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Comment Re:Quality of Life? (Score 1) 163

I hate to break it to you, but everything is about cost. You may think aid organizations are being cheap, but they have real budgets to work with, ones that are often very limited. These budgets are usually coming from various governments, which themselves have relatively limited resources to work with. Just look that current internal dialog process in western Europe and the USA; all those respective governments are finding every excuse they can to shut down the already tiny amounts of money they provide in foreign assistance. Furthermore, a tent living situation may not be ideal, but it isn't crappy, no more than the IKEA shelter is "sustainable." Both are pretty limited and in many ways insulting responses to an otherwise horrible human catastrophe. To further underscore my point, if the IKEA shelter at mass production costs $1,000.00 USD a unit, and the tent costs $500.00 USD a unit, then relatively small settlements could see savings in the hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars by using tents, money that could be spent on other services such as food, medical assistance, education, etc. If we all had unlimited resources to work with, then why wouldn't we just build a 5 star hotel and golf course too?

Comment Re:Sounds terrible... (Score 4, Interesting) 163

The idea of a refugee settlement utilizing relatively permanent building materials can and does occur, however it's often the case that host governments simply refuse to allow that to happen. A shelter using permanent materials quickly becomes a small town, which lends legitimacy to refugee settlements. Some host governments want mobile tent cities so they can be moved every year or so, or at the very least broken down quickly once what what ever situation is causing the resentment crisis in the first place is resolved. That said, the types of things you're describing tend to happen organically over time, especially with refugee situations that drag on for years. It only makes sense for a number of obvious reasons.

Comment It's about cost (Score 5, Informative) 163

I have worked in disaster response operations as a logistics and procurement person for six years, including rapid onset refugee settlements. Though I haven't worked directly in camp management, I have worked with purchasing, transporting and setting up these types of tents before. It doesn't say in this article, but other sources point out that even at mass production, the IKEA shelter will cost about twice as much as a canvas tent. At the end of the day, if you're setting up a tent city for 20,000 displaced refugees, that's a difference between 10 and 20 million dollars. Any large aid organization or donor simply isn't going to be able to justify doubling its operation costs. I should also add that one of the selling points of the IKEA structure is that tents only last six months, while these will last years. I don't know how long the UNHCR tents were designed for, but I think it's safe to say that in virtually every settlement I have been to, those tents tend to last longer than six months...alot longer. Usually, the tents are up for multiple years at a time, sometimes reused. This is not a justification for their crappy construction or poor amenities, but I have seen canvas tents that have been one place for six years, so the argument that the IKEA shelters is more economical in the long run isn't grounded in reality. Link to outside info: http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/06/27/196356373/new-kind-of-ikea-hack-flat-packs-head-to-refugee-camps?ft=1&f=1004

Comment Re:Probably the future...I guess (Score 2) 436

Nonsense. 3D could totally enhance the storytelling process. It just doesn't do it right now, a point that I think most of us can agree. With sufficient technological innovation (and I mean pretty far beyond what we have now), I am sure it could completely make productions that much more enjoyable. I just think that we're no where near the true starting point, and I am happy to enjoy my quality movie in 2D for time being.

Comment Re:No. (Score 2) 436

Even if there were real 3D, how would you make use of this properly? Current story telling only works because you can limit and control what people see. How will a horror movie work if half the audience can already see the guy hiding behind the rock before he leaps out? (This is just one example of a ton of problems that would arise)

I'm not sure that most people who want 3D know what they are actually asking for - personally I think 2D is perfect just leave it alone.

You can still have true 3D and mise en scene at the same time. True 3D film would still require a director's eye to progress the story, focus the attention of the audience, and deliver some degree us suspense and drama. One could have true 3D, and not at the same time have it basically be a Holodeck program where the viewer sees everything.

Comment Probably the future...I guess (Score 4, Insightful) 436

As much as I hate to say it, the 3D format for film will probably be the future. Even if this current fad dies down, the next iteration of 3D technology will probably carry it forward into the future. It's essentially the next logical step in production, the same way colorization was when it first came out. This is not to say I LIKE the 3D element in films that have been produced recently - I have seen The Hobbit and the Life of Pi in the past two weeks, neither of which where really enhanced by 3D. In fact, when I saw the Avengers in 3D, I wanted to puke from the crappy usage of post rendering. However, if you look back at early usage of colorization, it was gimmicky, and often extremely unrealistic. It took many many years for it to develop into an actual viable tool. Before everyone starts whining about how awful 3D is, there are many techniques for proper 3D rendering that modern artists haven't mastered, or have actively chosen to ignore. As an example, using deep focus to prevent blurring of items in the frame helps the human eye in 3D movies, but it contradicts pretty much most of what modern film theory tells us so far, and as such it's how we've learned to both make and perceive film. It's going to take a great deal of re-working and re-imagining to make 3D an augmentation, and not just an attraction. And this isn't counting the technological constraints of 3D, which still haven't quite made it to critical mass yet. The point is, see The Hobbit in 2D. You'll be much happier.

Comment Re:So That's What Happened (Score 1) 93

I was a little confused about the direction of this article. Is it saying that we're actually losing more rain-forest per year due to wild fires than we were to deforestation? They draw a link between urbanization and a growth in rural wild fires, but is the net loss more than it was 20 years ago? If there is an % increase in wildfires, what does that mean in context? Maybe they explained it in the video (I couldn't watch it where I was), but all this article is saying is wildfires = bad, which I think we can all agree with.

Comment Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (Score 1) 77

How exactly would this be moving faster than the speed of sound? Is he jumping from a non-orbiting object above the earth's atmosphere, and then hitting the stratosphere travelling 1,200 miles an hour or something? He will be going at terminal velocity for that altitude, which is (I guess) faster than the speed of sound at a lower level, but not necessarily faster than sound at where he jumps from.

Comment Re:FB has been quite liberal with users' privacy (Score -1, Flamebait) 193

"Sorry, but services like Facebook fill an important gap that nothing else really caters for. If you don't like it, think of something better, but don't go round bashing it just because you personally have never moved out of your home town or made any friends who lived more than a street away." If you're this much of a douche in person, it's no wonder your friends chose to interact with you remotely.

Comment Re:Find a new site (Score 1, Offtopic) 660

Um, Hamas isn't a humanitarian organization. Before you accuse me of being right wing, I should tell you that I have worked in the humanitarian sector for years, and currently work for a Humanitarian NGO that actually does operations in Palestine. Just because an organization runs orphanages does not make them humanitarian. Former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauescu ran a huge number of orphanages, and I am sure he would have been happy if you wrote him checks. With the exception of intergovernmental humanitarian agencies like the UN or the International Red Cross, or of the donor departments of large governments, like USAID, humanitarian actors are private, neutral non-profit entities. Hamas is...a political group who happens to have some ideas you agree with. That does not make them any more of a "Humanitarian Group" than does giving money to Ron Paul. Also, you gave money to Hamas? Ha! Did you write checks to Idi Amin because he was obviously such a swell guy, you know, before that whole "dictator" thing?

Comment Re:Find a new site (Score -1, Offtopic) 660

You....supported Hamas? I mean, you say you gave money to the Sea Shepherds, and I assume you voted for Obama by party affiliation, but exactly how did you support Hamas other than just agreeing with them? How is comparable to refusing to buy a product. While I am sure Hamas was heavily dependent upon your moral support, you ceasing to agree with them does...well....nothing. Come to think of it, how are any of these things even remotely comparable? ...oh, wait, I get it "Bad Analogy Guy"

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