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Comment: A different way to look at this: (Score 1) 848

by Sibko (#47780265) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Not that this will go anywhere but deaf ears, in part because there is a systemic pro-US push on every western website you care to name:

Early 1990's US suffers economic collapse
Texas and several other states secede from the union
Texas produces over half of the US military equipment, a good portion of the food, and can make nuclear weapons
The US keeps these states, especially Texas, within their sphere of influence through economic deals, US Oil pipelines run to South America through Texas
Texas has economic troubles, the US offers no-strings attached bailouts to keep Texas within its sphere of influence
The Soviet Union offers bailouts if Texas implement austerity measures, with the possibility of joining the South American Union and Warsaw Pact at a later date
There is talk in the media that the Soviet Union needs to put a missile defense shield in Texas once it's in the Warsaw Pact to protect itself and South America from Canadian aggression (They have the ability to make nukes, after all)
The US balks at all of this

Texan government takes the US deal, there are small protests in Texas where people argue they're better off with the Soviet Union, they want to split away from the US
These protestors are mostly left-leaning
The Soviet Union funds these protests and they go from small to large: Eventually the protestors perform a coup, replacing the Texan government; evidence (actual recorded phone calls) surface of false flag shootings being used to instigate tensions and violence
The right-leaning people in Texas are appalled, they start a separatist movement in several counties
The Texan government sends in its military to crush the separatist movement
The US begins funding and supplying the separatists with weapons and volunteers to help them
The Soviet Union paints the US as the aggressor, trying to threaten the world and annex countries like Hitler

As someone who has been looking at BOTH sides of this issue I'm fucking amazed that anyone paints Russia with such broad strokes as literal "Bad Guys". Everything they are doing makes sense geopolitically and nationally. Ukraine in NATO with a 'missile defense' in place against 'Iran'. Who are we kidding?

Once you look at the situation as it could apply to the US, it makes it easier to see through the utter bullshit propaganda. This entire thing is nothing more than NATO and the US encroaching on Russia's sphere of influence and territory. Russia ABSOLUTELY will go WW3 over Ukraine. The possibility of US/NATO nuclear weapons sitting in Ukraine is something Russia will not allow to happen, the loss of half of Russia's arms manufacturing cannot be allowed to happen. Ukraine is the first step to a first strike nuclear war scenario that could actually work.

I feel like I'm living in bizarro world where everyone has lost their marbles. I'm Canadian and even I don't support what the US has attempted to do in Ukraine. I'm sure some people will think I'm just eating up russian propaganda that I can't even read, but the truth is that I'm just not blindly siding with America. What the US is doing in Europe is pushing us towards thermonuclear war.

The American and European people need to find our marbles again. This is fucking crazy.

Comment: Re: The Tools of Science (Score 4, Interesting) 134

by Stickerboy (#47747613) Attached to: 13-Year-Old Finds Fungus Deadly To AIDS Patients Growing On Trees

Because honestly no one in medicine cares. There's not just one single environmental source of Cryptococcus, pigeons for example are known carriers. Getting rid of these trees is not going to prevent Cryptococcus infections anytime soon. What will prevent them is getting the HIV in the infected properly treated on a combination antiviral regimen so their own immune system can prevent the infection in the first place.

Comment: Re:Worst that could happen? (Score 2) 43

by Stickerboy (#47667893) Attached to: UCSD To Test Safety of Spinal Stem Cell Injection

Worst that can happen? Well, since this is basically a roll of the dice as to what happens?

Pain originates as nervous system signals. Wouldn't it be great to permanently switch the pain centers to on in these quadriplegics with no recovery of motor function? And someone else already brought up cancer.

Don't ask, "Well, how can it possibly get worse?" Because it can always get worse.

Comment: Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 4, Insightful) 461

by Sibko (#47317319) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly
Are you fucking kidding me?
"Nuclear is a stopgap" and "not poisoning the world for future generations"?

You know how many people have died over the past 60-odd years from radiation poisoning? Direct deaths, including incidents like assassinations and laboratory accidents? 10,000, maybe? Nope. 5000? Nigga we ain't even close yet. 1000? Keep going. 500? Hahaha, get real buddy.

Over 60 years of nuclear power and widespread use of radioactive material and there are less than 400 (estimate 200-300) deaths from direct radiation exposure. You can bump it up to ~10,000-20,000 when you include estimates on cancer related deaths. But you know what? If we're going to count cancer related deaths for nuclear, then how about we count pollution related deaths for coal, oil and gas?

