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1  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Game of Thrones - Season 4 is coming (please mark spoilers) on: May 21, 2015, 03:36:28 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on May 21, 2015, 03:03:33 PM

Quote from: Lee on May 20, 2015, 08:40:16 PM

Quote from: Fireball on May 20, 2015, 04:47:35 PM

Sadly, the show has become bad fan fiction. It's George R. R. Martin's fault for not getting the books out in a timely manner, but the quality of the story has collapsed since the writers began broadly making stuff up as they went.

Are people not enjoying the show then? If so is it because it doesn't follow the books closely enough, the violence, or do they just don't think it is very good?

I don't think this season has been very good, but I had liked the show until then.  

Agreed.

And I recognize that the producers have a broad outline of how the story ends. That's part of what annoys me so much (at Martin) about the show this season.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Clearly, they can alter things that play directly towards the ending of the story, so certain plots are continuing mostly unchanged (Cersei, Jon, Tyrion, Arya), while others have seen major modifications that may or may not end up in the same place (Sam, Brienne, Danaerys), and others are just absurdly different (Sansa, Jamie), thus indicating that all of the tedious plotting in the books about those characters int he last two bloated volumes was *ENTIRELY* pointless.
2  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Game of Thrones - Season 4 is coming (please mark spoilers) on: May 20, 2015, 04:47:35 PM
Sadly, the show has become bad fan fiction. It's George R. R. Martin's fault for not getting the books out in a timely manner, but the quality of the story has collapsed since the writers began broadly making stuff up as they went.
3  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: It's been a full month without any new R&P Discussions on: May 20, 2015, 03:05:17 AM

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 10, 2015, 09:58:46 PM

Lobbyists definitely have a significant sway in government. Like you, I'm not enthusiastic about either party. I'm a fiscal conservative, and both the Democrats and the Republicans are too attached to their pet programs. I also believe all branches of government should have term limits, IMO. Career politicians are not a good idea. 

This post encapsulates why American politics is kinda terrible: Identify a problem (lobbyists have too much power), and then propose a "solution" that would actually make that problem worse (term limits).
4  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What is his name again? on: May 20, 2015, 02:59:28 AM

Quote from: Eco-Logic on May 03, 2015, 11:55:02 AM

I'm also sick of hearing about Bruce Jenner, who the hell cares about that thing?  Ugh.

"Thing"?
5  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: May 14, 2015, 10:37:29 PM

Quote from: rittchard on November 20, 2014, 12:25:15 AM

Spoiler for Hiden:
Yeah he is so much better as a "villain."  So much sexier too, it's like he had a complete personality makeover.  Still, I think they may still try to redeem him as he could just be faking things to get in with Hydra.  I don't think he really killed his family but that would be cool if he did.

This. Totally this. From handsome guy who was okay to look at to so-hot-he-makes-me-all-tingly guy whenever he's on screen.
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 29, 2015, 04:06:09 PM

Quote from: Lee on April 29, 2015, 04:48:27 AM

Rittchard I wouldn't worry about, I am sure you don't have much longer to wait. And if you want to be talked out of the watch, just go read the MacRumor's forums. Getting a fair share of negative comments there. Seems like a lot of people didn't really understand what 1st gen products can be like. Nor did they believe all the reviews that were pretty honest about the device. It is certainly not a life changer and the software needs some work.

I've run into a couple of bugs, but nothing like the first iPhone. I'm not sure it's a life changer, but I am definitely engaging with my phone *dramatically* less than I had been.

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The controls are much easier to use after I got used to it. Still have no idea where I should be force touching though. Speaking of which, force touch is pretty cool. At first I did't get how to use it, then I realized I had to press harder. It's not a long tap as I thought it was, it's a hard press.

I had the same experience. Now, I sort of deep press whenever I'm like "is there something more to this information?"

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Third party apps are annoyingly slow. Some people say they sped up once they were opened once, but not in my case. Like the Hue app, a good 5 seconds to open it so I can turn on my lights. I am better off just pulling my phone out. Then there are apps like Dark Sky, after 3 seconds it tells me the forecast is unavailable. On my phone it's fine. I see a spinning ball far too often though, even with Apple apps.

