In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:09 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.nature.com/news/mummies-reveal-that-clogged-arteries-plagued-the-ancient-world-1.12568
Paleontology reveals that all natural diets also had heart disease. Suck it paleo dieters!


They also tended to die in childhood, and if they made it past that, they'd be lucky to make it to 50. We should probably copy the 20th century Western diet, I hear those people live to like 80.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:20 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.nature.com/news/mummies-reveal-that-clogged-arteries-plagued-the-ancient-world-1.12568
Paleontology reveals that all natural diets also had heart disease. Suck it paleo dieters!


There are risk factors for arteriosclerosis other than a fatty diet, like alcohol abuse and/or smoking. If you drink enough alcohol, you can end up with a liver that's overtaxed processing that, and can't get to the fat, so you get fat building up in your blood.

From the study page, linked at the bottom of the article,
Individuals from ancient Egypt, ancient Peru, the Ancestral Puebloans of southwest America, and the Unangan of the Aleutian Islands were imaged.


The Egyptians definitely had beer, and likely the puebloans too. Dunno about the other populations, but you can end up with a high level of fat in your blood via a few different roads. This paragraph from the heart research institute says it pretty well.

Risk factors for atherosclerosis

90 per cent of Australians have one modifiable risk factor for heart disease. The major modifiable risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, insufficient physical activity, obesity, diabetes, poor nutrition, and excessive intake of alcohol. Other risk factors that are beyond our control include age, gender, family history and ethnicity.


Hunter gatherers didn't have great nutrition (usually having a month or more a year where food was very scarce), booze was present in a lot of ancient cultures etc. Just because they didn't experience the exact causal process that we have, doesn't mean that the causal process identified to effect millions of people doesn't exist.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:47 pm UTC

At a living history re-enactment, a costumed docent demonstrating how to cook in a kitchen with an open hearth arrangement once told my six grade class that, until fairly recent times, more women have probably died in cooking accidents (or from the festering of burns received in cooking accidents) than in childbirth[citation needed].

I don't know if I buy that argument, but it does suggest yet another way in which one's diet can be deadly.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:11 pm UTC

I think the chance of death in childbirth was around 1 in 50 per pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies being the main cause. So that's 2% of all women dying every year from the age 15 to 45, let alone from disease and famine and such. Is cooking really going to kill more than 2% of all women every single year?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby DaBigCheez » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:25 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think the chance of death in childbirth was around 1 in 50 per pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies being the main cause. So that's 2% of all women dying every year from the age 15 to 45, let alone from disease and famine and such. Is cooking really going to kill more than 2% of all women every single year?

Er...that's per pregnancy, not per year, unless you posit that the two are identical...?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:31 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think the chance of death in childbirth was around 1 in 50 per pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies being the main cause. So that's 2% of all women dying every year from the age 15 to 45, let alone from disease and famine and such. Is cooking really going to kill more than 2% of all women every single year?
Household air pollution and health
Burns aren't the only way to die.
Home fires involving cooking equipment
Now drop back to the years before natural gas, of coal and wood fires and no antibiotics.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:33 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I think the chance of death in childbirth was around 1 in 50 per pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies being the main cause. So that's 2% of all women dying every year from the age 15 to 45, let alone from disease and famine and such. Is cooking really going to kill more than 2% of all women every single year?

Er...that's per pregnancy, not per year, unless you posit that the two are identical...?


I'm under the assumption that women in that day and age would have a pregnancy a year. Each fertilization has a 30% of pregnancy, so that's about 1 every 3 months of unprotected sex, and then 9 months of pregnancy. There's the month that's lost after pregnancy since there's little sex going on in that time, but that's made up for by the 1/8 of pregnancies that end up as miscarriages even today with modern medicine.

Fun fact: at conception, 5/9 of fetuses (feti?) are male, but males are more prone to genetic issues so they make up the vast majority of miscarriages.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Grop » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:23 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think the chance of death in childbirth was around 1 in 50 per pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies being the main cause. So that's 2% of all women dying every year from the age 15 to 45, let alone from disease and famine and such. Is cooking really going to kill more than 2% of all women every single year?


I just googled for real numbers; this study (French language) on mother mortality (including women dying up to 60 days after giving birth) in the 18th century makes it 1.15%. While infants dying would be more like 25%.

