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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

quenda Re:u can rite any way u want (431 comments)

The egalitarian system may have had benefits, but so does standardized spelling.

Or standardised spelling.

5 days ago
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Amazon Reportedly Launching Smartphone This Year

quenda Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (38 comments)

You mean, like T-mobile with a SIM?

You mean, the US still has phones without SIMs? Locked to a carrier!?
No wonder cell-phone plans are so expensive compared to the rest of the world then. (When most things are cheaper in the US.)
Its sad. The US once led the world in antitrust law enforcement.

about a week ago
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UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

quenda Re:shenanigans (386 comments)

You can speculate on the root cause of murder, but simple demographic data explains the different numbers between the US and other developed countries.

The fact is that everywhere, homicide rates differ dramatically by age, gender, race and ethnicity. Some countries show bigger variation than the US does.
If you control for those variables, the difference mostly goes away.
e.g. compare data for whites of the same age and gender to Western Europe, US Hispanics to Latin America, or African Americans to Africans, and the US data does not look so different.

I don't see why this fact should give rise to cries of racism, when it is just as much sexist and ageist.

about two weeks ago
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It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

quenda Re:The Religious Right will have your head on a pl (470 comments)

Bleh, I ment AL, not AZ :)

Most of us would not know the difference anyway. This is an international forum, so please avoid 2LAs and zip-codes.
Alabama? Alaska?

about two weeks ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

quenda Do the maths (518 comments)

15 million light vehicles per year, so over 1 billion dollars, and they say it will save "13 to 15 lives per year and prevent as many as 1,125 injuries annually".

I don't want to get all Tyler Durden, but are there more effective ways of spending all that money? e.g. road improvements or driver education and law enforcement?

about three weeks ago
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UN Court: Japanese Whaling "Not Scientific"

quenda Re:Japan, a land filled with lies ! (188 comments)

There is an east-west cultural difference here.

In the West, we have "plausible deniability", where we can't be 100% sure they knew they were telling lies.

In the East, a plain-as-day outright lie is more polite than saying "no, we withdraw from your treaty.".

about three weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

quenda Re:"I WILL GIVE UP MY MOBILE..." (367 comments)

It does very strongly suggest that cell phone use is not a particular cause of accidents.

That suggestion goes against other evidence, and simple logic that distraction contributes to accidents.
The simple point is that you have naively assumed the laws changed driver behavior in that particular case. But this is often not true.

about three weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

quenda Re:"I WILL GIVE UP MY MOBILE..." (367 comments)

Laws against cell phone use have not reduced accident rates.

That proves nothing, unless you can show that the law actually succeeded in substantially reducing cell-phone use in cars.
e.g. with data from the carriers showing reduced cell handovers. Were the laws strongly enforced and publicised?

about three weeks ago
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Physicists Produce Antineutrino Map of the World

quenda Re:Hmmmm ... (75 comments)

Is it safe to assume that even nuclear weapons will emit a considerable amount of anti-neutrinos?

Yes, but only very briefly, and only once.

about three weeks ago
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Russians Take Ukraine's Last Land Base In Crimea

quenda Re:I dont get it (551 comments)

Because Saddam Hussein made open threats against the west,

Are you talking about the 1990 invasion here? Because Saddam was no serious threat to anyone in 2003.
The invasion was justified by falsified evidence of WMDs, but had long been sought by the neocons, and was mostly about oil (not just in Iraq, but the region.)
It was not popular with the people of those coalition countries, but the US put sufficient influence on the governments to get them in.

(Unlike in 1990 where the US had genuine popular support for the invasion and partial occupation of Iraq. And Bush the First had enough sense to keep out of Baghdad.)

about a month ago
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Russians Take Ukraine's Last Land Base In Crimea

quenda Re:I dont get it (551 comments)

The Ukrainians gave up their ICBMs so now the Russians are invading Ukraine.

I think people keep overestimating the usefulness of nukes.
You really think Ukraine would have threatened Russia with ICBMs over Crimea? And Putin would have backed down? Not likely!

about a month ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

quenda Re:Brought to you by Fox News (292 comments)

a NY pediatrician who was warning parents that the flu vaccine ... a different article written by Fox New's own Dr. Manny touting the benefits of the flu vaccine for everybody, including children.

Flu vaccine is an argument that genuinely is not clear cut, unless you are high risk. So publishing two opinions is fine. Its not like MMR where the two sides are clearly defined as science vs nut-jobs. (Are you sure the pediatrician mentioned autism, or was that your friend? )

about a month ago
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Earth Barely Dodged Solar Blast In 2012

quenda Re:ZOMG a bad thing didn't happen! (202 comments)

Most hospitals have 3 days of fuel for their generators, beyond that they're back to doing surgery by candlelight.

Unlike Fukushima, the roads will be open for trucks to deliver fuel for backup generators to hospitals, pumping stations, and other vital infrastructure.
People will get by in the short run, but I'd be very scared of the global economic impact.

about a month ago
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Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?

quenda Re:Uh what? (180 comments)

But in many cases land was brought.

What!? The settlers brought land with them from Britain? How small was NZ originally then?

about a month ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

quenda Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (529 comments)

Gifted students should be able to teach themselves with little if any guidance. Remedial students need help.

Gross oversimplification. The gifted kids might teach themselves to read, and do maths, but then get bored and drop out.
Many may need extra stimulation and direction - depends on the kid.
Similar for remedial - some are keen to learn, but slow. Others cannot / will not, and it's a waste trying to force them beyond basic literacy and numeracy.

about a month ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

quenda Re:No surprise (529 comments)

No matter how plausible you proposed mechanism, it is no substitute for actual empirical evidence.
Anyway, I was making a joke at the expense of the religious. Sorry if it went over your head.

about a month ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

quenda Re:No surprise (529 comments)

Religion makes you stupid.

Citation? Correlation is not causation.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

quenda Re:Watch out (436 comments)

Whatever country the hijackers are from better watch it because US bombs will be coming there way (especially so if the country has oil or other natural resources)

So we learned nothing from the 2001 US bombardment and invasion of Saudi Arabia then?

about a month ago

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