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By Etrigan in "How did you assemble this list? Carefully." on MeFi

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2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members

Just in case anyone in your life starts in with "That's because schoolchildren are in so-called 'gun-free zones'!" -- so are servicemembers, for the most part. Servicemembers don't walk around with their firearms. They are issued to them only when needed, and taken back immediately after, and ammunition is transported separately and issued at the exact moment it is needed, and taken back immediately after. And if a servicemember's commander wants to suspend their access to that weapon for any reason whatsoever, that commander can do that. I have done this myself.

If they want to compare schoolchildren and servicemembers, then let's do that. Let's hold the entire country to the same standards of vetting, training, accounting, and issuing weapons that we hold the military to.

I fucking dare us to do that.
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digdoug
6 days ago
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Louisville, KY
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Historic Photos of NASA's Cavernous Wind Tunnels (39 photos)

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Throughout the 20th century, NASA (and its predecessor, NACA) made extensive use of wind tunnels to test and refine designs for airplanes, spacecraft, and many other vehicles and structures. Dozens of specialized tunnels were constructed over the years at Langley Research Center in Virginia and Ames Research Center in California, to test the effects of high windspeed, turbulence, icing, ionization, and much more. Some of these facilities were gigantic—the largest, still in operation, is the 80-foot by 120-foot tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center. In the 1990s, a surplus of government wind tunnels and advances in computer simulations led to a consolidation, and a number of older facilities were demolished. Gathered here, a collection of images of NASA’s amazing wind tunnels from the past century.

A technician prepares to unlatch the door built into the guide vanes of the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, in March of 2010. The tunnel, one of dozens of research facilities at Langley, was built in 1939 and operated until 2004, when it was retired as part of a national initiative to optimize government-owned wind tunnels. Operating "transonically" or across the speed of sound, the air in the test section traveled from about 150 to 1,000 miles per hour. The guide vanes, which formed an ellipse 58 feet high and 82 feet wide, cut across each cylindrical tube at a 45-degree angle. Similar sets of vanes at the three other corners of the wind tunnel turned the air uniformly as it rushed through the 1,000-foot race track-like enclosed tube. If guide vanes were omitted, the air would have piled up in dense masses along the outside curves, like water rounding a bend in a fast brook. (Bill Taub / NASA)
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etwilson
9 days ago
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digdoug
9 days ago
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Louisville, KY
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The Birth of the New American Aristocracy - The Atlantic

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If the secrets of a nation’s soul may be read from its tax code, then our nation must be in love with the children of rich people.

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digdoug
10 days ago
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*RAGE*
Louisville, KY
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1 public comment
sarcozona
10 days ago
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Yep "when educated people with excellent credentials band together to advance their collective interest, it’s all part of serving the public good by ensuring a high quality of service, establishing fair working conditions, and giving merit its due. That’s why we do it through “associations,” and with the assistance of fellow professionals wearing white shoes. When working-class people do it—through unions—it’s a violation of the sacred principles of the free market. It’s thuggish and anti-modern. Imagine if workers hired consultants and “compensation committees,” consisting of their peers at other companies, to recommend how much they should be paid. The result would be—well, we know what it would be, because that’s what CEOs do."

We found love in a hopeless battle royale game

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I love this little piece by Robin Sloan about the world’s current video game obsession Fortnite Battle Royale, its relation to Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem trilogy, and how humans can turn zero-sum situations into nonzero-sum ones.

Worse, and predictably: I’d offer my heart and it would be accepted — I knew this because I received a heart in return, sometimes a merry dance emote — and then, delighted with our teamwork, I would turn around and … get blasted in the back.

I tried this negotiation many times with no success at all and my “Is this it?” curdled into “Is this us?” These were just the rules of the game — its very design — but even so. What a dire environment. What a cruel species!

Then, one night, it worked. And, in many games since, it’s worked again. Mostly I get blasted, but sometimes I don’t, and when I don’t, the possibilities bloom. Sometimes, after we face off and stand down, the other player and I go our separate ways. More frequently, we stick together. I’ve crossed half the map with impromptu allies.

A book I think about a lot is Robert Wright’s Nonzero, in which he argues, contrary to conventional wisdom about capitalistic competition, that much of human progress comes about through cooperation and that the effect increases as the complexity of the possible cooperation increases. As Sloan notes, the brute force of 1 vs 1 vs 1 vs 1 can get a bit boring after awhile, but add a simple way to communicate with other players and suddenly there’s more you can do with the game.

Tags: books   Liu Cixin   Nonzero   Robert Wright   Robin Sloan   The Three-Body Problem   video games
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digdoug
15 days ago
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Nonzero was a great book. Someday, the world at large will remember it's better for everyone when people don't automatically assume everyone else is just waiting for their chance to get one over.
Louisville, KY
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The Voice Actor Behind Kratos From the Video Game ‘God of War’ Tells Hilariously Bad Dad Jokes

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Christopher Judge, the voice actor behind Kratos from the video game God of War, sat down with Polygon and tried to hold back the laughter while telling hilariously bad dad jokes. In the extremely popular video game, Kratos, the former Greek God of War, is accompanied by his son Atreus on his journey, so it only makes sense they he would try to sneak in the occasional dad joke during their adventures.

What’s holding God of War back from being a perfect game? In our opinion, it’s that series mainstay and new father Kratos completely fails to tell any of those groan-inducing jokes that only dads can tell.

When we had the opportunity to interview the game’s talented voice cast during Tribeca Film Festival in April, we took steps toward correcting this disappointing omission. (read more)

The post The Voice Actor Behind Kratos From the Video Game ‘God of War’ Tells Hilariously Bad Dad Jokes appeared first on Laughing Squid.

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digdoug
17 days ago
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Louisville, KY
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What keeps me on macOS

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despite apple's waning attention and nominal concern:

Footnotes:

  1. The Windows version is much clunkier. Reportedly, 2016 is the final desktop version for Mac. Still available at a discount from Intuit via this curiously-obscure page.
  2. Yes, it's available for other platforms as well, but without Sublime Text I'd be sorely tempted to jump ship.
  3. Other platforms also enjoy plenty of virtualization options, none of which run OS X / macOS guests easily and/or legally.
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digdoug
17 days ago
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I am not religious about these things, but I definitely wanna check a few of these apps out.

(I have both, I use both, a lot.)
Louisville, KY
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