That number only dropped to 0.85% in the late 1940s :o.

I would have thought this number would be much higher, from reading several fiction stories in which someone's mother died while giving birth.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:51 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I'm under the assumption that women in that day and age would have a pregnancy a year.

This seems wildly inaccurate. Some random Googling:

As far as we can tell, Medieval French families were significantly bigger than modern western families - averaging perhaps around five to six. In contrast, modern France has an average household size of 2.38. However, they remained relatively small scale, and somewhat nuclear families of mostly two generations.


The Black Death, which hit Europe in the late 1340s, had a significant impact on household sizes. Before the Black Death the average household size was approximately five, whereas afterwards it was less than four.


Let’s look at one example of a marriage. I’m selecting Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence because Jean de Joinville’s biography verifies that they adored each other—we would consider them to have a good relationship by modern standards.

Louis IX was just over 20 years old when he married Margaret, who was then 13 years old. By modern standards, this falls into the “creepy” category. However, they didn’t have their first child until 6 years later, when Margaret was 19.

Why didn’t they have children earlier, especially since producing a male heir was a priority for a royal family? Was Louis away on the Crusades? Did political turmoil keep him away from his wife for extended periods of time? Did they just hate each other? It doesn’t look like it.

Since Louis IX and Margaret eventually had 11 children, with each successive birth occurring between 1 and 3 years from the previous, it seems that a sexual relationship just didn’t occur until they were older. (Side note: 11 children from a couple also seems to be an unusually high number, but that’s a different study.)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Angua » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:59 am UTC

Don't forget that breast feeding helps greatly to reduce fertility. Not sure what the average length of breast feeding was back then, but it was probably at least 6 months-1year.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:58 pm UTC

Not to mention that it's not like people in previous eras of history didn't have birth-control solutions. Less reliable ones, sure, but assuming that all sex was unprotected before the invention of latex is just plain wrong.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby dg61 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:25 pm UTC

Modern reasearch on present-day hunter gatherers mentions them breastfeeding 3 years or longer and some quick and dirty googling suggests 2-3 years for full weaning. And of course there were other ways of preventing birth: abstinence, oral and anal sex, herbal contraceptives and abortifiacients like silphium, and so on.

Re: Louis and Margaret, that's not unusual is it-a royal couple marrying young but not consummating until somewhat later? And I could swear I read that royalty/nobilty tended to marry earlier, and the the wealthy earlier than the lesz wealthy.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:18 am UTC

Hunter gatherers usually practiced infanticide. So... yeah. Inuit, Yanomami, too many native American tribes to name...

Oh and the Arabs until Mohammed came along.

And the Greeks. It was sex-selective too, which explains the rampant homosexuality.

Indians today still practice it, sort of; never reincarnate as an Indian female.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:56 am UTC

Grop wrote:I just googled for real numbers; this study (French language) on mother mortality (including women dying up to 60 days after giving birth) in the 18th century makes it 1.15%. While infants dying would be more like 25%.

That number only dropped to 0.85% in the late 1940s :o.

I would have thought this number would be much higher, from reading several fiction stories in which someone's mother died while giving birth.


If the risk of a woman dying in childbirth was between 1 and 2 percent per pregnancy...and most women of child-bearing age were having between eight and twelve pregnancies...that's a heck of a lot of women dying in childbirth.

It's like skydiving: the risk of death per jump may be relatively low, but if you keep doing it over and over and over again, your risk of dying in that activity goes up. (Especially if you're stuck using the same increasingly-worn-out parachute.)

Women in the upper classes were supposed to produce as many legitimate heirs as possible, to increase the chances of at least some of them surviving to inherit the family lands, titles, etc., and get married off for political advantage; so upper-class women delegated the breastfeeding to wet nurses, in order to start ovulating again as soon as possible after giving birth. (Consider how apeshit Henry VIII went when his wife...er, wives...repeatedly failed to produce a healthy male heir for him. It being all their fault, of course, and nothing to do with the sperm he produced.)

[Edited to add a further digression--With child mortality what it was, it must have taken many more pregnancies than five or six to result in an average family size of five or six. My grandmother was one of twelve siblings, only five of whom survived to adulthood thanks to measles, an accidental drowning, and the Spanish flu epidemic. And this was in the 20th century.]

