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Topics - lvstephanie

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Off-Topic / Back-up / Reverse Lights on Parked Cars
« on: December 30, 2016, 09:39:56 am »Message ID: 1113643
Whoever thought that this "feature" was a good idea should be fired. I just spent a few minutes at the local shopping mall waiting for a car to back-up out of a parking spot, only to find out that the car had already been parked and its occupants had already left to go into the store. I guess I'm not the only person that thinks this is a design flaw instead of a feature. From what I've read online, this is a "feature" on GM cars in which any time a person hits a button on their key fob, it lights up the headlights as well as the reverse lights. I guess the idea is that it is to help illuminate the car to help people navigate to and around their car in the dark. Although this makes sense, it does not make sense to use the reverse lights for that illumination, esp. since people have been accustomed to seeing the reverse lights as meaning that the car is backing up. If they really wanted the illumination around the car, why not incorporate puddle lights to this feature as other models do under their side-mirrors or along their undercarriage. After all, the point of this feature is to provide illumination, not necessarily showing the light source itself as in other signaling lights. Keep the reverse lights as a signal for a car in reverse and add separate illumination lights to help with the navigation.

Off-Topic / Back to the Future Day (1 year late)
« on: November 10, 2016, 12:43:30 pm »Message ID: 1104345
The most prescient movie had another prophesy come true albeit a year after their prediction.... We now have:
  • Self-lacing shoes = Nike Mag
  • hoverboard = Lexus Hoverboard
  • Cubs win World Series
  • Pres. Biff = Pres.-elect Donald Trump

Off-Topic / Pop Legend Bobby Vee Died Today
« on: October 24, 2016, 09:49:58 am »Message ID: 1100503
60's pop / rock legend died today RIP. He had quite a musical career making several Hot100 hits including several that made it into the top 10. You will be missed.

Take Good Care of My Baby

Support / None of the Videos Credit
« on: August 18, 2016, 10:09:14 am »Message ID: 1086885
Today I just went through every single offer of the Video page, and not a single one would credit! This is very frustrating, esp. when you have to complete 5-cents to do the PTC. Usually I would not fault FC for what their advertisers don't credit, but when every single video offer doesn't work, I'm beginning to think that there is some issue between FC and their advertisers such that the advertisers aren't able to validate with FC that the offer had been completed. Hopefully I will have luck tomorrow so that I can do my daily PTC...

Off-Topic / 2016 is the New 1990's
« on: July 14, 2016, 09:31:16 am »Message ID: 1079685
It seems like in so many facets of society, we are reliving the 90's... We'll be having a Clinton making a run for presidency, Pokemon is the latest craze in the gaming market, Pearl Jam is touring the US, and Independence Day is out in theaters. Have you noticed any other 90's icons that are making a resurgence this year?

Off-Topic / Is FC a Microcosum of Parkinson's Law?
« on: July 05, 2016, 11:55:39 am »Message ID: 1077889
C. Northcote Parkinson (no relation to the disease) was an English author that has written several books describing several behavioral observations esp. as it relates to the business environment. He was the one that coined the phrase that "work will expand to the length of time required to complete it" meaning that if a project is given a schedule, people will work to the schedule's complete length, not to the work's completion. Another of his ideas has to do with what he considers the Law of Triviality (or Parkinson's Law of Triviality). This adage states that more people will be passionately involved in a debate the more trivial the topic is. The law is also called "Bike Shedding" as a tongue-and-cheek nod to one of the more famous examples that Parkinson often used to explain his observation. The story goes that there is a business meeting to discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant in some city. The meeting itinerary includes a list of 3 items for topic during the meeting: 1) the feasibility of constructing the $1-billion plant, 2) discussion of creating a bicycle shed for the plant's employees, 3) and the design of the plant's stationary logo. The meeting begins with the first topic of the feasibility of the entire project; as most of the people in this meeting have underlings that know the specifics of material costs, environmental impact studies, legalities, etc. the people in the meeting just assume that their underlings have done the proper research, so this part of the meeting goes rather quickly with very little discussion before a final vote is taken to start the plant's construction. The 2nd topic about the bike shed lasts a little longer, however. Since everyone in the meeting can imagine what a bike shed is, everyone feels that they have something "important" that they can add to the discussion. However as the discussion turns from the size of the shed (something everyone can provide input for) to something a little more esoteric like the material that should be used for the shed, fewer people chime in, and shortly thereafter the vote is taken effectively silencing any more debate on this topic. The final topic of the meeting is about the company's logo that has already been designed and approved; the final bit of detail remaining on the topic is whether the dot above the letter "i" should be colored blue or green. Since there is nothing specific that people in the meeting need to know in order to make a comment about this topic, everyone is therefore an "expert" in deciding which color to use. Everyone has their own opinion, and because opinions are related to personal feelings, everyone thinks their ideal is the "best" and those that criticize the idea are being mean to the person. As such, everyone has a lot to talk about this topic, at times with heated debates between some of the meeting's members. After going on for several hours, the discussion is tabled until the next meeting so that the members can research the topic more in-depth. In other words, for topics that are more complex (and are usually more important for the success of the actual project), the fewer people will have knowledge of all the information needed to make an effective decision and therefore fewer people will feel the necessity to give their 2-cents, while topics that require very little actual knowledge and rely more upon personal feelings will have more people talking about the topic even though in the grand scope of things the topic is less important to the overall success of the project.

