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Lucky Thirteen On the ISS

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the falling-room-only dept.

NASA 120

Hugh Pickens writes "Things may get a little tight in space as seven shuttle astronauts blast off from Florida on June 13 to join up with six colleagues already on the International Space Station bringing the ISS contingent to thirteen, the largest number of individuals on the platform ever at one time. The 13 space-farers represent seven from the US, two each from Russia and Canada, and one each from Europe and Japan. '"I don't know what it's going to be like," says Endeavour commander Mark Polansky, a veteran of two prior spaceflights. "We know it's going to be challenging with 13 people aboard."' During five spacewalks, an external platform will be added to the lab which will enable those experiments to be performed that require materials to be exposed to the harsh environment of space and astronauts also have to fit equipment to the exterior of the platform such as batteries and a spare space-to-ground antenna."

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120 comments

Eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318461)

eat my shorts slashdot !!

Re:Eat my shorts slashdot !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28319201)

Hey slashdot, who the heck is "Anonymous Cowardon"?

Posted AC for irony.

13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318481)

I though 13 was an unlucky number. Didn't Apollo 13 end in a bad way?

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318491)

I though 13 was an unlucky number. Didn't Apollo 13 end in a bad way?

The ending was okay. The middle bit was a bit stressful.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (3, Funny)

melikamp (631205) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320361)

No problem, the old greybeard in charge of the project just needs to supply one fine burglar [wikipedia.org], and the mission is a guaranteed success. At least financially. A few brave dwarves may die in the process, but it's a small price to pay for scientific progress.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (4, Funny)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318507)

Shit! You're right! As a matter of fact, the sum of the letters in the names of the three Shuttles still operational is 26 which is 2 times 13. If you take that two and multiply it by the difference in the number of letters between the Endeavour (9) and the number of people who will be on the ISS now (13) you get 8 which is the number of letters in the name 'Columbia'. We're all doomed.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318849)

I wonder how many blacks were responsible for putting the Shuttle into space...

8 is enough for Space Pr0n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28319175)

The number 8 represents Snow White and the seven dwarfs. That would be one hellaofa Pr0n movie even if it was filmed on webcams. What's not to like about a big tittied buxom brunette getting shagged by seven midgets in space?

Writing the screenplay for that right now.....

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318615)

If you believe in numerology...

Apollo 13 ended happily with capsule and crew recovered, yet we lost 7 astronauts twice. And you thought 13 was supposed to be unlucky and 7 was supposed to be lucky...

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318797)

Of course, in the most popular form of numerology, there are no two-digit numbers. So there is no 13. You would take the two digits of 13 and add them together, so 13 would be 1+3=4. The number 4 is one of stable partnerships.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318973)

If you believe in numerology...

...then I really hope you have nothing to do with the space industry.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321759)

If you believe in numerology...

Apollo 13 ended happily with capsule and crew recovered, yet we lost 7 astronauts twice. And you thought 13 was supposed to be unlucky and 7 was supposed to be lucky...

Not that' it's any more logical, but it should be noted that the above has nothing to do with numerology, just with popular superstition.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

twosat (1414337) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318837)

Challenger flew the 13th shuttle mission some time before it blew up and Columbia was destroyed on the 113th shuttle mission. The flight number of Columbia was not STS-113 but STS-107 since missions can get shuffled around. Maybe there is something to this number 13 business, but both the shuttles' crews could have survived if not for overbearing managers. I remember reading about a WW II aircraft carrier that was badly damaged and very slowly limped home, it had 13 as a serial number.! All the US space disasters all happened in the same week of the year as well.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

Starlon (1492461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318841)

Remember, science and superstition don't mix. One or more of those astronauts is going to be nervous though. That's a given.

Re:13? Didn't they read Harry Potter? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#28322095)

Apollo 1 burned up during testing due to pure O2 being used instead of a mixed gas environment. Apollo 13 started out well, broke down in route to the moon but everyone made it back to earth safe...

