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Posts by Hyzenthlay

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  • Vanity: Ghosts, Ouija Boards, the Paranormal, and God

    10/28/2009 8:21:40 AM PDT · 80 of 85
    Hyzenthlay to MNDude

    Out of curiosity, what area of the country did you live in? It sounds like the kind of geothermal activity that would cause geysers or something similar if there had been water around, and the temperature sounds about right.

  • 'Little Buddy' GPS device keeps tabs on your kid

    10/27/2009 7:40:57 PM PDT · 25 of 31
    Hyzenthlay to omega4179

    Oh, and “all the young children disappearing in central Florida”? This is a really bad-sounding thing to say, but they need to consider realistic possibilities - is this thing, erm, acid-resistant? I mean, it IS Florida, after all...

  • 'Little Buddy' GPS device keeps tabs on your kid

    10/27/2009 7:35:49 PM PDT · 24 of 31
    Hyzenthlay to omega4179

    Even if it is fully encrypted and digital, if you can track your child, ANYONE with the requisite hacking skills (or the ability to pay or blackmail someone with the requisite hacking skills) can track your child. The encryption itself could be close enough to impossible to break, but the trick would be for a hacker to break into the PC/smartphone/device that the child is being tracked with. From there, they could either directly track it from the parents’ device, or they could find the encryption key (that ‘matches’ the device with the actual GPS unit, it’s like the ‘decoder ring’ for the encryption) that would allow them to track it from whichever device they wanted (and this may or may not simultaneously ‘lock out’ the parents’ device, but I don’t know since they’re obviously not going to release such details). There are a million ways hackers could get into it from the parents’ end.

    Really, “Little Brother” would be a much more apt name for such a device. I understand parents wanting to know where their child is, but get them a GPS-equipped cell phone - in any case but a stranger abduction (which are quite rare) the cell phone will probably be turned on, and in the case of a non-custodial kidnapping the kidnapper could actually do things with a GPS device that could lead to a false trail for police.

  • Vanity: Ghosts, Ouija Boards, the Paranormal, and God

    10/27/2009 7:12:46 PM PDT · 63 of 85
    Hyzenthlay to Debacled

    I did say/dream some creepy things as a child.

    Let’s see, in chronological order:
    One night, in middle school, I dreamed that I was reunited with a friend who had moved to the other end of the continent just over a year previously - incidentally, that was the last dream I’ve had since that wasn’t a nightmare. Two nights later, I went to the youth group at my church, and to my surprise I saw this friend that I had dreamed about, because for some reason she had moved back to the area. However, it was about a year after she had left, so maybe the time of year triggered the memory? I had several other similar dreams that came true in the next few months, but I don’t remember them specifically any more, as they were almost entirely about mundane middle-school stuff.

    About six months after that, it was 9/11. My family and neighbors were watching their TV (ours was broken) and the second plane had just crashed into the second tower, so we knew it was terrorism. A news anchor said something about not knowing if there were any more hijacked planes, and I said something to the effect of “They’ll go for the Pentagon next.” Well, a few minutes later, there was news footage showing smoke in DC, and an image of a hole in the side of the Pentagon was on the screen. I seriously freaked my neighbor out, but it wasn’t until years later when I saw the time the plane hit the Pentagon that I realised I probably said that at almost the exact time the plane actually crashed... and that was what made me put it into the ‘too weird to explain by coincidence’ category.

    And most ironic, years after that I started having recurring nightmares about people dying violently at a certain place. Well, after a couple months of those nightmares, I did actually see someone die violently at that specific place (although in a different manner than in my dreams). The real irony is that I never had those nightmares again, and I never even had nightmares about the incident I witnessed. However, a few weeks later, one of my professors started talking about the possibility of the exact scenario in my nightmares occurring, so I guess that was more of my subconscious trying to tell me something in my dreams than any kind of supernatural foreshadowing. (LOL, can you tell I’m skeptical about this?)

  • Weekly Sci-Fi Thread (10/25/09)

    10/27/2009 9:46:02 AM PDT · 52 of 52
    Hyzenthlay to Question_Assumptions

    “So are you expecting celibacy, because unless one of those supply boxes contains condoms or birth control pills, a pregnancy is certainly likely?”