I'm not seeing this. Only once have I had a third party app seem to stall while waiting for data from the phone.

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The watch screen should be the home screen. I want to view that screen. I want to return to the watch, not the home screen when I exit other apps. And the app screen can be a bit of a pain, the hit boxes are way too small. I am going to have to play with the layout.

It is the "deepest" level, if you keep pressing the digital crown you go from App --> Springboard --> Centered on Watch --> Watch.

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Activity seems neat. I do wish it just counted steps instead of calories.

Tap the Activity complication (or open the app), and go to the three rings screen and scroll down; it lists your step count. It would be nice to be able to set that as one of the rings. I use MyFitnessPal, and the app on the Watch is nice.

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I did use Apple Pay. I went in to McDonalds to try it and it worked just as easily as the phone, but I didn't feel any feedback and wasn't sure it was done right away. It was odd twisting my wrist down to the counter where the terminal was as well. The cashier said "Oh! That's cool!" While my niece, who also works there, commented "That's stupid." :-)

At both McDonalds and Harris-Teeter, other people were like "wait, what did you just do with your watch?" when I paid with it. Pretty cool.

I told my Watch not to install the apps on my phone, to let me handle them manually, at initial set up, and it seems to have honored this request so far.
7  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 28, 2015, 08:37:58 PM

Quote from: rittchard on April 28, 2015, 08:25:00 PM

Quote from: Fireball on April 28, 2015, 07:51:29 PM

Or they could sell them with a wide delivery window, which is what they did. Why is that unacceptable? Has Apple missed the delivery window they gave you?

Not yet, still have a week to go....

So why am I still unhappy?  Because based on every hardware pre-order release they've done since the first iPhone, about 90% of which I've participated in (this includes iMacs, Macbooks, iPhones, iPads, etc), plus the advertisements and public statements that were made, the expectation was that people in the so-called "first wave" would receive their orders on the "release date."   I don't know how many ads I saw with the 4-24-15 date shown as the last image they left you with.  So sure, it's OK to sell with a wide delivery window, but then they should have advertised with that window as well.  "Apple Watch - Coming To YOU some time between April 24th and May 8th!"

The Watch was released on April 24. Because the one that you chose of the 35+ models is taking longer to ship doesn't mean that the Watch did't arrive on April 24. They were totally open about the shipping windows during the purchasing process.

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No matter how you slice it, this was a botched release.

Because you didn't get yours day and date, it was a botched release? An unknown percentage of people did get theirs day and date. This is how product launches go sometimes.

Would you have been as mad if you'd signed on at 3:05am and discovered that your Watch was now "sold out" for April 24 and you'd get yours by May 8? Would that wording have satisfied you?

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At bare minimum they should have retracted the ads displaying the date.

Why? The Watch did come out on April 24. I'm not the only person in the world who got theirs.

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Can you imagine if something else with a widespread release date came out only being able to fulfill less than a quarter of the orders?

That happens all the time. ALL THE TIME. In fact, it happens EVERY TIME that Apple releases an iPhone. Most iPhone releases push back from the equivalent of "Ships by April 24" to "Ships by May 8" within minutes or hours of the phones going on sale.

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Shortages are one thing, but wacky/confusing release dates are just poor management.

"Ships between April 24 and May 8."

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What if you went to see Avengers on Friday and found out it was only on 1/4 the screens?

Of course it'll only be on 1/4 or less of the screens at the theater. And movies sell out all the time. If a movie sells out of tickets a few weeks before it opens, and you can't get a ticket to see it on opening weekend mean that it's not really opening on that weekend because everyone who wants to see it can't go during that specific three day window?

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Or if the PS4/XB1 only shipped 1/4 their pre-order units on day one?

How do you define "pre-order"? If someone "pre-orders" an Apple Watch or an iPhone or a PS4 two days before release, should they get it day and date? How long into the pre-order period must a product be shipping day and date for the pre-order to not be a "failure"?

Quote

Business Insider? Of course they think Apple screwed this up. They think Apple screws everything up.

Edited: Woah, sorry. Someone irritated me at the office right before I responded, and that was way off tone. Corrected.
8  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Relationship Help on: April 28, 2015, 08:27:05 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on January 11, 2015, 06:51:56 PM

Well, let me back up for a moment. The religion change isn't as simple as "We were both Catholic, now I'm Lutheran." We were Jehovah's Witnesses, and all of my friends were Jehovah's Witnesses. It's a cult, which I never realized until this past year. For those not in the know, the JWs demand FULL obedience to everything they teach. No questioning, no talkback. Just do what we say.

Well, one of their main teachings is that if you ARE a JW and you LEAVE the JWs, everyone who still IS a JW must shun you. That includes family. Now, that doesn't include people still living in your house, like my wife. However it DOES include HER immediate family and all of my friends. Also, if you're a JW, you're not allowed to hang out with people who aren't JWs in general.

So, my life, by definition, has to be completely separate from hers unless she quits the cult. She won't quit. She loves it too much.

On top of that, earlier this year I was going to try and gently fade and leave it. I had a lot on my mind, since I learned that everything I had been taught from childhood was wrong. I knew how it felt to be part of the Nazi party in Germany (Godwin'd!), because I kept asking myself, "How did I fall for this? How could I have been so weak?" My wife saw that something was wrong, and asked me, and I told her a little bit. I didn't give her the whole story because I didn't want to drag her out of the thing either. (One thing I learned about cults through all this is that you can't wake someone up unless they WANT to be. Otherwise, the process is extremely traumatic.)

Well, she started snooping. She read my Facebook messages where I reached out to my sister who had left a few years ago and friends that had left too. She read my emails. Then, she told the elders of the congregation about it before talking to me. That resulted in me getting cut off from everyone. She still doesn't understand why that was wrong of her to do, despite repeated attempts to explain it to her.

We've tried, over the years, to find other activities that we have in common, to make the Venn diagram of our lives overlap better. We tried tennis, exercizing, video games, board games, none of them worked. When we're at home we sit around and watch the same few TV series that she thinks are appropriate (30 Rock, Malcolm in the Middle, and Scrubs) or other shows that I have to prescreen to make sure there's no offensive content that would bother her. (Breaking Bad is right out.)

The only thing we have in common at this point, after 11 fucking years of marriage, is that we love our child. That's it. As far as how he should be raised, though, we differ. I want him to be the hell away from the Witnesses. I've taken him to birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmases. My wife hates that and gets weepy every time I talk about it. She wants him to be a good little JW, not thinking, just obeying.

Also, ATB, the Jesus suggestion is great, for me! I believe in Jesus! I pray to him on the regular. I don't necessarily UNDERSTAND it, but I do. She, however, would never, ever in a million years pray to Jesus because it's a sin to do so. So there we sit again: On opposite sides of a fence.

So, I kind of made my decision, sadly. We could conceivably stay together if we bother decide to never talk about anything that's truly important and keep our relationship superficial. We did for the last six months or so. That's not how I want to live, though. I don't want to be with a clone of myself, and I know marriage and relationships take a lot of work. But when there's nothing there, what else can you do but cut your losses?

Coming to this situation late, obviously, but it seems to me that you've grappled with this appropriately and come to the most honest answer you can find for yourself. I'm not sure what's happened in the intervening 3 months, but I hope that you're in a better place now, if only because you feel like you have a plan for action.
9  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Relationship Help on: April 28, 2015, 08:20:39 PM

Quote from: ATB on January 09, 2015, 12:57:06 AM

A Christian would say it has EVERYTHING to do with it...hence why I think it's the most important one.

Not all Christians. I've dated people from a number of different religious backgrounds. If I had to guess, I'd imagine there's a 50/50 chance I eventually marry a Jewish guy, which wouldn't, obviously, be a situation where we had a shared faith.
10  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 28, 2015, 07:51:29 PM

Quote from: rittchard on April 27, 2015, 11:43:10 PM

Quote from: Fireball on April 27, 2015, 09:30:03 PM

They didn't launch one model, though: they launched 38 different products, without the ability to perfectly predict which ones would sell out the fastest. They probably knew to build more Watch Sports that just Watches, but did they know the preference the 42mm over the 38mm? How accurately did they predict the band combinations on the Watch? It seems like the watch I bought was "less popular" by several measures: stainless steel over aluminum, 38mm over 42mm, which probably is why I got mine so quickly. I also knew exactly what I was going to ordered before I signed on, and was done with my purchase before 3:05am EDT. Even with that, I was given a range of between April 24 and May 8. I was just lucky to have picked a product that was in lighter demand, and so I got it earlier.

