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Topics - Guillermo

Books / Sci-Fi and Fantasy recommendations
September 07, 2023, 03:44:31 PM
I ran out of credits on audible and book Budget. I need more new stuff to read before I start rereading things again. I want to make a big wish List so that I can catch more audible Deals. There are a bunch of books there, but I don't know any of them or even if I should get them. With a Big wishlist, some of the books might fall on the deals.

So, Can I hear your Sci-Fi and Fantasy recommendations? I'll post mine in the next post.
Other Media / DROPOUT! By College Humor
April 17, 2023, 07:46:19 PM
Anybody here is subscribed to Dropout by college humor?

I used to like College Humor back in the day on YouTube before, you know, their content sucked.

But recently I've been seeing clips from several shows of theirs and I am really enjoying them.

Anybody has any experience with them? I'm considering subscribing.
I'm looking for more content in scientifically debunking flat earth.

I really like the science behind why the earth is a globe. More specifically scientific explanations that debunk flat earth claims.

I like watching youtube videos of this. But I am annoyed by the constant ridicule used in most of the videos. Clearly, I understand the ridicule, but it's off-putting to me. I don't want you to tell me someone is stupid for thinking the earth is flat. I want you to tell me why their position is stupid.

For example, I like SciManDan, but most of his content is ridiculing the person he is debunking. In some cases, he doesn't even say why what they are saying is wrong.

I want to find Youtube channels or videos that take apart flat earth claims taking the claim seriously and explaining why it doesn't work.

What recommendations do you have?

I like and recommend:
Dave McKeegan: I recently discovered his videos and he uses his expertise in photography to explain why the photographic claims from flat earthers are incorrect. I've only seen him insult and ridicule when he is fighting back or has been insulted first.

Professor Dave: He has a very good series addressing flat earth claims. He has fallen into some annoying ridicule and insults.

potholer54: Perhaps the best scientific debunking of out-of-whack theories. He hasn't done anything on flat earth, though. But he is very entertaining and my Go-too on climate change. He always sources his videos and is very entertaining. He does ridicule some people, but when he does he explicitly explains why they deserve the ridicule.
Tech Talk / Help with choosing website hosting
January 20, 2023, 04:05:00 PM
I've bought a domain on Hover. I wish to make a personal website as a form of portfolio for games, dev-blog, short story and novel showcase (which I have nothing published yet), and various other miscellaneous projects of mine.

I'm ok with paying for the site if it's less than $5 a month but I'd rather look for something free first.

I wanted to hear recommendations for free hosting. Also, give me recommendations for paid hosting.

I also wanted recommendations for website-building tools. I'm fine with building my own site from scratch, but that would require a longer learning curve. 
Member Creations / I'm looking for Beta Readers
June 27, 2022, 08:54:09 AM
Hey guys. I've got two short stories that I would like some beta readers to go through them. If anybody here is willing to read through one or both and give me feedback, it would be greatly appreciated.

They are Science Fiction and have 12,900 and 20,200 words.

Send me a PM if you can help me out with this. We will go through with everything by PM and whatever else we need.
Books / Any recommended detective pulp.
May 19, 2022, 02:46:15 PM
I've read some Agatha Christi a way back. And I am currently going through the Maltese Falcon.

I am interested in reading some detective work. If it has SciFi or if the detective works for the police, better. But I'm looking for interesting detective work and narratives.

I've seen recommended: The Kind Worth Killing, House of Silk, and The Firm.
Tech Talk / Backup Options
May 05, 2022, 03:36:38 PM
I need to improve my current Backup methods. At the moment it's all manual and whenever I remember to save the files I want to keep safe. I've got the files on two computers and a portable hard drive.

I am looking to automate the process in some way. I've got the 100GB google drive account. So I've got that as a resource.

I want to get some sort of application that I could say to it. "Save all the files in these folders to the Cloud every day" And also, "Every time I connect this portable hard drive, update the files that changed or save these folders".

The other thing I want is for it to be affordable. If the best option is a paid option, id like to know about it, but I'd rather not pay too much.

What do you guys use? And what would you recommend for the wants that I have?
Games / Help me pick a Game Engine.
April 05, 2022, 03:49:19 PM
I wish to try my hand at making a game. I'm just trying to pick a game engine to program it and publish.

It's a single-room 2D game (the room would change), similar to an idle or incremental game with a procedurally generated overworld map. The style would be to the Old RPG games or those made by RPG Maker. And my target platform would be Android and iOS with in-app purchases and/or ads.

