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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

albacrankie Re:Mt. Miyajima? (151 comments)

Are you sure it wasn't you that was smoking at the time?

Perhaps you mean Sakurajima?

about a month ago

Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport

albacrankie This is Stage 2 (151 comments)

Scotland started its space exploration work in the 19th century.The first rocket (see link) encountered some technical difficulties, but we expect to get those sorted out soon.

about a month ago

NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology Is Scientific

albacrankie Re:Still a problem, but not as bad. (326 comments)

"I don't know of any remedy for superstition."

The just have to be taught not to walk on the cracks.

about 6 months ago

South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards

albacrankie No big deal (665 comments)

At my secondary school in the UK (between 1966 and 1972), not once was evolution taught in my science classes. In science, we measured, weighed, cut, burned, exploded, dissolved, attached weights, electrocuted, and stuff like that. Understanding evolution is not that important in most areas of science. The only time it was taught was in the Religious Education class by a Church Of Scotland minister. He explained it simply and in a way that made sense. It somehow seemed more relevant in that class, which covered 'big' topics such as existence, consciousness, morality, war, etc. I don't recall him saying that not everyone believed the theory of natural selection, but then again, he probably didn't tell us that not all Buddhists believe in reincarnation.

I don't think we got taught much about "theories" of gravity in science either. We learned that it causes falling objects to accelerate at 9.81 m/s/s, and that it causes a mass to have weight. We even verified those things. (Oh, experiments! How great you are!) But no one explained whether it was caused by magic magnets or gravity fairies or anything like that.

about 6 months ago

25% of Charter Schools Owe Their Soul To the Walmart Store

albacrankie Re:Love the quotes (233 comments)

Thanks for that. A genuinely intelligent comment.

about 6 months ago

New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

albacrankie Re:I believe it (1010 comments)

"Agnostic is just a word created by the religious..."

"agnostic" is a word created by T.H. Huxley to describe his position that he was quite certain he didn't know the answers to questions concerning existence, while others seemed quite certain they did. He described agnosticism as a principle and not a creed or belief. He applied it to everything, not just the matter of the existence of God.

"This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty."

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?

albacrankie Let's face it, we start to smell at 50 (629 comments)

I'm 58, and already my kids won't come into my office. My wife comes in occasionally, but she's in her fifties too, so she doesn't notice so much. We shouldn't pretend about this. Why do you think senior managers are given their own offices with windows?

So what are the options? Working remotely for sure. And having some embarrassing pics or info on your employer is pretty useful if you want to be known as someone who is too important to be fired. Knowing how to make stuff work and fix stuff tends to help. A sprinkling of craplang such as agile, scrum, burndown charts, etc, sometimes helps.

about 9 months ago

Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

albacrankie it was as if the system was attacking itself... (516 comments)

"It's out of control, Captain," said the chief engineer. "The parameters are going to blow if we don't do something soon."

The Crank continued to sit quietly, surveying the panicked faces in front of him. The tears from a young secretary in the corner, the one who had only joined the group to bring hope to millions of elderly people, confirmed his view that this was no place for the sentimental. Slowly, peoples' eyes started to look his way. What were they hoping for? Some magic fix? Some weird incantation that he would type into a terminal and that would take everything back to that stable comfort of two hours ago?

Eventually he got to his feet and looked around the walls of the room that were stacked high with electronic systems. "Any ideas?" asked the Captain.

"Nothing that I think you will like," replied the Crank.

To be continued..

about 10 months ago

Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?

albacrankie Re:God of the Gaps (1293 comments)

I'm not sure it's right to equate religion and superstition. Religion implies belief in various supernatural behaviors. Superstition is often much more simple and generally harmless. For example, those of us who wear our wifes' underwear while writing regular expressions only do so because it worked before. If it stops working, we will think again, and consider whether we were wrong in the first place, or whether the failure was due to a recent change in color or material of the said garments.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Can Creating New Online Accounts Reduce Privacy Risks?

albacrankie You're concerned...? (164 comments)

I used to get ads featuring young ladies in skimpy underwear. Move on a few years, and now I get ads for 'mature' dating sites. These ads are extremely depressing. So much so that I suspect it's a euthanasian plot intended to make me top myself. It may succeed. And now you're suggesting I could fix things by changing my e-mail address. That may be even more depressing. Fuck it!!!!

about a year ago

How Human Psychology Holds Back Climate Change Action

albacrankie That 97% again... (530 comments)

That number keeps cropping up. I'm pretty sure all those studies didn't refer to 'accelerating' climate change.

about a year ago

How Human Psychology Holds Back Climate Change Action

albacrankie And just maybe... (530 comments)

...people are smart enough to look at a graph of temperatures over the last 100 years and see that things aren't that clear. And however many statistical methods are applied to that same data, perhaps people conclude that a lot still isn't known. Perhaps people's psychologies view taking 'significant' action against carbon emissions in a similar way to taking 'significant' action against Syria. In other words, we doubt whether the 'experts' know what the hell they are talking about.

about a year ago

Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death

albacrankie Re:Looks like Mormons were right about everything (220 comments)

"Fresh fruits & veggies, whole grains, no smoking or chewing tobacco, eating meat sparingly"

Me: Will that make me live longer?
Doc: Perhaps not, but it'll sure feel like it.

1 year,3 days

Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

albacrankie Re: Hydrogen Sulfide (367 comments)

it is a matter of society not being allowed to trust a very small subset of scientists

I trimmed your quote, but I think the bit I left is telling. I don't trust them, but I'm I'm not sure who's allowing me this freedom/delusion. Please enlighten me.

about a year ago

Pearson Vue Now On Day 5 of Massive Outage

albacrankie Re:UK Driving License (151 comments)

There's usually a question about unladen swallows too.

about a year ago

Open Source Emoji Project Wants Money For Icons

albacrankie Re:I have another idea (156 comments)

So how come my Japanese father-in-law shouts the equivalent of 'f**king emoji' in Japanese (along with other rants about 'f**king kids', 'f**king politicians', and 'my f**king driveway' - he doesn't have a lawn).

about a year and a half ago

UK Apple Shop Forced To Change Its Name

albacrankie Re:Impressive! (174 comments)

Your description beats anything I could have said. Sorry, Slashdot! I'm worried why I even come here any more.

about a year and a half ago

Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban

albacrankie Iceland has big boots (684 comments)

The population of Iceland is about 320,000. Yet it seems to get a fair amount of attention. Preston in Lancashire never gets told to fuck off for having some weird loitering laws. Countries threaten war with Iceland when it changes its fishing policy.

I imagine your weather is shittier than ours (here in Scotland). Do you while away the dark months planning the overthrow of the world? We just moan a lot. You seem to be a great country. (I may be prejudiced. I was brought up on the BBC program, Noggin The Nog)

about a year and a half ago

The Biggest Financial Fraud of All Time

albacrankie Re:Why this pisses me off... (470 comments)

On the other hand, as Scotland considers voting for independence, the actions of RBS show us that we can lie, cheat and steal with the best of them. That should give us confidence that we can succeed as an advanced independent country. By the way, I don't recall RBS really having the reputation you ascribe to it. I think the Bank Of Scotland (BOS, part of HBOS, now part of Lloyds) always had the better reputation for prudent business. Either way, both managed to screw up their reputations.

about a year and a half ago


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