I don't know how many people used it, but I'm guessing a lot of fans like myself did: the Apple Store had a "Favorites" function which allowed you to choose the exact model you preferred and save it into their system.  This should have meant that they had a good deal of information on preference in advance, at least enough to do some statistics.

That feature was released well after the vast majority of the initial wave of watches were made, though. I used that system, too.

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It's also not too difficult to simply guess that the less expensive model would be in higher demand on an unproven product, particularly when there is no difference in the capabilities.  I'd also imagine men are much bigger early adopters when it comes to new tech, so the larger screen would have been the more popular choice overall.  Not to mention a lot of early reports were talking about the screen being relatively small because the dimension they give is the larger one, so it's less screen area than a circular design with that diameter.

I'm certain that most of the watches they made were the Sport, knowing that would be the highest seller. However, the line does not have "men's" and "women's" watches. There's nothing feminine, or even different, about the smaller watch. Many men like me, with smaller wrists, will get the smaller watch. All of Apple's battery life, etc, ratings are based on the smaller model.

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If they couldn't handle the volumes properly, they should have just delayed another week or two.

Or they could sell them with a wide delivery window, which is what they did. Why is that unacceptable? Has Apple missed the delivery window they gave you?
11  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 27, 2015, 09:30:03 PM
They didn't launch one model, though: they launched 38 different products, without the ability to perfectly predict which ones would sell out the fastest. They probably knew to build more Watch Sports that just Watches, but did they know the preference the 42mm over the 38mm? How accurately did they predict the band combinations on the Watch? It seems like the watch I bought was "less popular" by several measures: stainless steel over aluminum, 38mm over 42mm, which probably is why I got mine so quickly. I also knew exactly what I was going to ordered before I signed on, and was done with my purchase before 3:05am EDT. Even with that, I was given a range of between April 24 and May 8. I was just lucky to have picked a product that was in lighter demand, and so I got it earlier.
12  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 27, 2015, 08:12:27 PM

Quote from: Lee on April 26, 2015, 05:11:09 AM

I pictured you as Android guy YK. I guess I picture most gamers as PC guys, so therefore Android. Probably an assumption I shouldn't make.

I was in a packed Apple store tonight. We couldn't look at anything because there were people around everything in the store, except the watches. It was weird, no one was even so much as looking at the watches for the 30 minutes we were there. So I finally got to play with a Watch and it was not what I expected. I am pretty heavily invested in Apple, I own, or have owned, pretty much one of everything they make. I have read every Apple watch review I can find, and I have been reading the MacRumors' Apple Watch forums getting everyone's impressions. I wasn't prepared to be lost with the interface. It was in the message/draw mode, and it took me a few seconds to figure out how to get out of it. I felt kind of lost using it. It didn't feel intuitive at all. I don't think that says anything about the product itself, other than this isn't anything like any other Apple product I have used before. It wasn't Apple simple at first glance. I have heard other people say the same thing and I didn't really believe them, but it really does have a bit of a learning curve to it. It really did feel like a first gen product that most people should avoid unless they really like being an early adopter (just as many of the reviews have said and some people seem to be finding out on MacRumors.)

Still, I am looking forward to getting mine. I do wish I would have ordered SS after looking at them, I thought it looked a lot better.

I've heard those same impressions, but I don't get that. It seems fairly simple to me: the digital crown scrolls and pressing it takes you "up" a level, eventually back to the watch face. Glances swipe up from the bottom. Notifications from the top, just like iOS. The deep press is the only really new thing to me, and it's really just a new type of "right-click". I find it quite easy to use.
13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 25, 2015, 01:45:02 PM
Got mine at about 3:00pm yesterday. Not sure why I got mine when others didn't get the ones they ordered. Perhaps the watch/band combination chosen had something to do with it. My first impressions are excellent: it's attractive and very "nice watch" looking, doesn't weigh a ton, and the strap is super nice and comfortable. I went with the 38mm stainless steel with black leather buckle.

