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Comment I'm a boomer, my kids are millenials (Score 3, Interesting) 326

Both my children are far more serious than I was at their age.
I dropped out of UC Berkeley in 1982 (was a Physics major) because I was too stupid to understand that while university wasn't what I had thought it was going to be, it was still the best way to discover the stuff that would interest you for the rest of your life. I stumbled through the first year there, barely matriculating due to an idiotic policy at the time (maybe still extant)- first come first served enrollment in courses - courses that were mandatory for my major. WTF is up with that ?, surely if they're mandatory, I am just automatically enrolled in them; why the fuck should I have to queue up for hours to enroll ?

Anyway, my kids are much more alert to this kind of thing than I was, they are somehow more used to negotiating these types of issues, and playing them to their advantage. They party less. They work with more enthusiasm for their jobs, which they have chosen because they are genuinely interested in them, rather than for the money.

I spent my youth in a cloudy, dream state - which wasn't bad, I'll admit - until I woke up at about age 20 and realized that I had better get my ass in gear and get something done with my life. Even then it took a 6 year stint in the US Navy to turn myself around and become anything like my children are at an earlier age.

Perhaps they have benefited from me explaining some more of the fundamentals of life to them better than my parents did me - although I don't think that's the case. None-the-less, they are certainly nowhere near as lazy as I was, and more conscientious about their place in society too.

Perhaps they're a bit special for their generation, but my experiences with their friends tells me they're not. I have high hopes that their generation will clean up a lot of the mess brought on by my parent's and my generation.

Comment Re:Ah the 90s. (Score 1) 228

I am a parent, and I also feel like perhaps Kindergrarten should not be about only "play time". By the time I was in 1st grade, everybody could read, Dick and Jane level books. Those books are such beginner level that you wouldn't use them to teach an adult learning a new language.

As an example:

"Who is it?"
Mother said, "It is not DIck. It is not Jane...."

The fact is, most children entering into first grade nowadays aren't at that level. Their parents - frankly - suck !
So, Kindergartens have little choice to spend this time trying to provide the most basic instruction that used to be left to parents.
In fact I vaguely recall that it was mandatory that a child be able to write their own name, and address and telephone number before they could attend Kindergarten. Guaranteed that requirement doesn't exist any more. From some of the stories I have heard, Kindergarten teachers are happy if all their kids are toilette trained.

Comment Re:It's absolutely amazing (Score 4, Informative) 225

The answer 61K joules doesn't tell you much unless you are really familiar with energy.
So, let's look at another similar energy values to help us understand how much energy the solar panel experienced (for lack of a better word).
This bullet (when fired) has a muzzle energy value of about half that amount. This is basically the size of round fired from a .50 Calibre machine gun. That gun is so large, that it is difficult for one person to carry it, and is normally fired from an anchored position (a mount). This is a common ship-board defense weapon against small craft.

Comment Re:It was user error, not a spreadsheet problem .. (Score 1) 349

If I open a new spreadsheet (without a template) the default behavior is to convert data types to randomness. Some numbers are interpreted as dates, and so on.
Not only that, but frequently, having converted it, I am unable to reset. Instead Excel will display #ERROR or some such nonsense, even though clicking on the cell will show the original data in the toolbar area.
Please tell me you understand why this is a design flaw. The default behavior for an application like Excel should be to preserve data, not convert it. Just as the default behavior for a Word Processor should not include making decisions about how I want text formatted without me explicitly formatting it - changing font, indentation, line spacing, etc. Yet, Microsoft Word does this too, and then doesn't even include an option to show me what formatting codes are responsible, so that I can remove them, and restore the text to un-formatted.

This is simply crap programming from MS, as per usual.

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