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Comments by Saganic Rites

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 103 by Saganic Rites

Ignorant Amos, if I understand it right, if the bulldozer tracks are, say, 10m and 20m in total length, the drive wheels on both sides would still run at equal speeds; it just means that the shorter track will make two complete revolutions per the longer track's one. Technically though, the drive wheels for the longer track would need fractionally more power to account for the extra torque required to turn the heavier track, so a differential would be neccessary to keep it in a perfectly straight line over any appreciable distance. Or something like that!

Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:17:19 UTC | #947931

Go to: Dispatches from the birth of the Universe: sometimes science gets lucky

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Saganic Rites

Comment 12 by TeraBrat :

CMBR is old stuff.

Dry, so very dry ;-)

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:36:26 UTC | #945602

Go to: Official: 160 girls poisoned at Afghan school

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Saganic Rites

Comment 21 by QuestioningKat :

. No woman wants some guy behind her looking at her ass. It's bad enough having some guy behind you when climbing up stairs, especially wearing a dress. . .

What's wrong with a guy in a dress behind you on the stairs? But seriously, I for one make it a rule not to be too close behind anybody on stairs. Men or women, old or young; all are prone to the occasional accidental fart, especially when doing something strenuous like climbing stairs, and when they do then 3 steps back is not the place to be!

LaurieB asks

Ever been in a mosque at prayer time?
No, but I was once at a dinner party when one of the guests left the table, fetched his prayer mat from his car and took it into the garden to pray. My comment 'Now that's the loneliest game of Twister I've ever seen' caused some serious tutting (about as close as the British middle-classes get to an admonishment).

Tue, 29 May 2012 23:44:55 UTC | #944336

Go to: Debate: Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by Saganic Rites

Comment 47 by Red Dog :

Comment 45 by Saganic Rites :

Comment 13 by xsjadolateralus :

..., we are simply opposed. It's like asking if the two football teams competing in the super bowl could work together. .....

Why would they have to?

Red Dog, I think you misunderstood my question 'Why would they have to?'. I was suggesting that the analogy didn't quite work because, as there is no international American football competition (as far as I'm aware), then the players would have no need to work together, unlike other sports such as football, rugby or cricket for example,where layers on opposing teams often play together for international games.

Thu, 24 May 2012 11:32:06 UTC | #943254

Go to: A Year After the Non-Apocalypse: Where Are They Now?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Saganic Rites

One thing I've always wondered about the whole apocolypse / rapture thing; when the dead rise from their graves to receive judgement, how do the remains of the millions of cremated dead, or those whose bodies have been scattered to the four winds by bombs and relic or trophy hunters, etc. put in an appearance? Logically speaking of course, for a pile of ash that was once a 'sin-ridden' human, Hell should hold no fear anyway because the burning's already been done!

Thu, 24 May 2012 11:16:29 UTC | #943253

Go to: The Center of all Things

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Saganic Rites

I can't help but agree with the comments on the narrator and the (not far enough in the) background music. Maybe it's because I'm English, but I can't help but feel that American voices generally tend to be overly dramatic, and so can lack the calm authority and gravity of an English-English speaker such as Attenborough. That said, I don't think that such a small niggle detracts too much from the overall excellence of the piece itself. Pretty much like how the very first words in the intro to the o.p., which should read 'A homage', and not An homage, may grate on my nerves, but don't really detract from what follows.

Thu, 24 May 2012 11:05:34 UTC | #943251

Go to: The Center of all Things

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Saganic Rites

Comment 3 by matsa :

Damn, I had actual tears when the Sagan quote was displayed. I approve this message!

If you haven't read them already, Sagans' Cosmos and Comet are two beautifully written and illustrated books. And Ann Druyan (Carls widow) wrote an endpiece to Billions and Billions which really did move me to tears.

Thu, 24 May 2012 00:59:34 UTC | #943200

Go to: Debate: Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Saganic Rites

Comment 13 by xsjadolateralus :

Hitchens laid out why our worldviews are simply irreconcilable, rather than just being in conflict, or struggling to find a better configuration, common ground. No, we are simply opposed. It's like asking if the two football teams competing in the super bowl could work together. .....

Why would they have to? However, if we take your analogy over to real football then the answer is a resounding 'Yes'. Consider the MLS; players from several teams will happily work together for the U.S.A. national team, just as over here the England national squad is made up of players from most of the Premier League teams. Just don't mention Terry and Ferdinand, but that's a side issue with nothing to do with either religion or team loyalty.