Setting it up was easy, and it came with an 80% charge. I synced it to my phone, transferred my credit cards to it, set up a couple of apps to transfer over, and was off to the races. Customizing the face was a lot of fun, and the built in apps worked great. The third party apps are laggy to load, but function fine once they're there. When the developers are able to put more of the app onto the watch itself, hopefully that issue will abate.

I sent a couple of text messages and placed a couple of calls through the watch. Siri is very effective (and has been getting noticeably better in general the last year or so), and the sound from the watch when using it Dick Tracy style is clear, if a bit soft.

The fitness tracking features are great. I went for a jog on a treadmill at the end of the night, and discovered that the watch was able to "tell" how fast I was running and estimated the "distance run" in line with the treadmill itself. However, it measured a far lower calorie burnt count than the treadmill did until it factored in my "resting caloric burn rate" on top of the "active caloric burn rate" and then the two counts were only 10-20 calories apart.

The "stand up and move around" sensor didn't seem to understand what was happening when I was standing up at a party for a few hours, and kept pinging me every hour to "stand up". Still, I can see how that's going to be useful during the workday.

I showed the watch off to a lot of people and was fiddling with it a lot. The battery had exhausted from 80%-ish to 5%-ish by 1:00am, which projects out to about 13 hours of battery life. I'm sure with more normal usage, that's going to stretch to 15 or 16 hours, which will be plenty.

So far, thrilled with it.
14  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 23, 2015, 02:06:21 PM
I got my shipping notification very early this morning: 38mm Stainless Steel with Black Classic Buckle is inbound for tomorrow!
15  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 21, 2015, 02:05:15 PM
Mine is now listed as "Preparing for Shipment". Hoping I have a handy way to tell time this weekend!
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 11, 2015, 02:59:27 AM

Quote from: Mystic95Z on April 10, 2015, 04:01:28 PM

I'm an apple fan (laptops, OSX, iphones) but the apple watch is just lame. 10k for one with a gold finish is beyond stupid. I'm betting its gonna be a flop...

Then get a different model. smile

Also, it's not a gold finish. It is solid gold, and priced akin to other solid gold watches. Those things are all crazy expensive.
17  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Apple] It's about time... on: April 10, 2015, 01:55:48 PM
I ordered my 38mm Stainless Steel with Black Classic Buckle at 3:05am last night. I thought about dropping down to a Sport edition due to some of the "first gen" concerns expressed upthread, but I just don't think that would look right with the suits and dress shirts I wear every day to work. I think the point made by ATP about the next version being hardware version 2.5 because of the six month delay will probably prove correct. I'm pretty sure that the watch will be great for the things I want it for: the health aspects, telling time, and keeping me from looking at my phone when I get notifications in meetings or on dates, etc. If I get two years of service out of it, I'll be happy. I pay a lot more for computers that I only get 2.5-3.5 years out of, after all.

My arrival date is "April 24 - May 8", so now the waiting begins.
18  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Congrats Bibi on: March 19, 2015, 04:16:22 AM
The polls weren't "wishful thinking". Netanyahu changed course sharply at the end of the campaign and took *far* more extremist positions on many issues than he ever had before. He didn't take votes away from the center-left, which got basically as many votes as they were projected to get. Instead, he pushed his center-right party into the right-wing, and scooped up votes that would have gone to one of the other three right-wing parties. 

It was shrewd, as it put Likud ahead of Zionist Union in the final seat allocation -- but again, the right-wing got about as many seats as polls projected they would get, but with several of the Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteneu seats going to Likud.

Congratulations to Mr. Netanyahu. He won.

But to do so he also repudiated the notion of a two-state solution in a way that will be impossible to walk back. A two-state solution has been the bipartisan, consensus American position on the Palestinian question for decades. How to reconcile this break between Israel and its most important ally is an open question.

Also unclear is what the longterm alternative to a two-state solution is. A one-state solution that absorbs the West Bank and Gaza results in an Israel whose majority population isn't Jewish within a generation. The status quo cannot be continued forever.
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Public speaking on: October 31, 2014, 12:46:48 AM
It's natural to move around. I totally agree with drifter, just don't turn your back on anyone.

