RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive171

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What happens when time stops?[edit]

Sorry if I sound ignorant, but I'm curious. What happens when time stops? Would it occur when you are moving at the speed of light (like going on the event horizon of a black hole?)64.180.243.100 (talk) 06:01, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, if you're falling into a black hole, you won't notice a difference in your time, but an observer would see your time slow until you appear to stop just at the event horizon. Sam Tally-ho! 06:05, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
So to me, nothing would seem different? I thought that to an observer, the unlucky person would simply speed up until he is gone?64.180.243.100 (talk) 06:24, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
well, you'd be dead long before, so you wouldn;t be there to notice. to an observer, what Sam said. --Mikal Harass Follow 06:25, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
This is why relativity is so bizarre, because the passing of time is based on the frame of reference. What's basically happening, in a non-technical senseread: I don't fully understand relativity either, is that the light of your image will be slowed to immobility on the edge of the event horizon, where it acts like a sign. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 07:10, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Given that you can't accelerate an object with mass to the speed of light, it's a moot point about time stopping. But, in a more general sense with time dilation we - in the sense of a single point - are constantly heading into the future at a rate of 1 second per second. That's fixed, actual perception doesn't change at all because our perception of time is based on chemical reactions limited by diffusion rates and reaction kinetics. Time could speed up, slow down, stop for a bit, reverse for a little while, loop around, go wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey, and then go back to "normal" and we simply wouldn't notice, we're along for the ride no matter what rate it flows at. What does change is when you start looking at other things at different reference points because then speed and the local rate of time dilation can manifest an effect. I think Red Dwarf is the only sci-fi show I can think of that has portrayed this sort of thing properly, where Rimmer and Kryten are talking faster and slower than each other either side of a rift, but each believe they're speaking normally. Scarlet A.pngpostate 07:52, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, when falling into a black hole the tidal forces would shred you to pieces long before you noticed time going weird. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 08:09, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
And if it was a large enough black hole (with a correspondingly large event horizon), you'd die of natural causes long before you got anywhere near close enough to the singularity to get spaghettified. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 08:12, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Time could be starting and stopping constantly. If it's happening for everybody, there's no way of detecting it. There's no way of proving that time always flows at the same rate either. From our POV, time flows at a rate of one second per second, which is pretty meaningless. There could be something doing the equivalent of messing with the pause button or playback speed on a DVD and we'd be none the wiser. rpeh •TCE 08:18, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Ok I got all this special relativity stuff back in high school, but now it doesn't seem to make sense. If we had no eyes and could only hear, our perception would be limited to sound. Would this mean that, based on the same principles of Special Relativity, we would be theorising that nothing could travel faster than the speed of sound, and that time would dilate the closer we got to the speed of sound. Why is the EM spectrum and its associated perceptions different to other modes of transmitting information? RyanC (talk) 09:06, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Because sound is a pressure wave dependent on density. It's a very different thing to how photons propagate. Scarlet A.pngpostate 09:09, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Plus, things get very weird close to a black hole. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 09:18, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
No, RyanC, although it's often referred to as the speed of light the constant c is actually a fundamental relationship between time and distance and not really about light specifically. So our ability to see only biased us to misunderstand the nature of the constant at first. In our thick atmosphere light actually propagates a little slower than c because there's all this stupid matter in the way everywhere. Beings which were somehow unable to detect any type of electromagnetic particles would still be able to figure this stuff out if they could perform a sufficiently powerful experiment with their limited senses. In fact Greg Egan's SF novel "Incandescence" describes a scenario in which the alien protagonists live in an extreme environment where the effects of relativity intrude into trivial experiments (think primary school science class) so that they discover general relativity without even inventing the telescope.
The reason photons (the particles associated with electromagnetic radiation) travel at c in a vacuum is that they're massless, so it doesn't take any energy to accelerate them. If photons had mass (as the particles which make up a sound wave do) they could not travel at this unimaginable speed because to do so would require infinite energy input for the acceleration. The speculation about (and subsequently experimental proof for) time dilation began as a result of uncovering the fundamental nature of c and not when someone first noticed that light has a finite speed. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 11:08, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
The question is what happens when spacetime stops. Which is an odd question. Although I suppose you could say entropy stays constant. But even that could be a statistical fluke. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 12:16, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Time is an abstraction, that is like asking what happens when a different dimension 'stops'. Under very special conditions we define units of time, just the same as the other units of measurement. Could you actually show me a meter or just an approximation? A meter does not exist, it simply describes a different object. A line from point A to B is X units long, you do not describe this measurement as going forward or backward, think of time in these terms. At least that is how I view time, I may be a bit off my rocker. TheCheatI run on alcohol 18:01, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Im' just going to put this out there - Maybe conservapedias onto something about relativity being crap (but not as far a psuedoscience).
Relativity is probably crap, or at least a very primitive simplistic view of reality. Who knows? Our theory of relativity may be a very distorted view of reality, but hey it seems to work so far! For now I am perfectly happy in my curved fishbowl. TheCheatI run on alcohol 18:11, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
According to cheesy romance novels, when time stops you fall in love. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:22, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Bollocks, time stops when you get married. They don't call them eternity rings for nothing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:20, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
"Spend an hour with a pretty girl and it feels like a minute, spend a minute with your hand on a hot stove, and it feels like a hour. Now that's relativity" - A. Einstein. CS Miller (talk) 15:54, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Nothing happens when time stops.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 14:43, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

For anything to "happen" there has to be time so no time means no happening. There's no way of telling if time stopped now and restarted now. In fact time would need a "hypertime" to stop in and measure its stopping. Scream!! (talk) 17:42, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
On reality, Quantum Physics seems like religion. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 01:55, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Those poor, persecuted Christians...[edit]

... will now have to deal with the Murfreesboro, Tennessee Islamic Centre opening up... following two years of court cases, arson attacks and bomb threats.

I'm guessing somebody is having a fit. --PsyGremlinPrata! 08:56, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Fisher claimed Islam wasn’t a religion in an effort to stop the construction of the mosque. --- ooohhhkay. i'll bite. What *was*? They smell of cardamon?--Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 02:11, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
That and what did he claim Islam WAS, if not a relgion. --Revolverman (talk) 02:19, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
The argument from the American right is that Islam is a political system, Muslim is a religion.
Don't ask me to explain the distinction. It's readily apparent it's just something some "thinker" came up with so they could explain why they're not violating Muslim's freedom of religion. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 14:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
You're dead serious? That's like saying "christianity isn't a religion, christian is". Muslim is just the adjective for a person who follows islam. --Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 21:09, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, you could in principle make a little distinction if you buy into "Christian" as an identity used to unite what are effectively a massive range of totally different religions because without it, they wouldn't be able to unify any political power. But yeah, it's a stupid distinction, but let's just not even ponder the logic behind it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:12, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
"No martyr is among ye now whom you can call your own"--Bob Dylan --WickerGuy (talk) 13:58, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Coding an online image database[edit]

So I need a little advice from any of the resident web-programmers. I'm looking to install a very simple image database on my website. It should allow people to upload images and provide a variety of tags (eg. "author: xxx", "color: yes", "tags: sky, mountain" etc) and also allow visitors to conduct a search using those tags (displaying results as either URLs or pictures). Trouble is I have no idea where to start. Googling hasn't yielded much that is useful to my particular requirements, probably because i can't think of the right keywords. I assume there is free software out there for this, but does anyone know of any that I can download and tweak? ONE / TALK 09:51, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

allow people to upload images? I'd start by finding a good lawyer, or five. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 10:37, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
The work has already been done, you are looking for a "Content management system" or CMS. The best is probably Joomla, http://www.joomla.org/ (or if you want something that runs on a Windows server, http://www.dotnetnuke.com/ )VOXHUMANA 11:04, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Why not MediaWiki? See mw:Manual:Using MediaWiki as a content management system Tisane (talk) 11:10, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks VOX - I'll look into joomla. I figured such software had already been created but my worry is that I'll be swamped with so many options and customisations... but it looks like joomla could be perfect, if I can find the right extension (will ask on their forums). Tisane: i considered MediaWiki but it comes with an awful lot of fluff that's not useful to me - I worry it would just clutter up the webpages and the server. ONE / TALK 11:32, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
You can go berserk with customising Joomla if you want, but the plain vanilla version works just fine. VOXHUMANA 11:34, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
It's probably just the librarian in me, but I'm a fan of CONTENTdmWikipedia's W.svg. It has built in simple Dublin Core tagging and is highly flexible. Plus, it looks pretty too. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 13:27, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
That looks ideal! But I have a sneaking suspicion it's not free, even as a stripped down version, which is a shame. But yes, judging from the screenshots here, that's basically just what I'm looking for. ONE / TALK 14:24, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Definitely not free. There is a 60 day free trial though, here. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 14:40, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There are a couple of open-source alternatives to CONTENTdm - NotreDAM and ResourceSpace seem particularly promising, but I have no personal experience with them. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 15:48, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

there are several free php galleries available. try google for php photo gallery Hamster (talk) 00:13, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Olé! Olé! Olé![edit]

Bad news for fundies as the rising tide of atheism threatens to sweep away organised religion! The number of atheists around the world is rising! Evidently fundies like Ken DeMyer who lack machismo are dispirited by this and stay in their intellectual bunnyholes instead of debating prominent atheists like Ace McWicked! rpeh •TCE 15:38, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

RedC poll (p. 5): "Globally, those claiming to be religious, drops by 9%, while atheism rises by 3%." SecularNews: "the number of self-declared atheists in the world has risen by 9% since the measure was last taken in 2005". Lying atheist scum. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:42, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Contemporary music[edit]

See, when Cathy Berberian does it, she's a postmodern musical genius. When I do it, I'm told to shut-the-fuck-up-you-drunk-twat.

Scarlet A.pnggnostic 18:55, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Of course you are. See, that's the definition of "by definition". --2.34.113.53 (talk) 19:24, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh great somebody recorded all the funny sounds she can make with her mouth, makes telling bedtime stories to the kids so much easier! --K. (talk) 00:07, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Eh, I liked 4'33'' better. BTW, are there references to Comic Strip in there or am I just hearing things? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:02, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Yep. As Diana Gamet explains, it's based on comic noises and arranged onomatopoeia. 4'33" makes more sense when you think about Cage's experiences with anechoic chambers inspiring it, although I think by the time he tried 0'00" he was just showing off. If you want batshit crazy but without a graphical score, The Medium is pretty much balls-to-the-wall mental. It randomly flicks into plainchant, has stage directions explicitly prohibiting the use of lighting, costume or set, and ends with her shouting "RAPIST!" repeatedly at the ghost of her unborn son. Scarlet A.pngsshole 09:46, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, this is a masterwork of graphical notation. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 09:48, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

John & Yoko got there first. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:07, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Conference time[edit]

Nothing is more fun..err...tiring than the work conference. Lucky for me my profession is in communications and PR therefore I have an excuse, nay, a requirement to sit on my iPad and handle the social media promotion and coverage of the conference. Where posting on RW fits into this I am not sure. Anyway, sharing this pointless data was for no reason other than boredom. Go away. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 23:17, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

wait ! ACE us in public relations 8=| Hamster (talk) 00:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
errr, yes. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 01:03, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
why is adolf hitler wearing swim goggles — Unsigned, by: Robert “Billy Bob ‘Thornton’” Timoschenko née Dweezil, LLM of Divinity / talk / contribs
why is eight equals pipe — Unsigned, by: 2.34.113.53 / talk / contribs
Why is a raven like a writing desk? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:07, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Big chem conference coming up. Lots of fun. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 02:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
yeah, Roseanne Barr is appearing at it for some reason. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 03:13, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

SCIENCE![edit]

