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#51 2004-04-29 14:25:29

Hazer
Member
From: Texas/Oklahoma
Registered: 2003-10-26
Posts: 173

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Which is why my particular breed of common sense dictates that we don't step out into the cosmos unarmed.  I've read some of Turtledove's works, but there's only so much time you can spend in a 50 degree(F) bookstore.

And in every war, it has always been the smarter, better equipped and more skilled entity who has won.[/quote:post_uid0]

Well said. (Now can we move some of that military budget to developing a planetary Navy?)[/color:post_uid0]


In the interests of my species
I am a firm supporter of stepping out into this great universe both armed and dangerous.

Bootprints in red dust, or bust!

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#52 2004-04-29 14:57:45

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Of course, I do accept that the psychology of these aliens could be vastly different than logic might dictate (ie, they're imperalistic morons who think procuring resources in intelligent systems rather than non-intelligent systems is a good idea), [/quote:post_uid0]

What if it's not about resources? Perhaps earth-like planets are rare, and therefore valuable to any who evolved in similar environments. In that case, the planet [i:post_uid0]is[/i:post_uid0] the resource, and it's still easier, more efficient, to destroy the inhabitants than look elsewhere. Such a position is perfectly rational, despite being utterly at odds with your reasoning.

And in every war, it has always been the smarter, better equipped and more skilled entity who has won.[/quote:post_uid0]

No argument. In which case we have work to do.  big_smile

If nothing else building a massive space navy creates jobs, thus enlarging the tax base to pay for social programs for all the people who don't have jobs.  Or just solve that and build a bigger space navy...  Maybe it's not just about kickin' alien butts across the cosmos.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Machiavelli teaches that when a Prince desires to hold on to distant territories, settlers and colonists are more effective and less expensive that standing armies or navies. The one generates revenue and good will, the other consumes revenue and good will.

The Chinese cannot possibly challenge the US Space Command militarily in the next several decades, perhaps for the next century. But, if they are first to build permanent farms and mining colonies, they may well win the race for space without a significnat space navy.

Are we playing Chess, or Go?[/color:post_uid0]

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#53 2004-04-29 15:00:05

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Three card monty. The question is, who is the dealer?[/color:post_uid0]

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#54 2004-04-29 15:08:32

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Machiavelli teaches that when a Prince desires to hold on to distant territories, settlers and colonists are more effective and less expensive that standing armies or navies. The one generates revenue and good will, the other consumes revenue and good will.
[/quote:post_uid0]

So presumably, the hypothetical hostile aliens would attempt to "settle" us. Might as well it make it hard for 'em.

The Chinese cannot possibly challenge the US Space Command militarily in the next several decades, perhaps for the next century. But, if they are first to build permanent farms and mining colonies, they may well win the race for space without a significnat space navy.
[/quote:post_uid0]

I'm not arguing with any of this, military involvement need not detract from other approaches, they can support one another. When you get right down to it, I'm looking favorably on space navies for reasons other than pure military might. Big honkin' space dreadnoughts are not required to settle and develop Mars, but they may one day be [i:post_uid0]desirable[/i:post_uid0] to discourage others from doing the same at our expense.

Are we playing Chess, or Go?[/quote:post_uid0]

It's always chess.

But then I play chess aggressively, which in this context would translate to a mining/research colony on Mars and a "spacedock" in orbit.

We'll pay for it all later big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#55 2004-04-29 15:39:29

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]My point is that space navies and "Star Wars" programs without a simultaneous settlement plan will prove useless is the very long run.

If "exploration" is merely looking around and then coming home, then PlanBush is worse than useless. If PlanBush is a precursor to actual settlement then i am in favor of it, even if we quibble about details.

Yet does Don Rumsfeld want ANY civilians in space, getting in the way of US Space Command operations?

= =

Always chess? Dude, that's how we lost Vietnam.[/color:post_uid0]

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#56 2004-04-29 17:38:25

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

What if it's not about resources? Perhaps earth-like planets are rare, and therefore valuable to any who evolved in similar environments. In that case, the planet is the resource, and it's still easier, more efficient, to destroy the inhabitants than look elsewhere. Such a position is perfectly rational, despite being utterly at odds with your reasoning.[/quote:post_uid0]

Hmm, I disagree about efficiency. A planet is a highly inadequate use of resources. Rings, ala The Culture, would be a far more efficient use of resources. Build rings orbiting around a sun, using all the elements in a given solar system, and you will be able to support trillions upon trillions of your own species. A planet, however, is limited to a few hundred billion, at most.

