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European Space Agency Picks Plato Planet-hunting Mission

Da Cheez Pato's Cave (32 comments)

With a name like Plato, I worry it won't see much other than shadows when searching for stars....

about 10 months ago
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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Da Cheez Re:Personally, I don't see a conflict (1774 comments)

The problem is that that approach only works if you take a very metaphorical interpretation of the bible.

With regards to evolution, if you accept it as true, then Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden could not have happened. There were no "first humans," as there was no solid dividing line between our apelike ancestors and modern humans. If there was no Garden of Eden, then there was no original sin, which means that Jesus dying for our sins was pointless, unless God intentionally created as as inherently sinful creatures and then decided that we should be tortured eternally.

Well, to address at least that one point, one model I've heard from some Christian evolutionary biologists which seems to fit the data utilizes the Upper Paleolitic Revolution as a possible point in time at which humankind first became "spiritual" and therefore capable of sin. To quickly summarize the Upper Paleolithic Revolution (though I am not a bioligist/archaeologist/what-have-you; mere computer scientist and mathemetician by training), "anatomically modern humans" - ie, humans that look like you and me - have been found as far back as about 195 thousand years in the fossil record. But it wasn't until about 50 thousand years ago that we begin to see them exhibiting modern behavioral traits such as the creation of more advanced tools than they'd been using for 145 thousand years, accelerated language development, and the first evidence of religion. This sudden revolution occurred in East Africa or the Middle East and spread from there across the globe to anatomically human populations on other continents. It's been suggested by some Christian evolutionary biologists that this revolution represents the first moment in time in which God "breathed spirit" into humans, making them moral and creative beings, and from them it spread to others or their offspring. It could've begun with just two - who rebelled against God, making for original sin - and spread into the rest of the heretofore unspiritual, anatomical human population.

This solves at least two major issues. First, it allows for original sin. Second, it fits our genetic data which suggests that the genetic human population could never have been fewer than 10 thousand at any point in history; the unspritual population provides genetic diversity for the expansion of the spiritual population - or even become spriritual themselves through cultural interactions.

My primary source: http://godandnature.asa3.org/opinion-adam-and-the-origin-of-man.html

more than 2 years ago
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One Week: No Mouse, Just Keyboard

Da Cheez Re:Fucking windows key (364 comments)

Seriously, you only found one shortcut for the Windows key? I find that surprising. There are quite a few more: Win+Arrow Keys can be used for window management (only in 7, to my knowledge), Win+R opens a run dialog, Win+D takes you to the desktop, Win+F opens a search window for the system, Win+E opens an Explorer window, Win+Break opens System Properties, Win+Spacebar peaks at the desktop (only in 7, to my knowledge), and Win+L locks the currently logged in account (useful if you live in a dorm or other environment where people like to mess with your system when you step away for a moment). There are many others, but these are the ones I find most useful. YMMV. I'm not sure what other simple key combinations could be used for the same functionality. And if you're using Mac OS or Linux with that Windows keyboard, it works as the command key or super key. So yeah, I'd say it can be quite useful.

more than 3 years ago
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I Name My Servers After:

Da Cheez Starships (722 comments)

I name all of my computers after classes of starship from Star Trek. The netbook is called Nova (small, slow, but for short-term missions/computing only), the desktop-replacement laptop I just sold was called Prometheus (had a lot of power; that's about it), and the desktop I just built is the Dauntless (really crazy fast).

Of course, Nova only applies to the Linux partition on my netbook. Since its Windows install was originally a Chinese version which I converted over to English, some text still pops up in Chinese once in a long while (and usually just with error messages, almost like it's swearing at me in Chinese). I therefore break with tradition and call it Serenity when booted into Windows.

more than 3 years ago
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Mars Rover Opportunity Surpasses 30km Driving

Da Cheez Please Don't Mix Systems of Measurement (86 comments)

""With her most recent drive of 482 feet on June 1, 2011 (Sol 2614), NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover has zoomed past the unimaginable 30 kilometer mark in total odometry since safely landing on Mars nearly seven and one half years ago on Jan 24, 2004. That's 50 times beyond the roughly quarter-mile of roving distance initially foreseen"

Dear Universe Today source article,
For the future, can we NOT mix our systems of measurement, please? Seriously, I don't know if I should be thinking in feet, kilometers, miles, or cubits right now. Please please please just choose metric or, if you must, US units. But whichever you choose, stick with one or the other when discussing one topic. Don't switch back and forth. It makes it impossible to get a good mental picture of what you're talking about in terms of scale.
Sincerely,
Self-righteous Complainer (but you left me no choice)

more than 3 years ago
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When it comes to jury service, I ...

Da Cheez I am being summoned.... (528 comments)

Actually, I just received my very first jury summons in the mail. Not sure whether to be excited or not....

more than 3 years ago
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Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?

Da Cheez Re:Americans are Clever Enough to Know... (2288 comments)

.. that if they give 'em an inch, they'll take a kilometer.

And that would just confuse us Americans.

Fixed that for ya.