New human species discovered. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 03:37, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Or, its status is better supported now rather.
"The research adds to a growing body of evidence that runs counter to the popular perception that there was a linear evolution from monkey to ape to modern human." In the public's mind, evolution is still pseudoscience, both to the creationists and the Cult of Progress(TM).
"Meave Leakey" Relation to another Leakey I'm guessing? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:55, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
"In the public's mind, evolution is still pseudoscience" - Sorry to be offensive but which retarded part of the world do you live in? Steven Kavanagh (talk) 06:10, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Because the public perception of what evolution is, is mostly incorrect. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:22, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
You mean that even if I kill lots of rats, I won't evolve into something that looks cooler? ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 12:59, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
It's one of the very reasons "why are there still apes" is asked so often. (honestly, and legitimately, not CSI way). When I was growing up, humans were "the exception" in that "every other species is part of a tree with many branches, but humans surprisingly were a single branch, moving from ape to man". Even when the exceptionalim is removed, there is still the idea that one species replaces the other. I believed that (educated in highschool, early 80s) because we barely really got into evo, and when we did, "one thing becomes another". So yeah, a "new species of man", my first thought is "oh, a new transition", and not "oh a new branch". Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 16:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah, good old teleo-essentialism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:29, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
This article makes me want to whack the author on the back of the head. These are not new species of humans, but new species in the genus Homo. "Human" is the common usage name of a specific species Homo Sapien. Homo rudolfensis, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus are not human, although they are humanoid, and are in the same genus as we and are among our closest relatives. Calling them human though is like saying there is a species called "ape"; the BBC should know better, this isn't Fox News or CP. --BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 14:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, but contrast with the Daily Mail entry I dropped on Clogo recently, and you'll see you're confusing bad science reporting with popularised science reporting. For a story like this to really resonate, you have to play fast and loose with your definition of "human" (not that nature doesn't play fast and loose with such human constructs as "species" anyway). So, "new species of human" rather than "new species of homo" makes for a better headline, but it's not outright wrong. It's just a taxonomical nitpick rather than something worth comparing the BBC's science coverage to friggin' Conservapedia over. Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
What I see from misusing the word human is another wedge that Creationists can use as an opportunity in their attempt to discredit evolutionary biology by saying, "look they call these species human when clear they are not, which just shows our uniqueness and how so-called secular "scientists" are the pushing junk-science of evolution! Yada yada yada!" I can just see CMI just running with that line right now.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 16:14, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Romney proves his RINO-osity.[edit]

...by discriminating somewhat less against teh gays. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 03:54, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

If he hasn't flip-flopped on this already... Osaka Sun (talk) 04:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
The conservatives are probably thinking this right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T39qP3vsOaM --Bdor24 (talk) 00:39, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

In case you thought Michele Bachmann was a nutter.....[edit]

Get a load of this psycho who has been running a campaign in my district (which he doesn't live in nor is he running in) just so he can air out his teabagger Islamophobic garbage. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

The problem is, you Americans let idiots like this have a voice. In any sane country, idiots and bigots like this would be laughed out of town before they posted an advert. But for some weird reason, Yanks listen to these dribbling morons and worse - vote for them. I fear for where the country will be in 10 years' time. --PsyGremlinParlez! 11:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, nobody in my district is taking this moron seriously (roughly 15% of my district are Muslims). He's got zero chance of winning and knows it, but he's running these ads as a result of a federal law that says, because he's a candidate for office, they have to run his ads no matter what. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:08, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
On the pro-life one, as always, my comment is "unless you have a womb, shut the fuck up". Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:21, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Could you make that "have or had" just so my wife doesn't feel excluded? Redchuck.gif ГенгисmaraudingModerator 18:56, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
"unless you have a womb, shut the fuck up", it takes two to tango, my testicles are irritated and itchy. I thought this was supposed to be rationalwiki!!?!?!?![1] Drink. TheCheatI run on alcohol 17:33, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
If that's bad, Tennessee Democrats just elected the vice president of a DC-area anti-gay group and FEMA camp nutter as their U.S. Senate nominee. Then there's some guy running in Wyoming for U.S. Senate who Politics1.com describes as a "Retired Neo-Nazi Mercenary". Not linking to either of those shitheads' websites. Secret Squirrel (talk) 19:15, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

This is a thing, apparently[edit]

The things you find on idle tours of wikipedia. Think how much more touching the euthanasia scene in soylent green would have been on a rollercoaster. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:09, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

That actually sounds like a very scary way to go, to be honest. Basically, it's a rollercoaster that crushes you to death. Not as pain-free and humane as I'm sure the designer would like you to believe. Conservative Punk (talk) 13:33, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I guess it depends on how afraid you are of heights, because you'd pass out long before you feel anything else, then just die while passed out. Cow...Hammertime! 14:30, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure I buy that. I've heard the claim that people who jump off buildings are unconscious or even dead by the time they hit the ground, but I've also heard that debated. And obviously, there aren't many people to ask first-hand. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 14:39, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Jumping off of a building doesn't exert much acceleration on you (i.e. 1G until you reach terminal velocity, then it's at 0), so yeah that's extremely unlikely. It seems this thing would put enormous amounts of acceleration on you (10Gs, which is enough to black anyone out even with training), so this definitely would make you pass out. Cow...Hammertime! 15:55, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I always chuckle whenever I see "terminal velocity" used in relation to people dying. Guess I'm immature that way. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:06, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm personally terrified of roller coasters that aren't designed to kill you on purpose. I can't imagine how scared I'd be of one that was designed to kill you. Sounds just as inhumane as every other method of execution, in that someone is aware they are about to be killed before they are killed. Hipocrite (talk) 14:37, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Only if you assume they are aware beforehand. If they haven't been told that it's a death ride, & don't understand the physics involved, they might just think they're in for a fun ride. Not that there wouldn't still be some ethical considerations in this case. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:18, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
"As for practical applications of his design, Urbonas mentioned 'euthnasia' or 'execution'" Execution? The sick puppy! Now I've got the image of a mad dictator wearing a military uniform covered in medals and a pair of shades, sending 24 of his enemies off on the "Death Coaster".--Spud (talk) 14:46, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm surprised Kim Jong Il never built one. Vulpius (talk) 14:53, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Un looks much more like the sadistic Richey Rich type. Maybe he'll have a secret funfair of death built. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:01, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Urbonas also mentions "dealing with overpopulation". Video & write-up here. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:50, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
In which case, he's even sicker than I thought.--Spud (talk) 07:24, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
This seems like alot of work when almost any Euthanasia method I've ever heard of was just pumping someone so full of painkillers that they just pass out and never wake up again. That seems more plesent then Montezuma's Revenge 2.0 --Revolverman (talk) 07:27, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, one of the most popular methods is terminal dehydration. If you don't particular mind the physical discomfort involved, it's not so bad. Then again, I've only made it about six days. Tisane (talk) 12:36, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Made me think of this. Quarunostril - You can't explain that! 22:58, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

New stats on the decline of religiosity...[edit]

Ole! Ole! Ole! Oh No!. --DinsdaleP (talk) 14:50, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Olé! Olé! Olé!. rpeh •TCE 15:08, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

What the shit is wrong with Americans?[edit]

This absolutely baffles me. How do you get so terrified that you can't engage in passing chit-chat with strangers without being worried they're going to shoot you? People are generally nice, would it kill you to say "Hi" rather than fingering your concealed 9 milli? Fucking paranoids, the lot of ya. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:08, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I would say that this letter is hardly descriptive of most Americans, let alone Michiganders, let alone Kzoo citizens...but not unexpected of an American Christian police officer, current or former. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:11, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Bleh. Having been threatened at gun point by an American for having the temerity to knock at their door (hint, criminals probably wouldn't knock, folks!) and having seen the signs they put up telling people to stay the fuck away from them, I beg to differ. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:13, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
As an American, "Been to the Stampede yet," is what I say before I start shootin'. Just sayin. Hipocrite (talk) 18:14, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Sounds awfully judgmental based on limited experience. Also, if your assessment were true, the Aurora theater shooting would have gone quite differently. As someone who lives less than ten miles from that theater, I can tell you...the mall across from that theater is probably the least safe mall in the area, well-traversed by "gang-bangers" and the scene of many shootings and bomb threats...and yet, not one other person in Theater 9 had a gun or the temerity to shoot back?
Since you want to go off anecdotes, as someone who has lived here all my life, you know how many times I've had a gun drawn on me? Zero. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:18, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Given that the Aurora theater shooting took place in a CS-gassed environment vs a gas-protected assailant wearing full body armor with superior firepower, if someone were to have been armed in that theater, and was not amongst the slain, they probably would have been added to the total. Just sayin! Hipocrite (talk) 18:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
That's exactly what I meant by "quite differently". -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
So, er, not differently at all then? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:27, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) You think that adding one valiant defender to the casualty total is "quite differently?" Because I don't think the difference between "70" and "71" is that different. An armed defender in the theater would have been at a massive tactical disadvantage, what with all the unexpected tear gas, the random innocent bystanders running about, and the target being in full-body armor with a rifle, pistol and shotgun. Also, what he said. Hipocrite (talk) 18:28, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
You seem to think I advocated another shooter/gun-owner in the theater. I didn't. Nothing could be father from the truth. Quit making assumptions...you too, Jeeves. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:30, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Er, no, I think you were saying that the fact that no one had a gun in the theater is indicative of how abnormal this one nutter was. I was merely noting for the record that, in case anyone thought that having more guns in the theater might have helped, that it wouldn't have. Best wishes! Hipocrite (talk) 18:33, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Then you and I are in agreement. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:35, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

See also [2]. Hipocrite (talk) 18:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Anecdotal evidence or not, the right is pandering to this mentality in the States. Scalia's rocket launcher addiction is...well... Osaka Sun (talk) 19:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
You're still talking about a very, very slim majority, not the "Fucking paranoids, the lot of ya" that some would say comprises of the United States' voting population. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:50, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
While not represented in a number in the population these people are the tip of the iceberg indicating an underlying issue with a feeling of personal physical insecurity in the US population. I'm not quite certain whether this is carried over from earlier centuries of Wild West and farmers relying on self-defence or if this is a hype caused by decades of media-overreporting these issues and a seeling point of reported violence, but it is clear it is a problem. The result of this feeling of phyiscal insecurity are these sayings like "If guns are illegal, only criminals will own guns" or having half a dozen safety locks on your door or — and this is the most cancerous result — an increased gun-ownership because well, then you can fight back. Such behaviour doesn't constitute paranoia, but very much a moral panic about criminals in general.
For Americans to get a clue how foreign this constant fear is to Europeans let me make an easy example: when you walk into a supermarket behind somebody who is openly carrying a gun, your first thought might be "fucking gun nuts" but what is your second thought? Probably something like "Oh, well he won't go around shootin' people". In Europe "only criminals own guns" is used in reverse "she/he has a gun, doesn't wear a uniform... oh shit this fella's up to no good [because why else would somebody cary a gun to a supermarket?]" And over here, pretty much everybody thinks this way, can you imagine how it is going to the States with this mentality? "Scared-shitless" would be and understatement. I have no idea how Jeeves has to feel after being held at gunpoint, but I for one in my over 20 years of living in a European country and even traveling to other European countries can exactly tell the number of guns I have seen in my life: 4, one of them being a semi-automatic rifle (I think, I really don't exactly know what it was, but it was big and fucking scary) from a special forces police officer at an airport, the other three being owned by normal police. So, not a single privately owned gun in 25 years. Now that makes me feel safe. --Rutherford (talk) 20:50, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