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:52 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:(Especially if you're stuck using the same increasingly-worn-out parachute.)

There is a sexist joke to be made from this, but I cannot put it together.

ObsessoMom wrote:Women in the upper classes were supposed to produce as many legitimate heirs as possible, to increase the chances of at least some of them surviving to inherit the family lands, titles, etc., and get married off for political advantage; so upper-class women delegated the breastfeeding to wet nurses, in order to start ovulating again as soon as possible after giving birth.

Maybe they just did not want to do it. If I could, I would pay someone to change my hypothetical child. Every trend in the upper classes does not reflect the social, economic or political state of their society. Yes, there was a lot of pressure to produce children, especially male children; but that does not mean everything that the noble women did regarding their children has significance. I would imagine that a queen, even if she does not hold legal power like the king, would be very busy.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:23 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think the chance of death in childbirth was around 1 in 50 per pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies being the main cause. So that's 2% of all women dying every year from the age 15 to 45, let alone from disease and famine and such. Is cooking really going to kill more than 2% of all women every single year?


Fires sometimes killed a LOT of people all at once, so yeah, I could see that. It's not merely the direct "burned while cooking myself" that's a risk, but out of control fires, the smoke exposure, the lack of modern antiseptics. Burns, left untreated, do get infected fairly easily. I could definitely see it being a fairly large threat, anyway.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Chen » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:03 pm UTC

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/airline-de ... -1.3389554

So seems 2015 (and 2014 if you include Malaysia Air 370 as intentional) there were more fatal plane crashes due to intentional acts than to accidents. The takeaway of course is that accidents are being reduced by a fairly significant amount, but the headline really caught my eye, with me wondering how it could possibly be true. Interesting nonetheless.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 pm UTC

What I find the most impressive is the huge jump from the previous year's rates.
The global fatal accident rate for all types of airline operations in 2015 was one per five million flights, the best year ever. The previous best year was 2014, with a fatal accident rate of one per 2.5 million flights.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:17 pm UTC

The number of actual airline accidents are small. Therefore, you get significant variation as a matter of course. Just a normal small numbers problem.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ijuin » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:32 am UTC

Aircraft accidents just get more headlines than automobile accidents because they carry a hundred times as many people per vehicle. More than one hundred times more people die per year from automobile collisions than die from aircraft crashes, but they die in twos and threes every day, so we simply shrug our shoulders and forget about it unless the deceased themselves were considered noteworthy.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:47 pm UTC


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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:20 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The number of actual airline accidents are small. Therefore, you get significant variation as a matter of course. Just a normal small numbers problem.


No kidding. And then the press says things like, "Airline flights were five times less safe this year than last," or "Airline safety was 500% worse this year than last."
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bentheimmigrant » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:14 am UTC

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:57 am UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:USA accidentally sends a missile to Cuba.

Cuban Missile-Gate?

So the article doesn't really say...

But I get the idea they were shipping this on a commercial flight. If so, would that seem to anyone else to be a bad idea?
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bentheimmigrant » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:09 pm UTC

It wasn't carrying explosives, and I assume not fueled (do you fuel missiles, or is it built in?).
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zamfir » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:08 pm UTC

A Hellfire missile uses solid fuel, I would expect that it is built in.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bentheimmigrant » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:00 pm UTC

In that case, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the matter. I assume it's vanishingly unlikely that you could set the fuel off accidentally, but it still seems incredibly ill advised to ship it by commercial airlines, regardless of whether it goes to the wrong place.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:18 pm UTC

They said it was accidentally put onto an Air France truck, and so ended up on an Air France flight. They don't say what sort of plane it was meant to be loaded onto instead. It might not have been intended to go on a commercial flight at all.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:35 pm UTC

This sounds like the makings of a great zany comedy.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

Seth Rogen will be reading with interest.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:57 am UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:It wasn't carrying explosives, and I assume not fueled (do you fuel missiles, or is it built in?).


I understand that, but think about it: The government has raised national security concerns even about this dummy missile. If it is a national security concern, why the world would you just ship it on a commercial flight? The Military doesn't have planes that can make the trip anymore?

Alternatively, if it is not enough of a national security concern that you can ship it on a commercial flight: then who the f**k cares that Cuba has it?

