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Comment Re:But ... (Score 2) 846

Ultimately, of course, this is all just a bunch of people being brave in hindsight. We know that guns are effective at deterring normal crimes, however an insane shooter obviously offers a different problem. At some point a shooter is going to run up against an armed citizen, and then we'll find out for sure just how effective they will be. Hopefully that armed citizen is responsible and capable of using their weapon effectively and are not just carrying around a gun to feel safe.

There are many incidents where an armed victim defeats unarmed or armed criminals. Here is one school shooting that was stopped by armed students:

Unfortunately, the only incidents of pistols vs body armor + rifles ended poorly for the pistol users.

FWIW, I do believe guns can be, and are, legitimately useful in self defense; however, in the scenario of pistol vs body armor + rifle, the pistol user is at a very, very serious disadvantage that can only be overcome by a very high level of still and a good dash of luck.

Comment Re:Non-metallic firearms have been around a while. (Score 1) 846

I don't know where you've got your info on firearms, but you are wildly inaccurate.

1. There are no ceramic parts in a Glock 17.

2. The Glock 17 is not called a "parabellum". The 9mmx19 round is often called "9mm parabellum" or "9mm luger", and the Glock 17 is chambered in "9mm parabellum". However, "parabellum" is not a common nickname for the Glock 17 itself.

3. Tenifer is a surface treatment to protect the steel from wear and corrosion. It has no effect of the compressibility of the steel as a whole. Please read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenifer

Comment Re:Bomb strapped to a bomb? (Score 1) 160

While I don't know the exact composition of regular jet fuel, I'm pretty sure it is just as combustible as pure hydrogen if not more so.

Actually, when I was researching the hydrogen-powered design predecessor to the U2 (the Lockeed CL 400), I came across some Air Force tests on the combustibility of liquid hydrogen in spill tests, as a safety concern. It turned out that spilled liquid hydrogen was less combustible than kerosene, as the evaporating hydrogen dissipated too quickly to ignite.

Comment Re:Nasty stuff (Score 2) 195

I've also used it on a number of occasions (including some time in Sierra Leone), and I've only had mild side effects (some very, very strange dreams). However, I have seen others react very poorly, too. One of my friends contracted malaria and mono at the same time while in Guinea, and was dosed with massive quantities of lariam to treat it -- he had some serious psychological responses to it. Malaria really sucks, but so does this drug. BTW, when was your friend posted in Sierra Leone, and is he a Brit Para? I met a few of them when I was working for an NGO in Sierra Leone in 2001.

Comment Re:Let's hope he gets extradited, he'll be better (Score 2, Insightful) 1047

As naive as it may sound, why not just do less illegal stuff?

Who says they are doing illegal stuff? The government's alleging it, but in the ordinary course of events, the 5th Amendment is supposed to protect us against being required to give evidence against ourselves. We are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Call me naive, but I fail to see the problem with warranted searches. The 5th Amendment doesn't protect us from discovery. You can't physically prevent an officer with a warrant from searching your house. If you have a safe, and the police have a warrant, you *must* give them the key or face obstruction of justice. I fail to see the problem with that, or with being required to give the key to your virtual safe.

Comment Re:OT: expansion on the thought (Score 1) 417

As annoying as that is, at least I understand the commercial desire to maximize profit.

Actually, they are minimizing profit. These cables are already licensed. The HDMI org have decided this cable does not meet its specifications, and is revoking the license. They are losing the licensing revenue they would otherwise gain from the sale of these cables.

Comment Re:arg (Score 4, Informative) 151

If it was about contrails, most of you guys would still be wrong. Contrails aren't caused by the turbines, they're caused by the air passing the wingtips of the aircraft. If you want to learn more, there's wikipedia for that.

Ironic, considering the tone of your post, but I actually *did* look up (and read) the contrails article on Wikipedia, and you are in fact very wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Contrail&oldid=436631379

Contrails (play /kntrelz/; short for "condensation trails") or vapour trails are artificial clouds that are the visible trails of condensed water vapour made by the exhaust of aircraft engines. As the hot exhaust gases cool in the surrounding air they may precipitate a cloud of microscopic water droplets. If the air is cold enough, this trail will be comprised of tiny ice crystals.[1]

The wingtip vortices which trail from the wingtips and wing flaps of aircraft are sometimes partly visible due to condensation in the cores of the vortices. Each vortex is a mass of spinning air and the air pressure at the centre of the vortex is very low. These wingtip vortices are not the same as contrails.

Comment Re:Forget chocolate rain (Score 2, Insightful) 324

Check out the dangers of playing in sprinklers.

How uneducated can you get?

Very, but they still get to vote. Three guesses as to which way "they" lean.

Hmmm.... I'm guessing the opposite of the way you lean?

Seriously, I want to laugh (and I do) but this (TFA and the sprinkler idiot) is troubling. Not just because these cops are stupid, but because it reflects a general failure of critical thinking across our society. The intellectual capacity required for a reasonable skepticism seems to be escaping a larger and larger swath of the populace, a swath which apparently now takes in those in important public safety roles. We're doomed.

Have you read up on some history recently? Witch burnings. Inquisitions. Holy wars. Mccarthyism. Geocentrism. Racism. Slavery. Feudalism. These aren't exactly a new phenomenon. To be honest, we're probably better off now than we've ever been before, and we've made it this far. I'm not terribly worried.

Comment Re:Its All About Power and Money (Score 1) 807

There is some very interesting research that indicates even the tens of thousands of years of farming prior to the industrial revolution may have altered global climate significantly enough to be detected.

Interesting, I have not heard of this. I'm not denying your claim, I'd genuinely like to see this research. Could you point me to some sources (or at least relevant search terms)?

Comment Re:Design patterns (Score 1) 396

Self-taught programmers might not know design patterns by name, but they will likely stumble upon the more common ones on their own. When they finally learn about design patterns, they will understand the topic better because they "invented" some of the design patterns themselves. That's how it was for me at least. One day I was explaining something to another programmer, and after my long explanation he just looked at me and said "Oh, so you're using the visitor pattern." I tilted my head, went online, and learned a new name for something I had been using for years.

This has been my experience as well. Finally, a good friend of mine handed me the "gang of four" design patterns text, and it has been invaluable, both in coding and in interviewing. :) http://www.amazon.com/Design-Patterns-Elements-Reusable-Object-Oriented/dp/0201633612


Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

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