Oct 26, 2012
commented on Mayor's Office Calls Police Drones "Helpful," But Supports an Ordinance Restricting Them
HMRBEAR: Two things come to mind. The first is that helicopters are obvious, while drones are not. They are inaudible and nearly invisible when in use. They present the possibility of being observed at all times when not under cover, which is unsettling to people who don't like the idea of a surveillance society.
The second is one that you listed but dismissed: cost. They're much cheaper to operate, which means that they're much more likely than heavier aircraft to be used by the police in fishing operations. In fact, with new equipment there's likely to be a drive to justify its presence and expense, so there will probably be pressure to use it in order to try to find crimes.
The fact that SPD has such a hard on for the technology should suggest to you that these things have very different capabilities and will be used in a very different way than helicopters.
For me it begs the question: do I want to see perfect enforcement of imperfect laws? I don't think drones would result in perfect enforcement, but I'm unsettled by some of the implications, and I think this kind of a change in the police force's capabilities bears more scrutiny than other police expenses like, say, more officers or armor or squad cars or helicopters.
Oct 25, 2012
commented on Storm on Saturn
It must suck to have a mandate to try to popularize your unearthly research to an audience that doesn't particularly care about anything that isn't on Earth. "Can you imagine what that might feel like sitting on your deck?" How embarrassing.
Oct 23, 2012
commented on The Bigoted New Reject R-74 Ad
Dom, look out! The local gun nut is not your friend! He is turned off by your frank language. Don't let him murder-suicide you.
Oct 16, 2012
commented on Which Is Worse?: Eating Cupcakes or French Fries With a Fork?
Mac @3: "I find the cupcake more offensive, since it is designed specifically to be eaten with one's hands."
Designed to be eaten with one's hands? Either you and I have very different ideas about what "design" is, or you know some terrible designers. The closest thing I've seen to cupcakes designed to be eaten with hands are, perhaps not coincidentally, Megan Seling's mini-cupcakes (baked around mini-deliciousness to boot).
LEE. @50: "eating fries with a fork is just prissy, weird, and reminds me that half of you are germophobes who have outed yourselves in other threads."
It has nothing to do with germs. I don't want to get fry grease on my clothes, my face, my phone screen, my keys, or my glasses. I definitely don't want later to touch any of those things with clean hands and then get another dose of fry grease from the new reservoir that was created when I first touched those things with greasy fingers. Sure, I could wash my hands after eating fries, and spend an unnecessary few minutes in some soulless, unpleasant public bathroom, or I could just eat the fries with a fork, which takes no more time than eating with hands, and spare myself the trip to the bathroom (and also not feel compelled to avoid touching my clothes, face, phone, etc. for the duration of my meal).
Although it suddenly now has a second purpose: infuriating people who are so petty, so bare of genuine problems that they give a damn how other people transfer french fries from plates to mouths.
Oct 12, 2012
commented on Today's Dinosaur News
"Room temperature!" Classic! Fossils spent most of their time in living rooms, paleontologists think, with bedrooms and bathrooms a close second and third, respectively.
The chief hilarity in Will's ridiculous comment is that it demonstrates that the only effect Fnarf's relentless antagonism has had on Will is to make Will adopt Fnarf's condescending, "I can't believe I have to put up with you idiots" attitude. This is indescribably delicious to me.