I was speaking in front of middle school classes all day today. Since the topic (the election, how Congress works, etc) wasn't entirely engaging, I tried to up my energy level a bit to keep their attention, and that involved moving around as I spoke, stepping towards the kids who were asking questions, etc. I'm not the best public speaker, though I have to do some for work, but it was fun.

The three most common questions? "Should I be worried about Ebola?" and "Have you met President Obama?"

Those seventh graders, keeping their eye on the big picture. smile
20  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Gamergate - Thoughts on: October 29, 2014, 03:53:51 PM
I knew he was conservative, which is no big deal. But the personal vitriol he's spitting at people online is amazing.
21  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Gamergate - Thoughts on: October 29, 2014, 07:49:23 AM
So, I have been tangentially aware of this for awhile, but not really paying attention. I don't see how anyone could argue that women are treated horribly and deeply objectified in many (most?) mainstream games, or justify any sort of harassment of those who point this clear fact out.

This childish, hateful behavior makes me sad.

What makes me even more sad is that after cracking the lid of this thing to look in, I quickly came across posts from Adam Baldwin (Firefly) and Nick Searcy (Justified) that make it pretty clear that they are immensely hateful and intolerant people with no ability to think beyond their limited and selfish perspective. That was heartbreaking.
22  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: October 25, 2014, 06:01:54 PM
I'm not Catholic. What I posted is directly from the Book of Common Prayer. You may not consider it the Nicene Creed, but that is how that Creed is referred to.

The Creed defines the faith. Christianity is a creedal religion, not a book religion. The New Testament hadn't even been codified at the time the two Councils, Constantinople and Nicea, authored this Creed. It is the historic profession of the Christian faith.

You have to draw a line somewhere about what separates orthodox Christianity from religions that are closely related to, but distinct from, historic Christianity. I feel the creed draws that line appropriately. 
23  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: October 21, 2014, 11:56:58 PM
Historically, the Christian religion has been defined by the great traditional Creeds, most importantly the Nicene Creed. The books of the New Testament were selected in part because of their adherence to the Creeds. What is a Christian? It is someone who can profess this:

WE BELIEVE in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

Amen.
24  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Liberal Fascism in Houston on: October 15, 2014, 07:04:43 PM
Who's to say that the IRS hasn't received a complaint but is yet to act?

These churches also aren't just the local church down the street that's been subject to a blanket set of complaints. These aren't blind demands for sermons. These churches were leading the effort to combat the Equal Rights Ordinance. Churches put their tax exempt status at risk when they become publicly involved in electoral politics, the same as any charity does.

It's one thing for members of the clergy to be at rallies or speak as individuals. It's something altogether different to use the pulpit or church-paid communications to push a specific political agenda.

No one has a first amendment right to tax-exempt status.
25  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Liberal Fascism in Houston on: October 15, 2014, 06:18:15 PM
We give churches tax exempt status under laws that govern charities. However, that comes with strings attached. The churches in question have been reported as engaging in direct political activity in sermons and church-paid-for communications, which violates the law -- laws the churches agreed to follow when becoming tax exempt charities.

It is fine for a pastor in the pulpit to say "being gay is a sin." It is not fine for him to say "being gay is wrong, so vote against Annise Parker," or "being gay is wrong, so vote against anyone who supports the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance."

That's the law.

It is the responsibility of those governments granting tax exempt status to investigate when claims are made that such status is being abused.

So, what is your position:

1) That churches shouldn't be tax exempt?

or

2) That governments shouldn't be empowered to investigate when laws are reportedly being broken?
26  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: October 14, 2014, 08:20:22 PM
Narrowing the focus on America, because I don't know much about Christianity in many other parts of the world outside of Catholicism, Anglicanism and Orthodoxy, there has definitely been what you could call a takeover of many branches of Christianity by movement conservatives. Forty-five years ago the Southern Baptist Convention, to name a prominent example, was a middle of the road denomination that was not expressly opposed to abortion. In the 1970s a concerted effort by conservative political activists fundamentally changed the SBC and other congregational churches into a toxic breeding ground of right-wing political ideology. The notion that churches would be leading the charge against social services to poor people and championing the most cut throat notions of American capitalism would shock Christians from 50 years ago.
27  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: October 13, 2014, 05:39:34 PM
Conservative Christians are destroying Christianity. A religion that hates gay people, denigrates women, denies science, etc, has no future because it has no truth or grace in it. Liberal Christians aren't doing enough to stop the right-wing hijacking of our religion, though it does seem some of us are finally waking up to this.

