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Comment Why all or nothing? (Score 2) 179

Why doesn't anyone suggest using algae fuel for a smaller part of the transportation workload instead? I'd suggest either buses or trucks, for example. They already don't use gas stations along with cars, and usually run on diesel already. Converting their stations and vehicles should be much easier than doing so for all the gas stations across the country. Even small steps add up.

Comment Re:Reality is not funny. (Score 3, Interesting) 465

This reminds me of the old discussions about realism in pen&paper RPGs.

It can work as a system incorporated into RPGs. There is a James Bond RPG that uses a damage system with about five stages to it, from uninjured, through moderate wounds, to outright killed. Depending on the weapon used, you may take one additional level of damage (say, by being hit with a rock), to five (rocket to the head). Your general effectivenes drops as your damage accrues, and the likelihood of scarring increases, making you a less effective spy in later missions.

Of course, there are advantages to paper-based gaming; the GM may alter the game accordingly to help players saddled with too many problems to be effective. If a computer game could effectively substitute for a human GM, then I might be more easily persuaded to try a game with such a realistic damage system.

Comment Re:That's retarded (Score 2, Interesting) 339

I agree that it should be preserved, but there is room for discussion on how to preserve them.

Consider the case of Plymouth Rock. Taught in American schools as where the Pilgrims first set foot in the New World, it's really a shadow of its former self. Not only is it much smaller than it was, due to a few hundred years of people chipping off souvenirs, but it's even been dragged across town, so it's not in its original location!

Worse still, Plymouth isn't even where the Pilgrims first landed. They landed in Provincetown, and did some exploring along Cape Cod before settling in Plymouth.

How will the future see the significance of Apollo 11? Is only the base of the lander significant? Will it end up in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum? Or will the lunar soil and footprints bee seen as significant as well?

Comment How about a non-programming example? (Score 4, Interesting) 452

When I first learned to program, I remember the teacher asking us how we got to school that day, in as minute details as possible. Example: awaken, open eyes, elevate torso, rotate 90 degrees, bend legs until they reach the floor, stand, walk to bathroom, etc.

From there, you can explain the concepts of procedures to compartmentalize the code. Brushing your teeth may take thousands of steps, yet cut down dramatically with looping, etc.

While it starts out as a new way of looking at how computers process the steps in a more methodical sense than we do, it soon becomes a way to introduce functions, procedures, and other syntax in a practical sense.

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