Dang all those wasted resources underground! smile

Of course, you're right, it's probably easier to take over an earth-like planet than it is to build ring hubs. Certainly it takes less technology (and I would presume that these imperalists are not very technologically advanced, at least from a survival standpoint).

No argument. In which case we have work to do.[/quote:post_uid0]

Don't see why, there's nothing out there suggesting that this is what's going to happen. smile

I'm with Bill here. We need expansion/settlement capablity, not defensive/offensive capablity. I would take self replicatable robots against super plasma guns any day. At least the ability to expand and settle can be adapted to defend; the converse is not true.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#57 2004-04-29 17:45:16

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Josh, I prefer replicating organic carbon units. With sweet voices and pretty smiles.  :;):[/color:post_uid0]

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#58 2004-04-29 17:56:31

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Can't disagree with you there.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#59 2004-04-29 18:24:05

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

My point is that space navies and "Star Wars" programs without a simultaneous settlement plan will prove useless is the very long run.
[/quote:post_uid0]

Yes, a [i:post_uid0]purely[/i:post_uid0] military approach is undesireable, but together with settlement activity it can be a significant boost.

Always chess? Dude, that's how we lost Vietnam.[/quote:post_uid0]

[i:post_uid0]Bad[/i:post_uid0] chess is how we lost Vietnam.  big_smile

Hmm, I disagree about efficiency. A planet is a highly inadequate use of resources. Rings, ala The Culture, would be a far more efficient use of resources. Build rings orbiting around a sun, using all the elements in a given solar system, and you will be able to support trillions upon trillions of your own species. A planet, however, is limited to a few hundred billion, at most.

Dang all those wasted resources underground!

Of course, you're right, it's probably easier to take over an earth-like planet than it is to build ring hubs. Certainly it takes less technology (and I would presume that these imperalists are not very technologically advanced, at least from a survival standpoint).[/quote:post_uid0]

I'm assuming a level of technology that can be reasonably extrapolated from our current point. If you can make rings around stars or Dyson spheres, the whole equation changes. But there's a wide area between that and us.

Besides, I for one [i:post_uid0]like[/i:post_uid0] planets. It might be as simple as that for a potential alien aggressor. While highly advanced technology allows incredible things to be achieved, it also leads to laziness.

"Why should we build this stupid ring, that'll take years. Why can't we just take this planet with the monkeys on it? I want sky now, this ship sucks."       ???

I'm with Bill here. We need expansion/settlement capablity, not defensive/offensive capablity. QUOTE]

Overall I agree. My point is that defensive/offensive capability is a natural development of expansion/settlement, so we should use that to further settlement.[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#60 2004-04-29 18:52:53

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Machiavelli teaches that when a Prince desires to hold on to distant territories, settlers and colonists are more effective and less expensive that standing armies or navies.[/quote:post_uid0]

If you want to gain territory then this is true.  However, if your goal is simply to destroy your enemies, different rules apply.

It's always chess.[/quote:post_uid0]

In this case I would say that it is more like creigspeil (chess variant where you cannot see the opponent's movements) than normal chess.

Anyway, 1. e4[/color:post_uid0]

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#61 2004-04-29 20:21:10

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Overall I agree. My point is that defensive/offensive capability is a natural development of expansion/ settlement, so we should use that to further settlement.[/quote:post_uid0]

Well, at the momment it doesn't seem like we need to beef up our defensive/offensive capablity to further settlement; we don't even have the technology to settle yet!

I know what you're saying, that those cultures on earth who had more defensive/offensive strength wound up being the same folks who expanded. True enough, won't disagree with it on factual grounds, but I would probably on moral grounds. I'm no fan of interspecies genocide. So if reds were to take over Mars, I wouldn't attack them outright (even though it would be trivial to blow Mars out of the sky; just send asteroids at it). I don't mean to make this a tangent discussion, I just mean to say that this is the same thing, this mindset has the same dangers to our own species that it does to other unknown species. It makes sense if we have to fight the Azad, but doesn't if we're sitting around armed in empty space waiting for the boogymen.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#62 2004-04-29 20:57:16

Hazer
Member
From: Texas/Oklahoma
Registered: 2003-10-26
Posts: 173

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]To stroll down an empty street at night is dangerous in some parts of the world.   You do not prepare to defend yourself with the expectation that you will never have to do so.  You do so in the HOPE that you never have to do so and prepare such that no one would want to start a something with you.  I

I'm no fan of interspecies genocide.[/quote:post_uid0]  Neither am I, but I would rather be the alien with the god-like weapons, then be on the recieving end of a genocide. 

