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Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 514

Nobody expected mad cow disease either, you know.

Actually, we sort of did and should have been taking preventative measures long before it actually became an issue (but hey... capitalism).

Scrapie is the equivalent in sheep and goats and there are references to it going back to the 1700s. Nobody knew the cause back then, but they knew it could be transmitted from an infected animal to a healthy one. We've seen other diseases transmitted from animals to humans (rabies is a great example), so it wouldn't take a genius to guess that BSE might be transmissible.

Creutzfeldtâ"Jakob Disease was first described in 1920, long before BSE was ever considered an issue, and there are earlier references to illnesses that were probably CJD (Creutzfeldt and Jakob wouldn't have been researching it if there weren't, after all). Cannibals in Papua New Guinea were found to have a severe problem with the disease in the 50s and experiments showed that it could be transmitted from from humans to chimpanzees. Transmission of CJD from transplanting animal corneas into humans had been observed by the 70s. Transmission from contaminated instruments and human growth hormone were also recorded before BSE was found to be transmissible to humans.

There was no single "Ah ha!" moment where we suddenly discovered the disease. We've seen signs of it for hundreds of years and there were plenty of indications that it could jump from one species to another. Anybody with half a clue would have been able to guess that BSE might be able to jump to humans, but that would affect profits so everyone remained willfully ignorant until it became a huge issue.

Comment Re:Stay home on Black Friday (Score 2) 146

Let us remember that Thanksgiving was set aside as a holiday to thank the Lord for all of our blessings as a nation.

Except that days of thanksgiving date back to the English Reformation during the 1500s and were actually part of an effort to cut down on the 95 church holidays during the year where people were required to attend church and forgo work. It wasn't so much about thanking God as it was about replacing holidays where work wasn't allowed with ones where it was.

Thanksgiving started as a way of saying "get off your ass and get to work instead of lounging around in a church pew you lazy fuck." Going shopping so that stores will have an incentive to be open and people can work is actually right in line with the original intent.

Comment Re:Downloading the intertubes, Daily (Score 1) 264

I think an hour of Netflix programming ~= 1GB, so 24x7 use of Netflix would be about 100 GB in a week.

24*7=168. 168 is not about 100.

How do you burn through 300 GB in a week?

Wife, husband, half a dozen kids... boom. Hell, the Duggar family could probably burn through 300 GB in a single day if they weren't so busy molesting their kids and then defending it.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 345

It's not weird when you take into account the fact that you're using the popular (and incorrect) view of what constitutes autism. The DSM definition of autism details exactly what criteria are used to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder and it has nothing to do with seeing patterns or handling information.

While their are some autistics who excel at seeing patterns or handling information, the majority do not. You might as well say that having a big dick is a sign of autism spectrum disorder since there are some autistics who have big dicks even though the majority do not.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 65

You don't seem to understand what Saturn is. With wind speeds up to 1800 km/h and almost no solid surface to speak of, the remnants of the probe will be dispersed among the 80+ trillion cubic kilometers of gas and liquids that make up the bulk of what we call Saturn. The amount of plutonium aboard the Cassini probe would be rapidly spread out so much that it won't be detectable within a few weeks, which is hardly indelible.

Comment Re:pushes wages down (Score 2) 178

Except that the private market is the group that's pushing for the laws to allow them to bring in outside people to work for less.

What broken train of logic makes you think the private market is going to suddenly stop doing that and start offering higher salaries to fix the imaginary shortage that they've made up in order to try and get those laws passed?

Ooh, let me guess... you're a Libertarian, aren't you.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department