RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive96

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This is an archive page, last updated 2 April 2011. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Hi all, I know you're all wondering what to buy me for my birthday at the end of the year, so I thought I'd give you enough warning so you can all save up and buy me one of these. Thanks! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:51, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Wait... £4,500?? That's about R60,000. Shit, can't buy a car for that. And it'll be perfect for dealing with our mini-cab taxis. Ok, so seeing as you 'orrible lot didn't buy me anything this year... --PsyGremlinPraat! 14:00, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Aah damnit! "All under deposit". Looks like I'm not the only one to spot a bargain. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:04, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
This one is still available though. Not quite as snazzy, but I'm not really after the looks on this purchase. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:06, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
OOOHH command model! ТyTalk. 14:09, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I'm more interested in one of those gazelle helicopters they're flogging off. If you can get me one with the original 20mm cannon, I'd be obliged to you. Thanks, rich uncle rationalwiki. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:53, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
+VAT, so I think you'll find it's closer to £6000 overall. Still, a steal for what it is. Scarlet A.pngsshole 15:42, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah but no VAT if I'm outside the EU, so you see, it makes economic sense to tell Crundy to hop it and buy one for me instead. --PsyGremlinTala! 15:58, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Shipping may be a bit of a problem. ТyTalk. 15:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
No MPG figures though. And no seatbelts too I expect.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:10, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
In the case of this behemoth, "MPG" probably means "meters per gallon." Tetronian you're clueless 19:28, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Japan quake[edit]

8.9, carnage. It comes suspiciously hot on the heels of the New Zealand quake. Reckon the pacific ring of fire is ramping up for another domino effect? And if so, could that long-overdue San Francisco quake be right around the corner? ONE / TALK 08:42, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Bloody hell. Apparently the tsunami is on its way to other islands as well, and could reach as far as Chile. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:50, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Us here on the pacific ring watch with trepidation. Ace of Spades 10:34, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Been trying to get hold of friends of mine in Tokyo. Nothing yet, guessing power/communications still down. I remember raising the point though when Eyjafjallajökull was blowing it's top - I'm sure we've seen a helluva lot more volcano & earthquake activity in the last 2 years. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 10:40, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Been watching the news, Tokyo seems OK. As an aside I was talking to a friend yesterday who said these eaerthquakes were caused (more like "helped") by the moon somehow. I was at a party earlier, when this Japan business happened, and some othber dude blamed the moon. I thought it weird. Why the moon? Gravity Woo. Ace of Spades 10:46, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I've noticed over the years that a big earthquake in one place is often followed by another one elsewhere. i put it down to meia bias (earthquakes becoming topical) but I wonder... (nowt to do with the moon though, do the seismic waves weaken a fault line?) Totnesmartin (talk) 11:09, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Thankfully Kyoto's ok; that's where our 3rd years are and where we'll be next year (save for one unlucky soul, who'll be spending a year at Keio in Tokyo). I'm pretty pissed about Sendai, because I really liked that place. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 11:17, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
@Totes - there was an article - in New Scientist, I think - about earthquake prediction. It was interesting and raised a compelling possibility that earthquakes trigger more earthquakes. The patterns seem to confirm this. I can see how people might think the moon is involved but one only has to acknowledge the usual perigee/apogee variation to see why it's bollocks. ONE / TALK 12:25, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Who here needs to worry?[edit]

I seem to remember we've got a Rational Wikian is New Zealand -- anyone else in a threatened area? MDB (talk) 11:19, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm a Rational Wikian is New Zealand. Ace of Spades 11:21, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Not me personally, but I know some friends in American Somoa. sterile Pac-Man 11:47, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I am in West Papua, didn't really notice anything. High tide seemed a few inches higher. Lost all net connections. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 21:21, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Earthquakes, the Moon & Woo[edit]

I'm fairly certain that the Earthquake/Moon thing is a form of woo. We're coming very close to a lunar perigee, when the moon is at its closest to the earth. For some reason or another, this'll be the closest that they moon and earth have come since 1992/1993 (can't remember which), and on top of that, it'll be a full moon, so people will see the moon being noticeably bigger than usual. While there may be weak evidence to show that the phases of the moon could line up with natural disasters, it's rejected by most scientists and it's "astrologers" who're crying about how dangerous it is. It's a form of Planetary Alignment woo, and while it might have very, very minor affects on the earth's climate, the fact that the moon is a kilometer or two closer than its average likely doesn't mean anything for earthquakes. You'll find that the Daily Mail is picking up the supermoon paranoia, but it's silly, I think. DalekEXTERMINATE 14:04, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Like I said above dude, Gravity woo. Isn't astrology based on the idea that gravity from the sun/moon/stars affects you? Ace of Spades 20:17, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Pacific plate boundaries are continuously attempting to move but are held back by friction so they build up a lot of potential energy. At some point they "give" and we get an earthquake. I don't see any problem with a minor effect from the moon just being the straw that breaks the camel's back. Similarly other earthquakes could be triggered by the energy released from a previous one, if they are already close to the tipping point. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 21:30, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if they are just about to give any slight extra push would be enough. Be hard to demonstrate though. But I also seem to recall a NS article along those lines a while ago.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:58, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Well shit man, news comes in from Tonga of a 6.1 quake....hmmm...02:56, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Facial hair[edit]

I've been watching the news all day, and it's like a 1980s Open University programme. It's good to see that Professors still look good and stereotypical. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 15:33, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

My mom's friend[edit]

My mom's friend is in the Navy and in Japan, he going to being saving a lot of lives(probably, including his own). I hope he can successfully save his life. You see the military shouldn't be used for wars, but saving people's lives. Colbert|FanThe little guy is putting the man down! 18:52, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

I had the same idea, particularly after one of U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carriers provided Haiti with fresh water. I thought: for a price far lower that one of those carriers, we could make a big ship that contains two or four big reactors, a desalination plant, a medical bay, can carry thousands of tons of food and cruise at high speed. That would really come in handy when a coastal city is hit with a tsunami, a hurricane or an earthquake. The only problem is that it wouldn't have much to do when there are no disasters (but then, so do most armies when there are no wars). --Tweenk (talk) 01:30, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
We should try to stop the need for armies, we can stop wars but it would be hard to stop disasters.
It's impossible to stop earthquakes, sure -- but it's not impossible to stop them from becoming (worse) human disasters. Japan's strong regulations/infrastructure/building codes etc probably saved tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives. Here's a bet for you: one year from now, no Japanese will be living in a tent city or facing a totally uncertain future because of the earthquake. There will not be a massive cholera outbreak either. Compare to NOLA or Haiti. P-Foster (talk) 19:40, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
It's a rich first-world country that pretty much has its shit together. That's why they're currently in need of (and obtaining) expertise rather than just plain cash, for example. (Though DEC is pointing UK people to Red Cross UK, which is collecting money for Red Cross Japan, who will be the experts in applying it with precision.)
In the meantime, my girlfriend is glued to NHK English and is giving me live running updates on a continuous all-day basis, whether I want them or not - David Gerard (talk) 22:48, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Reactor Core Meltdown[edit]

Anyone know how big a disaster a core meltdown in the Japanese reactors would be ? (talk) 22:05, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Locally: huge. Globally, not that big a deal because most of the fallout would spread over the Pacific (I believe). Economically: big. That's all pulled outta my ass, though. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:10, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
There is a lot of misinformation being thrown around at the moment. This report has the facts. So here's what happened:
  • One power plant lost its backup generators, and core cooling was lost for some time. Mobile power sources were installed to restore cooling.
  • There was an explosion in the reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi 1, but it was something non-nuclear. Misinformed journalists think that it was a Chernobyl-style explosion and actually mislead foreign experts into thinking so to get more interesting quotes, but it obviously wasn't, because there was no rise in radiation levels after it occurred. There is no fallout.
  • There is a low-level leak from the damaged unit, though it is currently decreasing. Dose rate at site boundary slightly exceeded 0.5 mSv per hour and because of this people have been evacuated from the area around the plant. (I am quite certain that once the situation stabilizes it will turn out that the evacuations did more harm than good.)
  • Several reactors have to vent some steam to relieve pressure building up inside the containment. This will release slightly radioactive water vapor and air into the environment. This will be similar to what happened at Three Mile Island, but the amount of released radioactivity will be much lower.
I think the failures at nuclear power plants are rather far down the list of worries the Japanese have right now. By the way, I recommend reading this: core meltdown. --Tweenk (talk) 00:35, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
A core meltdown's level of danger depends very much on how the plant was designed to handle a meltdown. Locally is where a meltdown is most hazardous, because it will, at the very least, release radioactive materials (especially gases) into the atmoshere. However, a modern replica of Chernobyl is virtually impossible. From my understanding, the core containment design of these plants is such that, even if there is a total meltdown, any core materials (minus gases released) would be contained to within the 12-foot (about 4 meters) concrete walls of the reactor. Unlike Chernobyl (which had 3 foot thick graphite walls which ignited from the heat), these concrete walls make all the difference between a meltdown being a "problem" (like 3 Mile Island) and a complete catastrophe (like Chernobyl). Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 03:35, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
It also helps not to have your plant staffed by incompetents. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:42, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
(EC) That's about right. Also, there will not be any meltdown. The reactors have been successfully shut down; fuel fission is down to practically zero. They still have to be actively cooled due to heat from the decay of fission products, some of which have half lives measured in hours. The heat from this secondary decay is what led to the pressure buildup. There was some concern that the decay of fission products, which absorb neutrons and therefore counteract fuel fission, could cause reactivity to go up again. They ruled out this possibility by dumping a few fucktons of boron ions into the coolant. Boron absorbs neutrons even better. Mountain Blue 03:49, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
The biggest problem, from where I stand, is how much extra ammo this will provide to the anti-nuclear crowd. And that always makes Quaru a sad panda.. Quaruhub cap - You can't explain that! 03:51, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
True that. Ironically, most modern plants are designed to handle disasters even if there are a ton of incompetent morons behind the buttons. The Seabrooke was designed, for example, so that safety and emergency mechanisms couldn't be disabled and so that there were triple backups for the safety and emergency systems. At Chernobyl, comparatively, the dolts (for some reason) disabled all the emergency systems before they performed "reactor tests." The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 03:52, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
"The biggest problem, from where I stand, is how much extra ammo this will provide to the anti-nuclear crowd." At least they're not ruining snow like the climate deniers. Faux News Flash: It snowed in Podunk today, so Al Gore needs to shut up! Hurr durr! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:59, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
K thanks, getting reliable info is pretty hard. The news media seems to be printing anything instead of fact checking :( Heard today at least 9000 missing in one city alone, initial reports said <300 . I was really curious if the 'china syndrome' was still possible or if the reactors were built to prevent that. At least japan should have the industry to clean up without putting too many people at risk. (talk) 04:21, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
"Reliable info"? That website is run by the WP:World Nuclear Association, an industry group. I'm pretty sure they would not publish anything that would endager the business model of their members and clients, so I don't see how they could possibly be considered a reliable source. Seriously, that's like trying to get objective assessments of a product's quality from ads. Right now, nobody knows what's happening, but it seems like the government is operating on the assumption that there's been a meltdown (two, actually). No matter where you stand on nuclear energy, please don't jump the gun, wait with your judgements until the facts are known. Röstigraben (talk) 08:08, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes. While I am sure they are doing all they can it's pretty obviously not some kind of routine problem. As Röstigraben says the governess is working on the assumption of one partial meltdown and the possibility of another and the situation still does not seem to be completely under control. While people who want to sell newspapers tend to exaggerate things the situation still looks pretty worrying.
On a connected note - and using hindsight - isn't that a silly place for lots of nuclear reactors?--BobSpring is sprung! 10:25, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary Bob, it's a excellent place for lots of nuclear reactors, as they need huge amounts of cooling water. However it could be said that Japan being near a fault line and all... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 12:25, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
For traditional, "Light water" reactors, it is a silly place, yes. In fact, that's why the Chinese developed the "pebble reactor" model, which is far more stable and far less dangerous than the traditional light water reactor. Very little cooling water is required with the pebble model (constrasted to te light water model) to keep the materials stable and a meltdown is almost impossible. Thus why almost all new nuclear reactors in China are designed with the pebble reactor model in use. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 12:31, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Gooniepunk2010: the pebble bed reactor program in China is experimental. Most of the planned 120+ reactors are actually light water reactors.

