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Posts posted by Oligo

  1. Ah, may I also point out that the weapon actually DOES heat up your skin, not just make it feel hot. So it may be non-lethal, but it sure as hell causes burns. Especially in moist and sensitive areas (eyes), since water molecules are good receivers of millimeter-wave excitation energy.

  2. A nice, portable shield against the heat ray would be one of those "space blankets" that they sell in every camping store. Just stash it into your riot webbing and if the authorities bring out the heat ray, unfold the blanket and hold in front of you. Easy.

    By the way, since the penetrance of the millimeter waves is so poor (1/64th of an inch), even thick leather clothes (wet them to increase effect) might protect you.

    As for covering your eyes, regular mirrored shades are probably effective and if not, band-pass filter goggles can be easily bought from specialist shops (20 euros a piece). In an emergency, cover your eyes and avoid looking at the beam.

  3. Let's not go ballistic. The weapon in question projects an intense beam of millimeter-wavelength microwave radiation. Since the wavelength is of the millimeter scale, the radiation in question is in the high-power end of the microwave part of the radiation spectrum. Such radiation has a quite limited penetrance, human body reflecting about 50% of the stuff, rest being absorbed in skin causing increased thermal motion of molecules (=heats up your skin).

    Here is a picture taken with a millimeter-wave imager:


    As you can see, humans can be easily seen since they reflect mm-wave radiation, but the gun (made of metal) can be seen even better.

    All our handy terrorist/rioter/insurgent/demonstrator/troublemaker has to do is to increase the reflectance of his/her body. Covering yourself with metal mesh (mesh size smaller than 1 mm) will make you immune, tin foil ( tounge_o.gif ) will do also. Lightweight riot shields are best. Wearing mirrored shades will protect your eyes, so if you have enough self-control, you can still charge the weapon, ignoring the pain and receiving only minor injuries. Whenever there is a will, there is a way.

  4. Hey, I'm all for establishing democracy in Iraq. They'll get a governing body chosen by the masses, just like we have here in the "west". Democracy is a fine idea which would work (just like communism) if people in general just weren't so stupid. biggrin_o.gif Anyway it'll be interesting to see what kind of government they'll vote for. What if they vote in a majority of ultra-religious lunatics? Will U.S. let them turn Iraq into a new Iran?

    Seriously though, what they need is stability and security. I sure hope they'll get it one way or another, without paying too high a price for it. sad_o.gif

  5. Funny, when I served in FDF, I was never told about all of this stuff. All they said is: If it is an enemy which is clearly not displaying signals of surrender, shoot to kill, or more preferably, to severely wound (bleeding + screaming soldiers drain enemy morale). And everybody always had an assault rifle, medics included.

    Maybe I just missed the approppriate lectures. wow_o.gif

  6. All of the three big monotheistic religions have ideas of an afterlife in paradise reserved for righteous people. Other big religions also promise some kind of improvement after death, if you behave. That's one of the reasons these religons have succeeded so well with those who suffer hunger, poverty and insecurity: You can always believe that after your inevitable death, your suffering and piety will be rewarded. It gives people hope. Thus I don't think the picture is making fun of any religion, just stating a known reason for people having the strength to go on despite horrible conditions.

    As for the "Guarded" level, if situation is worse than scattered small-arms fire and roadside bombs (Unsettling), there IS a significant risk of seeing your children blown up in front of you. And this is undeniably what many Iraqi parents have indeed witnessed. Do you think that stating what actually has happened and can still happen is tasteless? Do you think that keeping quiet will make things somehow go away? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?

  7. Hi Oligo - ever heard about Belgian Blue, the nice white veal of the netherlands and the dutch hormone mafia?

    Link here!

    The veal is white because of starvation and the Belgian Blue is the hulk of cattle  sad_o.gif We make sure our domestic animals live under such high standards that animals often die from suffocation during transport.

    All I said was that hormones are officially banned in EU. After that it is a matter of law enforcement to prevent f.ex. hormone rackets.

    I didn't claim that EU agriculture is perfect in any way. Compared to US however, where eveything goes, it is quite enlightened.

