Search found 304 matches

by DanD
Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 42120

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

I keep bringing up the ATF because the ATF is the agency with responsibility for enforcing the laws against the dealers in particular. So their lack of resources, the restrictions that are aimed at them, are what drive how well current laws against illegal sales are enforced. Yes, the FBI can invest...
by DanD
Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 42120

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

Except that background checks can only be kept for 24 hours, at which point the FBI is required to destroy them. Which means the purchaser can wait 1 day, re-submit, and the FBI has no evidence. Again, they are permitted to keep rejections. Only if they determine that the rejection was an illegal a...
by DanD
Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 42120

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

Except that background checks can only be kept for 24 hours, at which point the FBI is required to destroy them. Which means the purchaser can wait 1 day, re-submit, and the FBI has no evidence. The ATF is also not allowed to require inventories from gun dealers, and the dealers are not required to ...
by DanD
Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Puerto Rico Debt Crisis: $70+ Billion in Debt and counting
Replies: 29
Views: 13577

Re: Puerto Rico Debt Crisis: $70+ Billion in Debt and counting

Cost of energy/kwh https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cc/LCOE_comparison_fraunhofer_november2013.svg/1280px-LCOE_comparison_fraunhofer_november2013.svg.png Note that it's in euros, so it's between 17 to 25 cents per Kwh, which is still cheaper than current electric prices in Pue...
by DanD
Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Math without calculators
Replies: 34
Views: 38752

Re: Math without calculators

Just don't use the explanation that most of out teachers did growing up. The "you won't have a calculator with you everywhere you go" thing kind of failed around a decade ago.
by DanD
Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:25 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Is there a monopoly on federal student loan management?
Replies: 1
Views: 3970

Re: Is there a monopoly on federal student loan management?

Navient is Sallie Mae's loan servicing division, so Sallie Mae is out of the servicing business (they may have residual loans, not sure how that worked).

And they aren't a monopoly, though the list of servicers is limited.

https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/a ... ion.action
by DanD
Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:19 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Help with a "research paper"
Replies: 16
Views: 11110

Re: Help with a "research paper"

The Great Gatsby and the Scarlet Letter sucked. Candide was great when I read it on my own, long before it was assigned. Much less so when I read it for class as a refresher. Shakespeare should never be read, but acted. At a minimum, read aloud by parts. I have to agree, literature courses tend to d...
by DanD
Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 42120

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

Someone has to purchase the gun for the kid. Access is possible, but it essentially requires an adult to vouch for the child. This is not generally required for a book, so with respect to the original claim, I believe that a book is still obviously easier to access. But it is possible for young fol...
by DanD
Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 42120

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

Someone has to purchase the gun for the kid. Access is possible, but it essentially requires an adult to vouch for the child. This is not generally required for a book, so with respect to the original claim, I believe that a book is still obviously easier to access. But it is possible for young fol...
by DanD
Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 42120

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

One comment. Several people early in the discussion indicated that it was illegal for a 13 year old to own a gun. Under federal law, it is illegal for a licensed dealer to sell a handgun to anyone under 21, and a long gun to anyone under 18. However, to the best of my knowledge I can, under federal ...
by DanD
Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:34 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 1002212

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

I would prefer to see Warren or Sanders in Health and Human Services, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, or Labor in preference to VP. It might not be as appeasing to many followers as VP, but it's a lot more in line with them being able to do what they are focused on, and wield some actual po...
by DanD
Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 1002212

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

No. Hispanic is racist, Mexican is a nationality. There's a very, very fine point here, and yes, one can extremely easily infer that someone making this argument is doing so as the thinnest of covers for racism, but *that* particular statement ends up being a poor example. (Rest assured that Trump ...
by DanD
Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1691: "Optimization"
Replies: 53
Views: 9241

Re: 1691: "Optimization"

Premature optimization means you're spending a lot of time making something perfect when there's still a decent chance you're going to throw it out before launch.

Make it work first, then make it perfect.
by DanD
Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:37 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Society pays tab for personal liberty
Replies: 70
Views: 13046

Re: Society pays tab for personal liberty

Diadem, if the US has anything to spare, it's space. The densest city is 1/10 of the highly packed global cities. Tyndmyr, the biggest difference with libertarians is that a libertarian wouldn't mandate an eviction nor help with the aftermath. Though given the difficulties passing legislation, I'm ...
by DanD
Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:22 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Society pays tab for personal liberty
Replies: 70
Views: 13046

Re: Society pays tab for personal liberty

Maybe that's the way to phase it out then: Have a 'one-strike-and-you're-out' policy: If you get flooded, government-backed insurance will pick up the tab once and once only; Any rebuilt property must be flood resistant by law, and thereafter will be insured on the open market only. This allows for...
by DanD
Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Society pays tab for personal liberty
Replies: 70
Views: 13046

