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Submission + - John Glen, Last of Mercury Astronauts, Dead at 95

BarbaraHudson writes: Astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, died today, aged 95.

His flight marked the beginning of the task of United States catching up to the USSR in human space flight. His return to earth was dramatic. It was believed that the heat shield was loose, so after the retro-rockets fired, the straps that held them in place were not released. It was hoped that they would last long enough to survive re-entry.

It might sound cliche, but he really was a true American hero.

Submission + - Dinosaur Tail With Feathers Found Perfectly Preserved In Amber (

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar. The one-of-a-kind discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years. Examination of the specimen suggests the tail was chestnut brown on top and white on its underside. "This is the first time we've found dinosaur material preserved in amber," co-author Ryan McKellar, of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada, told the BBC News website. Co-author Prof Mike Benton, from the University of Bristol, added: "It's amazing to see all the details of a dinosaur tail — the bones, flesh, skin, and feathers — and to imagine how this little fellow got his tail caught in the resin, and then presumably died because he could not wrestle free."

Submission + - US Life Expectancy Declines For the First Time Since 1993 (

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year — a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States. Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. In all, death rates rose for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death. The new report raises the possibility that major illnesses may be eroding prospects for an even wider group of Americans. Its findings show increases in “virtually every cause of death. It’s all ages,” said David Weir, director of the health and retirement study at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Over the past five years, he noted, improvements in death rates were among the smallest of the past four decades. “There’s this just across-the-board [phenomenon] of not doing very well in the United States.” Overall, life expectancy fell by one-tenth of a year, from 78.9 in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015, according to the latest data. The last time U.S. life expectancy at birth declined was in 1993, when it dropped from 75.6 to 75.4, according to World Bank data. The overall death rate rose 1.2 percent in 2015, its first uptick since 1999. More than 2.7 million people died, about 45 percent of them from heart disease or cancer.

Comment Re:another wrinkle (Score 1) 8

The code of ethics forbids that, and opens the way to law suits by the surviving family. Hospitals have to go to court in cases where the patient is not in a position to express any wish one way or another, and the family wants to continue treatment that is futile. We had one brain-dead man whose family kept appealing the court decision to pull the plug for more than 2 years, costing the taxpayers millions in 24-hour ICU.

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 1) 605

City dwellers trying to force farmers to feed them (how - at gun point? send in the army?) is incentive enough to plow the crop under. Nobody works for free, and nobody who can avoid it works at gun point.

Same as modern society is dependent on IT, but try to force programmers to code at gun point and watch all the new bugs that appear. Try to force network managers, watch the networks go down. It's in their best long-term interest to not obey, and it only takes a few to do major damage.

Try to force surgeons to work. Then pray that you enjoy eternal good health. Try to force people to work in factories, and watch all the creative ways everything gets munged up. Try to force politicians to do their jobs - it's hard enough already, so forget it.

You've never watched how unhappy employees in any industry can sabotage things without getting caught. Same as dysfunctional families.

Comment Re:More holes than swiss cheese (Score 3, Informative) 71

If someone's ever actually interacted with an Adobe product, they know. They're shit. Really. Open an Acrobat index, and the search dialog (which is what you want to get to) appears _behind_ a blank document window, which is useless. WTF?

Adobe's contribution to computing began and ended with Postscript. I'll also give some credit for the pdf format/concept itself, despite obvious flaws in the implementation. Photoshop is a convoluted mess which is successful in spite of its faults, purely due to inertia and lack of competition. All else they've ever created simply sucks.

I'd believe the spaghetti code explanation, but that's a rationalization, not an excuse.

Comment Re:$17K (Score 1) 57

So make them also watch Sandlers "Jack and Jill." This is one "comedy movie" that doesn't even try to be comedy. Even the fart jokes wouldn't get a laugh from the kids, and letting young children watch it will scar them for life. Rotten Tomatoes rates it as 50% better than The Cobbler - but a rating of 3% instead of 2% says it all.

Comment Re: Warrant support? (Score 2) 182

In this case it turns out that they did do an assignment in bankrupcy, so the bankruptcy approved the disposition of the assets clear of the liabilities. Without that, you don't get to just dispose of the assets to a 3rd party and leave everyone in the lurch - the people left in the lurch also have a legal claim to those same assets, no matter whose hands they are found in.

Try giving away everything you own and then declaring bankruptcy. Any debtor can contest the bankruptcy at that point - one of my friends did exactly that - contested a bankruptcy and held it up for a year - and in the end the judge discharged the debtor of everything except the money owed my friend ($20k or so). You have to do the bankruptcy first, then obtain approval to dispose of the assets so as to make the best recovery possible for the creditors.

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