So really always avoid Version 1.0

already delayed. (4, Informative)

beckett (27524) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318485)

already delayed becuase of a hydrogen leak. [nasa.gov]

a Canadian astronaut [www.cbc.ca] was also inconvenienced.

Re:already delayed. (0)

zonker (1158) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321141)

If the space toilet doesn't work or they don't bring enough deodorant I know exactly what it's going to be like...

Re:already delayed. (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28322039)

Argh, there's no way to undo a moderation mistake except by adding a pointless post to the thread - and here it is!

Need Another Seven Astronauts (2, Funny)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318573)

Need Another Seven Astronauts!
And by the way, Europe is not a country.

European (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318595)

It's much too vulgar to say the home country of the European astronaut. You know, that buffer between the Netherlands and France..

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (3, Interesting)

lordholm (649770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318663)

By the way, many people see Europe as a country to some extent. This includes not only a lot of Europeans, it also include a lot of people outside of Europe.

Besides, Frank de Bruin is working for the EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, not the Belgian space agency, so just what was wrong with saying he is from Europe when he is sent up for European taxpayers money?

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318855)

By the way, many people see Europe as a country to some extent.

"Many" as in "a handful", yes. For normal people, Europe is not a country.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (4, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318913)

Why not? Justify your statement.

Not that I'm disagreeing with you, there just aren't many definitions of 'country' that include the USA and exclude the EU. Common currency? Common language? How many Americans speak Spanish as a first language now? Common culture? You mean like Massachusetts and Louisiana right? Common government? Most of our law comes from the EU now. Constitution? Britain doesn't have a written constitution, but not many will deny that it is a country. If you view a constitution as a body of law then European law is pretty formidable.

Would the majority of Europeans describe themselves as European first? No. But neither would the majority of English, Irish*, Scots or Texans.

I don't disagree per se. But a country is one of those things you point at and say; "that's a country" without really knowing why.

*Though this one is more complex.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (3, Interesting)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318987)

Identity. If a lot of people identify themselves as Europeans first, it would make sense to call it all a country, but most people don't (in my own obviously limited experience). I'm just saying that in the 27 years I've lived, I've never thought or heard anyone around here seriously think of Europe as a country, other than as a thought experiment, goal, or wishful thinking. I'm not saying it won't become a country at some point though, nor am I making a value judgment.

"Set of countries" is much more realistic, IMHO. Separate but united, sort of.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319017)

Why not? Justify your statement.

Not that I'm disagreeing with you, there just aren't many definitions of 'country' that include the USA and exclude the EU. Common currency?

Eleven countries of the European Union currently do not use the euro. They are: Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania.
(16 states do use it.)

Common language? How many Americans speak Spanish as a first language now?

The European Union has 23 official and working languages. They are: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.
Also, their use is very closely aligned with national boundaries.

Additionally, there are minority languages official only in some regions, like Welsh in Wales or Faroe in the Faroes.

Constitution? Britain doesn't have a written constitution, but not many will deny that it is a country.

The UK does have a constitution, but it isn't written in one document.

(Also, the GP said "Europe" was a country. Europe is a continent.)

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319063)

Nice load of BS, there!

Anyway, I spent more than a third of my life living abroad (in Europe). I speak 5 languages, but would never describe myself as European first.
Neither would any of the hundreds of people I met.
Right off my ass, I would say that less than 0.01% Europeans would describe themselves as Europeans first.

The cultural gradient is so much bigger in Europe than in the US, it's pointless to try to compare both on a common ground.
It might come one day, but we're not there yet.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

lordholm (649770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320815)

If I ask people in my circles I would argue that 90% feels European first.

Your 0.01 % does not agree with the statistics (and I wonder in what hole you have been hiding for that number).

I have seen statistical data, and the percentage of people who felt only European was around 10% IIRC, then there was a large group who felt both European and $nationality, and a group who only felt $nationality and another who didn't really feel anything.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

sabre86 (730704) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319803)

Interesting that you should choose the UK as an example of a country. You can equally argue that it's four countries: England, N. Ireland, Wales and Scotland. I think this supports your point, of course -- "country" simply doesn't have a clear meaning.