I have researched for a bit and narrowed it down to three potential candidates.

1) RPGMaker: This contains all of the visual assets that I would use in this game. It might lack the depth to code the behavior I want from the game in an efficient manner since it will not be an RPG or any game in which you control a character. I do own the license so that is not an issue. I expect this engine to be too heavy and would require too many workarounds to program correctly.

2)Godot: Searching for alternatives to RPGMaker, I found this at the top of the list. Never heard of it, but does look sufficiently robust. Seems to work very well with tiles and would more easily have the look of an RPG game. I worry about the other mechanics: procedural generated maps, characters, and content.

3) Unity: Everybody and their grandmother seem to be making games on Unity. It has a large asset pool I can draw from. Basically, if the other two are insufficient, I am sure this engine would handle the project. The advantage is that I could extend my experience to other gaming projects in the future in which unity will be advantageous.

I am quite confident that even if I do not have experience with the engines, I do have programing knowledge and extremely fast learner in scripting and programming environments. I would have no problem working with the engines. I do want an engine from which the project would benefit from it with efficiency and resources.

With all things equal I'd pick unity. But I want to give Godot a try if anybody here has any experience with it.
So, in my country, there are implementing the Vaccine Mandate, starting today. My best friend, who I do a podcast with, is not vaccinated and does not wish to vaccinate. He has recovered from Covid. His family and close relatives and friends are vaccinated, so he wanted to opt out. Now that the mandate is up, this would impact our recording sessions and other things (in his life mostly). I normally didn't really care for his position, but now I wish to reason with him.

I would like help, mostly in getting "unbiased" data, but if you have a few talking points or even recommended videos or articles. (The quotes are intentional, by these I mean that data should come from a reasonable source that could be identified as unbiased. As in, not news outlets.)

He is not anti-vax. He is Anti-Liberal and has been influenced by the conservative anti-vax circles into doubting the vaccine and its effectiveness. He is a reasonable person and will use facts and change his opinion, but at the moment his lack of information and influence from the bubble he is in is to great. I do think he can absolutely listen to reason, else I wouldn't be putting energy into this. And I know him very well. I know how he discusses and what he evaluates. I have changed his mind in issues with respect to homosexuality and abortion, although he is quite stubborn at times.

This is his position:

  • There is fear mongering.
  • I don't trust the experts on Covid
  • I don't trust the process (I do not understand what he means by this)
  • I don't trust the vaccine
  • I don't trust the data
  • And it shouldn't be mandatory

There is a lot to take in. I was not expecting that. He understands informal Logical Fallacies. He has talked in other topics referring to experts as an adequate source. In this case, the most problematic perception that he has is the Fear mongering, because this is basically why he doesn't trust the experts, Data, and vaccines, because he believes that the data is influenced by the fear mongering.

I was planning on starting the discussion with basic Covid Data. Mortality, infection, and generally how the virus works. I want to set a baseline were I could agree with him the initial data and get some multiple independent sources. I think that Getting independent sources that agree with the results would help with his lack of trust in the data. I also want to focus on how bad this is compared to other deseases. I expect a counter argument to fall on:  "it's only 0.03% chance of dying" (which I do not know where that number comes from, but its doing its rounds in our circle); and "they are bundling other causes of death into deaths by Covid".

I think that If I can get him to see the severity, then everything should fall into an easier argument. Especially in an argument in favor of Mandatory Vaccinations.

Any help or opinions are welcomed. I will keep writing here the evolution of our discussion. At least I got him to agree that we should take our time to prepare arguments and get data.
General Discussion / Australia bans social media comments
September 12, 2021, 08:44:46 AM
From what I can tell, this can have huge implications.

QuoteAustralia's High Court ruled Wednesday that news companies can be held liable for what everyday users comment on their social media posts.

The decision will likely have massive implications for how those companies regulate the content they post to social media, and it might not stop there. Many are worried that everyday users could also now become the target of valid lawsuits for comments made on their posts.

As University of Sydney law professor David Rolph explained, "anyone who runs a social media page can theoretically be sued over disparaging comments posted by readers or random group members — even if you aren't aware of the comment."
I am considering submitting a short story I wrote in a Prompt on Reddit. This one Specifically..
It's full of gramar mistakes and I cleaned it up to be a much better story.

I like doing prompts and this is a story that I particularly like.

