Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal Journal: Good Meat 2

I was listening to NPR today, and someone on there was crying about the horse meat industry in the US. Not that we are allowed to eat horse meat here, but we do ship it off to other countries. Not only is is stupid not to eat old horses that are essentially going to be euthanized anyway, but it's stupid that we don't eat certain animals because we are "friends" with them.

Speaking of which, here is my partial solution to the world's food problem. There are 3-4 million dogs and cats euthanized each year in the United States alone. Why is all that food going to waste, when it would probably cost less than a million dollars to ship them all over to Africa? In addition, they could breed some of them until they had some self-sustaining supplies.

What, they're too cuddly? Give me a break - they can be perfectly good food.
User Journal

Journal Journal: The Great Man

Well, unlike The Great Man, I cannot call myself a great communicator, so I'll let him speak for himself. Many people called him The Great Communicator, some of them did so probably because they liked to think that folks didn't agree with him, but still liked the way he spoke. In his farewell address, I think he refuted this notion, and at the same time summed up his life. In the middle of his address, he said it this way:

"...I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation - from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscover of our values and our common sense."

Hail the Chief, the Chief is dead, and as a nation we've lost a great man.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Niggardly 3

I'm rather sick of people working themselves into a tizzy every time someone else uses the word "niggardly." Come on, people. It's a good word, and there's no good synonym for it. "Parsimonious" is too much like frugal. "Penurious" carries the conotation that the person is poor. "Stingy" and "miserly" imply a love of saving money or of the money itself. "Niggardly" is rather like being stingy for the sake of being stingy; I refuse to say a whole sentence when a perfectly good word will do!

I'll tell you what, I'll stop using the word "niggardly" when the following sentence becomes outlawed:
While eating my Burger King Whopper and listening to my spigot run, I found a chink in my kitchen counter.
After all, isn't that sentence offensive of Italians, Hispanics, and Chinese, respectively?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Where is the outrage?

Well, John Kerry is talking himself up (and having others do it for him) with respect to his record in Viet Nam.

Okay, first. I don't blame him for talking about his service, per se, but if you are going to go around claiming the war itself was so horrible, does it really make sense to boast about your part in it? I suppose on the surface there's nothing actually wrong with talking about individual achievement, but it just seems strange to me.

Second. I don't blame him for using a national tradgedy for his own gain. He had a part in it, and I'm grateful that he served his country to protect my freedom. Anyone that is willing to do that has my eternal gratitude.

Third. Where is the outrage that we saw a month ago with respect to Bush's extremely brief, uncommented upon clips that had something to do with 9/11? Both the media and the public seemed to think Bush was a real jerk for even having that less-than-10-seconds-spread-over-3-commerical bit having to do with 9/11. When Kerry talks about a war in which tens of thousands of Americans died, no one in the media thinks that it's out of line. Strange.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 661

Well, Barry Bonds has broken Willie Mays's "record" of 660 career home runs, and I don't give a flying flip. At least, I don't care about Barry Bonds; I think it's a tradgedy that Willie Mays is now in fourth place.

Let's pretend that Barry's not using an illegal drug to enhance is performance. (Let's pretend, since we all know that his hat size didn't grow on its own. Whether or not it's illegal, he using something. Let him be tested to prove me wrong.) Of course, MLB cannot implement testing until Barry retires. They can, but they won't. Write it down: April 14, 2004. I predict that within 2 years after Barry retires, MLB will implement drug testing. But if they did it now, then what about all of those records that Barry "broke?"

But what about upcoming records? What if Barry gets 755? Well, here's my solution: let's look at a player's home runs per pound. We'll call it the HRP statistic. I know that this is slightly problematic since players are also different heights, but I think it's a good first approximation. Here's the raw data:
Hank Aaron
HR: 755
Weight: 180
Height: 6'0"
HRP: 4.19
Babe Ruth
HR: 714
Weight: 215
Height: 6'2"
HRP: 3.32
Barry Bonds
HR: 661
Weight: 230
Height: 6'2"
HRP: 2.87
Willie Mays
HR: 660
Weight: 180
Height: 5'11"
HRP: 3.67
Even if has only used "legal" steroids, not only has he caused his head to swell a couple standard deviations beyond what is considered normal, he still hasn't improved his HRP. Willie Mays is still better than Bonds, and NO ONE will ever come close to Aaron's HRP. Bonds would have to hit 965 home runs to beat him. Not going to happen.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Mother Thersa vs. Michael Milken

John Stossel has compared Michael Milken, junk bond king extraodinaire, to Mother Theresa, soon to be sainted by the Catholic Church. Guess who is more of a humanitarian, in Mr. Stossel's view. Just guess, I dare you.

According to the esteemed Mr. Stossel, for whom up to this point I had at least a modicum of respect (but no he's lost it), Michael Milken has done more for humanity than Mother Theresa. You see, Mr. Milken has created millions of jobs, whereas as Mother Theresa, why, she's only comforted and cared for thousdands of people. I think what is left unsaid is that these people are only poor Indians anyway.

Well, I feel sorry for Mr. Stossel, if he thinks that millions of jobs (and can we really credit Mr. Milken for those, or would most of those jobs have come into being anyway, filling the vacuum that was there) are worth more than thousands of lives being touched when there was literally no hope for them before. People in America, even the ones without jobs, are so unbelieveably wealthy that some people have no conception of what it really means to be a humanitarian. Yes, jobs are important, but if some jobs aren't there, people can find other ones. When people are sick and dying, they need someone to help them and care for them. Too few people in this world are willing to give of themselves decade after decade like that woman who ONLY helped thousands of people on a miserable subcontinent.

It's a sorry world that think that jobs are more important than caring for the sick and dying. Unfortunately, it's the world that John Stossel lives in, and he's not alone.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Why we should still be protesting

With gracious thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for his inspiration and the basic outline of the first paragraph of this, and for the next four paragraphs, which are essentially verbatim from his letter from a Birmingham jail.

Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of an infant dying to say "Wait." But when you have never seen the evil of a child being ripped apart by vicious doctors; when you have seen the self-loathing parents kill their own children; when every child destroyed is completely and utterly defenseless, and always wanted by some couple looking for a child to adopt; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and you speech stammering as you seek to explain to your five-year-old daughter why anyone would kill their own sweet baby, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that some people just don't understand their own wretched evil hearts and actions, and see ominous clouds of heart-breaking sadness form in her little mental sky; when you have to concoct an answer for a three-year-old daughter who is asking: "Papa, why do parents treat babies so mean?"; when a baby's first name becomes "fetus," and her middle name becomes "blob of flesh" (even in the third trimester); when you are harried by day and haunted by night that you live in a country where the killing of innocent children, even after 40 weeks is legal. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, America, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

In your arguments against us you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I could be arrested simply for picketing an abortion clinic. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires demonstrations to be peaceful. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain the killing of children and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to understand the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would a rabid anti-abortionist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire.

There is no demonstration yet that I have been a part of that has gotten me arrested, but I assume that the time is coming soon. So get out there my brothers and sisters. Get arrested if you must, but always be peaceful. And don't stop fighting until the over 50 million children who have been mercilessly slaughtered world-wide since 1970 can look down on us without feeling a sadness for the sorry plight that the world is now in. God Bless you all, and God save the innocent child.

Slashdot Top Deals

Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require harder thinking. -- Jerome Lettvin