Lesbians, by this logic, are God's chosen, since female-to-female transmission of HIV is extremely rare.
The AK's I saw at the last gun show ranged from $650 up to $2000. Where are you getting them for $30?
You live in rich country full of gun collectors who drive up the price for nice examples. In Africa, AK-47s can be had for around $300 [reference:http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2007/06/12/looking_for_a_deal_on_ak_47s_go_to_africa#sthash.IpUFO50V.dpbs].
It's also possible that at certain situations (e.g., after a proxy war) markets in very poor countries may be flooded with very cheap weapons, with ak-47s selling for as little as $6 [reference http://archive.is/5gesc%5D. However this is obviously not a sustainable price; it only reflects a glut on the local market. Also, these aren't places you'd want to live, despite the occasional gun purchase bargain.
Same here. Had a T42 sitting on a high lab bench doing a big database update and somebody knocked onto the concrete floor. Aside from a hairline crack in the corner it landed on, it was perfectly fine.
Well, I was agreeing with you, but I took a slightly more skeptical position with respect to science fiction enthusiasts' actual knowledge of science. You suggested that science fiction writers might be in a slightly privileged position in comparison to artists because they have more of an understanding of nature. That may be true of *some* science fiction authors (e.g. David Brin, who is a working scientist), but by in large the science fiction community displays what to my mind is a deceptively superficial knowledge of science.
Take the lithium deuteride example. Yes, I agree a sci-fi writer is more likely to know offhand that it's used in thermonuclear bombs than an average artist. But that is really just a piece of technology trivia. It's not *working* knowledge. What's the difference? Working knowledge allows you to make valid inferences, or at least leads you in the right direction. As far as the author was concerned "lithium deuteride" might as well have been magic pixie dust. He didn't realize that it's usefulness is as a way of packing a lot of hydrogen (or rather deuterium) atoms into a confined space -- the very reason LiH is of interest for storage and transport of hydrogen to be used in fuel cells. If he *had* understood this, he could have done rough scaling calculations on th required mass for his hypothetical warhead. That would be an example of working knowledge; although it wouldn't man he knows anything about economics, or biology (often a weak spot in sci-fi in my opinion).
So in my opinion a science fiction author is not in a *privileged* position relative to an artist to have an opinion about things like economics; nor is he even in a privileged position relative to an artist to have an opinion about science. Not necessarily. For one thing I think you're selling short the intellectual abilities of artists. But the sci-fi writer certainly has a right to have and express opinions; they just aren't any more credible *because* he's a sci-fi writer.
Well, if you outlawed every form of argument a simpleton can misconstrue, you might as well cut your own tongue out.
Literature is great way of raising questions. It's a lousy way of *answering* them. You should never walk away from a book convinced of anything, whether it is science fiction, historical drama, or a Harlequin romance. That's because an author controls the domain of discourse in fiction. He creates the fiction world and as much of its history, natural science, and society as suits his purpose. He can produce a socialist utopia or a Galt's Gulch, whichever serves his story -- or his biases.
As for the science fiction fan's supposed knowledge of nature, I'd be suspicious of it. While it's true that sci-fi fans often have familiarity with physical science and technology that exceeds the general public, that's hardly a ringing endorsement. In my writing group, I recently critiqued a manuscript in which Shiite terrorists, working under a Wahhabist imam, build a lithium deuteride super-warhead and launch it on an ICBM into equatorial orbit to cause world-wide destruction of electronic equipment via EMP. Now virtually *every* aspect of this scenario is demonstrably *wrong*. When I pointed this out, the author's reaction was "It doesn't matter." Now there's something to be said for this. All he really needs is the set-up for his post-apocalyptic adventure, and it could just as well be magic and pixie dust as EMP and lithium deuteride. But I feel that as far as you explain anything, that explanation ought to hold water.
The thing about scientific literacy is that it isn't knowledge of a bunch of random, disconnected facts (e.g. lithium deuteride is used in thermonuclear warheads) as it is a capacity to figure things out, like whether it is remotely feasible to take out the entire world with EMP from a single warhead. Basic fact-finding and simple computation.
Well, that's enough information to confirm that DNA is not involved. While the methodology may be intrusive and problematic from an informed consent point of view, it's not as alarming as the police randomly stopping motorists to add their DNA to a surveillance database.