My question is: Will a publishing company, like Clarksworld or SF&F have an issue that the story is available on reddit, even in it's rough state? Would it be wise to state it in the Cover Letter that it there? Most of these publishers have a First Rights to publish thing. So I don't know if it is good to submit this story for publishing.

Feel free to leave feed back if you'd like.
I am interested in a specific domain. It is own by someone but it hasn't been used or updated in years. I want to propose a price and get it. How to do it. I'm currently reading through some websites and how tos. But I wanted to get some advice from here as to how to do it. Do I simply go to and select the option to make an offer? Or do I try to find the direct email and email them on my own.
Tech Talk / Help with an ODBC source (foxpro)
October 21, 2020, 09:34:50 AM
I need help accessing a Foxpro database and free tables.

The company I work with uses an application based on Visual Foxpro. The tables are all in such format. I requiere access to the tables in order to properly data mine and proceed with crucial analysis for the business. Modifying the application is not viable due to money, time and incompetence.

So here is the issue. I cannot access the tables with any of the current ODBC sources (tried all DBase sourses III, IV, and V). So I proceed to download and install the Visual Foxpro ODBC driver. I am aware that the Driver is 32 bit and will not work on any 64bit application. Fine, not an issue. The problem is that I can't find the driver when creating the new ODBC source. I open odbcad32.exe and it does not show up there. After the installation, the dll exist in the folder where all the 32bit ODBC drivers lie, yet it doesn't show up in the list of the ODBC Source Administrator 32bit.

Googling for precisely this issue is fruitless. All solutions say, "the problem is that you need to create the source using odbcad32.exe located here... " I know that, It just so happens that it is not there. I cannot create the source as intended. So where is the issue? Did the installation fail? is there an issue with permissions?

I have installed SQL Server express as I was told that it can access the tables. But I haven't figured out how to start with, and from what I can tell it requieres the creation of the source which is the crux of the problem.

My ultimate goal is to access the free tables by any means. (safely). If I can create the ODBC source, then That would led me to success or the next hurdle of problems which I am anticipating. If there is another driver that can access the tables, then I'd love to try it.   
Member Creations / New Podcast: Hablando en serie
October 13, 2020, 05:02:28 PM
My Friend and I launched a new podcast.

It's called Hablando en Serie and it's in Spanish. (Mostly Spanglish really). We talk about Videogames, TV series, movies and general pop-culture stuff. If you speak or understand Spanish, give it a try and I'd love to hear your feedback. I am Tazz in the podcast.

We have been having trouble with audio for the available episodes really, so the audio quality, in my critical opinion is poor. We recently identified one of the sources of audio quality and fixed it, and my new Mic will arrive thursday, but there is a bit of a back log so I dont expect crisp audio until episode 8 (currently on 4).

It's a short podcast for short topics between 15 and 25 minutes, one a week on Tuesdays.  We are always talking about topics like this and we decided to share our discussions with the world.

We are on several directories. Hope you enjoy.
Tech Talk / Cryptocurrency investments
September 06, 2020, 07:19:30 PM
Well, I am currently interested in investing with Cryptocurrencies. It's either that or going into stocks.

I'm looking for long term investments with a few small risky endeavors for fun. Not that interested in the Buying low and selling high part, but rather in investment and gaining interest.  Some offer up to 18%APR which is nice.

I would like to hear some advice from fellow investors or some of you with experience, both negative or positive. I would also like some good resources about the news and states of the currencies.

As I am reading though the news-feeds I get the feeling that the news are divided and biased between the Nay-sayer and the Yay-sayers. Out of several articles I've read, I only found one that felt objectively analyzing the current Bitcoin drop and explaining why it might drop or it might raise up again. I want more sources like this.

There is another thing that I am interested in and I can't yet find a good answer. If I invest say on CRO. And am receiving 16%APR as advertised. It's all fine, but if CRO is on a very big drop, it would not matter how much I get from interest if the value is considerably lower than what I bought in with. So, I want to find out what good markers I can use to see if I should remain in the currency or if I should get out. I mean, I know there are no clear markers that would guaranty that, but there should be sources that by reading them I could infer how healthy my investment will be.

Any Advice is welcomed.
Books / First Person recommendation
March 26, 2020, 11:35:45 AM
I would like to read a Science Fiction short story or novella written in first person present tense.

Are there any recommendations. If its a really good novel, I can give it a go.

