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Old 2009-08-24, 16:11   Link #3681
Thingle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post


I disagree on one detail: you can bloody well force kids to take certain classes.
Not necessarily in school though.
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Old 2009-08-25, 00:20   Link #3682
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinak View Post
Robots take another step towards world domination.

Robots Learn to Lie



Is it important that computers and robots tell us the truth? Or should they learn to lie - like their human makers?
In an experiment performed in a Swiss laboratory, 10 robots with downward-facing sensors competed for "food" - a light-colored ring on the floor. At the other end of the space, a darker ring - "poison" - was placed. The robots earned points for how much time they spent near food as opposed to poison.
The experimenters, engineers Sara Mitri and Dario Floreano and evolutionary biologist Laurent Keller, also gave the robots the ability to talk with each other. Each robot can produce a blue light that can be seen by the others and which can give away the position of the "food" ring. Over time, the robots evolved to deceive each other about the food ring.



http://www.livescience.com/technolog...obots-lie.html
That's not a very good sign..
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Old 2009-08-25, 00:35   Link #3683
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
That's not a very good sign..
Probably says something very intrinsic about consciousness
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Old 2009-08-25, 13:48   Link #3684
Shadow Kira01
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Most vulnerable to get flu jabs 1st

Quote:
97% of flu patients have new flu


Ninety-seven percent of influenza patients who fell ill early last month or after were infected with the new strain of the influenza, according to the Infectious Disease Surveillance Center.

When the center analyzed the virus of 2,857 people who were found to have been infected with the influenza on and after July 6--when the influenza began to spread--2,774 cases, or 97 percent, were confirmed to be of the H1N1 strain.

The center is keeping count of the number of flu patients at about 5,000 medical institutions across the nation. According to its latest report for the week from Aug. 10 to 16, the average number of flu patients per institution was 1.69, indicating 110,000 people are believed to have been infected with the flu during that week.

(Aug. 26, 2009)
Considering that most people who had cold symptoms in the past few months have actually become immune to the new flu. It appears that I don't need the vaccine as that I had a cold on too many occasions in the past few months and had recovered within 2-3 days each time.

Overfishing, global warming behind jellyfish swarm

Jellyfish, that makes quite a good meal.

'24-hour drugstore' pair arrested over drug dealing

The headline gave me the impression that a couple running a 24-hour pharmacy had turned out to be a shady business. However, it turns out to be something else..
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Old 2009-08-25, 23:30   Link #3685
LynnieS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
See? You can do something against child obesity...
Hmm, I wrote that thinking more along the lines of young kids having to walk by themselves and/or along roads where there aren't sidewalks, which would risk car accidents. Child obesity actually never came into the picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
Poll: Americans losing confidence in Obama

It seems that Obama's approval ratings are dropping over two major reasons. [...]
If I remember correctly, a pollster/pundit came out with a prediction recently that in the 2010 elections, the Democrats - if things stay the way they are - will look to lose their majority. I don't think he was on a non-Democrat side, but certainly in the U.S., things aren't looking great.

A V-shaped recovery looks to be happening on the financials side, but others look to be flat or trending down. The usual jump in consumer purchases expected now (due to back to school purchases) didn't happen, I believe, which does not look good for the post-Thanksgiving/Christmas sales period ATM. The "Cash for Clunkers" and housing credit pushes also, essentially, pulled forward demand for cars and houses into the present; people may buy a new car or house in the future, but these campaigns sped up their decisions, IMHO. Unless the economy improves a lot (with salaries and jobs to match), demand will likely drop. Toyota has already announced a 10% global capacity cut - although I believe GM(!) is increasing capacity - and the recent "cure rate" number looked bad as well.

