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Royston last won the day on April 22 2012

Royston had the most liked content!

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About Royston

  • Rank
    Señor Butt Monkey
  • Birthday 09/08/76

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  • Interests
    Glue, bowler hats, brief cases and seagulls.
  • College Major/Degree
    BSc Hons in Physics
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Astronomy and Cosmology and Hats
  • Biography
    I've been gluing little bowler hats and brief cases to wild seagulls, for most of my life.
  • Occupation
  1. What is the 'expansion of matter theory' ? Also what is doubling rate and where did you get that value from ? Push and pull are really relative terms though. Locally, a gravitational field can appear to push or pull depending on your frame of reference. You need to provide some substantial maths to back up the claim that it is one over the other.
  2. I've seen that Daedalus has been posting his own music on here occasionally. Although I don't share his technical composition capabilities, I'm reasonable with the production side of things. In any case, here's a track I finished recently. It has a very bitter sweet theme...
  3. You wouldn't get a 10 billion year old star in an infant galaxy. If you viewed the Milky Way from the galaxy that is 13 billion light years away, you would see early star formation and relatively young stars, just as you would when observing very distant galaxies from the Milky Way. The eldest star discovered in our galaxy is 13.2 billion years old.
  4. It doesn't record audio signals, it's a telescope. In principle, given a good enough detector we could measure C_s which would be dependant on the medium of the ISM (even though at the best of times, it's incredibly tenuous). There's a whole bunch of astrophysical phenomena where our understanding depends on how sound waves propagate in certain environments e.g accretion disks. The ISM or IGM aren't really good testbeds for studying audio signals...they're (next to a vacuum) the worst in the universe.
  5. Fancy refraining from ad homs ? I'm perfectly aware of your third point, but you're failing to follow the argument properly. Once again, and repeating arguments appears as rhetoric, but in your case it's because you ignore it...I have never assumed this. Please point out specifically where I've assumed that both parties are innocent, because you hav'nt so far. This discussion is growing increasingly tiresome. Why have you skirted around my main points...why ? TBH I don't care, belligerence is belligerence and it's frankly boring. If you don't have the common decency to attack the points I've raised, then whatever, can't be arsed, goodbye, yawn inducing, pffft. EDIT: Separate clause needs a comma after but.
  6. I've been busy, so sorry for the late response. Both of those scenarios are legitimate within the current system, so that's a contradiction. In such a case it would be down to judge and jury rather than, for example, clear cut evidence. I'm not sure what these constant hypothetical situations are trying to achieve. Do you think I don't understand your arguments, so you feel the need to re-frame them, or am I rebutting your arguments sufficiently ? Or is it something else...not sure I care really. Trust me it's not the former. I dunno, lets get down to brass tacks. From reading back on your arguments it seems you agree with the following... Subjective statements that are open to interpretation are sueable, and somebody is within their rights to bring someone else into court for making a subjective statement. This can cost an exceptional amount of money, but you seem to be ok with that ? The fact that libel even exists is stifling to free speech, (why would anyone want to speak out against, say, the Fox network if they can be sued for libel) the fact it is incredibly expensive, even more so. Penny for your thoughts has become, an obscene amount of cash for your thoughts. You seem to be ok with guilty until proven innocent and your reasoning is that taking this stance, which is logically unsound, is a way of tackling innocent until proven guilty despite it's a direct contradiction. It is the equivalent of saying, I'll stop that murderer by murdering them. It gets worse, you then try to legitamise your argument because some outdated wanky laws are used in the court room, such as... So a subjective defence is a good defence is it ? How can you take that seriously ? You can go off at a tangent all you want, that wasn't the discussion at the time.
  7. Well of course, but I've made no such assumption. What I did state, is that there shouldn't be grounds for a trial based solely on my feelings. It is simply not substantial for bringing someone into court. With such a serious accusation, providing evidence on the damage to my reputation should be easy. So again, I think the plaintiff should hold the burden of proof, for reasons I've already stated. Freedom of speech is my main concern here. I cannot prove I'm not a murderer, but there would be no evidence that I am a murderer, so the accusation would not hold water in court. I would have evidence of libel (your slanderous claims all over the internet) and any damage to my reputation (beyond just my feelings). He could sue for damages if he had yet to be tried for murder. But what led to his arrest was evidence, so any claims that it was you that led to his arrest would be easily countered. Any claims of slander would be dropped and you would (I would hope) receive compensation. This is not ideal, but it beats (IMO) having a system that can be easily abused, stifles free speech and that goes against the core principle of innocent until proven guilty. Here's a quote that pretty much sums up my thoughts... " The main "atrocity" in defamation is that it is the only civil wrong where the burden of proof is placed on the defence. In all other civil actions, claimants bear this burden – which is logical and fair, since they are the party using the process to drag others into court. The Ministry of Justice refused to make this change in the defamation bill because "proving a negative is always difficult". It's not. All the claimant has to do is to go into the witness box and aver that the story is false. If he or she survives cross-examination and any defence evidence, their case is proved on the balance of probabilities." Taken from
