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Comment Re:Uber? (Score 1) 640

To be fair, although she was drunk as shit and should have never been behind a wheel, it appears from camera footage that she was swerving to avoid ANOTHER car that was traveling the wrong way on the street.

Driving drunk is not much of a problem if nothing unexpected happens on your way home. Even though someone has a 2500% greater chance of having an accident with a .20 BAC, that only increases the chances of an accident on a 10 mile trip from 0.002% to about 0.04625% (or 1 in 2000 10 mile drunk driving trips). Nearly 100% of people who drive drunk don't get into an accident.

Driving drunk is mostly just a problem because something unexpected might happen, like another car driving the wrong way on a street. When drunk you don't have the necessary reaction time to adjust and an accident becomes very likely.

So what you're saying is for drunks, we should assess risk the same way as if they were travelling by airplane?

Still a massively low chance of an accident, but a massively higher chance of killing everyone if something bad happens.

Comment Re:"Bad manners, my dear Gigi..." (Score 1) 152

I'd think that most people who eat with their mouths open have enough experience with it that they don't spill, which negates two of your points.

I question whether those who eat with their mouths open are self-aware enough to train such an ability in the first place.

1: Not having to swallow before saying something. Which might be something important, like "lion!". I've seen people choke because they attempted to swallow unchewed food so they could answer a waiter.

I fail to see how chewing with a closed mouth precludes opening it in such dire emergencies. And the waiter who deliberately asks questions while people are chewing might, on inspecting their tip-jar, like to speculate on how much they've lost due to such irritating behaviour.

If there's any connection between the act of liquefying your food before swallowing and open vs. closed mouth chewing, frankly I can much more easily see how open-mouthers are more likely to choke, since those with closed mouths can complete the mastication process to its fullest extent with no fear of anything accidentally "leaking out" of their gaping, anti-social pie-holes.

2: Practice for cunnilingus.

You eat at your mothers table with that idea in your head? Cunnilingus is practice for cunnilingus.

3: Being able to chew on what's too big for single bites. Like gnawing on bones.

Gnawing on something too big to put in your mouth, and therefore chew and swallow, is not what is being talked about, and needless to say the sound output is different.

The biggest downside to eating with an open mouth is likely etiquette. Which is important enough - it's the grease in the machinery of interpersonal relations.

It's true that there is a lot of arbitrary etiquette around, but some of it has sanitary origins too, and I think eating with your mouth-closed is one of those things.

Comment "Bad manners, my dear Gigi..." (Score 5, Insightful) 152

"...break-up more households than infidelity."

Why is it good to close your mouth when you eat?

1. You won't spray all over everyone and everything while you masticate.
2. More food makes it into your gut, so you're less of a wasteful slob in an otherwise hugely wasteful age.
3. People won't have to raise their voices to have a conversation over your meat-flapping noises.
4. You won't announce your gastronomic preoccupation to predators.

Comment Re:Are there more or do we just find more? (Score 2) 203

What incredibly destructive thing were we about to do 8.48 years ago?

Well, let's see...

The United States and the Czech Republic sign an initial agreement to base a United States missile defense system in the Czech Republic. (AP via Google News) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responds to this development, "We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods." (The Times)

Dammit!

Comment Re: It *can* be right... (Score 1) 126

Darling, the fate of the astronaut in either case has nothing to do with it. The alpha centauri one is going to die before you get there, truly. But you cannot say he is "dead already" from your own reference frame. Well, you can on a /. thread obviously, but it's a philosophical point, not a scientific one.

You can make the trip to the doomed astronaut, and you can watch him die through your telescope before you get there (however the hell that might look when you're moving at relativistic speeds) but there is absolutely no way for you to *prove* that he has already expired before you left, because there is no mechanism to check the fact.

"Oh well, but doesn't it just make sense anyway? I mean, he only had food for 4 years, and it took more than that for his message to reach us." Yes, I get what you're trying to say, but it's a philosophical point only, which is another way of saying it's no bloody point at all.

Comment Re:It *can* be right... (Score 1) 126

Damn, you're dumb. I really lost it at "we can't say that they died X light-years ago". No, we certainly can't say that.

Damn, you're a nice guy and I like you. Yes, I knew I'd be caught on the "light-years ago" point. I thought the years/light-years phrasing I used later would be back-ported by yourself and the intention correctly inferred. Lesson learned. I'll be explicit next time. I also made a mistake at the start of the 3rd paragraph: Replace *say* with *hypothesise* to get the gist of my meaning.

Anyway, adding a radio into the mix is pure fluff, and so is the notion of precision. Neither say anything about when it is meaningful to say "Z happened" according to any particular reference frame.

Comment Re:It *can* be right... (Score 1) 126

There isn't nearly enough data to answer the question, and whatever data I can dream-up to fill the gaps doesn't solve the problem either.

We can sit here and watch the astronaut die from afar, but we can't say that they died X light-years ago because the information of the event is propagating at that speed too. To send a rescue craft to reach them just before they perish and then return at light-speed, such events would happen (from our frame-of-reference) over the same duration it would have taken to just watch and do nothing (well, slightly less of course, because they were rescued. :)

I grant that you can *say* that the event happened Y years/light-years ago. It's good fun, we have a few laughs, and no /. article with "light years" in it is complete without several of us doing so. But when it comes to actual spacetime, and the real job of looking at it, moving around it, and proving the whole damned conjecture in an empirical way from *any* frame of reference; well, we can't bloody do it, and as far as the best science can tell us so far, nobody else can either, which makes the statement utterly vacuous.

But fun, I guess, and it obviously never gets old.

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