Unless Obama ekes out a victory in the economy (read - employment) and/or health care to announce, he'll likely thought of as a "lame duck" president by the start of next year, and will need to move well to strength his position in the 2nd half of his presidency.
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Old 2009-08-26, 12:03   Link #3686
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Obesity contributes to severe brain degeneration:
http://www.livescience.com/health/09...ese-brain.html
Quote:
A new study finds obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals, researchers said today.
Those classified as overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years.
The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent "severe brain degeneration," said Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology.
"That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain," said Thompson. "But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control."
The findings are detailed in the online edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping.
Obesity packs many negative health effects, including increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some cancers. It's also been shown to reduce sexual activity.
More than 300 million worldwide are now classified as obese, according to the World Health Organization. Another billion are overweight. The main cause, experts say: bad diet, including an increased reliance on highly processed foods.
Obese people had lost brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes, areas of the brain critical for planning and memory, and in the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention and executive functions), hippocampus (long-term memory) and basal ganglia (movement), the researchers said in a statement today. Overweight people showed brain loss in the basal ganglia, the corona radiata, white matter comprised of axons, and the parietal lobe (sensory lobe).
"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in overweight people looked 8 years older," Thompson said.
Obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI), defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. A BMI over 25 is defined as overweight, and a BMI of over 30 as obese.
The research was funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Center for Research Resources, and the American Heart Association.
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Old 2009-08-26, 12:14   Link #3687
LynnieS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Obesity contributes to severe brain degeneration:
http://www.livescience.com/health/09...ese-brain.html
Does this mean, then, that skinny people have "normal" - can't really say "more" here... - brains instead?

"Normal" equivalent to what you expect them to have due to the usual aging process. If not, a conclusion - issued by these researchers - of obesity alone causes this might be premature.

Latest news about the U.S. "Cash for Clunkers" program going around is the taxation issue.

Quote:
But many of those cashing in on the clunkers program are surprised when they get to the treasurer's office windows. That's because the government's rebate of up to $4500 dollars for every clunker is taxable.

"They didn't realize that would be taxable. A lot of people don't realize that. So they're not happy and kind of surprised when they find that out," Nelson said.
Also, if you paid full retail sticker price for the car (before the US$4,500 amount was included), the sales tax might have been on that amount instead of the post-rebate one.
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Old 2009-08-26, 12:36   Link #3688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnieS View Post
Unless Obama ekes out a victory in the economy (read - employment) and/or health care to announce, he'll likely thought of as a "lame duck" president by the start of next year, and will need to move well to strength his position in the 2nd half of his presidency.
Even in the worst case scenario that the Dems flux up all their attempts to fix anything.... it'll depend on who the GOP runs against him. Given their current race towards the "loonybin edge" of the spectrum in neocon, I'm not placing any bets yet. They seem to be driving out anyone in the party who can construct a grammatically correct sentence. Classical conservatives weep at this lot.
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Old 2009-08-26, 13:41   Link #3689
Kamui4356
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Just to add to that, it also depends on where that loss of support is coming from. Are we talking about moderate conservatives who were supporting the democrats because they thought the republicans were moving too far right who now think the democrats are moving too far left, or are we talking about people on the left who think the dems are moving too far to the right? In the former case it might be a problem for the democrats in 2010. In the latter though, it might be a problem for the democrats defending their seat but, if they can't hold theit seat, odds are it'll still be a democrat that replaces them in the primary not a republican in the general election. One also has to remember that it's not like the republicans are making any progress in people's minds. Most still think the democrats will do a better job. The election is still over a year away, so it's really too soon to make any predictions. Anything can happen.

I wouldn't be suprised if in the next few years we see the non-neocon republicans and the "blue dog" democrats splitting from their respective parties and forming a new political party that ends up replacing the republicans as one of the "two parties" while the current republican party becomes a fringe party. Though maybe at this point this whole "it's a 2 party system" nonsense is too engrained in people's heads for something like that to happen again. Though the whigs and federalists may have thought the same thing there.
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Old 2009-08-26, 13:53   Link #3690
iLney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Just to add to that, it also depends on where that loss of support is coming from. Are we talking about moderate conservatives who were supporting the democrats because they thought the republicans were moving too far right who now think the democrats are moving too far left, or are we talking about people on the left who think the dems are moving too far to the right?
Well, the liberal would matter much if he loses all support of conservatives. The latter outnumbers the former in 50 states.
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Old 2009-08-26, 14:02   Link #3691
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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
Well, the liberal would matter much if he loses all support of conservatives. The latter outnumbers the former in 50 states.
That's very questionable assertion -- got any stat sources? Individual issues vary considerably, are we talking registered voters or likely-to-vote? Since 80% of the public appears to want a public option or single payer healthcare -- how does that figure into any "left-right" count? Ask me my opinion on different issues and you'll get answers which can be pinned all over the stupid simplistic "left-right" graph.

