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2761  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Go to church..live longer...? on: November 27, 2008, 05:42:48 AM
If you could isolate it, you would find that connectedness to a group is the beneficial factor. I'm too lazy to dig up cites but I'm pretty sure that's been amply demonstrated already. A church is a strong and durable social group. Therefore, churchgoers enjoy longer lives -- probably healthier, too.

If you are specifically trying to measure the value of religion on longevity, you'd need to compare churchgoers with Elks, Kiwanis, Masons, Obamaniacs, or any other group that people actively support and identify with strongly.
2762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pixar Movies: Favorite to Least Favorite on: November 27, 2008, 12:43:16 AM

Quote from: Rowdy on November 26, 2008, 04:35:30 PM

Quote from: GuidoTKP on November 26, 2008, 01:09:22 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 25, 2008, 05:50:44 AM

This thread is making me think about dropping Cars from my Netflix list. Is it even worth 90-ish minutes of my lifespan?

Well, my then-5-year-old, who is not a film critic by any stretch, forced my wife and I to walk out on it ... and we didn't mind.  I eventually made a point of watching it on cable just to see how it turned out, but it's the only Pixar movie I can't recomend.  Its not awful, but I thought it was completely devoid of magic.

 saywhat Wow, that is one picky 5 year old!  My kids are enthralled just to be in a movie theatre, never mind what's playing.

It's amazing to me the reactions to Cars... my kids love it.  I think it has plenty of magic.  I think the characters are great, and the change that the main character goes through, and the final race, are both excellent.  It's less 'artsy' than Wall-E, Ratt or even the Toy Story's, but that's ok, it's just a different style.  My almost 5 yr old son lives for all things Cars related, and watches the movie monthly.  Rattatouie and Bugs Life, by contrast, are typically tuned out after 15 minutes, and Wall-E in the theatre was a fun excursion but neither of my kids could tell me what it was about afterwards.

I'm taking it off the list. The movies that kids like most are the ones I like least, and vice versa.
2763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 119,943 Miles Flown in 2008 - A retrospective on: November 27, 2008, 12:31:50 AM
I managed to fly 0 miles again last year. I am airline-averse because the experience of flying is so unpleasant.

It wasn't always that way. The first few times I flew were fun. Air travel was still too expensive to be very common, so flying was more enjoyable. Security was lackadaisical, although there was some remote threat of hijackings. Aisles and seats were bigger. Passengers were smaller and better behaved (high prices kept out the riffraff). Stewardesses were hired for their looks and wore short skirts. Drinks and snacks flowed freely. Smoking was allowed.

I endure air travel when the destination is worth the pain of getting there, as in a Caribbean island. I would hate to have to travel that way routinely.
2764  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pixar Movies: Favorite to Least Favorite on: November 25, 2008, 03:13:53 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on November 25, 2008, 02:00:57 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 25, 2008, 05:50:44 AM

This thread is making me think about dropping Cars from my Netflix list. Is it even worth 90-ish minutes of my lifespan?

Do you have a blu-ray player?

Nope.
2765  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pixar Movies: Favorite to Least Favorite on: November 25, 2008, 05:50:44 AM
This thread is making me think about dropping Cars from my Netflix list. Is it even worth 90-ish minutes of my lifespan?
2766  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm not usually much for the conspiracy BS but... on: November 24, 2008, 11:51:06 PM
It does look the scoundrels in power are looting and pillaging before the new batch of scoundrels comes to town.
2767  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pixar Movies: Favorite to Least Favorite on: November 24, 2008, 11:45:36 PM
They came out over so many years that it's a little hard to compare them as the CG animation state-of-the-art has improved. Toy Story was simply amazing for its day, less so in light of subsequent movies. But what the heck, I'll play anyway.

1. Ratatouille
2. The Incredibles
3. WALL-E
4. Monsters Inc
5. Finding Nemo
6. Toy Story 2
7. Bugs Life
8. Toy Story
9. Cars? (Haven't seen it)

My list looks a lot like Lordnine's.
2768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: House Loan Advice Needed! on: November 24, 2008, 11:30:14 PM

Quote from: Doopri on November 24, 2008, 10:00:47 PM


if i had any questions, concerns or problems - id sure as heck want to be able to walk into a local branch and deal directly with someone whos familiar with my loan and has been handling it since origination.  id also want to know how often the bank sells off its loans to other parties (and thats just something, at least in my area, that happens a lot less at the local branches)


