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    [–] BBC News: Theresa May survives confidence vote EmeraldIbis 19 points ago * (lasted edited 2 hours ago) in unitedkingdom

    I really don't think the BBC is at fault. They interview the most high-profile figures they can get, and people like JRM approach them because they want to be on TV to push their message.

    [–] Theresa May to face UK leadership challenge EmeraldIbis 1 points ago in worldnews

    In the case of a lot of candidates coming forward there will be numerous ballots, each removing the lowest scoring individual until we have a winner.

    Just a small clarification. In the initial rounds the votes will be cast by the Conservative MPs, until there are two candidates remaining. The last two candidates will then face a vote by the party membership.

    Anyone can become a party member by paying a small annual fee. In reality there are only a relatively small number of party members, mostly elderly and rural, and notoriously conservative. Whoever the two final candidates are, the more right-wing of them generally wins. It's very important that the more moderate MPs work together to exclude extreme no-deal Brexiteers from the final ballot.

    [–] BBC Outside Source just said "Multiple reports" of 48 letters have been received. EmeraldIbis 56 points ago in unitedkingdom

    BBC now reporting that Graham Brady - the chairman of the 1922 committee - has "asked the PM for a meeting tomorrow". It looks like the threshold might actually have been reached this time.

    [–] "What's your major?" EmeraldIbis 68 points ago in GradSchool

    Personally I always think "you're so smart" is actually kind of insulting.

    It completely dismisses the hours and the years of hard work and dedication that it takes to get to the point of producing original research, and instead just chalks it up to some innate ability. There are a very small number of people out there who could be described as "geniuses", the vast majority of researchers are just ordinary people who were determined and hard working over a period of many years.

    [–] Why are unproductive things easier to do than productive ones? EmeraldIbis 0 points ago * (lasted edited a day ago) in AskReddit

    This is a very deep, multifaceted question which I'm in no way qualified to answer, but since this is Reddit and that never stopped anybody I'll answer anyway.

    I believe one part of the answer is to do with 'chaos theory'. Disorganised matter has a lower energy state than organised matter.

    The example my high school physics teacher used was a bowel of sugar. If you drop it, it's going to go everywhere, and it'll take a lot of energy to put it back into the bowl. You can never drop a bowl of sugar and have it land as a sugar cube. Matter naturally tends towards disorder, and requires an input of energy to make it more organised

    [–] Do you use a dishwasher? EmeraldIbis 1 points ago in AskEurope

    I currently live in a shared house which has a dishwasher, but I don't use it because I don't want to touch other people's dirty dishes.

    My previous couple of places didn't have one, but I grew up with one and when I eventually buy my own house I'll buy one.

    [–] Man held by armed police at UK Parliament EmeraldIbis 2 points ago in unitedkingdom

    There's something funny about the photo half way down (and in the thumbnail)...

    Baton, taser and machine gun all deployed in perfect harmony.

    [–] Do you call teachers by their first name in high school? EmeraldIbis 14 points ago in AskEurope

    You say it as if it'd be more likely to use titles in university than high school but in the UK it's the opposite. In school we have to use "Mr./Mrs. 'Last name'", but at university everyone's on first-name terms and a professor insisting on their title would come across as extremely arrogant. The use of titles is about children showing respect to adults - once you turn 18 you're accepted as an equal it's not necessary.

    [–] Why did Netanyahu defend Prince Salman for Khashoggi's death? Why is the Middle East warming up to Israel? EmeraldIbis 19 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago) in Ask_Politics

    The religious divide is often overstated. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia appeal to sectarian sentiments for political gain, but historically Sunnis and Shias have lived side-by-side without many problems.

    The real friction is about political system. Absolute monarchy vs radical theocracy. Saudi Arabia is an extremely pious country, which governs the homeland of Muhammad and the birthplace of Islam, including the most sacred Islamic sites. But absolute monarchy is not the 'true' Islamic form of government outlined in Islamic texts...

    The Iranian Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah - an absolute monarch similar to the Saudi king - and replaced him with a ruling oligarchy of religious clerics. That was a shock-wave to the Saudi monarchy because they could so easily be next. The Saudis have spent the last 40 years appealing to extreme ultra-conservatism, justifying their place in society with tradition and stability. The Iranian clerics seem extremely conservative from a Western perspective too but they actually follow a radical, revolutionary ideology - the idea that secular institutions should be overthrown and destroyed so that clerics can rule in the name of God. They are two political systems completely at odds.

    It's worth noting that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard is not tasked with defending Iran per se, but with defending and promoting the revolution and the Islamic republican system. Similarly, Saudi Arabia's elite National Guard Forces are charged specifically with protecting the House of Saud from all internal and external threats.

    [–] Theresa May pulls Brexit deal vote ahead of expected defeat EmeraldIbis 15 points ago in unitedkingdom

    Her childhood friends said that she was disappointed when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, because she was hoping to be the first female PM. She's clearly just power hungry.

    [–] BBC News: UK can cancel Brexit, says EU court EmeraldIbis 104 points ago in europe

    Legally yes but politically that would be pretty much impossible.

    [–] I'm a 21 year old American with a highschool Diploma, I don't seem able to get into any German Universities due to my marks during highschool. I came here to Bremen to attend University; but, now I just am interested in staying here with my fiancee, what are my options? EmeraldIbis 24 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in germany

    The other thing which really stuck out to me is the intention to have kids within a couple of years of graduating university... It's super uncommon in Europe to have children so young, and generally a bad idea as you won't be financially stable yet.

    Also it seems like OP only met his girlfriend in 2018 (!?) and now he's making major life decisions based on the assumption he's going to spend his life with her... Bad idea.

    [–] I watched some YouTube videos about white poverty in Northern England. Now I'm being suggested videos about the "white genocide"... EmeraldIbis 1 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in technology

    I know if I thumbs down an alien conspiracy video, it will stop suggesting documentaries about SETI or space exploration, because it is that dumb.

    I've noticed this a lot on Netflix too... Genuine documentaries are completely mixed up with pseudo-scientific and conspiracy theory documentaries. It's almost impossible to tell them apart at first glance. As you say, there's no distinction between a documentary about NASA and one about 'how the aliens built the pyramids'.

    [–] I watched some YouTube videos about white poverty in Northern England. Now I'm being suggested videos about the "white genocide"... EmeraldIbis 25 points ago in technology

    There's a difference between being shown different political views which are still within the realm of reality, and being shown political views which are based on outlandish conspiracy theories and lies.

    Promoting political discussion based on fact is great. Promoting extremist propaganda is not.

    [–] NHS told to ditch 'absurd' fax machines - The NHS will be banned from buying fax machines from next month - and has been told by the government to phase out the machines entirely by 31 March 2020. EmeraldIbis 3241 points ago in technology

    I used to work in an NHS genetics lab, and the use of fax was ridiculous.

    Every single patient report (more than 10,000 per year) was typed in Word, printed, signed by hand, sent by fax to the patient's GP practice, and then stored in an archive room which was absolutely overflowing with paper. I couldn't believe it at first, it was insane.

    These are confidential patient records, and they're laying around everywhere. It's not at all secure, and an enormous waste of resources (paper, ink, space, time). There was somebody with the full-time job of operating the fax machine - and God forbid they type in the wrong number because now confidential patient records are printing out in some random place somewhere in the world...