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2841  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.   
2842  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. 
2843  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
2844  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?
2845  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.
2846  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).
2847  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?
2848  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."
2849  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.
2850  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. 
2851  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
2852  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.
2853  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!
2854  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".
2855  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!
2856  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
2857  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: McCain advisors speak out against Palin on: November 06, 2008, 06:41:15 PM

Quote from: Razgon on November 06, 2008, 03:23:58 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on November 06, 2008, 01:32:47 PM

This would be funny and sad if it weren't for McCain actually picking her for no obvious reason. It's all on him for choosing poorly.

forgive me if I havent followed this closely enough from across the sea, but...didnt choosing Palin actually seem a good thing when he did so? I seem to remember it being called a masterstroke in some medias...

Before Palin, Obama monopolized the media spotlight. He's just more charismatic and photogenic...and most of the major media tend to tilt liberal anyway. McCain was in the shadows. Everyone expected a dull and predictable vp choice. So Palin was a masterstroke in the sense that she pried the cameras away from Obama. She is even more photogenic than he is.

When her lack of substance and fringe beliefs came into focus, the media spotlight stopped seeming like such a great idea. If they could have kept Palin under wraps for a few more weeks...it might have worked.
2858  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [US Prez Election] Who did you vote for in the 2008 US elections? on: November 05, 2008, 06:36:34 PM

Quote from: Brendan on November 05, 2008, 04:09:50 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 05, 2008, 04:04:06 PM

Oh, certainly. Mine, anyway. I've voted Lib in the past several elections, but Barr's anti-choice position closed that option off to me this time.

Paul is also anti-choice.

LOL never mind, then. I would have rejected him for the same reason. I really had no third-party refuge this time around.
2859  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car warranty scam? on: November 05, 2008, 06:33:48 PM
I was getting junk calls on my cell phone several times a week. Oddly, the caller hung up every time I answered. Finally I put the number in my contacts list and assigned it the "No ring" ringtone. They kept calling for months before the missed-call notifications finally ended, but I never heard those calls come in again.

Too bad land lines don't have a remedy like that.
2860  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [US Prez Election] Who did you vote for in the 2008 US elections? on: November 05, 2008, 04:04:06 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on November 05, 2008, 06:43:59 AM

Quote from: Moliere on November 05, 2008, 02:44:58 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on November 05, 2008, 02:13:31 AM

I genuinely believe this country needed a seismic change in direction. That change to me was more important than my policy disagreements with Obama.

That's been the question all along. I hope you're right.

I went with Barr and any other Libertarians that were on the ballot. Although Barr isn't much of a Libertarian I wanted to help the Party get their required 2% and continued name recognition as the largest 3rd Party. All the local candidates without a Party affiliation (e.g., Water Board and Judges) I left blank since I didn't know anything about them.

I wonder if Ron Paul had been the Libertarian candidate if the Libertarians would have drawn a larger number of votes.

Oh, certainly. Mine, anyway. I've voted Lib in the past several elections, but Barr's anti-choice position closed that option off to me this time.
2861  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on: November 05, 2008, 03:52:45 PM

Quote from: Glycerine on November 05, 2008, 02:54:22 PM

Quote from: PaulBot on November 05, 2008, 02:11:07 PM

I can't wait until Obama takes office, our economy keeps slumping, the troops don't come home, and our country stays in the toilet.

THEN WE CAN BLAME OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS FOR ALL OUR WOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah right, like you already don't blame the Democrats for every problem in your entire life.  Give me a break man.  As competent as I feel Obama is, I seriously doubt he can clean up the mess you Republicans have left us in one term.

You lost, get over it.  Some of us know exactly how you feel, we've had to live with that disappointment for the last EIGHT YEARS!

glyc

Obama has the advantage of taking office near the bottom of the business cycle. It is nearly certain that the economy will be expanding and stocks will be up four years from now, simply because every contraction seeds the next expansion. Government policies can goose that growth by a few tenths of a percent one way or the other, but they'd need to be radical indeed to change the trajectory. Unless he screws up bigtime, most of us will be financially better off four years from now.

As always, there will be individual winners and losers, and government helps pick those. Do you think that Exxon-Mobil's record profits after eight years with an oilman in the White House is just a coincidence?

