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Comment: Re:Tell them the measles contain gluten (Score 1) 580

by LF11 (#49043531) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities
If you were actually knowledgeable about the topic, you would know that vaccination rates in the US are extremely high -- among the highest in the world -- and are not dropping. There is zero danger of polio making a comeback.

Most "anti-vaxxers" (all?) I know have their kids vaccinated against polio. If you decline the flu shot (which, by the way, does not undergo the safety assurances that most vaccines must. It can't: there's not enough time to get it on the market before it's needed) then you are an "anti-vaxxer" even if all the rest are administered on schedule. I call bullshit. Strawman fallacy.

Comment: Re:A different set of pros and cons (Score 1) 700

by LF11 (#48981225) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
I don't know, but if want I'd be happy to talk with you about the experience. :)

I started off doing part-time classes at a local community college, finished it off with 2 years at a 4-year school, and went directly into med school.

It's a lot of work and way way more stress than I ever imagined it would be, but it wasn't hard to get in. Lots of medical schools, especially osteopathic schools, welcome nontraditional students, and frankly if you do the prep work the MCAT isn't that bad.

If you have an eye on med school, start accumulating experience in the medical field early on. EMT training isn't hard to get and a couple of years doing EMT work (heck, you can do EMT training and work in the evenings and not interfere with a full-time job) will prepare you tremendously. I didn't do that, and it would have helped during admissions and would help a lot with the educational experience.

Comment: Re:A different set of pros and cons (Score 1) 700

by LF11 (#48978233) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
If I'm not mistaken, you just compared a community of homeschoolers to a community of self-mutilators. That's amazing.

There's really nothing that separates reddit from any other online forum, except that it brings so many disparate viewpoints under a single login and domain. Slashdot is no less of an echo chamber lined with groupthink and foolishness.

Comment: Re:Needs fairly strong justification (Score 4, Interesting) 700

by LF11 (#48976251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
1) Mum and dad don't have to be teachers. 1-on-1 instruction is so much superior to classroom education that there is really no comparison.

2) Trying to emulate a school environment at home is a recipe for disaster. That's not how it works, and that's not how it should work.

3) All of those are quickly learned upon entrance to college, or during the large quantities of socialization that homeschooled families tend to be very careful to procure for their children. Homeschoolers actually tend to be considerably better socialized than their public school peers. However, dropping a homeschooled child into the wolfpack of public school is a recipe for disaster.

4) Exactly right. Thus, unschooling. It works very well, if the parents can get their head around that kind of freedom.

5) I don't know what your experience was but forced separation from parents is traumatic. Of course, once children hit puberty, they tend to break free on their own, thus handling the overly-attached problem.

Sorry your experience was bad. Most are not like that.

Comment: A different set of pros and cons (Score 2, Insightful) 700

by LF11 (#48976197) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
Slashdot is a rough place to post this. Check out for a more knowledgeable community, but there are a TON of resources to help you figure this out if it is something you are interested in.

I don't know of anyone doing statistical work on homeschoolers. It would be helpful, but the fact is that homeschoolers tend to integrate very well in society. It's not as if there is a magical 3 percent that stand out all the time for you to notice.

I only know of anecdotal material. I am one of those. I was homeschooled K-12 and am now in medical school (as a nontraditional student, after having worked as a programmer for 10 years). My homeschooling experience was actually very difficult, but it did prepare me for working hard in the world.

I do want to address the point of socialization, however. By and large, homeschoolers are VASTLY better socialized than public schooled children. The reason for this is simple. Unlike public school, where children largely interact with teachers and same-aged peers, homeschooled children interact with a great swath of society from a young age. (There are occasional shut-in familes, but they are rare and you obviously would not be one of them.) Homeschooling is absolutely not a question of academics vs. socialization. Homeschoolers get both.

However, there is a different balance to strike. Your time. Homeschooling is a very serious commitment, particularly in time. This is the part that will get you.

As for your wife letting go, both boys and girls grow up more emotionally mature and resilient if they remain close to their parents until puberty. This translates to better socialization, better mental health, and better emotional capacities through life. So it might not be a bad thing.

Comment: Doesn't change the clinical effects (Score 2) 224

by LF11 (#48747219) Attached to: Beware Headlines Saying Chocolate Is Good For You
Chocolate consumption is correlated with a nice range of positive clinical effects. It doesn't matter if someone figures out one proposed mechanism is invalid, because the stuff still works. Just because we might still be learning *why* something works does not invalidate the effect at all.

Comment: Re:Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by LF11 (#48747151) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol
How about a metal/plastic hybrid? Metal chamber, metal barrel, plastic frame and mechanism? Because that has already been made.

Even if we assume that firearms need to be made of metal, 3D-printing of metal is coming down in price. It'll be a while, but it will happen eventually.

As for your statement about enabling the next Continental Army...that's not the point. The point of plastic guns is to enable someone to obtain a higher quality firearm with a reasonable degree of success. (Also to defeat the idea of "gun free zones.")

Comment: Re:16 people? (Score 1) 252

by LF11 (#48442309) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood
It may be unscientific to come to that kind of conclusion based on an n=16 study.

However, what this study DOES show is that the existing paradigm of saturated fat == heart disease ought to be questioned and thoroughly re-examined. Frankly, if I had metabolic syndrome, I'd be experimenting on myself the moment I heard about this.

Comment: Re:Bill Rejected with Bi-Partisan agreeemnt (Score 4, Interesting) 445

by LF11 (#48417353) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power
According to Dr. Paul, the bill didn't go far enough (I agree). It also extended the PATRIOT act. Are you really led around that easily, to think that helping to kill this bill somehow makes him an authoritarian stooge?

Failure to pass this bill means we'll get another chance. The pressure is on. Once they pass a bill, nobody is going to want to pass another one for a while, so the first one has to get it right. The ACA is an example of a bill that was slammed through, and got a lot of things wrong. Let's not do the same thing with limiting the NSA.

Also, Rand Paul does not claim to be a libertarian, and if you actually knew anything about libertarians you should have known that libertarians tend to give him a giant stink-eye.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.