Our mortgage started out with a local credit union, that got gobbled up by another local bank, that sold us to an out-of-state bank, that sold us to a holding company, that sold us to GMAC. Eventually we refinanced with BoA because they have a branch nearby, their rate was competitive, and -- best of all -- giving them our debt qualified all of our other banking for their top-tier preferred customer services. With the home loan linked to our other accounts and paid via direct debit, it's harder for them to arbitrarily shave it off and sell it. Likewise, with the preferential customer status makes us less likely to go out and refinance with somebody else to save a fractional percentage. The downside, of course, is that BoA would like to own us lock, stock, and barrel, whereas I prefer to spread things around. All of my business banking is with a different bank (Citizens), while all of our retirement savings are spread between Fidelity, Vanguard, and ING Direct. (BoA pays the absolute lowest interest rates for savers).
2769  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Seriously cool gift for a Firefly Fan on: November 24, 2008, 12:36:33 AM
Tubes cost more to mail.
2770  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: November 23, 2008, 04:22:53 PM

Quote from: Zinfan on November 22, 2008, 08:30:36 PM

Quote from: cheeba on November 22, 2008, 06:55:06 AM

That ignores overtime which is a significant chunk of the UAW worker's paycheck.

What would you suggest the automakers do to reduce overtime? 

More and better robots?
2771  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Go to church..live longer...? on: November 22, 2008, 03:51:17 PM

Quote from: Lee on November 22, 2008, 04:40:29 AM

A friend of mine was telling me all about his church. It just sounded like a place people go to gossip and judge other people for not being as righteous as they are.

When I was a kid, it was about social standing. You had to show up often enough to look like part of the community...and we knew each other's status by the finery we wore and the cars we arrived in.
2772  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Heathens Caused the Market Meltdown! on: November 22, 2008, 03:48:44 PM

Quote from: Lee on November 22, 2008, 07:01:36 AM

Quote from: Eduardo X on November 22, 2008, 05:59:11 AM

For me, it isn't people wishing me a Merry Christmas that's upsetting. It's the constant reminder that I live in a society and country where Christianity is the prevalent and dominant religion, and that in more ways than one, it is forced upon me through laws, even when the government is supposed to be separate from religions.

That's a very simplified explanation of the whole thing.

While I am no fan of the religion, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Christmas doesn't have to be about religion, it's what you make it.

I used to struggle with the religious aspects of Christmas, too, and I assiduously avoided using that word for "the winter holidays". Personally, I celebrate the solstice. But since I now earn half of my annual income during November and December, I've come to see Christmas as a purely commercial event. The religious trappings are just part of the marketing. So Merry Christmas, everybody!
2773  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: November 22, 2008, 04:28:44 AM

Quote from: cheeba on November 20, 2008, 06:19:37 PM

Quote from: cheeba on November 20, 2008, 03:01:20 AM

What has the government done better than private industry? Anything? Serious question here, not a challenge.
I'm not seeing many responses on this.

Um... build interstate highways? Land on the moon? Government achieves most when it works through and harnesses industry. Handled right, this could be an opportunity.
2774  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Go to church..live longer...? on: November 22, 2008, 04:14:35 AM
News flash! Churchgoers tend toward healthier lifestyles! Prayer at 11.
2775  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: HDTV question on: November 22, 2008, 04:10:14 AM
We bought a 42" Westy LCD a couple of years ago. Got one with no tuner (which technically makes it a monitor) for $500 less than the prevailing price at that time. It's not the best TV, but it was a huge step up from our old CRT and it's still satisfactory. If you're on a budget, you could do worse than Westy. I'll bow to superior wisdom about that particular set, but don't rule out the brand if you are looking at cheaper TVs.
2776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Civic Literacy Test. on: November 22, 2008, 03:54:59 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on November 20, 2008, 05:13:49 PM



Missed:
7)   What was the source of the following phrase: “Government of the people, for the people, by the people”?

That's one of the two that I missed, too.

Quote from: Mr. Fed on November 21, 2008, 05:39:05 PM

32/33

Read the one about taxes = spending too quickly.

And that was the other one. It was not worded well.

