Area66 comments

Posted in: Should sex education be taught in schools? See in context

Yes... just so long as the instructor actually knows something about the subject... Otherwise learn about it from the other kids down on the street corner --that's better then a garbled version from your parents.

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Posted in: Who do you hope will be the next U.S. president? See in context

I don't know who will win, but either way, by this time next year you'll be wishing the other one had won.

Why?

Because they are just two sides of the same coin --and right now that coin is in deep financial trouble, and it isn't going to get better soon.

So when things aren't all OK and you are worse off then you are now, a year from now, you'll (mostly) all be blaming the dude that won, and thinking the other one might have been better.

Except, of course, for the true believers that will be spinning the reasons the 'other' party is actually to blame.

In short, if you think any president can actually do much about the real problems, you are very much mistaken (or taken in --which is the plan of both 'parties').

You can think I'm full of BS now, but remember this post one year from now.

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Posted in: Australian company launches 3D Internet tool See in context

Not GNU/Linux friendly - useless to me (would likely have been useless anyway, for reasons other posters have pointed out).

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Posted in: The Japanese need only to look in the mirror to see the real threat to the alliance and to Japanese economic vitality. Tokyo's policy dysfunctions are going to rankle, whatever administration comes to See in context

Does he notice we (I am in the USA) should take the same advice? No, probably not, we have sane, solid, sound, policies, and always have had. We don't need no stinkin' mirror --we are perfect, just ask anyone. Well anyone inside the beltway (inner circle in Washington, DC).

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Posted in: Waterfowl See in context

How truly fowl... but in a good way ;)

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Posted in: Ai-chan See in context

What I'd like to know is when it became 'Table Tennis' --I confess I don't follow this sport, but I had much fun playing 'Ping-Pong' as a child... I thought they were the same thing.

I'm very open to being corrected --as I said, I know little to nothing about this subject (perhaps Ping-Pong was slang?). I'm just curious... Usually when something changes labels it's involving money --in one way or the other.

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Posted in: How airlines deal with 'customers of size' See in context

Throughout most of commercial aviation history the passenger was weighed along with his/her luggage and that was the price determinate (also the practical loading limit to the number of passengers --the pilot needs to know if the plane can take off).

It's only with the advent of large 'freight' style aircraft, that will use the majority of their fuel expenditure just flying, full load or empty, that the notion of 'standard fares' came into being --a marketing ploy to entice the public to actually fly someplace.

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Posted in: Leah Dizon See in context

Just as observation, not flame, it has occurred to me that almost any well poised, neat and reasonable looking Japanese young women, showing her skill and presenting herself even reasonably well, would be well received here (U.S.). I wonder if this is because of American view of women as 'objects', or simply because we actually have a broader range of appreciation of many kinds of 'beauty'. Beauty, in this case being defined as in the eye of the beholder. And just so there is no confusion, who ever this girl is, I don't think she is all that good looking --but clearly she is trying to do what she is doing in as gracious a manner as she can --it would seem that would be appreciated (it's actually about all I found of interest in the photo - it's the comments that set me to thinking about how strange and difficult understanding the other view can be).

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Posted in: Forbes magazine says that golfer Tiger Woods is on track to become the world's first billionaire athlete by 2010. What do you think of the astronomical sums of money that sports stars are paid? See in context

The more interesting question might be "What would Forbes do to make their money, if there were no overpaid celebs (and other equally nutty aspects of capitalist systems) to write about?"

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Posted in: English graffiti 'Hack' grounds bullet train See in context

Well here in the states, you'd all be wrong. --Don't blame the kid that wrote it, nor the conductor, certainly not the person that reported it!

Blame the pen manufactures of the world!

(insert spray paint for pen to be relevant to this article).

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Posted in: This is beyond comprehension. Employees who worked at the company for two years and those who worked for twenty years are both offered the same package. See in context

"No surprise. A greedy American bank that looks after neither customers nor employees properly."

Is there another kind? Anywhere? Aside from my great aunt, who always looked after my piggy bank with great diligence.

I'm sure she was the last of the great bankers.

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Posted in: Lifesaver for diabetics See in context

Statistician: It's my opine also, and I've been a totally insulin dependent diabetic for several years now.

As any diabetic learns, the same food does not effect even the same person in the same way every time (there are simply to many variables in play) --and a food that one person my tolerate well enough may send the other person to the hospital --or worse.

So this is (at best) a 'cute idea', and in my opine a dangerous disservice to diabetics, as it treats an individual with advice derived for a group (whatever internal to it's database 'group' the computer is associating you with) --this can only lead to less then optimal 'advice'.

We all learn just how incredibly unique to each individual diabetes is, therefore we also learn how we must take care of our self for the best results. Of course there are those that do not pay much attention to how their own body reacts to certain foods, and/or events --they die sooner then was necessary.

Diabetes is a most individual problem, no two of us are the same --often we aren't even close in what foods and activities really set things awry.

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Posted in: Revolving USB webcam See in context

Windows XP/Vista only...

