In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:00 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I'm pretty sure the article said the military would be taking disciplinary action.


Yes, it's come to a head. The flyboy and other crew members won't be allowed near the cockpit for a while, to mull over the effect of woods on the scenery.

I think that's swell.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:33 pm UTC

While these comments are obviously a labia of love, I feel like we are ignoring the ladies, and twat's something we shouldn't put up with. We should keep abreast of the situation.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:36 pm UTC

Guess who's back!
"An online poll last month asking how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust was meant not to trivialize the Shoah, but rather to remind the public of its magnitude, Anthony Scaramucci, the short-lived White House Communications Director, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday... When the poll triggered outrage amid claims it gave a back-wind to Holocaust deniers, it was pulled, with Scaramucci apologizing for it and pledging to donate $25,000 to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Three days later, however, the poll reappeared...

Scaramucci, who was in London at the time the poll came out, said that “the way we handled it, just putting the poll up without any context, was ham-handed on our part.


And in true Trumpian fashion, he then goes and makes a fool of himself on a completely unrelated matter.
“This is one of the intractable problems of our time,” he said, referring to the Mideast. We know if there is peace here, there will be more stability in the region, which will mean more stability around the world. So if you are the American president... you will want to serve the interest of mankind by trying to come up with a way to have peace here.



Off topic morality stuff:
Spoiler:
Chen wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:I have heard this before, and it really gets on my nerves. Any justification of any law ultimately rests on morality.


But it's certainly not the FAA's place to judge said morality. They are in charge of aviation safety. They said this had no safety implications and thus they're not the authority to make any other judgements on it.

The Navy certainly can discipline their pilots for inappropriate behavior, but it's not a legal thing.

You are correct. Did not think of that before making my post.

CorruptUser wrote:That's a noble ideal and all, but not the way the world works...

Please provide an example of a law that cannot be justified by a moral argument.

orthogon wrote:There's overlap, but it's not total. Cheating on your spouse is immoral, but most democracies don't make it illegal; driving on the left is illegal in the US, but isn't immoral in itself.

An adulterer is in a much worse position when negotiating the division of property during a divorce.

Standardizing conduct on the road lessens accidental injuries and causing injuries is morally wrong, even when done though inaction. In this case society would be the immoral party, not the person who caused the injury.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:11 pm UTC

A law not backed by morality?

How about the laws that used to require voters to be male?

Or poll taxes and literacy tests. Or the laws legalizing slavery and the laws requiring people to turn in runaway slaves.

Face it, laws aren't about what's best for humanity as a whole, or even society as a whole, but what's best for the people in charge. Ideally, the people in charge are "everyone" since that's what a democracy is, but even then it's not the case.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby measure » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:32 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:A law not backed by morality?

How about the laws that used to require voters to be male?

Or poll taxes and literacy tests. Or the laws legalizing slavery and the laws requiring people to turn in runaway slaves.

Surely such laws were still argued for using moral language at the time. Whether they were supported by correct moral justification is matter of debate, but the answer to why we, as a society, should prohibit or require certain behavior will ultimately come down to "Having this law will cause X outcome, and X is good, therefore it is good to have this law".

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:04 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Please provide an example of a law that cannot be justified by a moral argument.


Kentucky State Law wrote:No person shall sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display, or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor dye or color any baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits; nor sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange or to give away baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits, under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6), except that any rabbit weighing three (3) pounds or more may be sold at an age of six (6) weeks. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.

History: Amended 1972 Ky. Acts ch 374, sec 1. --Created 1966 Ky. Acts ch. 215, sec. 5


There's lots of good ones here

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:14 pm UTC

Actually those ones did have good reasons to exist. We will have something like "if a horse wanders into your property it's yours" and then you have some creative thief which requires the lawmakers to issue a new rule "No oats in your back pocket." In Britain they have the ASBO which is the same thing without putting the law on the books.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby HES » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:17 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:There's lots of good ones here

Ah, it had been a while since I tripped the company internet filter...
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby speising » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:55 pm UTC

HES wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:There's lots of good ones here

Ah, it had been a while since I tripped the company internet filter...

that site has a curious definition of "dumb". eg.
It is considered an offense to mow your lawn on a Sunday, because it causes too much noise.

seems quite sensible to me.
or
You must pay a fine of no more than $2000 Baht in Thailand if you’re caught littering on the sidewalk.

just from a one minute browse.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:04 pm UTC

measure wrote:Surely such laws were still argued for using moral language at the time. Whether they were supported by correct moral justification is matter of debate, but the answer to why we, as a society, should prohibit or require certain behavior will ultimately come down to "Having this law will cause X outcome, and X is good, therefore it is good to have this law".

