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Comment When I was in high school (Score 1) 1021

we read a few sci-fi titles along with the Shakespeare and the usual lit picks -- Flowers for Algernon, The Chrysalids, The Handmaid's Tale, 1984, Fahrenheit 451. It was in high school that I first fell in love with science fiction, and I owe it entirely to the enthusiasm of my grade 9 English teacher. Thanks, Mr. V.

Comment Re:Why does this matter? (Score 1) 590

Of course people care. If you are part of the white majority, you are probably never going to get this, but as a visible minority it is almost a *relief* when you see people who looks like you portrayed in the media. Not that we can't relate to white people and white characters, but there is still a little something missing -- for me, anyway. When I was younger and Asian people were hardly ever seen on TV, we'd yell when we'd spotted one, and the entire family would come running. Doesn't matter what it was, a commercial or whatever. Hell, I watched more of Star Trek: Voyager than I otherwise would have had Harry Kim not been Asian.

Comment Re:Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (Score 1) 834

The reason why the *overall* average shows women getting less is because there are simply fewer women willing to do high-paid jobs like programming, or dangerous high-pay jobs like living on an oil rig.

...or that the jobs that women traditionally do (teaching, nursing, etc) are valued a lot less by society. I never could understand why teachers are treated like crap in North America.

Comment Re:Because its a useles skill (Score 1) 921

In fact, I can't actually remember the last time I saw a signature that was anything even remotely approaching legible. Distinctness is all that really matters.

My mom has a great signature -- very distinctive, consistent, and done quickly in one fluid motion. It is *really* hard to get just right, though I can get close. My dad's is dead easy to forge, especially since my writing is similar to his in the first place. So I spent a lot of time developing my own handwriting and signature when I was young, determined that noone would be able to forge mine too easily. All that practice meant my forgery skills were in demand in school when other kids couldn't fake a parent's note or signature.

Also: Apparently fancy private schools in the Philippines all teach their own distinctive kind of writing, so if you're in the know, you can tell where someone went to school just from their writing (and judge appropriately).


LEGO Rock Band Confirmed 98

SailorSpork writes to tell us that the rumored LEGO Rock Band has been confirmed, and it's set to be released later this year. The game is being developed for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and DS. The press release lists the first five songs selected for the game, and says players will "work their way through local venues, stadiums and fantasy locations on Earth and beyond, that mimic the imaginative settings that the LEGO world offers. Also continuing the LEGO 'build-and-play' gaming experience, players will be able to create their own LEGO Rock Band style as they customize their minifigure avatars, band and entourage, including roadies, managers and crew." A new page on the Xbox website provides more (slightly odd) details: "Play killer riffs to destroy a giant robot, summon a storm, and demolish a skyscraper using the power of rock!"

Biotech Company To Patent Pigs 285

Anonymous Swine writes "Monsanto, a US based multinational biotech company, is causing a stir by its plan to patent pig-breeding techniques including the claim on animals born by the techniques. 'Agricultural experts are scrambling to assess how these patents might affect the market, while consumer activists warn that if the company is granted pig-related patents, on top of its tight rein on key feed and food crops, its control over agriculture could be unprecedented. "We're afraid that Monsanto and other big companies are getting control of the world's genetic resources," said Christoph Then, a patent expert with Greenpeace in Germany. The patent applications, filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, are broad in scope, and are expected to take several years and numerous rewrites before approval.'"

The Taste Of Space 81

It turns out that space tastes like raspberries and not Tang or freeze-dried ice cream as one might suspect. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy were searching for evidence of amino acids in space when they found ethyl formate, the chemical used in to make raspberry flavoring. The astronomers used the IRAM telescope in Spain to analyze electromagnetic radiation emitted by a hot and dense region of Sagittarius B2 that surrounds a newborn star. Astronomer Arnaud Belloche said, "It [ethyl formate] does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries."

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