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Comment Re:I don't come to SD for this kind of news (Score 1) 644

The way I see it is this: for any big political thing, there are two ways that the comments can appear on Slashdot. 1. In all of the stories, apropos of nothing, derailing tech conversations, and generally disrupting the overall enjoyment of the site. 2. In a thread dedicated to the topic, which people can avoid if they want.

Now this doesn't always work, and when the population is sufficiently worked up about something political it's going to bubble up everywhere else. But I think these articles are like flypaper for political commentary; either you get most of your flies stuck to one ugly strip, or they appear randomly everywhere -- you aren't going to be able to get rid of the flies entirely, and personally I would rather they were on the one article.

Comment Re:As a non-US citizen, I'd like to know ... (Score 2) 474

I think there's sort of a sliding scale thing going on here.

Start with a nice fluffy kind of rich cupcake with light creamy frosting, made with simple ingredients that you would find in your kitchen (flour, sugar, eggs, butter, real vanilla extract, baking powder, etc). If you have time, fairly standard kitchen equipment, and a little bit of skill, you can make these. Or, you can buy them fresh from one of a growing number of fancy shops that specialize in cupcakes (for a price, and you have to get to the right place during their business hours while you want a cupcake -- and if you live in a smallish town, there's nowhere you can buy them). The bakery probably times their batches carefully and tries not to sell anything that wasn't baked that day.

Okay, so you don't have time to make cupcakes (and you only wanted one or two), and you don't have the time/money/access for really great cupcakes. Next option down: local supermarket. They probably make them on-site, but they have probably "value engineered" the ingredients, "streamlined" the process, and increased the shelf-life of their products so that the curve of taste/texture takes a dive at about the three-day mark instead of 12 hours. So most of the dairy fat and some of the eggs go away, and are replaced by a combination of vegetable fat, and some kind of stabilizer/moisturizer combination (guar gum and stuff) that . . . well, it results in a similar texture to the original ingredients (and takes longer to fade after baking), but the flavor isn't quite right. Oh, also they can try to claim that the reduced fat is better for you (even though we're starting to see pretty clearly that replacing fat with sugar & starch is not the right answer). So this cupcake is similar to one you might make yourself or buy at a nice cupcake shop. And it's cheaper and more available.

Hmm. It's late at night, or the end of a tiring day, and what's available is the corner store / gas station / pantry (last stocked a week ago). The desire to eat one of those kinda mediocre grocery store cupcakes (which you're accustomed to by now, because who has time/money for the real thing?) is pretty high. And those Twinkies are sitting there. They're sort of like grocery store cupcakes. They have almost the right texture (despite having been on the shelf for like, two weeks, and who knows how long they spent on a truck, and in some industrial freezer). The cake flavor is . . . based on flour and fat. The frosting is inside, and that kinda makes sense since it wouldn't have survived the ride if it was on the exterior. Frosting's also kind of weird, but that's the stabilizing and texturizing again (can't use butter, it would rot, can't use most fats, they would separate, it's pretty much just whipped sugar and another of those texturizing agents). Well, close enough to quench the craving, probably.

And of course, there are probably another couple layers in there of degradation, because at least according to the comments here (I haven't eaten a Twinkie in 20 years I think), the current Twinkies are actually just reminders of what Twinkies used to be.

So it's probably just a reminder of a reminder . . . of a really good baked good. It's what's available cheaply and easily. And it's kind of representative of a lot of what's wrong with American food.

Animals (including humans) are pretty good at deciding that what's available to eat is what's good to eat. That's good for survival. Unfortunately, it's also apparently easy enough to trick using modern food science.

Comment Re:Interestingly... (Score 1) 91

Tell that to my commute, which has gotten significantly slower over just the past year. Home in north Seattle -> work in Bellevue. More miserable by either bus or car, and the 520 bridge replacement is currently traffic neutral versus a year ago (sure there have been hiccups, but right now we're using the same number of lanes on the west end of the bridge).

Comment Re:Communication skills (Score 3, Interesting) 219

I think I've heard two other reasons for picking female voices over male voices in cockpit instruction recordings. 1. Airplane noises tend to be low pitch and thus lower male voices get drowned out a lot more easily. 2. An authoritative sounding woman's voice is closer to mom's voice, and most people are trained from an early age that when mom sounds like that, you do what she says (even if you're uncertain, freaked out, or disagree but don't have better plans at the moment).

Comment Re:rather have money (Score 1) 524

On top of that why does your employer owe you health insurance in the first place? That also used to be something that was a fringe benefit that people then started to expect and demand like it was owed to them.

Around about the time the healthcare providers started charging individuals 2x and 3x the bill that they would send to the insurance companies (or at least the amount that the insurance companies assert that the services should cost). If you're not in some kind of group plan, you're getting incredibly ripped off.

Comment Re:I am having a vision of the future... (Score 1) 296

It's more than the symbolism. A few things here:

* At least for some people, the CFLs are noticeably worse than the old tubes. Don't know why, but my husband gets headaches really quickly (we're talking about 2 minutes or so) under CFLs, but only finds the big ceiling lights to be sort of annoying (unless the ceiling lights are flickering, those are terrible).
* One could avoid CFLs before, by not buying them for the home, and mostly only going out to restaurants and such that used incandescent bulbs (which most restaurants did, because they are cheap and provide pleasanter ambiance than cafeteria lighting). Now, the list of restaurants we can't go to is ever-increasing, because they are switching. That is an every-week kind of change in life. And legislation is working on making it so that home has to be unpleasant as well . . .

Comment Re:The truth... (Score 4, Insightful) 199

Jobs which slow the economy by discouraging pleasure travel (and all of the nice tourist spending) and business travel (and the kinds of business deals and chance new acqaintances you only get in person). Travel is incredibly important to our economy, it is part of what makes a large country so strong. When people opt out of it, the ripple effects are amazing.

Comment Re:But the real question is... (Score 1) 769

Exasperated is irritated. Exacerbated is made worse.

"The usual peevishness of the Grammar Nazi was exacerbated by viewing the internet, resulting in exasperation."

Sorry. I've been seeing this one on the rise lately from otherwise smart people, so I've started pointing it out. I don't pay attention to media, is there some show or public figure that is providing an incorrect example?

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