Any statement at all can be argued for in moral language if you're allowed to use arbitrary, nonsensical, contradictory morals. I can argue that my pc should have blue wallpaper in moral terms if I like (it's holy in my religion etc.)

I don't think that's the sense jewish_scientist meant when he said 'give an example of a law that cannot be justified by a moral argument' - unless he is using the term 'justified' in a very loose sense.

For example, in Minnesota it is illegal for women to impersonate Santa. Those who do run the risk of 30 days jail time.

I'd argue that law can't be justified by any argument - moral or otherwise - unless you have a very low bar for 'being justified'...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Sableagle » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:26 pm UTC

speising wrote:that site has a curious definition of "dumb".
If you'd like some better examples, better presented, try these:

http://www.customerssuck.com/board/showthread.php?t=166

It's a great site for reminding me how much worse my job could be.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:55 pm UTC

Water companies are using divining rods to find underground pipes despite there being no scientific evidence they work, an Oxford University scientist found.

Sally Le Page said her parents were surprised when a technician used two "bent tent pegs" to find a mains pipe.

She contacted all the UK's water companies, and a majority confirmed engineers still use the centuries-old technique. However, a number said the equipment was not standard-issue equipment.

The process of using divining rods, also known as dowsing, has been in use for hundreds of years. A dowser will typically hold the rods, usually shaped like the letter Y, while walking over land and being alert for any movement to find water.

Ms Le Page said: "I can't state this enough: there is no scientifically rigorous, doubly blind evidence that divining rods work. Isn't it a bit silly that big companies are still using magic to do their jobs?"

In a statement issued later, Severn Trent said: "We don't issue divining rods but we believe some of our engineers use them."


link

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:46 pm UTC

As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:03 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?

Earth in general has water if you dig straight down anywhere. That's why divining sticks are stupid.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:06 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?


I can just say "it's not going to rain 30 days from now" and be right 85% of the time. Doesn't mean my prediction meant anything.

Also, 50% of the time I can accurately guess the gender of the next person to walk through the door. More if it's to a bathroom.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby HES » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:21 pm UTC

This Sally Le Page, presumably?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby addams » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:47 am UTC

Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby orthogon » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am UTC

sardia wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?

Earth in general has water if you dig straight down anywhere. That's why divining sticks are stupid.

This is interesting - I was sure that as a child I'd seen people doing this in an official capacity, on building sites and suchlike; it was only some years later that I found out it was a mumbo-jumbo technique with no scientific basis or mechanism behind it. At that point I thought I must have imagined it or misremembered the context or the explanation I was given at the time. So it's kind of reassuring to know that I didn't, and yet at the same time worrying to think that such a "technique" would still be used in 2017. It's also surprising that it would be allowed to continue in the world of free enterprise, since there must be a cost to it in terms of false positives and negatives - unless the alternative is trial-and-error, in which case it doesn't make any difference. Even then, a systematic trial-and-error technique is probably better than digging at random, depending on how close you need to be.

(Having said that, my experience with those devices for detecting live wires or metal in walls is that they're no better than chance either).
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby measure » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 pm UTC

elasto wrote:...dowsing...

I wonder if focusing on something right in front of you and walking around with no long-term directional goal makes you more likely than not to walk downhill (path of least resistance and all that). Could that be an improvement over a purely random walk for finding water?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:04 pm UTC

Ms Le Page said: "I can't state this enough: there is no scientifically rigorous, doubly blind evidence that divining rods work. Isn't it a bit silly that big companies are still using magic to do their jobs?"
This seems like an odd argument. We still do a lot of things that don't have rigorous scientific proof. In fact, I would bet that if you limited big companies practices to rigorously scientifically proven facts, at the very least, the entire economic sector would collapse. You shouldn't trust divining rods because studies show they aren't better than random chance.

