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Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Submission + - Free Pre-Historic Bullockornis Action Mini for KS Supporters (

An anonymous reader writes: I wanted to let you and your site visitors know that we at ADW Games are giving away a single free Pre-Historic Bullockornis Action Mini to every KS Supporter for our Ice Age Mammal KS Campaign, here:

Please feel free to contact me if you would like further information, or photos for your site.

Susan Taylor

ADW Publishing
51 W 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019


Wind Map of US Will Blow You Away 104

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Talk about visualizations. Ever wondered what the wind would look like if you could see it in action from above? A new project posted online by a pair of Google computer scientists, called simply Wind Map, has to be seen to be believed. "It can be quite hypnotizing to watch the gusty trails blast across the American continent, skitter over the Sierras, get roughed up by the Rockies, and whoosh over the great plains on its way to Canada," writes Chris Taylor. Wind Map is the brainchild of Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, the co-leaders of Google's 'Big Picture' visualization research group in Cambridge, Mass. Wind patterns are constantly changing, of course, which is why the Wind Map designers have also given us a moving-image gallery of previous blustery days."
User Journal

Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.


Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment Re:Sign me up! (Score 1) 599

Not taking antibiotics and not being properly treated for a mental disorder are two ENTIRELY different things. Having an infection does not render you less capable of making rational decisions about your own treatment. Many mental illnesses do - and not just the way-out-there ones, either. Should those people get treatment? Of course. If it's unhealthy for their loved ones to be around them when they're not treated, should those loved ones do what's healthy for themselves? Of course. But saying that you're "disgusted" by something that is a god damned symptom of the illness in and of itself is disgusting.

I believe strongly in equal rights for both genders-but exactly equal. No special favors, no special treatment, no monthly excuse for bad behavior. Men don't get those, so that can hardly be asserted as an "equal" right. It's not "misogynist" to think people of any gender should be held equally accountable for their decisions and behavior.

No, it's misogynistic to ignore biology and claim that accepting it is "special treatment." Do you think that women who have pre-menstrual problems enjoy them? Many women do go on birth control specifically to avoid those problems! But to say, as the grandparent did, that ANY woman who has this problem and is not fixing with through HBC is "negligent" is to completely ignore the fact that for some women it is not treatable or the treatment is worse for them than the condition.

Why is the male experience the default that women must try to match in your scenario? I would say that it's special fucking treatment for a man to expect the women in his life to ignore hormonal problems that he will never have to experience or try to ignore so that they can live up to his ideal. Why does he deserve for her to do that when he will never do it for her?

Yes, there are probably women out there who use their periods as an excuse to act extra bitchy when they don't really need to. Just like there are men who use their wives' premenstrual touchiness as an excuse to cheat on her. Both are examples of unethical behavior. But if you really think that that's the norm instead of an anomaly, you should just go say a little prayer, or thank your lucky stars, or whatever you do that you will never experience the hormonal hell that many women have to deal with on a regular basis. Be glad things aren't equal in that regard.

Comment Re:Sign me up! (Score 4, Informative) 599

Wow, this has to be one of the most misogynistic comments I've ever seen on Slashdot - and that's saying a lot.

Here, I will pretend like you're not a total douche, merely ignorant, and try to explain things politely:

The implant is hormonal birth control. Many women cannot take HBC, or only some HBC, due to extreme side effects such as depression or mood swings, weight gain, and heavy bleeding. Only some women stop getting their period on the implant - up to 20% actually have heavier periods than before. Also, HBC puts you at higher risk of clotting problems (such as heart attacks, strokes, and embolisms), which means that women with other risk factors may want to avoid it. And women on certain medications, such as anti-epileptics, can't use the implant.

Other women may simply prefer other forms of birth control for other reasons. For example, some women actually appreciate getting a "Hey, you're still not pregnant" reminder every month. Some are uncomfortable with getting something implanted in their body. While their preferences may inconvenience you, it is far from "negligent" for them to make that decision for themselves.

Perhaps if you feel you are having to "endure" your significant other, you should let her know that. In those exact words. I'm sure she'll be refreshed by your honesty and see you in a completely new light, and will happily rearrange her biology for your convenience.

Comment Re:Why not block them entirely? (Score 1) 131

Disclaimer: This management method looks like it would be a bitch to scale. Not my fucking problem, thank Cthulu.

IDK, it's pretty much how academia works. Maybe without #2, even (depends on just how embarrassing and in what direction). Some schools only have a couple hundred faculty, but the largest state schools can have a couple thousand, plus other research staff. And all that matters is getting your job done - other than the time you're actually teaching a class, nobody cares where you are or what you're doing at any given moment, so long as your tenure file is nice and fat when they come around to take a look at it.

Comment Re:That's Half the Problem. (Score 1) 545

While I agree with you on what the problem is, I disagree with your solution. Yes, having experts around is important, but relying on them exclusively is a mistake - all it takes is a few deceitful "experts" and the whole population is hopelessly misled. Not to mention the fact that you're trying to close the barn door after the cows are gone.

What needs to happen is that we need to wake up and realize that our educational system, which is currently focused on teaching content in most cases, needs to be reworked to focus on giving people the skills to deal with masses of information. Content is no longer the problem - all the content in the world is available at the touch of a button. Now what kids/citizens need is the ability to access, sort, and evaluate that content critically. Because the day of the media experts controlling the flow is over - permanently, barring some major catastrophe that brings down the internet. Knowledge is now created and disseminated in a less hierarchical, two-way (or many-way) street. Our schools are still operating in a one-way, transmission model of knowledge.

Luckily, this revolution is underway - but incredibly slowly. Thanks in part to NCLB, making any sort of substantive changes is now even harder than it was twenty years ago. Many of the standards actually are written to include these kinds of skills, but the assessments (which are what really matter) are only written to test the facts. So if you've got, say, a new science curriculum that aims to teach students how to build and test a scientific explanation and support it with substantive arguments - that's very nice, but if the kids don't also learn this list of 100 facts this year you lose. Who cares that, given the right skills, they could go out and find that same information online anytime they want AND be able to evaluate which sites are giving them good information and which are pseudoscience. No, all that matters at the end of the year is whether they can remember those 100 facts at test time.

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