    Well, in my experience, celibacy is not that difficult, especially when pregnancy is a possible outcome, or if you know that you wouldn’t be able to avoid your ex if you break up. Plus, guys who live in their mother’s basement and can’t get laid still don’t seem to die or anything from lack of sex...

    But, I think when it comes down to it, survival isn’t about some noble, abstract desire to continue the human race, it’s just a really basic instinct that says “Don’t die!” People just naturally don’t want to die, and that’s good, because otherwise our ancestors would have just given up and bemoaned how fast animals could run instead of running or hiding or fighting back when chased by predators, or people today wouldn’t try to get out of burning buildings, and so on.

  • Net Neutrality FAQ: What's in it for You

    10/26/2009 5:52:26 PM PDT · 17 of 23
    Hyzenthlay to HiTech RedNeck

    The general idea with almost any law prohibiting something is that if the law is put in place before a problem arises, you can nicely prosecute the entire case in court. However, if you wait until a problem comes up, there’s going to be a huge legal battle that with ISP’s will probably be dragged all the way up to the supreme court, and the law prohibiting it will only be changed afterwards.

    Now, let’s say a drawn-out legal battle occurs. Then, net neutrality would become a hot-button political issue. But where do you learn about net neutrality? The ISP’s would control the majority of the information available on the topic, and given last election year, we see that what’s on the internet matters a lot to the average voter. It’s about protecting free speech, only the threat of censorship most likely isn’t coming from the government (although it’s not inconceivable that someday it might).

    And I know lots of people here are naturally suspicious of anything Obama does, but net neutrality is a concept that’s existed long before anyone had the foggiest idea who he was. In other words, it wasn’t his idea, he’s just jumping on a bandwagon.

  • Net Neutrality FAQ: What's in it for You

    10/26/2009 12:26:30 PM PDT · 11 of 23
    Hyzenthlay to The_Media_never_lie

    ‘Net neutrality’ means ‘keeping the internet the way it is’ - in other words, you pay your ISP like usual, and you can access any site on the internet that you please. I don’t understand why it’s mostly Dems who are supporting this (given that it was Libertarians who popularised it), although it may be that Republicans tend not to have tech laws high on their priority list, and this law appeals to younger, tech-savvy voters who happen to be primarily Democrat.

    If there was a ‘non-neutral’ internet, you could pay only for the types of sites you wanted to access, much like cable: You might have a basic package with Google and wikipedia and news and nonprofit sites, then there might be additional ‘sports’ packages, or ‘porn’ packages, or ‘kids/educational’ packages that you could purchase. While this might seem like a good idea at first, there are two major problems: It would make it harder and more expensive for people to create new websites and get traffic to them, and also if your internet service company had a liberal slant, do you think FR or other sites they might disagree with would come in any of your ‘packages’? Or do you think they’d make you pay top dollar for ‘unlimited’ access to sites they disagree with? Lack of net neutrality would, among other things, allow ISP’s to essentially blacklist any website they felt like.

  • Weekly Sci-Fi Thread (10/25/09)

    10/26/2009 12:07:30 PM PDT · 47 of 52
    Hyzenthlay to Question_Assumptions

    I saw it more as a positive attitude, that they wouldn’t give up as long as there was even the tiniest shred of hope left. Also, if you look at Chloe’s reaction to the pilot saying she should get a seat because of her father’s position, I don’t think she’d have any better reaction to someone telling her she should get a seat because of her gender. At the same time, although it would have been the chivalrous thing for the men (aside from the pilot, and maybe farm boy) to stand aside, once the ship landed it would have been quite useful to have men on the planet itself. So, since the attempt to make some kind of settlement on the planet would function best with both genders, IMO the only fair way to go would have been to make it completely gender-neutral.

    I don’t think reproduction would have been a goal for several reasons. First of all, I and many other women would probably rather die in a star than die from complications with childbirth on a desolate planet with a minimum of medical supplies. Second of all, that brings up the rather awkward point that after a couple generations, the family tree wouldn’t have any branches... even with 8 men and 8 women for maximum genetic diversity that probably wouldn’t be enough.

  • Nearly all my professors are Democrats. Isn't that a problem?