--sabre86

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#28322271)

Here in the UK (which is why I chose it :p) the convention seems to be that the UK is a country and Scotland, England &c are nations. Hence things like the Six Nations.

Which is entirely semantic. And, as you observe, to my point.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321837)

Why not? Justify your statement.

[Large amount of irrelevant points deleted.]

I don't disagree per se. But a country is one of those things you point at and say; "that's a country" without really knowing why.

I know exactly why. It's because we call it a country. You're looking for some objective criteria in an utterly inappropriate place. It's like asking "Does Canada really have provinces, or states?" It's a stupid question. Canada has provinces. The US has states. Why and what's the difference? The why is historical and the difference is the term we use, period. Japan has prefectures. Not provinces, not states, and no argument about how the subdivisions of the country match some supposed bogus definition of "province" or "state" would be valid, because that's not what makes a political entity a state, province, or country. What makes it a state, province, or country, is the fact that we call it a state, a province, or a country.

If you say Europe is a country, you're simply wrong, just like if you say Minnesota is a province or that Ontario is a state. They aren't. The reason has nothing to do with what their attributes are, it has entirely to do with language and convention.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

textstring (924171) | more than 4 years ago | (#28322149)

The reason has nothing to do with what their attributes are, it has entirely to do with language and convention.

So, your think the reason we call a Ford Pinto a car is because it just is. Isn't more because it has 4 wheels and an engine?

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#28322305)

You're looking for some objective criteria in an utterly inappropriate place.

This is kind of my point. GGP just said "Europe is not a country" without any real basis one way or the other. As the point is unanswerable I thought it was a bit of a sweeping statement to make. And I know quite a few people who view Europe as a country, though my sample of ERASMUS students is probably more than a little biased. I personally don't, but I do view Europeans as one people, and believe there are definable elements of European culture and I also believe in a united Europe.

There we go /., a Federalist Brit. Now you've seen everything.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28319119)

Sarah Palin did not refer to Africa as a country and took a shellacking for what she had not said. Again it is one law for Europeans and another for Americans.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319283)

By the way, many uninformed people see Europe as a country to some extent. This insults not only a lot of Europeans, it also include a lot of people outside of Europe.

There. Fixed that for ya.

The big problem is, that this "union" is force-fed to us Europeans, without there being a point to it.
That is the real thing here: There is a global "urge" to union us all, under one government. Thereby removing all abilities to go somewhere else, if you don't like it there.
Which unfortunately be, what many people want to do, with the current totalitarian oppression regimes rising.

And if you argue that you could make a new party. Then look at how well that works out for the current marionette governments of the USA, and pretty much every European (or even global) government.

What do you think is next? The north-American union is already in the making. Then comes the union of north-America and the EU. And then?
I am already on the brink of going to an island and founding my own country. But how am I going to protect it? Against a global union? Good joke.

Don't understand me wrong. I like people all over the world cooperating. But in a free way. That is what the Internet is for. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but it works stunningly well.
On the other hand, organizational globalization without a real point, is the removal of freedom, for control. Pure an simple.

P.S.: Wait for the governments starting to argue, that we must do it because of the economical crisis. Something deliberately created by those that now buy everyone else and invest in gold, to be the only ones surviving this "crisis" of a credit-based currency, that is scientifically proven to crash from time to time.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

lordholm (649770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320369)

The Union is not force fed. It has been moving in precisely the direction that was pointed out when the Union was founded.

From the Schuman declaration on the foundation of the Union:

The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

This was what the Union was founded for, and the states that have joined the Union have had referendas about whether or not to join the organisation whose clear purpose since its foundation was to build a federal Europe.

Now, let us look at some interesting facts:

US: 300 million people
China: 1 billion people
India: 1 billion people

Fast forward 50 years and see both India and China as modern nations.

Now, do you think that any single European state would have any whatsoever competitive edge over any of those three blocks. Without the Union, the citizens that could would move over to the other places because they could make a better living there (just because the shear size of those economies). We would see brain drain on massive scale in Europe.

So, without doubt, the EU is necessary for the future of the European citizens. Now, we can argue about whether it would be enough with a trade block, but with any such organisation where you have detailed rules comes the issue of accountability of its actions. An organisation of that size needs clear rules, and a way to control it, a way to complain to it, a way to complain when the common rules are not followed et.c. For democratic legitimacy, you also need to have the rule making process be governed by directly elected representatives (now the Council have more power than the EP, and that is a bit scary in my book).

No state or large organisation has ever been founded without a purpose. The US was founded for a reason, the EU was founded in order to guarantee peace on a continent which has been fighting in bloody civil wars for over a thousand years.

The Union is a country in making whether you like it or not, and to be frank, that has never been a secret and the citizens of Europe have voted in referendas about joining this process.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28321743)

It's Frank De Winne. And yes, he's a European astronaut, although the Belgians certainly view him as their astronaut.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (3, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318965)

You're right, Europe except Switzerland is a country. Now that they surrounded Switzerland, they should just invade it so the map looks neater.

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319329)

No it's not. And frankly, if will only over my cold dead body. If it has to come to war against an illegal and illegitimate EU government, I am prepared.
Yes, that's how important this is to us.
I look over your statement, because you did not know this. But I recommend being sensitive.
Or we might call US-Americans Mexocanadians. ^^
*cocks gun^W^Wadds "Mexocanadian" to his dictionary*

Re:Need Another Seven Astronauts (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321917)

No it's not. And frankly, if will only over my cold dead body. If it has to come to war against an illegal and illegitimate EU government, I am prepared.

It will be. The union of Europe is a generational process. As time passes, people are brought up seeing more union and just accepting that as the norm, and those brought up in eras of less unity pass on. Rest assured, your cold dead body will lie in a grave someday in a perfectly united Europe with probably even less local sovereignty than American states have on paper (in fact, American states have long since lost that sovereignty too).

What's a European? (2, Insightful)

njen (859685) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318593)

There's nothing more annoying to "Europeans" than by labeling them all "Europeans". I learnt that the hard way by a very irate French woman and German man a year ago. "Europe" is not a country, the article doesn't say "seven from North America", does it?

Re:What's a European? (4, Insightful)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318607)

They represent the European Space Agency, which is why they were just labeled as European. Please direct any further complaints to the ESA main office, or the EU headquarters.

Re:What's a European? (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321079)

So would Canadians be referred to as Europeans, considering they're members of the ESA?

Re:What's a European? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318637)

But saying North-Americans is a normal thing, just like saying Europeans.

Re:What's a European? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318639)

I'm an European (from Poland actually) and I'm not annoyed. So no, not all Europeans are annoyed ;) Plus French people typically don't like anybody and Americans in particular, which could explain their irritation.

Re:What's a European? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318771)

Well, it depends more on which European citizen you have standing in front of you - remember all men are equal, except the French, which are more equal...

And the British don't really consider themselves 'European', after all, they are (at the closest) 21 miles off the European mainland. (My English girlfriend calls people from the rest of Europe - alas with a bit of a smirk - 'from that European hodge-podge', which seems a fair assessment of what many Brits seem to think of Europe)...

Myself, not being French or British - I don't really mind being called 'a European', but maybe that's because I was born in one EU country and live and work in another...

Re:What's a European? (1)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319007)

I'm French, I don't mind being called an European, and I know quite a few others who don't mind either.

Just because we like cheese doesn't make us xenophobes or even condescending, you know.

Re:What's a European? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320035)

So, you DO like cheese? Just kidding ;).
Looks like I've used a stereotype to combat another stereotype. Only excuse for me is that most of the thing's I know about French people is from working for a company, which makes French webpages. Typically this is done with our French partner. Most of end clients typically insult us when it is revealed that we are not from France. But yes, there are some nice people too.

Re:What's a European? (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318645)

Many a stupid piece of political correctness, came from people deciding what would, or wouldn't be offensive to other people.
Those two people don't represent the other 700 million, who probably don't care, and are off to the pub.

Re:What's a European? (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318767)

What on Earth are you talking about?