Röstigraben: there is no reason why an industry group cannot provide reliable information. In some cases it can provide far better information than the general media, because it has easier access to insiders and it actually understands what the insiders are saying (most journalists don't get the difference between steam venting, core meltdown and containment breach). It's best to consider the group's track record. In cases such as the tobacco or fossil fuel industry, the track record is obviously very bad. But in the case of the nuclear industry, there is no history of misinformation, bullshitting or anti-scientific activity. (Unless you include government whitewashing of weapons programs or various Soviet antics - but that's not the nuclear industry, that's guilt by association.) I would be skeptical about their predictions of growth or their reports about public support for nuclear power, but I don't see any obvious reasons not to trust them on purely factual information. --Tweenk (talk) 16:17, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Tweenk, we're talking about a lobbying/PR outfit here, an organization whose purpose is not to provide objective facts, but to improve their industry's public image. It's incredibly naive to think that you're going to get unbiased information from a concerned party, and the "insiders" you mention definitely count as such. Suggesting that the Soviets were the only ones who covered up nuclear accidents and instances of negligence means ignoring the inconvenient fact that Western companies may have overall higher safety standards, but are definitely not very forthcoming with information that could harm their interests. That's not evil or anything, it's simply rational. The companies in this field and their associations do exactly what any other enterprise is doing: they're under a huge pressure to increase profits and cut costs, they'd like to avoid reactor downtime, and they're just as prone to screw-ups as any other venture. Mistakes will happen, yet they'll have a strong incentive to downplay problems, not to mention outright cover-ups. See here, here and here for a few recent examples of such behaviour from Japan alone. The independent (non-industry) media are certainly not immune from economic necessities and pressures either, but you're much more likely to get a complete picture from them. This BBC report, for example, is neither sensationalist nor panic-inducing, it simply gives you a comprehensive rundown of the situation. You, utilizing your website, proclaimed that "there was no meltdown", even though, as has already been pointed out, that's what the Japanese government says. They're tasked with preserving order and have no incentive whatsoever to exaggerate the danger. Hold on to your stance on nuclear energy or abandon it, I don't care about that - most of the arguments on both sides won't be altered by this event anyway. But don't act as if you've got access to privileged information just because you're getting your news straight from a lobby group. Röstigraben (talk) 17:22, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
About my "no meltdown" quote: this was written yesterday, and was referring to the hydrogen explosion which was being misidentified as a meltdown. Since then, there were a few developments and the quote may no longer be valid.
I'm not saying that information from industry groups will be more reliable, only that it can. I'm just against rejecting all information from industry groups on the basis that it comes from industry groups. Newspaper journalists will not fully understand what is going on, but can be more objective. Industry groups will understand the details better, but are less objective. For a complex and widely misunderstood subject such as nuclear power, the balance can swing either way. --Tweenk (talk) 00:38, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
This is a very good report and it doesn't come from an industry source: [1]. --Tweenk (talk) 17:33, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Personally I think the Japanese need to stop over-reacting too soon? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Probably But I did find it kind of funny and then felt bad for finding it kind of funny. Sen (talk) 23:08, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Hard to watch[edit]

I just want to say it's hard to watch the news any more. There doesn't seem to be much hope left, and I feel so awful for those workers at the reactor, and for Japan as a country. If anything, I hope we learn we must do something about energy in this country and in this world or we are headed for ecological disaster, whether by nuclear meltdowns, global warming, or whatnot. sterile Pac-Man 23:39, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I tip my hat, salute and raise a drink to those still fighting to contain those reactors. Hamster (talk) 23:47, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that watching the news is hard, but not because the nuclear-related situation in Japan is so bad. It's because the news are so full of unfounded hysteria. I don't want to downplay the accident because it's serious, but the media focus obsessively on something that did not kill anyone so far, drawing attention away from the very real deaths and suffering caused by the natural disaster. For example, there was a fire in the Chiba refinery, yet I can't find any reports on whether somebody died there. --Tweenk (talk) 02:02, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Japan moved 8 feet, does this change gps mapping ?[edit]

I was reading a CNN report that said the earthquake moved Japan 8 feet sideways, and changed the earths axis by 4 inches or so. Will this mess up gps systems for Japan or are they not that accurate anyway ? (talk) 03:19, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

*hears the distant sound of Andy Schlafly climaxing* Occasionaluse (talk) 03:33, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

being all "filo-sof-fic" n shit[edit]

9:43am and looking out my kitchen window watching these tiny little flys, the size of dust particles, move around in the early sun. The only reason I can see them is because of the early light refracting off their wings. Sort of at wonder over the fact that they only live a day. No mouth, no intestinal system, just a flying reproductive organ. Mate, die, repeat. Ace of Spades 20:47, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Jealous of the lifestyle? Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:57, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Admiring, I think, rather. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:14, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm confused about the "repeat" part. Always thought that once they die, they are dead and stay like that. --Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 17:46, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Libyan intervention... Can someone pls explain?[edit]

OK. Now I don't credit political leaders with an over-abundance of compassion for us mere mortals, so I don't believe for a split second that the UN Sec. Council decision to intervene in Libya has anything to do with protecting civilians, or aiding an uprising against Gaddafi. That said, my knowledge of the political intricacies of Libya-Western relations are not that good, and I'd appreciate some views from you guys on why the west is intervening.

Based on what little I know I concluded a few things, but I might be in the long grass here:

Since Gaddafi came to power, he has moved Libyan alignment away from the West, leaving western companies largely locked out of the Libyan energy sector. Libyan-Western relations have been very bad in the past, with air strikes in the 80s by the USA, but Gaddafi was supported (somewhat coldly) by the USSR and Warsaw Pact nations and didn't fall. Post-cold war West cautiously courts Libya, but only makes mild gains into energy sector. Gaddafi's position remains too strong to install more pro-western gov't.

Then...Shock uprising... Gadaffi is weak! Even better, rebel forces hold the eastern region, which is where oil production is concentrated. I am guessing that western governments and energy interests probed the rebels to try and secure a deal of aid and support in return for access to the energy sector. With the rebels advancing on Tripoli and things looking strong for them, however, they felt in a position of power, and thus had little interest in ceding that much control of the main asset over to the West.

Come the counter-attack by Gadaffi and the tables turned sharply. Without western support/intervention, the rebel forces are finished. The west sees an opportunity and presses the advantage of intervention and support in return for the energy concessions. Rebels have nowhere else to go, so sign on the dotted line.

Long story short, the west is intervening now because it's been able to cut a deal with the rebels to grant them favourable energy concessions in return for support, which did not come before now, as western interests are able to force much better conditions when the rebels are on their uppers.

No sources for any of this, just my own speculations, as I just cannot buy the fact that the west is willing to pour money and equipment into a no-fly zone to protect civilians, and the ideals of the Libyan opposition whom we were happy to sell out just a few months ago. Your thoughts, views??? --TheEgyptiansig001.png 21:27, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

The no-fly zone wasn't requested until last week by both the Arab League and the Libyan transitional forces. There seems to be a lot of mixed messages coming from Western governments and UN types. That smells to me like they got caught off-guard and still don't know what to do yet. The no-fly zone will blunt criticisms that the international community has been sitting on its ass, but it won't be a wholesale intervention in Libya. US ambassador to NATO:
[I]t's important to understand that no-fly zones...really have a limited effect against the helicopters or the kind of ground operations that we've seen, which is why a no-fly zone, even if it were to be established, isn't really going to impact what is happening there today," Daalder said. "And the kinds of capabilities that are being used to attack the rebel forces and, indeed, the population will be largely unaffected by a no-fly zone.
I don't doubt the oil will come into play at some point, but I don't think the Security Council nations were expecting such a widespread uprising across the ME. I think they're still lost in the woods to some extent and implementing damage control. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:23, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Yea, I can see where your coming from there. Western uncertainty has been obvious right since Tunisia, indeed the uncertainty seems to be the only certain factor in all this. I don't think western actions in Libya now are part of any Great ConspiracyTM planned back with Kissinger was young and pretty in 1840-something. Rather, I'm inclined to see it as both political leaders saw a window of opportunity and grabbed at it pretty much instinctively, as it met two handy criteria of helping out their interest groups and also allowed for playing the harp strings of humanitarian concern. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 09:27, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I think the real motivations of Western powers can't purely be reduced to oil. There is a degree of genuine belief in the ideology of human rights and democracy. At the same time, there is a lot of self-interest here too. Rather than the cynical explanation (it's purely about self-interest) or the gullible explanation (it's purely about altruistic), I think the reality is going to be a mixture of both. Both are factors, and action in any case is most likely when these two factors coincide. --(((Zack Martin))) 23:35, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
It looks to me that it will be all over by the time we actually intervene. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:52, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any great oil conspiracy. When the choice is cock-up or conspiracy the truth is almost always cock-up. What I see is massive confusion and multiple interests being involved along with public opinion forcing leaders down a route they would rather avoid. I think western leaders are just making it up as it goes along.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:52, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you can put it down to a single reason, but protecting civilians and doing the right thing is a part of it. Sadly, we've propped Gaddafi up a bit, supported him, because he's been relatively pro-western at points. Guilt, therefore, comes into this. Libya has gained a HUGE amount of press time, and people who wouldn't usually be into foreign affairs are following it. So you've got this perfect storm, really: People are crying for democracy, and dying for it. People are watching this in huge numbers, wanting to help. It could all turn against us: "Why aren't we helping them, when we let Gaddafi go on so long?" That, along with the current oil price (inflated because of Libya uprising) and the simple will to get your name in a history book (come on, this is part of Cameron's reason), all add up to an intervention. DalekEXTERMINATE 17:55, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Oh, Hey.[edit]

Scienceblogs works again. Whodda thunk it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 09:49, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Question from a Know-Nothing about Radiation[edit]

Question from a Know-Nothing about Radiation

I had this discussion with a friend of mine and I have no idea. If a person is contaminated with radioactive radiation, do they actually radiate their environment? Or are their insides simply affected without radiating outwards? My thought was that, to radiate, don't you need some kind of "energy" to "throw" radiation outwards?

Hope that made some kind of sense. Anyway, I hope someone can set me straight about this. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Well, a contaminated person will radiate, that's how detectors can detect it. If you're radiating enough to harm anyone nearby, then you're what's technically known as "dead".The radiating matter, whatever it is, provides its own energy to "throw" the radiation out. 11:21, 19 March 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Radiation poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. It does a lot of damage to the person, but does not cause the person to go into radioactive decay (i.e. to become a source of radiation). I think the radioactive material can stay in the person's system, so others could be contaminated if they came into contact with bodily fluids etc. but the person is not actually radiating. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:30, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
There is a distinction between just exposure to radiation, and contamination by radioactive materials. With radiation, as soon as you stop the exposure you stop further damage. When you have radioactive materials inside you, the radiation just keeps on coming. But it's unlikely to cause that much damage to others around you, most of it will be absorbed by your own body. On the other hand, if you are contaminated with radioactive material, it will likely be on your skin or clothes, which may result in others ingesting or inhaling it, and your own body won't be shielding others from the radiation. For that reason, its important to decontaminate the skin and clothing of those who are contaminated by radioactive materials. --(((Zack Martin))) 11:34, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I guess, for clarities sake I might as well tell what started the discussion. A sister city here in Germany was volunteering to accept children from the danger zone and the news person assured the viewers that they would have been decontaminated before arriving at their host's home. My thought was that someone who had simply suffered "faint" radiation wouldn't radiate, and therfore present no danger to their hosts, decontaminated or not.

Thx for all your replies!

Germany is known for its nuclear exceptionalism. -- (talk) 15:43, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Some radiation is particulate (or in atoms in molecules) and some is energetic (gamma rays). Gamma rays penetrate your skin and are then done; they are quite harmful! Most of the radiation given off that can contaminate is either a gas or finely dispersed solid. You can wash off the particulate material from your skin, and can be detected on your skin. That can be detected. Once you breathe it in, it is bad stuff, as your lungs are being irradiated. But your skin isn't going to glow or anything. sterile Pac-Man 16:24, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Off the top of my head (and in this context) we have alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is really high energy photons and it is highly penetrating. If you get a lot of it you are dead. If you have ingested sufficient radioactive contamination that you are giving off significant quantities of gamma radiation you are dead or dying.
Beta radiation is caused by high energy electrons. They are much less penetrating. Alpha radiation is composed of two protons and two neutrons. They are even less penetrating. The problems with both these last two come about if you have breathed then in or eaten food which contains them. But the problem is mainly to you and not the people around you.
Consequently if a few days have passed, a person has had a shower and changed their clothes, and they show no obvious signs of radiation sickness they should not be a danger to others. --BobSpring is sprung! 17:41, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Some extra info.

