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Comment Re:Regulation please (Score 1) 161

Yeah... Like the silly "Obama's doing it" rumor they rightly debunked, leaving the FDA rule proposal from the previous century un-remarked-on.

Snopes does have their biases, granted. They seem more likely to rigorously "put to the question" things that go against their biases than those that agree with them. But I haven't caught them in a lie. If they say they've researched something, my impression is that they have researched what they said they researched, and got the answers they say they got. An honest researcher, even with biases that are not mine, is a valuable source of information.

Comment Re:Regulation please (Score 1) 161

I generally trust Snopes, but I think I'll go with my actual memory of the time over Snopes on this one. (I'm probably way older than most of the people here.) The story they're debunking is some goofy rumor about the Obama administration; this was back in the 80s or 90s, as I recall.

I don't do all the wacky stuff. Having reached a certain age, B12 supplements are a good idea. I'm also prescribed stupid amounts of time-release niacin for cholesterol control which I'd actually prefer not to take; hot flashes aren't fun. And, I do take a D3 pill; D supplements do have good science behind them, and the "400 units" is the amount empirically determined to be "adequate" to stave off a serious deficiency disease, rickets. Optimum is apparently a good bit more than that, I have a family history of skin cancer that I'd like to avoid, and it's hard to get a lot of D from dietary sources. (I like sardines, but I don't like them that much.) No toxicity has been observed at levels up to 50,000 units; I just take 2,000 units. (Or is it 4,000?) I do seem to get a lot fewer colds than I used to, and it's cheap, so what the heck.

Comment Re:Regulation please (Score 3, Insightful) 161

The reason this "supplement" law got passed was reaction to total stupidity in the other direction -- the FDA was trying to assert power to require a prescription for vitamins.

I kind of like Jerry Pournelle's proposal -- it should be perfectly legal to sell snake oil, as long as the bottle accurately describes the ingredients, and contains actual oil from actual snakes. And, under the Pournelle Rule, these bozos would be perfectly open to prosecution, since they didn't put whatever weird organic compounds some quack in China whomped up on their label.

I absolutely do not want the FDA preventing me from getting vitamin D pills with more than 400 units of D.

Comment Re:Of course they'd blame technology (Score 1) 259

he only long-term solutions to extremism are integration, education and wealth. Period.

Many of the 9/11 terrorists were well-off educated people. I recall at least one of them was an engineer, apparently assimilated.

I don't know what the long-term solution is, short of things decent people don't want to contemplate. My biggest fear is that, at some point, a solid majority is going to decide that decency is overrated.

Comment Re:"Never" is a very long time (Score 1) 378

See "The Snows of Venus" by G. David Nordley. Massive sunshades cast Venus into darkness until the CO2 all freezes out. Then, self-replicating machines build gadzillions of mass drivers, powered by the sunlight absorbed by said sunscreen, to fling the CO2 out into space tangential to the surface to spin the planet up. (This takes centuries to complete, of course.)

Comment Re:we -require- employees to do so. Mandatory trai (Score 1) 38

There are plenty of regulations and such that require all employees take certain training or sign certain forms. In any company of significant size, HR sends out such emails.

At a previous company, HR sent out just such an email, and the links all went off-site, to some domain like "" That wasn't the name, but it was something similarly named, a "no actual company HR would really use would ever have a name like that" sort of domain. It was also newly registered, and I believe that it had "Privacy Protect" on its whois data to boot.

When I got it, I immediately sounded the alarm, yelling "PHISHY PHISHY PHISHY PHISH!!!", because the email went to everyone in the company. The HR types were ... quite put out ... but I did the right thing, and my boss, and everyone having anything to do with security agreed.

I'd like to think the HR types learned something from that one, but I suspect they didn't.

Comment Re:Time is money (Score 1) 201

People won't want to spend an extra hour per day commuting.

An extra hour a day?

I went to Google Maps and computed how much time it would take me to use public transit to get to work.

Three hours each way, as opposed to 30-40 minutes driving my Prius.

That's almost five hours out of my life, every single working day

That's far more than "minimal" personal sacrifice.

Comment Meh. Just more zap zap boom, not much Trek (Score 1) 438

The movies are just "action flicks" with a superficial Trek veneer, and it sounds like that's what this series is going to be. Not particularly interested. I liked Trek at its most thoughtful.

Enterprise should have been good, but they ruined it with the whole stinking fetid pile of "Temporal Cold War". I was really interested in the first steps into the galaxy, the whole "Boomer" culture thing, etc. The fourth season, after Berman and Bragga were dumped, was (with the exception of that unspeakably putrid final epsiode) much more what the series should have been, but by then it was too late.

Comment Re:My take? (Score 1) 363

The story I heard from my instructors in the early 1990's that President Ronald Reagan put a "revenue enhancement" (tax) on storing books in warehouses.

I think what you're referring to is the "Thor Power Tools Decision", which was a ruling by the Supreme Court in 1979.

For extra points, look up who was actually President in 1979.

Comment The low tech solution (Score 2) 149

Back when I worked at Sperry Univac, I started lending out some of my large collection of SF novels. I just did what libraries of that era did: When I took a book to work, I put a 3x5 index card in the book, with the name of the book on the card. If I lent it to someone, I took the card out and put it in the card box I used for that purpose.

I'm sure I could have written something in DMS1100 to run on the Univac 1100/80, but seriously... why? The mini card catalog solved the problem.

Comment What's already at Yucca Mountain (Score 1) 313

I submit that what's already there in the general area of Yucca Mountain, completely uncontained in holes in the ground, is more of a danger than encapsulated waste would ever be.

Go to Google Earth. Search term: "sedan crater". Scan south. See that lunar landscape of craters? Every one of those is a crater from a nuclear weapon test, every one lined with fission products and the unburned percentage of Pu239 from each bomb.

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."