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Comment Because That's Where the Money Is (Score 1) 4

Follow the money. Who is spending?

Younger people are more easily influenced by advertising and more likely to buy things based on emotional wants. Also, young people spend more and buy more. Parents tend to buy a lot for their children, which still means the ultimate consumer is youth. After dealing with kids, people tend to slow down their buying. They have the big items, although they'll replace a car occasionally. By the time most people reach 35, they're buying less and buying what they need, not glitzy things that have a high profit margin. Also, by then, brand loyalty is established and people tend to keep buying the brands they have been for years.

It's selling to youth that makes the big bucks.

Comment Re: Don't give him ideas (Score 2) 555

I guess you missed the entire point of what I said. Parents with terminal diseases - you can't just ignore those calls and if it's an emergency or there's a new caregiver on duty you don't know, the call could be from numbers or area codes you don't recognize. You can't just silence the phone and figure you won't be getting an important call.

I alluded to that before - guess you didn't read that part of the response.

Comment Re: Don't give him ideas (Score 2) 555

I can't put on a whitelist doctors that I don't yet know in case she ends up in the ER. There were also times when someone, like a substitute caregiver, would call and their area code was someplace away from us because they still have the same cell number from before they moved. I made a reference to this in my post.

Comment Re: Don't give him ideas (Score 4, Insightful) 555

Some of us cannot turn off our phones at night. I had to deal with my Father dying of leukemia for 3 years or so, then an over-anxious Mother who was having panic attacks and then we found she was developing Alzheimer's. For 10 years, I had to be on call 24/7 because I never knew what would happen or if that out-of-town phone call was a friend or an EMT or someone calling on their cell phone to tell me she needed help or was in serious trouble.

It must be a wonderful privilege to live in a world where it's easy to imagine not having to be on call 24/7.

Comment NPD (Score 1) 1

He has NPD. Look it up. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's in the DSM-V. Several mental health professionals have publicly said this and one has even talked about keeping videos of him because he's such a textbook case.

Doesn't take much research or following the newsfeeds to have seen this.

Comment Re:Tripping the Light Fantastic (Score 1) 102


Interesting. Having been ballroom dancing for years, I have not found the culture to be at all as described. Sometimes people have perceptions of one group or another that comes nowhere near close to the reality of the situation because they rely on stereotypes rather than getting to know those in that group.

Submission + - Guy Invents Safe Ocean Travel and is Snubbed for the Effort (hackaday.com) 5

szczys writes: Here's an interesting fact: when at sea you can't establish your longitude without a reliable clock. You can figure out latitude with a sextant, but not longitude. Early clocks used pendulums that don't work on a rocking boat. So in the 1700's the British government offered up £20,000 for a reliable clock that would work at sea. John Harrison designed a really accurate ocean-worthy clock after 31 years of effort and was snubbed for the prize which would be £2.8 Million at today's value. After fighting for the payout for another 36 years he did finally get it at the ripe old age of 80. The methods he used to build this maritime chronometer were core to every wrist and pocket watch through the first third of the 20th Century.

Comment Re:really... (Score 1) 622

I come from an LDS family, so I grew up with a set of traditions surrounding Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. There are numerous Mormon sects, each with their own traditions, and not all of them in agreement with the others. In the mainstream LDS group, people generally thought that Joseph had something called the "urim and thummim," which was a kind of loupe or spectacles that the prophet would gaze through in order to divine the writing on the gold plates. He would read along in this manner, dictating to his scribe. The urim and thummim is based in old Testament lore, and Joseph claimed to have found one of these divining objects along with the gold plates, an armor breastplate, and a sword, all buried together in the Cumorah hill.

Smith got through 116 pages of manuscript and then loaned these out to a friend so that the friend could show the work to some interested parties. These 116 pages were subsequently lost, at which time Joseph Smith said that a divine messenger came to retrieve the gold plates along with the urim and thummim. The story goes that, after some time passed, Joseph again found favor with God and was reinstated as translator, only this time without the aid of the urim and thummin. Instead, Smith used his seer stone.

Whether or not this is a reasonable explanation for a religious text, it is not inconsistent with the American frontier folk magic of the early nineteenth century. Growing up with these traditions, most Latter-Day Saints have no problem with them. Because many of them didn't know about the seer stone until very recently (the church published some photos, which you can probably find online), it is a challenge for them to believe that translation via seer-stone is a "reasonable explanation," as you say. It doesn't exactly square with the urim and thummim version of the story that they had originally. I'm sure this is all absurd nonsense to most outsiders, although the LDS church is maintaining its congregation and perhaps even growing it slightly, in spite of whatever perceived absurdity exists within its history. Mormons are by no means particularly stupid or credulous, and generally the church doesn't bank on its history when looking for converts.

Reasonable or not, I find Mormon history quite fascinating. Well, that is, up until these recent times in which we now find the largest sect of Mormonism little more than a gigantic corporate franchise. Speaking of America, Eric Hoffer once said that "what starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation." Indeed. Nevertheless, you'll find the Mormons to be an excellent lot in spite of their sappy, corporate church.

Comment Re:really... (Score 2) 622

The LDS claim is that their scripture was translated from an ancient record, written by men, found buried in a hill in rural New York by Joseph smith. Although not a part of the official history taught in Sunday school, Mormons now also affirm that Joseph Smith did not even look at the plates while translating them. Like the later "Abrahamic" papyrus, the plates seemed to be little more than a prop to provide, perhaps, some form of inspiration. In fact, Joseph Smith received his "translation" through a seer stone which he placed in his hat. He used that same stone to search for buried treasure, something it did not find very well.

Comment Re:really... (Score 1) 622

You're probably thinking about a book entitled "The Late War between the United States and Great Britain," by Gilbert J. Hunt. It's a little history of the war of 1812 written in the style of the King James bible. In terms of content, it isn't that similar to the Book of Mormon, but it contains many of the same features of style, including alleged "Hebraisms" that LDS apologists claim are proof of the Book of Mormon's ancient sourcing. When some authors in the early 19th century wished to summon a certain kind of authority, they would invoke a "biblical" style. This style helped them to muster the sense of holiness or truth that they wished to convey to the audience.

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"It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa