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User information for Ratty

Real Name Ratty   
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Nickname Ratty
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Homepage http://
Signed On Apr 11, 2005, 20:15
Total Comments 1144 (Pro)
User ID 22908
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
26. Re: No subject Dec 8, 2006, 16:22 Ratty
 
So if i stumble upon a patch of mushrooms in my yard, can i tell whether they are poisionous by just looking at them? is there a dead-set, obvious notifier that tells me they're poisonous?
There is NO such generic test for mushroom poisonousness. No kit, no quick little color-change test tube thingy, no visual appearance clues. Sorry. You simply have to learn not only the mushroom but any potential lookalikes.

and how does one become a mushroom hunter?
You find another experienced mushroom hunter to teach you and go out and hunt with you. There is NO other safe way. I have friends in the mycology department I go out hunting with. Though I know how to use a key, take a spore print and all that, I'd never eat anything I didn't first take to my expert friends a few times for identification until I really knew them intimately (the mushrooms, not the experts). Thus I'm confident about 6 or 7 varieties only--everything else I have identified first.

Every case of people dying from mushroom poisoning I have ever heard of were immigrants, usually slavic or asian. They were experts in their own country but not here. Every case. So pick your expert carefully.

It's a wonderful hobby. Just like easter egg hunting except for adults. Taking a long walk through the woods is fun. Taking a long walk while hunting for hidden treasure is even funner.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
13. Re: No subject Dec 8, 2006, 14:57 Ratty
 
Around here chanterelles grow like weeds. $13.00/lb at Berkeley Bowl, free when you pick 'em yourself. They are curiously devoid of taste though compared with ones that grow up near Mendocino (my favorite mushroom hunting grounds) or Oregon. Still, they have a nice texture and I use them in just about everything.

Hedgehogs are delicious ($19.00/lb) I've found the occasional patch here and there. They're my absolute favorite, except maybe of course boletes which are *awesome* when you can find them--Tilden's good for those though you have to sneak them out past the rangers.

I find bluetts on people's lawns and it's always cause for excitement when I spot a patch of shaggy manes I can rush home, dip in batter and deep fry before they melt away to inky nothingness.

*Rarely* I'll find morelles in new piles of landscaping bark imported from the east coast.

That's about my complete repertoire. I don't care for oyster mushrooms and I stay away from ones that look like anything else that might be poison. I mean I'm 98% sure they're safe but it's that 2% of uncertainty that scares me off.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. Weather Dec 8, 2006, 13:23 Ratty
 
I typically go mushroom hunting at the end of November but there has been so little rain here in the Bay Area that the mushrooms aren't mushing. I haven't actually checked, are we behind in our rainfall compared to other years?

 
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News Comments > Into the Black
19. Re: Judge rules paper money unfair to bl Nov 29, 2006, 15:31 Ratty
 
What is comes down to is a judge being an idiot.
I don't think so in this case. Judges interpret laws and Congress passed a law, the Rehabilitation Act, under which our paper money is a violation. We may argue that changing all of our paper money to accomodate a small portion of the population is unreasonable (or not) but it's not up to a judge to decide that. It's up to Congress who needs to modify the law if they want.
Great point, now let's wait until a politician points that out and forces all stores to get brail recipt machines!
Not under the Rehabilitation Act, which only pertains to federal services and agencies which receive federal funds. Let's not get all hysterical here.

This comment was edited on Nov 29, 15:35.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. Re: Bullshot Nov 12, 2006, 13:17 Ratty
 
That's a pretty good piece of nasty by Penn and Teller.
I didn't used to but in the last couple of years I've really come to despise Libertarians. They are more fanatically devoted to the purity of their ideology than the most stalwart communists ever were. Libertarianism looks good on paper--I always thought so at least--but *any* good philosophy will involve compromise, recognition that not everything is black and white, that different problems sometimes require different solutions,. Even the most promising and well-intentioned philosophy should actually have to *work* in the real world.

P & T (and other Libertarians), you could rebut them with the most reasoned, factual, and well crafted argument and their hands will still stay firmly fastened over their eyes and ears.

 
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News Comments > Morning Q&As
3. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 15:47 Ratty
 
I loved Ender's Game but yeah, OSC's politics have pretty much spoiled his stuff for me. Same for Terry Goodkind. I liked his stuff until I read the dedication to one of his books, can't remember what it said exactly but it was right wingy. Thought WTF? then read the book portraying a faction of people who wanted peace as stupid, moronic, ideologically intolerant, hopelessly naive tree hugger types who deserve the slaughter they are inviting. The comparisons to Iraq were overpowering. I think this was all before even the most die-hard right wing yahoos came to realize Iraq was a horrible, horrible mistake.

