Nix

Nix

  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    I can't stand any cultivars of B. oleracea. Yep, this is genetics: the bitterness and smell (in those of European ancestry, anyway) come from the same source: an unbroken TAS2R38 gene, so you can taste (and smell) phenylthiocarbamide. I...
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    Greg: there is a caveat here in that until historically very recently (as in, some time post-1970s) it was commonplace for stillborn and dead-just-post-birth babies in the UK as well as Ireland to be just dumped in mass graves with...
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    Also note that this means that ant farming of aphids is the exact opposite of human farming of cattle, as if cows and chickens were manipulating humans into farming them so as to maximize their numbers. Mind you, if they...
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    Is this a love story? Here's another one. Some species of ant farm aphids, right? And obviously this is beneficial for the ants because they get free food and beneficial for the aphids because the ants defend them (to...
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    Heh. If this is literally "a love story between a human and an alien", and given that we're taking the love as read, thus they are similar enough to us for love to be possible, well then there's one really...
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    Truly, there is no love greater than that between parasite and host! Not exactly a pleasant love story for the ages though. Not to us, anyway......
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    But, returning to our six-legged muttons, there is no reason to believe that aliens will have enough of a mental match to establish reliable communication on complex topics, let alone become a love match. Quite. Haddock and fruitflies are...
  • Commented on Finding true love in the cosmos
    David L@84, the best thing about the Omphalos hypothesis in my opinion is that it led to this work of Marcus Rowland's (crossover fanfic, Buffyverse x DS9, sorta): https://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-2106/MarcusRowland+Omphalos.htm Starts out fairly normal as Star Trek fanfic goes, ends up...
  • Commented on Place your bets
    FOXP2 is also active in the endothelium, the achilles tendon, various muscles, the gastric mucosa, the developing lung, and sperm (but that last can be discounted: almost everything is active there, sperm are weird and crazy), as well as lots...
  • Commented on Place your bets
    Case in point: the time Google asked me to come give a keynote at one of their open days. 20 minute talk, this time next week, in ... Palo Alto? "Yes, we can pay for your flights. Sorry there's no...
  • Commented on Place your bets
    Is there proof that thought requires words? As anecdata, I had a fever many years ago in which I stopped thinking in words for almost a day. I didn't stop thinking: I was just entirely relying on things like...
  • Commented on Strong and Stable!
    When the first 33% leads for Labour came out, a few weeks ago, projections showed this leading to the Tories having a grand total of three seats. This might be worse. (Presumably they'd be even less well-distributed than the Lib...
  • Commented on I can't even
    This is really annoying. Every time something like that is posted I think "no, of course not, there's only one reason: OGH has good taste" and then I realise there's another Charles in an important position now and the comment...
  • Commented on I can't even
    Suffering is reserved for "those people" and it is very much "those people" to them, they're mostly nice white middle class property investors who have done very well out of the house price and rent increases they created. Of course......
  • Commented on London Bridge
    128: I was wondering about the speech of monarchy thing. In particular, when a queen dies and is replaced by a queen, the queon emitted must flavour-shift to a kingon in flight, and the opposite happens when a king dies,...
  • Commented on London Bridge
    AlanW@20, bizarrely, the Last Night of the Proms (and the night before) has been cancelled. You'd think a night of pomp and flummery like the Last Night would be just the sort of thing they'd want to keep, but no....
  • Commented on London Bridge
    Charlie@4, personally I'm planning to get a PineTime, the first smartwatch to even slightly appeal to me, because it's not based on mobile-phone-level tech: it's an embedded-class CPU (a Cortex M4 SoC with 64Kib RAM and 4MiB flash), so the...
  • Commented on London Bridge
    I note that the government has stated that until mourning is over, all press announcements and other communication from government will cease, except via gov.uk. Gosh, that really does sound like an excellent way to bury bad news, doesn't it?...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Heteromeles, the Trump Organization is much crazier than that. Largely because no banks would deal with him otherwise (not even Deutsche), Trump is personally liable for at least the debts incurred by the swarms of LLCs in his (dis)"Organization". And...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    Hmm, does the Guardian not count as the Press? because it's up in arms on this, article after rightly-angry article, including an angrier editorial column than I've read in a long time. I mean the Telegraph isn't talking about it...
  • Commented on A Quick Infomercial
    Almost cartoon-villain "capitalists" ... right up to hilarious fights between the still-living Barclay twin and the heirs of his dead brother (while his brother was still alive), including secret spying in the Ritz (when they owned that), flying lawsuits...
  • Commented on A Quick Infomercial
    unless a dinosaur-killer asteroid gets us first Oh why did you have to say that?! asked to investigate why human DNA traces are showing up in the butcher counter produce of a supermarket This is fairly routine, because meat...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    IT could also be that he's lying to the taxman. Honestly, does anyone believe he isn't? He lies to everyone else! (In particular, there are rumours of very large hidden loans to himself to allow him to claim back taxes...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    The epithelial cells it infects are all over the body, and it infects (and thus disables) a receptor that appears to be a blood-pressure sensor. This also explains the clotting problems: a severe infection causes the body to presume that...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    Only two weeks at once? Naaah. My next-door neighbour bought twelve weeks of supplies at once, because she's 96 with no Internet or mobile phone and is self-isolating for all that time. I do wonder how many people did that,...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    Paying for stuff works pretty well actually, as long as you have a credit or debit card. The problem is entirely that the whole thing has seized up under the load as something usually used by at most 20% of...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    I personally don't think I'll ever go back to grocery-shopping the way I used to. This new method is SO much better. The new method of desperately dashing to one of a few big supermarkets that remain open, every...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    Newspapers that haven't already got a strong online presence (like the Independent) or a strong subscriber base (like the Economist), especially those like the Metro that rely largely on passing commuter traffic, are in catastrophic trouble as well. In some...
  • Commented on Update to Public Appearances in a time of pandemic
    That's not going to work. You can't rely on antibody tests like that: they have a false negative rate (though a low one if the test is not FUBAR), but more importantly the immune system does not detect invaders and...
  • Commented on Infomercial Interlude
    This time round, no single person died—but we got the global COVID19 pandemic instead. Please don't rewrite it again: the Sun would probably go supernova. Oh wait, you've done that one, too... :)...
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