Historically, it depends on who gets off their ass to vote.
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Old 2009-08-26, 14:43   Link #3692
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Just to add to that, it also depends on where that loss of support is coming from. Are we talking about moderate conservatives who were supporting the democrats because they thought the republicans were moving too far right who now think the democrats are moving too far left, or are we talking about people on the left who think the dems are moving too far to the right? In the former case it might be a problem for the democrats in 2010. In the latter though, it might be a problem for the democrats defending their seat but, if they can't hold theit seat, odds are it'll still be a democrat that replaces them in the primary not a republican in the general election. One also has to remember that it's not like the republicans are making any progress in people's minds. Most still think the democrats will do a better job. The election is still over a year away, so it's really too soon to make any predictions. Anything can happen.

I wouldn't be suprised if in the next few years we see the non-neocon republicans and the "blue dog" democrats splitting from their respective parties and forming a new political party that ends up replacing the republicans as one of the "two parties" while the current republican party becomes a fringe party. Though maybe at this point this whole "it's a 2 party system" nonsense is too engrained in people's heads for something like that to happen again. Though the whigs and federalists may have thought the same thing there.
Considering that there are a few years left to the Obama Administration, anything would be possible. Perhaps, the chances of members from the Republicans leaving their own political party to form a new political party which includes members from the Democrats is entirely possible. However, it won't be the idea of a grand coalition but rather a new political party in which realignment is the main focus.

Honestly, I find it difficult to believe that the Obama fever has died so quickly in just several months and now, Obama is finding his approval rates plummeting over the death panels and also various issues regarding foreign policy. Last November, the majority of Americans were just shouting "Obama, Yes We Can!" yet a loss of confidence has occurred. This means that anything can happen within the next 3-4 years, for better or for worse. Nobody can really determine as that politics is a very flexible thing.
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Old 2009-08-26, 15:00   Link #3693
Vexx
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The mob is very fickle these days after decades of "instant gratification, can I go back to sleep now?" training.
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Old 2009-08-26, 15:04   Link #3694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
Honestly, I find it difficult to believe that the Obama fever has died so quickly in just several months and now, Obama is finding his approval rates plummeting over the death panels and also various issues regarding foreign policy. Last November, the majority of Americans were just shouting "Obama, Yes We Can!" yet a loss of confidence has occurred. This means that anything can happen within the next 3-4 years, for better or for worse. Nobody can really determine as that politics is a very flexible thing.
You can stop ignorant people who easily believe misinformation, and you can't stop pundits and random idiots from spewing lies. It's nice to know at least John Stewart is calling out these talking heads about their lies and misinterpretation and misleading information, wish more people would actually take the time to understand the issues before getting ready to cry for new leadership. Is Obama a 100% right, hell no, but these bailouts, health care reform and other government programs do take time, but I guess it's the consumerist lifestyles that we lead that really make us want instant gratification.
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Old 2009-08-26, 15:04   Link #3695
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actually it was very easy to see coming. Obama was promising things that even a saint would have trouble delivering. Once he start going back on his campaign promosie (telecom bill, etc), add the fact that the ultra liberals finally see that Obama is *gasp* a moderate not a liberal. This drop in his approval rating was bound to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
You can stop ignorant people who easily believe misinformation, and you can't stop pundits and random idiots from spewing lies. It's nice to know at least John Stewart is calling out these talking heads about their lies and misinterpretation and misleading information, wish more people would actually take the time to understand the issues before getting ready to cry for new leadership. Is Obama a 100% right, hell no, but these bailouts, health care reform and other government programs do take time, but I guess it's the consumerist lifestyles that we lead that really make us want instant gratification.
his biggest mistake was letting congress try to explain health care reform to the people. Rep or Dem who the hell trust congress?
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Old 2009-08-26, 15:24   Link #3696
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FDR or even Reagan had to make enemies and fight entrenched interests to get their goals accomplished -- the best I can assume is that Obama is giving his opponents a lot of rope to hang themselves with.
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Old 2009-08-26, 15:42   Link #3697
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Upstart party has already changed Japan politics

Quote:
The Democratic Party was founded and is run by defectors from the Liberal Democrats, so both sides share broadly conservative stances on major issues. But if the opposition party claims victory and keeps its campaign promises, some of Japan's most established policies would be re-examined.