Actually, I live in the US and went to public school here, and they taught us both metric and imperial measurements from elementary through high school. I'm very comfortable using either, and usually think of distance in terms of meters and temperature in terms of Celsius. Admittedly, I'm in college studying CS (formerly with a focus in Electrical Engineering) at an engineering school so I probably have more exposure to metric than the average American. But if my public school education is at least any indication of my generation's comfort level with metric, it doesn't seem there would be too much backlash from the public if we were to switch to an entirely metric system within the next twenty or so years.

Of course, there's still the big issue of industries that are built around the imperial system, but if the people are at least comfortable with metric then that's one major hurdle that's already been overcome in my generation.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Strikes Gold and Water On the Moon

Da Cheez Re:Wouldn't mining the moon be a bad idea? (421 comments)

This is a great discovery, but what are we going to do with it? The obvious thing is to mine it out, but wouldn't lightening the mass of the moon have a (probably quite bad) effect on it's tidal effects to the earth?

The mass of whatever rare elements we pull off the moon would probably be negligible compared to its overall mass. I would be more worried about the seemingly permanent change in appearance the moon would suffer with mining operations running on it. Without something like an atmosphere, any changes we make will be there for eons. I guess there's no practical reason for it, but I kind of like looking up into the sky and seeing a pristine lunar landscape. Maybe if they only mined the dark side of the moon....

more than 4 years ago
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3 Drinks a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Da Cheez Re:Eh (470 comments)

This just in! A new study shows that studies return trash results!

Next up: Astrology might be a load of crap!

more than 4 years ago
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Sit Longer, Die Sooner

Da Cheez Sitting Leads to Premature Death (341 comments)

Yes, but how likely are you to die prematurely if you NEVER SIT AT ALL?!

Standing - The ultimate secret in attaining immortality....

more than 4 years ago
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Medieval Copy Protection

Da Cheez Re:::facepalm:: (226 comments)

It also says in the Bible to pay your taxes. Something that's convenient overlooked by the tea party and stupid people like Palin.

I was unaware that the Tea Party and so called, "Stupid People" were actively not paying taxes. Seems like we'd be hearing more complaints from the IRS were that the case. They are, however, protesting issues they feel are unjust, which they are well within their rights to do. They are still in obedience to the laws of the land, and uphold the spirit of the same which gives them the right to peaceably assemble and protest, regardless of whether or not we agree with them.

more than 4 years ago
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Medieval Copy Protection

Da Cheez Re:::facepalm:: (226 comments)

To me, that passage says human law is a waste of time and an illusion, since only god's laws are the ones that truly matter...

This is where reading the whole passage and not just one verse is nice, since it leaves less room for potentially errant interpretation. For example, here's the whole passage starting with the verse we've already seen:

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Romans 13:1-7 (NIV)

Hopefully Zondervan won't condemn me in the last days with a curse for violating their IP in the use of that translation.... I suppose I could claim that Paul had prior art? IANAL....
Anyway, it still leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but at least that's hopefully a bit more clear than when just one verse was given by the grandparent poster. It more clearly means that human laws are to be obeyed. When taken in context with the rest of the Bible, the exception for not obeying evil laws is added.

more than 4 years ago
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Study Says Your Personality Doesn't Change After 1st Grade

Da Cheez Re:Nature vs Nurture (221 comments)

Only if personality were set at conception. This is saying that personality is set well after first grade. The personality formed by that stage of life could be due to nurture or nature. It's only nature that makes it stick after it's been set.
Just my .02 cents.

more than 4 years ago
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Rubik's Cube Now Solvable in 20 Moves

Da Cheez Re:35 years of computer time (309 comments)

This is explained. From TFA: Finally, we were able to distribute the 55,882,296 cosets of H among a large number of computers at Google and complete the computation in just a few weeks. Google does not release information on their computer systems, but it would take a good desktop PC (Intel Nehalem, four-core, 2.8GHz) 1.1 billion seconds, or about 35 CPU years, to perform this calculation.

more than 4 years ago
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Chernobyl Area Survey Finds Lasting Problems For Wildlife

Da Cheez RAWR!!! (201 comments)

"The largest wildlife census of its kind conducted in Chernobyl has revealed that mammals are declining in the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power plant."

Phew, that's a relief. With all that radiation, I was expecting something more like this to be happening to the mammals: http://www.snowspotmedia.com/blog/2010/04/06/Yao_Guai_by_Cyberpunk1989.jpg

more than 4 years ago
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Reading Terrorists' Minds About Imminent Attack

Da Cheez Re:Terrorists schmerrorists (206 comments)

Why is everything legitimized by putting the word terrorist in it? What does this have to do with terrorism?

As someone said here on /., terrorism is one of the magic keys, the other being child porn.

Because if you don't have magic keys like that, then the terrorists and pedophiles win!

more than 4 years ago
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Reading Terrorists' Minds About Imminent Attack

Da Cheez Lab Accuracy != Real World Accuracy (206 comments)

"they were able to correlate P300 brain waves to guilty knowledge with 100 percent accuracy in the lab"

Bet the accuracy wouldn't be so good in a non-controlled, non-laboratory environment. Of course, that wouldn't necessarily stop such a technology from being used, now would it?

more than 4 years ago
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The Canadian Who Holds the Key To the Internet

Da Cheez Article Omega (199 comments)

The truth is, these keys are really just a safe guard in case /. ever posts Article Omega, bringing about the systematic slashdotting of the ENTIRE INTERNET!!!

more than 4 years ago

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