I've noticed some of these things myself when looking at the different topics in the FC forums.... Some topics that are more opinion oriented (eg "How Do You Like Your Eggs Cooked?") tend to have more members making a comment in the thread than those topics that require more thought and knowledge behind it (eg "The Motive for the Pulse Nightclub Shooting"). Also, some topics are phrased in a certain way so as to use Parkinson's Law to gain more discussion on a topic. For example, notice that I didn't title this topic as "Is Parkinson's Law an Actual Phenomenon?" but rather asked if FC expresses this law of triviality. Were I to use the former title for my topic, people would a) have to have a decent understanding of the law and b) be able to describe situations where they have seen this occur. But since everyone reading the FC forums have some opinion about the forums, by positioning my question in relation to an opinion that all readers should have at least a general / gut feeling for, more FC members may be inclined to respond.

Off-Topic / Words Have Meaning; So Does Grammar
« on: June 28, 2016, 09:42:56 am »Message ID: 1075923
I recently have been hearing this national ad on the radio about addiction treatment that has (to me) a glaring grammatical mistake that completely changes the meaning of the line. The line is from a customer relating her experience with this company's service (for her husband's addiction, I believe) stating that they found a treatment center that accepted his insurance, and they got him in "quick". Although they actually meant "quickly" as an adverb to describe how they got him in, the word "quick" in the actual context would be an adjective with the only noun it could describe being the pronoun "him". In other words, it could have been said that they got her quick husband into the treatment center. When the word "quick" is used as an adjective, it means alive as in the phrase "the quick and the dead". To which I thought sarcastically, "Wonderful! They accepted his insurance, and he didn't even need to die first before being let in!"

Debate & Discuss / SCotUS Decision on Texas Abortion Regulations
« on: June 27, 2016, 01:21:05 pm »Message ID: 1075699
Wow, I'm a little shocked by this latest decision today. The case was about some laws that Texas had enacted a few years ago in an attempt to regulate abortion facilities in the state, specifically that abortion facilities be built with similar requirements as outpatient surgery providers as well as requiring that the doctor has admittance privileges to a hospital no more than 1/2 hour away. Supporters of the laws say that this is to ensure that the legal act of abortion is done in a manner that is the safest way for the woman getting the abortion. Opponents argue that these laws limit women's free-access to abortion clinics. Today the Supreme Court decided in a 5-3 vote that the laws were too burdensome "on women" in finding an abortion provider and so ruled them as unconstitutional.

Although I don't know all of the specifics of the case, I think that this is a horrid decision. On the one hand, one of the main arguments for allowing legal abortions is the fear that women in dire need of an abortion would resort to black-market facilities of questionable safety procedures in order to have an illegal abortion. Even in many of the justice's comments on the case as well as others that praise this ruling continue to drum the need to provide free-access to abortion facilities for the safety of the woman. "When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in a brief concurring opinion. Yet the specific regulations appear to directly support the idea of providing a safe environment in which to have that legal abortion, not just to impede access. Under the Texas laws, the abortion facility would be very similar to other health facilities that also offer outpatient services; now abortion clinics can be just a van in a back-alley -- the exact same thing that people feared would happen with making abortions illegal except that now it is blessed by the State as being legal.