Think you can guess? Maybe 100,000 per year?
Try 7 million:

Even if you went batshit crazy with estimating nuclear's impact - with crazy greenpeace numbers like a million deaths that they pull out of their collective asses. You still come NOWHERE NEAR coal, oil or gas. In fact, by metrics like amount of power produced per death, Nuclear is the safest we have available. Nothing else beats it, including Solar, Wind and Hydro.

Enough with your bullshit FUD. There is nothing wrong with, and there has never been anything wrong with Nuclear. All the facts are stacked against you and all you've brought against it are lies and bullshit fearmongering to convince people who are ignorant of what the nuclear statistics actually look like. I'm fucking sick and tired of you anti-nuclear liars. All you do is help ensure we keep guzzling oil, coal and gas. I don't think the oil industries could've gotten better shills if they paid for them.

Comment: Re:Too Many Women Die from "All in your head." (Score 1) 47

by Stickerboy (#47276325) Attached to: 'Selfie' Helps Doctors Diagnose Mini-Stroke

Too many women die by the "all in your head" diagnosis.

My friend's ex-girlfriend went to the hospital for chest pain, was diagnosed with anxiety. She died less than a week later.

There's too many generalities and not enough specifics for this to be useful, in any way. To preface what I'm about to say: yes, medicine, like most professions, historically has had sexism problems. Although with the older generation of doctors retiring and/or dying, and more women studying medicine than men at many schools, that is changing.

For every woman that dies by the "all in your head" diagnosis, there's a substantial number of women that are harmed through expensive and unnecessary testing and even surgery or procedures because everyone involved is sure there's an actual physical problem related to a symptom that isn't going away and everyone involved is willing to dive down the rabbit hole to figure out what it is. Case in point: one of my hospital's most frequent patients is a nice woman who came in originally due to unexplained long standing abdominal pain and nausea and vomiting. Even though all the relevant testing was coming back negative, eventually after enough visits, a consulting surgeon felt her symptoms resembled dysfunctional gallbladder pain enough for her to have it surgically removed. Fast forward, the patient is still coming in for the same symptoms, but develops a small bowel obstruction from scar tissue from her previous surgery. Fast forward again after multiple bowel resections for multiple obstructions, and she has developed short gut syndrome on top of her previous symptoms with chronic diarrhea and malabsorption of basic nutrients. She's doing better now on daily IV nutrition. I'll let you imagine what her quality of life is with a permanent IV that has to be changed every so often for serious line infections, and being tethered every day to a bag of nutrients to drip in. And she is by no means a unicorn in the medical world.

And now, back to your friend's ex-girlfriend. What tests were run? What were the results? What description of pain was she having? What did she die of? Have you contemplated the possibility that the hospital ran appropriate tests for a chest pain evaluation, everything came back negative, your friend's ex-girlfriend was dealing with concurrent anxiety disorder, and died with something unrelated a week later?

Comment: Re:Something wrong with this story (Score 1) 47

by Stickerboy (#47275819) Attached to: 'Selfie' Helps Doctors Diagnose Mini-Stroke

Since you're asking a similar question to someone else I replied to, I'll cut and paste my answer from below.

The doctor didn't think her story, as it was told to them at the time, was a TIA. What happened to cause the misdiagnosis? Most likely, a "failure of doctor-patient communication. With a completely normal physical/neurological exam, all it takes is for a slightly confusing or badly told patient story (which NEVER happens, of course, with a patient freaked out about a possible medical problem) or a doctor that's not hearing or associating the right phrases to lead them down the TIA/stroke diagnosis pathway to be sent home." Sometimes it's a fine balance to walk between putting words in a patient's mouth that they can enthusiastically nod their heads to versus listening to them stumble around trying to find a way to describe what happened.

"Why didn't the doctor ask for an MRI the first time around? Well, she went to the ER. Now, admittedly, I haven't worked in the Canadian system or outside of 2 confluent states here in the US, but standard of practice where I have worked is that ER doctors do not have access to MRI scans. They take way too long for the fast turnaround of ER care. MRIs can take 30 minutes to multiples of hours. CT scans take a few minutes. MRIs are either handled by outpatient scheduling or by admitting the patient for an inpatient stay in the hospital. On top of that, any stroke suspicion automatically gets a CT of the head without contrast to rule out intracranial bleeding, which is by far the most serious and emergent diagnosis from that class of symptoms. Tangentially, a CT of the head likely would not have picked up a small ischemic stroke like her later MRI."