Re:What's a European? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318867)

I'm not sure I can explain it any better, but tip-toeing around calling people European, is just one step away from calling us "Continentally challenged".

Re:What's a European? (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319369)

And you're the expert, right? I bet you call yourself an "American", completely ignoring that you are one of 35 countries.

The *only* ones talking about "Europeans", are uneducated US-Americans (not all), and politicians trying to force this "union" down our throat at all cost.
Come here, go around and ask people what country they are from. You will be old and gray, before finding some confused soul naming not his own country. ^^

Re:What's a European? (5, Funny)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318657)

I quite like being labelled a 'European'. It makes me feel like we're united.

Re:What's a European? (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319027)

I quite like being called European. I don't much like the bits of culture that are specific to my country, but I do like the bits that are broadly European.

Re:What's a European? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319391)

Think of it like this: Where will you go, when your government, continuing on its current course, will be an oppressive totalitarian one, forcing everyone to walk in lock-step?
The next country? Well, that would then be either Russia, an Arabic country, or going overseas to Africa or America. At least until they are "united" too.

Yay. :/

Re:What's a European? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321399)

I'm not sure I'd want to be European. I mean, they must spend an awful lot of time in the bathroom over there! ;-)

Re:What's a European? (3, Interesting)

lordholm (649770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318683)

I do not mind. I live in the Netherlands, have been living in the UK and is original from Stockholm and have a Belgian girlfriend.

I call my self European, I am pretty annoyed when people call me Swedish when this is clearly not how I feel. There is nothing more annoying than people calling Europeans by their statehood.

Europe is almost a country (it even has its own entry in the CIA world fact book because it has so many state like properties), and for any person who is not living here the EU is probably indistinguishable from a country, get used to it, this is the state of things right now.

Proud to be European!
Regards

Re:What's a European? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318993)

Most Europeans I have met personally label themselve that way too. It's as if they don't want to be limited to the expectations of just one culture when they are the product of many and frequently move around within them.

It's almost a badge of honor with them. I can see someone not liking it when they live in the same place all their life without really going outside that country. I really think that's the main difference.

For Americans, we have, and historically have had (at least since WWII and the cold war) so many multilateral agreements and operations encompassing Western Europe that it is almost second nature to just generalize. Either we were working with them or they were working with us as a whole and not really as a country.

Re:What's a European? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319413)

You have met the wrong People. I lived in Cologne (Germany), Luxemburg, Spain, and came around much. And I know for sure, that not a single person i ever met would call himself an "European", when asked for his country.

Maybe someone thought: "Oh, an US-American. From the funny TV-Spots know that they can't tell Iraq from their own country on a map. So I say 'Europe', and maybe get a chance at him knowing it"
Sure, this is just as insulting and filled with prejudice. But, here too, as everywhere, not all people are great. ^^

Re:What's a European? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319515)

Oops. I apologize for the typos around "funny TV spots I know". I saw a funny TV spot at that moment, and forgot to fix it. ;)

Re:What's a European? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319871)

You have met the wrong People. I lived in Cologne (Germany), Luxemburg, Spain, and came around much. And I know for sure, that not a single person i ever met would call himself an "European", when asked for his country.

Actually the question is usually where are you from, not what country are you from. Perhaps it's all in the semantics.

Maybe someone thought: "Oh, an US-American. From the funny TV-Spots know that they can't tell Iraq from their own country on a map. So I say 'Europe', and maybe get a chance at him knowing it"
Sure, this is just as insulting and filled with prejudice. But, here too, as everywhere, not all people are great. ^^

Actually, as I already pointed out, from an american standpoint, it has more to do with all the multilateral agreements we have with countries in Europe stemming from the end of WWII and the cold war. We helped defeat the axis powers in Europe, not just France or Germany or Italy or any single country. After the war was over, we rebuilt Europe, not just a single country (although operations in Germany when the wall went up was a single country, all of Europe participated in some way with the air drops of food and supplies and stuff). During the cold war, we worked with Europe, not just a single county, NATO was an organization created from a treaty based around the common defense of North Atlantic countries that included western Europe, not just France, or Germany or England or Ireland or a single country.

