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Everything posted by bascule

  1. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-at-least-10-activists-killed-as-israel-navy-opens-fire-on-gaza-aid-flotilla-1.293089 Topic says it all, but some ground rules for a thread like this, since the last time this happened the thread descended into a number of ad hominem attacks against myself: Just because I started this thread does not make me pro-Palestine Just because I started a thread which casts Israel in a bad light does not make me an anti-Semite I hope you all can recognize that Israel and Palestine are both doing bad things That said... discuss. My opinion is Israel seriously needs to be sanctioned, especially by the US which despite an unprecedentedly burgeoning national debt continues to deliver billions in aid to Israel.
  2. Well, you started the thread with... ...which gave it a rather polarized tone to begin with. But now, I'm unsure of how to interpret this story any other way than inevitable fallout from the unconstitutional indefinite imprisonment and torture techniques used by the previous administration. But clearly, you want to spin this so the evil liberals are at fault. Framing the whole thing in the context of something the previous administration did wrong, ostensibly as an attempt to show "hey, this thing Bush did wrong isn't so bad, cuz the evil liberals are doing something similar now" seems to be a common tactic among Fox and its ilk.
  3. NewScientist just ran a story of how the overwhelming majority of oil leaked from the spill takes the form of huge plumes under the surface. It does acknowledge the previously cited statements from NOAA that the exact extent of these subsurface plumes in relation to the Deepwater Horizon spill is presently unknown.
  4. bascule

    Lady Gaga

    Perhaps you're confusing Lady Gaga with Ke$ha or Justin Bieber Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedApparently this is what passes for the best music in Europe right now... WTF? 8QSgNM9yNjo
  5. I recently discovered Philo Farnsworth's "fusor" reactor design, which uses inertial electrostatic confinement to produce fusion reactions for up to 30 seconds at a time. I have a moderate (electrical) engineering background and have done lots of simple projects, but building a "fusor" sounds somewhat... involved. However, I'd like to build one. Can people suggest more intermediate skill projects that use similar concepts to the fusor which I could do in order to develop the requisite background to construct a fusor? I am thinking various devices based around vacuum chambers or related to creating confined plasmas. I have a friend who has the requisite equipment to produce vacuum chambers and would likely be collaborating with him to construct a fusor.
  6. As someone who spends a decent amount of time in Europe, I prefer to look at things from an ecumenical perspective and call them "conservatives." I also see this as another textbook example of why it's very difficult for true liberals/progressives to accomplish anything in America like they have in Europe... because our only "liberal" party is weighed down by a conservative legacy.
  7. So, let me see if I understand the timeline of events... correct me if I'm wrong anywhere: US kidnaps foreign citizens who are suspected of terrorism Suspects are idefinitely detained in Guantanamo bay Suspects are tortured After Bush leaves office, ACLU secures trials for Guantanamo detainees Torturers identities are made part of the public record through these trials Journalists publicize the identities of the torturers and make them available to Al Qaeda Individuals responsible for revealing the identities of the torturers are defended by the ACLU Heritage Foundation / Fox allege liberal conspiracy involving ACLU et al Does that about sum it up?
  8. A pretty interesting documentary on LHC: http://www.collidingparticles.com
  9. It sounds like the ACLU is coming to the defense of the individual accused, not that this was directly instigated by the ACLU. Or at least, that's what I gather from the ABC/Washington Times articles you linked. The Heritage Foundation article, unsurprisingly, paints a different picture. For the record, here's what the ACLU has to say about the "John Adams Project": http://www.aclu.org/national-security/john-adams-project-american-values Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged By extension, this is what happens when you capture foreign civilians and bring them back to US soil with no real plans for how to prosecute them, like the previous administration did. As far as I can tell, their plans were "indefinite detention" and "torture", both of which are unconstitutional (cue someone claiming that it's still okay to torture non-US citizens because the Constitution doesn't apply to them). After the cacophony asking for trials got loud enough, the previous administration wanted to bend the rules, trying civilians as if they were members of a foreign military. They're terrorists, after all! Never mind that terrorists are civilians by definition. The overwhelming ignorance and miscomprehension of the consequences of their actions falls on the previous administration. If you don't like terrorists-who-are-by-definition-civilians being tried in civilian courts, blame the previous administration for bringing them here in the first place.
  10. If you're really looking for a liberal equivalent to Glenn Beck, Alex Jones is probably your best bet: le89JY3Angg He's not really a liberal... in fact, he's closer to a paleoconservative, but most of his followers are liberal anarchists of the sort who supported Ron Paul.
  11. The "partisan left"? Are you quite sure you aren't making a hasty generalization there?
  12. Yes, at the same time it's wrong to torture, and it's especially wrong for a US presidential administration to out undercover CIA operatives
  13. I would hope that anyone concerned with the security of this nation would have a problem with the presidential administration outing an undercover CIA operative, regardless of their political background. If you find any members of the "left" on this forum who think it's "okay", let me know. Until then, your argument is based on the association fallacy.
  14. In my opinion, the Democrats are significantly more Internet-savvy than the Republicans. The 2008 election saw massive leveraging of social networks like Facebook and Twitter for campaign purposes. Millions followed Barack Obama on Twitter when McCain could barely drum up tens of thousands. Recently the Republicans tried to launch a site called AmericaSpeakingOut, largely reminiscent of Obama's Open for Questions site, which allowed users to submit questions that the community can vote on in order to weight their importance. Unfortunately, in doing so, the Republicans seem to have forgotten the comparative imbalance of Internet savvy between themselves and Democrats. Liberals found and circulated the site, which is now mostly filled with liberal policy issues that are highly upvoted.
  15. I just saw this on the Clear Climate Code blog: http://clearclimatecode.org/nasa-giss-wants-to-use-our-code/ NASA GISS wants to switch from their archaic GISTEMP codebase written in Fortran to the new Clear Climate Code reimplementation of GISTEMP, which is written in Python with an emphasis on good software design practices and clarity of implementation. It seems to me this is a really great example of "citizen science" in action, and perhaps an example for scientists in general. My distinct impression of scientists in general is, well, they suck at being computer "scientists". The way they generally develop software runs diametrically opposite to best practices. Things like software testing, source control, and general software design and architecture practices are generally lost on them. No offense to the scientists here, they have larger issues to worry about than how to be good programmers. However, one thing any scientific research group whose work centers around a computer model might consider is producing a reference implementation in the language of their choice (e.g. Fortran) then hiring on a small staff of computer scientists who can directly translate the Fortran code into a more modern language such as Python, employing software engineering best practices as they perform the translation. They can test their implementation against the reference and determine if they produce the same output. And hey, maybe they'll find a few bugs in the original implementation along the way. When the clearer, more modern reimplementation is complete, they can continue to improve it, and as CCC has shown modern dynamic languages like Python offer all sorts of opportunities for adding data visualization to the output quickly and easily.
  16. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100527_hurricaneoutlook.html Due to unusually warm Atlantic waters and a decrease in wind shear due to El Nino, NOAA expects an "active to extremely active" hurricane season this year. Their specific predictions are as follows: Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges: 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including: 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which: 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
  17. The net radiative forcing effect of volcanic eruptions is negative, because the primary change they induce is filling the air with reflective sulfites which raise the earth's albedo by reflecting more sunlight back into space. If anything, these eruptions will forestall global warming.
  18. bascule