  • There is a difference between being irradiated and being contaminated. If you were irradiated, it means you've received a dose of radiation from an external source, usually gamma rays (alpha and beta radiation doesn't travel very far in air). It is impossible to detect whether someone was irradiated with a small dose (say, 10 mSv) unless they were wearing a dosimeter at the time. If you were contaminated, it means you physically got some radioactive material on you. The material continues to decay and irradiate you, so this is more dangerous., but at the same time the material can be detected and removed. To use a crude metaphor, being irradiated is like smelling poo, while being contaminated is like being soiled with poo.
  • The most dangerous kind of contamination is internal contamination, e.g. when you inhale or eat something radioactive, because then you receive not only gamma but also beta and alpha radiation (normally, alpha and to some extent beta are stopped by the skin). Alpha radiation is regarded as 3-20 times more effective than gamma per unit of absorbed dose - if you get 1 milligray (=J/kg) of gamma your equivalent dose is 1 mSv, but if you get 1 mGy of alpha your equivalent dose is 20 mSv. External contamination is less dangerous - you receive only gamma and some beta, and it can be removed e.g. by showering.
  • If a person consumed enough radioactive substances that they emit substantial radiation, they won't live too long. Fortunately, this is extremely unlikely unless you do it on purpose (e.g. drinking a lot of radium salts).

--Tweenk (talk) 18:13, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

The end result of vaccine hysteria[edit]

A measles outbreak strikes my community. Tell me this: do the ends justify the means? The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 14:03, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

What happened in Los Angeles when a vaccination ordinance was submitted to a popular referendum is typical of what would happen anywhere under the same circumstances. The ordinance was rejected, and smallpox spread through the town.
H.L. Mencken

Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:48, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

New interesting pseudoscience subject[edit]

User:Counteraction brought to my attention something known as "second event theory". It postulates that radionuclides which have a very short lived daughter isotope (such as strontium-90) and therefore can be considered to decay with the emission of two particles would be significantly more carcinogenic than other radionuclides. This theory is contradicted by actual carcinogenicity data for strontium-90 and therefore rejected by the scientific community. [2] The main proponents are Chris Busby and an obviously pseudoscientific group called Low Level Radiation Campaign. Debunking time! --Tweenk (talk) 18:35, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Not really worthy of a WIGO[edit]

but among independent voters, Saint Sarah of Wasilla would lose the 2012 election to Charlie Sheen by five points. MDB (talk) 18:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Wow... that's quite funny. I see the poll claims she'd win in a contest including all voters, but I actually disagree - I imagine Dems would vote Sheen to stop Palin (plus having Jed Bartlet as your dad doesn't hurt) and vice-versa. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:37, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
In the extraordinarily unlikely event they were the 2012 candidates, I'd vote Sheen for two reasons:
# You can overcome addiction; stupidity is for life.
# Martin Sheen is a good liberal and could probably knock some political sense into his son on occasion.
Canada would be the best option, though. MDB (talk) 18:42, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Don't forget, Sheen is a WINNER! Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Who is Charlie Sheen, anyway? ТyTalk. 02:30, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
A solid hunk of WINNING. Duh. Blue (is useful) 03:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Wait, wasn't he it that Three Musketeers movie in the nineties? The one with Donald Sutherland's son. ТyTalk. 12:16, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Entertain me[edit]

Read the third tab on the browser

Seriously. You know you are funny and smart. Gawd, I miss 2008 Friday nights on RW... (signed, one cranky old man). ħumanUser talk:Human 02:13, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

There you go. It may be puerile but it made me laugh. (Third Tab on the browser. Good old Guardian).--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 03:03, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not funny or smart, but I am part of the Class of 2008. I don't like Fridays that much, though. New3.pngPink(Signed, one cranky rabbit) 03:51, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
HOW COULD YOU NOT LIKE FRIDAY. GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY. Blue (is useful) 04:10, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I was around in 2008, but I don't remember Fridays as being anything terribly exciting. Then again, I don't remember much about 2008. Didn't the market crash or something? DickTurpis (talk) 04:34, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Now all I have is that shitty "you're so two-thousand-and-eight" song in my head. I hate you all. I'm class of '09, does that count for anything? SJ Debaser 11:56, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah I see SD is also a member of IC ;) ONE / TALK 13:00, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Homeopaths and radiation[edit]

Not sure if it's Ullmann, but some homeopath claims that if Japanese radioactive clouds get as far as California, they will be dilute enough to cure themselves. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:51, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Wouldn't dilute radioactive homeopathic clouds be more radioactive than the equivalent pure material of the same mass? Sen (talk) 20:55, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh you and your cheap skeptic jokes. Only if you bang them against a leather pad and incrementally dilute them.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:33, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
If you diute poison, you get a cure. -- (talk) 21:08, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Radiation != poison. ТyTalk. 21:46, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I tried to make a post at this homoeopathy and radiation site asking where I could buy some plutonium for to make my homoeopathic remedy. Unfortunately it seems to have failed moderation.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:06, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I just posted and it went straight up. I posted "I have a worry! If I use these substances to reduce toxins then what happens once the toxins reach a very low concentration, thus becoming ever more potent?" Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 01:20, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
No it didn't mate - I think they've got one of those you-can-see-your-comment-but-no-one-else-can-until-I've-checked-it's-sycophantic-enough comment-moderation jobbers... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:38, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah nuts. Piece of shit people homeopaths messing around in areas where people can really be hurt. Ah well, ello again anyway. Long time no se DS. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 01:43, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Calling all RWians (My Assfly conspiracy theory)[edit]

Jeeves posted about CP (see WIGO CP talk page) hyping a story about some guy called Arthur Robinson. I knew he was involved with the Oregon Petition and vitamin C quackery, but looking into his background to write the article, I found even more...interesting things about him. Apparently, his "research" institute is affiliated with Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, which Andy worked for. Is there some kind of connection here? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:25, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Don't we already mention that connection in the article?--BobSpring is sprung! 22:18, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought it was only through the petition, but that article also notes the DDP-Schlafly connection. Is there dirt here or just Assfly hyping someone he used to work for? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:27, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, didn't find anything interesting, but I did find this mailing list where a professor says "I would call them conservative propagandists to their face." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:15, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
That's funny, Neb. Dr. Long consistently misspells Assfly's name every time he uses it whilst waxing on in accolade for him. AWESOME. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 04:39, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

gish gallop featured on ED[edit]

[3]--Brxbrx (talk) 01:11, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Femen support Japan protest[edit]

No idea what they're helping with, but I wholeheartedly support protests like thisNSFW! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:31, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't know much Russian but I understood this is not a protest, but a homage to the courage of Japanese people when confronted with a natural disaster. The Japanese flag has something like "All hail the slayers of the dragon" written on it. --Tweenk (talk) 10:47, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
You were looking at the flag? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:50, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I suggest looking at the top-level page (really NSFW). I've heard of FEMEN (they are some kind of feminist protest group), but I've never thought of finding their website...--ZooGuard (talk) 10:59, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I see they were also protesting against a New Zealand sex tour.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:23, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Am I the only one who initially read "Fremen"? Sen (talk) 11:29, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
No. :) --ZooGuard (talk) 11:33, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
This stunt looks more like something the Bene Gesserit would perform. MDB (talk) 12:21, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I could tell you, but I've misplaced my sapho juice. ТyTalk. 12:23, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
"Let's shake boobs and not earth". LOL fine by me. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Best Linux distro for an older laptop[edit]

I've got an oldish laptop (700MHz, 512MB RAM (I think), 12GB HDD) that currently has a very flaky XP install on it. I would like to stick Linux on it, all it will be used for is web browsing, a bit of bit torrenting and the odd cron job - what is the best distro for it? I use Ubuntu on my proper laptop and I'm pretty happy with it; would this old unit run a recent Ubuntu release, or should I be looking at an older one, if so which? Or do I need to search out a lightweight distro? Thanks Linux geeks enthusiasts! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:42, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I had Ubuntu running on a similer desktop 3 years ago. I don't think sys-req has changed that much. ТyTalk. 18:56, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Ubuntu 9 or 10 would go, Lubuntu needs less power but I don't like the interface as much. P-Foster (talk) 19:28, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Lubuntu sounds perfect, I'm just downloading the iso now, thanks P! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:36, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Right, I've dug the lappy out and it's actually a 1.2GHz Celeron, but it only has 184MB of RAM. I tried Lubuntu, after the CD has booted it gives a weird "lubuntu failed while handling '/devices/virtual/block/" error. I tried Ubuntu 10.4 (I already had a CD kciking around) and although it doesn't complain about the lack of memory, it grinds to a halt and crashes after selecting 'run Live' or 'install'. I'm now downloading Puppy Linux, which I believe will at least get the thing running... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 23:57, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Yuh. Debian with something minimal would do the job too. I used to run an ancient laptop with 160MB using twm as the window manager- David Gerard (talk) 14:43, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

(Slightly off topic) Having converted to (GNU/)linux a few days ago, I am loving it so far, but I need to know; what, in your opinions, are the programs I really need to have, and is there anything I can do about the bad compatibility of my amd graphics card? NoodleDickSissyPantsNoodle with me! 19:14, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The AMD open-source drivers are pretty good of late but require a latest-version X and kernel. This is of course made of arse. Programs? Google on the function and "linux" and see if it's in your distro's repo. What distro? - David Gerard (talk) 20:46, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Ubuntu notebook 10.10 NoodleDickSissyPantsNoodle with me! 21:09, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
There's a world of candy, and some of it's not terrible. Not sure of quick ways to make the video lovely, but ubuntuforums is actually helpful when there's help to be had. My 10.10 netbook has added GIMP, Inkscape, LibreOffice (which is actually nicer than OOo), Firefox 4, Chromium, Opera, Audacity, LMMS, Wine and, for work, Lotus Notes - David Gerard (talk) 09:42, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Right, I was getting my old laptops confused; the one in question does indeed only have 184MB of RAM, however it was running Zenwalk linux rather than XP. This distro had failed completely and the thing wouldn't even boot to a terminal. After I had fannied around with various live CDs, I got Puppy to work - I then found that the (12GB) HDD had not a byte free, and this was obviously causing the installed distro to fail. After deleting some shite, Zenwalk booted perfectly again; so I just left it at that. I am however having some script problems, it doesn't like some of the integer comparisons, despite me copying bash from my Ubuntu lappy and plonking it on the old one. I'll find a way around it though... I see that Puppy Linux - whilst an excellent lightweight distro - isn't intended to be installed, rather always ran live, so I think I'll stick with Zenwalk, which does seem to fit the bill nicely. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:06, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


W00t! So we won the 6 nations, although not quite in the circumstances we'd like. I hope they up their game for the world cup this year! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:45, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, well my alma mater lost in the basketball tournament (as a Number 1 seed, mind you), and I am really pissed. Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 03:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I think Ireland deliberately didn't play up to their potential in their other four games to lull is into a false sense of security so they could cane us, taking away the Grand Slam because everyone hates England. I'm watching Celtic v Rangers now. Very good game. SJ Debaser 16:04, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Meh. I support the Wales Rugby Football Union. I add the "Rugby Football Union" bit, because most people think they're called "Wales Lost". --PsyGremlinZungumza! 10:09, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Wales had a very odd session this 6 nations. Didn't play their usual game at all, especially against England. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:21, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
THere's an "Ooops" to this story, as we Celtic nations gloat over a not-quite-appropriate ad that wasn't meant to be seen, or was meant to be seen, but can't be, or whatever.... AHAhahahahaha. DogP (talk) 14:41, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Religion heading for extinction[edit]

WE DID IT!! Release the balloons! ONE / TALK 12:16, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

I fixed your link, it was broken.
I have two reactions: 1) This is obviously a very very good thing, it'll be very interesting to watch things unfold in these nations. 2) At the same time...you can still be irrational without being religious; lack of religion doesn't mean that everyone in these countries will be sane and reasonable. Tetronian you're clueless 12:51, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Best I can tell the study doesn't seem to address the possibility of a basement effect. There are at least s percent of the population who just really want to have a religion of some type.Geni (talk) 12:54, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but if it's just a few percent they will have to live on the lunatic fringe.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:28, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
^ This. I went in for an interview, where the guy giving it had 2 large "facts of the bible" posters behind him. It was really, really hard to ignore. That not happening is great. Quaruhub cap - You can't explain that! 22:26, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Stupid fucking bastard neighbour[edit]

My neighbour rings the doorbell this evening at dinnertime. My housemate answers the door and they exchange pleasantries. My neighbour asks if he can use the incinerator which we have in our garden, as he says he's got a load of porn on old acetate films and "not all of it's legal." My housemate laughs, thinking he's kidding about the contents of the film, so he says yeah, fine, burn the shit. My neighbour goes into our back garden, chucks it in the incinerator bin and sets fire to it. My other housemate goes out to move his car which my neighbour is burning his illicit material next to and asks him about what he's burning. My neighbour says it's £10/20k worth of pornography including images with children and animals, and that the person he was trying to sell it onto wouldn't take it, and that anyone caught with it is going down for 5-7 years. My housemate came back into the house and told all of us this. I was making dinner and I've never lost my appetite so quickly in my life. I had what was basically my only ever panic attack, and I run out to buy a pack of smokes (which I now regret as I'm a-sposed to be clean) and stay the fuck away from the house until I can be sure my neighbour's fucked off. I get home shaking and light-headed and a couple of my housemates have gone to the police station to report it, so I take a few pills to calm the fuck down. My housemates get back and I'm told that in my absence when my neighbour had finished burning it, he told everyone present what he'd just told my housemate about its contents, without a wink or a smile or any indication of I'm-just-taking-the-piss, and then said that if we hadn't got our broadband connection sorted we were "always welcome to use his." Police officer shows up to talk to us about it a few hours later, we show him where my neighbour burnt it and he tells us that an investigation will take place, but without evidence there's pretty much nothing that can be done. I've only just completely calmed down now that the police officer has come and gone.

