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Comment Volvo models (Score 4, Funny) 224

Once upon a time, Volvos had a three-digit model number: the first digit was the series, the second the number of cylinders, and the third the number of doors. So you'd know just from the model that the 245 was the lower-end four-cylinder station wagon (the "fifth door").

When they ditched that system (in the '80s?), the first model was something like the 740; their own ad poked fun at themselves, asking "No doors?"

Submission + - LIGO confirms gravity waves from black hole collision 1

DudeTheMath writes: NPR has a nice write-up of the newly-published results. "[R]esearchers say they have detected rumblings from that cataclysmic collision as ripples in the very fabric of space-time itself. The discovery comes a century after Albert Einstein first predicted such ripples should exist. ... The signal in the detector matches well with what's predicted by Einstein's original theory, according to [Saul] Teukolsky [of Cornell], who was briefed on the results."

Comment Re:But they find my tuning fork (Score 1) 349

My under-seat bag holds everything I need for two nights/three business days: laptop, tablet, two clean shirts and a second pair of trousers, socks and underwear, toothbrush and razor (as well as whatever score I'm studying and the aforementioned tuning fork). I don't worry about overhead storage. I get to the airport without having to stand in the check-my-bag line before the check-my-body line. I can take a bump at the gate without luggage issues (which just last month got me enough Deltabucks for a family round-trip somewhere).

Internationally, I generally have to make at least one and (depending on my Euro destination) frequently two connections. Waiting for the checked bag, then customs, then re-checking the checked bag (twice! each way!) is way more hassle than the rare gate-check. If I could fly direct, that would change the calculation, of course.


Comment Re:The Republican House (Score 1) 239

Everything MachineShedFred said in his response, plus: Shutting down the government is their agenda. The Hastert Rule doesn't allow anything to come to the floor without advance support of the majority party; neither the establishment GOP nor the TP'ers (to say nothing of the minority party, which actually represents the majority of the population due to both gerrymandering and district sizes) can get anything going, and, hey, that's just fine with the TP and their backers. "Shrink government until it's small enough to drown in a bathtub," right?

Comment Re:The Republican House (Score 1) 239

Gerrymandering, having created "safe" districts, increased markedly after 2010. That year, many of the state representatives were ushered in on a wave of TEA ("Taxed Enough Already," for those who've forgotten) party whipped-up anger at the establishment of both parties. Democrats were crammed into districts where they make up as much as 70% of voters, and Republican districts have a safe margin at 55% of voters (so a state that actually tilts Democrat can have a heavily GOP state leg and congressional delegation). Now the House members are decided in primaries (which, if closed, prevent anyone not in the party from voting), so it is in fact the fringier candidates, who feel no obligation to appeal to the center, who win these elections.

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