How does it happen? Simply, gun culture breeds paranoia. This is especially true in rural areas and the south, though it applies in general. In Florida, this is a reality everyone understands: one out of every twenty people has a concealed weapons permit. That's a staggering statistic when you realize that it's based on total population (so it includes everyone under 21, who can't get a permit in the first place), that you don't even need a permit to actually buy most guns in Florida to begin with, and that you also don't need a permit for guns you won't regularly be carrying on your person in the first place. So it's hard to be surprised when things like the Trayvon Martin killing happen, or when you see things like this happen so regularly (these are just a few random stories I've seen in the past couple weeks). Gun sales themselves, are, of course, primarily motivated by fear. The NRA feeds on this, telling gun owners that the government is going to take their guns away. The Republican Party follows suit; this isn't an isolated phenomenon.
As far as the actual fear goes, it spreads quickly to those of us who don't even own guns. Some of my own friends have been bitten by this bug, afraid one day they'll bring a knife to a gun fight - literally. The crazy guy over there has a cache of firearms, while you don't even have a single one. That's not a fun scenario. Even worse though, it produces an atmosphere where it's hard to ever feel like a part of a community, especially for anyone who doesn't fit the usual mold. How does the peaceful atheist, who generally wants to help people, do so in a community full of gun-toting, paranoid Christian fundamentalists? For that matter, how does the peaceful Muslim feel, or the pacifist Indian (who is mistaken for a Muslim), or the gay couple, or even the (Christian) churchgoing Latino who still has to deal with blatant racism? When each person is an island, it turns the next into one, and the next, and the next... soon, it feels like a risk just to go outside, because who knows when your neighbor is going to be drunk out there with his shotgun looking to shoot the next person he disagrees with? It's not long until you yourself are packing heat and freaking out every time a stranger actually talks to you. Q0 (talk) 21:28, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

"Since you want to go off anecdotes, as someone who has lived here all my life, you know how many times I've had a gun drawn on me? Zero." Hey, me too. I once told someone I was from NY and she said "New York, eh? Ever been shot?" Facepalm.png Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:33, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Pft NY crime rate has nothing on ours. ТyNot updated with a witty slogan this week 21:38, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I had a friend from Japan who was terrified to come visit Chicago because he was under the impression that all Americans carried guns everywhere. This is especially entertaining, because Illinois doesn't allow concealed carry under any circumstances, and at the time handguns were banned for everyone in Chicago. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 13:05, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I actually feel safer in Chicago and DC when I visit than I do in BR. ТyNot updated with a witty slogan this week 13:33, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I guess it depends on the area, but wasn't DC the murder capital of the US/world at some point in the recent past? LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 22:41, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

I have many American friends, and not all of them are mass murderers. Doctor Dark (talk) 07:52, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Historical/World War II articles[edit]

Is there any place for historical information here? I didn't see many historical articles here. Maybe ones that serve to suppress biased views could be good? Having slightly encyclopedic content could help attract readers. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector (talk) 00:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Not so much no. If we was going to do a series on a war I'd like to tackle the War of Northern Aggresion firstly. But that ain't going to happen. C®ackeЯ 00:52, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
History is good. Another version of the Hitler Channel is probably not what we have in mind for the site. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 00:54, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
RationalWiki isn't an encyclopaedia. Things need to be at least vaguely defensible as on mission to stay around for very long. General history doesn't really qualify, but I dare say you can dig out any number of historical psuedo-sciences to write about if you're enthusiastic. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:57, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, it's not like we have nothing: See our history category and WWII. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:00, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

If it has pseudohistory surrounding it, like, say, the Civil War, I'd say it's a good candidate. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:30, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I suppose I could to an article about Ilya Ehrenburg. The Nazis and plenty of other people blatantly took what he wrote out of context, attribute completely fabricated and horrific writings to him, and claim that he incited "genocide" against the Germans. You can look at the biography on him at Metapedia, totally wrong. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector (talk) 04:28, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Sounds familiar.... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:48, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Do you know what sucks?[edit]

Having 33 pages that have no links in to them. Come on folks, let's step our game up. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 01:56, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Some of those are fork pages, at least. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:45, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
On it. ТyNot updated with a witty slogan this week 04:00, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
33 isn't bad. Consider that when you start an article you don't know if a) it'll languish in obscurity b) be taken up by others and grow or c) (this is the important one) be marked as irrelevant and deleted. Because of the third option, sometimes it seems wrong to go about adding in links and connections because they'll become irrelevant. Once you realise no one is going to delete it, usually adding into those links is a forgotten task. Keeping an eye on Special:LonelyPages every month or so is the best we can do. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:40, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I'd say only 33 is pretty good. Steven Kavanagh (talk) 14:33, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
And now it is 16. ТyNot updated with a witty slogan this week 14:38, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Atheistic Puritanism[edit]

Not content to fail at atheism, Alain de Botton decides to fail at sex as well. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:30, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

He fails to explain how my odd fetish for having sex with people of the same gender ties back to my childhood. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:13, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
There's a little Christian Grey in all of us. Scarlet A.pngbomination 12:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I always have sex with people of the same gender, but surely that is normal for both homosexuals and heterosexuals? Steven Kavanagh (talk) 14:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
But not for bisexuals? Damn dangling modifiers... Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:06, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
My modifier doesn't dangle - well, not while I'm having sex with either gender. Bad Faith (talk) 22:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

From the depths of the wingnut e-mail forward folder...[edit]

Moochers, looters, and lancet Flukes. ('Cause lancet flukes are parasites, geddit? HAR HAR HAR.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:41, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Someone with an avatar of an eagle and the stars and stripes just commented "We have our heros and they have their sluts." and it got upvoted. Please, never link to that site ever again. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 00:07, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Hey, you read the bottom of the internet, you're responsible for the facepalm. (Parasite.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:14, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
That's like throwing someone off a cliff and saying it's their fault because they were the one that hit the ground. Scarlet A.pngmoral 00:20, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
More like their fault they didn't pull the parachute before they hit the bottom half of the internet, amirite? Q0 (talk) 05:05, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Happie the skateboarding goat[edit]

[3] That is all. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 12:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Wow! A video featuring a skinny American! That is some kind of record. --PsyGremlinParla! 12:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Facepalm.png -- Seth Peck (talk) 14:38, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Macro magic[edit]

For the photographers here, I just found some wonderful macro photos. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 19:08, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The HDR balance is underexposed, it needs more chromatic aberration and f-stops, and besides it's all obviously photoshopped. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 19:36, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I do have a fondness for macrophotography. How people pull it off with insects like that I still don't know. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:05, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not all that hard. The trick is to find insects small enough to fit on a macro photograph. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 21:36, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I can't even get myself to sit still long enough to take an emo MySpace picture in the mirror. Scarlet A.pngmoral 22:12, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I take this to mean you're doing jumping jacks while posting your comments here. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:22, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Am I the only one who looked at that first pic and went "That bug has light/images coming in from a 1,000 different sources, plus those water drops are distorting half of those - that dragonfly probably has one hell of a headache right now."
PS If you have the urge to explain just why dragonflies can't have headaches... don't. It was a metaphor. --PsyGremlinPrata! 09:42, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I thought, "Gee, I didn't think bugs could sweat!" C®ackeЯ 10:24, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I thought it's dead. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 12:02, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

UK Olympics[edit]

You all threw a pretty fun party! and for a country your size, coming in 3rd in total medals behind US and Canada is damned impressive!!--Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 20:59, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Trust me, it came as a surprise to us, too. Scarlet A.pngsshole 21:03, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Canada? Cow...Hammertime! 21:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
LOL china. sorry. --Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 21:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Easy to confuse. Both huge countries where people speak impenetrable languages. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I guess that's the secret: a hosting country apparently has a greater motivation to medal in the events, and spends more time and resources to their athletes as a result. Maybe India should try to get the Olympics themselves to break out? --CoyoteSans (talk) 00:21, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Undoubtedly a good solid motivation, but still a surprise for a country that considers itself small and bankrupt. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 00:23, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems to be a very good one, since at 2010, Canada out of nowhere, came to rule the games at Vancouver, topping it off with gold in Men's Hockey. --Revolverman (talk) 00:32, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I've been really getting into the field hockey. Fuck football, that should be the national sport. Scarlet A.pngmoral 00:34, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Any sport with Jason, Hannibal Lecter, and Terror masks gets a thumbs up from me. --Revolverman (talk) 00:37, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
They say that the host country sees something like a 50% jump in their medal count. Sam Tally-ho! 06:50, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Rep. Paul Ryan is the VP nominee for the GOP[edit]

...reports NBC news. Really, a very surprising choice and probably a foolish one.--ADtalkModerator 06:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

So besides being a "Rising Star" and some plan for Health Care stuff, whats notable about this guy?--Mikal Harass Follow 06:14, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Two words: Ayn. Rand. Obama just got lucky. Osaka Sun (talk) 06:16, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
He's the author of the Path to Prosperity, the "Ryan budget" now nearly mandatory for everyone in the GOP. He's the chairman of the House Budget Committee, and he was already going to be one of the most powerful people in the world because of that and his ideological dominance. But he's never won any statewide office.--ADtalkModerator 06:44, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Given that cynical opportunism is Romney's only abiding character trait, it's hard to imagine this could be true. I think he will almost certainly pick a woman and/or Hispanic. Doctor Dark (talk) 07:05, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Who then? Name a popular RINOish woman/visible minority in Congress, the gubernatorial or mayoral field. Osaka Sun (talk) 07:28, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
So which one is Gordon Gekko? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:08, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
It's being echoed by too many places not to be true. Ryan is the nominee.--ADtalkModerator 07:23, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
It was almost impossible that it would be a woman. Ayotte doesn't bring enough to the table, Martinez can't do it because of a family issue, and Haley is a disaster in her home state. A Hispanic, in the person of Rubio, was marginally more likely, but still not very likely. By a wide margin, the smart money was on Rob Portman, who is safe and boring. Romney's best bet all along has been to just hope for a Euro disaster or something similar, and otherwise hold the line, but I guess his campaign saw that the fundamentals just weren't going their way. They decided they needed a big risky change, so they picked a very personally gifted member of the House with an incredibly polarizing legislative record. Ryan proposed the Social Security privatization plan that went too far for President Bush, and a variety of other really partisan things. He's never held a job outside of Congress, which he joined at 28. Really, really, risky decision here, but conservatives will love it.--ADtalkModerator 07:29, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Conservatives will love it, and Obama will win a second term. Osaka Sun (talk) 07:36, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
One wonders if Ryan will tell all those seniors who are now collecting their social security checks, that they're all leeches according to Saint Rand. C®ackeЯ
Does Romney really have that much of a problem with conservatives? Yes, it was talked up during the primary season. But since then it's become clear that their hatred of Obama is so deep that they'll turn out for Romney anyway. And it's hard to believe he needs to shore up his support in the middle-aged white guy demographic. From an electoral standpoint he has the most to gain from choosing a Hispanic (even an obscure one). Maybe Ryan is it, but it does look like a dumb move for Romney to make, and he's not dumb. Doctor Dark (talk) 07:42, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Romney needed a centrist to garner the moderate vote, he choose to appease the base and will have a nice retirement...unless this is a ploy, I.e. Ryan isn't THE pick but a placeholder for the real (wo)man he's going to pick @ the GOP conwention? C®ackeЯ 07:50, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Why would he bullshit this? The fact that he even considered Ryan will turn off purple states either way.
Or we're underestimating his flip-flop powers... Osaka Sun (talk) 07:54, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
NBC has three separate sources, and there's confirmation all over the place. Ryan is definitely the pick.
It is a mysterious choice, though, to be sure.--ADtalkModerator 08:09, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Not as mysterious as Sarah Palin. Rennie McGreet (talk) 08:43, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is a decision born from desperation. Romney realises he's losing his base and is trying to bring them back. The trouble is that he just turned the election into a vote on Medicare. People like Medicare so Romney will lose (he was going to lose anyway but this will make it worse). Nate Silver wrote a great article on possible running mates and only Portman came close to being a sensible choice. This pick loses Florida for sure. rpeh •TCE 08:52, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