Also, as a side note, since the answer isn't known until you drill and humans lack the ability to change the result after the locations are chosen, I'm pretty sure that every study looking for water is effectively a double blind study.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:27 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?

Earth in general has water if you dig straight down anywhere. That's why divining sticks are stupid.


This. If there's water at 50 feet down at the spot your rod twitches, there is probably also water at 50 feet down(roughly) 30 feet away. Unless you have something very interesting going on geologically, most water tables do not vary immensely over the distances someone considers putting down a well at.

So you get something that appears to work, even though it is entirely unnecessary. Most people are satisfied if they dig the well and it works, so...you never actually get the necessary disproof.

It was also an odd thing for me to see growing up. But then, I can't think of a city of any size that doesn't have businesses actively advertising fortune telling. I guess in some ways, we're still in the dark ages.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:47 pm UTC

idonno wrote:
Ms Le Page said: "I can't state this enough: there is no scientifically rigorous, doubly blind evidence that divining rods work. Isn't it a bit silly that big companies are still using magic to do their jobs?"
This seems like an odd argument ... You shouldn't trust divining rods because studies show they aren't better than random chance.

I'm sure that's what she meant.

When she says 'there's no evidence that divining rods work' you could interpret that as 'no studies have been done at all' or 'studies have been done and none of them have shown it working'.

Divining is such an old technique that it'd be amazing if studies had never been done on it at all, so I'm sure she meant the latter (which you seem to agree with).

And, yes, water companies should be strongly discouraging their employees from engaging in such nonsense just as, I dunno, health agencies should be strongly discouraging doctors from using ESP to diagnose patients and coroners should not be performing seances to discern the cause of death...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby orthogon » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:50 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?

Earth in general has water if you dig straight down anywhere. That's why divining sticks are stupid.


This. If there's water at 50 feet down at the spot your rod twitches, there is probably also water at 50 feet down(roughly) 30 feet away. Unless you have something very interesting going on geologically, most water tables do not vary immensely over the distances someone considers putting down a well at.

So you get something that appears to work, even though it is entirely unnecessary. Most people are satisfied if they dig the well and it works, so...you never actually get the necessary disproof.

Is it for digging wells? I assumed that, industrially, it was for finding water pipes. I'm pretty sure the guys I saw doing it were on a building site. Having said that, the whole memory is pretty hazy.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby HES » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:57 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Is it for digging wells? I assumed that, industrially, it was for finding water pipes.

elasto wrote:
Water companies are using divining rods to find underground pipes
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:07 am UTC

I had the oddest experience with divining rods when I was a kid. I was at a summer event at a National Trust house (for non-UK members, a big posh estate now owned by a preservation charity and open to the public), and there was a dowsing/divining demonstration. Basically you got given a set of rods, told how to hold them and told that there was a water pipe somewhere in a particular direction. Lo and behold, where my rods crossed (with no conscious effort from me), that was where the pipe was (apparently). I could even follow the direction of the pipe by slowly turning and the rods crossed when I was parallel and uncrossed when perpendicular to the pipe. At the time (I was 11 or so) I was pretty convinced.

Okay, so sure, it could just be tell the punter that the pipe is wherever the rods happen to cross, but I observed several others trying it and the rods always crossed in the same place. Now this doesn't remotely provide evidence that dowsing works, and it's anecdote not data, but it does make me suspect that dowsers sometimes pick up on *something* that means where the rods cross isn't just random chance. Whether that's the expectations of the instructor, surface features on the ground, unremembered glances at other participants, or something else I haven't thought of yet. Or maybe it's just that i happened to notice "successes" more than "failures".

In any case I find it rather freaky how well dowsing *appears* to work (more in the "damn, humans are really suggestible" sense, rather than in the "there's something going on we can't explain" sense).

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In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby New User » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:50 am UTC

When I saw this headline, I had to double check to see that I was browsing a real news site.