    10/25/2009 9:43:12 PM PDT · 28 of 32
    Hyzenthlay to BenKenobi

    Eh, I don’t think that would work to actually get more conservative professors, just to get pay raises for the ones that exist. In my experience, conservatives who want to be professors are businessmen and engineers (two subjects that I happily never plan on taking in the future) and they don’t usually hold degrees in ‘soft sciences’. Then again, I’m mostly in the hard sciences, where politics are considered ‘boring’ and people are getting quite fed up with Obama’s ‘all talk, no action’ stance on science.

  • Weekly Sci-Fi Thread (10/25/09)

    10/25/2009 8:49:49 PM PDT · 43 of 52
    Hyzenthlay to Reaganez

    “Oh, yes I prefer I-store I-Apple I-macsyfy look much better.”

    ‘Properly lit’ does not mean ‘Apple designed the set’. ‘Properly lit’ means that you don’t notice the lighting - think of shows like Firefly or SG-1. Because our eyes automatically adjust to light we can still see detail in all but the darkest situations, but lose color perception in darkness. So, if you film a scene in proper lighting and apply a grey or blue-grey filter the viewer’s brain interprets it as ‘dark’ but none of the image quality is lost. There’s a much more detailed explanation in some of the behind-the-scenes stuff in the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies if you care to find it.

  • Weekly Sci-Fi Thread (10/25/09)

    10/25/2009 8:03:30 PM PDT · 42 of 52
    Hyzenthlay to Question_Assumptions

    I was under the impression that they were going to the planet just to die later (even if they had children, they’d still eventually die), or by some incredible chance find a ‘local’ stargate and integrate into some civilisation they found, given that there wasn’t a need to continue the human race or anything like that.

    Also, I don’t know if there were 9 women on that entire ship, and I’d guess only Chloe and the young Air Force girl (Vanessa?) and maybe the medic would be likely to be fertile enough for those purposes. That is, if they weren’t on some birth-control option like the depo shot (hey, if you were in space and didn’t know when you might have to run to another planet at a moment’s notice or leave stuff behind, that’s what I’d do considering the alternative) in the first place.

  • Nearly all my professors are Democrats. Isn't that a problem?

    10/25/2009 7:35:55 PM PDT · 26 of 32
    Hyzenthlay to Born Conservative

    It’s only a problem if your professors are bringing their political views into class. Otherwise, who cares what their political affiliation is, as long as they’re competent at teaching their respective subjects? In fact, if you had to ask them in order to discover what their voter registration card said, then they’re doing their jobs properly.

    I’ve taken over 40 courses at a fairly liberal university. I’ve had maybe 4 professors mention their political views in passing, and they affected the content of only two courses (of a sort where it would be difficult for the content to be unaffected) and I only had one professor try to drag politics into a distinctly non-political course. Incidentally, I failed that course - not directly due to political conflicts, but because I was too sick to go to all my classes and I figured if I had to miss something, I might as well miss the class where I hated the prof... but the other 35+ classes, wouldn’t have a clue what their voter registration card said (if they actually had one to begin with, I think half of them still had green cards).

  • Families say flu scare comes with a dose of craziness

    10/25/2009 2:30:17 PM PDT · 19 of 19
    Hyzenthlay to discostu

    Well, that was sort of my point, the people who need to be scared every flu season can almost all get vaccinated every flu season - except they can’t for the swine flu, and that’s what makes them more scared than usual. That said, as someone who’s probably only not in the hospital cause she got Tamiflu within a couple hours of starting the fever, yeah, I was scared and I’m still a bit nervous...

    I know what you mean about the hand sanitiser thing. Considering some of the atrocious hygiene I’ve seen apparently clean, intelligent people exhibit (ie, touch a public surface like an escalator railing and not wash their hands before eating finger food) it’s not a bad idea in general, but I find it both ridiculous and a little hilarious that people are making such haphazard attempts and then only to avoid a specific strain of flu.

  • Weekly Sci-Fi Thread (10/25/09)

    10/25/2009 2:10:43 PM PDT · 5 of 52
    Hyzenthlay to KevinDavis

    Presuming that your question is not about who we think could get us off the deserted planet and who we’d rather be spending time with... the lighting on the show is far too poor for me to tell if any of the men are really attractive! In all their efforts to make the fanboys happy, the show’s producers kind of forgot about the fangirls =( but they’ve been using semi-realistic science, which I really missed in Atlantis.

    Still haven’t seen Flashforward, but I’m probably going to get around to it in the next few days, thanks to the swine flu that’s keeping me out of classes until Tuesday at least...

