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Comment Re:The universe (Score 0) 412

When a boat appears on the horizon, only the top of it is visible. As the boat approaches the viewer more of the boat is revealed. This is the classic proof that the Earth is spherical.

When light passes something electromagnetically active, it shifts its direction of travel in a predictable way in relation to the electromagnet. google: faraday rotation
When light passes a body of mass, it shifts its direction in a predictable way. google: Einstein's relativity (not Galilean)

The progressive revealing of the sailboat (always top to bottom) proves that the Earth is spherical, but there is no such equivalent for the "fabric of the universe." Rather, light demonstrably bends around things that are electromagnetically active (all matter) since the 1800's. Because light bends in different directions, based upon where the matter is located, it is a false analogy to compare the bending of light around matter to the sailboat scenario.

Now that I've dispelled the most common justification for a spherical hyper-dimensional universe, please provide another justification for it. Just because you write it off as obvious does not make it so.

One last thing: "into itself?" Wouldn't that make it smaller as it gets bigger; in other words, stay the same size?

Comment Re:Doublethink (Score 0) 614

Think of it as freedom to whirl your arms around. You're free to do that until you hit someone on the nose, at which point you're prosecuted for assault, not for whirling your arms around. You're free to whirl you arms as much as you want, the government will not stop you. Whirl away. But if you hit someone, you're done for assault.

Is that clear enough for you, or do you want a car analogy as well?

I don't see anything that approximates what you're saying after "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." As a matter of fact, that's the entire First Amendment. Any contradictory law that follows this is null and void, from a legal standpoint.

It's high time to make up our mind as a nation as to which side of the coin we want. Are we going to have the freedom to say whatever we want, in which case we expunge defamation/slander and espionage laws, or the freedom to express most things except for ExtensiveLaundryList, in which case we do away with the First Amendment, or at least parts of it?

I, personally, would prefer *actual* freedom to say whatever the individual wants. Any laundry list can be perverted to censor more than was originally intended, and this usually happens to the more juicy tidbits of information.

Comment Re:wikileaks (Score 0) 614

On the Pentagon Papers, it's not very clear-cut that the press has unlimited right to publish classified documents. Yes, Times v Unites States was eventually ruled for the Times et. al., but the opinions of the justices were really divided.

The Espionage Act still criminalizes anyone

"Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, ... relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it."

So there is precedent in the Pentagon Papers case, but I'm not sure how it would be applied in a +400,000 document release such as this.


Know what trumps that? The First Amendment. Next!

Comment Creates electricity or ATP? (Score 0) 2

So they've definitely confirmed that this spare electricity that's generated via the hornet's chitin is used in the formation of Adenosine Triphosphate or glucose, the chemical energy and energy storage (respectively) that power fauna? Well, all save those arsenic-philic bacteria that they recently uncovered, but that's a long shot from what we're discussing here.

Attractive Open Source Search Interfaces? 65

An anonymous reader writes "I work for a company that manages an online database for the political market. We add to this DB daily with updates from a variety of sources and our customers then search through this content via our Solr/Lucene search engine. My problem is, our search interface is a little, well, basic and I would love to know if there are any feature-rich open source alternatives out there. The only one I can find is Flamenco, and while that seems strong on categorisation, that seems to be about the height of it."

Comment Re:Scary (Score 0) 573

People escape from N. Korea. If a noteworthy protest, or heck, if an attempted revolution had taken place, don't you think that those who escaped would eventually mention this to a news outlet? Beyond a reasonable doubt, yes.

Comment Re:Scary (Score 0) 573

It seems to me that you mistakenly categorize the military as being distinct from the population. There is plenty of historical precedent where members of the military overthrew (or attempted to overthrow) a despotic regime. If *I'm* not mistaken, then N. Korea probably has a draft, and all of the general public opinion gets injected into the military with every new recruit. If the people truly felt oppressed, then some indication of this would be evidenced by a coup attempt. As this has not happened, any claim that the N. Korean government isn't approved (or at the very least condoned) by its constituents must be taken with a grain of salt. For historical precedent, there were protests and revolutions in Hungary, E. Germany, etc concerning the USSR. Many assassination plots were attempted with the Nazis. etc

Anybody smart enough to become a leader of a country is presumably smart enough not to sacrifice the vast majority of his population, as would be the case in the event of a nuclear war. Without constituents, there are no taxes. Without taxes, and people to work for those taxes (government contracts etc), the leader starves. One can only cram so much food and water into a bunker, after all; eventually this leader would still starve. Not to mention quality of life issues, but I suppose those are more... flexible when it comes to a fundamentalist/idealist. The point remains, anybody with enough wit to take the reigns of a country probably has a fundamental understanding of what happens without the majority of that country's population, and consequentially wouldn't dare to gamble with their lives.

Comment Re:Scary (Score 0) 573

Are you a telepath? Can you teach the rest of us? Because you seem to know an awful lot about the internal motivations of foreign countries' leaders, and what they would or wouldn't do. Have you considered a career as a 'personal consultant' (or whatever they call occult psychics) to our own country's leadership? ... if so, please don't.

We just recently had our own religious fanatic in office, and he had opportunity to nuke a whole hell of a lot of infidels. I guess we're all lucky he only decided to invade two of their countries for dubious reasons. At least he didn't nuke the entire middle east. So you see there's hope. If our own experience is anything to go on, then Iran will only invade two non-muslim nations, and N. Korea will only reinvade S. Korea, both sans nukes. This is assuming that their leadership is exactly as crazy as our own past leadership was; they could be saner, they could be crazier, but let's wait until they actually do something before we 'retaliate'. I didn't have to tell you this because I'm sure you read my mind to ascertain my own motivations and so on long before you get this post, but I figured I'd share with the rest of the class. Cheerio!

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