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About Matt

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  • Birthday November 19

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Lorton, VA
  1. 2008 Presidential Poll for January 2008

    When I participated in the Iowa Caucuses, the religious weirdos abounded, so I am not surprised to see Huckabee supported by more of the Republicans. The general population in Iowa, (and in every other state), is much less likely to vote for him. I would suggest not to take the results as indicative what will happen elsewhere.
  2. Penn & Teller - Bullsh*t

    My son just gave me the first three seasons of the show for X-mas. I laughed myself silly on many of the episodes. I highly recommend watching. They use fact and reason in their bashings; just do not expect them to make highly philosophical analyses.
  3. Time Magazine's person of the Year

    Pardon me.
  4. Time Magazine's person of the Year

    I am not a regular reader of Time, nor have I ever subscribed. I do remember hearing a TV news program about the "Man of the Year" award, which described it as being awarded based upon who was had more stories written about him within the past year. Therefore, it should not be surprising or disconcerting that evil people have been chosen. Can anyone else verify this?
  5. The first part of that statement is so stupid, I can hardly believe D'Souza could make it. How can anything be constrained by the unlimited? Then again, anyone arguing for Kant is already suspect.
  6. I see an interesting correlation with speed reading techniques. One technique for speed reading is to not 'say the word in your head', but to instead conceptualize what the word means/is without that step. If you can perfect this process, your reading speed greatly increases, while your retention stays the same or even improves. I would think the chimps would have an advantage, because they do not use language. The chimps understand that the symbols, (numbers), have an order. They can quickly view the symbols, remembering where each is, and then press the screen in the proper order. Humans use language to decipher the symbols, saying the names of each in their heads, thus slowing down their process of remembering where each lies. The humans take longer to view all the numbers, and have less time/mental energy for memorizing their places. There have also been studies showing that squirrels and some birds are better than some humans at remembering where they hide food caches. Of course, I could beat them all by using all of my human faculties and drawing a map.
  7. As I recall, Kepler was highly motivated by religious and other mystical beliefs. In the summary of his life linked to elsewhere in this thread, the author skipped over the part about Kepler wasting two decades trying to divine the exact relationship between the geometry of the six perfect solids and the orbits of the, (only, by necessity), six planets. Just as most people throughout history, his mind was filled with a mix of rationality and mysticism.
  8. Happy Birthday to KurtColville

    Happy Birthday, Kurt. I hope to see you in the not-too-distant future.
  9. Repealing "In God We Trust" . . .

    Those references were not from Jefferson. They were added by the committee that edited the Declaration.
  10. If I recall correctly, it was the Comet.
  11. A few things: The F-16 and F-18 do not have variable geometry inlets, therefore, they cannot go Mach at sea level. The F-14, F-15, F-22, and, from what I can tell by the pictures, the Eurofighter do and can. The one thing the F-22 has that none of the others do, is vectored thrust. In this type of race, the F-22 will beat all the others handily.
  12. I "read" about 30 books per year, 10-15 of them by listening to the audiobook. It is definitely laziness; I listen while I work out on the elliptical machine or lift weights. Many libraries carry a wide variety of audiobooks, especially new, popular books, such as God is not Great, Freakonomics, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, all of which, I have "read" in the last few months.
  13. A friend from Kansas City, Tedd, sent these:
  14. Mars is Green

    Hell, they already are arguing against going to the dead, lifeless moon!
  15. Gun Control

    I will ask you to check several of your premises. The Constitution endorses the right to keep and bear arms. Where does it say that Congress may regulate arms? What distinction does the "Constitution make between types of arms? Did our Founding Fathers outlaw citizens owning cannons? It is said Hitler avoided invading Switzerland at least partially because every able-bodied male had a rifle and 1000 rounds of ammunition at home. How much less likely would an invasion be if every able-bodied male had a Sherman tank in his garage? Should I be more afraid that my neighbor who owns a Sherman tank is more likely to shoot a tank round into my house, than he is to shoot a rifle bullet into my house, than he is to stab me with a kitchen knife? The purpose behind the right to bear arms is self-defense, which means killing people, perhaps, even in 'large amounts' in the case of an invasion, so should the number of people that a weapon is designed to kill be of any consideration? In the Civil War, it took approximately 293 rifle or pistol shots, on average, to inflict one enemy casualty. In WWI, that number became almost 5000. In WWII, it rose to almost 50,000. In Viet Nam, it was well over 100,000. As firearms went from muzzle loaders to bolt actions to semi-automatics to fully automatics, their fire rates increased dramatically, but casualties did not increase proportionately. Thus, does increasing the fire rate of weapons increase their lethality? Should it matter? I hope I have blurred your 'line' into oblivion. When considering these ideas, keep in mind, anecdotally, "a picture is not an argument".