Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Nostaligia (Score 1) 121

by Reziac (#49744841) Attached to: Jason Scott of Textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs

I used to maintain a BBS list for my local SoCal calling area. That was about 55 BBSs, and as you say -- all different, all with their own unique flavor -- which depended on the mix of board software, file areas, message areas, and the users those attracted. A few survive as internet-accessable (including Techware, which was also the last of our local dialups) but for the most part... a lost era.


Comment: Re:Cats vs windmills (Score 1) 164

by Reziac (#49719559) Attached to: Wind Turbines With No Blades

I had a neutered male cat who from about 9 months old spent all day, every day, killing gophers. Within a few months he'd completely exterminated them within about half a mile of my house. He only ate part of the first gopher of the day, far as I ever saw.

Most predators kill for fun as well as for food and for training their young; it's not at all unusual. -- That's the real problem with wolves vs domestic sheep; it's so much fun to shoot fish in a barrel that they wind up killing a whole flock just for jollies.

Comment: Re:Groups a bit slower than the others. (Score 1) 219

But here's no outrage activism available if it's due to a fungus and virus. How can you have a good outrage if the cause is something natural and not *gasp* the fault of man??

I've pointed out that same research IDing the fungi/virus cause multiple times here, and been pooh-pooh'd every time. This last time, I was informed that neonics had to be the cause even when the nearest use of same is hundreds or thousands of miles away, because, ya know, pesticide.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 104

by Reziac (#49571715) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Airborne particulates is a false equivalency.

I get the feeling you won't be happy until everyone admits your particular point of interest is the culprit, which isn't exactly a scientific method either. It's fine to look at every possible candidate. It's not fine to decide that's the culprit when it's not even present in many regions of interest.

Also, if neonics are the culprit, that should be very easy to demonstrate -- you should be able to reliably induce CCD in fairly short order just by isolating a hive with a treated food source.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 104

by Reziac (#49568715) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Well, yes it is, since it doesn't have an infinite half-life and doesn't move around by itself. You're certainly not going to find it used in Montana wheatfields, yet CCD has affected bees here as well... so now what to blame?? Indeed, most of our acreage is never treated with anything, being non-arable grazing land or wilderness. Hasn't helped bees any.

I'd guess in addition to the viral and fungal agents that when they occur together have been determined as CCD causes already, there might be a genetic susceptibility in some lines of bees, but far as I know that hasn't been looked at yet.

I'm reminded that many a time, some OMG-Death-Chemical reaction has proven to in fact be due to a genetic defect. Frex, see MDR1 (multi-drug resistance gene) in dogs. Nope, it wasn't ivermectin causing illness and death; it was a genetic defect.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 104

by Reziac (#49553721) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

"Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment"

"Many lethal and sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees have been described in laboratory studies, however, no effects were observed in field studies with field-realistic dosages."

As they say there's need for further study regarding synergistic effects and the like. But real exposure effects in the field are what counts, not just laboratory findings. Otherwise it's like finding that table salt is OMG-toxic as studied in the lab, even tho we know it's safe in normal realworld use.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 104

by Reziac (#49552755) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Honeybees are technically an invasive species in North America; they were imported, not native. There are numerous other species, including small native bees, that did the pollination work before honeybees came along. Far as I have heard, populations of these native bees have not been affected by CCD.

Neonicotinoids are relatively expensive (4 years ago, Imidacloprid was $25/pound, about 5x the cost of permethins), and I'd guess despite being about a quarter of the insecticide market, that in ag they are probably not used outside of the fairly limited areas that grow fruits and vegetables -- as those crops have a better profit margin. Yet CCD has been seen very widely, including in areas where there isn't any row-crop agriculture.

Anecdotally, I've used Imidacloprid to control desert stink beetles, and did not observe any issues with my wild honeybees (who frequented the same areas, cuz that's where the water was).

The scare over DDT was manufactured. Silent Spring (which I read, back when it was new) was mostly fiction and has been discredited, yet it influenced a whole generation of environmentalism -- that, not truth, was its point and intent. Some estimates put malaria deaths due to ending use of DDT in the millions. Meanwhile, the connection with condor populations was at best tenuous.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.