  • HIV man hopes ex-wife deported

    10/25/2009 1:44:02 PM PDT · 28 of 42
    Hyzenthlay to george76

    He married a stripper, yet it never occurred to him “Oh, she’s a stripper, she might have some kind of STD, maybe she should get tested before we sleep together?” I believe statistically 1 in 4 adults has an STI/STD at any given time, so I wouldn’t take those chances with any random adult, much less a stripper. And why is he suing the strip club? Unless he actually contracted HIV from activity at the strip club, there’s no point - if he had met his wife while shopping at Wal-Mart, would he have sued them as well?

    That said, while female-to-male HIV transmission is rare, I believe that only applies to intercourse and ‘rare’ still doesn’t mean ‘impossible’.

  • Families say flu scare comes with a dose of craziness

    10/25/2009 1:27:14 PM PDT · 16 of 19
    Hyzenthlay to discostu

    The problem is that there are some people who are legitimately scared. No, your average, healthy adult has nothing to worry about. However, for the people with ‘underlying health conditions’, this is way scarier than the seasonal flu because with the seasonal flu you can get vaccinated and go on with your life, but with the swine flu there’s no vaccine they can take yet so they can’t protect themselves and the virus also spreads a lot faster. So, if there’s an outbreak, paranoia is completely understandable for those at ‘high risk’.

    For the rest of the population who’s perfectly healthy and doesn’t have a tiny infant or anything like that to worry about, they really should get over this.

  • UConn Football Player Stabbed and Killed

    10/18/2009 4:21:35 PM PDT · 24 of 34
    Hyzenthlay to whattajoke

    “Most on campus crime (aside from underage drinking) is committed by non-students.”

    Yes and no. On most college campuses, most on-campus *violent* crime is committed by non-students. However, the on-campus non-violent crime vastly outnumbers that - you’d be amazed at the amount of drug use and possession, indecent exposure/sexual harassment, DUI’s, petty larcenies, etc that happen on your typical college campus. For the most part, those crimes are ‘under the radar’ because they’re rarely reported, and when they are it’s probably not even going to make the campus paper’s crime blotter. And yes, most of those are committed by college students on most campuses (on spread-out ones like many colleges in NYC, or non-residential campuses, it’s likely that outsiders are responsible for a significant amount of crime).

  • Internet for your car is one step closer to reality

    10/13/2009 10:12:54 AM PDT · 31 of 41
    Hyzenthlay to envisio

    That’s actually an option in some vehicles today - I think it’s OnStar that does it, and it’s called ‘stolen vehicle slowdown’. Basically if someone steals your car, and doesn’t rip the Onstar unit and GPS out, you can call them up, they can find where your vehicle is, send the police out to get it, and then literally slow your vehicle down when the police have caught up.

  • Maurice Sendak tells parents to go to hell

    10/13/2009 10:02:14 AM PDT · 28 of 42
    Hyzenthlay to Mr. Blonde

    I totally agree, most of the people I know in that age group are extremely excited for that movie - maybe it’s nostalgia for their childhood. I actually wonder if the movie isn’t targeted towards them more than it is for actual children. That said, I’ve seen endless previews and TV spots, and it doesn’t look scary at all. I think the only kids it might scare are the ones who are at an age where they’re terrified of completely random and puzzling things like people in crayon costumes or baby lambs even though they’re not scared of ‘scary’ things like spiders or the dark.

  • Behind the Scenes: Picturing Fetal Remains

    10/13/2009 9:48:25 AM PDT · 152 of 157
    Hyzenthlay to mlizzy

    “How did you know for sure that Malachi was not a miscarriage?”

    Simple answer to that: If the fetus is pink or red, and especially if there’s a noticeable amount of blood, it was alive when the abortion was performed.

    However, if the fetus is a brownish or greyish color, and especially if it appears emaciated, it died naturally in utero, probably days before the ‘abortion’ occurred. The color comes partially from the lack of oxygen and partially from the beginning stages of decomposition, and the emaciated appearance would come from the mother’s body beginning to re-absorb it. While some of these might be found along with the same remains as live abortions, and the procedures used are typically the same, the ‘abortions’ here aren’t really abortions at all, they’re simply miscarriages that for whatever reason the woman’s body didn’t expel naturally.