More than just Florida. 99.235.129.26 (talk) 09:21, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but Florida especially given the Medicare thing. You're right, though, that if Obama's team plays this right he could end up with a bigger win than in 2008. rpeh •TCE 09:40, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

What I don't understand about this is what's in it for Ryan? It seems like as vice president he'd have considerably less latitude for doing the crazy stuff he enjoys doing now, and it's my observation at least that being vice president is about as big a political career ender as being president, but without the resulting prestige. Does he view 8 years as Romney VP as a stepping stone to his own presidency next? That seems like a bit of a wild throw of the dice compared to plugging away in congress. Is there any good reason for Ryan to actually want to be VP? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:33, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Simply being chosen to run has guaranteed that Ryan is one of the top GOP candidates for 2016, even if they lose. The GOP has a tendency to nominate those who pay their dues. If they win (which is very possible) then he becomes a lock to be the nominee in 2020. Plus, he doesn't stand to lose anything. Running on conservative principles and losing is not a mark of shame to the GOP (thus Santorum), so the only way he will lose is if something really embarrassing occurs. And that's not likely.--ADtalkModerator 22:18, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Romney can't even announce his running mate without getting it wrong. rpeh •TCE 14:39, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe Romney knows he's going down for tax evasion.... --PsyGremlinSpeak! 14:47, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

What the hell is Romney thinking here? Even McCain's choice of Palin had a certain political logic; they just didn't vet her closely enough to see what was (or wasn't) under that poised and confident first impression. But this choice looks dumb on the outside, and even dumber when you look more closely. Doctor Dark (talk) 19:22, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

In many ways Ryan mirrors Palin. He's a Tea Party favorite, he's young (compared to the 65 year old Romney). Unlike Palin, he is influential in the House of Representatives, and he can be made to look smart on TV. Mr. Anon (talk) 19:42, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
LMFAO! The Romney campaign is already going into damage control mode over Medicare. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:24, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm always amazed when I read this type of shit. Line after line without ever actually saying anything. Here are your talking points; repeat them continuously, and don't ever get bogged down talking about the details. It's so fucking transparent, and yet people apparently buy into it year after year. Q0 (talk) 06:07, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm unsure what you might think is different? (So, yes, it's going to look very similar.) C®ackeЯ

A Paul Ryan theory that I just pulled directly out of my ass.[edit]

The Republicans know they are going to lose this one. By putting Ryan on the ticket, they get some of their key economic ideas out there in a big way, get people writing columns about them, get people used to the idea of gutting Medicare and Social Security, and maybe get Obama and the Dems to move a little bit towards the right on the questions that matter to them. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 20:57, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Or maybe Romney threw a dart. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:24, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll go with the dart. Ryan is the posterboy for everything that is wrong with the business side of the GOP.
Remember the Path to Prosperity and how many years it would take to get back into surplus? The VP debates will be something. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:11, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
My first thought - Romney is trying to flip Wisconsin and the other upper midwest states. He knows he will not win the electoral vote even if he wins every one of the tossup states. Idiotic move if so. Ohio and Pennsylvania are the bigger fish he should have gone after. Second thought - Republicans have a long history of picking weak and sometimes outright imbecile VP nominees. Agnew, Quayle, Cheney, Palin... Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:38, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Cheney is no imbecile. Evil personified, and a mean drunk, but not weak either. 68.116.168.154 (talk) 14:48, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. Bush-Cheney is the ticket where they put the imbecile in front. Vulpius (talk) 16:13, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Ryan will speak to the specifics of the President's failed economic program. And unlike the President (and Senate Democrats), Ryan has had actual specific budgets and proposals on the table for years. (Spoiler alert: I gave serious consideration to running against Paul Ryan in the GOP primary for the seat vacated by Les Aspen in 1993 when Aspen resigned to become the Clinton's Defense Secretary; Wisconsin's 1st District is/was heavily union Democratic dominated with a unique conservative respect for free enterprise bent (we saw this in the Walker Re-Call, when private sector unions voted against AFSCME schemes). Aspen held the seat for 25 years, largely because of no creditable challenger. But Aspen had enough sense to keep arm lengths from Democratic, liberal and progressive economic policies, so he focused on National Security. Is Wisconsin's 1st District representation of the nation as a whole? From a social-political perspective perhaps not. But it's full of ex-unionized unemployed Democrats who know their problems were not caused by Scott Walker, George Bush, or Barack Obama. And they've voted to return Ryan 8 or 9 times now. The job Ryan's done helps me to not regret running for that seat back then. nobsCorporations are people, too 17:29, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Looks like the Ayn Rand KoolAid Stand is doing a booming business. Doctor Dark (talk) 18:13, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Well I regret you not running, Rob. You realize by not doing so you've deprived the world of one of the most hilariously entertaining things ever, right? DickTurpis (talk) 20:17, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
True enough. Ok so I stand corrected on which side of the Bush-Cheney ticket was the imbecile :" Secret Squirrel (talk) 12:29, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Rob, what the fuck are you talking about? Paul Ryan was only 23 in 1993. Why do you lie and not expect to be called out? FlamingModerate (talk) 23:37, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

It's really confusingly phrased, but Rob is saying that he is now okay with his regret over not seeking the seat in 1993, because in 1999 Ryan took it over. The implication is that Rob believes he would have been better than the two interim congressmen, but not as good as Ryan.--ADtalkModerator 00:14, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Rob needn't have worried about taking Ryan's place. Had he run, he certainly would have won, but in '96 he would have been Dole's running mate, causing him to trounce Clinton/Gore. This, however, would have left no room for W in 2000, as Dole/Smith would be cruising to a second term, beating out the Democratic ticket of Phelps/Alinsky. Wisconsin's congressional district would have been ripe for Ryan's taking in '98. As an added bonus, Smith/Palin would have run and won in 2004, easily winning re-election in '08, averting Obama's economic downturn and leaving plenty of room for Ryan/Bachmann this year, who would be clear favorites to ride roughshod over what would have been this year's Democratic ticket of Loughner/Berlet. Rob, by refusing the run you've ruined everything for conservatives across the nation. I hope you're happy. DickTurpis (talk) 02:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
How the history of the world is decided by the flapping of a butterfly's wings. Just think, Conservapedia would not be a global rival to Wikipedia if Rob hadn't been there to protect it from subversives in his rôle as director of counter-intelligence. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 06:36, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's an article in sore need of updating, wp:Janesville Assembly. Let's put it to the local voters for their input. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:20, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Hey dummy. That's a Wikipedia article. This isn't Wikipedia. If you want to talk about working on Wikipedia, you probably should be posting those ideas over there. Dummy. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 19:24, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Hey dummy. This is America. If you wanna talk about U.S. politics, you should know something about it. Democracy Now is about 4 hours ahead of you. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:29, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
"This is America." Looks outside. Doesn't seem to be in America. No, you idiot. It's the World Wide Web. Not America. Fucking tool. Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 21:30, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I saw one Facebook comment that suggested that Romney picked Ryan as an insurance policy against an assassination attempt, because there is no way anyone would want Paul Ryan to become president in the same manner that Johnson and Johnson both did. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:37, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, because when an insane nutjob shoots a President the main thing he's thinking of are the fiscal policies of the VP. Though I remember hearing some people saying that about Bush/Quayle, only as insurance against impeachment, not assassination (which makes a little more sense). DickTurpis (talk) 20:11, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

ToP is onto something. I've often suspected the GOP doesn't actually want to win this election. Why else pick such unlikable people as Romney and Ryan? What's terrifying is that if this is true, then the GOP would rather take a loss than get blamed for what's to come, because there's no way to fix it. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 12:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

What I suspect is that they forsee that Obama's health care plans will take time and we will not see immediate improvement, and people will get impatient, the same way that when Obama was elected in the first place he professed change but then when nothing immediately happened people began getting scared they'd made the wrong choice. Even in Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states of the union, that doubt and confusion caused people to elect a republican for one of our two senate seats and thus nothing got passed for a while because of us: our votes cancelled out. I suspect it's health care because extreme health care views are the only major thing Ryan has to his name, and it's something that people will remember. So my prediction is that they foresee people not liking the health care reform and then think, 'WHY DIDN'T WE GO WITH THE OTHER GUYS' even though Romney and Ryan have nothing for them. And so they won't get a democrat after Obama; they could (if their strategy works) elect anybody they wanted next presidency under the ticket of 'Not Obama, will do that stuff that the GOP promised last time but YOU MISSED OUT ON.'
If that's what they're trying, I don't think it's going to work, though. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 13:02, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
If "Obamacare" goes bad, or takes too long FUD and buyer's remorse might lead to a GOP victory in 2016? That's plausible, and less of a gamble on the GOP's part. My scenario boils down to Reince Preibus saying, "Fuck it, the next 4 years will be a nightmare -Obama can have the White House".

I hope that "Obamacare" succeeds -we understand the good intent, but we need good results. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Overton window shift back to the left a little bit. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 13:31, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I had to look that up. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:43, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Maybe this campaign has now become all about Paul Ryan. It wouldn't be the first time the VP was a running-mate that eclipsed their candidate. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 12:37, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

I think TL;DR hit the nail on the head. There's a lot of good reasons for the GOP to want to sit this one out. Firstly, end of first term elections always heavily favour the incumbent, so there is an incentive for the challenging party to not burn all their electoral capital on a fight where the odds don't favour them. Secondly, as TL;DR said, the chances of anything improving in the next four years is minimal. However, I'm not sure the Obamacare position is right. Though I agree with the view that doubt and impatience will be there, I think it will dissipate into a more general apathy, and it will be less polarising than it is now. I suspect that in 2016, the GOP will play healthcare not as a trump card in it's own right, but as part of a general "BIG GUH-BER-MINT!!!" campaign, no less hysterical, but a lot less Obamacare specific, particularly if the economy dives again.
I think the Overton window desperately needs a leftward shift. At present it's less a window and more like a fish-eye camera lens that's been dropped a few times - it distorts everything to an absurd extreme, creating a view that is technically focused on the real-world, but that is so distorted and broken that it more closely resembles bizzaro-world. That said, I think if anything the window is only going to shift further to the right, and become narrower, over the next few elections. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 12:08, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Paul Ryan: Climate Conspiracist[edit]

The dirt on his denialism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:27, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Is it just me?[edit]

Ryan Wallace.jpg

Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 15:54, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

He reminds me of Joost van der Westhuizen. PS All you heathen New World types don't need to worry. I'm talking rugby... you know, the version of Yank football played by real men. --PsyGremlinHable! 16:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
People should have their ears pinned back before going into politics. Otherwise it gives the cartoonists far too much of an easy handle to play with. Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:50, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Really? I was seeing something more like this. Seriously, though, he looks like Gabe from The Office. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:27, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Anyone else think of Stepford Clone/robot Politicians - all shiny and polished and totally un-memorable/interchangeable ... (blends into a variant of [4]). 212.85.6.26 (talk) 18:37, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Another evening spent among other ways...[edit]

...missing our dear friend Susan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U-NHTW2-Ps

ħumanUser talk:Human 07:11, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure if there is a heaven, she ended up in cheese and wine heaven. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 13:07, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
with kitties! But no, if Susan found herself in heaven she'd've headed out of the first door towards oblivion, such was her strength of (non) faith that these things don't exist. C®ackeЯ 13:14, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Heh![edit]

Ever since I signed Obama's birthday card last year, I've been getting spammed by Obama (and Biden and Hillary and gawd knows who else) asking me to donate anything from $3 to their campaign. For this, I've been offered a chance to have dinner with the Pres, dinner with the Pres and George Clooney and the offer of his eldest daughter's hand in marriage.

