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Comment It was done in 415 BC (Score 2) 221

Fire ships were used in the Athenian Sicilian Expedition, and otherwise through ancient times and the age of sail:

The rest [of the Athenian force] the enemy tried to burn by means of an old merchantman which they filled with faggots and pine-wood, set on fire and let drift down the wind which blew full on the Athenians. The Athenians, however, alarmed for their ships, contrived means for stopping it and putting it out, and checking the flames and the nearer approach of the merchantman, thus escaped the danger.

Comment Common for Cranks (Score 5, Informative) 680

Note that holding contradictory beliefs is fairly common of conspiracy theorists (link):

Another study titled Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories managed to show that, not only will cranks be attracted to and believe in numerous conspiracy theories all at once, but will continue to do so even if the theories in question are completely and utterly incompatible with one another. For instance, the study showed that: "... the more participants believed that Princess Diana faked her own death, the more they believed that she was murdered [and that] ... the more participants believed that Osama Bin Laden was already dead when U.S. special forces raided his compound in Pakistan, the more they believed he is still alive," and that "Hierarchical regression models showed that mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively associated because both are associated with the view that the authorities are engaged in a cover-up".

Citation: Wood, Michael J., Karen M. Douglas, and Robbie M. Sutton. "Dead and alive beliefs in contradictory conspiracy theories." Social Psychological and Personality Science 3.6 (2012): 767-773.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 420

I've been at a poorly-run community college where assignments for teachers were made, maybe, 3 days before class started. I fear that's semi-common. Current school is much better, and of course, I've never seen any FBI raids.

Comment Re:Well Good. (Score 1) 420

To my understanding, one of the points of debate was that this was an administrative finance-tracking scandal, and at no point were any aspersions being placed on the teachers or quality of education coming out of CCSF. At least that's what I got from the local public protests over the threat of loss of accreditation; the local populace was very happy with CCSF and its effects as students.

“The actions of the ACCJC –- an organization accountable to no one — have unnecessarily put at risk the livelihoods of the nearly 2,500 hard-working men and women at the college,” Tim Paulson of the San Francisco Central Labor Council said in a statement. “What’s more, their move to deny CCSF accreditation has imperiled the future of San Francisco’s working people, who rely heavily on a CCSF education for workforce training, language learning, and a pathway to better futures for themselves and their communities.”

Comment Re:State colleges give garbage degrees (Score 2) 420

I went to the University of Maine and starting almost immediately afterward I've been working with Harvard-trained people, on AAA PC video games in Boston, and now as a full-time college math lecturer in New York. I always felt that you got out what you put into it.

There's a legitimate debate to be had whether a student like your brother would be better off if they'd been flunked out or not accepted by the university in question. Most of the cultural pressure, however, is to pass those students on.

Comment Re:The anti-science sure is odd. (Score 5, Interesting) 709

"The authors of the paper note it’s particularly interesting that global warming keeps winning the bet despite ocean cycles, solar activity, and human aerosol pollution all acting in the cooling direction over the past 15 years. Human-caused global warming has become so strong that it’s consistently overcoming these natural short-term cooling factors... In other words, betting against global warming is an almost sure way to lose money at this point."

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