I'm a Sunday school teacher, active in my local parish, and obviously I'm not going anywhere. But I see my friends, particularly my gay friends, being driven further and further away from religion because they increasingly associate with nasty, bigoted people like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, or charlatans like Joel Olsteen. What's bad about American Christianity is so toxic, it makes the far greater part of it that is good harder to acknowledge.
28  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: September 20, 2014, 09:39:36 PM
Got my iPhone 6 yesterday. Was immediately a bit put off by the size, but it's not a deal breaker. I wish they'd stuck with having a 4" phone with modern internals.

I don't restore my phone from a previous backup when moving to a new device. Instead, I just redownload my apps as I need them, as a way of cleaning off the cruft that had built up on my old phone. I love Touch ID, and the "Hey, Siri" functionality is nice to have, as well. Had a weird issue with voiceover directions with Maps last night, but it seems to have gone away today.

For some reason Facebook's Paper app wasn't registering for notifications, so I'm stuck using the regular Facebook app for now. Probably an iOS 8 related bug.

Aside from the size, I love the feel of the phone in my hand. The leather Apple case I got with it is very nice. It's a nice upgrade. I've been using iPhones for 7 years now, aside from a terrible 6 month period where I had to use Android. This phone falls nicely in line with the iPhone, 3GS, 4, and 5 that preceded it. In keeping with tradition, I have dubbed it "Uhura 5."
29  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: September 15, 2014, 02:12:07 PM
Also, porting your number to Google Voice means trusting Google never to discontinue the service. Google's track record at that is bad, to say the least.
30  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: September 10, 2014, 05:34:54 PM
They're not "a joke," but like all manufacturers, they are misleading. Computer markers define a gigabyte as 1,000,000,000 bytes. A computer defines a gigabyte as 1,073,741,824 bytes, thus the difference. On the Mac, Apple has switched the OS to using the marketing definition. I wonder why they haven't done that on iOS.
31  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: September 10, 2014, 05:14:35 AM
I'm in for the iPhone 6, maybe the 128 GB model. Wish the screen was still 4", but I can live with 4.7".
32  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple Watch on: September 10, 2014, 05:12:51 AM
I will buy one, as soon as they are available.
33  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA! on: August 22, 2014, 04:27:34 PM

Quote from: hepcat on August 07, 2014, 02:06:12 PM

What exactly DID Jesus teach, though?  All we have are the written words of so many people...most with agendas...that it's become impossible to know what Christianity really stands for.

We have the Gospels. Which were selected by the Church because they conformed with the Creed and had been accepted as valid by the various Sees as far back as there are records. The three synoptic Gospels are variations on a theme (both Matthew and Luke seem to be revisions and expansions of Mark), while John is something else. While you can't assemble a day by day specific chronology of Jesus's ministry from the four Gospels, they do have a consistent message and spirituality to them. Most importantly, they also conform to the Creed, which is the actual foundational beliefs of the Christian religion. If you're a Christian from an Apostolic tradition, then you trust the four Gospels because the ante-Nicean church accepted them, and the post-Nicean Church confirmed them as canon because they reflect the beliefs of the Creed, and you believe that God guides the Church.

If you're from a non-Apostolic, sola-scriptura Biblical tradition, then I have no idea how you make sense of what is or isn't part of the New Testament canon. In fact, some of the early Protestant Reformers tried to change the canon to get rid of books that didn't agree with them. One of the reasons I am no longer Methodist.
34  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA! on: August 07, 2014, 03:01:32 AM

Quote from: ATB on August 03, 2014, 07:34:43 PM

Glad to hear it.  Would be interested in hearing what caused the change.

Also, now that you're free to explore actual Christianity, get an NIV Bible and start reading in John and Matthew.

