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Comment Re:Back to the Future (Score 1) 681

Why would you laugh at 0000-12-25? Is it because of the mix-up of dates and year lengths between different calendars or something else?

Even as an atheist, I have to believe that for such a story to hold for over 2000 years, there has to be someone named "Jesus" who was born about 2000 years ago, messiah or not.

Its not the idea that there was some guy named Jesus born around then who was probably some type of preacher/prophet/messiah/cult of personality/whatever that I was laughing at of course. It was the fact that even as 10 year old I knew that the date December 25th was arbitrarily set by some church at some point and setting that date in order to "go see" Jesus' birth is quite a clever joke. Discussing this with my fundamentalist friend and finding out that he believed that Dec 25th was the actual date of the birth was quite the revelation to me (no pun intended). After that we discussed many more tenets of his fundamentalist beliefs and I was shocked. I had no idea up until that time that anyone could teach their kids such pointless crap and the amount of mental gymnastics required to hold on to those beliefs. It was a very eye-opening experience for me.

Comment Back to the Future (Score 5, Interesting) 681

This whole thing reminds of the Back to the Future movie. I was 10 or 11 or so when it came out and I distinctly remember seeing that movie with a kid raised in a fundamentalist baptist household. When Doc Brown said "so do you want to see the birth of Christ" and then set the time machine to Dec 25 0000 I laughed quite hard. The other guy asked me why I thought that was so funny and I spent about 45 minutes trying to explain it to him after the movie. He never got it and was somewhat offended that I found it so funny. After another couple of days discussing this and other things (like creation in 6 days etc.) I finally realized how deeply misinformed people become by being taught about literal interpretation of the bible. I was absolutely amazed at that understanding of the world and it was my first real exposure to this insanity. Up to that day I had always understood bible stories as being just stories (I was raised mildly Catholic but my family was really just going through the motions). It actually makes me very sad to think back to that experience.

Comment Re:Err : "improve the overall RIDE QUALITY by 60% (Score 5, Informative) 274

Actually us pavement engineer types do this all the time. Basically the input to the function is the profile of the pavement measured by a pavement profilometer which essentially captures pavement elevation about every 6 in or so. (http://www.dynatest.com/functional-rsp.php) Then this profile is fed through an algorithm that models the response of a hypothetical "quarter car" (basically a spring above a tire to simulate the amount of movement experienced by something on the axle). This measurement is called the International Roughness Index and it has been correlated to "Ride Quality" perceived by highway users. It is not a perfect measurement but it is used quite frequently to help decide pavement projects. if you are more interested.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Roughness_Index http://www.umtri.umich.edu/content/LittleBook98R.pdf So for this thing they would need some other model to calculate the "movement" induced by road profile on the vehicle much like IRI. Once you have that you could correlate it to Ride Quality, have they done that? That is the question...

Comment Re:Cue the following: (Score 2, Interesting) 1306

BS. No one in real scientific circles maintains that evolution is inviolate, only that *real* scientific method based critiques are allowed in a science class. If tomorrow a new Einstein emerges in biological sciences and produces a theory that shatters current thinking on Evolution, the science world would be bound to accept it IF it were experimentally tested and proven to be a good working model through the rigorous application of the SCIENTIFIC method. These idiots are not doing this, not by a long shot. By the way it is not a bad thing that it takes some time for new theories to become accepted by the scientific community.

Comment Re:How can it be both effective and invisible? (Score 2, Informative) 520

I remember many years ago on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after you exit the system you would get back a copy of the card it had some checkboxes next to a code on it like "Lost Ticket" etc. One of those was "excessive speed" I always figured it made some kind of calculation just like this. That was before EZPass.

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