Unlike Goodkind though, I'll say I never noticed OSC's views coming through in his work. He did one series of books about a prehistorical North American civilization whose over mormonsim left a bad taste in my mouth but at least did not overtly offend (and after all, Battlestar Galactica was originally imbued with a great deal of Mormon symbology thanks to its Mormon creator). It was all his extra literary nut job rantings on his blogs and columns and what not that put me off him for good.

It's a shame when an artist's political or personal views and foibles get in the way of what may be a great opus of creativity taken on its own merits. But that's the way I feel.

 
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News Comments > Crysis Delay
21. Re: The future of PC gaming... Nov 3, 2006, 15:39 Ratty
 
I'd bet Crysis ends up being a Vista exclusive.
See, here I was thinking the opposite. The publishers demanded a console version. I was stunned when I learned that Crysis was PC-only and there weren't even any plans to port it to console. I couldn't believe, in this day and age, any company would do that. My guess is that EA said absolutely not, Crysis will come out for the console before or at the same time as it does for PC.

Parallel development is good for developers and publishers but it's never good for the games.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
15. Dog costumes? Oct 31, 2006, 14:08 Ratty
 
C'mon now. This time you have GOT to post some pictures.

 
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News Comments > Op Ed
1. Alienware Oct 31, 2006, 13:58 Ratty
 
When I was shopping around for my current computer I checked out some of the Alienware systems. Wondered if I was really crazy enough to spend THAT kind of money on a system that would be top of the line for at most 6 months. There was something about that site that pissed me off, I can't remember exactly what now. But it made me decide absolutely not to get an Alienware. Also I sent in a couple of emails asking for clarification of a couple of points and never got an answer.

For that kind of price you'd think they'd knock themselves over to answer a potential customer's questions.

Alienware's a big scam.

This comment was edited on Oct 31, 13:58.
 
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News Comments > Into the Black
6. Worst jobs Oct 28, 2006, 17:39 Ratty
 
A girl I knew who was a graduate student in animal biology or something like that had to masturbate hyenas and collect their semen on a regular basis.

A friend in high school got a job as an intern at NASA for a summer. His job: kill rats and crunch up their bones to study weightlessness in space. Not a gross or dirty job necessarily, but tedious. Day in and day out. I thought it was especially lousy because someone working for NASA ought to be doing something fun and exciting like going up in those weightless planes or landing a shuttle or something. Being a rat bone cruncher just seems unfair.

 
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News Comments > etc.
16. Re: How to block Battlefield 2142 ads Oct 23, 2006, 13:46 Ratty
 
I use Firefox, without adblock and I don't get ads. I have a hosts file installed from here (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm), which kills the ads, so I have no need for adblock.
I'm a pretty heavy hosts user too. The problem with hosts, though, is that it only recognizes exact URLs. I started using Adblock to remove those INCREDIBLY ANNOYING intellitext double-underline hyperlinks. I hate those things but since I've started using adblock I haven't seen a single one.
first thing I do whenever I visit a new site is to right click over ALL banners and have adblock cut them out.
The only time I block ads is when they're animated and distracting, or Flash ads--I hate those, or offensive and distracting, when they take up a lot of space at the top of a page and force me to scroll down everytime I visit, or when I site really goes completely overboard with ads taking up space everywhere.

I've never minded the modest unanimated banners at the top of page. Also don't mind the "interstitial" ads you come across when you're navigating from one page to the next. They're are a whole host of ads I don't mind. I do try and support sites I like by not blocking ads unless they force me to.

This comment was edited on Oct 23, 13:52.
 
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News Comments > Battlefield 2142 Personal Data Clarification
167. Re: No subject Oct 19, 2006, 13:52 Ratty
 
i remember when" *creak* Public TV (PBS) was ad-free too
OMG, I totally forgot about that. You're right. There was actually a time when there weren't commercials on "commercial free" public television. I remember that too. Insidious how things like that have a way of seeping into our perception of what's normal.

I also remember how the comics were on the back page of the newspaper. You could hold it easily in one hand while riding the bus or train and have a morning chuckle. They got rid of that long ago when they discovered they could charge a LOT more for a fullpage ad on the back page.

While we're at it, remember how Cracker Jacks had real actual toys inside of them. The kind you could swallow and choke on? Gosh, those were some good times.

 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
5. No subject Oct 19, 2006, 13:31 Ratty
 
When I was in junior high school the show everyone watched on TV was King Fu (that really dates me, doesn't it?). What a holy terror that show caused. Bullying rose dramatically and we nerds lived in constant fear for our lives as the bullies were desperately eager to try out all their king fu kicks and moves on the weaker elements of the herd.

