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Comment TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 537

Making it "Free" to students only shifts the burden to all taxpayers.

Which kicks-in another consequence. No barrier to entry.

Remember back to your High School days? Now imagine instead of graduating after 12th Grade, next year you simply took the bus over to a new school building next door and attended 13th through 16th Grades with the same classmates and pretty much the same type of teachers.

That's where it would be headed. Since it's free and most employers would want it, most students would go. In order to handle that sort of demand, the local Community Colleges could never handle it (if taxpayers pay for it, then everyone will be allowed to go), the States would have to supply it just like they do K-12. (and only a matter of time before States start passing laws, with the help of the Union, making it mandatory like K-12.) Mostly, because that is what they know how to do. The teachers would be Union and the Union would make sure it happened this way. Also, the increased demand coupled with the low salaries (compared to current college professors as a tax payer funded system would pitch the tax payers vs. the teachers just like K-12) would make people think twice about being teacher in that system. Also, who would be the "Inner City" College Teacher? It is highly likely they would have the same problems as their 9-12th counterparts.

There will still be "Private" colleges, just like there are Private Schools but they will be the "real" colleges that we know today. But their costs will remain unchanged and taxpayer dollars only used in States that have passed the "voucher" system.

There is a high probability that the end result of a "Free" college education for all will result in most people getting an 8 year High School education for free while the few students that can pay or get loans for a Private College will get a more advanced education with superior teachers and materials. So, only changes are forcing non-college students to take 4 more years of classes and making all taxpayers pay for it.

Comment Re:National instant-runoff (single transferable vo (Score 1) 637

The Electoral College exists for a similar reason the Senate exists.

The Senate was created to give each state equal representation. Otherwise, the populous states would get to pass all the laws and get all the goodies. Remove the Senate, and the less populated States would be totally justified in leaving the Union. Hence why they demanded the Senate be in the Constitution in the first place.

If we do not have the Electoral College, then again the popular states/cities get to elect the PotUS. Essentially, making it if you did not live on taller peaks on this map (, then you would not have a voice in choosing the PotUS. Why would less populated States ever agree to make themselves irrelevant?

The question is: Is there a reason for these smaller, less populated areas to have a voice in government? Yes. The reason is that these areas are where our natural resources come from. It is also where your food comes from. Large population centers would be impossible without them. In that way, they already have a certain power over the population centers. The Senate and Electoral Collage recognize this fact and give them some representation. Probably less than they are really due.

Comment A Fantastic series of articles on The Great War... (Score 2) 74

Over at Mental Floss, Erik Sass is compiling a tremendous body of work on the topic.
As of today, there are 235 articles. I believe there are about 1 to 2 per week for several years. He is covering the events that lead to the War and occurred 100 years ago. Snippets from journals, letters, and old photographs help convey what it was really like then. It has been a very large eye-opener for me. As a history buff, I thought I knew a good deal about the topic...but there is so much more.

Just to be clear, I am not connected with Mental Floss or Mr. Sass in any fashion. Only a large fan of this series.

Installment #1 posted on November 4th, 2011

Comment It could work... (Score 1) 331

This is probably my favorite book. The political philosophy discussions, the different culture, and the characters. I strongly suggest re-reading it a few times.
I believe they could get close to the book and still keep it interesting for general audiences.

Act I
Introduce main characters and explain political and economic situation including the discovery of "Food Riot Day". Aside from the initial riot, this will be mostly boring unless they fill it with comedy.

Act 2
Plan the Revolution and implement it. There are a few action sequences here and there that could be pieced together to keep things interesting until Revolution Day.

Act 3
Diplomatic relations with Terra and War. Plenty of action here. Lots of CG explosions and such.

The hard part is that they cannot totally ignore the difference in gravity between the Earth (9.8 m/s^2) and the Moon (1.6 m/s^2). It is central to the plot in Act 3. Might have to CG the human battle scenes too or perhaps do some sort of half-bullet time.

Comment Re:Yes! (Score 1) 242

Asimov bridged his two large series, "Robot" and "Foundation", into the same timeline with the book "Robots and Empire". You seem to suggest that the Foundation series starts with this book. I disagree. "Prelude to Foundation" is where I say the Foundation series starts, and it is many, many thousands of years after "Robots and Empire" and "Pebble in the Sky". The Galactic Empire was thought to have lasted about 12,000 years and the Foundation series starts at the end of that.

The question I have, which was not answered in the article is: Where will they start the series? Foundation? Or Prelude to Foundation?
Very different styles. With the prequels, you get to know Hari Seldon and his adventures and achievements. With the original trilogy, you get a bunch of loosely connected short stories where one season you have a cast that does something epic and then next season it is a hundred years later and last season's cast is all dead and you have a new cast to do something new and so on each season.