    I also have to point out that personally it is very nice to read about hormone rackets and such, because I work for a company that sells diagnostic kits for the detection of banned substances in food. More rackets, more business for us. smile_o.gif

  8. Denoir, the medication of animals in EU is pretty controlled. No hormones are ever (at least officially) used and antibiotics are only administered to sick animals for a set period of time. As a contrast, in US animals are fed hormones and antibiotics during their whole lifespans, just to make sure they don't get sick and that they grow faster.

    Halal meat is in no way better than meat obtained from animals that have been killed in a painless way, since the first step after killing is always bloodletting, of course, as any hunter or butcher knows. On the contrary, slow slaughter by slitting the throat and allowing the animal to bleed to death might actually release stress hormones into the meat. Meat that has undergone stress responses prior to death is generally considered to taste worse than stressless meat, that's why great care is usually taken to avoid causing any distress in the doomed animals. The only benefit you get from Halal is fulfillment of your religious righteousness. But hey, whatever rings your bell and keeps you going through the night...

  9. My, my, what hard text we have here. And I thought that the almost instant global communications we have today would prevent global disagreements, which sometimes lead to global wars. I might have to revise that opinion in the future.

    Anyway, shout into each other's mouths as much as you want to, but as long as a man isn't free to make his own decisions without some idiot commie, redneck or moderate politician interfering, the world will stay screwed. You are all missing the obvious conclusion that all ideologies are bad. Abolish all ideology, do not believe in anything and you shall be free.

  10. The article linked to in the first message has many valid points. It is maybe a little too pessimistic, but it's a gloomy subject.

    This all reminds me of a little thought game. Consider how human population on the planet has developed through the ages. First there was a long long stretch of history, during which there was only a few of us. During a very short time we then multiplied to current levels. As a result, there are more people currently alive than ever before in history. Now consider this: What is the most probable time in history for YOU to be born on this Earth? The answer, obviously, is that the most probable time for an individual to be born is the time where there are most people alive. Thus you can make this little deduction: Since I am here now, it is more probable than not that this is the time of peak population in the existence of humankind and that extinction is coming soon. wink_o.gif Remember that I am talking about probabilities, not certainties.

  11. You see no controversy in normal, quite talented student boy turning into a human bomb?

    I think it is amusing that people here feel so puzzled about why that person blew himself up in the mall. I'm amazed we are not seeing that happen every day.

    Edit: I'm talking about the Vantaa case, not the Mid East thing. It's off topic anyway, so let's just leave it at that.

  12. Who'se saying it never happened? What are you trying to imply here? If you completely fail yourself to put yourself to a victim's position and figure how they might feel that is really not my problem. There are scars in victim's minds which are best left to heal instead of ripping them out with provokative vulgar forms of art.

    FYI, tyranny of the majority happens when a majority of the people is allowed to suppress the views of the dissenting minority. In a democracy, political decisions are made on the basis of majority, but freedom of speech should never be trampled on, since that makes change in society impossible. New ideas need the space and time to grow and spread so that they might in time become the view of the majority. Thus, freedom of speech is of utmost importance and to hell with the "hurt feelings".

    And "If you don't talk about it, it never happened" is definitely your attitude. You seem to advocate a society where it is not allowed to talk about bad things, because you claim it is vulgar, provocative and insensitive. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

    In my opinion this discussion has everything to do with the current Mid East situation, since certain representatives of the peoples in this region use the same arguments you use to suppress freedom of speech.

  13. Well that is quite funny. Well what hell do Kekkonen and Soviet Union got to do with people getting offended by distasteful art peaces.
    Quote[/b] ]I must say that if somebody made a similar piece of art about the Vantaa bomber person, with an inscription like: "There was this eccentric person, who in his madness, blew his ass up in a shopping mall, murdering and maiming a bunch of people.", I'd be forced to say: "Cool piece of art. That artist dares to take this sad case of our recent history and present it here in the open."

    It's really great that all morals and decency are thrown own out of a window. Why don't you make one and wait for the cheering crowd then sue the man whose son was blown up there for throwing down a lamp on your precious artwork. Then cry out loud and call him a facist pig.

    I mentioned Kekkonen and Soviet Union, because the finnish culture of STFU originates from those times. Back then we learned that only "proper" things can be said in public and so it has been ever since: Only officially Moral and Decent is allowed, no dissenting opinions please. Have you ever heard about a concept called "tyranny of the majority"?