If it's not a video game then it's a TV show or a movie. That's what angers me most about all this, the double standard. Television and movies get away with a whole lot more than video games do but since the old farts in charge are too senile to understand all that new techno-ology they lash out at it.

It's the pipes I tells ya, those dang blasted internet pipes.
This comment was edited on Oct 19, 13:32.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
4. Underground war room is being retired. Oct 18, 2006, 13:11 Ratty
 
But where are they going to keep the stargate??

 
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News Comments > Battlefield 2142 Personal Data Clarification
57. Re: No subject Oct 18, 2006, 13:01 Ratty
 
Like cable TV. Remember when we all bent over for that, too?
You guys are all probably too young to remember, but believe it or not there was actually a time when you didn't see ads before the movie in theaters. The most you got was "Let's all go to the movies, and buy ourselves some treats!" with the dancing soft drink cups and popcorn boxes.

I sure hope EA will refund people's money if after they've opened the box and started to install the game they decide the EULA is unacceptable. But what are the chances of that, right?

 
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News Comments > Sunday Consolidation
2. Wii Oct 15, 2006, 16:35 Ratty
 
So THAT'S what that was all about. I come in to work in the morning and there's this huge line of 18-22 year old kids standing in a line in front of EB that snaked clear down the street. I was thinking it was for the PS3 but remembered reading that each store only got 8, so that couldn't be it.

The interesting thing was that there wasn't one single female in the line. Not one out of at least 100 guys.

 
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News Comments > Prey Triton Solution
27. No subject Oct 11, 2006, 13:40 Ratty
 
Stupid question. Is there any way to buy a version of Prey that does not require any online authentication of any kind? The boxed copy may be especially designed to only work with versions already authenticated through Triton.

 
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
3. Re: Spamhaus Oct 9, 2006, 15:02 Ratty
 
If we're ever going to really take on spam then it'll be through a combination of technological methods, legal changes, and business practice changes.
Legal methods scare me. I do prefer the government keep their hands off the internet. Technological methods of course, but the spammers will always keep up.

There is currently a HUGE community of people willing and able to devote enormous amounts of time and effort to defeating spam and believe given free reign that they could conceivably do a pretty good job.

I'm not sure what you mean by legal loophole, but maybe I do. There would be potential for abuse in a shield like that. It would have to be crafted carefully but still be effective--you don't want something that ends up *protecting* spammers and you don't want spam filters that, say, filter out the competition--and it would expire after 5 years. You need that much time as an incentive, but with the opportunity at some point to gauge it's effectiveness and eliminate the loopholes that crop up.

It would not be perfect! Everyone would know that. But it's the best way I can think of, the only way really without completely redesigning the internet from scratch. Spam is becoming a huge problem. If you thought it was bad before, it's only getting worse. Something has to be done. It sickens me everytime I see ANOTHER effective, reliable antispam service brought down by lawsuits. Is that fair? Should that be tolerated?

 
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
1. Spamhaus Oct 9, 2006, 12:47 Ratty
 
I HATE the attempts by the US government to outlaw spam. As if that would make a whit of difference outside the US. And the idea of the no-email list they come up with--analogous to the no call list--is laughable. Just pathetic. Handing people's email addresses over to the spammers on a silver platter. What morons.

The best way to begin to counteract spam is not whitelists, new internet protocols that identify the user, legal threats, et al. The way to do it is to protect antispam organizations from lawsuits. It should be blanket protection for the next five years. Spamhaus is only the latest in a long list of effective antispam organizations that have been sued into oblivion by the spammers. Which is a pretty good indication of how much those guys are afraid of them.

 
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News Comments > Triton Closes - Prey for a Solution
27. Re: Aha! Oct 8, 2006, 14:30 Ratty
 
3D Realms already has the money from customers who purchased rented the game via Triton, so it doesn't care or even need to at this point. The Triton EULA probably absolves 3D Realms of any obligation for support of Triton customers.
I'm just cynical enough to agree with that. Triton/3D Realms or whoever should have guaranteed that the service was not shut down UNTIL a patch was ready. Anything else is unethical and plain slimy. Yes, companies can go under with very little notice, often less than a day. That being the reality, they should have prepared patches for every single game they crippled at the time they were distributed.

But that's thinking WAY too much about users. They only care about their customers (Hint: we ain't their customers) and making a buck.

Why is 3D Realms becoming associated more and more with shady and dishonest business practices?
This comment was edited on Oct 8, 14:32.
 
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1144 Comments. 58 pages. Viewing page 41.
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