I don't know why I reacted the way I did as me or no one I know have ever been affected by paedophilia. Everyone else remained relatively calm, although I'm not alone in taking intoxicants tonight. I'm not scared of my neighbour (he's a short bloke in his late fifties that shuffles around like Ozzy Osbourne and I'm a young guy that works out at least four times a week) but next time he comes over I'm asking him if he was telling us the truth and if yes I'm going to throw him out of my fucking house. Unless that was the most ridiculous, fucking stupid joke ever (which me and my housemates are all in agreement from the way he was acting that it was not), I am a total loss as to why you would come over to someone else's house and openly, unabashedly (albeit nervously) admit that you needed to use their property to destroy evidence of what is in mine and many other peoples opinion one of the fucking sickest crimes one could possibly commit. SJ Debaser 00:29, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Smash his face in. Ace of Spades 00:37, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Right fucking tempted to mate. SJ Debaser 00:39, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Shove a axe in his rectum. Ace of Spades 00:42, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
It's one of those fucked up situations that happens. I was talking with a friend the other day about how she was sitting at a table outside a bar when a kid came by and asked for a smoke - which she gave. She knew afterwards that it was wrong, yet she did it at the time. We get thrown off guard by totally messed-up things. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 00:47, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Josh, I've alerted the FBI in regards to your complicity in this event. Why don't you have a seat over there? P-Foster (talk) 00:54, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Tread very carefully here Josh. The filth will know how difficult it will be to pin anything on your neighbour, but you and your friends have already admitted that you aided and abetted the destruction of evidence. The bulk of any investigation will be aimed at you and your housemates; the filth will try to get you to repeat on record that you let him use your incinerator to destroy kiddie porn - then it's game over. Be careful bro. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:29, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not so sure. All Josh did was let a neighbor use his incinerator. There's nothing illegal about that. He has no knowledge whatsoever about what was disposed of; he only thinks it could be kiddie porn because that's what the perv later said. Obviously the perv isn't going to admit to this to any authority figure, so there is no evidence against Josh for any wrongdoing. DickTurpis (talk) 01:56, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Hopefully he was joking. I suspect the police will ignore the contents of the incinerator and start monitoring his broadband, thus you should never take him up on his offer to use it, otherwise if he gets done for downloading kiddy pr0n he can say you guys have been using it. Take a note of all the MAC addresses of the network-enabled devices in your house and tell your flatmates to not connect to his router. If the cops do come knocking then you can hopefully show using his router logs that it wasn't you guys using his broadband. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:27, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
The bit about sharing his internet connection seemed suspicious to me, too. You should definitely not do that, or deal with this guy in any fashion for that matter. Although I think if the police find out he's been downloading child porn, the default stance is that the subscriber is responsible, and he'd have to actively prove that someone else in his network did it. Otherwise, pedophiles could simply keep their networks open and deny any responsibility for what their connection is used for. Then again, maybe he didn't know that...all of this sounds extremely strange and like he was looking for a scapegoat, but I don't think you've got anything to fear. Röstigraben (talk) 09:54, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I might have to go with the joking angle too - if only because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate. Then again, joking or not, it's not the kind of thing you go around saying - especially not to relative strangers, who know where you live. To veer to the other end of the spectrum, he might be running a sting. You know, if you guys said, "Ooh, no, don't burn it, we'll have a look at it," you could have been nabbed - although that's entrapment. Either way, I'd stay the fuck away from him, other than to keep an eye out for young kids around his place. If you suspect anything, call the cops. --PsyGremlin말하십시오 10:02, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Judging by the way he was acting, none of us think he was joking. Pretty much all the things you guys have said were running through my mind last night, but the officer that came over didn't say we'd get done for aiding and abetting, which I did briefly think about. When we asked him what to do with the ashes he said whatever the hell we wanted, chuck it in the trash for all he cares. We've covered our arses pretty well by going straight to the police, so if things kick off later (I'm living in this house for my final year too, so I have to live next to the cunt for another year) we should be alright. Weird thing is he's been a nice bloke to us since we moved in. Gave us a free telly, popped over to have a look at our heating problems over winter and such, and I think I can recall him offering his broadband up to us too. Fat fucking chance on that. He lives with his wife next door and he's told me before he's got one grown son.
He actually said last night he had another batch he was going to bring over later to burn. If he comes over today while I'm in... SJ Debaser 10:40, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Also, change the password on your own wifi, and make sure the new password is WPA2 and seriously strong. Not only do you not want to be on his network, but you don't want him on yours. DogP (talk) 14:45, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Good point from the Dog that I hadn't thought of. And don't worry about aiding him; it wouldn't be in the public interest to try and prosecute you for what you did. If he's talking about bringing another batch over then call the officer who attended and tell them, as they'll probably be interested in searching his house. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:51, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Seriously, before you bring in the law do be sure that what is being burned is actually illegal stuff.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:58, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I think someone asking to use your incinerator to destroy media and stating more than once that it's kiddy pr0n without indicating that it's a joke counts as reasonable suspicion. Also, I can well imagine someone moving into a house and finding an old box of stuff in the attic belonging to the previous owner which contains illegal porn and therefore wants to destroy it (although most sensible people would hand it in to the cops and give the previous owner's details), but he did state that he was trying to sell it to someone else which smacks of him being part of a child porn community which is serious. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:24, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Eh it wouldn't be the first time that a collector of vintage porn has accidentally ended up with stuff that is illegal (it seems unlikely that anyone would set out to trade child porn on filmstock certianly none of the arrests that get reported suggests that the market works that way). You've got to remember that porn used to be illegal in general so those producing it were more relaxed about checking that it didn't involve minors or fail the miller test. Probably the best known example of this is Paul_Reubens. Given how the law is currently constructed destroying the lot rather than contacting the authorities is not an unreasonable approach.Geni (talk) 15:11, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Meanwhile in a site known as "ScepticalWiki" a member person writes: "Man, today I joked with my neighbor that my tax records were originals of kiddy porn films I had to get rid of and he didn't care at all. Amazing what people will do nowdays if you promise them free broadband" Sen (talk) 21:04, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
lol CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:24, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Academics and Wikipedia[edit]

Interesting article on the BBC website about a group of academics who "want to build bridges between the Wikipedia website and formal research."

That's a good idea. It's not like there's a credible encyclopedia written by experts out there after all. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 09:22, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Is CZ credible though? I thought that was one of it's biggest problems. --PsyGremlinParla! 10:03, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I was trying to be sarcastic, but evidently I need more coffee before I can do that successfully. I find that story amusing because it means either the academics haven't heard of CZ, or that they have and consider it irrelevant. Either way, it doesn't speak well of CZ. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:34, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
No, your sarcasm was good. My sarcasm gland, however, is under-developed and requires copious amounts of caffeine to function properly. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 10:50, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
They do raise the point I was going to make in the article. Wikipedia is a good launching pad if you don't really know where to start research on a topic. Follow the citations, read those articles, find the bibliographies, chase down those books, etc. It's what allowed me to complete 12 credit hours while I was deployed. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 11:58, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, that's how you're supposed to use an encyclopedia and what the entire point of any encyclopedia is. WP also has the advantage that you can read the discussion page (if there's content) to see any other views, what people think is lacking from the article and, in the case of some of the chemistry ones, additional data that isn't in the article. At the bare minimum the talk page has a quality rating stamp. People who don't seem to understand this, from the media who claim that Wikipedia is entirely fictional to kids who just copy and paste from it really frustrate me because it's misrepresentation and abuse of a very valuable resource. Scarlet A.pngsshole 06:22, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
No bullshit, there was a student in my English Composition II class who turned in his final thesis using Wikipedia... And when I say "using" I mean "literally printed out the entire article (I think it was capital punishment or something) with the parts the professor was supposed to read marked in yellow highlighter pen". Some people's kids, man... The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 06:54, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm a great fan of that phrase about whether you can't express something better, just quote (whatever it actually is, I forget the wording) but that takes the piss. There was an article in Times Higher Education about that sort of thing being driven by consumerism in education, as if students feel that their fees absolve them of the need to work. It's worrying, too, as there isn't yet an internationally defined standard on plagiarism. Scarlet A.pngsshole 08:53, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Calling astronomers[edit]

I've been watching Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe and have been having trouble understanding some things. He talked about wp:GRB 090423 being an event that occurred 13 bn years ago which we are only now seeing because it is 13 bn light years away. However, 13 bn yrs ago it wasn't that far away as it was only 630m yrs after the big bang so we must have been a lot closer. Have we been travelling away from this at so high a speed (1/20th speed of light) that it has taken so long for the light to catch up with us? I'd be grateful if someone could explain this in a little more detail.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:19, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Ethan Siegel's explanations on Starts with a Bang are really excellent and fun! Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 14:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not so much that we've been travelling away from the event, it's that the space between us and the event has been expanding since. This image kinda helps. It doesn't fully answer your question but I think it's along the right lines, and someone who's better with cosmology than I am (I'm more of an astrophysics person) can probably elaborate. ONE / TALK 16:23, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, the way it got explained to me (lay-person wise) in a geology lecture once was to think of the universe as a deflated balloon and all objects in the universe as dots on the surface. Then blow up the balloon. The dots stay where they are, but the space between inflates. Don't use the balloon analogy for the shape of the universe though, you will be laughed at.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:31, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry if I sound dumb but I still don't get how the radiation has taken so long to reach us; if the universe is expanding we must have been much closer to it when GRB090423 exploded. Is the rate of expansion so great that the light has taken so long to catch up or were we already more than 630m light years away from it when the universe was only 630m years old? Or am I getting confused about the speed of light because I am trying to imagine it within the wrong inertial frame of reference?  Lily Inspirate me. 17:09, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
The space expands and effectively the light takes longer to cross it and spreads out somewhat, it's what causes redshift. It's as if the light is being dragged back by the distortions in spacetime due to expansion. Also, speaking of Cox, he posted this to Twitter recently - as he says, it SPECTACULARLY misses the point. Scarlet A.pngsshole 18:10, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't claim to understand it but this Wikipedia article seems to answer my question.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:27, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
*snicker* The author of the spectacularly-missing-the-point article is described as "the editor of spiked, an independent online phenomenon dedicated to bla-bla-bla". (Self-)aggrandizing much? --ZooGuard (talk) 19:26, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, Cox is pretty pissed off with it. Anyway, I don't think we should worry, I doubt many of the people who propose these theories really understand it. Scarlet A.pngsshole 19:30, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it would be much better explained by inflation. This has the universe expanding enormously at faster-than-light speed in the first fraction of a second of the universe's existence which thus distributed matter colossal distances over the young universe. Accordingly, when the first stars and galaxies formed from the primeval matter they were already a considerable distance apart.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Suck or blow[edit]