And perhaps we can be the ambassadors for goodwill, once we're sure no one will push us out of our nice habitat.[/color:post_uid0]


In the interests of my species
I am a firm supporter of stepping out into this great universe both armed and dangerous.

Bootprints in red dust, or bust!

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#63 2004-04-29 22:49:26

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Machiavelli teaches that when a Prince desires to hold on to distant territories, settlers and colonists are more effective and less expensive that standing armies or navies.[/quote:post_uid0]

If you want to gain territory then this is true.  However, if your goal is simply to destroy your enemies, different rules apply.

It's always chess.[/quote:post_uid0]

In this case I would say that it is more like creigspeil (chess variant where you cannot see the opponent's movements) than normal chess.

Anyway, 1. e4[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]I am talking about exploitation of celestial resources.

Anyways,

1. . . c5

I have always loved the Sicilian.[/color:post_uid0]

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#64 2004-04-29 23:48:15

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

And perhaps we can be the ambassadors for goodwill, once we're sure no one will push us out of our nice habitat.[/quote:post_uid0]

Can we ever be sure of that?  No matter how god-like our weapons become, it is always possible that we could run into a race with even more god-like weapons.

I don't get much practice against the Sicilian, but I should be able to avoid misplaying it too badly.  2.Nf3[/color:post_uid0]

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#65 2004-04-30 23:43:39

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]You know, I don't really see what the point is of all the speculation on what interspecies contact will be like. First of all, I find it highly unlikely that we'll encounter a new intelligent race that we can compare ourselves to in the near future. Make that the near future on a geological timescale, the chances of intellegance evolving on a planet with life is mind-bogglingly low, add in the fact that by developing intelligence just 5 million years before or after another, a blink of the eye comparatively, you can completely miss each other, and I just don't see it happening.

But I'll play devil's advocate for a while, just because I enjoy fantasising about anything. Okay, let's say that we develop a very powerful radio telescope on the lunar far side and point it at  Chara, a lovely little near-twin of the Sun 30 light-years away. What do you know, odd, extremely artificial sounding radio noise is found, nothing that can be assembled into a TV or radio image, but it sounds just like carrier static. A few years later a massive optical observitory is built with the resolving power to see its Earth-like planet (Yet another assumption) as well as the Hubble sees Titan. The results are shocking, the planet is 60% ocean and the rest is mostly taiga-like forest (Expected from spectroscopy data), and several large splotches of light can be seen consistently on the contenents at night. The only conclusion: they are artificial cities.

So, we quickly piece together a message to send to them, basically just a decoding primer with info on human senses, physiology, and why we enjoy being around small fuzzy mammals. Included is a message essentially giving out an RSVP. The message is sent at full blast on the LFSA and repeated several thousand times over the course of six or seven years. 70 years later, amazing! We get a reply, the life story of evolution and what these Charans are like.

Now, during this time we've been hard at work developing antimatter or fusion (Or whatever) drive, and can achieve 10% of the speed of light resonably. Understandably, humans are going to pour over what we're going to say and do when we finally meet. But look at it from another perspective, when the Charans were first contacted, their reaction would likely be along the lines of "Holy crap! We'd better look good so we don't get our butts kicked by these Solians!" Pretty much exactly what we're talking about right now.

This is the underlying theme, all the time that we'd spend sweating over how to polish our resumes the best way would be mirrored by the aliens we're contacting. Perhaps when we finally meet and shake hands, the initial interchange will revolve around the fact that our respective races spent decades deciding how to greet each other not knowing that the other one was doing exactly the same thing. We share a chuckle and then get down to business.[/color:post_uid0]


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#66 2004-05-05 11:47:21

REB
Member
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
Website

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]This topic reminds me of how ridiculous the Independence Day movie was. It was a fun movie, and I did like it, but I knew, while watching it, that aliens that advanced would have kicked our tails.

The part about introducing a virus into the alien computer network had me shaking my head. We have a hard enough time getting Unix and Microsoft machines talking to each other (The protocols we use are based on years of development).