I also think that this decision weakens the argument for regulations in general (which might not be a bad thing, coming from my Libertarian perspective). The decision basically said that there were no demonstrable need for the regulations which impede a woman's access to abortion. To me, that's like saying that since there haven't been any rodents found at a restaurant, that regulations for the cleanliness for the restaurant are too burdensome to the customer in finding a place to eat as is our constitutional right. The whole point for having certain regulations governing some of our rights is so that foreseeable accidents don't occur. Although we all have the right to eat whatever we want, we have the FDA to regulate foods so that the customer knows that what they purchase will be safe to consume. Likewise I see the Texas laws as just providing the customer the knowledge that the abortion will be conducted with the woman's utmost care in mind. Will SCotUS use the same argument to find anti-gun legislation unconstitutional for the same reason (esp. considering that the constitution explicitly states that such a right shall not be infringed in any way)? Unfortunately I highly doubt it.  >:(

Debate & Discuss / Brexit
« on: June 24, 2016, 10:06:20 am »Message ID: 1075014
The United Kingdom just voted to exit the European Union, and as a result has sent the world's financial markets into a tailspin amidst the uncertainty. The EU is a government body of the member nations that supersede the member countries own laws (supposedly for the benefit of the entire union). Some think that this will be good for Britain in that they will be able to make their own laws, esp. on topics such as immigration and trade. Others view this as Nationalism that may lead to trade wars and xenophobic laws. What do you think? Will this Brexit bode well for GB or is this the harbinger for the end of the UK and its power / influence in the world?

Debate & Discuss / It's Not the Caitlyn's to be Worried About; It's the Jared's
« on: April 21, 2016, 10:11:05 am »Message ID: 1061393
We are seeing a huge push for transgender rights lately. North Carolina has recently gotten a lot of flack for their law that requires people to use gender-specific rooms (eg bathrooms) that correlate to the person's gender that they were born with. In fact, Great Britain has issued a travel advisory to their citizens warning them about traveling to NC in light of this new law. However those in favor of the law argue that opening bathrooms to transgender people may lead to sexual predators abusing the laws to gain entrance to gender-specific rooms to further their deviant sexual desires.

A case in point... In February, a man in Washington state walked into a Seattle Parks & Rec. pool, going into the women's shower-room to change (see this article from the Washington Times). When confronted by other women who were changing there as well as pool staff asking him to leave or to use their family changing room, he replied that it was his right to change in that room. This is because in December of 2015, a state board had issued a ruling that transgender identifying people were allowed to freely use any public, gender-specific rooms that they wished to use. Furthermore, as this was seen as the transgender's civil right, anyone that felt embarrassed by having a transgendered person change with them, it was that person's responsibility (not the transgender person) to find alternate accommodations. After the man finished swimming, he went back to the women's room to change where there was now a youth swim team having practice. Thus the man was now easily able to view underaged girls in various states of undress. Since the man eventually left and because no sexual assault actually took place, the police never were contacted.

Proponents of gender-neutral bathrooms and change-rooms say that unisex bathrooms have shown no increase in sexual-related crimes. “There have been no sex offenders that have been posing as transgender people to get into bathrooms,” Democratic state Sen. Pramila Jayapal said during floor debate, according to The Seattle Times. However as this case points out, not all situations lead to the police being contacted nor anyone being charged with criminal activity. Thus “If you were to look into this incident, because police weren’t called, there’s no paper trail that the average person could discover indicating this issue happened. The only reason we’re aware of the incident is due to a KIRO Radio listener who spoke up. So it’s problematic for activists to claim these incidents don’t happen if police aren’t always being called.” as a Seattle-local radio host illustrated.

Additionally,  Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington pointed out “On what basis could law enforcement or a judge say, ‘You were not identifying as a woman?’ Because it’s a self-identifying standard. How do you disprove that somebody is not actually identifying as a woman? The answer is, you can’t.” This also means that other sex offenses that don't amount to assault, such as "Peeping Tom" laws, couldn't be used either for the same reason.

