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Comment: Re:gun safe? (Score 5, Interesting) 646

by Swanktastic (#40792921) Attached to: How a 3-Year-Old Can Open a Gun Safe

This is more FYI than trying to niggle with you, but most gun deaths are suicides, not crime or accidents. So it is pretty related to whether there is a gun in the house. We could have a discussion about whether you're more likely to succeed in a suicide attempt in a house with a gun, but that's for another day.

Comment: Re:There's Your Problem Right There (Score 1) 1108

There's truth to this, but it is extremely difficult to communicate this in a state-wide curriculum to elementary school children. It really takes a lifetime of study to truly understand and wrap your head around the nuances of the "theory of science."

If you're trying to teach these concepts to every kid out there, including the ones in the bottom 20% in performance, you can't really get into too many shades of gray before you've completely lost them. Children are pretty much programmed to learn Black and White concepts, and that is why this law is so dangerous.

Comment: Re:Here it comes. (Score 1) 292

by Swanktastic (#39156129) Attached to: Cars Emit More Black Carbon Than Previously Thought

Thank you for your sanity. Both the EPA and the design engineer know exactly how much PM is coming out the pipe for every model. Every company doing engines of any sort has spent billions or tens of billions on meeting emissions requirements.

By the way, I've read some interesting speculation that limiting soot emissions actually speeds up global warming. Nobody is saying we should pollute more, just that clean air doesn't obscure sunlight as much and therefore retards global warming. This was speculated because global warming didn't seem to kick in as fast as it should have in the 19th century. Anyways, I don't remember the full story, so take it with a grain of salt.

Comment: Re:Won't someone think of the children? (Score 2) 557

by Swanktastic (#39153277) Attached to: NYC To Release Teacher Evaluation Data Over Union Protests

I've worked in Worldwide Operations Strategy for a major unionized manufacturing company. I've done colossal projects looking at whether to shift capacity to Germany, the Northern USA, the Southern USA, India, Mexico, etc. There's a reason why Germans get the wages they do and Southern Americans get the wages they do.

German line workers generally have years of technical training on and outside the job before they get those wages. To make a comparison, German Technician to German Engineer is a bit like Nurse to Physician. They know their stuff. You can hand them 1 page of tech specs and they can figure out how to assemble it and make dramatic improvements to line efficiency. We did an experiment handing the assembly documents to American workers and it took a TON of engineering time to get them up to speed.

I do no exaggerate when I say that the hardest thing we have in the US South is hiring enough functionally literate employees. 75% of applicants recently were functionally illiterate. The ones we do hire want to spend about half their workday chatting. This is in multiple locations (Tennessee, NC, Mississippi). This BS about Americans being great workers is no true. Some are, some are not. Guys in Wisconsin and MI typically know their stuff but have terrible attitudes. Guys in the South know next to nothing and have bad attitudes.

I have tremendous respect for union employees. They do great things, and I'm more than happy to pay for productivity. This is NOT what union leaders want. They value solidarity above all else. They feel that as soon as management can divide and conquer employees by separating the good ones from the bad ones, the union leaders will no longer be necessary and they'll be out of a job.

The teachers union will fight tooth and nail to prevent evaluations of teachers, regardless of effectiveness. Despite the fact that Math is Math and kids are kids (for the most part), the teachers union management LOVES the system that locks teachers into a lifetime at one school system. They fear the concept that good teachers could bounce around seeking their own better wages through an efficienct market system because it completely short circuits their x% of the wages.

Comment: Re:Why the concern? (Score 1) 300

If this was a bill requiring strong IT practices for storing consumer personal data, Slashdot would be falling over itself to drool on the sponsors.

As much fun as everyone makes of politicians for pandering to the stupids, even smart people turn off their brains for "us vs. them" issues.

Comment: Re:Irking (Score 1) 389

by Swanktastic (#38442096) Attached to: <em>Star Wars: the Old Republic</em> Launches

Everything I've read indicates that the console & pc gaming industry works under the 80/20 rule. So, yes there are lots of people who do not buy a $60 game each month. And, yes, most people make a lot of posts complaining that $15 a month is expensive.

However, publishers make a lot of money catering to the heavy buyers (like me) who spend more than $500 a year on games.

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman

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