Tue, 22 May 2012 12:37:30 UTC | #942810

Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Saganic Rites

Yawn. It's the same-ol same-old 'can't be good without god(s) bull. How low an opinion of the human race have these idiots got if they genuinely believe that we are not capable of working shit out ourselves.

I was going to leave a comment on the article at the rfg site about how their god-given morality was itself a human construct, but there's no comments section. Anybody would think they can't handle the truth.

Tue, 22 May 2012 09:05:41 UTC | #942776

Go to: A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Saganic Rites

Comment 9 by Border Collie :

Seems as if it might have something to do with eating less, eating higher quality food and exercising more. Tell me I'm crazy.

OK, wish granted. You're crazy! I can't disagree with your main point though.

Mon, 21 May 2012 22:27:32 UTC | #942693

Go to: A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Saganic Rites

That's a lot of words to say "if you don't want to be obese, eat less, eat healthily, and move around a bit more'.

Sun, 20 May 2012 22:39:43 UTC | #942514

Go to: Mitt Romney's Mormon God was a lousy CEO

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Saganic Rites

I saw my dog cleaning himself earlier when a thought hit me. He spends so much of his time looking up his own arse, I ought to consider re-naming him 'Mutt Romney'.

Sun, 20 May 2012 19:22:49 UTC | #942470

Go to: The Right’s Righteous Frauds

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Saganic Rites

Comment 10 by mjwemdee :

Re Comment #7 by Roedy

In Britain, people set dogs loose on bulls to kill them for entertainment.

I presume this is past tense, not present...? Or if you know it's going on now, can you give details?

To expand on Roedy's response @24, there hasn't been bull baiting, as it was called, since the 19thC, but many old market towns here still have the old baiting posts in place (as I recall there's a particularly fine one in the market place in Newark-upon-Trent. This 'sport' consisted of tethering a bear to the post by means of an iron collar and short chain. The bear was usually de-clawed and its canine teeth filed blunt to give the dogs a fighting chance. The dogs, specially bred for the 'sport', were set upon the bear in ones or twos, and the winner was the animal left alive. Pretty nauseating to think that this was considered suitable entertainment for all on market-days.

Sun, 20 May 2012 09:05:52 UTC | #942368

Go to: The Right’s Righteous Frauds

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Saganic Rites

Comment 1 by Border Collie :

"Palin" ... "pain" with an "L". Great article.

Or to put it another way, one ell of a pain.

Comment 25 by Roedy :

A piece of good news for a change. The black churches of North Carolina were urging bigotry, and suppression of equal marriage rights for gays. I despaired that people who were so recently suppressed would already be dumping on another minority group.

As in all walks of life, all too often yesterdays abused become todays abusers. Think of how many times you've seen a bullied child - or indeed adult - go on to bully an assumed 'weaker' target.

Sun, 20 May 2012 08:40:58 UTC | #942364

Go to: Mitt Romney's Mormon God was a lousy CEO

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Saganic Rites

A funny and well written piece. I enjoyed that. Thanks Ariosito.

Sat, 19 May 2012 22:43:36 UTC | #942327

Go to: UPDATED: Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Saganic Rites

Comment 1 by MullyROI :

Is the Bible not too R-rated for children of such an age? Just revelations (ignoring the rest) has far more gore and sex then we would allow in childrens' books. .

With all of the internet at their fingertips, and with most of the little buggers having access to it, I doubt there's much in the book that will shock todays average 8 year-old.

Sat, 19 May 2012 22:33:30 UTC | #942325

Go to: "Our Lady of Sorrows (Ariz.) baseball team forfeits state title rather than play against team with a girl"

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Saganic Rites

Alan4discussion, that reminds me of when my eldest daughter was 10. She loved playing football (that's real football, soccer in the U.S. only) and so was allowed to join in with the boys football games during P.E. at her small village school. I went to pick her up one afternoon and was asked by her teacher if I might 'have a word or two' with her. It turned out that some of the boys had complained that she was 'too rough in her tackling' and they were too scared to go near her. The funny thing was, they weren't complaining the next year when she joined the school team and tucked away 37 of the 49 goals her side scored in the 10 games that saw them win the county inter-schools cup tournament.

Mon, 14 May 2012 17:56:27 UTC | #941439

Go to: BBC Radio 4 request for participants

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Saganic Rites

Comment 3 by gordon :

It's not exactly The Only Way is Essex is it? I at least learned what a vagazzle was.

And now dearly wish you hadn't?

