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Comment: Wikipedia's page on the U.S. Constitution (Score 1) 153

by MillionthMonkey (#47536375) Attached to: Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress
Corporations are to be afforded the divine rights of human beings! [This article has multiple issues. Please help improvement or discuss these issues in chambers.]

(On the discussion page it looks like all the recent edits are coming from five guys at the Supreme Court.)

Comment: Re:Lumping everyone together.... (Score 1) 348

by Reziac (#47535655) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

That's a good point -- stored water might as well go into the ground (and be used) as into the air (which one might argue becomes rain somewhere to the east, but that does Utah no good, and Utah needs it a lot more).

In the process of moving back to Montana from SoCal, I made numerous trips along both I-15 and routes further west, and I was quite struck by how the states that scream the loudest about conservation and that do the most enforcing against common use of resources... are also in the worst shape. Utah looks the best both agriculturally and industrially -- it seems to have a great deal more local industry than any other western state, yet it looks the most pristine and green, and sports a healthy ag sector. Montana and the agricultural parts of Nevada are also in good shape, as is much of Idaho. But you can just about draw a line around CA and OR solely by the poor condition of what used to be good graze and forest land, and now looks a great deal more drought-stricken than do drier areas further inland.

Comment: Re:We can't live without these things? (Score 1) 197

by bmo (#47534815) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

And here's the teenager with no life experience whatsoever.

Do you have any idea how long it takes to rebuild just a power substation? Do you have any idea how few EEs, techs, riggers, and laborers we have to rebuild them en masse?

You don't. That much is plain.

backup generators

What fucking backup generators? They don't exist.

Call up National Grid. Ask them how many "backup generators" they have for a Carrington Event situation. The laughter should be loud.

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BMO

Comment: Re:ALL RIGHT! (Score 1) 348

by Reziac (#47533027) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Where I lived in the SoCal desert, the water was so high in calcium that for those drinking tap water (which mostly came from deep wells), there was no such thing as calcium deficiency. It was largely a retirement community, and you never saw so many 80 year olds with ramrod-straight spines. You could actually spot older folks who drank bottled water -- by their curved spines.

And it's good-tasting water. Personally I don't like soft water, it tastes like dust.

When you get bad water in SoCal, it's usually not the water -- it's the pipes. Plastic pipes react with chlorine and the result tastes like a corpse. Let the water run til fresh stuff from the mains reaches the spigot, and suddenly you have good water again.

Now, northern plains water from shallow wells, that's nasty stuff -- too much magnesium so it tastes like Epsom salts, or occasionally like rotting plastic. Drill down to a deeper water layer, tho, and the problem usually goes away.

Comment: Re:Why I'm on a well in a sustainable aquifer. (Score 1) 348

by Reziac (#47532897) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

In Los Angeles County, what they did about it was confiscate all the private wells. Consider that a well out in the north county costs around $50,000 (give or take 10 grand) and you'll see it's not a minor taking. After a major flap they graciously ceded 3 acre-feet back to each landowner. I haven't heard how they plan to enforce this; probably by making everyone pay for a limiting meter on their well.

It's actually much cheaper to hook up to a private water supplier: about $15,000 and water costs about 1/4th as much per gallon. (Well water is not free if you pay for diesel or electricity to pump it. At current electric rates, domestic water is about 1 cent per 10 gallons.) However, private water companies only serve very limited areas, and are not an option for most people... but they're trying to grab everyone they can reach, and have gotten county law changed to enforce this... I was told that to my face by the owners of two different private water companies out in the desert. Guess who has wells down into the deep aquifer, and were not affected by the confiscation.

Comment: Re:The "Your mileage may vary" problem (Score 1) 521

by Reziac (#47532831) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

That's interesting about the bruising. I've had maybe a dozen blood draws in my life and never a bruise, but I have thick tough veins that defy all but the most experienced phlebotomists. (I don't usually bruise unless whacked really hard, and sometimes not even then. I also have tough thick skin; I wonder if the two are related. Per actual tests, I clot about average.)

From a safety standpoint, I doubt anyone has ever died from Lasik itself (anaesthesia reactions aside). But from what I've read, there is a broad range of competence, and one does well to research prospective doctors.

Comment: Re:Lumping everyone together.... (Score 1) 348

by Reziac (#47532705) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Despite which, Utah is one of the greener western states -- even in its desert ag areas. Methinks when you actually manage your water, you also get more use of it. And contrary to city-slicker belief, there is no one more conservation-conscious than farmers; it's their very livelihood.

And on your list of cities, don't forget that California diverts a great deal of water to its major metros, with scant regard for what becomes of agriculture. I guess city folks don't need to eat.

I rant about that somewhere above, but here's an example:
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/...

Comment: Re:PBS covered this (Score 1) 348

by Reziac (#47532647) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Let me fix that for him:

"I expect when we run out this next decade, everyone will be very angry over the decisions we made to plant water-intensive cities in a very arid land for so many years".

I suspect the water diverted and used by Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix considerably exceeds the water used by all western agriculture combined. (And remember, ag use tends to return water to the soil. City use tends to flush it into the ocean rather more directly.)

A very good example is the Owens Valley. Old-timers have told me it used to be rich in water and lush with crops and livestock. Then Los Angeles took its water, and the Owens Valley became a desert dustbowl. (There are still a few isolated oases, where some spot doesn't drain to the Owens River.)

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/...

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 1) 521

by Reziac (#47532493) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

That's a killer for me as well. I'm not a telescope-stargazer, but I do appreciate the night sky... and right now I see in the dark like a vampire (and even better if corrected to 20-20 -- I'm about 20-45 and 20-80, uncorrected). Having halos and spikes would drive me nuts.

I've half-thought about it for my worse eye, but mild myopia has its advantages as well -- even at 59, my worse eye still doesn't need reading glasses except for very small print (2 point or smaller).

Comment: Re:We can't live without these things? (Score 2) 197

by bmo (#47531743) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Really? This would be devastating? We can't live without electricity, electronics, water pumps?

Can you farm without electricity? Gasoline? Do you have all the pre-electricity farm equipment that would allow you to grow food without a tractor, power tools, etc? Does your well pump even work without electricity? I'll bet it doesn't. I'll bet you can't really live off the grid unless you're Amish or Mennonite. You simply don't have the pre-industrial technology to get along in such a world.

Many in cities and suburbs, after 3 or 4 weeks, would wind up going out into the country to forage if they could find gasoline to pump (and gas pumps work with electricity!), because the supermarkets would be empty and all the food in the refrigerators/freezers would have spoiled after only a few days.

To your "off the grid" house. Probably.

inb4 "I have an arsenal of arms to keep them away"

Your best defense and survival depends on your neighbors. Because one lone person with a stash of food and arms can be out-sieged by the outside world.

I would suggest watching "The Trigger Effect," Episode 1 of James Burke's "Connections" series. Anyone (sensible) who watches that and looks around at the technology that supports all of us will come away with the conclusion that if it seriously went away for a month, we'd be fucked. The shit would so seriously hit the fan that your incredulousness indicates you are either completely out of touch with society at large, deliberately myopic, or some teenager that hasn't lived life enough to have any kind of broad view. Good luck with that.

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BMO

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