I have a short story in mind that I wish to write in this POV and I want to get an idea of how other writers handle it.

So, First Person Present Tense POV recommendations.
Member Creations / Help with publishing Novelette
January 10, 2020, 09:42:59 AM
I am writing a sci-fi novelette. Currently in the process of the final edition, before sending it to someone else to review. I've got about 20,000 words, and I'm aiming for less than 18,000.

I would like some advise on getting published. Since this is a small story, getting an agent for it seems unlikely. I am fine with publishing it on a Sci-fi Magazine. I am considering Asimov's Science Fiction mostly because their criteria follows Character Oriented stories and allow for up to 20,000 words, which is up my alley.

Anybody here, have any experience with this than they can share.

Will the fact that I live in another country be a problem?
Religion / Philosophy Talk / Science on amazon
November 20, 2019, 09:41:14 AM
How is it that if I search for "Science Children's Books" on amazon I get a few God and Creation books in the list?
Skepticism / Science Talk / Realistic Dragons
November 05, 2019, 08:12:10 AM
I saw this:

I found it very interesting, but a bit disappointed. I feel like there are a lot more dragons in fiction that might reach the goal. Not saying that there are, or that they didn't check, but I would like something more comprehensive.

Is there really no depiction of any dragon that fits the bill?

QuoteMiguel Street is a winding, narrow route through the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco. Until a few years ago, only those living along the road traveled it, and they understood its challenges well. Now it's packed with cars that use it as a shortcut from congested Mission Street to heavily traveled Market Street. Residents must struggle to get to their homes, and accidents are a daily occurrence.

The problem began when smartphone apps like Waze, Apple Maps, and Google Maps came into widespread use, offering drivers real-time routing around traffic tie-ups. An estimated 1 billion drivers worldwide use such apps.

Today, traffic jams are popping up unexpectedly in previously quiet neighborhoods around the country and the world. Along Adams Street, in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, residents complain of speeding vehicles at rush hour, many with drivers who stare down at their phones to determine their next maneuver. London shortcuts, once a secret of black-cab drivers, are now overrun with app users. Israel was one of the first to feel the pain because Waze was founded there; it quickly caused such havoc that a resident of the Herzliya Bet neighborhood sued the company.

The problem is getting worse. City planners around the world have predicted traffic on the basis of residential density, anticipating that a certain amount of real-time changes will be necessary in particular circumstances. To handle those changes, they have installed tools like stoplights and metering lights, embedded loop sensors, variable message signs, radio transmissions, and dial-in messaging systems. For particularly tricky situations—an obstruction, event, or emergency—city managers sometimes dispatch a human being to direct traffic.

I find this article quite interesting. I am an avid Waze user, and I occasionally do not choose the suggested optimal route because, as I know the city, it will not be as optimal; and I'm wrong maybe 50% of the time, go figure.

I want to hear others opinion and their usage of these maps.

I am mostly in agreement with the article. I feel it demonizes the apps a bit too much, but it is not entirely wrong.
I've been talking to my nephew about his masters degree program and other stuff, and he came strong to me as a strong critical thinker and Skeptic (without knowing that exists) just like I was at about his age. I talked to him about the SGU and he was really interested and even listened to the current episode (at the time). He liked it, but still wasn't too into it. He asked me if there was an episode I suggested, and I can't really think of any episode that I would recommend over others.

So I wanted to know what episode(s) would you recommend for my nephew. He is into researching Solar Cells in Sweden (Of all places, talk about lack of sun) and enjoys the inanity of pseudoscience. He likes general science stuff but more interested in energy topics. He'd really enjoy a good interview with a scientist or engineer. My preferences are with interviews with skeptics talking about the work they've done like Banachek or Sanal Edamaruku, which were interviews I really enjoyed, but I'm not to sure if he will at this point.

Any suggestions even if it's of multiple episodes, I might just show him the notes and have him pick among a few suggestions.   
Podcasts / Need a fix for my iPhone podcast app
September 27, 2018, 11:56:04 AM
Yeah, I think the fix is to get a new app. The apple App has been extraordinarily annoying since the last couple of updates, and each update gets worse. Haven't tried the iOS 12 yet, but my guess is that it would get even worse.

Clearly the Apple Podcast App is not compatible anymore with the way I use it even if it was the app itself that trained me.

Can somebody recommend a free app for podcasts that would fulfill my criteria as best as possible.

Here is what I'm looking for an app.

