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This is the timeline where people read The Handmaids Tale and thought "hey, this Gilead place sounds great". The US is a weird country

I'm honestly not sure there's much hope of humanity collectively looking in the mirror and really try to fix this. It'd require drastic and far-reaching changes more or less now if we want to stick to the "1.5C" handwavy goal we've been globally discussing. And it's not just about insects, it's everything; ocean acidification, overfishing, logging, mining, meat production, electronics production, energy production methods and so on.

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: 0xchan  - A Change of Seasons

My thoughts exactly.

    the community governs itself by a Proof of Stake based voting system to keep universally unacceptable material out

Yeah, I'm sure that'll work well on the internet. Feminism is likely "universally unacceptable" at this point

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes

Charles Stross wrote a sort of lovecraftian alternate history spy thriller short story (novelette? Novella? Not sure what the word is in English) called A Colder War where both nuclear-powered aircraft and Project Pluto were built. I highly recommend checking it out, it's definitely one of my favorite short stories ever (although the online version I linked to is missing some stuff that was in the version published in eg. one of the The Year's Best Science Fiction collections by Dozois)

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Massive Mystery of Saturn’s Rings

    the rings are about half the mass of the entire Antarctic ice shelf, spread across a surface area 80 times that of Earth.

That's honestly somewhat surprising, at least to a complete layperson; I somehow expected much more mass

Something to note is that it might be that leghemoglobin (the I-can't-believe-it's-not-heme thing they use) might cause some, uh, adverse reactions in some people. I went to a place that had the v1.0 burgers (somewhere in SF, can't remember where) and I and a couple of colleagues tried one. Me and one guy got diarrhea afterwards, and it turned out that he'd actually had the same happen the first time he tried one (he originally chalked it up to something dodgy he ate before/after, not the burger.) I did find some anecdotal accounts of the same happening to other people, but didn't dig any further.

And I mean it's not like I was like primed to expect something horrible, or stomach upsets or anything. I've been a vegan for quite a while so I don't get the "eek there's no meat in this, it must be disgusting" reaction that some men seem prone to. It's still a protein, so it's always possible it can cause adverse reactions in some people

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Poe's Law in Plushy Form

    I want it to be perfectly clear that the men who served in our military spoke from their hearts in the Trumpy Bear commercial. Any vilification of a veteran should never be tolerated.

Emphasis mine. American military worship in a nutshell? I'm still not 100% sure whether this whole thing is just satire or not

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: "Where are you at right now?" Thread

That sounds pretty rough. Want to talk about it?

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: OC - Svalbard

I was only there for 3 days (long story), but I figure a week or two would probably be good, depending on what sort of activities you like. Pyramiden was great (although I would have loved to camp over there and explore it properly, instead of just the few hours we got during the day trip) but the boat ride over there from Longyearbyen takes like 3h, and we did this "walrus safari" thing where we got a private boat & guide who took us over to an island with a walrus colony, and we did some whale spotting (even saw a blue whale, holy crap).

It was summer when we went there (so at most a sweltering +10°C, apparently about as hot as it gets), but I think the next time I go over there I want to go during the winter (but after the sun's up, at first anyhow). Would love to do a looong ski trip (maybe even from coast to coast, but that'd be at least a few weeks' worth of skiing); that'll probably require glacier safety courses, but those might be doable there since they have a bazillion nature-oriented tour companies. There's probably snowboarding and downhill skiing to be had as well, but I'm more of a hiker / cross-country person so I don't really know. Generally if you're at all an outdoorsy type, you'll probably like it. Don't know how hiking in the summer would be, but my guess would be not too great since it seems like everything gets a bit muddy so it might be a bit of a slog (but this is based on very limited knowledge.)

One thing to keep in mind is that you really can't go anywhere outside Longyearbyen (the biggest settlement & "capital") without a guide, since you need someone with a rifle in your group due to polar bears (I'm not kidding.) You can try applying for a rifle permit if you know how to handle guns, but I don't know what the bureaucracy on that would be.

orbat  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: OC - Svalbard

Thanks! Glad you liked the pictures.

I heard so many stories about how the "lifers" of Svalbard (so people who've mostly only lived there, and aren't just there seasonally) can get a bit… strange. Considering how isolated some people choose to live, and how brutal the winters must be, it's not exactly surprising. And I don't mean any of this negatively, mind you; the locals I talked to (permanent or not) were really happy to share their experience, and I was happy to learn. Svalbard really, really resonated with me, and I don't fully know why. I just want to ski from one coast to the other and gawk at glaciers (because holy shit have you seen those damn things?), or go camping in Pyramiden, or see what the stars look like in the middle of nowhere when it's actually dark.

What did/does your grandfather do there, if I may ask? Miner?

Do you see me disparaging the attempt? Your comment has literally nothing to do with mine. The private sector and obscenely rich people are now at the forefront at least in the US due to their ridiculous fear of the government doing anything. My comment was related to this, not to the attempt itself as such

Oh yeah, my point was more that it's obvious in space exploration as well

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