Well I won't ever be buying one of these... until someone or the other gets around to cleaning up the code so it works on a real OS (Nix, BSD, OpenSolaris, etc.)

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Posted in: Calif prepares for busy week of same-sex marriages See in context

Champaign corks are popping all over the state --in every divorce lawyer's office. What a windfall... and you probably thought it was gays that got the law changed...

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Posted in: MTV Awards See in context

Having an award presented to you by Paris Hilton can only be described as "Damning by faint praise".

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Posted in: Harajuku See in context

I'm 67, and at one point I lived smack in The Haight. Hair down below my ass, bell bottoms and Huarachi sandals, beard, and an attitude to match all that.

When I got done playing, I worked, started a successful company (that I still own, though I'm 'retired' now).

So while I'll agree these two look awful to me, I think I have no room to make the call on what they do, how they chose to look --or cast the first stone.

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Posted in: Japan in need of moral education See in context

I think attempting to deal with much of anything in 'moral' terms is doomed to a very inconsistent outcome, at best. There are simply about as many moralities out there as there are people.

I think we would all do well if we returned to simply attempting to teach the concept of Noblesse oblige. The concept isn't too difficult to grasp, and even though there may still be many, many, views on exactly what nobility may mean, so long as most people grasped that in order to be noble (in whatever frame work they chose) they acquire obligation to use their nobility wisely.

To say it another way: Nothing will ever result in a perfect world, but I suspect that understanding one has obligations to do their best for others (at whatever it may be that one tries to master, to whatever level of mastery they may attain) can't hurt things much. And it might even help a bit.

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Posted in: Back in the 1940s, every newspaper, every magazine, the movies, the radio, everything was geared that the Japanese were short, myopic, everyone wore glasses, they all had buck teeth, they were all int See in context

I didn't see any action in WWII, I was a tad to young. But I caught the tag end of Korea, and did several tours in Vietnam, and I have an insight, that while not pretty or kind (to either side) may help some of you understand what is done in time of war.

The enemy must be 'demonized' (by both sides) --the 'others are not 'you' they really are less then human, they are daemons and eat babies, or what ever --and to help this along derogatory terms are contrived to call the 'enemy', they are portrayed in every manner as sub-human and evil. You see for the average soldier to be trained and ready to kill it helps to make him believe that the other side isn't really human --it is a rare person that can simply kill other humans for esoteric reasons --they need a emotional reason they can use to justify the act.

And that is what government does, trains the troops (and uses the same propaganda, for the same reasons, on their civilian population) that it's not really people, just some sub-human animal that has gone berserk and needs to be killed for the good of everyone. Those movies from the period simply reflect this propaganda (or more accurately, they are/were propaganda films).

Some of us do not need that brain washing, we can kill because we understand the reasoning behind that need, at that time and place (war = the final act of diplomacy), but most can't deal with the reality of just killing other humans because the powers that be couldn't reach an understanding.

And no military would long survive (or even be an effective fighting force) if each soldier had to stop and mull over the merit of his actions. He must simply follow orders, react first, and either never question, or blank those questions out until a later date. This "I was following my orders" can reach the level of war crimes - when you dehumanize another human to that extent, you can become quite a lot less then human your self.

So finally it ends, and one side or the other 'won', and the killing can stop --but now how do you un-brainwash your troops (and civilians) into thinking the defeated enemy is now a real human again, just like you are, and more to the point, what government is going to even bother? Try to see it this way; The winners write the history, and the losers don't hold war crimes trials. So while much bad happened on and by both sides, the 'winners' must, to some degree, continue the farce, to purge themselves and there actions of any lingering taint.

If you never question, then you need never doubt what you did was all glory and for God and Country, pure of heart and soul. Some times this simply never quite expunges it's self from the collective psyche until virtually everyone from the period is dead. We don't worry much over the inhumanity's done in ancient battles ... or how the losers looked at, say for example; Alexander the Great.

War is never a good thing, and the things done during a war are, at best, questionable. But the portrayal of the enemy as something not quite human is just a part of that. If you look at those films as the propaganda they are/were, they may not be more palatable, but they may be more understandable. Deplorable now, but this is now, not 1940. In 1940 they were simply a part of the times, and they were the times of war.

As you can see from the above, I'm not an elegant writer, but please do try to see that blaming those films, and all the associated and demeaning acts, in the light of today's world, is like failing to understand that you do not blame a baby for soiling his diaper, when he has grown past that. The best way to view those things from the past, are as our dirty diapers from back then. Best not forgotten, lest we repeat old mistakes, but treated as what they are: a part of what happened that should not be part of who we are now.

Please notice I have not said "forgive and forget", I will never forget those that were dear that I lost, nor the things I experienced. And I'm unsure that 'forgiving' the situation that caused those things to happen is a good thing either. But we should try to not blame other humans forever, for the errors made by the 'leaders' of the time (on all sides). We should remember and try not to allow our leaders to repeat the same errors --they will find enough new ways to error all on their own, let us not use history to encourage the repetition, but rather use it to discourage such things from repeating.

Very probably a hopeless dream, but one worth striving for anyway. Failure to try insures only failure.

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