I've just been spammed by Mitt Romney. Which tells me that either WND, Conservapedia or CNAV have been selling their mailing lists to the GOP. Mitt wants me to donate $15 to his cause.

For which I get Paul Ryan. --PsyGremlin말하십시오 14:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Is that "get" in the biblical sense? Dendlai (talk) 15:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, if you get Paul Ryan, can you lock him up until he's too old to speak a coherent sentence? I realise it may clutter your basement, but it'll be worth it in the long run. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Now Psy raises a good point: here is case were regulation is definitely needed. At what point should a president actually do the the job he was elected to do rather than pursue is own interests? nobsCorporations are people, too 21:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Odd how Robbo only wants that to apply that to Obama and not to Ryan who is supposed to be serving as a Congressman. For that matter where's the principle of fiscal conservatism for Ryan? After all he's running for re-election as well as the vice presidency, either he's got no confidence in Romney's campaign or he's deliberately wasting taxpayer money by forcing them to run a second election for his congressional seat after he becomes VP. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 01:06, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Lieberman did the same thing, only for an office that actually matters, and a few others have done so as well. I think I read somewhere that Ryan is already on the ballot and it's too late to get his name off if he wanted to. DickTurpis (talk) 01:28, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
So did Lloyd Bentsen in 1988. The issue probably has more to do with resigning the seat and and leaving the district unrepresented for an unusually extended period of time. If an important vote comes up or Budget Committee business, he's available. Likewise Obama did not resign his Senate seat until well after the General Election. Bob Dole did resign both as Majority leader and his seat in late summer 1996, about convention time. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Just when you thought Republicans could not sink any lower[edit]

The official 2012 platform is out. The formally oppose all abortions, as we know, but they've added a new line. "No exception for rape". --Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 15:53, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

I guess I missed this part. Also, a constutional "personhood" amendment. : "Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," the GOP platform states, according to CNN. "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.". Mississippi, ultra libral state it is, failed to pass such a law. Colorado has shot such a law down TWICE, though they good ol boys are going to try one more time............ (for the love of God, make it stop) --Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 15:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
As I said elsewhere, I hope the GOP get a collective "WTF?" vote from the female electorate.
Also, The Onion calls it: “It was absolutely horrific—I felt violated in the worst way imaginable—but thanks to Congressman Akin, I now realize it must, at some level, have been consensual after all.” --PsyGremlinParlez! 16:04, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Link. Throwing all this red meat to the baggers and fundies during a time when most people care about the economy is bound to backfire. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
This is nothing new. That's been part of the Republican platform several times now. Even some of the Presidential candidates have said they don't agree with the "no abortions at all, ever" plank. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 16:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
There's an anti-Sharia law bit too, to combat the... zero... cases of Sharia law in the States. rpeh •TCE 16:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
But let me guess, there is nothing about an actual plan to get Americans back to work; an actual plan to see lower and middle class taxes cut; an actual plan to figure out how to deal with the current health care crisis; but they do say icky gays should go back to the closet, i'm sure.Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 17:01, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I guess they can go lower. Rep Steve King of the US House (had to confirm it wasn't some state kookoo, has now said "I know of NO woman or girl who has gotten pregnant because of stautory rape or incest". http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/steve-king-statutory-rape.php. FFS. Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 17:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't surprise me -- just another day in Wingnuttia for Steve King. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Is the platform actually out? I'm only seeing reports about what it will say when it's eventually released. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 20:00, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
It's out in the same sense that Romney is the GOP nominee - neither is technically true, but everybody knows both will happen. rpeh •TCE 20:05, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, that was a bit flippant - let me give a better explanation of why I think this is now "out". When I woke up (5.15am, London, UK), the US websites were full of headlines like "GOP Platform will likely contain..." etc. At around 2-3pm, this changed to definitive statements. Proper journalists require two sources for a story; I usually require at least three journalistic sources and once CNN, HuffPo, DailyKos and NBC had all dropped the equivocation, I thought it was time to drop mine.
It's possible that the instant backlash will cause a rethink, but any rethink will cause a base backlash instead. Nope. What we're hearing now is what we'll hear officially. rpeh •TCE 20:12, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Ahh okay. I was just asking because I plan on skimming through the finished product and seeing what other nonsense is in there. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 15:14, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you demented? It will eat your brain!  ;-) Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 16:37, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not anti-abortion, mainly because I don't really buy that a fetus is human. However if I did buy that fact, and I did really think that abortion is killing babies then I would not create an exception for rape either. I have respect for viewpoints that are consistent, and I think having an exception for rape babies is inconsistent with the anti-abortion views. It might sound harsh, but I have suspicions about people who claim to be "anti-abortion but not for rape". I wonder if they are really anti-abortion at all. DamoHi 09:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I suspect that the repe exception is just a token so that anti-abortion legislation might get passed. In reality the "pro-lifers" would ban them all, even for headless foetuses. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 09:17, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm so disappointed with humanity[edit]

When I look up "Oort Cloud" on Youtube to see any interesting mini-documentaries, all I get is a load of bullshit about Nibiru --TheEgyptiansig001.png 17:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

the oort cloud is a science fiction construct which has not been PROVED to exist. Nebiru, the destroyer of worlds and home of some aliens who may have been sumerians, or something, is going to whizz in from deep space and take over the Earth for its water. Some sciency guy has said it so it MUST BE TRUE ! I thought we had an article ? Hamster (talk) 03:33, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
On the Oort cloud or Nibiru? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 09:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Zecharia Stichen Hamster (talk) 00:02, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Youtube is full of conspiracy crap. whenever I go to look up synthesizers or bird sounds or old commercials and PSAs, I have to wade through stupid conspiracy stuff. Youtube needs to do what Google did and sort out the SEO brigade. SophieWilder 13:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Tyson's 8 books every smart person should read[edit]

Rather, 8 FREE books. Great list. I sadly have not read 5 of them.--Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 04:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I've got four of them. I've read one of them from cover to cover. I'm also disappointed that the Tyson turned out not to be Mike.--Spud (talk) 08:18, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The Art of War is kind of fun to read, though I fear a lot of it is "the art of stating the bleedin' obvious" some times. "Sun Tsu said, an army needs food, you should feed them!" Dear god, how bad were we at fighting before this guy came along? The Prince is definitely worth it, though I mostly liked the fact that the library copy I had still had the pencil marks from some history student annotating it, making it quite hilarious. Scarlet A.pngsshole 09:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
And Optics is free on the Kindle store too! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 09:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I've tried to read the Bible, but I get bogged down pretty quickly. Genesis and the Gospels can be good, rollicking reads, but you start to get into the rest of the OT or Paul's crap and I find it really hard to continue. The Prince, too, I found rather impenetrable in style, only got about 1/4 of the way into that one. --Kels (talk) 11:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I've read 5 of the 8, and seen the TV movie so many times that I've never really felt the need to read Gulliver's Travels. I don't think you're really missing much having not finished The Prince, it's like reading someone's novella length CV. I know about modern statecraft! The classics too! Hire me as a minister of state! It's almost pathetic. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:06, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
There's another take on The Prince, that it was a sly bit of trolling, masquerading as sycophantic advice. I've read it, but so long ago, and in such coercive circumstances that the impression hardly lingers, thank neurology. Gulliver's Travels left me with a Sensitivity to Writers who capitalize all their Nouns. In Swift's case, it was fun to read. When I see a native speaker of modern Englisch capitalizing random words, I write them off as a birdbrain, by analogy with people who emphasize words inappropriately in speech. I got that notion from a book by Albert Bernstein. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 12:50, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
It's fun, but it is a few trillion pages of "Beware people who do nothing but flatter you, my wise and noble knowledgeable Prince, who surely has an amazing enough intellect to follow my humble advice because his penis is huge". But I think it should be on the list of things world leaders should read. Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:05, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Cogswell. Machiavelli was imprisoned and tortured by the Medici Family, he knew they'd never give him a job. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 14:57, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget Swift's trolling. Makes a good companion piece to Gulliver. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:33, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Gulliver's Travels is worth reading even if you've seen the movie, but make sure you get the adult unexpurgated version not the sanitised children's version. And on a related note I heard a comedy on Radio 4 this morning called Brian Gulliver's Travels which dealt with extreme pedantry and food snobbism, it might appeal to those with a middle class British sense of humour. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 21:07, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

More Radio 4 plugs[edit]

Just noticed a discussion between Tim Minchin and Derren Brown Just a heads up as I haven't listened to it myself yet. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 21:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

And More or Less features an item on Biblical ancestry. The More Or Less podcast is well worth downloading if you're really interested in the unbiased facts behind media numbers. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 21:36, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Well I hope they are LIBERAL unbiased facts, because I hate CONSERVATIVE unbiased facts. Or maybe it's the other way round, I can't remember. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 21:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Dey took our jerbs![edit]

Papers please! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:28, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

GOP's immigration policy can be summed up as "In before Mexicans" --Tweenk (talk) 03:32, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Youth With A Mission[edit]

Just thought I'd share a couple of links on this particular cult:

Interesting reading if you follow the likes of Cult Watch. It's more than just Scientology that does this. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:08, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Most Arrogant Vanity Plate Ever[edit]

I wish I could have gotten a picture of it, but on my way to work this morning, I saw the most arrogant vanity plate I've ever seen: "GODS MVP". There's someone with an inflated sense of self-importance...

(I'm not sure if "vanity plate" is an American English thing or not. Just in case: in America, you can pay extra when you renew your car license plates, and get your choice of "numbers". We call them "vanity plates".) MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 11:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

You can do the same in the UK although we call them "Personalised Registrations". There are restrictions to what you can put on them too. rpeh •TCE 12:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
In the States there are "good taste" restrictions, but at least some states now only take notice if someone files a complaint, except for obvious vulgarities. For instance, I doubt any state would accept a request for plates that said "FUCK YOU".
I once met a fellow Prius owner whose tags read "F OPEC". I asked him how he was able to get that approved. He said that he told the DMV that he worked for "Frank Opec Jewelers" and even created a web site for the company. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:24, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
OMG, the photo is hilarious...hehee. Refugeetalk page 15:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

What is MVP? Which Gods? 212.85.6.26 (talk) 17:38, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Most Valuable Player, pointed-end football, basketball, or baseball. Best guess is they meant the singular diety of Ibrahim, and the number plate factory didn't have any apostrophes at hand. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk)
Maryland doesn't allow punctuation in it's plates (except maybe a dash); it's just up to eight letters, digits and spaces. Our neighbors in Virginia can have more characters, and a wider range, on their plates. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 18:15, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I misread that as GODS MPV.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:04, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

God prepares to smite the GOP[edit]

Hurricane may strike Tampa during Republican convention.

Disclaimer: no, of course I don't believe God is choosing to strike Tampa with a hurricane because the RNC is being held there. But you know darn well that if the Democratic Convention was in the path of a hurricane, there would be ministers across the land claiming God is taking aim at the "Democrat party". MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:01, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Doesn't matter. If they get hit by the hurricane, they'll keep on going and the GOP will insist it proves their perseverance. Some freaks will say that the GOP was punished for ever compromising with Democrats. What will never happen is the acknowledgement that natural disasters happen without the aid of a vindictive control-freak in the sky. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 12:07, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
No, the hurricane is being sent by Obama to cancel the GOP convention. It must be true, Rush Limbaugh said so. --PsyGremlinTal! 12:13, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not the first time a hurricane futzed up the GOP convention. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:22, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Snake dies of man-bite[edit]

That man bites dog is a bit old hand.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:09, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I like how, at the tail end of the article is recommendations on what to do if you, dear reader (sitting 5000km from where this story took place in a city and country mostly devoid of serpents), are bitten by an snake. I thought last week was shark week? C®ackeЯ 19:49, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Paul Ryan: Crypto-Keynesian[edit]

Moved to RationalWiki:Robrail for everyone's sanity.--ADtalkModerator 01:41, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Rate the Candidates, an open poll.[edit]

As the election cycle starts to roll in, I have decided to run a poll on RationalWiki to see what the community and it's users think of the two most likely candidates. With A being outstanding, and F being a dismal failure...