I would recommend an NRSV with the Apocrypha. If you're getting a Bible, might as well get a complete one. smile

Eel, I'm sorry that your religion tried to lock you away from the world like that. That's certainly not the sort of religion that Jesus founded. There are plenty of Christian denominations that focus on Jesus' actual teachings, and don't expect you to see such crazy things as literal creationism. To put a plug in for my own religion, the Episcopal Church would definitely welcome you, and there's almost certainly one near you.
35  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Phones must now be unlocked? on: August 04, 2014, 04:08:05 PM

Quote from: Lee on August 01, 2014, 05:53:15 PM

So why aren't we all switching to these cheaper companies? There aren't any drawbacks?

Limited networks. Data speed throttling, in some cases. The main drawback, the lack of modern or interesting phones, is now, effectively, addressed.
36  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ebola outbreak on: August 01, 2014, 10:39:56 PM

Quote from: Caine on July 31, 2014, 04:19:17 PM

Quote from: farley2k on July 31, 2014, 03:51:02 PM

We have the science to build an Ebola vaccine. So why hasn't it happened?

Quote
The problem, instead, is the economics of drug development. Pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to pour research and development dollars into curing a disease that surfaces sporadically in low-income, African countries. They aren't likely to see a large pay-off at the end and could stand to lose money.
This is tough.  Do we somehow force these companies to make a product that will lose them money?  Ethically, short-term answer is yes, but what of the impacts beyond profit?  

We pay them to do it, so they don't lose money.
37  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Chic fil a and their overly religious behavior. on: July 25, 2014, 02:53:50 AM

Quote from: raydude on July 24, 2014, 12:17:38 AM

Quote from: Fireball on July 23, 2014, 05:08:51 AM

I also fail to see how this has anything to do with religion.

But I do get the part about not liking it when people are creepily overly polite or enthusiastic. I walked into a McDonalds once and everyone behind the counter turned at once and yelled out "Welcome!" and "Hello!", etc. It really upset me because I felt like I was suddenly being thrust into the center of attention. I turned and walked out.

Never had that experience at a Chick Fil A, though. Admittedly, I don't go there very often.

That reminds me, I remember when the sushi chefs at most sushi restaurants would call out "Irasshaimase!" every time a customer walked in. In fact, my wife and I giggled at the sushi restaurant scene in Monsters Inc. when the octopus chef would say that, because we knew the reference. But nowadays I don't hear that anymore when entering a sushi restaurant. And it makes me feel a bit sad.

See, that wouldn't bother me too much. 'Cause I'm not ashamed to walk into a sushi place. Eating at McDonalds is something I do only when I have few other options, and I'm not proud of it. Please don't call attention to my lapse in taste, nice people behind the counter!
38  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Chic fil a and their overly religious behavior. on: July 23, 2014, 05:08:51 AM
I also fail to see how this has anything to do with religion.

But I do get the part about not liking it when people are creepily overly polite or enthusiastic. I walked into a McDonalds once and everyone behind the counter turned at once and yelled out "Welcome!" and "Hello!", etc. It really upset me because I felt like I was suddenly being thrust into the center of attention. I turned and walked out.

Never had that experience at a Chick Fil A, though. Admittedly, I don't go there very often.
39  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's for Lunch Today? on: July 14, 2014, 07:29:44 PM
I went to the swing station at the Cafeteria. Today it was "American Regional." Had chicken in wine sauce, baked fish patties with tartar sauce, peas and carrots, and rice. Not bad.
40  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Sarah Palin demands...DEMANDS...impeachment. Can still see Russia from porch. on: July 10, 2014, 02:08:26 PM

Quote from: ATB on July 10, 2014, 11:52:01 AM

Heard an interesting report on NPR about Obama's approval rating is in the toilet and one of the commentators said 'We are only 18 months into his second term, and he's already a lame duck and no one is expecting him to be able to do anything.'

His approval rating isn't great -- 42% approve, 54% disapprove according to Gallup. But that's not even the lowest rating he's had (he dipped into the high 30s in 2011). As much as I don't want it to happen, a Republican Senate would give him an opposition Congress to parry against. The GOP would pass a lot of nasty stuff, and Obama would benefit from the resultant vetoes.

The current situation is bad for him: the House won't consider Senate bills, and the Senate won't consider House bills. So nothing is happening. Which means that the entire government is just sort of listing about. It's hard to look like a leader without the ability to either achieve success or stand strong against an enemy able to pass bills.
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