Comment: Re:Why no MRI the first time? (Score 4, Insightful) 47

by Stickerboy (#47275685) Attached to: 'Selfie' Helps Doctors Diagnose Mini-Stroke

I'd like to know why the doctors didn't ask for an MRI the first time around. Why did the patient need to wait and get "proof" there was a real problem? Intact why don't we get an full body MRI and maybe even a CT scan maybe every 20 years to find possible problems before they happen?

Well, IAAD. I don't have access to the notes/file, but I can give a pretty reasonable guess to your answers.

Why didn't the doctor ask for an MRI the first time around? Well, she went to the ER. Now, admittedly, I haven't worked in the Canadian system or outside of 2 confluent states here in the US, but standard of practice where I have worked is that ER doctors do not have access to MRI scans. They take way too long for the fast turnaround of ER care. MRIs can take 30 minutes to multiples of hours. CT scans take a few minutes. MRIs are either handled by outpatient scheduling or by admitting the patient for an inpatient stay in the hospital. On top of that, any stroke suspicion automatically gets a CT of the head without contrast to rule out intracranial bleeding, which is by far the most serious and emergent diagnosis from that class of symptoms. Tangentially, a CT of the head likely would not have picked up a small ischemic stroke like her later MRI.

Why did the patient need to wait and get proof? Well, with the story written down and no workplace rush, hindsight says she probably deserved an inpatient workup for a TIA the first time around. The #1 cause of misdiagnosis is failure of doctor-patient communication. With a completely normal physical/neurological exam, all it takes is for a slightly confusing or badly told patient story (which NEVER happens, of course, with a patient freaked out about a possible medical problem) or a doctor that's not hearing or associating the right phrases to lead them down the TIA/stroke diagnosis pathway to be sent home.

Now let's turn this around, based on her initial episode on presentation to the ER. You're the patient that just had a five minute spell of weirdness that includes, "had trouble speaking words". In a few minutes, those symptoms were gone like it never happened. A CT scan will likely be negative for anything (but it will dose you with about 20 chest X-rays' worth of radiation to your brain). By definition, a TIA won't show anything on MRI (a small-scale infarct on MRI is a stroke, period). There is no medical "fix", as TIAs are self-limiting and resolve themselves - there is only secondary prevention. If this is a TIA, your best treatment includes going on aspirin daily (ulcer risk), antiplatelet medication like Plavix daily (bleeding risk), and a statin daily (multiple adverse effects well-documented. You can avoid taking if LDL is already low). On the basis of five minutes of symptoms that haven't returned, would you feel like taking this medication for the rest of your life? Does dosing every single person that comes in with a similar story with a combination of multiple medications sound like a good outcome?

Third, why doesn't everyone get a full body MRI and maybe even a CT scan every 20 years? Well, you can. You'll need a credit/debit card or an appropriately-sized stack of cash, but radiology suites will be glad to scan you. I'd hate to put words in their mouths, but I would venture to say that would be their preferred business model. Especially if they could get away with not having to deal with third-party payers.

Oh! You want someone else to pay for your scan. First, you need a good reason to order the scan to get someone else to pay for it. So let's think about it. Multiply thousands of dollars of unnecessary scans times 300 million people+ here in the US, rotating every 20 years. Then factor in all the incidental findings which will be inconclusive and need either further scans or maybe invasive surgical procedures to investigate. Factor in complications and harms from procedures and radiation dosing (a single CT of the chest is equivalent to about 70 chest X-rays, which is not insignificant in terms of lifetime cancer risk), and the fact there will be a lot of false positives, especially when you're screening 300 million people. Then, after all that, you've caught a very small percentage of actual problems by doing mass screenings. A significant fraction of those you will have no better outcomes than if you waited for symptoms to develop (see: prostate cancer). So now you get to weigh spending billions of dollars every year to get the benefit described

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 4, Interesting) 686

by Sibko (#47218581) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
Or maybe the universe is so competitive that anyone who announces their presence eats the bad end of a relativistic weapon.

Who knows - maybe one's already headed for Earth. It's not like we have been hiding our radio transmissions or anything. Sure would be naive of us to assume aliens are all sunshine and rainbows and want nothing more than to love and hug us. Now granted, I think if relativistic weapons flying about were a real issue, we'd probably have seen evidence for it in the universe by now, but anyone who ascribes benevolence to aliens is just a fool ignoring every lesson nature has taught us on this planet.

