225 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Scienc... · 0 replies · +5 points

There are also two new books by Pullman in the world of His Dark Materials with a third coming...sometime. The new series is The Book of Dust. Mark might enjoy those too.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +6 points

Right. It's kind of difficult to argue both "Goblins shouldn't be slaves" and "These goblins are my property" at the same time. I mean, you can do it, but the arguments tend to undercut each other.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 2 replies · +6 points

Right. While modern British law doesn't have a concept of "vermin", in the England that the Discworld represents (if that makes sense), what makes something vermin is that it's an agricultural nuisance, and therefore has a negative value. Generally, when there were vermin laws, people were either obligated to kill vermin if they could, or got a bounty for it (if you remember the town in The Amazing Maurice paying for that tails) While Vimes is a Duke and his wife is a Ramkin, and he's the richest man around and could therefore be able to get away with making the lives of the people involved in this pretty difficult, he can't legally get them for poaching, because you can't poach animals that you have a duty or affirmative right to kil.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +2 points

Its certainly a story that upsets people, including Cory Doctorow.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +8 points

I would point out, though, that even skinlee chicken breast has three times the fat that wild rabbit has.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 6 replies · +23 points

Just as a note, rabbit starvation, which Miss Beedle talks about happening to the goblins, is a real thing. Rabbits are very low in fat, and rabbit meat is almost pure protein. Unfortunately, it's hard for the body to get calories out of protein. In order to so so, it's got to convert the protein to carbohydrates in the liver and kidneys, and your body can only convert so much protein into carbohydrates a day. This conversion also makes ammonia build up on your body, which can cause poisoning if it's not filtered out. And this very thing has happened mostly to arctic explorers who were forced to live on snow rabbits, but also native villagers, who found themselves in the same poaition.

The solution is what Ms. Beedle suggests...either ear the whole rabbit, including the fatty organ meats, or eat fruits and vegetables to give you the carbohydrates your body needs.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 1 reply · +3 points

Here's an article that summarizes a book written about firing rates in Vietnam

"When asked what portion of their fellow soldiers fired during any given engagement, the veterans estimated that about 84 percent of a unit’s men armed with individual weapons (rifles, pistols, grenade launchers, shotguns) and approximately 90 percent of those manning crew-served weapons (generally the M-60 machine gun) did so."

And concludes that a large number of the people who didn't fire didn't do it out of reluctance to take life, but with because they were in positions where it didn't feel safe to fire (pinned down with suppressive fire, worried they'd hit a US soldier), were disoriented or afraid (usually new soldiers who hadn't been in battle) or had technical roles, like platoon leaders engineers, forward observers, weapon loaders and spotters, and people like that, things that took priority over actually picking up a weapon and shooting.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 4 replies · +9 points

What that's a common belief, I'm not sure it's actually correct. The information comes from the book "Men Against Fire", by army historian SLA Marshall. The thing is, though, it came out after Marshall's death that he made the results up, and that the study was basically fake.

That study has also led to some pretty bad consequences. It's been embraced by someone named Dave Grossman, who, after he left the army, now goes around holding seminars for police departments designed to encourage them to "overcome their reluctance to shoot dangerous suspects". A lot of the increased police violence and police militarism can be laid at the feet of Grossman and that study in convincing the police that the public is a threat and that they need to be more aggressive.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +6 points

Ah, sorry. I just reread it. Its saying that the senior staff makes sure there are leftovers so they get to eat them, so Vimes doesn't feel bad about taking big portions.

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 1 reply · +4 points

How are you reading it? Because I think my read is similar to Mark's. He's making sure there are leftovers so the senior staff get meals from the estate