  8. Even though burden of proof on a defendant is in direct contradiction to this. You seem to be glossing over the wider implications and repercussions of the major flaw in libel and why it is so important that innocent until proven guilty has to be upheld as fundamental. If that tenet is contradicted, then the libel law can be abused and therefore impinges on freedom of speech. How I would feel would be entirely subjective and is therefore not (or certainly shouldn't be) solid grounds for suing. This is one reason why the defamation act was changed in 2013 i.e a requirement of serious harm, I'm sure there are clever ways of getting round this depending on the situation. You have read the wiki article on Singh, so this is an odd point to raise. This pretty much screws the rest of your points, but anyway... If I had grounds for suing you i.e I lost my job and I had evidence to support this, then I have a case, where the burden of proof is on me. The case is on my name being slandered, not on whether I've murdered anybody or not. You should be innocent of libel until it was proved my reputation was damaged. If I simply stated, well John has been saying nasty things about me on the internet, and it's hurt my ickle feelings, would not or should not cut it in a court of law. I simply don't have to, because again, the case is on my name being slandered, not on whether I've murdered anybody or not. When there has been damage to my reputation that can be backed up by evidence.
  9. The problem, put another way, is that the burden of proof lies on the defendant, who is therefore guilty until proven innocent (this is also the case in France...the Singh case being in the UK). One of the main tenets of western law is that a defendant should be innocent until proven guilty for obvious reasons. As freedom of speech underpins libel and slander cases, and is fundamental to democracy you would hope the law that deals with such cases is not broken. It's not altogether clear that the tightening of the defamation act in the UK will tackle this problem head on. There are no such amendments for libel law in France. Also, how can you sue for slander against a prophet who's existence has no evidence whatsoever. You mean, a handful of sociopathic Islamic fundamentalists.
  10. Yeah, sorry I should of expanded on what I meant, as it's not a particularly clear. What I meant, was that somebody accused of slander is assumed guilty, the Simon Singh case that led to the reformed defamation act that was running for several years is a good example of this. As imatfaal said, this is OT but just wanted to clarify. If there's still something to discuss, then I guess this should be split to another thread.
  11. Exactly, but I disagree that there should be any legal retaliation to insults... The appropriate response is to get over it, and treat an insult for precisely what it is, a bunch of words. There should be no legal ramifications about saying something derogatory about somebody or something, unless it has a measurable effect and is proven to deliberately cause, say, the loss of a job. In any case, libel laws are fundamentally flawed in that they presume guilty until proven innocent, which is ridiculous. I think Steve Hughes says it best, when it comes to being offended.... But moderated speech is clearly not freedom of speech. Pretty stark contradiction there. What is 'loony' about making pejorative statements or pictures about some mythical bullshit ? You do realise that terrorist attacks, especially of this nature are incredibly rare. People die from falling out of bed, so by your reasoning, everyone should bubble wrap themselves from head to toe through fear of dying when going to sleep. Can you not see how insane that is ? The internet and press is littered with insulting material about pretty much any subject you can throw a stick at. So what ? If someone is highly reactionary about a few words or a picture to the point of violence, it is 'they' who are in the wrong, not the person making the statement. How are we supposed to progress past scare tactics if the answer is to hide away....what a completely absurd solution. Is anyone really convinced that the issue is about so called offensive or slanderous comments and cartoons about religion, or is the supposed reasoning behind the attacks just a guise and excuse to incite hatred and violence for a much deeper seeded problem ? A problem that has become so convoluted and muddied, that I doubt that many even know (including myself) where it all stems from.
  12. Tar, I'm going through a very similar situation to you although I'm only on day 7, having decided to quit for the new year (cold turkey). I've been smoking for roughly 22 years. Today has been incredibly tough. I found out recently that my Dad was terminally ill (unsure exactly how much time he has left, but it's not much) and my Mum's health has been deteriorating over the last few years with a progressive neurological disorder. Trying not to make this a sob story, just providing some background. Despite studying physics and computer science for the last 8 years, I've been in and out of work after being made redundant a few years ago and I found out today I'm being forced to work in a factory doing 12 hour shifts or my benefits will be stopped (meaning I would be made effectively homeless unless I start work at this awful place). It wouldn't be so bad, but I've only been out of work for a few months, so I feel I'm being treated exceptionally poorly here. I have never wanted a cigarette so badly in my life. It has been reaching epic levels, but it's really encouraging reading through your posts that, whatever gets thrown at you, cigarettes are not going to make it any better. Indeed, if I cave in now it will make matters worse; I will let myself down, I will be going back to square one having quit for a week, I will have to let friends and family know I failed. So rather than dash to the shop to get my nicotine fix, I decided to write my thoughts on here and munch on peanuts and raw carrots (seems to work for me). Congratulations on hitting 9 months ! I really hope I can stick it out for as long and felt like it was getting easier until today. I guess days like these are the real tests and I'll only be stronger for getting through it.
  13. Just wanted to wish everyone on SFN, a Happy New Year ! I'm off to get drunk, and celebrate the Gregorian calendar in all it's glory. Hope everyone has a great 2015.
  14. I'm by no means savvy with economics but, I very recently invested in some Ripple Coins (XRP). This was partly through curiosity and, of course, to see if I can make some money. The Ripple network is unique due to decentralized currency conversion and trade. This drastically speeds up transactions and significantly reduces charges (a charge being a tiny fraction of an XRP). You can use the RippleTrade UI to bid and ask via an order book. This is as far as my dabbling goes i.e exchanging Bitcoins for Ripples and vice versa depending on their relative strengths. It's most likely due to my lack of knowledge, but I find cryptocurrencies rather abstract. This is for several reasons, but I don't wish to write a lengthy OP. I've managed to more than double my money, however it is, to all intents and purposes, gambling ! So, I was wondering, has anyone here dabbled in the cryptocurrency market (beyond making a purchase with, say, Bitcoins) ? Is it right to consider cryptocurrencies as quite an abstract entity ? Or are they no more or less abstract than any other currency ?