Quote from: JCAnejo on November 21, 2008, 08:20:14 PM

24/33 Don't think thats too bad comsidering how long ago I last took a history class, which now that I think about it would have been my Junior year in high school in 1979

They have history on the internet now.
2777  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Neb. finally gets the law right. on: November 22, 2008, 03:47:52 AM
30 days doesn't seem like much. I'd think parents ought to have a 1-year give-back option. It seems like it would take that long to be sure that the whole having kids thing isn't going to work out. Is there a way to get rid of them legally if you miss that narrow opportunity? 
2778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Civic Literacy Test. on: November 20, 2008, 04:22:05 PM
You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %
2779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Laptops for young teens? on: November 19, 2008, 05:51:42 AM

Quote from: lildrgn on November 18, 2008, 09:12:15 PM

Craigslist.

We bought my niece a refurbished Dell from a Craigslist business for $400, with a printer thrown in. No complaints, it's a nice little machine.
2780  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Stardock to continue Master of Orion and Star Control? on: November 18, 2008, 04:24:01 PM

Quote from: Razgon on November 18, 2008, 01:48:48 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on November 18, 2008, 01:44:02 PM

Quote from: Razgon on November 18, 2008, 01:40:37 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on November 18, 2008, 01:37:13 PM

Stardock would be just about the best developer I could think to do a new SC game. Not sure of the purpose for a new MOO game since Gal Civ is in the same genre. Kind of redundant IMO unless they feel the MOO name still has weight(which I'm not sure of after MOO 3's release).

galciv is nothing like MOO as I see it

eh?

okay, its probably a lot more about feeling, than actual gameplay, but I still feel they are two different beasts, kinda like two FPS's are different.

The only substantial difference is tactical ship combat.

After MOO3, I think GalCiv is actually the stronger brand now. I don't know how they'd differentiate MOO4 from GalCiv3, except possibly with tactical combat. But then, I'm not Brad Wardell, either. Presumably he's thought about that.
2781  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: November 18, 2008, 04:19:59 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on November 18, 2008, 03:04:43 PM

The question is at the heart of it all....is there a sustainable business model for the American automobile industry? 

Financially sustainable is going to collide with politically acceptable. To compete over the long term, GM & Friends need to invest heavily in robotics, shed a huge fraction of their workforce, and cut wages/bennies for the ones left. Govt apparently feels compelled to keep them afloat because of their role as social welfare corporations -- and that's what's not sustainable.
2782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Does USPS ever give up? on: November 17, 2008, 04:41:18 PM
 icon_lol

I have shipped thousands of packages via USPS. A few of them returned to me as "Delivery attempted - return to sender". I've never seen one ricochet like that.
2783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the New Star Trek Crew! on: November 17, 2008, 04:39:18 PM

Quote from: mytocles on November 17, 2008, 04:35:18 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 17, 2008, 04:21:31 PM

I am Gene Roddenberry's bitch. I grew up with TOS and have been a fan since I was 7 years old. I even enjoy bad ST. I will see every new ST movie in the theater, regardless of its reviews. 

But the real test is:  how many times have you seen "The Trouble with Tribbles?"   Tongue

I think it's three, minimum, to qualify for just the Regular Club; to be a member of the Supreme Club - you need to have seen it for the first time, as a first-run!  Unfortunately, I am in the Supreme category...  crybaby

I saw all of the original episodes when they first ran, so I guess I'm Supreme, too.
2784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 17, 2008, 04:38:06 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on November 17, 2008, 04:32:17 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 17, 2008, 04:30:25 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on November 17, 2008, 05:14:11 AM

As far as space-faring aliens - that have visited earth? Maybe. Why not? If there's a close-by alien, and we're the closest planet, I'd say we'd be interesting to observe.

The laws of physics, as we currently understand them, make it nearly impossible to bridge interstellar space in anything close to a tolerable travel time and energy expenditure.

Of course, sf writers have been getting around that for decades, so maybe physics will catch up someday. I agree that watching an infant civilization like ours emerge from its homeworld would be worth the effort, if it were feasible at all. It's not entirely impossible that aliens have visited earth...just extremely unlikely, based on what we know about mass and energy.   

Yes, but compare that with what we "knew" about mass and energy 100 years ago. 

That's why I qualified my post as I did. There are very few things that I'll ever rule out entirely.
2785  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 17, 2008, 04:30:25 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on November 17, 2008, 05:14:11 AM

As far as space-faring aliens - that have visited earth? Maybe. Why not? If there's a close-by alien, and we're the closest planet, I'd say we'd be interesting to observe.

The laws of physics, as we currently understand them, make it nearly impossible to bridge interstellar space in anything close to a tolerable travel time and energy expenditure.