Comment It's a start... (Score 1) 720

My personal pet peeve with getting fast-food, besides the poor nutritional quality, is the near-constant order errors. McDonalds is by far the worst at this. I attribute it to poor/lack of training for employees working the register and taking the orders. Even seasoned personnel have issues working with the registers, are not aware of the special deals, or just simply make mistakes too often. When I can, I try to persuade friends/family to go somewhere else instead of McDonalds.*

Back in the 1990's I was driving to a Hamfest one early morning when I stopped at a Sheetz gas station for food and fuel. Lo, and behold they had this touch-screen ordering system that printed out my order. My order came up on a display in the food preparation station and the attendants there quickly read the screen and accurately prepared my food. After using it once, I was CONVINCED that it was the future of all walk-in fast-food, maybe even the drive-through. Now that McDonald's is finally implementing this after 20 or so years have passed, it could solve their ordering issues.

Now, McDonald's only needs to improve the quality of their food. Right now it's at the level of SPAM, which is just above Scrapple and just below Dinty Moore Beef Stew.

* Our local McDonald's is by far the worst McDonald's I have ever been to, which includes several international locations as well as many domestic ones. (I believe that gives me the right to claim it as the worst in the world.) It's dirty, slow, and highly inaccurate. Wrong sandwiches, no fries, no drink (I had to ask if they still sold drinks with their value meals.), no cheese, onions when asked to hold them, wrong sizes, etc. I once went 3 years between correct orders there, 2010-13. My family is addicted to them for taste and convenience despite my constant pleading to go somewhere, anywhere else. They went 2-3 times per week as they pick it up on the way back from school events/practices. 2*52*3=312 I complained about them on McDonald's own website and left my phone number. They called while we were out and left a message for us to call them back. The number they gave me was disconnected.

Comment Single Player Creative Mode (Score 2) 174

Put the kids on single player in a creative map and just let them create. When they get older, introduce survival mode.

Not quite sure how they got there, but I believe it went something like this:
1) Kids watch daddy play Minecraft and watch Paulsoaresjr's videos along with daddy. (Paul is very family friendly in his videos) They scream when surprising things happen.
2) Kids start playing around with Daddy's copy of Minecraft PE on iPad and eventually take it over.
3) Kids get plush Creeper stuffed animal with explosion noises from Santa and use it sneak-up and scare Daddy. Kids: (whisper) "Lets creep Daddy!" Creeper: "ssssSSSSBOOM!" Daddy: "Ahhh!" Kids: *Giggles*
4) Kids beg Daddy to let them play Minecraft on PC and eventually Daddy sets up a single-player creative world for them. Kids show-off their creations to Parents.

It's not all the time and as with any toy it goes in and out of their attention, but they are having a good time and I feel that it is beneficial.

Comment East - Sleep, West - Awake (Score 3, Informative) 163

When you fly it is important to coordinate your sleep schedule with your destination while en-route. This is harder to do on short flights. Also picking the right flight time is critical. Horrible jet lag is due to poor sleep in the plane, dehydration due to the dry air in the cabin, and non-adjusted body clocks. The latter can easily be fixed.

Lets say you travel from NYC to London. To minimize jet lag on arrival, you want to take an evening flight and sleep the whole way. As soon as you board the plane, set your watch/phone to London time. If you can fall asleep before take-off you are golden. When you land it will be morning and you should wake up better prepared for a new day. You will be tired, but not dead tired. Use caffeine and sunlight liberally to stay awake until your desired bed time. Now you should be well on your way for your body clock adjustments for your stay.

On the return trip from London to NYC, you want to take a morning flight and stay awake. Watch movies or read a book. Again, as soon as you board set your watch/phone to NYC time. You will get tired after dinner, so just force yourself to stay awake until your desired bed time and then get your sleep.

With short flights, you have to start adjusting your body clock a day or two before you leave by going to bed earlier or later depending on the timezone of your destination. So if you are going from NYC to LAX you need to stay up 3 hours later and sleep in 3 hours just before your flight.

For really long flights, like LAX to SYD, set your watch/phone to SYD time and begin following that time for your sleep schedule. Even if you cannot fall asleep, just closing your eyes and relaxing or meditating will help. When it is daytime in SYD, stay awake. Read that book or watch movies.

Comment Solution to Raiders of the lost Ark (from memory) (Score 1) 179

To find the Ark, you had to locate the mesa it was on. To locate the mesa, you had to search random baskets until you found the head piece to the staff of Ra then you had to get the Inca grappling hook from the spider cave (which you find my using a grenade to blow a hole in the right side of the first room. If you get trapped in a cell in the lower corners just go back and forth at the bottom while pressing down and you will find the secret passage out. The treasure room is on the upper right wall via a secret passage that you have to search for by doing up and down while pressing right), before the spider cave door closed slowly over several minutes, and then use the Inca to navigate the mesa field to the bottom and enter the map room by going down exactly in the middle. Then you had to stand in the right place while having the headpiece active when the sun appeared and a dot would show you the location, which changed each game. Then you had to go down and escape the Nazis back to the market place so you could bribe the Black Sheik to take you to the Black Market so you could purchase a shovel and then you need to get back to the normal Market and buy a parachute. Then you had to get another Inca from the spider cave, all the while the door is slowly closing. Then you grapple through the mesa to the location shown to you in the map room. Then you jump off the mesa and activate your parachute at the right time to navigate into the opening on the left but not hit the tree. Drop the parachute before the thieves steal all your gear. While dodging the thieves, go the the dirt pile at the bottom and use the shovel to dig up the ark.

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