'I Don't Believe In Science,' Says Flat-Earther Set To Launch Himself In Own Rocket

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:27 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:but it does make me suspect that dowsers sometimes pick up on *something* that means where the rods cross isn't just random chance. Whether that's […] surface features on the ground,
For a buried pipe, you dig a trench in the age-compacted ground, put the pipe in then fill in with loose earth that you may then machine-compact and regrade (optionally returfing/reseeding the whole area, or replacing the turf that you removed orior to the dig), but you've probably under or over-filled by the time the surface has no visual signs. Minute changes in springiness of the ground is likely, and/or a bit of a depression or ridge. (Plus, you might see places, like main buildings/outbuildings or water storage ponds and tanks, where it's logical that a pipe leads between them.)

unremembered glances at other participants
That and noise-based feature enhancements. Subtle clues emerging across many different (literal!) 'random walk' similutaneous noisy scattergunning attempts to make datapoints will cause clusters to appear, and consistent clusters reinforce themselves as cues for further cluster-additions.

Or maybe it's just that i happened to notice "successes" more than "failures".
I imagine that when first given the rods/forked-stick on the edge of the designated area you're, like I have been, absolutely nervous of 'false' indications and think "I consciously did that, ignore, relax, go further", especially if yold that you're "trying too hard, relax" only on false-positives (maybe "try that again!" when having false negatived), and you then you only start to 'accept' the twinges when you're more in the middle of where it's likely to be randomly right, and everything else comes to a head in reinforcing even the random correct-positives.

Or it's mystical. But likely not. :P

So… he wanted to build a rocket, failed to find anything like enough funding, then decixed he was a Flat Earther just before tapping the donating-power of that community to finally build his rocket… Call me cynical, but I don't believe he actually believes what his current funders believe he believes. Well, apart from the "I want to build a rocket" part.

(Edit2: Ach, post-ninjaed while editing that in. See below!)
Last edited by Soupspoon on Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:45 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby speising » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:40 pm UTC

New User wrote:When I saw this headline, I had to double check to see that I was browsing a real news site.

'I Don't Believe In Science,' Says Flat-Earther Set To Launch Himself In Own Rocket

the man's no Flat-Earther, he just panders to Flat-Earthers for the money. anyway, 500m is obviously a laughable height for that, just walk up a hill.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Liri » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:43 pm UTC

speising wrote:
New User wrote:When I saw this headline, I had to double check to see that I was browsing a real news site.

'I Don't Believe In Science,' Says Flat-Earther Set To Launch Himself In Own Rocket

the man's no Flat-Earther, he just panders to Flat-Earthers for the money. anyway, 500m is obviously a laughable height for that, just walk up a hill.

He doesn't believe in hills.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby orthogon » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:50 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
speising wrote:
New User wrote:When I saw this headline, I had to double check to see that I was browsing a real news site.

'I Don't Believe In Science,' Says Flat-Earther Set To Launch Himself In Own Rocket

the man's no Flat-Earther, he just panders to Flat-Earthers for the money. anyway, 500m is obviously a laughable height for that, just walk up a hill.

He doesn't believe in hills.

Well, hills are round lumps of earth. Concede on the existence of hills and you're on a slippery slope. (But not the kind of slippery slope you can ski on, obviously -they aren't real either).

ETA:

elasto wrote:
idonno wrote:
Ms Le Page said: "I can't state this enough: there is no scientifically rigorous, doubly blind evidence that divining rods work. Isn't it a bit silly that big companies are still using magic to do their jobs?"
This seems like an odd argument ... You shouldn't trust divining rods because studies show they aren't better than random chance.

I'm sure that's what she meant.

When she says 'there's no evidence that divining rods work' you could interpret that as 'no studies have been done at all' or 'studies have been done and none of them have shown it working'.

Divining is such an old technique that it'd be amazing if studies had never been done on it at all, so I'm sure she meant the latter (which you seem to agree with).


The Wikipedia page has a section listing the studies that have been done. This is quite a satisfying rebuttal of the one study that cherry-picked the hell out of its data to claim a positive finding.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Sableagle » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:27 pm UTC

New User wrote:When I saw this headline, I had to double check to see that I was browsing a real news site.

'I Don't Believe In Science,' Says Flat-Earther Set To Launch Himself In Own Rocket


He built the steam-powered vessel using scrap metal and estimates it cost about about $20,000 (£15,000).

He plans to travel for about a mile at a speed of around 500 miles per hour, soaring through the sky above the Mojave Desert.

"I don’t believe in science," Mr Hughes told the Associated Press (AP). "I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction."