    Lady Gaga

    As you may or may not have gathered from my previous posts, I'm a huge fan of synthpop/electroclash, so while I have trotted out Gaga's Norah Jones-style stuff as indicative of her underlying talent, it really is her mainstream synthpop stuff I adore. My top 4 most listened Gaga tracks according to Last.fm: So Happy I Could Die Dance In The Dark Telephone Bad Romance And more generally, I'm noticing people hating on Gaga because of synthesizers and Auto-Tune. If so... welcome to modern music?
  19. I'm curious, as forum moderator, why did you decide to spi*cough* ahem, frame this thread in such a skewed manner? Nobody's even responded and you're already at: To add a little perspective here, the outing of Valerie Plame was done by the Bush Administration. You know, the people running the country. I take it you've been watching Fox.
  20. It would appear that they are in fact paying a "bad math" tax
  21. bascule

    Lady Gaga

    I think you are severely underestimating her cultural impact. She's bigger than Britney Spears, and people still remember who Britney is even though she debuted some 12 years ago and has been washed up for quite some time. Note that this re-enforces my opinion that all of you making snap judgments about her are simply ignorant.
  22. Well cool, glad you understand where I'm coming from. When you're talking about what's wrong with Glenn Beck though, don't forget complete asshole BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet? Daddy? PAT GRAY (co-host): (imitating Obama) No I didn't, honey. BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy, I know you're better than [unintelligible] GRAY: (imitating Obama) Mm-hmm, big country. BECK: (imitating Malia) And I was wondering if you've plugged that hole yet. GRAY: (imitating Obama) Honey, not yet. BECK: (imitating Malia) Why not, daddy? But daddy-- GRAY: (imitating Obama) Not time yet, honey. Hasn't done enough damage. BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? GRAY: (imitating Obama) Not enough damage yet, honey. BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah? BECK: (imitating Malia) Why do you hate black people so much? GRAY: (imitating Obama) I'm part white, honey. BECK: (imitating Malia) What? GRAY: (imitating Obama) What? BECK: (imitating Malia) What'd you say? GRAY: (imitating Obama) Excuse me? BECK: (laughing) This is such a ridiculous -- this is such a ridiculous thing that his daughter-- (imitating Malia) Daddy? GRAY: It's so stupid. BECK: How old is his daughter? Like, thirteen? GRAY: Well, one of them's, I think, thirteen, one's eleven, or something. BECK: "Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?" Is that's their -- that's the level of their education, that they're coming to -- they're coming to daddy and saying 'Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?' " Plug the hole! GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yes, I was doing some deep-sea diving yesterday, and-- BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, I was doing-- BECK: (imitating Malia) Why-- GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah, honey, I'm-- BECK (imitating Malia) Why, why, why, why, do you still let the polar bears die? Daddy, why do you still let Sarah Palin destroy the environment? Why are -- Daddy, why don't you just put her in some sort of a camp? (it goes on like that)
  23. bascule

    Lady Gaga

    I think those people making claims like she's "completely without substance" are probably completely unfamiliar with anything but her #1 hits.
  24. I think part of the problem is normal reporting practices run contrary to accurate scientific reporting. In the normal inverted pyramid style, the lead is supposed to catch your attention, not make you yawn. And so they lead with "CANCER CURED", not "we managed to eliminate 10% of cancer cells in a rat's tail"
  25. I really do like the "rock that keeps tigers away" analogy, but perhaps it isn't applicable here, because in this case the rock isn't keeping the tigers away. I'm not arguing that the border is "too big to control" (not sure who you're quoting there). I'm arguing the fence is ineffective. But hey, if the rock isn't keeping tigers away, clearly what we need is a bigger rock.
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