So, I'm starting to get overheating issues with my PC that I can't nail down. I've run the stress tests on the CPU and GPU and they both seem happy under load, and the GPU quite happily renders even when running at 92oC. The computer is a lot more stable with the side of the case left off so I'm going to try a couple of case fans to help shift some air around the case. The question is, should I set the fans to suck out the hot air, or blow in cold?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Both. No seriously, why not have two fans on opposite sides? I'm sure others know a lot more but can't you also cool the memory and some of the chipsets?  Lily Inspirate me. 13:22, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Have you cleaned out accumulated dust, cat hair, etc. from the fan that's currently installed? Also, you might want to adjust the flux capacitor. P-Foster (talk) 13:41, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Pulling out the hot air will not add the heat from the fan motors to the interior. There may not be much difference, but I'm more familiar with that arrangement. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:45, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I had to remove the heat sink and wash out all the gunk that was clogging it up - and then all my overheating problems mysteriously disappeared!. Remember to get some silica gel before starting or you're on your way to Maplins (Radio Shack) half way through. Jack Hughes (talk) 13:50, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. Try a good clean out and new thermal paste. Do you have fans in the case? How many? What size? How are they controlled? Occasionaluse (talk) 14:08, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
One fan, at the front, completely unreachable without actually destroying the case. Oh, and gunked up with a significant proportion of dust and wotnot. Unfortunately you just can't get to that fan to clean it. As for the thermal paste, might be the next target if slapping two fans into the side of the case don't provide enough cooling.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 14:45, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Buy a new case. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Some of the things I've seen suggest having an airflow that runs in through the bottom and out through the top (since, iirc, the PSU fans blow out the back. Not sure on that though, I literally can not be arsed to wave my hand around the back of my computer). So set the bottom fans to suck in and the higher fans to blow out. Pretty sure that's what I've got mine doing. Either way you don't want everything blowing air in or sucking air out; you want a consistent flow over as many of the components as possible. I think. This type of thing. X Stickman (talk) 15:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Okay, think I might have found the problem. Then again, maybe not. Take a look at the screenshot, is my -12V rail really only meant to be drawing ~6V, or do I have a dodgy PSU?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:45, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

You don't draw voltage, voltage is just 'there'. It certainly shouldn't be at only -6v, however I think it's more likely that it's a monitoring problem as I think you'd have other problems if it were really only at -6v. As others have said, remove the heatsinks, degrease and refit with some good thermal transfer compound. Increasing the heat flow from processor to heatsink will do far more to keep their cores cool than huge noisy fans. (Also, check that the fallopian tubes aren't clogged and that the glib-shaft on the fan it OK) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:05, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I've removed what I can and cleaned it up. Re-thermal pasted the CPU, which was the only heatsink I could remove, the GPU has one of those covers on that doesn't seem to want to come off, even with all the screws on the back removed and I can't get the heatsink off the bridge chip, 'cause it's got one-way spring-loaded push pins holding it in place and I've never managed to get one of those to go back through the hole. I'll see how it goes tonight and give the old man a call tomorrow, I'm sure he's got a multimeter and knows how to wield one.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:27, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

TiddlyWiki question[edit]

Since the Mob sold me on this thing, hopefully the Mob can help me with something. Try as I may, I can't 1) Get rid of the "Getting Started" tiddler that shows up every time I open the file; I delete it, and it comes back each time I re-open it. 2) Stop the "A script from "file//" is requesting enhanced abilities that are UNSAFE and could be used to compromise your machine or data" message that comes up the first (and only the first time) I edit a tiddler after opening the file. Other than those niggling things, I love it, BTW. P-Foster (talk) 21:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

1) There is a "Shadow tiddler" called DefaultTiddlers which amounts to a list of the tiddlers that you mean to show up at startup. Edit said tiddler (easy to get to it with the search box) to delete "GettingStarted" (and to add any tiddlers you want to see when you light up Tiddlywiki) and you will be the happiest of all possible campers.
TW considers anything in CamelCase to be the name of a tiddler, by the way, or you may use double square brackets in normal wiki fashion, if you don't want to use a camel-shaped name.
2) fuck if I know. I'm using Firefox in some flavor of linux or other, and that doesn't happen on my screen. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:46, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
This has some suggestions for solving it: [4]. If not, it should be on that site somewhere. sterile Pac-Man 23:09, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
There is another shadow tiddler called MainMenu listing the items that show up in the menu bar on the left. I think of those as bookmarked tiddlers. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:26, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
TW does really rock for small-ish stuff particularly for one person to edit. (At least in my opinion) sterile Pac-Man 01:22, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
It rocks so far. I'm curious to see how big it gets before it starts to gum up my system, but i like it. Thanks for the help, folks! P-Foster (talk) 01:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

The Forgotten Man[edit]

Remember that fecking Jesus picture that some dude painted a while back, he's done another since. Here the "forgotten man" is in tears because of "unconstitutional policies" while the Cult of George Washington looks on amazed while that bastard nigger Barack Obama stomps on the Constitution by passing the PATRIOT Act, no wait... erm, what again? I won't deny people patriotism, but really, does it have to make you vomit a little into your mouth in the process? Scarlet A.pngsshole 20:44, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

He doesn't make the mistake of felating George Bush, though, and almost gives Clinton some credit. Scarlet A.pngsshole 20:47, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Didn't realize Thomas DiLorenzo was doing paintings these days. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:56, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I like how Reagen is lumped in with Jefferson, Washington, and Lincoln as a great defender of the common man. - π 11:30, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
God damn, his paintings are a stationary train-wreak made up of regressive talking points and right-wing strawmen. - π 11:34, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
On the plus side, between the Jack Chick tracks and CP cartoons he does paint kinda good. Sen (talk) 21:52, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
That's the worst part, really. Scarlet A.pngsshole 17:29, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
The wingnuttery is fun, but what I really enjoy is his inability to employ symbolism in any kind of subtle manner. For example, Maddison is angry that the constitution is bein trampled on, and of course Obama is show physically standing on an old-looking document. Is he incapable of depicting an expression without rendering it literally? If not, can someone encourage him to do a painting based on the economy going tits-up? Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 19:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
"I like how Reagen is lumped in with Jefferson, Washington, and Lincoln as a great defender of the common man." I also like how Lincoln is right up front but half his caption is "Oh noez! Central banking and income taxes!!!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah there are couple who's placement is interesting. Notice W. Bush is near Obama, but looking at the guy. It is part of that weird post-Bush right-wing analysis. He was Republican, so he was good, but he made a huge debt, so he was bad. He has been retrospectively thrown under the bus as a RINO. Notice that the PATRIOT ACT is attributed to Obama in some exaggerated fashion. Also I like how the First and Fourteenth amendments don't really say what they so clearly read. - π 11:34, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Bible's Buried Secrets[edit]

I just switched on BBC 2 and I'm watching the last 10 minutes or so of this program (9pm-10pm, Tue 21 March 11). It's already making my eyebrows arch: claims like the bibble promotes polytheism; god was married, etc... I've missed a huge part of it so I can't really pass comment, but it doesn't seem to gel with what I remember from reading teh bibble. I'll get the whole thing on the iPlayer, but did anybody else see this? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:44, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

"The majority of biblical scholars throughout the world now accept God had a consort" is one of the claims. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:48, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
It sounds like they're outside the bible. And I thought I remember reading somewhere about God's consort, when he was still a war god, or somesuch.. before the hebrews became monotheistic. Quaruhub cap - You can't explain that! 22:38, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I remember hearing about that. Google says it was Asherah. CarlV (talk) 22:59, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Monolatry needs more refs. Psalm 82 is what we call "just a bit of a dead giveaway" - David Gerard (talk) 23:04, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I know that a literal reading of Genesis in the original Hebrew indicates that god is used in the plural sense and that the one specifically refereed to in the bible is the Lord God, indicating some sort of hierarchy which he sits on top of. - π 01:07, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
You can even go with King James.. I always thought the "no other gods before me" was a bit weird when I was in sunday school, since there was only one god, seemingly. Quaruhub cap - You can't explain that! 03:13, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
A ladygod would explain the otherwise-suspicious circumstance of god having a son.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:13, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
As far as "no other Gods before me" goes... I once met a woman considered herself Jewish and Wiccan simultaneously. I'm not sure how serious she was when she said she didn't put the Wiccan gods before YHWH, just kind of along side Him, so it was okay as far as the commandments were concerned. MDB (talk) 13:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Got to be careful parsing things like "before" in English. My Hebrew is limited to "please," "thank you," and "shit mixed with yogurt" (hara b leben) so the sense of the original escapes me. IIRC Hausa speakers, for example, say something is "in front of" another thing when the thing "in front" is on the far side of the thing it is "in front of," in the speaker's frame of reference.

Did YHWH mean to forbid having gods more prior than Himself? Or was it just not a good idea to have them in front of him where he could see them? It might have meant something completely different in those days. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

But the weird thing is that there were *any* other gods. Whether they were off ballet dancing, rodgering angels or behind, in front of or below YHWH. It's a weird command from the god of a monotheistic cult.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:41, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Can't be asked to do the research myself, but is there any biblical prohibition or encouragement of miscegenation with Canaanites or other such neighbouring folk? I can imagine some Israelite's "bride" keeping a little dolly in the kitchen, offering it tasty scraps and what not... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:16, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I recall something in one of the law books about marrying female prisoners. Judges and Kings are also full of evil wives turning their husbands away from teh lord. ТyTalk. 02:17, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Writeup on the show. It appears the show is irritating the shit out of Christians, who say it's all wrong and bad (Christians I've mentioned it to, a nutter, Ann Widdecombe) even though it's what's actually written in the thing plus actual anthropology and history. I get the impression the wrong and bad bit is showing people just what whacky shit is actually in the Bible. The epistemology of this review strikes me as particularly confused. Apparently actual facts, particularly when combined with the actual text of the Bible, are all an attack on Christianity, or at least the glossy brochure version. Reading the reactions, she appears to be irritating the right people in the right ways. Well done BBC! - David Gerard (talk) 07:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Good quote from that "Telegraph" review:

… there isn't much point trying to attack a religion using facts, …

How true! --Scream!! (talk) 13:08, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

So farewell then...[edit]

Elizabeth Taylor, died age 79.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:33, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I've never understood the whole Elizabeth Taylor thing. I'm 43, and I can't remember her doing any acting of note since, well, ever. She made the leap from actress-famous to famous-just-for-the-sake-of-being-famous a long time ago. P-Foster (talk) 13:39, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
She was a stone fox and a great actor in her younger years. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 13:43, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Check out "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolf" - she was far, far more than a screen siren. Jack Hughes (talk) 13:53, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Sadly, in my case, much heard of, only ever saw her once in a cameo in The Simpsons. Possibly not an actress who crossed into my preferred genre much.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 14:49, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Butterfield 8. She was damned beautiful in her day. DogP (talk) 15:03, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
For those of you keeping tabs / betting. My money's on Kirk Douglas next. --PsyGremlinParla! 15:27, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
That site is blocked at my work as "Tasteless" - hee! --Leotardo (talk) 15:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Ha, I see Patrick Moore first appeared in 1991 and is still going. Scarlet A.pngsshole 19:29, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Apparently, some people died in "-0001". Someone please submit it to The Daily WTF.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:37, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
"Margaret Thatcher - Desc: Milk Snatcher" Hee. Vulpius (talk) 22:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
You can always stay up-to-date if you back Thatcher. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 23:31, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
At Jack, "Who's Afraid..." is brilliant. So is that one with the guy who died young... "A Place in the Sun"? She was brilliant, erratic, and beautiful to the end. We'll miss ya, Liz. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I forgot to mention "The Driver's Seat". Cameo by Andy. Strange film, recommended for people who like strange films and wonder what all the fuss about Liz was all about. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Fuck you, Canada![edit]

I'm so sick of you goddamn Canadians sending your snow and cold down here to the Twin Cities. Either burn more carbon so that global warming can balance out these snowstorms, or (an even better idea) keep all this cold and snow/sleet crap to yourselves so that I don't need to spend 3 hours in night-time traffic driving 30 miles to work. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 15:46, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