  • Should download new select podcasts as they become available only when connected to wi-fi. I should still be subscribed to other podcasts in which I decide if I download once I see what's it about.
  • Should delete all played podcasts.
  • I should be able to mark a podcast as played, if I decide I won't listen to it or finish it.
  • Should play podcast in order of oldest to newest. And continue on to the next podcast.
  • Should be intuitive to use, and not have to go through several layers of taps to read the info or do something with the podcast.
  • That's basically it, Apple how can you f this up?

My biggest qualm with the app is that I can't mark as played and that I have to add to play next whenever I want the podcasts to play in order. I don't care, just play them all.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when the app decided that I should watch the last 145 episodes of StarTalk radio. I am subscribed to it, and all new episodes I see them in my feed, in which I decide if I listen to it, or not. If I want to listen I download, if not, I delete it from the feed, since I can't mark it as played as I used to do back in the day. Without any mass way of deleting or marking, I had to delete each episode one at a time. And you'd think that it's a simple Swipe left to delete, well, that only works if there is only one unplayed podcast in the feed. If there are several then you swipe and tap the delete button. Fun day.

Another issue, but I don't think it's an app problem, and it's that when I am Listening to a podcast, and Y pause for an undefined period of time, the phone forgets what it was doing and decides to play the audiobook or some song from U2 instead when I click the play button on the ear pods. And it happens when I'm listening to an Audiobook, in which it plays the podcast or U2. This seems to have changed a bit since iOS11 because most of the time now, it just forgets it was playing anything, and does nothing when I Hit play.
General Discussion / is it racist to argue in favor of...
September 11, 2018, 12:06:05 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Examples of this happening include:

  • Eldris Alba cast as Roland Deschain in the movie
  • Scarlet Johansen cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi
  • Tilda Swinton cast as The Ancient One
  • Samuel L. Jackson cast as Nick Fury

Clearly, Whitewashing and hating on the topic just because it's one race and and loving it because its another race are clearly racist viewpoint.

I have seen arguments in favor of casting roles that differ from the source material for the purpose of diversity saying that those that oppose it are being racist.
Games / Which game is this?
March 09, 2018, 10:52:43 AM
Back in the mid 90s, me and my cousin used to play a Turn Based Strategy game set in Britain.

Does anybody here know what this game was called?

Here are the things about the game I remember that I am pretty confident were actually in this game:
- You started in a map of Britain that was split into territories.
- Several Players (either AI or Human) controlled one territory.
- Each turn players bought infantry, archers, and cavalry and used them to conquer neighboring territories (kinda like risk). 
- You win by controlling all of Britain.
- I played it on a PC. (as in not a Mac)

Extra detail: This are things I remember of the game. But I am less confident in them being in it.
- It had simple graphics, and you could see the numbers of your army. But there was no animation of the fights.
- You could see the entirety of Britain at all time, no scrolling.
- There was a way to gain resources (maybe gold) that was based on the territories you own.
- It might have been taxes.
- Each territory had a population so, you were motivated to conquer/ defend heavily populated territories in order to gain an advantage with the taxes.
- I don't recall if you could set the tax rate, but it would seem you couldn't.

I've been thinking about this game for the last couple of years, but my google foo hasn't been working for this.
Well, we have been using this product for Lice with great success in our son.

But I just recently (like today as I was going to order a new one) that it is homeopathic. It says it has Natrum Muriaticum 2X. That's salt. And it's about 10 mg per gram.

However, this product has been pretty successful in killing lice where other products have not. Granted, you can kill lice with olive oil by suffocating the critters, so I believe that the mechanism is the same and not the salt as it claims.

I am undecided. Should I buy it because it is effective or should I not buy it out of principle?

On another note, how the hell is this homeopathic? Under these circumstances Infant Tylenol is Acetaminophen 2x.

And seriously, I don't feel at all intimidated by all this. I generally don't share much personal information on the web, and I have taken advantage of targeted advertisements. Quite a few t-shirts and a meteorite were bought this way.

Even watching this episode, I'm still thinking, "Still worth it".

So, am I the only one?
Tech Talk / Web-building question
November 20, 2015, 11:07:46 AM
The company I work for, which is a local veterinary pharmaceutical company, has asked me to get a website going.

I was thinking of going with Squarespace (SS) but I don't know if there are other better sites. I don't know if it will matter that most of the traffic and business will be conducted in my country (Dominican Republic). I don't plan on using the website for selling products, just basic info, Contacts, product catalog and News.