Personally, I'm against alien contact unless it's US doing the contacting. The kind of power-play dynamic where we're met by aliens only puts us at a serious disadvantage. We're basically blind right now. We need to stay silent, open our eyes and ears, and see what happens around us a little before we go shouting to the galaxy at large "Hey! Over here!"

I think the only comforting fact about it all is that our biodiversity is probably the rarest thing about our planet - so if there is any value in that, any conquerors will at least leave our biosphere intact.

Comment: Common Issues with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 765

by Sibko (#46981021) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology
There's been a lot of discussion that I've seen already on these 'smart' guns.

Let me try and recap some of the most prominent against them:
>The RFID transmitter to unlock the gun requires batteries and has a limited range
>The RFID signal to unlock the gun can be jammed by a strong/close enough jammer
>The RFID receiver in the gun may require a battery if it has to move any mechanical parts
>The electronics are significantly less resilient than the metal construction of the rest of the gun - I've heard claims of replacement/repair of the firearm after just 2000 rounds fired
>The RFID receiver could be engineered with a 'back door' (Either mandated through legislation or not) which the government could use to lock up your gun (For example: A 'gun free' zone could have transmitters that tell all guns to lock up within range.)
>Depending on how integrated the 'smart' systems are with the mechanics of the gun, an exploited system could allow for things like intentional slamfires/rapidfire, feeding issues or other hazardous effects to the owner - remotely.
>Mechanical or electronic locks can be easily 'jailbroken' by the owner. If the safety of the firearm works by putting something between the firing pin and the cartridge, removing that piece of metal would make the gun less safe, but capable of working even if it is 'locked'. It's also a pretty trivial modification that could be done almost literally by anyone with a room temperature IQ or greater.
>Water could damage the circuitry and prevent the weapon from operating properly.
>Legislation can be introduced mandating that all firearms must be 'smart' guns. (In fact, this has already happened in New Jersey.)
>Smart guns cost significantly more than current firearms (A $500 pistol is now a $1500+ pistol), making it that much harder for the common person to purchase a firearm, especially if legislation makes the sale of non-smart guns illegal.

And what do gun owners gain from any of this? A firearm that - if someone grabbed it off you - wouldn't work? Look, let's not just ignore the elephant in the room here: This isn't about making guns safer. There's no added value in this for your common gun owner. No, this is simply an end run around the Constitution's second amendment - especially if, as in New Jersey - you start forcing people to buy smart guns and make normal firearms illegal. If widespread adoption happened, I guarantee you this type of legislation would be pushed everywhere.

Only the naive are buying into these things. Especially considering the growing distrust and discontent for our Government amongst the NSA/Snowden revelations, worsening 'war on drugs', loss of civil rights from the 'war on terror', bailouts of banks and corporations, and multiple seemingly pointless wars in the middle east.

People are really starting to get antsy about all of this stuff. The idea that the US is turning into a police state used to be laughed at. Today, the US has the largest prison population on the planet - exceeding China and Russia, it spies on its own citizens, tortures 'enemy combatants' and conducts extra-judicial targeted murders on American citizens abroad without due process of law - let alone citizens of other nations, such as the Australian citizen that was murdered this way just a few months ago. The first amendment is a joke when reasonable people can't get any airtime on ANY of the news networks and 'political correctness' groupthink is stamping out valid criticism or opposing viewpoints - even amongst those people who have made such comments in their own privacy. The right to peacefully assemble is a joke when you can only peacefully assemble where you're 'allowed' (and can be peacefully ignored). The two-party system is fundamentally flawed from the get-go, but especially so with the massive amount of corporate bribery and lack of any real investigation or punishment regarding corruption amongst our 'representatives'.

Quite honestly, America is headed for disaster, and these 'smart' guns are literally just one more tiptoe in that direction. The only people who honestly believe these guns are a good idea, are the people who want to take away the right to own firearms completely, and the people who support increasing state control over the population. The rest of us can see how ineffective and pointless these things are in reality.

Fucking christ, watching what is happening to America today is maddening. I feel like I'm watching the Titanic barrel towards the not-so-proverbial iceberg and instead of slowing down or turning, the people in charge are speeding up. I can't change the course, none of the passengers can change the course, and there's so many captains at the helm - most of them utterly daft - that they can't change the course either.

Comment: Re:Robot soldiers more civilian friendly than huma (Score 2) 180

You don't see robots engaging in a My Lai-type massacre.

They also wouldn't commit atrocities against civilians, wonton destruction, killing livestock, rape, beatings, etc. Robots won't rape and pillage.

