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User Journal

Journal Journal: Metamoderators, please read.

This journal entry is for metamoderators.

I hold some political beliefs that are unpopular. For several years, there has been a campaign to destroy my karma because of them. Approximately once per week, someone gets mod points and goes back and mods down my posts. I'm not saying that every one of my posts is brilliantly insightful or informative. I am not above occasionally being flippant or stooping to the level of a troll, but many of my on-topic posts are moderated as off topic and many serious discussions are moderated as trolls.

If you see such an example, please metamoderate it as unfair.

Thank you.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Underwater Basket Weaving 1

Has anyone here ever actually tried weaving a basket underwater? I image that using a snorkel and mask it would be very easy. When weaving, you have to keep the reeds wet, doing it underwater would take care of that for you. Any one have any insight on this?

Journal Journal: Anonymous Posting Disabled 5

This is a first. I just received this error while trying to post an anonymous reply:

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily been disabled. You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner or login and improve your posting . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email moderation@slashdot.org with your MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are "009e048107dc4f6d4f31fd30d0031831" and "05aad2e34e8dd754b757985b43ba9608" and (optionally, but preferably) your IP number "xx.xxx.xxx.xxx" and your username "erlenic".

I've only received negative moderation on one comment since 11 Mar, and don't remember using the post anonymously button in at least that long. Anyone able to explain what could have caused this?

United States

Journal Journal: George W Bush! 7

I couldn't be happier about the presidential election. GWB is the winner. With one supreme court justice in poor health and several others who are well past the average life expectance for Americans, it couldn't be more important to have him in the White House and a Republican majority in congress.

We can get a clear majority on the supreme court. We can get Roe V. Wade reversed and let the states decide for themselves on the issue of abortion.

It's going to be at least 4 more years before anyone tries to ban any guns.

We can breathe a breath of fresh air because the issues that are important to us are on the table.

The thing I like best about President Bush is that he's our Bill Clinton. No matter how much the other side hates him, it only makes them look worse. I was a dedicated Clinton hater. I even bought a bottle of wine that I'm saving until the day he dies. Now I can be as smug as the democrats were on Nov 3 1996.

Talk about a mandate to lead.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Faster than light communication 3

Hello everybody

As you well know, here in the lab we are doing some interesting research to push back the boundaries of physics and inventing devices which will improve the world for all mankind. Our latest results are focused on speedy information transfer, which should pave the way for improved communication with deep space probes. Read on to learn more.

Now most people think that modern communication is pretty speedy: you can phone somebody on the opposite side of the world pretty much instantaneously for example, but in fact the speed at which information can be transferred is limited by the speed of light. This doesn't cause many problems while we're on earth, but once you start sending things into space the distances become much larger and the latency more of a problem. The communication lag between Earth and Mars is eight minutes for example, which is a big challenge for engineers wanting to control a robot on the planet's surface. Surely there has to be a better way.

Well, as with so much in life, modern physics has the answer. We in the lab propose the following faster than light method for communicating with deep space probes.

The solution relies on one of the properties of gravitons. Now as you keen physicists will be aware, the four forces (electromagnetism, gravity, strong, weak) are all caused by force carrying particles. For the electromagnetic force, for example the force carrying particle is the photon; particles under the influence of the electromagnetic force will emit and absorb photons thus changing their momentum and energy. Gravity uses the same mechanism and we call the force carrying particle the graviton.

Now gravity is different from the other forces in that it can be felt over long distances, a quality that tells us a great deal about the nature of gravitons. If 2 particles are 10 light minutes from each other, then any change in the gravity of one particle will not be felt by the other for 10 minutes. The traditional explanation for this is that the graviton can only travel at the speed of light and as such will take 10 minutes to travel from one particle to the other, so far so good. Unfortunately the situation breaks down if one of the particles is moving. As it won't be in the same position in 10 minutes time, the graviton should miss it and no gravity should be felt. As we know, however, gravity is always felt by moving bodies so the graviton must intercept the moving particle in order for the force to be expressed. By conventional theory the graviton must 'know' where the particle will be in ten minutes time.

Now perhaps that doesn't seem unreasonable but if you move the particles 10 light years apart then things get a bit more tenuous. As the graviton would take 10 years to travel the distance, this means that the particles must 'know' where each other are going to be in 10 years time. This is quite frankly ridiculous!

The explanation is in fact that the gravitons do not move at the speed of light but instead are exchanged instantaneously with their effects not being felt until a time equal to the distance between the 2 particles divided by the speed of light. In this way the rule limiting the exchange of information is kept intact and the rules of physics remain unchanged. We can however use this quality to solve our problem of communicating with deep space probes. Think of it as follows.

Here in the lab we have a massive ball which emits a large number of gravitons. As previously mentioned these gravitons will instantly arrive at our deep space probe regardless of how distant it actually is, but will not act on it until some time later. The key part is that we have a graviton detector on our probe which measures the number of gravitons received. By changing the mass of the ball (simple enough to do with a powerful laser) we can cause the number of gravitons detected by the probe to fluctuate and thus transmit a signal. As gravitons travel instantaneously the signal travels instantaneously and we have faster than light communication. Although the system is never going to carry gigabits (changing the mass of the ball is difficult to do on a picosecond time interval) it should be enough to perform simple operations such as steering the probe or powering on systems, thus revolutionising space travel.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Gun Control

If I were a criminal, I'd certainly feel more secure about attacking unarmed citizens than I would going after well-armed citizens who could shoot back and defend themselves. I'm just like the crooks in that respect: I _Love_ Me!

And it doesn't take a Ph.D. to realize that, unless you can disarm all the criminals and other low-lifes lurking about, the idea of disarming honest, law-abiding citizens is absurd. -- I repeat! -- Until you can be sure that all the bad guys (and gals) have no more weapons, you cannot take guns away from the honest citizens who obey the law.

There's a lot of truth in some of these one-liners that are circulating
on the Internet, like:

*Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my guns.

*Assault is a behavior, not a device.

*You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

*Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

*If you don't know your rights you don't have any.

*Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

*Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

*You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

*74,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

*A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

*Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.

*An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

*The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.

*Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.

*Only a government that is afraid of it's citizens tries to control them.

*When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

But I think this last one is the most important of all -- and the next
time you hear people advocating gun control, remember this: *The
American Revolution would never have happened with Gun Control.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How to handle hippies

What to do if you happen upon a peace rally by naive hemp-shirt-wearing college idiots, to teach them why force is sometimes needed:

1) Approach dumb rich ignorant student talking about "peace" and saying there should be, "no retaliation."

2) Engage in brief conversation, ask if military force is appropriate.

3) When he says "No," ask, "Why not?"

4) Wait until he says something to the effect of, "Because that would just cause more innocent deaths, which would be awful and we should not cause more violence."

5) When he's in mid sentence, punch him in the face as hard as you can.

6) When he gets back up to punch you, point out that it would be a mistake and contrary to his values to strike you, because that would, "be awful and he should not cause more violence."

7) Wait until he agrees that he has pledged not to commit additional violence.

8) Punch him in the face again, harder this time.

Repeat steps 5 through 8 until they understand that sometimes it is necessary to punch back

User Journal

Journal Journal: Form Error!

I was bored.
Wrote a journal.
Read it twice.
Thought it nice.
Form error.
What a shame.
Couldn't be posted.

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