It's a beautiful spring day here in the UK, nigh on perfect. The temperature is in the mid teens (high forties to you yanks), the daffs are out, there's early signs of blossom on the crab apple, the pussy-willow is perfect, the catkins are doing their lamb's tails impersonation and the ducks are getting frisky. All and all a great day, weather wise. Does this help? Jack Hughes (talk) 18:10, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Don't blame me, I help clear forests on the weekend.--Thanatos (talk) 19:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
And my day job consumes more electricity in a day than most homes do in a month so I'm definitely not to blame there. Scarlet A.pngsshole 19:26, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Meanwhile, the UK may continue to bask in Caribbean weather thanks to the Gulf Stream. Just you wait, though; when the tipping point comes, and the gyres rearrange themselves, we will see who has what to cackle about. I fully expect to be amongst the fortunate few, but dare not reveal my reasons here; in actual fact, I may already have said too much. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:35, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Here it is a delightful 79 Fahrenheit. . ТyTalk. 20:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Hey, all you have to do is get Al Gore to blow some more hot air, 'mirite? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:20, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, Goonie, we shut off Canada and you can stop sending your shitass weather my way. That's a win-win. Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 22:41, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
And for the record, while we're talking weather, we just had a twister blow through here a couple hours ago, about 5 miles east of me. Tore the roof off of a high school. Luckily, I just got hailed on. Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 22:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan to me, Noise! And if Canada refuses to listen, then I'm sure we can sick the Teabagger and Sarah Palin on them. It was 55 degrees and spring-like last week. Then those damn Canucks sent a winter storm my way to screw up my wonderful weather. Now it's snowy and 12 degrees. Screw you, Canada! The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 14:30, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Anti-virus advice please[edit]

Can you guys recommend a good free anti-virus software (for Windows 7) that isn't a complete attention whore? Don't need anything fancy, just basic protection, + a programme that does its thing in the background without constantly telling me what it's doing & without nagging me to upgrade to a paid service. Thanks. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:34, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Avast! Does its thing for me without shouting at me to buy the professional stuff. Plus, there's always something comforting about hearing the Avast! voice telling you that your virus definitions have been updated.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Windows own security essentials seems to work OK. I don't like Avast as I always thought that the interface was a bit weird and it messes you about every year on the anniversary of the installation trying to get you to fork out. --BobSpring is sprung! 21:35, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Let me be the first... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 21:50, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm gonna experiment with ubuntu sometime when I have more time on my hands. Right now I have other fish to fry & just need to carry on with Windows with as little disruption as possible. The Norton free trial which came with my new laptop ran out a month ago, & when I installed what I thought was a free version of AVG, it turned out to be a free trial as well, which expires in a couple of days. I'm fed up with AVG's irritating habits anyway & want something different. I don't know anything about Avast but will look into it. Thanks for your help guys. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:49, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Malwarebytes or Super Anti-spyware, plus GMER if you think you have rootkits or other open backdoors. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Those are good malware programs (and generally you can have as many of those as you like) but the Windows anti-virus and anti-malware seem pretty fine. But if you're not opening dodgy attachments from emails or clicking on every porn pop-up you see you've solved 99% of your virus problems there. Scarlet A.pngsshole 23:26, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Microsoft security essentials or AVG free edition do the job and both have the VB100 mark. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:51, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I found that AVG ate system resources like a fucker. Although I imagine anyone with a more modern system and didn't run 6 graphics programs at the same time wouldn't be affected as badly. Scarlet A.pngsshole 00:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I used AVG for a while as it used less resources than trendmicro, but now I don't really bother with Windows anymore. ТyTalk. 01:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Social Networking Fail[edit]

In my real life, I run a Twitter feed that I keep almost exclusively for the occasional professional tweet, and I use my real name, though the account has a nickname. But fuck me if I haven't just discovered that there's a fucking Merkin Evangelical preacher with the exact same real name tweeting about God this and God that all the blimmin time. And he bastard uses his my name too, so I can't now go and claim my name back. Fucking hell. It's going to take every ounce of strength I have to not start tweeting porn or atheist stuff like mad, but I just can't do that on an account I've established as professional as possible. Fuck. DogP (talk) 20:43, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Are you a professional pornographer? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 21:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
They don't call me DoggyStyle for nuthin'. --DogP (talk) 22:04, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Have you typed your name into Wikipedia to see how many there are? I have at least 6 namesakes so long gave up on trying to brand myself with that. Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:33, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh hell yeah. At least he down't own my firstnamelastname.com - I've got that, heh heh. DogP (talk) 23:45, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
My sister did a google search on her name and came up with an article on the identity of the Antichrist. We had a good laugh.--Thanatos (talk) 23:48, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
That's an unusual one, professional ice hockey players tend to be quite popular when you self-google. Scarlet A.pngsshole 23:57, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I wrote and released an open source application which turned out to have the same name as a white supremacist forum :-\ CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Well why on earth would you call your application openburnthebamnniggershittlerwasright? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:32, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, on reflection that name could be misinterpreted. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:18, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

♫ I want to break free… ♫[edit]

Today is Houdini's birthday.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 12:30, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

He was also the first man to fly an aeroplane in Australia. Gotta love radio quiz shows. --PsyGremlinPrata! 12:40, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
As sceptics we owe him a lot. He was the original woo-debunking magician.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Harry Houdini This is just a test. If this was a real emergency, you'd be screwed. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Wireless Networks[edit]

Hey everyone, haven't been here in a while but I remember you guys were pretty techy :)

My 7 year old modem just died, so I'm going on a spending spree and buying a new modem/router, HDD and printer. I was looking at the HDD's today, and there were two main types: USB (good to move between computers, not good to keep plugging into/out of laptop) and wireless (good to connect to over network, but cannot connect to computer without wireless connection). Then I was having a look at routers, and some came with USB ports to connect a printer or hard drive... So going on that note, could I buy a normal USB external hard drive, plug it into a wireless router and then access it wirelessly from any computer on the network? And if so, would there be much of a performance hit compared to plugging it directly into the computer?

Sorry for sounding so noob, I only update myself with technology when something breaks... RyanC (talk) 13:43, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I once had a device that was both wireless router and hard drive, I believe it was made by Apple. USB2.0 transmits at 480Mb/s A wireless-n router is something like 200Mb/s so there would be a bit of lag. ТyTalk. 13:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Most routers won't just let you plug in a USB drive and use it as network storage. If you check the specs of the router then it should tell you. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Apple's Time Capsule is a rocking device - wireless n network base station with separate secure guest network, print server, file server and hard drive built-in. Great for backups in the background. --DogP (talk) 16:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
It really depends on what your needs are. How many PCs connect to the router, what do you plan to keep on your external storage and how important is it? In general a USB HDD connected directly to your PC is the fastest. Wireless is always slower than direct connected or ethernet. If your hardware supports it then a gigabit ethernet NAS connected to the router is the most flexible. A modern NAS can give you raid security and built-in iTunes, BitTorrent, FTP & print servers even with your PC off. You can easily make your own with a case and a couple of cheap 1TB SATA disks. Normal 100 megabit ethernet is a bit slow for moving large files compared to a USB disk but is acceptable if speed is not an issue and you need RAID redundancy. I have a laptop, a netbook, Windows desktop, Linux desktop and my wife has her own laptop so the wired network solution with optional wireless is best for me. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 21:14, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

JimJast a sysop[edit]

He's an annoying git, but is that any reason not to demote him and stop him from using up all of our red exclamation points? P-Foster (talk) 21:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Yarr, I be hatin the overusage of our supplys as well. ТyTalk. 22:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I sure wish we had a better policy than "mostly harmless" and been around a few days. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 22:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yarr, we cannot be handing out cutlasses to everyone, or else there be a mutiny. ТyTalk. 22:20, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see why people get so annoyed with red exclamation marks. Ace of Spades 22:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yarr, theys be annoying says I. ТyTalk. 22:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Officially: Meh. Unofficially: yeah, we need to work on better criteria but it's a system that would be impossible to change because we've already given the sysop status to so many "mostly harmless" users already. There's little point in trying to change it. Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:30, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, what I meant to say was NO, WE CAN'T DO THAT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT RATIONALWIKI IS AND IF WE CHANGE IT WE BECOME LIKE CONSERVAPEDIA! Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:30, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
+1 Blue (pester) 01:15, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Yarr, I be agreein. ТyTalk. 01:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
What ever happened to our fun site? Why are we becoming exactly like conservapedia? Ace of Spades 22:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yarr, there be too much crew for a ship that size. ТyTalk. 22:39, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
There are red exclamation marks? --DogP (talk) 23:46, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
The red exclamation system is silly. Can't we just scrap it already? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:21, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's useful. Blue (pester) 03:28, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Seconded. Also, we were doing so well at just ignoring Jim. ThunderkatzHo! 03:47, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I see no reason why pretty much every not-harmful user shouldn't be a sysop. It works well enough. How often does a sysop go mad with an axe? Not often. How often have they done irreversible damage? About zero times. I fail to see that there's an actual problem here - David Gerard (talk) 07:48, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here, I had some spares lying around. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 09:58, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The system works. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:23, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
If the red exclamation points bother you, I can write you a short script to get rid of them that you can put in your vector.js. Blue (is useful) 21:12, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I would say no to sysop-ing him, for lack of contribution, but given by 1 mainspace edit that would be hypocritical. NoodleDickSissyPantsNoodle with me! 17:18, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

A thought on the Westboro Baptist Church[edit]

Considering their recent victory in the supreme court, think there would be any problem if, when Fred Phelps died, I sold tickets and popcorn? Maybe set up a BBQ? BYOB.--Thanatos (talk) 21:11, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

You'll likely not find a person here that would disagree with selling tickets. The popcorn is over the top though. Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 21:28, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
SODOMY IN THE STREETS! - David Gerard (talk) 23:33, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
A bit OTT, David but handing out condoms might go over well. 23:36, 24 March 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
I'd be game for that. Scarlet A.pngsshole 00:48, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with that Noisy person that popcorn is inappropriate. This is an event that demands foot-long hot dogs and as many sausages as possible. --Kels (talk) 03:26, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Don't forget the buns.--Thanatos (talk) 03:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Sausages, hot bogs, bananas, cucumbers, carrots...
Seriously, once ol' Fred gets to find out who God is really upset with, I would imagine his death will not announced until after he's planted. And they will probably keep the location of his grave a secret, or just use land on the Phelps compound. WBC may consist of evil, hate-filled bastards, but they're not stupid.
On second thought, they did try to protest here. Maybe they are stupid. MDB (talk) 11:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Just no relish. Ever. Hank said so. --PsyGremlinParla! 11:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Notability of internet persons[edit]

I can see an emerging kerfuffle. New user Baljit has come along to write "about net nutters", and started off with some guy called Alan O'Reilly. It was deleted as non-notable, which is understandable, because from what I could tell from the article, the most this guy ever did is write comments on blogs. However, after a bit of pressing it emerged that the guy has written a book, which immediately makes him far more notable than someone who just uploads youtubes. Baljit is understandably confused over what the criteria for notability are.

Of course, it could just be the article was deleted too hastily (and when I restored it, I didn't provide a very helpful justification, so I can understand why it was deleted again), but I think the article's creator should have at least been informed that he had three and a half hours to justify his article. Notification aside, such a short span of time hardly seems appropriate (Baljit is not a sysop yet, so he couldn't restore it himself).