Mr Hughes said he arrived at the belief fairly recently.


Yep. Sounds like he wanted to do this and found a bunch of suckers to fund it ...

He added that another planned flight that will take him dozens of miles into space, allowing him to “prove once and for all this earth is flat”.


... and that.

Quite literally a publicity stunt.

So ... ignoring science because he doesn't believe in it, or simply assuming he's incredibly dense, let's treat his flight as a parabola. "About a mile," he says. According to this highly-trained professional, "1760's a mile." I think he means yards. That's 1609.344 metres, for science people ... unless he meant a nautical mile, which would be really ironic considering how that unit's defined.

At 500 miles per hour, 1 mile will be ... wait, no. The mile has no intention of being traversed at all. *ahem* Travelling 1 mile at 500 miles per hour can be expected to take 7.2 seconds, meaning 3.6 seconds of going up and 3.6 seconds of coming back down. Initial and final vertical speed: 35.28 m/s (in opposite directions). Maximum height achieved: 63.504 m, which is almost exactly 2500 inches, or in possibly more familiar terms 208 feet and 4+(3/19) inches.

Also, 500 miles per hour is 223.52 m/s. Getting up to that speed in 1 second would require 22.8 g of thrust. This is allegedly not necessarily fatal. He wouldn't have long to get over it and grab the parachute handle, though.

...

For £15,000, I could have gone on one heck of a round-the-world holiday and occasionally called him to tell him the local azimuth and elevation of the Sun, the Moon, Sirius or (sometimes) Polaris. Dude should have called me.

...

"Dozens of miles" is so painfully vague, isn't it? Does that mean "at least two dozen" or "at least 1.5000 dozens" of miles? Two dozen miles is 38624.256 metres. Blessed is Google Maps, for it allows me to type that in as the viewpoint altitude:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@35.01100 ... a=!3m1!1e3
... and ctrl and mouse drag will give a 3D rather than top-down view:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@34.78742 ... a=!3m1!1e3
Just about high enough?
It's a lot more convincing from a lot higher. Change that "38624a" to "500000a" and you get a much more thrilling view. He'd have to check the times carefully to be sure he didn't hit the ISS, though ... if he believes in the ISS. Also he'd need to take plenty of oxygen and work out something to do about re-entry.

...

All in all, though, this whole palaver can be rendered unnecessary by some basic research. Really, has he not read the Silmarillion? The Earth hadn't been flat for over 3263 years when Arwen died.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Angua » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:50 am UTC

We once had a demonstration on divining rods at school. A month later, our smallest tortoise ran away and I thought I might as well try as we had nothing else to go on. Found him in about 5 minutes on the otherside of the fence in some bushes, somewhere I'd never had gone otherwise. Never managed to get them to work for much else though...
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:17 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:As far as it goes, its as accurate as most other types of utility location (+/- 1 meter). I don't believe in it at all, but I've seen enough different people do it on enough sites that I have to shrug and say maybe?

Earth in general has water if you dig straight down anywhere. That's why divining sticks are stupid.


This. If there's water at 50 feet down at the spot your rod twitches, there is probably also water at 50 feet down(roughly) 30 feet away. Unless you have something very interesting going on geologically, most water tables do not vary immensely over the distances someone considers putting down a well at.

So you get something that appears to work, even though it is entirely unnecessary. Most people are satisfied if they dig the well and it works, so...you never actually get the necessary disproof.

Is it for digging wells? I assumed that, industrially, it was for finding water pipes. I'm pretty sure the guys I saw doing it were on a building site. Having said that, the whole memory is pretty hazy.


It is used to locate water. It's sold for both purposes.

Probably ideomotor movements. Same as a oujia board. So, if the person knows where the pipes are, or at least suspects where they might be, they could influence the results. Might perform better than pure random then.

However, in a proper double blind study, as per the 1990 Kassel study, they perform no better than random chance. Lump me in with the posters who think any success is attributable to other clues or knowledge leaking through.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby orthogon » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:16 pm UTC

Angua wrote:We once had a demonstration on divining rods at school. A month later, our smallest tortoise ran away and I thought I might as well try as we had nothing else to go on. Found him in about 5 minutes on the otherside of the fence in some bushes, somewhere I'd never had gone otherwise. Never managed to get them to work for much else though...