Re: Society pays tab for personal liberty

Because, as long as flood insurance exists, it isn't an unreasonable risk. However, most of the people involved are dependent on that flood insurance because a significant portion of their assets are tied up in a home that retains it's value because of flood insurance. So removing it is, practicall...
by DanD
Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Society pays tab for personal liberty
Replies: 70
Views: 13046

Re: Society pays tab for personal liberty

If they keep jumping into danger, do we have an obligation to save them every time? I have a harder time buying the "freedom"argument when they are forcibly spending our tax dollars on the ones in needless danger. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/five-questions-to-ask-about-flood...
by DanD
Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1688: Map Age Guide
Replies: 70
Views: 12762

Re: I-25 in 1948 or 1952?

Umm ... The Interstate Highway System was authorized in 1958, so it's highly unlikely that you'd find a highway in New Mexico labelled "I-25" in 1952 or earlier. OK; maybe the map is from an alternate universe, with a more forward-looking US government than we have. Maybe it's from a univ...
by DanD
Wed May 18, 2016 7:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”
Replies: 69
Views: 14670

Re: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”

What sort of events do you ride such machines in? Massed-start, time-trial, track, rally-checkpoint styled ones, etc? (Although I've seen such machines in use in the UK, usually as part of the disparate throng in Critical Mass circuses, never competitively. I'm sure they're not allowed in BC road-r...
by DanD
Mon May 16, 2016 2:42 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: The Science of magic
Replies: 26
Views: 10809

Re: The Science of magic

On the genetic side of things, my first thought is to treat it like the gene for sickle cell anemia. A single copy results in a mage. Two copies is lethal (in the womb). This gives you a birth rate of 50% mages from one mage, and 66% from two mages, but with lower fertility. The only problem I see w...
by DanD
Mon May 16, 2016 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Need Help with a Substitution Code
Replies: 7
Views: 5747

Re: Need Help with a Substitution Code

[spoiler]They could be represented by adjacent letters, which would make the last line 5 symbols, not 3. But I'm not good at these, so… I think you're right about that, actually. Looking over DanD's post, I realized that if the last line is merely three letters, then it doesn't shar...
by DanD
Thu May 12, 2016 10:06 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Bad science jokes!
Replies: 100
Views: 33640

Re: Bad science jokes!

As far as I know, this one is original to me:

A whole bunch of atoms get sick of city and decide to go live in a pack out in the wild. After some discussion, they finally settle on putting the helium ion in charge.

After all, it's the alpha.
by DanD
Thu May 05, 2016 9:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How Far Can A Person Walk Into The Desert?
Replies: 27
Views: 8165

Re: How Far Can A Person Walk Into The Desert?

Arctic/Antarctic travel routinely relies on fuel to melt water, not body heat, directly or indirectly. In short, melting it using body heat is effectively using food to melt it fairly inefficiently. Maybe fine if you are in an environment where you have excess heat/carrying capacity, or if you ran ...
by DanD
Wed May 04, 2016 5:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Dropping a Cloud Nine From Orbit
Replies: 38
Views: 6446

Re: Dropping a Cloud Nine From Orbit

Maybe instead of building it underwater, you could build it from the bottom up at the water's surface. The idea is *mumble mumble* buoyancy force *mumble mumble*. Also, you should build it in a lake because salt water is VERY corrosive and lakes do not have a current. Finding a big enough lake woul...
by DanD
Wed May 04, 2016 2:42 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Dropping a Cloud Nine From Orbit
Replies: 38
Views: 6446

Re: Dropping a Cloud Nine From Orbit

Ouch. If you have that figure right, then it's equivalent to the energy output of a 1.5 MEGATON nuke, or the total sunlight on a square kilometer of land for three whole YEARS. Hmm, something seems off here, because the air in the sphere described should only mass six or seven million metric tonnes...
by DanD
Tue May 03, 2016 3:59 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Pennies in Boxes
Replies: 85
Views: 50350

Re: Pennies in Boxes

So now the question is what to do with a million hungry termites in your back yard that just ran out of cardboard to eat. I'm going to be honest here: I was just picturing commanding the swarm like some c-list comic book villain. I guess it might be possible to get them to swarm into a trap somehow...
by DanD
Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”
Replies: 69
Views: 14670

Re: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”

I can't find a decent picture, but there is a guy developing a reverse recemberent bike. In this you lay on your belly. He calls it the BUPS or Bottom UP Superman: Perhaps the terminology ought to be "prone" for the BUPS and "supine" for the (relatively-) ordinary recumbent. I c...
by DanD
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:54 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How Far Can A Person Walk Into The Desert?
Replies: 27
Views: 8165

Re: How Far Can A Person Walk Into The Desert?