Tue, 08 May 2012 19:37:29 UTC | #940598

Go to: We asked "Do you really believe ___" and they said yes. Now what?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 512 by Saganic Rites

Comment 479 by Shrommer

The Gospel of John gives some insight to this... 10:14-18 tells us that Jesus chose on his own to give up his life, and nobody took it from him. Jesus did this knowing that he had the power to take up his life again later on
So really not much of a sacrifice really was it? It's very easy to give something knowing full well that it can be replaced at will. Kind of makes me wonder why He doesn't come back now; just think of all the organs he could donate to those poor sods on transplant waiting lists. "Need a heart? A liver? A kidney or two? Take mine, they'll grow back soon enough".

Anyway, doesn't the above quote by you kind of nullify your earlier one? _

Comment 470 by Shrommer

In a similar type of "epiphany" moment to what Dutcher had, someone was talking to me about how Jesus died for my sin to make me clean so I could go to heaven....For me it was like, "Wow! This is true!" Something deep inside me said, "Yes, that is who God is and what He is all about - a God who saves me when I am incapable of saving myself. I can trust Him." I was free from guilt because all my sin had been dealt with by God the Father accepting Jesus on the cross as the guilt offering.

Make your mind up; either He died on the cross or not. The contradiction here makes one wonder which version is true? Did He die on the cross to atone for the sins of generations millenia in the future? Did He not really die, in which case it seems more likely He was just showing off? Or (and this is my personal odds-on favourite) was it merely a 'symbolic' death in an analogous story to relate as an example of personal sacrifice for the greater good, and not something to be taken literally? You can't have it all ways.

Comment 479 by Shrommer

If "we lot" were to wipe out the planet, the planet would not be choosing to give up their lives; it would be somebody else taking their lives from them against their will. Also, if the planet were to have their lives taken, they would have no power to take up their lives again later on.
So what happened to those who believe in Him shall have eternal life (somewhere in John I believe)? Are you really telling us that if a 'good' Christian were to be murdered then he will be denied the eternal life that the Gospels promised? And of course, if choosing to give one's life is seen by the big guy to be the preffered option for entry to His eternal paradise, then by this logic a suicide bomber, no matter how misguided the thought process that led him to jihad, simply by dint of having chosen to die in the service of God would be granted membership.His victims however, no matter how much they profess to love their particular brand of god, would be denied access to Paradise on the grounds that their lives were taken rather than willingly given.

And finally;

Jesus said that he has come for us to have life, and have abundant life, and Christians are theoretically joined with him in that mission. It is "the thief" (Satan) who has come to steal, kill, and destroy - not Jesus. (John 10:10)
So when God, through Moses, ordered the destruction of tribes that were living in and around the 'promised land' (except for female virgins of course, men, women and male children were fair game), this was actually Satan at work and the OT got it badly wrong?

Wed, 02 May 2012 10:14:10 UTC | #938970

Go to: We asked "Do you really believe ___" and they said yes. Now what?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 477 by Saganic Rites

Please forgive my butting in here, but..

Comment 463 by Shrommer

What I was saying is that there is an inborn desire and sense that I/we should not destroy everyone on the earth (the evidence), and that based on this pre-existing fact, we as rational beings try to figure out why this sense is there. If there is no God, then it should be fine to wipe out the whole planet, so what stops us from doing so? Since there is something that stops us, what is it?

Simply the fact that we know that there will be no cosy afterlife for us to go onto, so we try to make the most of our limited time in the sun.

And then....

Comment 470 by Shrommer

.... I was free from guilt because all my sin had been dealt with by God the Father accepting Jesus on the cross as the guilt offering.
So if your sins were pre-forgiven because it pleased your loving God so much to see It's only son writhing and bleeding in torment on the cross, what's to stop you lot from wiping out the planet? If J.C's already been punished for your sins, you're free to do whatever the Hell (sic) you wish.

Just askin'.

Wed, 02 May 2012 01:03:12 UTC | #938881

Go to: Cooking Lobsters alive, is it moral?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Saganic Rites

Comment 87 by Schrodinger's Cat :

The real dishonesty lies in supermarkets full of rows of processed food, that's been so modified that nobody'd ever think it had once been alive....

I'd say that the real dishonesty lies in the rows of processed foods labelled as, for example, beefburgers, yet no part of said burgers was ever part of something that once went 'Moo'.