Of course, sf writers have been getting around that for decades, so maybe physics will catch up someday. I agree that watching an infant civilization like ours emerge from its homeworld would be worth the effort, if it were feasible at all. It's not entirely impossible that aliens have visited earth...just extremely unlikely, based on what we know about mass and energy.   
2786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the New Star Trek Crew! on: November 17, 2008, 04:21:31 PM
I am Gene Roddenberry's bitch. I grew up with TOS and have been a fan since I was 7 years old. I even enjoy bad ST. I will see every new ST movie in the theater, regardless of its reviews. 
2787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 17, 2008, 02:23:37 AM

Quote from: jersoc on November 16, 2008, 11:24:44 PM

Quote from: Jeff Jones on November 15, 2008, 11:52:29 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 15, 2008, 11:49:06 PM

Quote from: jersoc on November 15, 2008, 11:20:56 PM

there are stars bigger than our freakin galaxy.

Um...whut?

Heh... while there are some stars that make our sun look like a BB, I don't think they're the size of our galaxy slywink

yeah i meant solar system.

and yes, i highly doubt any are intelligent.

Why? Given the astronomical (heh) number of planets in the universe, I highly doubt that human-level or higher intelligence evolved only once. I agree that interstellar travel is enormously difficult. Even if the galaxy is full of spacefaring creatures, they're not sneaking around earth, mutilating our cattle and making crop circles.  ninja2
2788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hand dryer vs. paper towels on: November 16, 2008, 03:27:30 AM

Quote from: Purge on November 15, 2008, 03:58:23 AM

Quote from: stimpy on November 14, 2008, 07:07:33 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on November 13, 2008, 08:38:34 PM

One thing I've always wondered is why there isn't a way to clean your hands right after you finish.  Think about the fact that you are pulling up your pants, zipping, buttoning, etc., all with the same hands that you then wash.  Doesn't make much sense.


Two words:

Helper monkey.

Correction... I believe you are referring to a "trunk" monkey... Tongue

That is a chimpanzee. Chimps are apes. Apes are not monkeys. Monkeys have tails. "Trunk ape" and "trunk chimp" really don't cut it though, do they?
2789  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: November 16, 2008, 12:05:05 AM

Quote from: Blackadar on November 15, 2008, 09:49:58 PM

That's one thing I love about higher gas prices...smaller cars on the road.  Traffic seems lighter and I can actually see around the car in front of me.

As a Miata driver, I endorse this message.  nod

Quote from: PaulBot on November 15, 2008, 09:53:38 PM

No kidding. I hope Americans don't back off on their move to smaller cars and reduced driving. It will only benefit them in the future. Even though gas prices have dropped like a rock, I'm hoping people are going to be conservative and keep saving. With the economy like it is, maybe Americans will continue to conserve gas and move to smaller cars.

While I don't think that everyone's going to flock to two-seat roadsters, I do believe that the giganticism phase is finally over. Even though most of us have convinced ourselves that we need big vehicles to shuttle children and their junk all over the place, I hope the pride has gone out of owning Hummers and Expeditions and their ilk. I want to believe that our decades-old culture of excess is really drawing to a close.
2790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cloverfield on: November 15, 2008, 11:53:55 PM

Quote from: Mithridates on November 15, 2008, 06:28:48 PM

Quote from: mikeg on November 15, 2008, 06:10:00 PM

I have seen this 4 times and by far my favorite movie of 08.  Might actually buy it now to watch it 4 more times.

Yeah I really like it too.  Probably the best movie I've seen this year until I watched Iron Man this morning.  Dang, that was pretty awesome too.

By strange coincidence, I just saw Iron Man last night. Liked it much better than I expected (which was also true of Cloverfield).
2791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 15, 2008, 11:49:06 PM

Quote from: jersoc on November 15, 2008, 11:20:56 PM

there are stars bigger than our freakin galaxy.