Now it might be that a youtube presence makes one more notable than publishing a book, which is fair enough, as this site does have a very internet-orientated slant. But perhaps this should be clarified somewhere. Thoughts? Incidentally, I have a chicken here, and would very much like for it to retain its head. ONE / TALK 09:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I thought that it got deleted very quickly and deserved more discussion.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that was pretty hasty. But no big deal, if you can improve it and show that it's on mission I'd welcome it. That the subject matter fits and the article is accurate is far, far more important than "notability". Scarlet A.pngsshole 11:39, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Goodbye everyone[edit]

This is Trent everyone. With many regrets, I must announce that I am resigning from RationalWiki. You have all provided me some much needed entertainment over the last few years. As you all know, I am a student at McMaster's University in Canada. In reality, I am a conservative young earth creationist and I have been pretending to be a liberal atheist as part of a psychology project, exploring the minds of liberals and atheists. I have posted this from my IP because I will never log into my account again. Have a good life everyone. (talk) 15:19, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

You're a week early for this stunt. Scarlet A.pngsshole 15:21, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
May I just say how much I am entirely convinced this is Trent and how disappointed I am that Trent (who unquestionably wrote this post) has been fooling us for so long. This very believable post saddens me greatly. DickTurpis (talk) 15:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I cannot believe just how massively we've all been taken in by Trent all this time. I think we all need to reevaluate our activity on this site: being so comprehensively outwitted like this immediately undermines everything we've been doing here. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 15:28, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Though I personally disagree with many of the views here, I am an open minded individual which is why I have turned this site over to the RationalWiki Foundation. Although this started as a school project, RationalWiki can live on indefinitely refuting what it considers anti-science. This is no longer my wiki, it is now your wiki. (talk) 15:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Funny, Trent. I didn't even know you were in the UK right now. Punky Your mental puke relief 15:38, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
(e/c) Incidentally, Trent, since you're in the UK at the moment, do you fancy popping out for a drink? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 15:39, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Trent is far cleverer than we thought. It now appears that he has absconded to a cemetery on the Isle of Man.
I have lost track of the number of times I've discovered that everything I know is wrong. It doesn't get any easier as time goes by. I'm just thankful that Trent has credibly revealed his machinations before I gave my life savings to the RationalWiki Foundation. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It's McMaster, not McMaster's, you fucking moron. P-Foster (talk) 16:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
If you're really Trent, which one is your office? Scarlet A.pngsshole 16:21, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Trents saltmine.png.
I would believe in a God if overnight Trent learned how to spell.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I was about to make a similar point. I cannot believe that Trent would write such a thing. Look at the spelling! Look at the punctuation! Where are the trademark-tyops?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Never mind the tyops, where's the gratuitous references to dopamine uptake? Scarlet A.pngsshole 20:51, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Gov. Appointee: "Sex outside of marriage should be illegal"[edit]

What's less surprising, this guy is from Alaska or has ties to Mama Schlafly's Eagle forum? I must say though, the GOP has really gotten bold since November. If they keep doing things like this and Wisconsin, the Dems might still have a chance.--Thanatos (talk) 23:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

The Democrats will always have a chance. They're the only other (realistic) option... Besides, if pre/extramarital sex were to become illegal, at least half of the GOP would be arrested. - Gameboy (talk) 23:53, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Gingrich would be serving multiple consecutive life sentences, for sure. Corry (talk) 01:08, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Since this is a saloon and all...[edit]

Can anyone skilled at bar-tending tell me how, when you're pouring a dram of whisky, you can avoid that one drop that always wants to escape down the outside of the bottle? While I wouldn't consider myself a frugal person, it feels like a sin to let any amount of a fine spirit go to waste. Junggai (talk) 21:10, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Most bars have pourers in their bottles which prevent this. They're not too expensive, if you only buy a few, but not necessarily worth it either for home imbibing. DickTurpis (talk) 21:21, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Do what I do and drink it straight from the bottle. Ace of Spades 21:24, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Buy a big glass and pour the bottle in a oner. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:06, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Pour it like you pour wine - with that little twist at the end.RagTopGone sailing 22:49, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Dude, backwash. Scarlet A.pngsshole 01:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Not if you use a small bottle and down it all. ТyTalk. 01:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Wipe round the top with your finger and suck it! --Scream!! (talk) 02:17, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

These work quite well for wine, so I don't see why they wouldn't work for whiskey. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I've used those for wine but putting them in a bottle of spirits which you are going to re-cork seems like a waste of effort. I'd go for the pourer's privilege of a surreptitious finger lick. On the wine theme has anyone tried these decanting pourers? They look like a good idea.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:40, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Not as cool as this. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Pour it into a litre glass.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Insert a sponge in to the bottle. Once it's soaked-up the whiskey, smash the bottle with a hammer and suck the sponge for dear life. Try not to ingest glass. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 19:49, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Guess who has been selected for promotion to Sergeant First Class?[edit]

Me. With my sequence number I should get it pinned on around the New Year. Hooray! The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 09:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Congrats dude! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
How does this army promotion thing work then? Not like at RationalWiki? You seem happy about it so I assume it's a good thing and therefore I send my felicitations.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Congratulations Sergeant, very well done! SJ Debaser 10:44, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's an E-7, right? Congratulations, from my years working with the military, that's quite an accomplishment. (To be fair, most of the military folks I dealt with didn't work for a living had parents who weren't married were officers. I should be careful, though -- my brother-in-law is an AF captain, and my cousin is an AF Lt. Colonel...) MDB (talk) 10:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's about as high as CP's own swabbie made? How long did it take you, if you don't mind me asking? CS Miller (talk) 13:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, everyone! Yes, it's E-7. I'm in my 11th year of Active Duty service, so my date of rank will most likely be in my 12th. That puts me on track for retirement as a Master Sergeant (E-8). It's possible for me to hit Sergeant Major (E-9) before I retire, but that would mean getting a first time selection in the secondary zone for each rank (E-8 at 15 years and E-9 at 18 years) and with the new mandatory 3 years time in service requirement per promotion, it would be an extremely hard sell for the wife to agree to an extra year in the Army and retire at 21 years instead of 20. Besides, the marketability for my new career (Contracting Officer) means that I will lose out on a higher income bracket for each year I spend in the Army past 20. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 16:01, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Funny, I was just thinking about how I hadn't seen you around and I was wondering how you were. I deactivated my Facebook account and couldn't contact you. Glad to hear the good news! Occasionaluse (talk) 16:03, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, man. I never left, I've just been in school for the last month and a half, so I was in lurker status while the academic section was handing me homework by the shovelful. Now we're in lab, so it's more like a 9-5 schedule. From all appearances, I'm going to LOVE this job. I graduate in two weeks and I have a 91% course average (the highest in my class, BTW). The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 16:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's just awesome...this brightened up my day a little. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Lucky, I never made it out of E-1. Senator Harrison (talk) 23:32, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Hey, congratulations on the promotion! Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 19:54, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Sarah The Riviter[edit]

This is truly wonderful. I wonder if they do international shipping? Jack Hughes (talk) 10:39, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm just going to go pour bleach into my eyeballs now... Scarlet A.pngsshole 11:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I like how under suggested products was "what to do in a zombie attack". ТyTalk. 12:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't get it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:02, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Look up Rosie the riveter. Report back when understood. ТyTalk. 12:06, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Almost as Insane as Andy[edit]

I just discovered a blog called Oil Is Mastery and it's a goldmine of madness. I haven't read everything on offer so far but amongst the gems I've seen are:

  1. Plate tectonics is false [5]
  2. Expanding Earth theory is correct (and being covered up!) [6]
  3. Oil is generated in the mantle with no biological input
  4. Neutron Stars don't exist [7]
  5. Jesus was an extraterrestrial [8]
  6. etc

Most of his real crazy comes in the comments rather than the articles, which tend to be purely copy/pasted from elsewhere. Still definitely worth a read though! –SuspectedReplicant retire me 15:57, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Reminds me more of PJR. Fun reading! Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 21:56, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Can't remember this quote! Help me![edit]

Trying to remember both the specific wording of this quote and who said it. I can't even remember if it's a "proper" quote (said by someone noteworthy) or something I just picked up over the interwebs. Basically it says that people will talk a lot about freedom and the right to vote but if you gave someone a straight choice between the right to vote and, say, their washing machine, they'd most likely pick the washing machine. That sound familiar to anyone? I've tried a few google searches but they don't come up with anything like this and I'm at a loss as to what search string to use. X Stickman (talk) 18:22, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Elliot Bay "People will vote for washing machines?" EddyP Great King! Disaster! 18:27, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, this reminds me of an entire speech, perhaps your quote is from there? Sen (talk) 18:37, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems similar enough to make me wonder if that *is* what I'm thinking of, but I'm not sure it is. The thing I'm remembering is a relatively short, cynical quote that basically says that although democracies will trumpet the right to vote as being great, if you gave someone a straight up choice between having a washing machine *or* having the right to vote, most people would pick the washing machine. I guess the point is to illustrate the way people see abstract things vs material things, or whatever. X Stickman (talk) 18:49, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

UK Census 2011[edit]

Supposed to be filled out today. I'll be interested to see what demographics are like re: religion and national identity. Both my parents have put Christian due to their baptisms/christenings, despite the fact that neither of them practice. Me and my brother both resisted the urge to put Jedi Knight. SJ Debaser 18:44, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

But the general public doesn't get access to this data for 100 years! C®ackeЯ
We get all sorts of statistics and demographics - we just don't get to know that Bob Smith from 9 Regent Street is a Christian for 100 years. DalekEXTERMINATE 23:06, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
A group of friends of mine are having a mass sleepover tonight just to fuck with it. And in 100 years time, they can match that census info to this post explaining it. As you do. Scarlet A.pngsshole 00:33, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Hello, people of the future. Just so you know, I tried to warn people about 2035 but they wouldn't listen. Vulpius (talk) 01:33, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Does the crazy...[edit]

seems to be coming out in force tonight? Or is it just me? Clearly there must be a full moon to explain this lunacy. ThunderkatzHo! 02:23, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Welcome... to the RW midnight theatre. Observe them closely, but not too close.ТyTalk. 02:25, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I have to go watch Buffy with friends. Good luck. ThunderkatzHo! 02:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm going to be asleep in a few. Hopefully someone will show up, or I'll be having loads of fun tomorrow morning. ТyTalk. 02:28, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Why I don't do Islamic jokes[edit]


Interesting response as to why Dara O'Briain doesn't do "Muslim jokes". I thought it was a bit old and too much video for a WIGO:Blog post, though. Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

If you ever get the chance to see him live.... I lughed till it hurt. 09:53, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I did spot him signing autographs and getting photos done one night a few months ago, but since I didn't see the show and so thought it would be a little rude (I didn't know it was on, otherwise I'd have been there) I didn't actually go up to him and just got a cheeky camera phone snap from a distance before heading off. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:36, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
He makes a fair point, and it's a similar response that's been given when Christian fundies accuse atheists of being too afraid to go after Muslims. As an example, anyone can read the Bible and point out oddities and nastiness, but without understanding how the texts are being interpreted by contemporary Christians the criticism is kind of academic. More "sophisticated" Christians run in to this problem in reverse when they counter criticism of modern Christians by referring to the Bible and centuries of Christian philosophy; easily slipping in to the no true Scotsman fallacy. The average Bible-thumping Christian would rarely ponder angels dancing on the head of a pin. I can read the Qur'an, and some commentary by Muslim scholars, yet it's kind of difficult for me to separate the fringe from the popular. We had an example of this some years back in Ireland in the form of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). The Irish branch of this group was headed by one Liam Egan, and became a popular port of call for journalists seeking the Muslim perspective on things. The reality though is that MPAC in Ireland was pretty much a one-man show, and Egan's views were about as representative of Muslims as Fred Phelps is of Christians. Unfortunately journalists at some pretty big newspapers didn't realise this, or they rather cheekily went to Egan knowing that they'd be spoon-fed some nice controversial statements. In Ireland Catholicism is way more damaging and broader in its scope than Islam is ever likely to be, thus Islam is more a quirky little side-show. I work with a couple of Muslims, and the couple running my paper shop are also Muslims. Batshit crazy beliefs, but we get on fine because we generally want the same things out of life. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 11:10, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Interesting stuff. And if people were educated to the point where they'd get jokes about Muslims, the MPAC wouldn't be needed, would it? People would just have it as part of the pop culture so wouldn't need to go to some ijit for quotes. Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:24, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that he did any jokes... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:43, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
CR's info on Irish Muslims reminds me of the short-lived Spike Milligan sitcom, Curry and Chips where he played a character known as Paki Paddy.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:23, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty grim. We should ask SirChuck what "his people" think about this. Yup, silly generalisations, and hardly surprising that any group appears to be extremist nut jobs when journalists automatically gravitate towards the more noisy ones. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 11:53, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
But moderates are soooo boring! Though I realise that the boundary between that phrase being sarcasm and the actual reason is pretty blurred. Sex doesn't sell, but sensationalism does and when you want to appeal to people's "Us & Them" mentalities, it's best just to straw man the fuck out of one side by approaching only the cranks. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:58, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

to all those throwing paint and smashing things in oxford street.[edit]

If you wish to smash things up, please stay at home and smash up your own towns. Thank you. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:44, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I did already. Oxford Street was just the next stop. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 14:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Fortnum and Masons has been occupied[edit]

F&M is owned by Wittington Investments which in turn is owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation which is one of the largest grant giving charites in the world. I saw on one forum that GWF only gives about 1% of its profits to charitable donations. I have looked and cannot find anything that would confirm or deny this. Is there anywhere that would have this sort of information? AMassiveGay (talk) 17:12, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I've this page but I have no idea how to read this. Do they give a lot for an organisation their size or not much at all? AMassiveGay (talk) 17:21, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Apparently there was £15,000 worth of damage. Someone knocked over a jar of olives. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:42, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Google Wikipedia[edit]