Among those is the country's relationship with Washington.

The party is unlikely to make any major changes, given that Japan hosts 50,000 U.S. troops and relies on the U.S. for nuclear deterrence. But the DPJ has long accused Japan's rulers of serving as yes-men to the U.S., especially in supporting its military actions, and repeatedly sworn to take a harder line in negotiations.

"We want a relationship where we can make suggestions because we are an ally of the U.S., and not a relationship where we dispatch the Japan Self Defense Forces overseas having been told to do so by the U.S.," Hatoyama said earlier this month at a press conference in Tokyo.

Japan has a pacifist constitution that forbids offensive military operations, and its military is called the Self Defense Forces. The country sent 600 troops to Iraq in a noncombat role and has a refueling mission in the Indian Ocean that supports U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The Democrats vehemently opposed both and called for the ongoing refueling mission to end immediately, but did not mention the issue in campaign literature for the upcoming election. This caused an immediate outcry from their coalition partners, including the left-leaning Social Democrats, and the party now says it will not extend the current mandate when it runs out in January.
Obama seems to be very focused on the issue of fighting Talibans in the Afghanistan. However, it also appears that the United States had not achieved anything in these 8 long years of military conflict in the desert and in fact, the Talibans now have more members than at the start of the battle. Their equipment, technology and organization seems to be better than it was before. Aside from that, most Americans don't seem to like the idea of continuing the military conflict with the Talibans as that there is not much point to the action. However, if the United States decide to retreat, it would no doubt tarnish the image of the United States' military might.

The Democratic Party of Japan will no doubt stop acting as a yes-man to the United States as that seems to be questionable considering that Japan and the United States are allies and not leader-subordinate kind of bilateral tie. With Obama currently glued to fixing his own problems with the healthcare reforms, I wonder how this will turn out a month from now..
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Old 2009-08-26, 16:19   Link #3698
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
Upstart party has already changed Japan politics



Obama seems to be very focused on the issue of fighting Talibans in the Afghanistan. However, it also appears that the United States had not achieved anything in these 8 long years of military conflict in the desert and in fact, the Talibans now have more members than at the start of the battle. Their equipment, technology and organization seems to be better than it was before. Aside from that, most Americans don't seem to like the idea of continuing the military conflict with the Talibans as that there is not much point to the action. However, if the United States decide to retreat, it would no doubt tarnish the image of the United States' military might.

The Democratic Party of Japan will no doubt stop acting as a yes-man to the United States as that seems to be questionable considering that Japan and the United States are allies and not leader-subordinate kind of bilateral tie. With Obama currently glued to fixing his own problems with the healthcare reforms, I wonder how this will turn out a month from now..
Frankly, I think this is good for Japan if they follow through. All the allies of the US need to re-assert themselves in a multi-lateral way instead of simply "taking orders" or being intimidated by the US after the last decade.
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Old 2009-08-27, 08:33   Link #3699
iLney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That's very questionable assertion -- got any stat sources? Individual issues vary considerably, are we talking registered voters or likely-to-vote? Since 80% of the public appears to want a public option or single payer healthcare -- how does that figure into any "left-right" count? Ask me my opinion on different issues and you'll get answers which can be pinned all over the stupid simplistic "left-right" graph.

Historically, it depends on who gets off their ass to vote.
Ah, here's the source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122333/Po...s-South.aspx#2.
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Old 2009-08-27, 10:43   Link #3700
Dop
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Dinosaurs found in Eromanga

BBC:
Australian palaeontologists say they have discovered a new species of dinosaur on a sheep farm in the northern state of Queensland.
The fossil remains of the large plant-eating sauropod, nicknamed Zac, are about 97 million years old.
They were found near the town of Eromanga, in a fossil-rich area that was once covered by a vast inland sea.

...
"There will be hundreds of skeletons underneath the ground. The bone beds are so dense, you can hardly move for a dinosaur bone."


I wonder if Eromanga gets many disappointed Japanese tourists?
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