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Comment Re: All the better to 'drive' stoned (Score 1) 99

Crisis? What crisis?

I live on Clear Lake in California. We have a shitload of accidents here, often involving fatalities, which are head-on or t-bone collisions. When someone comes across the line, there may not physically be enough room to brake before they cream you — going full speed. And there are areas with essentially no shoulder.

Comment Re:All the better to 'drive' stoned (Score 1) 99

Also, drinking slows your reaction time and coordination, in addition to your perception. While a stoner might not be paying any damn attention, his reflexes and motor skills are not actually impaired at all.

Cannabis does affect reaction time, though it doesn't harm coordination. Informal studies with video games suggest that it may actually be a performance-enhancing drug, because it takes away twitchiness. :) But what it doesn't do that alcohol does is impair your ability to say no — notably, to yourself. Alcohol lowers inhibitions in a way that THC doesn't. That's why you find people going 100 in a 65 while drunk, and 65 in a 65 when high.

Comment Re: All the better to 'drive' stoned (Score 1) 99

Older drivers have lower insurance mostly because they have less accidents than young drivers. Older drivers are objectively better than young ones. Though of course there is an upper limit, where senility sets in.

They might be safer than kids, but they're still on a bunch of medications on which they really shouldn't be driving. And in a crisis, their reflexes are typically awful, often for the same reason.

Comment Re:Only a penny a page, duplex? (Score 1) 5

I'll be better able to figure it when the cartridge is empty. The savings come from not having to pay eight or ten bucks for copies that I'm proofreading.

They're already online as free e-books, HTML, and PDF, with printed copies available at a price.

Comment Cataracts and Suse (Score 1) 6

IIRC you're Canadian (if in the US you'll need insurance) and should be able to get CrystaLens implants for an extra $2,000. They cure nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and cataracts.

I ran Suse back in 2003 and liked it, but moved to Mandrake because my TV didn;t like it; I was using the TV as a monitor with an S-video cable. Still trying to find a distro that will run on an old Gateway laptop.

Comment Re:Caring (Score 1) 105

I have no right then to rob then bank if because they ignored me.

It's trespassing, it's harassment, it's denial of service, but it is not theft. This is basically the copyright infringement vs. theft argument all over again.

No it isn't. I said it was illegal, which it is. You brought up the theft thing just now to somehow discredit my argument, but it has nothing to do with me.

What do you think "rob" means?

Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 299

They didn't die after a few minutes - they lasted for 1-2 hours. And they didn't cost a billion dollars, they were built on the cheap. The Soviets launched almost all of their Venus missions in pairs because they considered it likely that something would blow up or fail at some point along the way - not a rare situation, a number of their Venus missions never even left Earth orbit, and some didn't even get that far ;). But of missions that actually got to Venus, they had great success, and even had one mission "rescued" by Venus (they designed it to parachute down, but the parachute broke - but the atmosphere slowed the fall so much that it survived the impact anyway).

For exploring Venus, if you're wanting PR, the Vega approach is the right one - aerobots, optionally paired with sondes. Aerial vehicles can fly for long periods of time studying the planet, and there's a number of exciting missions related to this being worked on (just waiting for funding). As for surface lifespans, they don't have to be limited. There's work on probes designed to "run hot" so that they don't need any (or only minimal) cooling, and there's also work on probes designed to lift off (bellows balloon) to a cooler layer of the atmosphere (to have any length of time to examine / process samples, cool down, etc) before re-descending any number of times. If you're only talking something with a ~2 hour lifespan on the surface and nothing else, you're talking something cheap, Discovery or at most New Frontiers class - not Flagship.

The main thing that's held everything back is that NASA almost never funds anything related to Venus. The last dedicated NASA mission to Venus (not counting flybies to other destinations that used Venus as a gravitational assist) was the Magellan probe, nearly three decades ago. And that came a decade after the previous NASA mission to Venus. Easiest planet to get to, and they almost never fund missions to study it. It's embarrassing.

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