Give a letter grade to Barack Obama....

A3Vote
B34Vote
C32Vote
D10Vote
F6Vote

And a letter grade to Mitt Romney.

A1Vote
B0Vote
C4Vote
D36Vote
F39Vote

Completely unbiased poll, I know. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ I saw a wigwam around here... 17:54, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Romney could be worse. He really could. But they can't exactly field their true nutters for the friggin Presidency, can they? And Obama could be better, sure, but what else do you expect when his opposing party block him at every turn? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:15, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
What have you got against E? PsyGremlinSiarad! 18:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
American. Javasca₧ duuudddeee... 18:29, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
See xkcd. I learned that D- was bad from reading Peanuts. rpeh •TCE 19:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Romney is a better GOP candidate than Dole, W Bush, or McCain. The best in at least 20 years. nobsCorporations are people, too 21:51, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
A good candidate does not a good president make, necessarily. Just because Romney has been able to revise his opinions on most major issues to further his electoral chances, doesn't have much bearing on how he'll do once he gets the job. Uke Blue 01:49, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Even The Economist, hardly known as a leftist rag, describe Romney as "a few vertebrae short of a backbone." Doctor Dark (talk) 03:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
F and F. Free Assange and Manning now. Secret Squirrel (talk) 22:08, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Lock em in the same jail cell and let em become intimate friends. nobsCorporations are people, too 22:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Funny, that's what I think of a couple of presidential candidates. Secret Squirrel (talk) 22:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
To anyone voting F (or A), you do know that by voting F you say this man has done NOTHING that you see as positive, or even neutral (or in the case of A, every policy he has done has done nothing but good.) --Revolverman (talk) 01:25, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Going from American schooling, an A is something like 91-100%, while an F is 0-60%. Even so, Romney is the only one I gave an F. Obama is sitting pretty with a D, which is pretty damn generous if we're talking 61-70%. Closer fit if each of the 5 grades is a 20% span, though. Q0 (talk) 01:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
10pt scale is an AP course or college. Around here:A = 93 - 100, B = 85 - 92, C = 75 - 84, D = 67 - 74, F = 66. And that is the new lenient scale. ТyNot updated with a witty slogan this week 01:46, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, even a failing student is right most of the time. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:18, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
But when you can get 50% for turning up, or as one student put it "if you turn up to lectures, do the work, and hand it in on time you can get at least 50%" Hmmm, funny that... Scarlet A.pngpathetic 09:43, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Let's call Romney what he is: an opportunistic, spineless, idealless power hungry bore. Obama isn't much better, he seems to think any outcome is better than no outcome, that a compromise making the law ineffective is still better than letting the current state be. --K. (talk) 10:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Any outcome is better than no outcome, and that's the dichotomy forced on him by the Republican controlled aspects of the government. By no means is he the liberal progressive socialist that his opponents make him out to be (the Democratic Party are very right-wing by international standards) but his only alternative is to be the President that did nothing except be held hostage to his opponent's stubbornness, and therefore be the President who accomplished nothing, in which case people still wouldn't rate him highly. Considering that the US government is physically set up to resist any form of change and make fixing things as difficult as possible, and the fact that the current conditions amplify this even more that Obama has managed to do anything at all, even stretch his arms when he wakes up never mind passing any laws, is a bloody miracle. Scarlet A.pngmoral 10:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Only if better means he cares more about his popularity and image in history books than about the state of the country. I don't have a problem with compromise per se, I think he makes the wrong compromises for the wrong reasons. Obamacare for example is a shitfest of compromise with moderate Republicans, lobbyists and insurrance companies hard to reach ever again. Instead of making people get insurrance, which only puts a drain on people's pockets, a state-fundet for-profit insurrance company would manipulate the market well enough for prices to go down in the long term. And for the prices of medicine itself price regulations that give a 100%-200% profit margin on the producers would suffice, instead he, and all other US politician would rather sink more money into a broken, rotten greedy system, which in this case is worth than doing nothing because the whole country loses money. That has been a problem with these high-level American politicians, they'd rather take a bad solution that they can pass than a very good solution that will be needed to be pushed through with hard work. And, why not blame the stubbornness on the idiocy of Teabaggers? 40-60% of the country already thinks these people are fucking morons with an axe to grind. Reforms of a political system aren't like crisis management if a flood hits, where a 100 people helping is better than nobody helping, in the political system these 100 people can archieve absolutely nothing and just be a drain on the budget. --K. (talk) 11:22, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Hahah, the joys of relative referencing - when someone thinks it's a miracle that the President of the United States was able to "stretch his arms when he wakes up". I don't know American Politics that well Armondikov, but I reckon you might not be disappointed because you set your expectations a little lower than everyone else. On a related note; what happened to the President of the USA being the most powerful person in the world? Tielec01 (talk) 12:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The only reason I wouldn't grade Obama an outright F is that I know, thanks to the Republican party, that things could be worse. But that doesn't make the few minor reforms that Obama has managed to enact some sort of amazing miracle. And as K. mentioned, Obamacare is simply pathetic. It will help some people, but it's seriously about the worst way possible to implement a national healthcare system. It actually accomplishes more in terms of preserving the status quo than it does in actually changing anything. Not only that, but passing Obamacare will quell the movement for truly universal healthcare for quite some time, and when the cries do return it will act as a convenient excuse to block real reform. You see this type of thing in American history, time and time again.
I also don't buy the idea that Obama himself is constrained by anything other than his own will, and the will of his party. You know what would have sent a great message? A couple failures. Some truly progressive legislation brought forward early in his presidency which probably would have not passed, but at least showed that he was serious in his calls for change. Or even better, cabinet appointments that took the opposite - rather than the same - approach as Bush's did. It's really telling when you see either the same names or the same ideas over and over again, no matter the president. Starts to make you cynical. Pretty soon you're like George Carlin and convinced that democracy in America is a facade.
But, meanwhile, everyone in the 'serious' world is so caught up on this idea that a president can't even act as a moderate (by international standards) and accomplish things, that everything Obama has done (or not done) is excused as obstruction. It couldn't possibly be that Obama doesn't want or doesn't care to really upset the balance of power by passing sweeping reform, could it? Let me ask you this: should we believe Obama's words, and discount his actions as being handcuffed by the system; or should we believe his actions, and discount his words as those of a politician doing what they do best? Q0 (talk) 12:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem I am having with this poll is what are we grading about the two candidates. From Outstanding to Dismal Failure in what? Life? Sex? Poker ability? Campaigning? Politics in general? I am guessing how they would do as president perhaps, although that would be pretty much impossible to assess. --BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 15:06, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you expect far too much of your politicians. Except in exceptional circumstances some sort of muddled compromise is about the best you're going to get. This is one of the things the Tea Party has got horrendously wrong. You do not, repeat not, want people who stick by their principles, you want people who will work with other people to get things done. Remember the old adage about laws and sausages - you really don't want to know what's in them.
Given the complete deadlock in current US politics I think Obama has done a pretty good job. He's tried to get some cooperation from the G.O.P. and, having failed, has done what he could. Sure there are some things I wish he had done but maybe, just maybe, he do some of them next time.
The only question, when standing in the polling booth, is which candidate is more likely to want the same things as me and therefore compromise in the direction I want. Bad Faith (talk) 15:30, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Just realised the ambiguity - the 'You' in the post above was directed generally and not a BMcP who, as far as I am aware, may well be as cynical as myself and is certainly not picked out for special treatment! Bad Faith (talk) 15:40, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
That's all quite close to what my thought process was, just that I look at so many of Obama's/the Democratic policies made the last almost 4 years and start to think "they have done something, but are they getting the job done?" Think for example about the bailouts - sure that was under time pressure and weirdly between office occupants, but they made the problem go away, but did nothing so it wouldn't come back (Glass–Steagall Act, you just have to put it back in place, for crying out loud). I don't want ideologues in office, what I want is people that get that pushing a law through on the cost of the law loosing the wished effect is as effective as mastrubation - yes, sure you did something and it might make you feel better, just that you lost a lot of energy and time and yet there is no effect at all in the world sourrounding you. --K. (talk) 18:35, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, the main issue I have is that the only time it seems like there's this deadlock and supposed need for compromise is when the Democrats are the ones holding the reigns. During the Bush presidency, not a week went by where there wasn't something completely awful Republicans were able to push and make into a reality. And what's worse is not only did they succeed in passing all kinds of terrible legislation, but they also managed to frame the debate even further to the right. Meanwhile, come 2008 when Obama has a clear mandate and the Democrats control both House and Senate, it's 'compromise' from day 1. Q0 (talk) 20:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
As I understand it that's because of a difference in the make up of the congressional parties. The Republican voters are fragmentary, faced with a crowd of a hundred angry Republicans you can easily split them up and get them to turn on each other because they actually don't agree about a lot of stuff. But their congressional members are different, House Republicans who personally disagree with policy X will vote through policy X on a party whip, no hassle. This means if you have a bare majority of Republicans you can win every key majority vote, no matter how distasteful the issue is to some of the members as individuals. And anyone who tries to buck this trend is labelled a RINO and will have to survive on their own in a world where nearly everybody votes party lines. Because the US system makes whips less powerful a handful of well known Republican faces (McCain for example, at least before his presidential bid) could do it, for an issue worth fighting for, but even for them it could be career ending and most can't risk it at all.
The congressional Democrats reflect the variety in their electorate and when it comes to straight majority votes that's a weakness. On almost any issue you can find a handful of Democrats who feel they have a conscientious obligation to vote against the party line for the smallest of reasons. Without a balancing handful of Republicans to vote with the remainder of the Democrats you will lose a theoretically close vote. So you have to compromise to close the gap. And because this happens constantly there is no way the Party can start threatening to kick them out. This makes a small majority for Democrats a much weaker proposition than the mirror opposite. If this explanation is right you should be able to see it in the public records, you should see more consistency in Republicans voting together than Democrats, over say the last five presidencies. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 00:59, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Damn. And I thought Romney was a RINO. He passed mandatory healthcare legislation and even came out against legitimate rape. You'd think having a fellow RINO in the White House would give Congressional RINOs some backbone. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:48, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
.
Right. The classic argument for this is that Republicans are more authoritarian, and willing to vote along party lines because when they get to the head of the party, they want the same boot-step allegiance that the last guy had. This is oddly similar to the mentality that lower class Republicans have about one day getting rich and not wanting to pay taxes on their fortune, by the way. Meanwhile, Democrats are more representative of the rest of political thought, and being more liberal they don't fall in line so easily.
And the implications are seen in practice (as you say, there's more consistency in voting amongst Republicans than Democrats). My objection isn't as much with the fact it's more difficult for the Democrats to pass legislation (which certainly seems true), but that they don't even try, and the immediate compromises they make give undue weight to the arguments of the opposition. Instantly, rather than having a debate pitting universal healthcare against a completely private medical industry, you have Obamacare against the exact same right-wing position. Regardless of the mechanism, the debate moves further to the right.
This type of thing has been going on for years now, and as a result, a large portion of the Democratic Party today doesn't actually support things like universal healthcare - or "can't" because their constituencies will vote them out if they do. Q0 (talk) 00:38, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Anyone else find it odd?[edit]

