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Everything posted by DrKrettin

  1. This indeed displays the astounding arrogance of christians who think they have discovered some truth, as if it were any more valid than any other religious belief. Your use of the word "heathen" to describe any other religion is clearly to be understood as pejorative. Considering that you have as little evidence of the validity of your religion as anyone else has for theirs, the arrogance is laughable.
  2. I feel morally obliged to perform a scientific test with every single type of alcoholic beverage available. I'll report back in a year or two, if I remember.
  3. I don't dispute this, but it does not explain to me why the effect of a small amount of beer or wine is different. I don't think that a linear scale of the amount of alcohol and/or rate of absorption is the whole story. Some days I have a beer before the evening meal, and other days I have a glass of wine. I'm guessing that the volume of beer is about three times the volume of the glass of wine, so the alcohol intake is similar. The effect on my mind is different - I feel the effect of alcohol but in different ways. The sensation after a whisky is different too, but the circumstances are different. I wonder whether other factors are in play - if it is hot and I'm thirsty, I tend towards a beer, so maybe I am dehydrated at that point.
  4. No it does not, it is totally meaningless, like Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
  5. The sigma just means Sum. Note that the integral sign is a distorted S (or sigma) to indicate the integral being an infinite series of infinitesimal components. I don't think this is relevant, just interesting.
  6. This of course depends on your definition of democracy. Only adult male citizens were enfranchised (30% of the population), so they ruled by democratic vote. In theory, that could involve everybody, but in practice the reality was that the poor had enough problems scraping a living and the wealthier were the ones who had the time to be involved in politics.
  7. Well, I hear what you say, or rather I read what you write, but my own experience is that the effect of one glass of beer is quite different to the effect of one glass of wine. It just feels different in an undefinable way. I can't see how this has to do with the amount of alcohol or the rate of absorption, yet I can't think what other variables there might be. On the odd occasion when I have had an excess of either, the sensations merge into one unpleasant sensation of being drunk. As I understand it, the metabolism rate of alcohol is at a maximum when the alcohol content is about 45%, the amount you find in hard liquor. There was a time when I grew blackcurrants and made drinkable wine from it. It went sour quite quickly, so I then distilled neat alcohol from it (being very careful to avoid the methanol). Once or twice I tried drinking the stuff uncut, and found it had no effect at all, but didn't experiment too much because I understood it could be dangerous. I don't really understand why it should make a difference, because it must get mixed and diluted in the stomach anyway.
  8. As anecdotal evidence, I submit that my father was a happy drunk except when he drank white wine, when he became irrationally aggressive. But I suspect that drunks are usually of one type, and the behaviour does not change with type of alcohol. When you say that alcohol is always ingested, I heard recently of the weirdest fad of pouring vodka into the eyeballs. Does that count?
  9. Yes, but there are so many hybrids of the two that this distinction is not very useful for identifying effects. Originally, there was sativa (Latin = cultivated) until it was decided that indica was to be recognised as a separate type.
  10. There are 483 different chemicals which have been identified in a cannabis plant, 85 of which are cannabinoids. The effect of smoking or ingesting cannabis varies hugely, depending on the variety of plant, the time it was harvested and the quality of the particular bud used on any occasion. The variables are so numerous it is difficult to make a general statement, but as far as I know (which is not very far) there is no proven difference in effect between smoking and eating. Edit: I've re-read the OP, and comment that the effect of alcohol on me varies noticeably: the sensation is clearly different if I drink wine or beer.
  11. The European Patent Office grants patents based only on originality. The applicant is under no obligation to prove that something actually works, and the EPO is under no obligation to test anything, unless an examiner rejects it as being obviously contrary to the laws of physics (such as a perpetual motion machine).
  12. Does Riley feel any kind of pain? (I'm not leading to anything here, I'm just fascinated)
  13. Are you saying that one alter does not feel the pain of a broken leg?
  14. Does anybody else think that an accurate estimate is an oxymoron?
  15. I was referring to the New Testament, the text actually written in Greek, where it occurs twice: Epist. Joannis ii.4.1 and Apocalypsis Joannis 3.2.2. We have the word attested 130 times, but have no way of knowing the connection between what we have and how often it was actually used, other than it was obviously common. I was just trying to make the point that it was not a particularly notable word, where Greek has hundreds of interesting "invented" words (in the sense that Strange defines above).
  16. Thanks - do you know for certain that this is your makeup?
  17. Thanks - that helps me understand most of the rest. Why do people assume that acronyms are universally understood? VTS for example.
  18. Very true, I was just pointing out how unremarkable it is.
  19. I've just remembered that I wanted to comment on this. It is a perfectly usual word (attested 130 times, twice in the bible) which is the 1st sing. active perfect indicative of the verb eurisko to discover, find out. So it means "I have discovered (it)" and was (probably) pronounced HOO-re-ka. This is in stark contrast to the present-day attempt of yoo-REE-ka
  20. Ancient mythology has many examples of gold being the ultimate prize, for example the Golden Apple
  21. Nor do I - what I find puzzling are the criteria for choosing heroes. Most are merely actors and actresses or other entertainers with a wide range of talent from impressive to absolute zero.
  22. Ultimately you cannot prove that an individual actually existed 2500 years ago, all you have is the documented evidence. In the case of Socrates, the evidence is so convincing that there seems to me no reason at all for guessing that he is a figment of Plato's imagination. Evidence is to be found in Plato and Xenophon, but also in Aristophanes, all three claiming to have known Socrates personally. These three were not part of a religious sect with an agenda to invent a saviour, they were three unrelated Athenian citizens. Why would they have invented somebody? All three paint portraits of him which are not totally consistent with each other, but he was clearly a figure difficult to describe. Further evidence of his actual existence comes from sources describing his circle of friends including some who turned away from democracy (Critias, Charmides, Alcibiades) and this may have been the reason for his trial, or at least one of the reasons. Plato's Apology also makes reference to other characters who are considered to have existed, and who would have been alive at the time he wrote it. In his poetics, Aristotle classifies his dialogues with others as a species of fiction in their own right. Fragments survive of dialogues with Antisthenes, Aeschines of Sphettus and Phaedon of Elis. We know the names of his father, mother and wife. For me, the evidence that he existed is overwhelming.
  23. So what is your argument that Plato invented Socrates? (yes, I got the fun bit) There were Gods before the Greeks, and afterwards. Actually, you have only scratched the surface.
  24. That's probably the only astronomical event which I have managed to see successfully, others being ruined by cloud and rain. It was probably the least impressive Halley's comet in centuries. I saw it with my young son, who has the prospect of seeing it again, which makes me wonder what percentage of the population have that opportunity.
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