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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 42,669

Journal Archives

John Scalzi: On Being Poor

I posted this in GD a couple of years ago, now that we have more poor people than then I thought it appropriate to post again.


Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that’s two extra packages for every dollar.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is having to live with choices you didn’t know you made when you were 14 years old.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

DUer OneGrassRoot created this graphic and posted on my previous thread, thank you OGR..

New Anger-Powered Cars May Revolutionize The Way We Drive

"By drawing a significant percentage of its motive power from the unbridled temper of the American motorist, the new anger-powered car will change, or at least take mechanical advantage of, the way Americans drive," General Motors vice-chairman Robert A. Lutz said. "We plan to have these furiously efficient machines careening down America's highways, byways, and sidewalks within two years."

Lutz said automakers have been researching fury fuels since the mid-1970s. As early as 1984, they began to look for ways to take advantage of the limitless supply of bad temper generated daily by American drivers—outrage currently vented wastefully into dashboards, steering wheels, and passengers.

An engine burning clean, white-hot hatred will release few harmful byproducts into the atmosphere—bad; vibes and a small amount of water vapor will combine to be released in the form of human spittle. In addition, anger technology will turn the standard fuel-economy paradigm on its head: An anger-powered engine is actually more efficient in heavy urban traffic.

"The theory behind the anger-powered engine is actually quite simple," said Keith Cameron, chief engineer on General Motors' Project Instigator until January. "The average motorist traveling a clogged American highway produces hundreds of kilowatt-hours of negative energy per infuriating drive. The Instigator motor converts this emotional energy into kinetic energy by a process most drivers—people too goddamn stupid to use their goddamn blinkers when they change goddamn lanes—will never be able to understand. Just trust me, dumbasses, it works."


Flat Earthers deserve more respect than either theists or atheists for their ideas

By which I mean that Flat Earthers at least have some objective evidence for their ideas, you can look around and clearly see that the Earth is indeed flat with your own eyes.

On the other hand neither theists nor atheists have the slightest bit of evidence visible or otherwise to inform their ideas.

Yes, yes, we all "know" the Earth is round because we have been taught that but how many of us have direct proof of it? How many of us have gone out and measured the diameter of our planet? For that matter how many of us would have a clue how to go about proving the Earth is round to an Earthbound misfit skeptic?

Garden flowers with a new old lens

Spring has come and almost gone here it seems (it was 88 degrees yesterday) but we still have some flowers left in the garden.

Lens is a recently acquired old Vivitar 28mm f2.0 in an M42 mount I have adapted to my NEX C3.. At f2.0 it's a hot mess but by 2.8 it's cleaned up nicely, all of these shots were @ f2.8 and ISO 200

And here is shot backlit by the sun and then HDR processed..

Is religion a science?

Since some people believe that other people treat science as their religion then does it also follow that religion is a science?

Venus and Mars are alright tonight

Looking directly to the West about forty five minutes after sundown last night, Venus is the bright object at the very top corner while Mars is considerably dimmer about three quarters of the way down and a little to right of the center, the bright spot in the sky immediately over the trees on the right is a plane and the star near the right edge of the frame is Sheratan. Tipping the camera at a diagonal was the only way I could get everything I wanted into the frame with the lens I was using.

NEX C3, 4 sec & ISO 400, Auto Rikenon 55 1.4 @ f2.8. That exposure left me with a very bright frame which I darkened with the curves tool in Paintshop Pro to approximate the way the sky looked to the eye, the stars and planets show up much better that way than doing just a "correct" exposure in camera which would have been about one second.

Though we gotta say goodbye for the summer

This is the constellation Orion, of which I've been trying to get a really outstanding shot for four months. I have shots of clouds, airplanes, satellites, bad focus, dewed up lens, overexposed, underexposed, banged the tripod, polar alignment off, wrong tracking speed, dead batteries in the tracker and so on...

Orion will only be visible for the next few weeks and then it will be moving behind the sun and basically not observable until September or so, it's goodby for the summer.

I was hiding the camera from the moonlight in this shot, the moon was to the upper left so the trees on the right are brighter and you can see the thin cloud going across Orion's belt, NEX-C3 6 seconds @ ISO 3200 Auto Rikenon 55mm f1.4 @ f2.8.

International Space Station x3 + Moon again...

I was out just before daybreak this morning (6:19 EST) and captured three shots of the ISS flying overhead.. Also another shot of the Moon with my Yashinon 200 f4 I took last night.

The ISS this morning was brighter than the brightest star in the sky, Sirius.

All shots with Sony NEX C3, ISS= kit lens @ 18mm f3.5 10 seconds and ISO 3200.

Full res crop of the first ISS shot.

Moon was the Yashinon 200 f4 @ f8 1/640 ISO 400.

Is the "religious freedom" law in Indiana also aimed at allowing discrimination against atheists?

Or is that law aimed only at LGBT persons?

What do you think the reaction on DU would be if the law specifically excluded sanctioning discriminatory acts against LGBT persons but did allow for discriminatory acts against atheists?

Best Buy: 120GB PNY solid state HD on sale for $39.99 with free shipping..

I just bought two of these, one for one of my computers and another for a neighbor, he had found the deal through an app he has on his iPhone and asked me about whether it was worthwhile for him. If you have a computer with a mechanical SATA HD and don't need huge storage space this should speed things up considerably for a nice price.


You will need something like EasUS Partition Master (free) to swap your OS over to the new HD, this unit does not come with software.

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