore. Maybe intentionally induced but controlled food poisoning? I remember that being one hell of an unfun experience.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 510

Wow, if I had a million dollars, would I ... buy the right to drive a taxi?

How about just put the money somewhere and live off the interest?

Someone did have a million dollars. They loaned it to the cab driver so that he could work and send a portion of his fares to the lender as interest.

So if you had a million bucks, you might actually end up putting your money in an investment fund that could actually loan money to small businesses for things like permits/fees/medallions. ;)

Comment Re:150 lashes? (Score 1) 506

Granted it's sci fi, but the Gene Wolfe book Shadow of the Torturer had an interesting take on physical punishment in lieu of fines/imprisonment.

The basic of it was this: Fines are difficult to assess, and have different impacts for different people. A rich guy might not care as he can afford the fine, and an old guy might not care about a fine as he won't have to care much longer if he goes into debt (Sure, sign my grandpa up for a credit card...)

While imprisonment may seem equal, it has a drawback as it ties up a lot of resources, both for keeping the prisoner and the loss of the prisoner as a working member of society.

It basically boiled down to: Commit a crime, get sentenced to an excruciation commensurate to the offence, and next week or so everyone is back to work. Since no matter if you are rich/poor/young/old/connected, physical pain is physical pain.

Not saying I'd advocate such a system, but it was interesting to contemplate physical punishment from another point of view. Going into the book I couldn't imagine I would ever think such a thing even remotely justifiable.

Comment Re:They're gross looking (Score 2) 655

Try the powdered version. I used to 'premix' non-fat dry milk and an ensure powder. In the morning I'd put 1/2c in an empty sealable drinking container and take it with me to work. If I were too busy to eat a proper lunch, I'd fill up the drinking container from the water fountain, give it a few shakes, and at least have something to keep me from getting ravenous.

I liked it because I could forget the premade lunch at work, or in my car without it going bad since it was powder until the moment I decided to eat.

Comment Re:Good Question (Score 1) 655

It's all in our heads

Yes. my tongue is in my head, and I don't know if it's millions of years of evolution tweaking my taste buds to associate the taste of insects with 'spoiled food' (ie: Go eat the food that doesn't have an insect infestation).

But with insects, I hate the texture. You really can't argue for the flavor of insects when most recipes go like this:

1. Take insects
2. Cover them in a strong flavor seasoning (chile powder, honey, tomato sauces, etc)
3. Fry

Comment Re:Health Reasons (Score 1) 655

So can pork, chicken, eggs etc. if not prepared properly, no-ones saying you eat raw uncooked bugs... and as for allergies... well there are enough food allergies out there already... Just ask anyone with a peanut allergy. I myself am allergic to potatos, corn and chocolate, (so sayeth the allergist, of course potato and corn are RAW potato and corn... cooked is just fine.)

I know how to prepare pork, chicken, eggs, etc. I know what a typical 'diseased' animal looks like. thousands of years of domestication has generally given us a good idea for the types of parasites/bacteria we might encounter and how to either kill it or avoid them.

I have no clue how to tell if a grasshopper is carrying a parasite/bacteria. I suppose I could heat the hell out of it, but that's not going to lead to tasty food. Have we identified a sufficient number of potentially lethal bacteria/parasites which exist in native insect populations of areas where insects are not normally consumed by humans?

Comment Re:Monogamy Means More Babies (Score 1) 256

"Humans, on the other hand, can have babies about once a year"
No, they can have a baby every 10.5 months. There are MANY that pooped out 6-8 kids that are all less than 1 year apart from the previous.

No. Not 6-8. Seven.

(Had to tweak you on your response of 10.5 months to someone saying 'about once a year'. )

Comment Re:Think of the Children (Score 1) 256

No *individual* ever evolves.

DNA is just one method of passing information from parent to offspring. For billions of years, adaptation occured through genetic selection which typically only changed during reproduction.

However, once we evolved the capability to pass information via non-DNA based mechanisms, I would argue that adaptation can occur in-situ AND that information can be passed down to successive generations.

I learned what poison ivy looks like, and can now avoid it. I taught my children what it looks like, and they can also avoid it.

How is that different than evolved instinctual behavior that we see manifest in certain animals. ie: predators who 'know' to avoid deadly poison frogs due to their color and patterns. That's genetic, and not a learned behavior (because they typically don't survive the learning process)

Evolution if considered to be adaptation, can certainly occur in an individual.

(And of course, would you consider genetic modification of the DNA in an individual which results in increased likelyhood of survival/reproduction to be evolution?)

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