So it seems that the people who say pregnancy from rape is so rare that it's simply a non-issue are the same people who say that it's important that everyone has the right to (and like should) keep a semi-automatic rifle in their homes in order to kill that guy who's going to break into your house to murder your entire family? Which scenario happens thousands of times per year, and which almost literally occurs not at all? DickTurpis (talk) 03:41, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Rifles? They now want rocket launchers. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:47, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, but even they have to admit they aren't for home defense (I assume). DickTurpis (talk) 03:52, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Dude, fuck rocket launchers:
Nuke2.jpg
This user believes in the right to bear frickin' sweet nukes.
Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:54, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and I have nothing against semi-automatic rifles per se. If I had a lot of spare coin I'd consider buying an M-1 Garand, but I'd admit it's not because I'm worried about intruders murdering me, but rather because they're a lot of fun to shoot, and an historical relic to boot. DickTurpis (talk) 03:55, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Oh yes. Just don't load the orange tipped rounds asking "I wonder what these are?" Or the white tipped. Stick to blue. Or better yet, normal. ТyComplaints here 03:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Odd, yes. Surprised? No. Not at all.--Dumpling (talk) 03:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
As Dumpling said: Odd, yes. Surprised, no. But most of these comments come from men, not women . This is important because how relevant you think an event is to the world is proportional to a) how often it happens and b) how salient it is to you. Let's level the playing field with respect to a for the sake of a thought experiment and assume a murderous break-in occurs at the same rate as rape-related pregnancy (because one becomes more prevalent or the other becomes less, your choice). Then importance to a person is filtered by b, salience. If you're male, you can't get pregnant and your odds of being raped or sexually assaulted are significantly lower. Low salience. But if you've then placed yourself in the position of "I'm the man of the house, see me roar with my testosterone! I will defend it! It is mine!! Rarrr!!!" then suddenly the idea of someone breaking in to your castle and attacking your family becomes very salient indeed. You'll set your priorities accordingly. Now, transfer that thought back into the real world where the respective rates are now far less equal (but still filtered by observation selection effects among other things), the salience still dominates enough to make one a real possibility and one appear as a non-issue. So, hardly surprising at all. In fact, it's the human condition that makes us all think like this, just some have more distorted views than others, and when they clash it looks like insanity from the other side. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:23, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It not only becomes salient, it becomes macho, heroic, self defining, and almost "envied", a fantasy desire for it to happen. "why if i'd been at the shooting in Denver, things would have been different I tell you". (expressed to me somewhat frequently in the weeks following the 'batman shootings'. But, here's a strange twist. Most men, most male gun owners actively work to discourage women from buying and owning guns, at least here in Denver. When you go into a shop you will hear "what does a pretty lady like you need with a gun". "Are you sure you'll be able to pull the trigger when the times comes?" If guns really were about self defense, you'd think they would be pushing them into the hands of the least defended, rigth? 'slain that one to me.--Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 14:20, 23 August 2012 (UTC) And by the way, the US is a big place. What motivates cowboys to be part of the gun culture is NOT what motivates whatever other groups there are out there, likely including the non-gang but never the less "urban" "rap" black male community - if it exists beyond the sterotype.Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 14:22, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
"I'd like something to stop a gang of eight to twenty rapists at about fifty yards, either in group or one at a time". That should do it.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:01, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Would a small nuclear warhead suit your needs? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:00, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

GOP Theme song suggestion list![edit]

Rage against the machine came out and blistered the RR campaign for use of their song, saying in effect "you are what the fuck we are raging against!". Dee Snider of Twister Sister has said "you're not gonna take it (my song) anymore", and told the right to fuck off. So the question remains, what song should the Right use? Someone on my facebook wall suggested "Rape Me", by Nirvana. Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 14:53, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, "Crazy" comes to mind. Although probably "Bitches ain't shit" - but the white boy version. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 14:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
"I don't want to spoil the party"? or for the convention, how about a slight renaming of a Pink Floyd classic: "Several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a Mitt"? rpeh •TCE 15:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
"Well, "Crazy" comes to mind." I was going to go with "Crazy Train" -- too obvious, I guess. How about "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?" from the appropriately titled "We're Only in it for the Money." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:33, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
C'mon, everyone knows YMCA is the ultimate conservative song. SophieWilder 16:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life or The Lumberjack Song. 212.85.6.26 (talk) 17:42, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

"Kill the Poor" by the Dead Kennedys. Except for the line about the neutron bomb all the lyrics fit. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:44, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

That's got a way better chance than "Eat the Rich." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:50, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
While this might seem to be an extreme example, I can't help but think of this song whenever someone on in the GOP says something profoundly ignorant and/or hateful:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ysgG3zNUOgRyantherebel (talk) 18:06, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
BYOB-System of a down--Dumpling (talk) 18:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Dethklok - Dethharmonic. Chorus: If I could write off your murder / I'd save all of my receipts / because I'd rather you be dead / than lose a tiny shred / of what I made this fiscal year / I'd rather you be dead / than ponder parting with my second home. X Stickman (talk) 18:52, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Gang of Four - Anthrax or Mission Of Burma - Academy Fight Song --K. (talk) 20:37, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Dredging up Born in the USA again would also work considering the new immigration plank, as well as winning the usual bonus irony points. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:09, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
This. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. Because Reagan, that's why. Secret Squirrel (talk) 15:12, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • 'You who love your bellies and our morals
  • ...
  • 'Remember one thing for all eternity.
  • First food then morality.' 212.85.6.26 (talk) 15:58, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

. . .I . . Don't even...[edit]

Okay. When a propane tanker crashes on the interstate and spills propane on the road, Baton Rouge goes all Mythbusters and just blows it up to clean the wreck...This explains why traffic was horrible yesterday, and today...and I couldn't even go home by the interstate, because that's the one I take to go home. Still mixed between: THAT'S AWESOME. And...Oh god. Why?--Dumpling (talk) 17:47, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I can't get the following out of my head: Propane is a gas, it can't spill onto the road... Scarlet A.pngbomination 19:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
TOW:Propane is denser than air. If a leak in a propane fuel system occurs, the gas will have a tendency to sink into any enclosed area and thus poses a risk of explosion and fire; so it can, in a way. SophieWilder 22:08, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The Advocate says Isobutane. ТyComplaints here 19:16, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, why go to all the trouble and expense of clearing the gas and towing the truck to the pound, when - for the cost of a match - you can just launch it there. Plus, explosions are cool. More things should be blown up.--PsyGremlinTal! 12:11, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

The Daily Show[edit]

Okay... we Brits have been able to watch this for a month or so (as long as we have a package that includes Comedy Central). My reaction so far is that.... the best bits are great, but they're so few and far between that I'll wait until they get posted on HuffPo so I can watch without the awful cruft. Tonight I have a choice of watching the Daily Show or the 2nd half of Barcelona vs Real Madrid. I'm picking option 2.

Yanks, is the Daily Show really worth the coverage it gets? rpeh •TCE 21:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Why don't you watch it online? The Daily Show website breaks the show up into sections so you can skip the crap. Acei9 21:33, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not available in the UK :( (and I can never find a usable proxy) rpeh •TCE 21:45, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Given that it's only available on something like Sky with a built in PVR why not record it and fast forward through the crap? Of course you ever really know what's crap/good until you watch it.  Lily Inspirate me. 21:49, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty much the same with the daily show. I appreciate what Jon Stewart does and I'm glad he does it, but something about his delivery method just leaves me disliking the show, especially when he does "I am shouting because of anger and/or poorly acted astonishment!" things, which seems to be fairly often (although I might just be having bad luck with the bits I see). It makes me sad because I think his destruction of Crossfire was absolutely perfect. A show with Stewart constantly in Crossfire mode is something I'd pay to see. X Stickman (talk) 22:14, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, I get in NZ so can't understand why UK wouldn't carry it online. Anyway, I used to dislike Stewart but he has grown on me. Acei9 22:18, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem with doing his Crossfire thing all the time is that The Daily Show is primarily a comedy show. Though a lot of the attention it gets is for calling out things other media outlets are reluctant to or refuse to (and it seems to be turning in this direction a bit more lately), Jon can do that because all he's doing is sarcastically commenting on what's being reported. It's true that a good bit of what he does is play a clip and then make a face, but that's pretty much the distilled version of what he'd do otherwise. He's reacting to the reactionaries. It'd be great if he did something that was a bit more serious and focused on holding people accountable, but that seems to be the kind of program in the no-man's-land between comedy and straight news that wouldn't really fit on any mainstream channel. It'd probably get relegated to the internet or channel 4823 in some satellite TV bundle. I watch it cuz it amuses me, and I occasionally get some serious social commentary as a bonus. «-Bfa-» 23:31, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Nah, Colbert is what you want to be watching. The man is an absolute genius, and his writers second to none.
The Daily Show, on the other hand, is like... "The Republicans are a bunch of douchebags who want us to eat shit." Yeah! "The Democrats are a bunch of douchebags who want us to like eating shit." Right on! "So both sides should just stop being mean to each other and come together all bipartisanly for America." ..what? Shouldn't we work to get actual representation instead?
I love the segments of the show which showcase lies and corruption in the media and in politics in general, but I can't stand when Jon Stewart tries to be the voice of reason like that. He's a serial offender of false equivalency, and never comes to the conclusion (at least for the purposes of the show) that our problems are bigger than just political polarization. I simply don't understand how he misses the underlying causes of the very same issues he's able to so eloquently pick apart. He regularly calls out politicians for lying to the populace, and the media for repeating those lies, and yet still thinks a good solution is to just tell them to stop lying and acting in a corrupt manner. Like they're going to stop if enough people write letters and ask them nicely, or something. Q0 (talk) 00:15, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Eh, I prefer the straight "you're a dick" style of TDS to the "sarcastically agree with the ignorant asshole" style of the Colbert Report.
Also, he doesn't go after liberals nearly as much as conservatives, usually because there isn't as much to go after. One segment I remember was titled "You're Not Helping", and it had him telling Rachel Maddow that it probably wasn't a good time to make a point about how Obama's policy differed from Bush's (right after some tragedy, I think it was the Haiti quake). But instead of the "how can you be so idiotic" tone of the conservative-focused segments, it was more of "come on, you know better". Rachel responded by saying that her point was valid, and that she wasn't waving some big banner around. He acknowledged that she had a point, and then started making fun of how pundit blogs were overplaying their disagreement (that they were "unlikely foes" and whatnot).
There have been some mistakes, like initially taking the whole ACORN "scandal" as it was presented (on the first day), but generally it follows reality quite well. I guess it comes down to whether you prefer commentary or parody. «-Bfa-» 16:22, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
@Lily, I don't have Sky I have TalkTalk and if they offer a TVR version, I don't have it. rpeh •TCE 12:40, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't normally watch either Colbert or the Daily Show, but while I was visiting my parents I saw John Stewarts interview with Marco Rubio and was actually really impressed. He actually called Rubio out on his continuous non-answers to questions about republican obstructionism. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 13:04, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

FAQ on radioactivity and nuclear technology - nearly done[edit]

My magnum opus is finally taking shape: User:Tweenk/FAQ on radioactivity and nuclear technology

The article is modeled after the highly successful RationalWiki Atheism FAQ for the Newly Deconverted, and reuses some material from my earlier article that was banned to essayspace. After any outstanding issues are solved I want to put it in mainspace. Additional FAQs could be written to give a brief overview of other broad topics, such as food (would include information on diet fads, weight loss woo, organic food, GM crops...) or economics (information on gold buggery, free market fundamentalism, Austrian school economics...).