As for the OP, I would say that boiling lobsters alive was less a question of morality and more one of neccessity, as in 'is it really neccessary to kill them this way when a sharp knife through the cental nervous system at the base of the brain gives an instant kill''? It would seem obvious that if an instant kill is possible then no matter how 'primitive' the nervous system may be, boiling them alive for up to six seconds before death occurs is tantamount to causing unneccessary suffering (the very same reason so many object to certain religions' methods of killing beasts). As for freezing them first, logic strongly suggests that they first have to warm up before heat-death occurs; is it possible that the sudden intense heat of the water will paralyse the muscles before the nervous system - being deeper within the body - is sufficiently warmed to be able to function? This way they may still feel pain without being able to move, the inertia being why some people think that they aren't feeling pain at all.

Wed, 02 May 2012 00:38:56 UTC | #938870

Go to: Cooking Lobsters alive, is it moral?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 86 by Saganic Rites

Comment 11 by keyfeatures :

Yes I always approach fellow sentient beings with the attitude treat them as they see fit to treat others. Hence, when dealing with toddlers I adopt the moral palette and behaviours of a two year old. ....

Surely not to the extent of standing in the middle of the room and filling your pants? Or hitting the kids with a toy if they try to take it away from you? How about exploring your genitalia in full view of others? Maybe holding your breath almost to the point of unconsciousness if you don't get your own way? Eating worms and pulling wings off craneflys?

And you wonder why nannying was never suggested as a career choice?

Tue, 01 May 2012 19:56:23 UTC | #938789

Go to: In defence of obscure words

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 82 by Saganic Rites

IDLERACER, at the risk of deepening your crisis, there's actually no difference in the pronunciation of putting (placing) and putting on the golf course; the only difference is the spelling, put and putt.

One of my favourite childhood jokes was a very simple play on words. Sadly, almost everybody I told it to needed it explaining, but just for old time's sake.....

Did you hear about the architect who had his house made backwards so he could watch television?

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 00:07:21 UTC | #937106

Go to: Romney to give commencement speech at Falwell’s Liberty University

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Saganic Rites

Q'Kat, speaking for the people that gave you your language and are horrified at what you've done to it over there, that should be "Gracious! Such snobbery!'" :-)

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 23:23:14 UTC | #935863

Go to: We asked "Do you really believe ___" and they said yes. Now what?

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 266 by Saganic Rites

Has anybody here read Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ? Yes it's fiction and aimed at a younger audience, but it gives possibly the most convincing explaination for the mythology surrounding Jesus that I've seen (well, if for sake of argument one assumes that the stories about him are based on a real person), and very aptly describes itself on the inner dust jacket "....a book about how stories become stories".

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 23:12:28 UTC | #935860

Go to: Sri Lankan held for "witchcraft" in Saudi Arabia

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Saganic Rites

Comment 4 by jel :

Just how backward and stupid can people become?

More pertinent is; Just how backward and stupid can religious cultures stay?

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 19:10:02 UTC | #935796

Go to: A lot of science is just plain wrong

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Saganic Rites

Of course a lot of science is wrong, or at least not as right as it could be. If all science were right then we'd know everything there is to know, so there'd be no need for any more science. I suppose that in effect, all scientists are working towards putting themselves out of a job.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 14:37:17 UTC | #933343

Go to: Are You a Believer? Take The Dawkins Test.

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Saganic Rites

I'm a 7 on the 'established' interventionist and deistic-creator gods. However, I'm a 6.999 regarding a non-deistic creator. It's bad science to say 'never', and it may turn out that the Universe was indeed created, but the creator was simply a scientist in a much larger Universe, and we are no more or less than the result of an experiment in a cosmic LHC.

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 14:14:53 UTC | #933336

Go to: People obsessed with numbers

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Saganic Rites

Wasn't there a song released sometime in the dim and distant past (well, C1970s) giving religious significance to the various numbers found in a deck of cards? If memory serves it was something about the singer being chastised for playing cards on a sunday, so he showed how the cards related to God along the lines of the 52 cards reminding us that God gives us 52 weeks per year, four suits recall Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the hearts are God's love, and so on.

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 18:01:55 UTC | #930202

Go to: Earworms: Why songs get stuck in our heads

Saganic Rites's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Saganic Rites

CEVA34, the point of the earworm is that, like it's cousin the tapeworm, it's unwanted. You are a very lucky fellow indeed if you've never walked through a shopping centre, or been in a lift, without ever inadvertantly picking up on an annoying riff or a couple of lines of a song that just seems to 'hang-on in there', or suddenly popping back up days or even weeks later

. And I think that people are talking about pop music because that's what is mostly played in public spaces; just as with any other infection, the more people are exposed to it, the better it can spread.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 22:09:48 UTC | #925478