Well... You won't see them independently decide to do something like that. But orders are literally orders to a robot. You tell them to burn a city to the ground, shoot anyone who tries to flee, and they will burn that city to the ground and shoot everyone who flees. Without remorse, without second guessing orders, without a moment of any hesitation.

Which frankly, worries me a bit more. Because the upper levels of command in just about every model of human hierarchy always seems to have worrying numbers of psychopaths/sociopaths beyond what you'd expect in a normal pool of the population. On top of that - they're physically removed from the carnage. It's a lot easier to order the leveling of a rebel-occupied village when you will never personally see the slaughter of innocents that result.

That's not to say humans never do these things. Just that, humans are capable of refusing to do these things. Robots aren't.

Comment: Re:Overreacting (Score 1) 384

Why don't you read it with s/LGBT/polygamists/ or s/LGBT/pedophiles/

Probably because pedophelia doesn't involve acts between consenting adults able to give appropriate, informed consent. Given that you couldn't resist that analogy, it gives a pretty good idea of where you're coming from on this issue--and it's not a good place.

And yet you say nothing about consenting polygamy, or the fact that age-based consent is strictly based on an arbitrary line of 18, when in many other cultures the age of consent is less. Given the fact that you can't be ideologically consistent, I have to conclude that you just have a pet issue to grind with homosexuality, and you are not really interested in extending your arguments to their logical conclusions.

You see, you are super quick to jump to the "excluding gay marriages is just like excluding black people marriages in the game!" and yet, where is your outrage for the polygamists? I don't see it or hear it. Or the fact that you don't even have a decent argument why the age of consent is different in some communities than others, but morally it's OK to throw some people but not others in jail for the same act based on location?

And if everyone's faux outrage...

Personally, I'm just going to stand up for "disappointment", rather than "outrage". (I would go with "outrage" when talking about how, for instance, it's still legal in most U.S. states to fire someone from their job for no reason other than their being gay--but that's just my opinion.) That said, I will firmly declare a "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on" for presuming that because you're not outraged, or you think it's a dumb thing to be upset about, that anyone else expressing serious anger has to be faking it.

We'll just have to agree to disagree then. If you don't think there's faux outrage over this stupid Nintendo game being drummed up by the media looking for eyeballs and clicks, and from some members of the LGBT community and its proponents looking for another axe to grind, you sir, are fucking stupid, and that's just a statement of fact. But, indeed, I don't doubt that there are some people out there who aren't faking it, expressing serious anger about this retarded Sims wannabe produced by Nintendo. But that may be more fucking stupid by orders of magnitude more than someone faking it, self-interestedly looking for an angle to play on this issue. That's just my opinion, though.

Comment: Re:Overreacting (Score 1) 384

Now read that with s/LGBT/Black/

Now read that with s/LGBT/animals/.

Which is totally sound reasoning, if you would like to make the assertion that "LGBT people", "black people", and "animals" are all proper subsets of the group "people". Or, alternatively, that "LGBT people", "black people", and "animals" are all not subsets of the group "people". Which one of those arguments did you want to plant your flag on?

I'm not the OP, but I'll bite. Why don't you read it with s/LGBT/polygamists/ or s/LGBT/pedophiles/? Regardless of the manufactured controversy over a stupid kids Nintendo game, there will always be someone's morality and outrage somewhere being stepped on "because they weren't included". And if everyone's faux outrage over homosexuals doesn't extend to consenting polygamists, what kind of fucking hypocrites are they really being?

I mean, Good Noodly Flying Monster, can 3 or more people not enter into a consenting relationship? Why doesn't my Nintendo 3DS let me explore my money's worth of marrying my own bisexual harem??? It's blatant discrimination, I tell you!! (/sarcasm)

Comment: Re:I must live in a different country... (Score 1) 1374

by Stickerboy (#46892085) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

I hear my fellow Americans talk about needing guns in every room of the house to ward off the nightly assaults of Orc maurders but what country do these people actually live in? How many times has anyone ever personally had to fire a gun for self defense?

Trolling won't help, especially with something as flagrantly invented to distort reality.

Reality is that people know that the 2nd amendment is not, and was not, primarily intended to protect yourself from a bad guy. The primary purpose of the 2nd amendment is for the populace to defend themselves against tyranny.

Really? Please, in this age of the NSA surveillance state and free speech zones, let me know when my fellow gun owners are or are planning on defending themselves against tyranny. All I see is tacit complicity with the actual tyranny and a bunch of idiots in Nevada defending a tax avoider on Fox News.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"