Suggestions & criticism welcome. --Tweenk (talk) 03:29, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Looks great to me. Sam Tally-ho! 04:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It's a ridiculously one-sided piece that would embarrass the site. When I got to the bit about mutations caused by radiation being a Good Thing, I actually lolled. rpeh •TCE 05:08, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Remember the Coultergeist claiming that radiation is good for you? Let's say headdesk isn't a sufficient word anymore.. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:18, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The section that says radiation has been used to induce mutations in plants? I think that's very different from "mutations caused by radiation are a Good Thing". For a start, that's just increasing the mutation rate in order to facilitate artificial selection. You can play with the mutation rate in genetic algorithms, and you can see how it affects the rate of evolutionary change, this would just be playing with that figure in reality. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:28, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
What ADK said. Mutating plants is useful and many new varieties were obtained using this method. I don't see how you can go from this statement to saying that mutations are a good thing in general.
Regarding Coulter, she misunderstood the hypothesis of radiation hormesis and presented something which might be true in some way for low doses of radiation as a very stupid blanket statement. The farthest I go in the article is to mention that LNT might not be true below 100 mSv. This is a far cry from saying that radiation is good for you. I can add a question that addresses this point specifically. --Tweenk (talk) 16:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Evolution worked just fine for billions of years with no nuclear power.
I really, really hate this article. You aren't even trying to see both sides - and don't give me the balance fallacy argument. I can see there are really valid arguments for increased use of nuclear power but when I read whitewash like that it turns me right off. rpeh •TCE 17:55, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Evolution worked just fine for billions of years with no nuclear power - What exactly is your point? Radiation breeding has nothing to do with nuclear power.
You aren't even trying to see both sides - and don't give me the balance fallacy argument - What specifically is the other side? That people are afraid of things they don't understand? Why do you think the balance fallacy does not apply here? Isn't it possible for the anti-nuclear movement to simply be wrong?
when I read whitewash like that it turns me right off - point out which particular questions 'turn you off' and I will either add refs that show they're not whitewash or correct them. --Tweenk (talk) 20:15, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
You're trying to link nuclear power to mutation as a good thing. Don't even bother trying to deny it.
The "other side" is that nuclear power leads to waste that stays around for thousands of years (you supply a couple of biased links; it's easy enough to find the other side's view); that nuclear power is safe (ditto); that there's loads of uranium and we just need to look for it (ditto)... Look, basically every claim you make is contested and you only ever supply one side of the debate.
You've made it clear before that you're a shill for the nuclear industry. Just admit it already. rpeh •TCE 20:32, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The mention of radiation breeding is in the radioactivity section, not the nuclear power section. What exactly is your problem with it? Should I avoid mentioning it just because it offends your belief that the effect of radiation are always bad? Where do I say that mutations are a good thing and what exactly does it have to do with nuclear power? I really can't follow your reasoning here.
Waste that stays around for thousands of years: we already have experimental proof that it can be safely stored for billions rather than thousands of years (the natural reactor in Oklo). It is a problem, but it's nowhere near as bad as the millions of tons of fossil fuel waste released directly into the environment every day.
Next, in what sense is nuclear power unsafe? I provided three different objective metrics (workplace accidents, deaths per petawatt-hour and external costs) that show that it is at least as safe as other energy sources commonly considered safe, but you seem to know better. Are planes unsafe? What about vaccines? Should we endorse the 'other side' there as well, even if its views are nothing more than a gut feeling?
Regarding uranium: which part do you think is wrong, the one about current reserves, the one about the potential of extracting uranium from seawater, or the one about breeder reactors?
If something is contested, it doesn't mean it's not true. Chernobyl death figures are contested, but the only thing the anti-nuclear activists can come up with is outrageous pseudoscience such as this. Nuclear safety is contested, but the numbers I provided speak for themselves. Nuclear waste is considered a big scary bogeyman that will destroy civilization, but actual cases of environmental damage or health problems that it causes are notably absent.
Finally regarding your shill gambit, do you really think this is probable given my contribution history and where I live? Or is it just wishful thinking on your part, so that you won't need to consider any of my arguments? --Tweenk (talk) 23:55, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what physical modifications would have to be made to the universe to eliminate positron radiation but I doubt they would be very conductive to the existence of life. Your units missed “times background” a rather messy unit but one that sees a fair bit of use when speaking to the public. At the other end of the scale you missed counts per second which tends to be used in certain industries. New reactor designs are largely meaningless since they haven't been built. Of those that have been built we can probably at this point say that we can operate light water reactors fairly safely. Problem is that they burn through our uranium reserves at an unacceptable rate. “A terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant would be very unlikely to succeed” completely false. The limited amount of available data (mostly how far various groups have managed to get into plants and what other supposedly secure locations urban explorers have managed to get into) suggests that the typical security at a nuclear plant is pretty pathetic (nuclear submarines being an exception). Any terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant can be expected to succeed (the reality is that those things are hard to stop remember the mortar attack on 10 downing street) the question is how much damage they would do.
nuclear reprocessing isn't too common at the moment
nuclear waste is released into the environment in some cases. Have you ever worked with radioactives?
Taking the US nuclear insurance pool seriously is not very sensible. In the event of something happening that needs it all the other reactors are likely to be facing to many expenses in terms of upgrades, dealing with the PR damage or simply shutting down to be able to access those kind of funds. Additionally attempts to get companies to build nuclear reactors in the UK on a purely commercial basis have failed. Only the French government backed EDF even considered it.
A couple of the soviet Breeder reactors can't really be considered experimental. However we don't have good data on them.
While you could build a bomb with 80% enriched uranium it would be unreasonable large.
It probably is possible to dodge the IAEA as long as you have a large enough program and aren't in any great hurry. Its unfortunate (well probably not considering its origins) that the British magnox design is so good at breeding plutonium
Your nuclear explosion section assumes an airburst explosion.
“Your Would a nuclear bomb explode when disturbed” section fails to consider the UK's Green Grass design.
You've also forgotten Co60 designs and similar.Geni (talk) 00:44, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I added mention of other kinds of radiation and the "times background" and cps units.
The limited amount of available data (mostly how far various groups have managed to get into plants and what other supposedly secure locations urban explorers have managed to get into) suggests that the typical security at a nuclear plant is pretty pathetic - Examples? There were activist break-ins at some nuclear power plants, but the farthest they managed to get is cooling towers, which are in the low security area. AFAIK none of them entered any safety-critical buildings.
Any terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant can be expected to succeed (the reality is that those things are hard to stop remember the mortar attack on 10 downing street) the question is how much damage they would do - The question is what do you mean by 'succeed'. If by 'succeed' we mean 'blow up the reactor and cause widespread contamination', then the chances of that are extremely low to zero. If we mean 'disrupt plant operations', then the odds of that are somewhat higher.
nuclear waste is released into the environment in some cases. Have you ever worked with radioactives? - I did work with them in a nuclear chemistry lab. The longest-lived nuclide we used was iodine-131, so the waste was simply stored for 3 months in a basement and then disposed of as ordinary lab waste. We didn't flush anything radioactive down the drain.
In the event of something happening that needs it all the other reactors are likely to be facing to many expenses in terms of upgrades, dealing with the PR damage or simply shutting down to be able to access those kind of funds - I don't understand what you mean. This is a liability insurance pool, which means it covers damages claims from the public, not safety upgrades.
attempts to get companies to build nuclear reactors in the UK on a purely commercial basis have failed - you are referring to the Horizon joint venture. It was undertaken by German utilities RWE and EOn, which suffered billions of euros in losses as a consequence of reactionary shutdowns of nuclear power plants in Germany, and had to abandon the project as a consequence [5]. These "attempts" have essentially failed because of the anti-nuclear movement.
Your nuclear explosion section assumes an airburst explosion - true, I made that explicit.
Would a nuclear bomb explode when disturbed” section fails to consider the UK's Green Grass design - do you have a link? I didn't hear about it yet. I added a note about gun-type weapons being prone to accidental detonation.
You've also forgotten Co60 designs and similar - this is known as a "salted bomb" which is a theoretical design, it was never built or tested. Somewhat related are neutron bombs, which were built and tested, but are no longer part of any arsenal. IMO these are not important enough to include. --Tweenk (talk) 03:23, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
PS I think it's better to comment about specific points on the article's talk page. --Tweenk (talk) 03:25, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
In UK goverment tests on a magnox reactor the attackers were able to get into the control room and make off with the plant manager (I'm not sure if it is recorded if anyone noticed or cared). Stopping people getting into somewhere requires a lot of serious manpower (3000 police were deployed to keep the eviromentalist mob out of Drax power station) and it isn't cost effective to deploy that kind of force to nuclear power plants on a regular basis.
The most obvious example of nuclear waste being put into the enviroment is deep sea dumping but there are others.
The various power companies aren't sitting around with that insurence pool money. It would have to be borrowed and in the case of a serious nuclear incerdent that isn't going to happen. About the only things rich enough to meaningfuly self insure are goverments and the oil industry.
You've not been following the private eye coverage of the UK's electricty industry
Link to what? Green Grass is hardly a secret. It was a deeply flawed design that the UK deployed because it couldn't build an H-bomb.
You are prepared to consider theoretical reactor designs but not theoretical weapons designs?
Geni (talk) 16:37, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
In UK goverment tests on a magnox reactor the attackers were able to get into the control room and make off with the plant manager - Any source for this?
3000 police were deployed to keep the eviromentalist mob out of Drax power station - which is a coal power plant
it isn't cost effective to deploy that kind of force to nuclear power plants on a regular basis - do you think there will be mobs of terrorists storming nuclear power plants on a regular basis? Moreover, terrorists are a lot easier to stop than anti-nuclear activists, because you can't shoot the latter.
The various power companies aren't sitting around with that insurence pool money. It would have to be borrowed - this is not how insurance works. If anyone has to borrow, it's the insurance provider, not the reactor operator.
The most obvious example of nuclear waste being put into the enviroment is deep sea dumping but there are others - which is currently done by whom? The only instances of dumping high-level waste into the environment happened a long time ago in the Soviet Union, and involved mainly military waste. I don't see how this is relevant to the current handling of civilian spent fuel. I also heard some rumors about radioactive waste dumping in Africa done by the Italian mafia, but they are invariably about low-level industrial and hospital waste. It would be really hard to kill anybody with LLW.
You've not been following the private eye coverage of the UK's electricty industry - possibly because I do not live there?
I found out that "Green Grass" actually refers to the warhead used in early UK fusion bombs called Violet Club and Yellow Sun. I'll add a mention of them. The article does not mention any theoretical reactor designs. Breeder reactors operating on a closed fuel cycle were demonstrated as early as 1969 [6], and AP1000s are under construction in China and the U.S. --Tweenk (talk) 21:14, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The UK has several police forces. Because originally the forces were regional, and because the UK's constituent countries in some cases still have somewhat different laws (most notably Scotland) there are also a handful of additional forces which are national. Some of those forces are routinely permitted to carry guns (unlike ordinary local police who can be trained but have to request external authority to carry). 3000 local cops can form a human barrier to prevent groups of protesters forcing their way into a building. But one police officer with a semi-automatic rifle can offer them a very easy to understand reason why they should obey the signs ordering them to keep out. The nuclear power plants, like the airports, are guarded by those police. The same deterrent (people with, in that case, fully automatic rifles because they were infantry) was used at key military bases when there was a trend for, on the one hand, peacefully invading bases to protest nuclear weapons and, on the other hand, murdering military personnel to protest the continued British presence on the island of Ireland.
Of course shooting people won't necessarily stop them. This is real life, not a Hollywood movie, there are convincing reports of people surviving direct hits to the head and torso, still conscious and capable of carrying out their plans at least for a while. But why get shot when you can achieve so much mischief without even showing your face? They can derail high speed passenger locomotives into a housing estate, deliberately introduce an infectious agent into the water supply for a city, or sabotage a hospital. We rely on our fellow citizens not being comic book villains. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 16:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Good job, Tweenk. I haven't been around for a long while and I'm surprised you still are. --83.84.137.22 (talk) 19:01, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
FYI, in the UK the job of protecting nuclear power stations is done by Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 22:50, 25 August 2012 (UTC)