That's an additional thing I noticed in the Wikipedia page - dowsing can apparently find more than one thing (water, oil, tortoises...) and in the case of the "pendulum" there's even a concept of "asking the pendulum a question". The idea seems to be not just that the dowser "operates" the device differently, like maybe holding it a different way or interpreting the movement differently, but rather that the device has some kind of consciousness, spirit or agency to which the operator is appealing for help. This moves it from the merely mysterious, pseudo-scientific world of unknown "forces" or "energy flows" into the realm of proper all-out magic.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:25 pm UTC

(Moving firmly into the realms of Fictional Science…) http://hdm.wikia.com/wiki/Alethiometer

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Liri » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:00 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(Moving firmly into the realms of Fictional Science…) http://hdm.wikia.com/wiki/Alethiometer

Spoiler:
have you read the new one? I rushed to the bookstore to get it and downed it in two sittings
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:29 am UTC

Liri wrote:
Spoiler:
have you read the new one? I rushed to the bookstore to get it and downed it in two sittings

Spoiler:
Not per se… There was a reading of it on Radio 4 (Both in the long Saturday slot for Drama and split into 15 minute slices for, I think it was, Book At Bedtime. I listened through both (despite them being exactly the same, barring the slicing up). No doubt somewhat abridged, as they must also have done with The Omen (didn't seem to make total sense, without reference to the original/cinematic versions) the other week near Halloween.

As someone with already a number of different books on the go (one by the bed, one by the loo, one in my work bag, one in my weekend bag, one in the kitchen, etc…) I'm not rushing to add to their number, but may get around to adding it to my library by the time it's in paperback, if it doesn't get bought for me for Christmas perhaps. I've always been a sucker for books, and it's just a shame that I can't read as voraciously as I used to. I'm not even any longer a member of a library. Sign of the times?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Liri » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:34 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Liri wrote:
Spoiler:
have you read the new one? I rushed to the bookstore to get it and downed it in two sittings

Spoiler:
Not per se… There was a reading of it on Radio 4 (Both in the long Saturday slot for Drama and split into 15 minute slices for, I think it was, Book At Bedtime. I listened through both (despite them being exactly the same, barring the slicing up). No doubt somewhat abridged, as they must also have done with The Omen (didn't seem to make total sense, without reference to the original/cinematic versions) the other week near Halloween.

As someone with already a number of different books on the go (one by the bed, one by the loo, one in my work bag, one in my weekend bag, one in the kitchen, etc…) I'm not rushing to add to their number, but may get around to adding it to my library by the time it's in paperback, if it doesn't get bought for me for Christmas perhaps. I've always been a sucker for books, and it's just a shame that I can't read as voraciously as I used to. I'm not even any longer a member of a library. Sign of the times?

Spoiler:
well when you get to it, hmu

It's very much a take on The Odessey
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Angua » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:44 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
Angua wrote:We once had a demonstration on divining rods at school. A month later, our smallest tortoise ran away and I thought I might as well try as we had nothing else to go on. Found him in about 5 minutes on the otherside of the fence in some bushes, somewhere I'd never had gone otherwise. Never managed to get them to work for much else though...

That's an additional thing I noticed in the Wikipedia page - dowsing can apparently find more than one thing (water, oil, tortoises...) and in the case of the "pendulum" there's even a concept of "asking the pendulum a question". The idea seems to be not just that the dowser "operates" the device differently, like maybe holding it a different way or interpreting the movement differently, but rather that the device has some kind of consciousness, spirit or agency to which the operator is appealing for help. This moves it from the merely mysterious, pseudo-scientific world of unknown "forces" or "energy flows" into the realm of proper all-out magic.

Yeah, the demonstration at school was finding who was holding a set of keys.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:08 pm UTC

Kentucky State Law wrote:No person shall sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display, or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor dye or color any baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits; nor sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange or to give away baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits, under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6), except that any rabbit weighing three (3) pounds or more may be sold at an age of six (6) weeks. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.

I bet there is some context that explains how this law will (supposedly) prevent animal cruelty.

elastro wrote:Any statement at all can be argued for in moral language if you're allowed to use arbitrary, nonsensical, contradictory morals.

Counterexample.


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