    Also, if you bothered to actually read and understand the inscription I was planning for the Vantaa case artwork, you would see that it was not offending the victims. The inscription called the bomber "eccentric" and "mad", which he surely was or do you disagree? It said he blew himself up, which he did. It also said that he murdered and maimed a lot of people, which he did, don't you say? So how is stating mere facts offensive to the victims? If you don't talk about it, it never happened, is that it?

  14. Well shutting it down would not have been such a bad thing. There's always fine line to be walked when you are dealing with artistic freedom, political sensitivity and feelings of the people the artwork might offend. And there's also the issue what is generally considered distasteful.

    If somebody makes a strong case on why it might offend (like some victim of the attack) then I'd say rights of the individual will go over the rights of the artist. How would you feel then if a photo of quite recent Vantaa shopping mall suicide bomber would be floating in pool of fake blood?

    Artist has some responsibilities too, even in today's liberal world.

    Hmph, this is what I mean by the "freedoms" here in Finland. Most of the population is happy to see the government regulate what sort of thing is acceptable and what is not. Newsflash: That is not freedom of speech, it is cencorship. If art does not offend anybody, it is not very good art. But of course such STFU attitudes have a long tradition here in Finland, starting from the time when it was unacceptable to say anything bad about the Soviet Union or president Kekkonen.

    I must say that if somebody made a similar piece of art about the Vantaa bomber person, with an inscription like: "There was this eccentric person, who in his madness, blew his ass up in a shopping mall, murdering and maiming a bunch of people.", I'd be forced to say: "Cool piece of art. That artist dares to take this sad case of our recent history and present it here in the open."

    Once again, congrats Sweden.

  15. I actually have to tell how much I admire the moral spine of both the swedish government and the museum administration. I'm quite sure that in Finland, although we are supposed to have free speech, any museum or other institution would be shut down by the government if any flak was received from Israel.

    It is awesome how the swedes have kept their moral stance through two hard events now:

    1.) I was in Uppsala when Anna Lindh was killed and right away there was the swedish prime minister in radio telling that Sweden would not sway from the "open society" concept and shut politicians behind inpenetrable walls.

    2.) The "every ambassador's an art critic" thing.

    So although Sweden is our neighbour we love to hate wink_o.gif, I must say: Good job.

  16. As a native born New Yawkah, smile_o.gif I have seen the crime rate go down, as the city has gotten bigger.

    Do you mean crime rate or violent crime rate or even insane violent crime rate? I'd say crime such as theft is not affected that much by population density, but insane violent crime definitely is.

    Anyway, I absolutely agree with you (I'd never have guessed that I ever agree with you on anything) that children should not be subjected to violence as much as they are now. Parents should be somehow made to understand that violent games and movies and such are not for children. I mean, even if children were not affected by such material, do we really want to corrupt the innocence of children with maiming and death? But we should not make overtly zealous political decisions that would reduce the access of adults to such materials, since adults can handle those things.

    However, it might be pretty hard to limit the spread of violent material. Let's say we banned all violent material outright. Imagine the thriving black market/bootlegging market that would create...

  17. Would you like to show us some comparatiive statistics of unprovoked child shootings by children over the last 50 years?

    I think the figures are only going up, not remaining constant.

    How are you going to adjust for violence caused by urbanization (=increasing population density)? Blaming games, movies or comics is just silly, when we are constantly cramming more and more children and adults to cities. It is a long known fact that mammals become violent in crowds. And just look at cities: The bigger the city, the more violence and crime we see per capita.

  18. Now at my school (  I am from the netherlands to ) they are rigging up the security and they are gonna check your lockers evry day...Hmm I dont want that...But neither do i want that some nut guy can walk in school with a gun.

    Hhm... Did you know that if humans are deprived of privacy, they become more violent? This phenomenon is used in the army training for example. Also, aggression levels of people increase with increasing population density (as with all mammals).

    What people need to understand is that it is absolutely impossible to prevent a determined person from committing a homicide (unless we ban all contact between people and lock everybody to solitary confinement), if that person does not care about getting caught and sentenced. So beware, people, every day could be your last, every word or action of yours could incite somebody to kill you.