Since Google readdressed their search algorithms (or whatever it was they did) about two weeks ago, has anyone else noted that Wikipedia is no longer #1 site on many searches? --Scream!! (talk) 15:49, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Just tried a few random searches & still got WP at #1 for most things. On searches for things with official websites, like companies or government departments, the official site usually appears first, & WP further down the page. IMDb appears top on searches for most films, actors, directors, etc, & WP at #2. Most general searches (e.g. for animals, historical events, philosophical/political concepts) still bring in WP at #1. If there's been a change, it's a subtle one. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:29, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Maybe Wikipedia is no longer #1 because Conservapedia took its place? (talk) 00:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
But...but...Google is so liberal. Why would they ever adjust their algorithm so that the nasty communist-and-abortion-promoting Wikipedia would rank lower than other websites? ~SuperHamster Talk 20:52, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I failed a british citizenship test[edit]

I will now be reporting to my nearest immigration centre for prompt deportation, pondering my lack of knowledge about britishness (and more specifically the ages that kids take their SATs). Or not, as it was just a sample test. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:19, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Was this an online thing? Is there a link? DickTurpis (talk) 20:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It's definitely out there on the internet. I got the passing mark, and all of the people with me failed. There's a booklet you have to study, with useless history facts and someone's ideas about what 'britishness' is. DalekEXTERMINATE 20:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I bet Nick Griffin aces this test. Blue (pester) 20:39, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I took a free sample test here AMassiveGay (talk) 21:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
this one claims to be the official practice test. I failed this one too. I have to guess on the ones where the answer is a percentage or number of something. I guessed wrong on most of thoughs AMassiveGay (talk) 21:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I got 42%, which I think is decent enough for a Merkan. Blue (is useful) 21:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I took a few I found, and got between 54% and 63% (did best on the one AMG links above). Not too bad for an American, I guess. Think I'd have done better if there had been more history. DickTurpis (talk) 22:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
54% for another Yank wanker. Maybe there's an alternate version with only Monty Python questions? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:48, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I am getting the same scores as americans. I feel so ashamed. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:40, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
58% for another Brit. I'm rather embarrassed... –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:48, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I got 58% as an American (all were shots in the dark, essentially). Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 03:30, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
42%. Bizarrely enough, my day-to-day life of being british doesn't require precise knowledge regarding the percentage of self-reporting muslims in the UK and/or how many under-19s there are in the UK. Kind of odd questions? X Stickman (talk) 08:23, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
83% Ve have our vays of being British! larronsicut fur in nocte 08:36, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
54%, I think I should get extra marks for staying up late to listen to the national anthem on Radio 4 though. Grumblejaws (talk) 09:57, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
46% here as an American high schooler (I blame the nasty liberal public schooling). ~SuperHamster Talk 19:23, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
These tests are too much about official information. You're British if you can hum the Archers theme, have a strong opinion about putting the milk in first and have chosen a side between Wimbledon and franchise. Real first name and last initial (talk) 13:09, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm quite pleased with my results, considering that I've only visited the UK once, and that was on spring break while studying in Italy! Some of the questions are so straightforward, though, it's kind of hard to miss (and of course those are the only ones I actually answered correctly!) άλφαTalk 19:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Feeling quite clever for once[edit]

I have completed all but 2 clues in the Observer's Everyman crossword. That is all. AMassiveGay (talk) 02:17, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Good for you! Now time for the Grauniad's weekly Prize puzzle! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:51, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Try the Private Eye one, that'll take you down a peg or ten.Webbtje (talk) 16:49, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Private Eye> 1D? 8A? 10A? 18D? give us a clue? --Scream!! (talk) 17:06, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
What are the 2 clues from the Observer you didn't get? Please share; we might could work it out between us. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:08, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Is it the same one that is in today's Grauniad? #3,365? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:09, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
It is that very one, Human, the Everyman crossword on the Guardian website. I am stumped on 25 across 'The person to give one a hand (6)' (D_A___) and 19 down 'Understood by few, British composer seen round about (6)' (_R_A__). I can only assume that the intersecting clues are correct as they all seem to fit. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:28, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
25 across is dealer. ThunderkatzHo! 01:15, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
19 down is arcane. RagTopGone sailing 02:35, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
The spoilers are both correct. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:27, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
PS, I hate CDs. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:29, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
They seem so obvious now that I see them. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:58, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
They always do. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:23, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Great quote From the Bloc Québecois leader[edit]

On Sunday, the Bloc Québécois leader called Mr. Harper an untrustworthy, thieving, Quebecbashing liar. He added that the Conservative Cabinet is filled with reactionaries and creationists who "think that The Flintstones is a documentary."

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/politics/Harper+letter+fodder+Duceppe/4512969/story.html Alain (talk) 13:38, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I think he stole that from Lewis Black. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:38, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

That just made my day[edit]

I'm doing some QA on a web site my company is building.

I'm using a web crawling tool called Xenu.

I laughed when I saw the "processing" icon is an erupting volcano. MDB (talk) 14:19, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

wp:Tilman Hausherr is, of course, a long-time critic of Scientology - David Gerard (talk) 18:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Nukes, the new party line.[edit]

Discussion thread moved to Talk:Nuclear power

How to make a difference[edit]

Do you think going to teach biology in somewhere like the Bible belt would make a positive difference to people's attitudes towards evolution and science in general? At the moment, as bitter and frustrated as I might be, I don't just want to stew and get angry at the world. I'm at a point in life where I could decide to follow that path, and possibly make a difference. (talk) 19:08, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Maybe? Depends on the situation. If you end up somewhere where you HAVE TO "teach the controversy" and they put warning stickers on the biology textbooks, forget it. Those people are pretty much condemned, and you have too much power lined up against you to do anything about it. You're just one person, and they, quite literally, have an omnipotent deity on their side. Long story short, in terms of the United States and the fight to create subjects who are open-minded critical thinkers: it's over, we've lost. Best thing to do is to revert to a defensive position so that we can hold onto whatever critical minds we have on our side. P-Foster (talk) 19:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I certainly don't believe that the fight to promote critical thinkers is lost in the US, that (to me) feels like a judgement on all Americans based on the close-minded views this site endures every day through its connection with Conservapedia. I'm just beginning to feel as if I could continue to preach to the converted, or I could put myself out there and try to make a change in the mind of even just one person. Is Teach the Controversy still enforced then? (talk) 19:38, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, let me be clearer that I was. The fight is lost where the ability of teachers to teach runs up against political agendas that eviscerate the public school system (there's a plan in Detroit to close multiple schools and fold them up into schools that would have 60 students in a classroom), or that treat the work of educators with contempt (like in Wisconsin). If those are the contexts in which you want to reach out and shape young minds, good luck. Running for office and fighting to fund public education would be a better use of your time and energy than anything you could do in the classroom under those conditions. If you want to fight ignorance that justifies itself in the name of God and religion and a culture in which "belief" is elevated to the same level of valorization as scientific knowledge, where the very textbooks that you'll have to use are crafted to conform to religious/political ideas that are popular in places like Texas, where you're running up against parents (who have way more sway over the kids than you could ever hope to) who believe in things like "God" and "Heaven" and "Hell" and have been reproducing those ideas in their kids' heads since Day One, where sports heroes give credit to "God" for their own accomplishments, then you need way more resources on your side than the system is willing to give you. P-Foster (talk) 19:54, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Ever the optimist, P-Foster. I do somewhat agree that your chance of making a difference in the Bible Belt is slim. However, I think there are parts of the United States where the religious aren't quite as close-minded, and can be won over with evidence and facts, but no one has taken the time to do so. Few kids go into a classroom knowing anything about evolution, whether in "liberal" New York or "conservative" Texas, and it's not like all adults in Texas are YECs and everyone in NY is an evilutionist. Teaching kids in places with more open attitudes gives you a better chance of passing something on, while still actually making a difference. If you're trying to instill an interest in science, you've gotta start young, like kindergarten/1st grade young. ThunderkatzHo! 22:06, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Personally, (and as much as I don't like to see it as a "fight" as such, but sometimes terminology is forced in that direction) the biggest influences and progress and advances will not be made by doing the evolutionist equivalent of street preaching. All you could do is convince one or two people and it'd be an uphill struggle to get to that point. An individual teacher trying to convey evolution will always have to contend with both local politics and the per-conceptions of the kids there, highly influenced by their parents. Given this, another individual on the front line is not going to make much of a difference, indeed, a dozen or a hundred more people on this front line won't make a difference. It needs to be a top down effort that deals with the political obstacles as much as the mental blocks in the classroom. Without this, you cannot afford to waste time teaching the really young to gain their interest because it will be immediately stifled as soon as they're old enough to start gaining their own opinion on religion - as it will come from the political background they're in. Break the school boards, the PTAs and the church pressure groups first, and you will open the door to get evolution taught properly. There is no sense in attempting to teach it if the resistance to it is too high. Scarlet A.pngsshole 02:28, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
"Do what thou whilt". Sen (talk) 19:58, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I say if you've got the balls and subtlety to do it, DO IT! You may only get through to a few kids, but those few kids will matter. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:55, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I am also supportive. As has been mentioned, it will not be easy, but if you want to do it, do it. There are many phrases and proverbs to choose from, but I will go with "every little bit helps". - Gameboy (talk) 20:36, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  • You could just fuck off and quit trying to send kids to hell. Science is okay, in fact, science is a wonderful thing that helps explain God's wonderful creation. Atheism, however, is nothing more than pure idiocy. Most radical atheists seem to believe in God deep down inside because it's impossible to be so hateful towards something that you don't believe exists. I realize there's little chance that my comments will sink into your thick skulls, but if you think about it, atheism doesn't really even make sense, and I personally do believe in evolution by the way. (talk) 23:29, 27 March 2011 (UTC)


Coming in a bit late but I'd say go for it. Somebody has to try to make a difference and get the truth to the kids.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't really know enough about the US schools system to know whether it would be a good idea or not. The impression that I get is that some districts exert greater control over what is taught, so you may not be able to accomplish what you wish. The other thing is that biology is much more than evolution so the amount of time that you could deal with that topic would be limited. Those who come from a Biblical literalist background might be able to dismiss it if you cannot deal with it in sufficient depth. If I was a teacher then I would really like to be able to teach rational and skeptical thinking in depth because it covers a much broader front. Although the creationists keep harping on about evolution, getting the scientific message across also covers geology, cosmology and history. If you can engage with your pupils in a way to enthuse them about inquiry and reject logical fallacies then accepting evolution will come naturally. Ultimately I think that the chance of achieving your goal will depend on what is the permissible curriculum.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:05, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
As someone who went through public education in the Bible Belt, I can shed some more light. It isn't just evolution that is controversial, my sister's environmental science class teacher had to give a disclaimer on global warming as well. My Bio II teacher was a Hindu creationist, and allowed students to shout their objections in the class(the objections mostly being endless genesis citations). I learned most skeptical thinking from my physics and computer science teachers. The only other course in which Skeptical thinking had been presented was my 7th grade science course. So just teaching skeptical thinking would, IMHO, be better. ТyTalk. 13:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Yep. Plant seeds of rationalism that stay and do their Satanic work. It's the difference between subjecting the kids to radiation and feeding them a seed of radioactive material. (Perhaps that's not the very best analogy.) - David Gerard (talk) 18:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The thing about a, let's call it a "rational epiphany" is that I don't really think you can teach it. You either come to it, or you don't. You don't really convert people to it. It invariably requires doing something that is, like bad sex, inherently hard and uncomfortable; proving yourself wrong. Now you can teach people "critical thinking" all you like but the realisation that you have to look at the stuff you agree with with equal critical review and equal skepticism as the stuff you disagree with is quite a leap. It needs to come somewhat naturally. You can seed it, certainly, but you can't force it on anyone but it is such a massive hurdle to overcome. If you want to teach this idea, you have to (effectively) go up to someone and say "you're wrong, you're just wrong, now show me why you're wrong as homework and if you don't you fail". That's not something people really want to hear, is it? So there will be resistance to it. However, come to that realisation yourself and you no longer want to resent proving yourself wrong but you relish it. Ergo, you suffer the Rationalist Epiphany and start filtering through your thoughts, keeping the good stuff and chucking the junk. Scarlet A.pngsshole 16:26, 30 March 2011 (UTC)