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Comment: What's your head worth? (Score 1) 1651

by dafz1 (#41524673) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

I used to run a bike shop. Every time I would sell a bike, I would make sure the customer had a good discussion about why they should buy a $30 helmet. The $30 helmet was usually less than 10% of the bike purchase. When they would say "It's not comfortable", I would ask them what their head is worth. Maybe not to them, but to their family. If they had brain damage, what would their life be like? Could they still work? What would happen to their family if they couldn't? Once I sold a bike, and a helmet, to a bright kid who had a major head injury from a car accident. He had been a bright engineering student, after the accident he lived at home with his parents. He applied once for a job, but did very poorly on the math test (~ sixth grade skill level) we gave prospective employees. Head trauma can really screw up your life, so don't take the chance.

I've been in a number of bike accidents, one of which caused a concussion and an overnight hospital stay. No helmet. I've had some where I hit my head, and cracked my helmet, with no head trauma. If had more where I scratched my helmet, with no problems.

The rule with my family is the same as the rules at a triathlon: if you are touching your bike, you MUST have a helmet on.

Comment: Good Enough for Porsche (Score 1) 372

by dafz1 (#37796810) Attached to: $529M DOE Loan Spawns $97K Made-in-Finland Cars

The company in Finland, Valmet Automotive, currently builds the Boxster and the Cayman for Porsche. If you want to build a sports car, but don't have a factory to build it with, Valmet is probably a good option.

Buying an antiquated former "Big Three" factory is a giant waste of money. Example: the former Chrysler Engine Plant in Kenosha, WI is going to cost $13 MIL in environmental clean-up. At least that's what they're estimating right now. Who's going to pay for that? The State of WI and the federal government.

Comment: Mark, meet George (Score 4, Funny) 298

by dafz1 (#32324450) Attached to: Mark Twain To Reveal All After 100 Year Wait

"Twain planned to republish every one of his works the moment it went out of copyright with one-third more content, hoping that availability of such 'premium' version will make prints based on the out-of-copyright version less desirable on the market."

So George Lucas didn't come up with this first. Not that it makes it ok.

Comment: From someone who does Genetic Testing (Score 5, Interesting) 268

by dafz1 (#31033824) Attached to: Routine DNA Tests For Newborns Mean Looming Privacy Problems

My wife does molecular and cytogenetic testing. This was her reaction:

"Over reaction. Yes the state labs keep blood spots...I don't know when anyone would ever want to go back and get a sample with someone's name on it unless they were working on a gene that is on the newborn screening panel. They legally can not use genetic testing to prevent you from getting a job or insurance..and who would. It would take more time and money than it's worth to get that information from a newborn screening card. Everyone is told about newborn screening and everyone has the opportunity to decline. It's a matter of whether you are actually paying attention to what is happening with your child. If you don't understand you have a responsibility to speak up. Newborn screening is important...research on deidentified samples is important. No one is out to get you. No one has the time or energy to get you. Life is not CSI."

Comment: Re:Who watches live TV anymore? (Score 1) 248

by dafz1 (#29191499) Attached to: Nielsen Struggles To Track Modern Viewing Habits

That's fine for the old method of TV advertising, the 30 second commercial. However, companies are getting wise to the impact product placement can have. See: "Chuck" and Five Dollar Footlong Mondays.

I will sit through 30 second advertising breaks, like on-demand service or Hulu, however.

Comment: Clearing things up (Score 1) 327

by dafz1 (#26957011) Attached to: Wisconsin Passes Digital Download Tax

1. I live in Wisconsin.

2. Technically, this isn't new. As people said before, there is a place on the Wisconsin Income Tax form where we are supposed to self-report all purchases made out of state(including mail order, online, etc.).

3. I really don't mind.

I buy all of my music from iTunes. I've never bought a whole album online. So, the $.05 cents per download(or soon to be $.04 or $.06 with the new $.69/$1.29 pricing) is still better than the $.71+ if I had to buy the whole cd from the local brick and mortar store.

How would this affect places like Netflix, where I pay a monthly subscription fee to stream movies? Do I pay sales tax on the $8.99? That's still much better than the $.16 I pay at the local video store for EACH movie.

In the grand scheme of things, I still come out ahead. The state still loses out on some amount of revenue, though I'm a tiny bit poorer than if this tax levy hadn't been passed.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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