It's rooted in our history books and it's especially favorable to anyone who grew up or lived during the cold war (like me) when these facts were being blasted every week on the evening news. Now there is the EU which pretends to be the same as the original US federal government's role giving the appearance as Europe being a federation of state just like the "United States of America". State being a country as it is used everywhere else in the world and not as a political subdivision as some people in America see it.

I hope you can understand where it comes from and it isn't out of malice. (well, maybe some will do it out of malice, especially since you made it clear that it irritates you).

Interesting way you phrase that (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320895)

I'd wager the people who wouldn't identify themselves as "European" come from/live in backwater towns, and the ones who would are from big cities.

Also, that would be "a US-American," firstly, as the phoneme that starts the pronunciation of "US" in this context is a "y" sound, considered a consonant in this case, and secondly, no one says "US-American" or "United Statesian" other than idiots.

It is commonly understood outside the context of formal geographical discussion that "American" means "of or having to do with the United States of America." No one else in either of the Americas lays claim to the term "American," and so it is completely absurd to insist on pedantry like that found in the tags of this article.

Re:What's a European? (2, Interesting)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321135)

I think we are all confusing two (or maybe more) different questions. Sure, if you ask various people what country they were from, or what their nationality was, they would say Spain, France, etc. But what would happen if that same Spaniard were visiting America and I asked him "Hey, are you European?" I guarantee you quite a few would say yes. I can say this with a somewhat high degree of certainty because of two reasons. First of all, if someone asks me where I'm from, I'll say Texas, but if someone asked if I was American, or from North America, then I would say yes. See, it is possible to be part of two political structures. A smaller one and a larger one. One of them you may confirm only if asked specifically, and the other you volunteer, because that's what you are proud of. Second, while I was in the Army, in Afghanistan, soldiers from all over the world would pass through. Many of them would have uniforms and flags that I didn't recognize, so instead of possibly insulting someone from Portugal by asking if he was from Spain, I would ask if he was from Europe. They would just say yes, in whatever accent they had. I would then probably continue the conversation with "Oh, what country are you from?" and he would tell me. But they never denied being European, and they most certainly never got all huffy puffy about it.

Re:What's a European? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321999)

And I know for sure, that not a single person i ever met would call himself an "European", when asked for his country.

Who on earth "asks for your country"? No one asks that. What people ask is "where are you from?" Many if not most of the Europeans I've met tend to answer that question, "I'm European," however my sample is probably not representative, being high on people from the "low countries", as well as, for reasons I'm not sure of, Scandinavians of one sort or another.

It must also be noted, though, that how people will answer that question depends very much on who's asking. For example, if most people in the world ask me that question, I say I'm American. If an American asks me, I say I'm Minnesotan. If a Minnesotan asks me, I say I'm from the Twin Cities. If someone from the Twin Cities asks me, I saw I'm from Brooklyn Center. If someone from Brooklyn Center asks me, I saw I live a few blocks from a particular landmark.

So, it would not be surprising if, being from Europe, if you ask other Europeans where they are from, they give you some answer along the lines of "I'm from the Netherlands", but when I ask the same person that question, they say "I'm European." YMMV. All I can tell is, that as a matter of fact, when I ask people from that august continent where they're from, "I'm European" is a very common answer.

Re:What's a European? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318701)

If they were Africans, you might have a point, but it can hardly be called racism by lumping all Europeans together under a single name.

Re:What's a European? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319433)

Oh yeah, because the indigenous peoples of Africa are genetically and culturally homogeneous. Oh wait, that isn't even remotely true, it just happens that many of them make a lot of melanin.

Re:What's a European? (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321169)

No one said all the inidenous peoples of Africa were genetically and culturally homogeneous. That has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that all of those people live on the continent called Africa. Let's call an apple an apple people. Why do I say that? Because there are many types of apples too. But we have this idea of groups and subgroups. Recognizing that something is part of the larger group doesn't mean that it is exactly the same as all the others. Saying a poodle is a dog doesn't mean it is exactly the same as a boxer. Yet they are both dogs. Just as South Africans and Egyptians are all African.