Debate & Discuss / Leave Your Morals at Home & Do Your Job
« on: April 21, 2016, 08:59:55 am »Message ID: 1061380
I heard that Joe Walsh, member of the Eagles, cancelled a planned concert in Ohio this summer. He has decided that he will purposely discriminate against potential concert goers -- his customers -- because their morals conflict with his own. "I cannot in good conscience endorse the Republican party in any way." So according to the Left, it is perfectly fine to discriminate against a person that doesn't espouse the same Leftist values, but have a baker refuse to make a gay wedding cake by saying "I cannot in good conscience endorse the LGBT community in any way" and travel advisories will be issues against even traveling to that state.   :confused1:

Off-Topic / Having Fun in Freezing in MN
« on: January 20, 2016, 08:54:04 am »Message ID: 1040602
Up here in MN, we have just left a long cold spell during which we had 68 consecutive hours of below-zero temps. But the cold never keeps us Minnesotans down what with our ice castles, winter festivals, and other outdoor activities and events. This latest cold spell introduced a new trend to add to the list... People around the Twin Cities have been setting up new outdoor decorations -- frozen pants! Just like with Elf on a Shelf, people have been putting the inanimate frozen pants in various settings and positions such that they appear to be filled with a living person instead of just ice. Here are a couple examples that people have captured in pictures:

Off-Topic / Jessica Jones (Netflix)
« on: November 25, 2015, 08:42:55 am »Message ID: 1027466
Jessica Jones is a new series on Netflix that was just released earlier this month. It is based on the Marvel comic book character by the same name. Jessica is a private eye that has some supernatural powers, most notably super-human strength.

So far I am really enjoying the series. Although it is based on a comic book superhero, the supernatural elements don't seem so pervasive -- more like the new Gotham series and less like Michael Keaton's Batman movie. I think it helps that she is a PI and tends to use her sleuthing skills rather than her supernatural powers. I was wondering if anyone else has watched this yet (JediJohnnie?) and what they thought of the series thus far...

Debate & Discuss / Ethics in Automated Vehicles
« on: October 28, 2015, 08:11:56 am »Message ID: 1021240
I saw an article about this on Facebook and I thought this would lead to an interesting discussion here....

The article was about the results from a consumer research survey conducted through Amazon's Mechanical Turk program (which BTW for people that like the Task section for earning, this is another good on-line earning programs). The study posed several different situations to determine whether people would be in favor of an automated vehicle (AV) making ethical decisions even if it may hurt the driver in the process.

An example question was to imagine that you are the sole occupant in an AV. You turn a corner and suddenly find a crowd of 10 people in the middle of the street with concrete walls / barriers lining both sides of the street. The AV has determined that given the distance away from the crowd as well as the braking speed of the vehicle, that just slamming on the brakes will result in some causalities from the crowd. If the AV is fitted with ethic decision making logic, it may, instead of braking and crashing into the crowd of people, it would rather steer the vehicle into one of the barriers instead; the ethical idea being that saving 10 people is more ethical than saving just one.

If / when AVs become a viable option for consumers, do you think that AV's should include some type of ethic decision making logic? Do you think that laws should force manufacturers to include such logic? Are there certain facts that you'd want the logic to include beyond just the data from the vehicle (eg number and age of occupants, crowd is acting legally, etc.)? Is "saving more people" / "the greater good" enough to be used for such logic, or are there circumstances in which saving more people may actually not be the most ethical decision?

Debate & Discuss / Case of Racism or Overprotective Zero Tolerance Policy?
« on: September 16, 2015, 08:32:34 am »Message ID: 1011760
14 year-old Ahmed Mohamed has been suspended by his school for 3 days, and may face criminal charges. His "crime"? Making a digital clock to show off to his engineering teacher. This young 9th grader from Irving, Texas has been known for his technical / engineering prowess, built a simple digital clock on Sunday night. However after bringing it into his high school, he was arrested and taken out of school in handcuffs for making what some teachers and police say was a fake bomb. Mind you that Ahmed himself had never claimed that it was anything other than a clock. Even when police (illegally, without his parents present) questioned him, he told them that it was just a clock, and it was the police that said it looked like a "movie bomb". See here for an official news story.

So is this a case of racism, esp. considering his name and religious affiliation with Islam? Or a case of schools' zero-tolerance policy going too far (like the kids that get suspended for pretending to shoot a leaf like a gun)? A combination of both?

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