Sucks to be on the losing end of that stick. I hope your adjustment isn't too wrenching, KD.
2862  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on: November 05, 2008, 05:57:30 AM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on November 05, 2008, 04:57:05 AM

Here's the fun part - if he proves to be a genuine screwup, I'm not listening to a single one of you say "well we didn't know! What the hell?" We survived Carter. We'll survive Carter II. Come on 2012!

I'm sure that two years from now our savior will turn out to be just another politician. But tonight, I'm on board with Obamarama.
2863  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [US Prez Election] Who did you vote for in the 2008 US elections? on: November 05, 2008, 04:05:55 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on November 05, 2008, 02:13:31 AM

accused Kay Hagan, a Sunday school teacher, of being an atheist.

As if that's a bad thing.
2864  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My Dinner With Eddie X on: November 05, 2008, 04:03:54 AM
I'm another Chicagophile. Thought about moving there after college, but I wanted easier winters than I grew up with in Michigan, not harsher ones.
2865  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [US Prez Election] Who did you vote for in the 2008 US elections? on: November 04, 2008, 09:30:52 PM
This was only my second vote for a major-party candidate since 1976. Ordinarily I think the major parties are a joke, and I won't waste my vote ratifying either of the "choices" that the plutocracy offers us. Instead I choose whomever leaves me the cleanest conscience, which is equivalent to standing outside and throwing rocks.

For the first time, that led me to choose a Democrat. None of the fringe choices appealed to me at all. I am SO going to regret this two years from now.
2866  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What happens if McCain somehow wins? on: November 04, 2008, 06:06:31 PM
I thought of this thread when I stumbled across Cecil Adams's column this morning: When Does Human Life Begin? For the lazy, Cecil concludes:

Quote
1. Human life begins at conception.

2. Big deal.

The rest of his column is a bit more nuanced than that. It's a fun read.
2867  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it just because I live in a 'battleground state' or...? on: November 04, 2008, 06:02:57 PM

Quote from: Chaz on November 04, 2008, 05:00:07 PM

Yeah, MA is so blue that we don't see anything.  Hell, the vast majority of my ballot this morning was for unopposed Dems. 

I refuse on principle to vote for unopposed candidates, so I was able to skip about 2/3 of the ballot. The Reps don't even try in this state anymore.
2868  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: NOT Political. Please Vote Tomorrow on: November 04, 2008, 05:55:40 PM
Done. No line, no fuss, took about 10 minutes.
2869  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: An ethical man for president on: November 03, 2008, 04:29:18 PM
In general -- leaving these two individuals out of it -- I would prefer a pragmatist to an idealist.

In the context of this election, I think Obama is much more pragmatic than the image that he successful projects. And McCain lost my support when he chose Palin, thereby embracing a form of idealism that is completely opposite my own.
2870  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What happens if McCain somehow wins? on: November 03, 2008, 04:23:11 PM
The abortion debate is effectively over as a national political issue anyway. The Bush presidency was the anti-abortion side's high water mark, and they failed to overturn Roe v Wade or even weaken it substantially. Even if McCain pulls a hat trick tomorrow, there is very little chance now that abortion rights will be rescinded, since he does not represent the moralistic wing of the Rep Party. (Only the nightmare Palin scenario would revive abortion as a political issue). The moralizers are likely to be further marginalized as the Rep Party reforms itself during Obama's administration, since their support is what cost McCain the moderates and therefore the presidency. If the Rep Party is to resurge in 2012, it will need to do so primarily as the party of fiscal restraint, with a secondary emphasis on militarism.

It would be more productive for everybody if both sides were to cooperate on finding ways to reduce the abortion rate. 
2871  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tuesday, Nov 4th: You vote, my son has brain surgery [long] on: November 02, 2008, 09:22:17 PM
I wish you the best, even though I'm disappointed that I can't vote on it.
2872  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Life on Mars...best show you may not be watching on: November 02, 2008, 02:44:34 PM

Quote from: Canuck on November 02, 2008, 01:54:50 PM

eRR.. How does Mars come into the picture?

The show's theme song is Bowie's Life on Mars. The show's theme is alienation.