Um...whut?
2792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 15, 2008, 03:45:27 PM
I certainly believe that people see things they can't explain and have experiences that seem unnatural. I further believe that there are rational explanations for all of them -- often originating in the observer's own mind. We just don't understand them yet, or don't have all the information. Although I don't entirely rule out their existence, I never resort to gods or spirits to explain the inexplicable. I'm comfortable with leaving it as "unexplained."
2793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Galactic Civilizations II 2.0 Released! on: November 14, 2008, 05:19:12 PM
Anybody playing? I updated the game, but Fall from Heaven 2 and Nile Online are absorbing all of my leisure time lately. I should finish my FfH2 game sometime next week...then maybe I'll crack open GalCiv2 again.
2794  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: November 13, 2008, 02:37:37 AM

Quote from: Gratch on November 12, 2008, 02:53:18 PM

Quote from: Brendan on November 11, 2008, 04:31:45 PM

The car companies are in a difficult spot - they've clearly mismanaged their priorities (as evidenced by the SUV point), but they employ thousands and thousands of people in what's already a seriously economically depressed are.  My concern is that it's not at all clear that a bailout would even save them, and the merge with Chrysler that was on the table would similarly cost thousands of jobs.   It's lose-lose all the way around.  The Deutsche Bank analyst set his target price on GM stock to $0.  Ouch.

The numbers they were throwing around last night were an estimated 2.5 million jobs lost if GM goes under.  I hate the idea of another bailout, but it makes me wonder what other options there are to avoid that sort of catastrophe.

The danger in propping up a too-big-to-fail industry is turning it into a welfare program. I'm ok with extending them some humongous loans if they come with serious strings attached. If that's not feasible, then reorganization under the bankruptcy laws might work better. Tough love, y'know. 
2795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 1 year since I quit smoking! on: November 13, 2008, 02:17:09 AM

Quote from: kratz on November 12, 2008, 04:51:46 PM

When I quit I was spending $3.83/pack... 48 days ago...

Friend of mine was buying hers from an indian reservation for a couple of years. The state found out and hit her with a $1500 tax bill.  eek
2796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 1 year since I quit smoking! on: November 12, 2008, 03:30:57 PM

Quote from: Canuck on November 12, 2008, 11:42:04 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 11, 2008, 03:49:02 PM


The money is based on an average $4 per pack. I know they're a lot more than that now, but they were 40 cents a pack when I started.



Congratulations! You must be the only septuagenarian on these forums!

 icon_lol Close enough, I reckon. They were $4 per carton at a local gas station. Gasoline was 24 cents a gallon at the same station. I remember getting change from my quarter when I filled my dirt bike's 1-gallon gas tank. It was 1973, and I was 16.

Yesterday I bought a pack for my smoker friend to to renew my Tuesday-night mooching rights. (And yes, I took out only three for myself and gave him the rest). $6.50 per pack...ye gods! I'm told that they are upwards of 8 bucks in places like NYC. The price had just reached $5 when I quit in 2002.
2797  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 1 year since I quit smoking! on: November 11, 2008, 03:49:02 PM

Quote from: Moliere on November 11, 2008, 02:03:35 PM

That's great!

Did you have any problems from quitting like gaining weight? I've heard that people who quit feel the need to keep something in their hands since they're not holding a cigarette anymore.

I gained 20 pounds when I quit and went from slightly overweight to obese. After a few years I gradually dropped back to merely overweight. Now I'm a semi-smoker. I smoke a couple of cigarettes on most Tuesday nights, plus a few cigars per week. I broke my addiction six years ago. Now I smoke because I choose to, not because I need to. 

These stats aren't entirely accurate, since I do still enjoy occasional tobacco products, but here they are anyway:

Your Quit Date is:   4/16/2002 6:00:00 PM 
Time Smoke-Free: 2400 days, 16 hours, 42 minutes and 5 seconds    
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 60017
Lifetime Saved:  15 months, 8 days, 11 hours
Money Saved: $14,556.06

The money is based on an average $4 per pack. I know they're a lot more than that now, but they were 40 cents a pack when I started.

Oh: Congrats on the 1-year mark!
2798  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Planet of the Apes experts - help please? on: November 11, 2008, 03:43:14 AM

Quote from: McNutt on November 11, 2008, 02:52:32 AM

You're a better man than I if you can finish the series.  The first one is a classic, the second one is okay, but then they get terrible.

I am trying to wrap my head around the concept of Planet of the Apes "experts".
2799  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Just print more money on: November 09, 2008, 03:32:05 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on November 09, 2008, 05:24:32 AM

Hell, I'd be happy with $200,000  bailout for myself. Tongue

Even $2,000 would be a major help. That's about what they say we'll get from the next tax giveback. Imagine being able to keep up with your prescriptions and keep the heat turned up without robbing the grocery budget!
2800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I Love This: the stick Enters the Toy Hall of Fame on: November 07, 2008, 02:51:48 PM
In other news, six museum-goers were rushed to the hospital with poked-out eyes.  icon_eek
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