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Doctor Slams Hospital's "Please" Policy 572

Administrators at England's Worthing Hospital are insisting that doctors say the magic word when writing orders for blood tests on weekends. If a doctor refuses to write "please" on the order, the test will be refused. From the article: "However, a doctor at the hospital said on condition of anonymity that he sees the policy as a money-saving measure that could prove dangerous for patients. 'I was shocked to come in on Sunday and find none of my bloods had been done from the night before because I'd not written "please,"' the doctor said. 'I had no results to guide treatment of patients. Myself and a senior nurse had to take the bloods ourselves, which added hours to our 12-hour shifts. This system puts patients' lives at risk. Doctors are wasting time doing the job of the technicians.'"

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."

Comment Re:Politial speech influenced 6 yrs old chid. (Score 5, Informative) 368

I lived a few hundred meters from the Berlin wall and even before I entered school I had heard of people who had been shot there. My dad was imprisoned for political reasons when I was four. In first grade, I was threatened into entering the Pioniere ideological youth organization.

These events not only made an impression, they are among my most dramatic, and hence vivid, memories from that age. Whoever thinks little kids don't get oppression doesn't have a fucking clue.

Comment Re:When will people learn... (Score 1) 372

And if that sounds boring to you, various things may be okay to say after your lawyer agrees to them. You don't need to suck down your cheekiness completely, just wait for it a couple hours. And if that pisses you off, try and estimate how many million man-years in sentences have already resulted from unnecessary talking to the police.

Comment All hail the Chaos Computer Club (Score 5, Informative) 129

Although this ruling is what us IT guys would expect from any reasonable court, the fact of the matter is that judges know shit. The Chaos Computer Club worked their asses off providing expertise to the court, while also mobilizing the German IT scene and putting out pressure on opposing (governmental) parties. This is their success and I salute them. Guess I should get around to finally apply for membership myself...

US Grants Home Schooling German Family Political Asylum 1324

A US judge has granted political asylum to a family who said they fled Germany to avoid persecution for home schooling their children. Uwe Romeike and his wife, Hannelore, moved to Tennessee after German authorities fined them for keeping their children out of school and sent police to escort them to classes. Mike Connelly, attorney for the Home School Legal Defence Association, argued the case. He says, "Home schoolers in Germany are a particular social group, which is one of the protected grounds under the asylum law. This judge looked at the evidence, he heard their testimony, and he felt that the way Germany is treating home schoolers is wrong. The rights being violated here are basic human rights."

Comment Re:That's me! (Score 1) 453

You're right, and not just in the business world but also in pure (university) research. My flatmate is doing biology/genetics research, I do social science, and our advanced IT degrees are hugely helpful in both of these fields as well.

In my experience and opinion, a B.A. or more in IT is now a good start for any knowledge worker career.

Comment Re:It's not the same. (Score 2, Insightful) 686

We're still in a market economy, except the market is now the planet. Consequently, the value of skills in transferable jobs has been falling for at least a decade. Don't blame the government for your failure to adapt.

Instead, recognize the trend and invest your self-improvement time in areas that are growing in value. I recommend customization, education and/or cost-benefit analysis in any complex field with long-term growth prospects.


PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles 361

darthvader100 writes "Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like. The author brings up several theories on propulsion (and orbits), weapons (explosives, kinetic and laser), and design. Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie."

Comment Re:Liquids on planes (Score 1) 560

Get up to the security checkpoint at an airport, ticket in hand. When you're next in line to go through the various scanners, give a wave to the friendly TSA employee, put your shoes back on, grab your stuff, turn around, and leave. Explain that you decided you did not want to be searched today. You'll be free to leave, right?

For best results, look vaguely Arab. You will never fly again in the US, or out of the US for that matter.

Comment Re:Until... (Score 1) 419

The additional weight in the wheels makes the suspension less effective and means that the effect of going over a bump will be a lot harsher.

Yeah, I go over bumps all the time. They're on every street, particularly on highways, and in the city especially, it would be impossible to drive without strong suspension!

Where's my sarcasm tag?

Comment Not 2 percent in Germany (Score 2, Interesting) 173

2 percent in Germany might not be correct. Pirate party votes have been lost in at least one voting district and it only came out because the result said no votes were cast for them, while at least three voters report voting for them. The official preliminary results for Berlin do not show pirate party votes either, although this is probably just a glitch as 3,5% were reported for Berlin before.

Investigations are ongoing.

Comment Re:Gaming it for more sex (Score 2, Informative) 176

There certainly are some social groups where way more casual sex is going on than in others. Geekdom isn't one of them, in fact geeks are one of the most monogamous groups of people I know. Some of the music scenes tend to make much less of a fuss about casual sex, as do the hard political left, the art scene and the ecologically-bent.

These are just stereotypes of course, I don't know whether there is hard data on this. Would be interesting, though. I am continually amazed at how much sex average-looking people are getting out of being part of certain scenes.

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