There is no way a person could write a virus code for an alien computer like that. What are the odds of an alien computer resembling anything we have developed. Once an alien computer had been studied for years, and we understood how it worked and the language it used, we probably would be able to inflict a virus on it.[/color:post_uid0]


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#67 2004-05-05 15:01:35

Hazer
Member
From: Texas/Oklahoma
Registered: 2003-10-26
Posts: 173

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Well the thing is, we don't know anything about potential extraterrestrials, so the situation is plausible.[/color:post_uid0]


In the interests of my species
I am a firm supporter of stepping out into this great universe both armed and dangerous.

Bootprints in red dust, or bust!

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#68 2004-05-06 09:30:08

REB
Member
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
Website

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]It is hard to imagine what an alien computer would be like? Perhaps they might not even need computers. Perhaps their brains are like computers. Maybe they use biological computer.

While I am talking about aliens, one thing I have noticed is that we tend to put their life-spans the same as ours. There could be aliens that live thousands of years, or hundreds of thousands of years.[/color:post_uid0]


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#69 2004-05-08 17:16:30

Mundaka
Member
Registered: 2004-01-11
Posts: 322

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

neutral


Macte nova virtute, sic itur ad astra

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#70 2004-05-11 11:53:31

JammerG55
Member
From: Shasta lake ca, 7 hrs north of
Registered: 2004-02-18
Posts: 46

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#728FCE:post_uid6]Also see coming WW3.[/color:post_uid6]


The sky is the limit...unless you live in a cave big_smile

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#71 2004-05-11 12:39:03

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Great post, Mundaka.

Also see coming WW3.[/quote:post_uid0]

We're gonna win that one so it doesn't apply. Besides, [i:post_uid0]'Third World'[/i:post_uid0] War is the preferred nomenclature. big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#72 2004-05-11 13:01:10

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid4]*Gee...the things I -could- say. 

Anyway, a lot of the comments in this thread seem, IMO, predicated on the assumption that alien intelligences (never mind the vast, [b:post_uid4]vast[/b:post_uid4] astronomical distances involved) *are* bloodthirsty, war-like and violent (like one species in particular I can think of <ahem>). 

Of course, it would be smart to have self-protective abilities "going out" (when?  By 2700?) ... but based on what I'm reading here and there and everywhere, god forbid any aliens we meet are rather gentle by nature and no more armed than a rabbit.

I guess they'll get vaporized in a nanosecond by lovely us.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid4]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#73 2004-05-11 13:46:10

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Anyway, a lot of the comments in this thread seem, IMO, predicated on the assumption that alien intelligences (never mind the vast, vast astronomical distances involved) *are* bloodthirsty, war-like and violent (like one species in particular I can think of <ahem>).  [/quote:post_uid0]

Riddled with negative assumptions, but all based on the only case of intelligent, technological species we know of. Maybe we're the bloodthirsty freaks of the galaxy, a fluke. But maybe we're the norm... A big planet-smasher on the front of our ship of exploration couldn't hurt. If the first species we run into are peaceful, enlightened goody-goodies we'll just tell 'em it's a speed-brake or something.   big_smile

Do we really want smart space-bunnies running around our colonies? Diggin' up the crops, crappin' in the yard...[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#74 2004-05-11 14:16:38

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid6]

Anyway, a lot of the comments in this thread seem, IMO, predicated on the assumption that alien intelligences (never mind the vast, vast astronomical distances involved) *are* bloodthirsty, war-like and violent (like one species in particular I can think of <ahem>).  [/quote:post_uid6]

Riddled with negative assumptions, but all based on the only case of intelligent, technological species we know of. Maybe we're the bloodthirsty freaks of the galaxy, a fluke. But maybe we're the norm... A big planet-smasher on the front of our ship of exploration couldn't hurt. If the first species we run into are peaceful, enlightened goody-goodies we'll just tell 'em it's a speed-brake or something.   big_smile

Do we really want smart space-bunnies running around our colonies? Diggin' up the crops, crappin' in the yard...[/color:post_uid6][/quote:post_uid6]
[color=#8D38C9:post_uid6]Support your local bunny wabbit. 

*There.  I've said my peace.

Fa on you, Cobra Commander.

--Cindy  tongue  :laugh:[/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#75 2004-05-11 14:22:18

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: Which wold be "scarier" - Alone or not alone

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Support your local bunny wabbit. 

*There.  I've said my peace.

Fa on you, Cobra Commander.[/quote:post_uid0]

:laugh:

Hopefully those space-bunnies don't breed like the terrestrial variety.

And they keep trilling at me![/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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