Re:What's a European? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319457)

Nobody did. :)

It's this mindset of "Europe" *having* to become a country!!!!11!1!one, that is spread by politicians, without there being a point to it, other than total centralized power and control from one fake-democracy government (yeah, like the USA), that disturbs us. Especially since it grows in the minds of the uninformed, until nobody looks strange at you anymore, when you mention it. (A bit like a virus of "getting used to it".)

Wait until politicians and big company spokespersons start calling us "humans" or "earthlings", and you know you are fucked, and have no way out of their now global control.

Re:What's a European? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319633)

You seem to be the one who's uninformed. There certainly is a point to it, many points in fact. You just don't understand or even care. You would rather have constant war I suppose. Consider how much money was won and lost everyday on the stock market through people trading individual currencies. All going to private profit. How much time and expense spent on individual border controls, how many product types and regulations had to be observed for each individual country. It started as a free trade area, and has grown from that.

You also seem to fear a global government. Well, buddy you had better get used to the idea, because it will happen. As we start to understand more and more about global climate, food distribution and wealth too, it will become obvious that a unified control organisation is the only rational thing to have. But rational you clearly ain't. Name me one reason why a national government is better than a international federation. I bet you come up with shit like heritage or racist dogma.

Re:What's a European? (1)

babblefrog (1013127) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320217)

Sure, had the Nazis taken over a global government instead of just the German government in the late 1930's, the results probably would have been much worse.

When government is good, giving more power to them seems harmless. But over the long run, they don't stay good.

Re:What's a European? (2, Interesting)

ngdbsdmn (658135) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318795)

I'm also an European and I don't mind being called that.

-

I'm from Romania so a strong argument can be made that I like to be called an European in order to wash out some of the sin behind the dirt and corruption staining the name of my home country. Be that as it may, I'm a strong believer that a united Europe is the only way to proceed through the following decades from an economical point of view. I also believe that the countries in Eastern Europe will bring a lot to the table for all the other Europeans in the same time frame. Economical unity does not interfere much with cultural/national identity. Besides, I think on this front the US media machines did a lot more harm. So even though I may enjoy a Swiss landscape, French wine, German cars, English music, Italian spaghetti sauce or Greek oranges you can still bet your ass I will always hail the Romanian football team (idiots!), Romanian theater and Romanian sense of humor.

-

6 days ago I voted in the election of my representatives in the European Parliament. After living in communism and bowing my head to Russia for decades, I know all too well why a united Europe is a good thing. So go ahead, call me European and see if I like it.

Re:What's a European? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319445)

Europeans == Americans with a pathetic defense industry and high priced gas.

Re:What's a European? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319681)

Europeans == Americans with a pathetic defense industry and high priced gas.

And Europeans have higher standards of education, healthcare, safety, and cooperation. We actually care about the planet we share, and we try not to use every resource in sight just because we can.
Americans == virtually bankrupt, selfish, greedy bigots, whose biggest exports are violence both real and imaginary and Imaginary, sorry, intellectual property. People who think you can own thoughts and mathematics. People who want to charge families for singing happy birthday. Yeah, you really get my respect.
BTW, when was the last time your armed forces were used for defence ? Not since 1945 in my opinion.

Re:What's a European? (2, Interesting)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28322119)

BTW, when was the last time your armed forces were used for defence ? Not since 1945 in my opinion.

If you apply a wide definition of defense, they're currently being used for defense. If you apply a narrow definition of defense, they haven't been used for defense since, I think, 1848. Certainly not in 1945 -- that was a war in another country, attempting to "preserve democracy" in nations where it was arguably none of our business. If you don't think American should project power abroad in that matter, we really should never have gotten involved in WWII. (And for those who say we were attacked, it should be noted that Hawai'i not only wasn't a state in 1941, it was a bit of territory we acquired by means far, far more dubious than our acquisition of the Phillipines -- if we just stuck to our own defense, the Kingdom of Hawai'i would still be its own country, or at least it would have been until become part of the Empire of Japan.)