Unlike most new tv shows, this one drew me in right from the first episode. It probably helps that 1973, the year I turned 16, was a high point in my life, and I love the music from those days -- they get the setting exactly right. After seeing just three episodes I feel completely immersed in the characters and storyline. And, I should mention, I don't ordinarily like cop shows. The sf mystery aspect and the 1973 setting are what draw me in.
2873  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it just because I live in a 'battleground state' or...? on: November 01, 2008, 12:13:39 AM

Quote from: Gratch on October 31, 2008, 07:38:57 PM

I suppose that's the one advantage to living in the reddest state in the Union.  Haven't received a single robo-call or mailing, and the TV advertising has been extremely minimal.

Same thing here in the bluest state. You'd barely know there was an election going on if it weren't for the worshipful local media. We get a little bit of splash damage from the contested state next door.
2874  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens' Novel on: October 31, 2008, 11:07:25 PM
Some months ago I read that NYC was in the midst of a bedbug plague. A few days after my wife came back from a weekend trip to NYC, I developed a generalized itching. No lotions could relieve it. Dousing myself in rubbing alcohol did not help, nor did bathing in Epsom salts. I laundered the bedclothes and soaked the mattress in pesticides, all the while certain that my (unaffected) wife was a dirty, filthy, plague carrier. Nothing helped. The itching went on day after day and night after night, as if tiny invisible insects were swarming all over me. Finally I broke down and saw my doctor about it.

It's a histamine reaction. Nobody knows what causes those -- a low-grade infection or chronic allergy, maybe, or just old age -- but they're pretty common. I control it now with antihistamines. Someday it might go away as mysteriously as it came.

No bedbugs, though.
2875  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I Like Mustard! on: October 29, 2008, 03:24:57 AM
Yellow mustard, brown mustard, horseradish mustard, grey poupon, that expensive stuff with the little round seeds...it's all good. I often use mustard instead of ketchup on french fries. I don't understand why mustard is an uncommon restaurant condiment. It belongs on every table.
2876  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So... other candidates besides McCain and Obama? on: October 27, 2008, 02:22:33 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 27, 2008, 12:17:52 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on October 27, 2008, 07:35:10 AM

Well, Ralph Nader is running again as an indepdent. (www.votenader.org)

Bob Barr caught my attention, running as a libertarian. (www.bobbarr2008.com)

I've always voted republican in the past but Bush completely destroyed the party, IMO. I can't believe I voted for him in 2000. (Voted Nader in 2004)

If it were any other democrat running against McCain, I'd vote Nader again. But because how close this election is going to be, I'm going to have to vote for Obama because we can't have another 4 years of this BS Bush got us into. And despite what the mainstream media wants to lead you to believe about Obama being in the lead, I can almost guarentee you McCain is going to take the election.
I'd only vote for Obama if you live in a swing state or red state. Otherwise, you may as well vote for a third party so somebody can get some public funding next election.

I've voted for third parties and independents in every election since 1976. I generally default to the Libertarians, but Barr's anti-choice position closed that option off for me this time. After watching An Unreasonable Man recently, I toyed with casting my vote to Nader. (I recommend this movie, btw, as being both informative and entertaining). But Nader's time has passed, his politics don't really match mine, and he's not building a party. After rejecting these alternatives, I'll be joining in my state's Obama landslide. I've convinced myself that he is a transformative figure who's worthy of my symbolic vote.
2877  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama Ineligible to be President? on: October 27, 2008, 12:54:34 AM
Is the income tax illegal because Ohio wasn't a state when the 16th amendment was ratified?

Same thing. Except more fun to read.
2878  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ready? Go! Debate what Socialism really is. on: October 26, 2008, 06:08:27 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 25, 2008, 04:51:03 PM

There are aspects of the US that are socialist. For example, welfare, libraries, and Medicaid.

Add the minimum wage and assorted worker-protection laws that grew from the labor movement...and Social Security, of course. The US embraced socialism during the New Deal partially to deflect the inroads that communism was making in response to the Great Depression. Had FDR not "softened" capitalism, the US might very well have undergone its own communist revolution.
2879  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Gone Baby Gone on: October 24, 2008, 05:41:37 PM
I enjoyed the movie until a series of absurd reveals led to an unbelievable ending. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it.
2880  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me save my outside faucet from the cold on: October 20, 2008, 04:50:50 PM
Um...just leave it alone?

We've had the same spigot on the side of our house for 25 years without doing anything special to it. I've never heard of anyone trying to protect a faucet, unless maybe it's at the end of a long, exposed pipe.
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