  19. Ahh, those were the days... I remember playing WC1 and WC2 like crazy. But in WC3, I never quite got over the (absolutely stupid) plot twist that Hobbes was a traitor, so I kind of stopped liking the series from that game onwards. I mean, in WC2 secret operations 2 Hobbes helps you to take down two (2) Kilrathi carriers and their finghter wings (Fralthras were they?). Wouldn't that be the time to act if you were a traitor?

    Luckily Freespace 1&2 got produced later on, because those really restored by faith to space combat sims. What plots they had! Finally humans were portrayed not as holy angels of good, but as the ruthless expansionists that we are... I remember how cool it was to see shaky video of a Shivan for the first time...

    For some reason, plot writing has really gone down the drain lately. Most of the games that come out have completely shitty plots. The best example of this is Silent Storm, which has an absolutely beautiful combat model, but the plot is complete shite (f*king panzerkleins and what not). Then again, even the movies seem to have crappy plots nowadays, so maybe all worthwhile stories have been told already...

  20. I must say that the essay was very nice. It was pretty much exactly how I feel.

    The erosion of our values is in my opinion caused by our crave for security. When we build security, we destroy our freedom. A total police state is totally safe.

    One of my favourite quotes: "Those who would give up their freedom for some security deserve neither freedom nor security."

  21. You know, both sides in this little conflict fought over the patches of land both sides claim their own are fundamentalists. Thus it is impossible ever to discuss anything rationally with either party, since neither side uses reason, they use only emotion. What's even more impossible is for the parties to discuss anything with each other.

    It all comes down to media coverage. And most of all, to media coverage in the western countries, which are mostly christian (especially U.S.). The jews have the advantage of being "the chosen people of god" as said in the bible, the holy book of christians. Also, jews have the "ultimate victim" perk of the holocaust, which increases their lovability even more. Finally, jews are a very very sophisticated people, which gets them many points in the west. The only disadvantage the jews have is that they speak that special language of theirs, which to an untrained ear sounds a lot like the gibberish the arabs speak. Luckily, to offset this, jews usually speak very good english.

    The palestinians or whatever you call them don't score so well in the media chart. They have a religion, which has traditionally been the enemy of christianity throughout history. They have no special victimhood perks. They come across as savages, who do not articulate their plight with finely tuned Oxford english. Instead, when you're filming them, you have to use subtitles (it's very bad to force people to read) and then all they have to say is "With gods help we will destroy the infidels." Their politicians sound pretty much the same as the mobs, when they should be saying sophisticated things like: "We won't be the next checoslovakia".

    That's how it goes, people. We only want to save fluffy, lovable things. So those pals better start coming up with some media lovability or they're going to have to voluntarily relocate to Jordan.

  22. Quote[/b] ]You'll have to give me more than that. AFIK genes can control far more than just the production of protienes and one gene can have many functions. As long as you don't map the whole genetic mass of the tomato and don't map all it's functions there is no way of really knowing what exacly else removing a gene can affect.

    Genes have a promoter region, which is a stretch of DNA sequence that can bind proteins like RNA polymerases and transcription factors essentially controlling the expression of the gene, and a coding region, which is a stretch of sequence that describes the amino-acid sequence of the protein to be produced. In the knock out tomatoes, the coding region has been truncated so that the gene now expresses just a small bit of trash instead of the spoilage enzyme.

    But again, think about plant breeding, which has been done for thousands of years without ill effect (and without public outcry and without regulation). In modern plant breeding, ionizing radiation has been used to produce new and exciting variants of plants. Essentially the radiation works so that it mutates either the coding or promoter region of the plant genes, totally at random. Then you just select the interesting variants for further breeding and so on. I could produce the knock out tomatoes purely with this kind of plant breeding (just select the one with the spoilage gene knocked out by the radiation) and nobody would mind. With genetic engineering techniques we can go from random radiation and other breeding techniques to accurate modification of the plant or animal DNA with the precision of a single base pair. With genetic engineering, we actually know what we are doing.

    Ironically you are now opposing the specific technique and advocating the totally random technique.

    Interesting link on modern plant breeding (no GMO).