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Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

Gov't mandates for labeling have to be based on proven risk though, otherwise regulators are literally just guessing what is a risk and what isn't and/or they would be forced to have warning labels almost everything produced. The "better safe than sorry" excuse doesn't really work here, because excessive labeling can counter-intuitively harm the public for many reasons. Here are a few that come to mind:
1) People get overwhelmed with seeing labels and they miss or outright ignore warning labels for actual proven risks, which increases public health risk
2) Labeling requirements can stifle development of new technologies and science that can have very real public health benefits
3) It costs more money to regulate and produce goods that gets passed on to the consumer. A little extra cost may not matter much for unnecessary/luxury products, but for basic foods, medicines, etc. higher cost can be big public health issue.
4) In our global economy, other exporting countries might not bother complying with onerous labeling requirements and just not offer their products, which ties into #2 and #3 above.
5) When gov't public health policies are not based on science it makes it much harder to change policies and act quickly when there is a scientific consensus. Or another way to think of it... anti-science policies dilutes all of science, which can hurt everyone (see also: anti-vaxxers).

I'm not against mandating labeling of products when it's based on science and proven public health risk, but the anti-GMO folks aren't there yet. Unfortunately, sometimes it's impossible to identify a risk particularly long-term risks until something used for a while. So, while there are awful examples like DDT, agent orange, asbestos, hormone therapies, etc. the important thing is that gov't has the ability to step in and stop them when the risk was proven (see point #5 above).

Comment Re:Please don't bring it back (Score 1) 83

I too like to keep my nostalgia in my past where I don't have to tarnish my rose-tinted memories with ugly realities. Too many times I've made the mistake of revisiting my nostalgic loves only to be let down (e.g. 8-bit and 16-bit video games, my childhood cartoons, original Dr. Who, pro wrestling, etc.). So, I get it...HOWEVER....

1. MST3K always used current events and pop culture references. They aren't going to reboot the show and use the same jokes from 20 years ago.

2. They will be able to put more efforts into production, editing, and writing than any competition on YouTube, particularly if they can get a major network behind them. Good shows don't just happen because someone stood in front of a camera... there a lot of work that goes into them that you rarely find with a YouTube production. The amount of money they are asking for was initially pretty astonishing to me, but it also shows that with or without a network supporting them they should be able to make a polished finished product.

3. There are examples of reboots being done well and being successful. Like the new Dr. Who TV series, Transformers, or Mad Max.If done right, these old themes can be revived and be relevant again in today's world, with the advantage of a legacy they can build upon and expand from.

Comment Re:Yes? (Score 1) 367

Yes. Are you disclosing those flaws honestly, so consumers can make an informed choice? Unless you're lying about your endorsement, what's the problem?

I agree the author of a review is doing no harm endorsing a game despite flaws if the flaws are disclosed in the review, which based on the Kotaku article it looks like most reviewers are. No foul. The problem as I see it is too many people focus on a review's overall rating/score and don't read the full review where they probably would have learned about the bugs. Metacritic's score aggregation exacerbates this problem. Readers [or users] need to shoulder some responsibility to take game reviews in their entirety.

Comment Re:Too many choices is an artificial problem (Score 1) 358

Similarly there are times when some "choice paralysis" can help me from making bad impulse buys, because in the time it takes to look at options I slow down and think more about why I'm considering the purchase and if I really need that thing. Depending on the situation, impulsive buying can be equally bad as not buying.

Comment Re: Correlation is not causation (Score 1) 131

A couple points on "frackin chemicals"

1) Frack fluid mixtures are 99% potable water and sand. The remaining 1% are lubricants and biocides, many of which are food grade. So, less than 1% of frack fluids are chemicals with a potential to harm people.
2) The frack fluids are injected into GAS bearing rock, so fracking chemicals can't contaminate those waters worse than they were by the naturally occurring gas and oil.

Furthermore, no one is drinking water from private wells with depths anywhere near these gas formations. Most drinking wells are between 50-500 feet deep, whereas gas wells are between 2,000-14,000 feet deep.

To echo others correlation is not causation.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 131

...Now the real question is Why isn't there serious study of the environmental impact of fracking. Not just from the oil companies, and not just from groups who have a tendency to be environmental extremist. There are enough areas now to measure water quality and other factors and make a good measurements on what pollutants are out there.

Just a couple month ago the USEPA completed a multi-year study of fracking in several areas of the US, which found no risk to groundwater quality. Anti-frackers wrote it off that study claiming the gov't is paid off by the gas companies. Link to USEPA page:

The media doesn't help because creating sensationalist news articles is easier and more profitable than attempting to accurately explain complex geology, petroleum engineering techniques, contaminate migration, geochemistry, and risk evaluation to a general public that can't pay attention longer than it takes them to read a headline and click "share."

FWIW, I have a degree in geology, I am a certified Professional Geologist for Pennsylvania, I am environmental consultant who works with groundwater contamination, I do not work for oil and gas companies, I am generally liberal and typically vote Democrat, and I think fracking is OK. Like anything fracking is not without some risks, but those risks are being greatly exaggerated by the media and activists.

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 231

From the article:
"The Smithsonian’s federal funds—about 70 percent of its resources—are restricted to safeguarding collections, research and the costs associated with operating and maintaining the museums. But exhibitions, public programs and the recent digitization of the collection have largely been privately funded."

In that context, online crowdfunding is completely in line with the Smithsonian's standard operations. Furthermore, people donating know exactly what their donations are going towards, instead of a check that just goes into the Smithsonian general fund.

Comment Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 688

Or you could just wait until all those leased EVs go to the used market in 1-3 years and skip 50% of the depreciation completely.

I just bought a Nissan-certified 2013 Leaf SV with 10,000 miles for $14k. The model and features on it would have made it ~$35k MSRP new, and I still have the vast majority of Nissan's warranty available to me.

Comment Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 688

The Nissan Leaf warranty covers the Li-ion batteries for 96 months/100,000 miles; and covers against gradual capacity loss for 60 months/60,000 miles. The battery technology in EVs is the same as those in hybrid cars that have been on the roads for over a decade. These fears of over the degradation of the battery are unfounded. EVs are not over-sized cell phones.

"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!" -- The Ghostbusters