I've got some questions.
1) Is there a better option for me? I know a bit of coding (Basic html stuff) but I'd rather not get involved with it. We could opt to get a local professional to make the site, but I feel that we can totally work with a DIY style site.

2) Is it OK if I host the website in say the US and have all the traffic from the Dominican Republic? Or should we opt to get local Hosting?

3) If after using SS or something similar for a time we opt to change hosting or host the site ourselves, will we be able to use the same design/code for our site? Will we be able to use the editor?

I might add some other questions later. But this is mostly concerning building a website for a small country and anydificulties that might arrise from using a US based hosting or webbuilding site.

Thanks in advanced.
I've been seen this meme for a while. Although I haven't seen it in my English circles but in my Spanish circles. It goes something like this. "Humans have no money to get water into arid places. But have enough to find it in Mars. The question is: Is there intelligent life on earth?"

I understand the sentiment and all. And I even use to belong to an non-profit that worked on engineering that problem. But I feel that it is misdirected. So it makes me uncomfortable! 

My response is usually along the lines of "money is allocated on many projects, some projects are worthless. And should be redirected." Can't really think of anything more to say. This water problem is expensive, mostly because moving water or cleaning water is really expensive.

So the real situation as I have witness it is that we (humans) have been trying to solve the water problem on earth.

Have any of you come across this meme, and if so how have you responded.

Or if you think of a better way for me to respond.

As a side note, I really would like to discuss similar situations like this in which people complain about a problem being solved when they think the effort should go elsewhere.
Podcasts / Hello Internet
August 26, 2015, 09:05:01 AM
Any listeners of Hello internet?

I find this to be one of my favorite podcasts each week. It's a conversation podcast between Brady Haran of Numberphile fame and GCP Grey of GCPGrey fame. There is such a dichotomy between these two that the podcast is very entertaining, and at first I was, Oh, man it's a bother to listen for 2 hours to random stuff, but in the end I ended up hearing everything. I think this is the Seinfield of podcasts.

This week, they were talking about what professions hear their podcasts during their work (if allowed), and a lady named Emily said she listened and worked on Cassini, and I'm like, oh, the only Emily I know in the Cassini project is Emily Lakdawalla. And I thought that was curious.

Anyways, they talk about various interesting topics and you can see how they (Especially GCPGrey) use critical thinking in their discussion.
A little help here.

I am aware that Gender Identity and Gender attraction are handled differently in the brain. I am also aware that this is not a choice by the person.

What I want is reliable science articles or science journals that tackle this topic and explain it in a way for laymen to understand. I'll look for it on my own, but my time is limited and the request came from someone saying that they want proof. So, I need to get it as soon as I can.

So, here I am crowd sourcing this. The information I primarily want is that being transgender or Homosexual is not a choice but rather ingrained in you. As an adder if there is science that talks about how the environment in which they grow up influences or not the gender identity/orientation of the person.
Games / Steam
March 25, 2015, 01:56:15 PM
There used to be a Steam thread here.

So I'll start another one. Share what games you have and play as well as your user and if you have steam codes to share you can do so here.

There is also a a Group called SGU-Fans group so you can join that and be friends.
Skepticism / Science Talk / Neanderthal
January 01, 2015, 11:17:51 PM
My sister in law asked me to help her son in a science report on Neanderthals. So I want to get cool info for the kid. 

Anybody know of any good kid friendly sources for Neanderthals. I think that cool things like that we are not decendent from them, what they ate and what tools they used, and how they mingled with homosapiens.

7 year old, UK standards public school here. But I really want the kid to enjoy searching for the science. I will try to convince his mom to visit a museum. I think the natural history museum in London has some cool stuff.
My sinuses are getting pretty bad lately. I am getting treatment from the doctor, but I also wanted to try the Neti pot.

So, any advice on buying a Neti Pot. Preferably through Amazon.

What should I consider, plastic, ceramic? Mixture temperature?


What movie, TV series, Book, radio whatever, has the best implemented and explained form of time travel? Why?

The problem is that every movie has the simplest for of time travel, forward at a rate of 1 second per second. However, movies that have time travel as a plot device, have different explanations. Then comes the plot-holes and the paradoxes.

Classic example is Back to the Future, and I think the time travel here is lame.

One of the best examples I can think of is in the cartoon Gargoyles, where the villain travels back in time to seek help from his past self to gain the ability to time travel. His parting words to his past self were, "Now go back in time, and do exactly the same thing I did."

