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Comment Is There An Eco In Here? (Score 2) 647

Vonnegut's fun, and any random Mark Twain is great (especially Huck Finn), but man do I love me some Umberto Eco. His novels establish themselves in the period of their setting and just drill down deep into the minutiae, so his books are great if that's your bag. The first I read was The Name Of The Rose, largely as a way to hate-fuck that awful, awful movie adaptation (don't watch it by the way, it's awful. And by "it" I mean Christian Slater.) I have no qualms recommending it, nor Foucault's Pendulum, which is like The Da Vinci Code for people not confused by fractions. The Island Of The Day Before is also a cracking read. I cannot speak to the merits of Baudolino, but it sits on my shelf, taunting me. He also has collected essays, which are fine for what they are. But the novels have the advantage that they are so damn long and dense you'll only need one book for the whole break.

As for me, I'm spending the holidays plowing through the Lemony Snicket cycle.

Comment Re: humans are causing it? (Score 1) 776

The fact that the "Global Warming" (oh sorry, now it's "Climate Change" since Al Gore's P.R. folks sat around and came up with that as a more palatable term to use instead when speaking in public) crowd wants to call everyone else a "denialist" shows the amount of polarization on this topic.

Wow, you really are an uninformed asshole aren't you: Origin of popular usage of "climate change" instead of "global warming".

That's what politics is all about!

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 776

Given the number of true believers here (people I equate with the deniers on the skeptic side), I am wondering how long this post, all of which is factual and can be confirmed with relative ease, will be modded "troll". Seems to happen to all posts that are in any way skeptical.

One thing that could have been confirmed with relative ease is the name of the person who led the study — MullEr, not MullAr. Although given your description of him as part of the "mainstream side", maybe you are talking about a completely different person. Unless by "mainstream" you meant a scientist who goes where the facts lead him instead of his politics.

Comment Re: Can't reduce the energy required, period. (Score 2) 156

In case you aren't just being an ass, I'll avoid being one (just this once) and ask...

How does your list of ecological atrocities compare to that for the extraction of fossil fuels? Unless it is wildly out of balance (and it's not), the net gain comes from not injecting X amount of mega-million-years-old sequestered carbon per joule created into the atmosphere.

Comment Re:A funny picture is worth 1000 Bush jokes (Score 1) 386

The only thing you can say in favor of Obama here is that he was no worse than Bush would have been.

Moot point, since Bush's terms were over. Now, if can you say that he was no worse than a hypothetical McCain administration...

Although to be fair, I am fairly certain that McCain also would have withdrawn our troops from Iraq. I'm just not completely sure that his withdrawal would not have been across the border with Iran.

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Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard