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Comment Re:Does anybody really doubt it (Score 1) 705

A bungled robbery NEVER results in a double tap to the back. In a bungled robbery, the gun goes off while the victim and perp face each other most often, and there is not a second shot to confirm death. That's the whole point, the perp panics and forgets to take the stuff - he doesn't calmly put another round through the heart.

Seth Rich was alive and conscious when the police arrived. He died an hour later. Doesn't sound like a shot through the heart to me.

I checked the last two executions by firing squad in Utah - four bullets, not two, admittedly, but that involves aiming at the heart. The most recent was pronounced dead within two minutes. The next recent was dead within four minutes. Note this is death - not unconsciousness. Unconsciousness should happen sooner.

A Straight Dope discussion seems to give several examples of unconsciousness happening within seconds.

Comment Re:Most "automation" isn't, just like this. (Score 4, Insightful) 326

The quality of care that is _available_ in the US is the highest in the world. Yep, its expensive - we have a sue-happy society that sends malpractice lawsuits into court more than anywhere else in the world and that is expensive because it causes hideous malpractice insurance premiums.

We've had tort reform in some states. The effects seem to indicate that the cost of malpractice is responsible for a few percent of our healthcare costs.

I suspect what's driving our healthcare costs is that good healthcare isn't cost competitive. Our healthcare for most of us is covered by insurance companies through work. We change jobs frequently. Yet health problems can take years to have serious (and costly) effects. It's not cost competitive to prevent a problem that another company will likely end up paying for.

It's like the difference between owning a car you know you'll replace in five years and owning a car you will replace in twenty-five years - you're going to be much more diligent about preventing problems in the car you'll own for five times as long, because you'll be paying for the costly effects of poor maintenance.

Comment Re:I doubt it was innocent mistake (Score 1) 485

Sorry, but unless you recently started your strict calorie limit of 1500 per day, or you are exceptionally short, or you have some bizarre medical condition, there is no way your are being honest.

Could be mismeasuring the amount of calories he's consuming. But it does appear that dieting can permanently alter a metabolism in a negative way.

Comment Re:NPR is incorrectly funded. (Score 1) 143

This is EXACTLY the same argument used to help ram PPACA (Obamacare) and it's non-participation fees/taxes.

Actually, I believe the argument was that everyone was paying for the freeloaders in the system. Therefore the freeloaders should no longer get a free ride. If freeloaders were taking advantage of the rest of us, then society would penalize them.

But I'm old enough to remember when "Obamacare" was the conservative Heritage Foundation's "free market" alternative to single payer under Clinton. So perhaps I'm mixing up the arguments for the ACA versus the HF's plan.

Comment Re:Successful, but... (Score 1) 129

So if landing one of these candles isn't an objective, why are they trying to do it?

It's an objective, but not a primary objective.

Primary objective is to put the satellite in the planned orbit. They accomplished this.

Secondary objective is to recover the rocket via a controlled landing. They did not accomplish this.

A secondary objective is, of course, secondary (to use a tautology). It's something that's nice to have accomplished, but even if it doesn't happen, the event isn't a failure.

If you want a famous analogy, take the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. Primary objective was probably something like capture/kill Bin Laden. Secondary objectives was to capture others and bring them back for interrogation, as well as to recover documents.

The mission killed Bin Laden. But due to the loss of one of the copters, they weren't able to bring all the captives back. They accomplished their primary objective, but failed to fully carry out their secondary objectives.

Yet few would consider that mission as a failure.

Comment Re:Slavery (Score 1) 341

So, slavery is ok in relatively small quantities? Is that really your argument?

If you're going to call the government demanding a small amount of your time as slavery, then yes, it is okay.

What do you think a stop by an officer is other than a non-custodial arrest? What about a judge compelling a party to produce a document or item? That's unpaid work as well.

There's other, better arguments to be against the order. But the slavery argument is weak.

Comment Re:Does it count as "evidence" (Score 1) 258

That is intriguing. But if those objects didn't fit the hypothesis, they would have changed the hypothesis to account for it.

I'm not trying to pour cold water on this - the Nice model does work well with five giant planets, not four. And the odds are that we have larger objects than Sedna to account for that haven't been found - at least one Mars-sized body is likely. Another giant planet isn't entirely out of the question, although a Jupiter or Saturn-sized object "relatively" nearby seems to have ruled out by current observations.

But it may be that we're seeing the result of many wild theories, and this is the only one that survived the data we have. Future data may disprove it. Still, we have enough oddities in the outer solar system (Kuiper cliff, elongated orbits of some of the dwarf planets) that it's obvious our current theories have some holes in them.

Comment Re:invite more people in? (Score 1) 547

I've had African Muslim immigrant neighbors. As far as I can tell, they want a safe place to live, a decent job, and modern amenities.

Not really that much of a difference.

Everything is relative. The gap between WASPs (however mythological it may have been depending on the time period in the US) and less desirable immigrants from southern/eastern Europe seemed just as large to the people then as the gap between US and Muslim cultures to you. In 1,000 years or so, you're future doppleganger will probably be arguing that the difference between US/Muslim culture was nothing compared between the difference between US and Alpha Centaurian culture. After all, US citizens and Muslim immigrants have the same number of limbs. :p

Comment Re:Warmer. (Score 1) 138

Your argument, as stated, also applies to getting rid of fire departments. After all, why do people think they should defend houses?

It even applies to basic home maintenance and upkeep. Why reroof a home? You can always just move once the ceiling starts to leak and rot sets in.

A more nuanced view would look at the costs. What's the cost of defending cities versus the costs of relocating cities. What's the value of all the low-lying cities threatened by global warming? How much would it cost to move, rebuilding all of that infrastructure, versus the cost of mitigation?

Comment Re: Russians (Score 1) 206

The nice thing about a claim that Obama (or Bush or Clintob, etc) was the worst president ever is that one can safely ignore the claim and the speaker. We've had 43 people who were presidents since 1789. As rankings go, there are far better candidates for "worst president" than the current living contenders. Buchanan tends to do poorly when assessed by most historians, so I'd suggest him as a starting point for the "worst" president.

Comment Re:Robots (Score 1) 284

I've lived in Virginia. I now live in Washington, where the minimum wage is enormous. Funny, so are the prices. I can't afford anything in Washington. I wish I could move back to VA, where I had a better standard of living: my lower salary stretched much further. I had a gorgeous three bedroom apartment for 700 in Virginia; I have a shitty one bedroom apartment for 1000 here. Food was cheap in Virginia; I skip meals here in Washington to save money.

Are the two linked though? If you're in Washington DC, there's a limited amount of land, which should increase costs across the board.

Contrast with Washington State, which has a similar minimum wage. Yet if I look at rural Washington State Craigslist (Moses Lake, specifically - I presume that's rural enough but I'm not from the West Coast) - I find 2 & 3 bedrooms for under $700.

In my state, if I took what I paid for my small, modest house and went out into a rural area, I could get 4x the square footage for half the price! No minimum wage difference, but there is a difference in how populated each area is.

There is probably some link between minimum wage and higher prices - in both directions. A higher staff salary will bump up the prices slightly, but in an area where the COL is high, wages may be high enough already that there isn't a strong enough opposition to raising the minimum wage. The same holds true for areas with a low COL - wages may be low enough that businesses fight against raising the minimum wage.

Comment Re:Not Your Win 3.1 Solitaire. (Score 4, Informative) 296

PySol Fan Club Edition is free (GPL 3), installs easily, and has a lot of features.

From the webpage:

PySolFC is a collection of more than 1000 solitaire card games. It is a fork of PySol Solitaire.

There are games that use the 52 card International Pattern deck, games for the 78 card Tarock deck, eight and ten suit Ganjifa games, Hanafuda games, Matrix games, Mahjongg games, and games for an original hexadecimal-based deck.

Its features include modern look and feel (uses Ttk widget set), multiple cardsets and tableau backgrounds, sound, unlimited undo, player statistics, a hint system, demo games, a solitaire wizard, support for user written plug-ins, an integrated HTML help browser, and lots of documentation.

Comment Re:Concorde 2.0 (Score 1) 238

The speed limit here is 75mph about 120kmh and it's not uncommon for people to drive 90mph about 145kmh whether it is efficient or not is entirely dependent on the car's design and gearing.

I believe you are mistaken. Drag is the square of velocity, which means at high speeds, drag quickly adds up.

What you're likely thinking of are internal combustion engines (ICE) optimized for a specific RPM at a specific speed (since ICE's efficiencies vary by RPMs) . But regardless of this, drag starts to play a far larger role at higher speeds (depending on the automobile drag coefficient, of course), and thus even if you had a hypothetical gearing designed to run the engine at an efficient RPM at 90mph, the drag would likely more than eliminate any fuel efficiencies gained by the optimal RPM.

Comment Re:A rose by any other name (Score 2) 98

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Ceres
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluton & Charon (double planet)
  • Eris
  • Haumea
  • Makemake
  • 2007 OR10
  • Sedna
  • Quaoar
  • Orcus
  • (307261) 2002 MS4
  • 120347 Salacia
  • Varuna
  • Ixion
  • Chaos
  • Varda
  • +dozens of unnamed more

Now that isn't too hard to remember. But if we're going off planetary scientists, why not include satellites like Titan, which is a captured dwarf planet? Does a planet stop being a planet when it's captured by another?

And what about our own moon? It's far larger than the dwarf planets. It seems to have a similar internal composition to a planet. If earth had disappeared, it would orbit the sun.

What I'm getting at is that classifications are arbitrary. The dwarf planet/planet split is not a horrible division when it comes to classification.

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