I've heard this a lot from plenty of people, including my wife and mother. The problem is that I have just heard of it verbally. I did a bit of research and did not find anything conclusive.

If someone hits their head, do not let that person sleep for the next 1/2 hour. If that happens that might lead to brain damage or even death.

I am skeptical about this. My son (1.5 years) has fallen plenty of times and hit his head. My wife says don't let him sleep. The way I see it is that if someone hits their head hard enough to cause damage, they will tend to fall asleep.

So I am guessing that this is a confusion of cause and effect. Thinking that sleeping after the hit is what causes the brain damage, rather than sleep is caused by the brain damage. I keep telling my wife to ask the pediatrician, but she ignores me, because she is stubborn.

What does the skeptics think of this.
General Discussion / Flourescent Lighting
March 27, 2012, 10:14:06 AM
I have been wondering this for some time. I mostly see outlets selling Warm White (which is similar to incandescent light) and Daylight (which approximates, well daylight). Incandescent tubes are more common in Cool White.

The purpose of this exercise is to see the popularity of florescent lighting, give your opinion on the matter.

I could have been biased, having lived most of my life under incandescent lighting, so I would tend to prefer Warm White lighting. However, I find that Daylight illuminates so much more and the colors are much more vivid. I tend to always buy Daylight but it feels so artificial. 
Skepticism / Science Talk / Quake Alarm
February 02, 2012, 02:46:20 PM
Can somebody help me put the "skeptical eye" on this product.

Here in the Dominican Republic, we just had a relatively strong earthquake (6.0). We haven't had a strong earthquake in more than 10 years. But the DR is in the middle of several fault line, one of which devastated Haiti. The seismologists are expecting a really big one (7.0+) in the next 50 years. This last quake and 2 more unrelated quakes (5.0) has put many people going head over heals with worry. The government sent out a particularly good "what to do if" pamphlets and stuff. So, In light of this, my friend told me about this product and said that a mutual friend of ours already has one and got a 5 second warning for the 6.0 quake.

I am aware that advanced warning systems for earthquakes are (if possible) decades in the future. This product detects the P waves and gives an alarm about 5 to 10 seconds prior to the earthquake being felt (s-waves). I am skeptical, but I cannot find reliable evidence other than anecdotal evidence of this product.

On a side note, it got me wondering about the 5 to 10 second warning. I asked my friend, Who wants this product, what would she do with a 5 to 10 second heads up. She said it should give her enough time to go to her son's room and hug him.

Personally I like to detect earthquakes the old-fashion way, by feeling them.
Forum Games / Mnemonics Game
January 26, 2012, 05:06:33 PM
First Person Posts a common sequence of words, The next person posts an Unusual and preferably funny mnemonic to remember them and then they post the next sequence of words for the next person. The sequence does not need to have the mnemonic, but try to create an original mnemonic. The comic further explains the game.

First one:

Colors of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

My son is 7 months old. He can stand and with trouble walk while holding for dear life.

I'm considering getting a baby walker. (A friend offered hers so the expense of one is not part of the decision.) I am aware that there is research on it (vaguely) that suggest an increase in injury, and perhaps a delay in the ability to walk.

But after this weekend and a slight discussion between my sister (who favors not to get one) on the grounds of the research and my Brother who counters that everyone used it including me.

My mother says that I started walking at the age of 10 months, and i think my son will follow on those steps (Get it  ;)).

Anyways, I want to here the forum's opinion on this matter. Personal Experience and research that is out there that I haven't seen. I understand enough statistics and experimentation to understand all the terminology and significance.

I want to make a decision.
Skepticism / Science Talk / UFO sighting in London
June 27, 2011, 03:04:19 PM

So my wife points me to this video. So I had to look into it deeper. And I found that article which is obviously a believer.

The best part in that article is:
Quotebringing the same unanswered question to the fore - do UFOs really exist?
Well I just cracked up. Of course UFOs exist. If it's an object, and it's "flying", and it is not identified, Then It's by definition a UFO.

Well, in all seriousness. I'm inclined to say that this is a hoax. The second video is the one that is most revealing. The UFOs are not affected by the shaking camera, and remain in the same spot when the camera pans down. Like a badly done overlaid image. At the very least, I can say that the second video is a hoax. Third video seems to do the same. I cannot notice irregularities in the first video.