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Comment Lots of room for methodology issues. (Score 1) 139 139

The lack of accidents and crime are more likely related to a general trend in crime going down from before they started turning off the lights. ... Give me at least one full year worth of data so I can compare it to the prior year, and have half of the country keep their lights on so It can be compared to the same time frame as well.

Hear, hear!

There's lots of room for methodology errors. Here's another:

Comparing murder rates between Great Britain and the US is complicated by differences in reporting. The US bumps the murder stat when there is a body and evidence of foul play. G.B. bumps it when they have a conviction.

Do they do that with other crime? If so, stable stats in the absence of street lighting might mean that any rise in crime is compensated for by a fall in identifying, apprehending, and convicting the criminals responsible. (Indeed, turning off the lights might easily result in LOWERED crime statistics at the same time it was causing a drastic increase in actual crime.)

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 432 432

The price of fuel does not reflect its cost. Let's simply add up the total man hours/human effort from rock to finished product it takes to propel the vehicle. And remember, the sky's the limit for producing electricity. I would contend that the effort needed to extract it is far less than mining for coal and drilling for oil and gas. There is a big problem though. The market absolutely hates abundance... The oil industry is in a minor panic over it right now. Farmers are plowing under their crops and throwing milk into the ditch, to prevent a price collapse. Electricity can already be made to cheap to meter whenever we want, and we could pay a fixed price for infrastructure, but a commodity is a commodity...

We will let our friends on Wall Street determine when electric cars become ubiquitous. The tipping point is the margins, not price, not demand.

Comment Re:Trucking (Score 1) 432 432

The internal combustion shall always be a jalopy, or contraption. All still based on 18th century steam power. Pure Rube Goldberg, the monkey motion that goes on in these machines. When considering total cost of operation, in terms of the only thing that matters, human effort, the electric comes out way ahead. And unlike petroleum, it can be produced anywhere, and much more cleanly. But, internal combustion sounds so much cooler at the drag strip.

Comment Re:prevent the gun from firing (Score 1) 64 64

Yes, you're right! Arguing against war is pretty stupid, isn't it? It's all so nice and neat now. I guess keeping all those nasty pictures off the TV made a difference. Thank you for reminding me. I'll try to stop. I didn't mean to offend anyone's fantasies. So, please, if it makes you feel better go out and tell the world what a fool I am.


Comment What hospital is that? (Score 1) 51 51

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

What hospital is that? I'll want to avoid it if I ever need heart surgery.

Seriously: How does your cardiac unit's mortality and morbidity rate stack up against those of hospitals where practice surgery on live animal, models, at least where the surgeon is new to the procedure, is more common?

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 265 265

You know it's possible to be against both, right?

For example: the thread here is all about how big bad megacorps have been using sophistry to hide dangerous things on their labels.

And why did this come up? Because someone wanted a giant warning that a product may contain GMOs on every product this applies to.

That's a wacko position. Why is it wacko? Well, because it does nothing to help the problem they subsequently claim to want addressed, that labels are often misleading. It actually makes the label more misleading, by highlighting a non-essential fact, giving weight to it, and pretending it's something the buyer should be concerned about, while leaving the the manufacturers to continue to do whatever they want with the ingredient list.

GMOs that do not make significant changes to a product that would leave unusual chemicals in them are not dangerous. Their presence in a food product shouldn't be highlighted as something for a consumer to be concerned about. Doing so does not give the consumer more options, it confuses them and draws attention away from real health issues like sugars and potentially harmful fats.

Comment Re:DC power (Score 1) 189 189

Well, I think we are getting better at converting DC voltages, which is why HVDC is being used for transmission lines for example.

I suspect the reason is in part portable electronics. We're trying to eke out as much power as possible for multivoltage devices (one voltage for the processor, another for the screen, another for the HDD (portable electronics includes laptops too...) another for the USB bus, etc) from a single (DC it goes without saying) battery. The amount of R&D into the voltage conversion field over the last thirty years must have been extraordinary, yet not sexy enough to warrant much media coverage.

Comment Re:Animals (Score 1) 51 51

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

So maybe I'm not up to date, or things are/were different in research hospitals.

My personal info was based on stories told by my mother, in about the '60s, when she was a special duty RN at the University of Michigan hospital, often handling cardiac recovery.

My favorite was the one where the UofMich hospital cafeteria, which had been purely open seating, established separate rooms for the staff to eat after an incident where patients' families overheard, and were traumatized by, a cardiac surgeon's response to a question. Asked how his operations the previous day had gone (referring to his experimental and/or practice surgery on a collie and another dog), he said "The blonde lived but the old bitch died."

The kids and adopted dogs story was from my wife. The surgeon in question was Dr. Albert Starr in (at least) the '60s through '80s. He was at St. Vincent's and also flew, with his team, to operate at a number of other west coast hospitals, university and otherwise.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.