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Comment: Mod parent up (Score -1, Troll) 162

by Prune (#49583749) Attached to: The United States Just Might Be Iran's Favorite New Nuclear Supplier
It's a ghastly arighmetic, but it ought to be done: a nuclear strike against Iran would kill many, but it can decisively bring the country to its knees and nip in the bud a coming clash of civilizations that would in the long run result in far more deaths and suffering.

This would work best if it's part of an operation against Iran's larger and even more dangerous ally, Russia. Don't forget that the US has come to be in a position where it can execute a pre-emptive counterforce nuclear strike against Russia: http://belfercenter.hks.harvar... The silo locations are known and the mobile katyusha launchers are being tracked. That only leaves submarine launches as a retaliatory possibility for the russkies, which would be sufficiently few to be mopped up by missile defense. Given the Russian populace's fervent nationalism, their deep-seated need to be ruled by tyrants -- from the tzars through the commies to Putin, and their propensity to export their brotherly love to their unfortunate neighbors, justification for neutering the evil now is easy to come by.

Any fellow Canadians reading my post: lest you disagree, I remind you the Russian bear has its eye on the whole arctic, and the current framework under which negotiations over territory are unfolding is but a game: a signature to any resultant agreement will be no more binding to the Russians than their signature was on the Budapest Memorandum of 1995 which gave Ukraine security assurances in exchange for them giving up their nuclear arsenal. The Russian doesn't understand diplomacy, agreements, international law, or honor -- he only understands force, and perceives the lack of aggression as weakness.

Comment: Mod parent down for citing known crackpot site (Score 1) 314

by Prune (#49573675) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

interact biologically [] is a well-known crackpot and conspiracy theory outlet. Among various outrageous articles and radical political views, they even became a channel for pro-Russian propaganda in regards to the war in Ukraine. Anyone who cites information from the same outlet that produced works of journamlism like North Korea, a Land of Human Achievement, Love and Joy is a fucking tool.

Comment: Re:It's all about the dosage (Score 1) 629

by Prune (#49561851) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
I forgot to mention an important consideration: one also has to take into account the tradeoff compared to using lots of sugar/glucose/HFCS/etc. While, optimally, intake from both groups should be restricted, I know that's not realistic for many people. I'm lucky in that my metabolism and insulin sensitivity allow me to handle large quantities of the high glycaemic index foods I love, but if you also have a sweet tooth -- depending on your genetics -- the artificial sweeteners may be the lesser evil.

Comment: It's all about the dosage (Score 1) 629

by Prune (#49561759) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
Aspartame and a few of the other artificial sweeteners are excitotoxic (they overexcite some neurons to the point of death). For example, see and other research like it. The main counterargument is that studies showing excitotoxic effects in vivo have always been done with doses significantly higher than would be ingested using regular consumption of foodstuffs in which artificial sweeteners are used (indeed, a benefit of advanced artificial sweeteners is that they reach the threshold of sweetness when very dilute). While even a good deal of overconsumption of artificially sweetened soda drinks may not reach the amounts having been shown detrimental. However, I've found no safety evidence either way regarding very long term exposure at lower intensity, over decades. For me, that's cause for caution and limiting consumption (though even I don't totally avoid it, and that's from someone that doesn't particularly like the taste of soda drinks).

Comment: Mod parent down (Score 4, Insightful) 164

by Prune (#49557497) Attached to: Google Executive Dan Fredinburg Among Victims of Everest Avalanche
I climb mountains as a hobby, and know many climbers, a large proportion of whom are geeks who are disinterested in team sports. It's a hobby like any other physical hobby. It brings risk, but also enormous enjoyment from the combination of experiencing the raw beauty of nature where there are very few others with the challenge and thrill of reaching a summit. We climb a peak not to show off; we climb it because it is there. A tiny fraction of mountaineers are interested in bragging rights (except, perhaps, amongst themselves in a good-spirited manner), so your slight against us is rude and ignorant. Fuck you!

Comment: Re:Been there, done that. (Score 1) 52

by Prune (#49514411) Attached to: Colors Help Set Body's Internal Clock
Your experiment fails to account for the influence of another well-known effect, which is that perceived color temperature is affected by absolute light intensity. Indoor lighting is almost always orders of magnitude weaker than sunlight, and this is why using lighting matched to actual noon color temperature will look far too blue. This is why advanced light bulbs as used in museums and so on that specifically approximate a sun+sky spectrum (to result in proper color reproduction) are available centered at different color temperatures.

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 4, Insightful) 385

by Prune (#49502253) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

The converse side of this coin is that such great expectations can become a burden on the children (or the one "target" child), even if the parent tries to avoid being pushy about it -- a lot gets across that is never said directly, and even through the mere implication of a future look of disappointment on one's face.

Comment: Re:Energy use (Score 2) 332

by Prune (#49458733) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

The Ivanpah plant kills lots of birds, with endangered species among them, by literally cooking them while in flight. Nuclear doesn't have this problem. Also, note that nuclear also causes the least number of human deaths per terrawatt-hour generated of any power plant technology:

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.