Taken at face value, my conclusion is that all the hoopla about Cuba having this missile is just political posturing. Someone don't like Cuba and so this is going to be turned into a bullshit international incident.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:34 am UTC

Or... it wasn't going to be sent on a commercial flight. Nowhere in that article did it say the intended flight was a commercial one.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:36 am UTC

Mutex wrote:Or... it wasn't going to be sent on a commercial flight. Nowhere in that article did it say the intended flight was a commercial one.

Well, true. Except that it seams unreasonable that a military asset, intended for a military flight, somehow got passed off to a commercial shipper. They share a hanger or something?

Whichever, it's really irrelevant: it wound up in Air France's hands (which is stated in the article) and Air France is certainly commercial. So if there was a national security concern, then someone seriously did not do their job.

Or else it isn't a national security concern, which brings us back to bullshit international incident. Possibly even a deliberate provocation...
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:29 am UTC

The missile is described as inert. It was shipped by the manufacturer, not the military. They ship weapons all over the world commercially. It was being transported by a cargo carrier while being returned. They lost it. This happened during the summer of 2014. Welcome to the world of cargo and shipping. There may be a bad guy or it may just be a general fuckup.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:06 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
Mutex wrote:Or... it wasn't going to be sent on a commercial flight. Nowhere in that article did it say the intended flight was a commercial one.

Well, true. Except that it seams unreasonable that a military asset, intended for a military flight, somehow got passed off to a commercial shipper. They share a hanger or something?


Military ships their own crap. They have a cargo wing for that. But yeah, companies ship commercial.

And they routinely ship stuff that you can't via air, because it's hazardous. Them's USPS rules, not inherent rules for flying. Sometimes because of safety...pressurized vs unpressurized cargo, but there's nothing inherently unsafe about flying around with a missile. That happens all the time.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Deva » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:06 pm UTC

Caught a snake thief on camera. Stashed it in their pants.
Source wrote:A snake thief has been caught on surveillance cameras stealing a python and putting the reptile in his pants.

The man went into A to Z pet store in Portland, Oregon and walked over to the snake cage, taking a $200 black pastel ball python.

Describing what happened, store owner Christin Bjugan said: "You`ll see him put it in his pants, yuck. Just drops it right in the front."

A literal trouser snake. Seems like a poor risk versus reward tradeoff.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:22 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Coyne wrote:
Mutex wrote:Or... it wasn't going to be sent on a commercial flight. Nowhere in that article did it say the intended flight was a commercial one.

Well, true. Except that it seams unreasonable that a military asset, intended for a military flight, somehow got passed off to a commercial shipper. They share a hanger or something?


Military ships their own crap. They have a cargo wing for that. But yeah, companies ship commercial.

And they routinely ship stuff that you can't via air, because it's hazardous. Them's USPS rules, not inherent rules for flying. Sometimes because of safety...pressurized vs unpressurized cargo, but there's nothing inherently unsafe about flying around with a missile. That happens all the time.


Well, yes I know they ship hazardous stuff on commercial cargo all the time, especially overseas where the alternative is by water. Probably even sometimes by passenger planes (think Lusitania). But it seems to me that you would try a bit harder to control a national security item than, "Hey, we need to ship this brand new top secret missile control radar to Ramstein, call Fed-Ex, would you?" It seems to me that would kind of like violate every top secret protocol in existence. I mean, who knows what spies lurk in the depths of a commercial shipper?

Which leads me to believe, since there apparently wasn't any concern, that there's nothing secret about this dummy missile. And if that is true, then that means the diplomatic argument with Cuba is pure unadulterated bullshit; someone looking for an excuse to embarrass a country they don't like. Let them keep it; send them a dozen more; thumb our noses when they want us to pay to dispose of them.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Alexius » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:13 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
Well, yes I know they ship hazardous stuff on commercial cargo all the time, especially overseas where the alternative is by water. Probably even sometimes by passenger planes (think Lusitania).


I have definitely seen packages with this label on them:
Image

but I don't know exactly what the criteria are for it- the packages had contained research chemicals, but I'm not sure exactly which chemicals.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:03 am UTC

Coyne wrote:I mean, who knows what spies lurk in the depths of a commercial shipper?

"The Shadow knows!"
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:54 pm UTC

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/ ... her-grades
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