Sure, you're burning more water and less food, but melting snow for water is...fuel intensive. So, if you're relying on that, you're hauling a great deal of fuel with. You're not just eating the snow, unless you want to die. Melting snow for water is free (ish). If you have an insulated tent, such ...
by DanD
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:47 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”
Replies: 69
Views: 14670

Re: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”

Long ago I was given a road bike with elliptical chainrings - not sure if I ever noticed the difference - I was quite inexperienced. Souns like the 'Egg Ring' (or a competitor, derivative or precursor) which I first saw in the '80s. That' s actually got logic behind it, as it is effectively a rotat...
by DanD
Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:31 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Pennies in Boxes
Replies: 85
Views: 50350

Re: Pennies in Boxes

A large screen, durable mesh sized to catch pennies, (thinking something like diamond tread plate) and a pressure washer. And some fabric (cotton, suitable for inclusion in paper) And, for environmental and economic reasons a sealed catchment pond (might as well get an in ground swimming pool put in...
by DanD
Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”
Replies: 69
Views: 14670

Re: 1673: “Timeline of Bicycle Design”

ETA: I cannot see the problem with the bike at the top. The best I could come up with is that adding a metal piece connecting the pedals and gear to the back wheel's axis would make the bike more structurally sound; however, if the joint connecting the back wheel's metal connecter to the bike's mai...
by DanD
Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices
Replies: 65
Views: 13393

Re: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices

The idea that the information could be democratized may be a stretch. Much of the information would be in pictures, unreproducible in a medieval society at any price. Although I suppose overall they could be organized by technical level Depends on exactly when "medieval" we are talking ab...
by DanD
Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices
Replies: 65
Views: 13393

Re: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices

I said nothing about Bretton-Woods creating the paradigm--merely that the system which replaced it is one in which currency prices are bid up and down like shares of stock, with no connection to the value of any particular asset other than perhaps the credit rating of the currency's issuing authori...
by DanD
Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:29 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices
Replies: 65
Views: 13393

Re: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices

Something interesting and unprecedented in the history of money is the total de-monetization of all precious metals that occurred almost worldwide when the Bretton-Woods system was dismantled and fiat currencies were allowed to float freely. This development essentially made it no longer possible t...
by DanD
Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices
Replies: 65
Views: 13393

Re: Fictional Economics - Deflation in Basic Goods prices

Wikipedia isn't detailed enough for what I'm thinking of. I was thinking more something like a manual of blueprints with ready-to-build designs at all tech levels. So you wouldn't just have a rotary printing press design that could print ten thousand broadsheets a day but also a hand-powered wood o...
by DanD
Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:27 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: New (economically) type of FTL travel
Replies: 16
Views: 8049

Re: New (economically) type of FTL travel

How do you deal with the situation where there is only one viable star in the error range of the jump. As stated, the potential error of the jump is 1+/-0.6 for the worst class of ships. Unless I'm mistaken, a jump in the direction of the Centaurii system, from earth lands you at one of the Centauri...
by DanD
Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Disparate Impact and Fair Housing Act (1968)
Replies: 43
Views: 20407

Re: Disparate Impact and Fair Housing Act (1968)

The young single worker is also a common renter here. Of course, the locals here are Chinese. The thing is that Singapore has a lot of expatriate workers. Enough to drive an entire housing market all by themselves. I think the number of permanent residents + foreigners in Singapore is more than 50%...
by DanD
Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should all public libraries be closed?
Replies: 59
Views: 19640

Re: Should all public libraries be closed?

Libraries also act as archives of physical documents. Depending on the library and town or city, they're where you can (easily) find old copies of your newspaper of record, historical maps, town council minutes from fifty years ago, and so on. Now much of this will, eventually, be digitized, but it ...
by DanD
Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:26 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: energy currency?
Replies: 63
Views: 19710

Re: energy currency?

... it does not have a dictated value relative to any other good. Are you saying that's not the definition of a fiat currency? I have heard "fiat currency" used in cases where it has a dictated value in some other commodity (not necessarily exchangeable for that commodity, but a pegged va...
by DanD
Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: energy currency?
Replies: 63
Views: 19710

Re: energy currency?

I think there's a problem of definitions here. The dollar is not a fiat currency, at least not in several sense of the word. Yes, its government dictated that it is money, and yes that is one definition. But, and this is the important one, it does not have a dictated value relative to any other good...

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