Note, I'm not saying we shouldn't have come to Europe's aid in 1945. I'm just saying there's no reasonable interpretation of your statement. If your definition is wide enough, our current military engagements are defensive. If it's narrow enough, our use in 1945 wasn't defensive. And I don't see any definition where our use of military force in WWII would be considered defensive, but nothing since would. So if your opinion is that the last time was 1945, it's inconsistent somehow. Figure out what you mean by defense, then pick a date that would actually match that use. The most common definitions will yield either 1814, 1848, 1865, or 2009, depending on how wide or narrow you go. 1945 isn't really a consistent option.

Re:What's a European? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321937)

Interesting, given that I most often use the term being used by Europeans. Are you saying Europeans annoy even themselves?

(Actually, that's a silly question. I know enough of them to know that nothing annoys Europeans more than Europeans...)

Re:What's a European? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321945)

err, that's supposed to say "I most often see (or hear) the term being used..."

Fuck Hitler (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318699)

Fuck Adolf Hitler. All Jew haters want to praise him but I say fuck him. He is the single most enabler of Jews in the 20th century more than any other force. Jews own the United States, Europe, The Middle East, and are attempting a cultural coup of Asia as we speak. You can't say anything against jews because they can hide behind the Holocaust, something 90% of them never experienced but are allowed to use to get anything they want in society. African Americans are still treated like shit in American society and look at most of the sub-Sahara Africa being raped and exploited. Israel is treated like royalty despite whatever crimes against humanity are committed against anyone. If Hitler was reborn an Israeli and decided to commit genocide against Palestinians, the rest of the world would just watch and not do anything behind their guise of "never again". Jews need a new Holocaust which does the whole job of wiping their influence out and no half assed bullshit like letting them own 50% of the US and 50% of the USSR at the time. A complete wipe is all that is needed and nothing weak like Hitler suggested, rather a fill blown purge in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia. No rounding up, just straight shots in the head. Humanity would then actually progress without people having to worry about being destroyed financially and personally while Jews who never contributed to society end up in business leading roles destroying everyone else's lives. Long live the Neo-Holocaust. The Jew Museum was just a fringe attempt but I promise the real execution will be nothing but armature.

In Space... (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28318815)

...only 12 people can hear you screaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmm 'who's been eating MY sandwiches'

Payette (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28318859)

Man, that canadian astronaut is a MILF :

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/payette.html [nasa.gov]

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/portraits/payette.jpg [nasa.gov]

Or should we say AILF?

I mean, her bio reads like every slashdotter's wet dream...

Re:Payette (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320377)

Was wondering about why they were "lucky" between those 13 astronauts that would have to stay in a potentially very crowded place and then saw this message, and the lucky word there got several new meanings.

You can't make this pi$$ up (2, Interesting)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319169)

Perhaps this is a stress test for the urine separator in microgravity. Ridiculous, you say? Last year 8 gallons of urine / day [gizmodo.com.au] were collected for reclaim tests. (Honestly, how many astronauts does it take to install a "front porch" for the Kibo module? Certainly not 13.) NASA needs to know how to deal with large volumes of human waste on an extended mission.

Re:You can't make this pi$$ up (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#28321579)

Honestly, how many astronauts does it take to install a "front porch" for the Kibo module? Certainly not 13.

 
That's only a small part of what they are doing. There's a bunch of spacewalks, maintenance, etc... More info here. [spaceflightnow.com]

Did they bring Tiki lamps? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28319479)

As it's going to be crowded inside, it's a good thing they're building a deck outside.

What, no quatorzien? (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320293)

It used to be so unlucky to have 13 people at a gathering, that there were people that you could call to attend your event just to avoid that situation. They were called "quatorziens". I'm sure there would be lots of volunteers here for that position on the ISS, and in space, you don't need to worry about running out of chairs.

Lucky 13??? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28320579)

They have Lucky 13 on the ISS? When did Olivia Wilde get fitted for a space suit? Lucky bastards up there, I'd give my right nut to be in close quarters with her for a few weeks! :9
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