FINALLY! Someone got to the bottom of this!
The cops are really just perverts, collecting your spit for their nightstick activities.
You know, there are other detectable substances in saliva and serum besides DNA.
If this is in linux, this might have something to do with ACPI. The firmware has a table called the DSDT (Differentiated System Description Table) which basically tells the operating system how to turn integrated peripherals like network cards off and on when going to sleep or waking up.
One peculiarity of the DSDT is that the ACPI specification allows it to include different instructions to different operating systems, and this is a common source of problems in linux installs. Some manufacturers (Toshiba) deliberately sabotage non-Windows operating systems in their DSDTs. Others simply deliver DSDTs that are untested and potentially buggy in non-windows operating systems.
Anyhow, an OS can switch devices off an on itself using ACPI, so I think ACPI may trump BIOS settings. One way to test this is to boot with ACPI turned off. If this fixes the problem of the mic being available even when disabled in BIOS, then you have and ACPI/DSDT problem. If not, then it is a design flaw in the machine's design (e.g. turning the mic off in BIOS simply turns the gain to 0) and you wasted your time reading this post.
How many people here (a) have read the Divine Comedy and (b) worked as a programmer? I'm sure I'm not the only one, but we've got to be a pretty small audience.
Who do you think is the analog of Beatrice? Or Francesca da Rimini from Canto V?
Awesome! I didn't know that the Science Patrol made music videos.
Twenty or thirty years ago there used to be people called "journalists" whose job it was to (a) collect enough data so you could figure out what happened, and (b) write it up in an intelligible story.
Look at the linked story *critically*. How does the "reporter" know DNA was being taken? What is his source for this, or is he just guessing?
This story is basically rumor -- passing along what's on the grapevine. There's no actual reporting here. If there were, that would answer the questions a reasonable person might have. For example: are the researchers collecting DNA or not? And who *are* these researchers? Can we get a name please? Or an institution?
Back in the day a reporter would have identified the researchers and called them up for an interview, or at least a statement from the research institution's public affairs office. He'd look up the grant in the federal records and find out whether or not the researchers had been granted money to collect DNA and what they are being paid to do with it (yes, you can do that!). He'd may even have interviewed people on the institutional review board (required by US law) that approved the project.
But the "reporter" in this case did none of this. She appears not to have done *any* verification or independent research. A story like this would take a real reporter two or three days to nail down, not two or three phone calls.
I'm not saying some horrendous violation of civil liberties could not have taken place, I'm saying the writer of the article didn't do enough work for anyone to decide what did or did not happen. This is not reporting, it's *blogging* under a byline.
He's a regular Daniel Boone, leading a life of simple-but-rewarding chores: loading logs into the log splitter as he waits for his iTunes movie to download; snow blowing a clear path for the UPS truck to deliver their Amazon groceries; or just whittlin' a shim to mount the high gain yagi antenna to the mast so he can check his Facebook down at the fishin' hole.
The question isn't whether antibacterial agents like tricolosan *cause* antibiotic resistance. Clearly that's poppycock. But that *doesn't* mean anti-bacterial soap can't contribute to the spread of pathogenic bacteria in general.
By altering the user's microbiome, an antibacterial agent could potentially open an ecological niche for a pathogen. If the particular strain of pathogen happens to be antibiotic resistant, then the antibacterial has contributed to the the spread of antibiotic resistance without actually causing resistance itself.
As for normal soap and water, that does not in any way shape or form kill bacteria. It washes away stray bacteria that haven't established colonies on your skin. It does nothing for bacteria protected in the pores or by biofilms. Therefore normal handwashing helps prevent the spread of stray pathogens you may have picked up without creating an opportunity for them to colonize your skin.
So the bottom line:
Hand washing with ordinary soap -- definitely good.
Hand washing with antibacterial soap -- in most cases unnecessary, and possibly harmful.
Well, a cable would be a good place to put a monitoring device. You can certainly get inconspicuous USB keyloggers that could easily be molded into a keyboard cable.
If the NSA is removing UTP, I wouldn't take that as evidence that the NSA doesn't know what they're doing. I'd take that as evidence that the NSA has packet monitoring hardware that fits into a cable.
The real question here is "how likely is it for each gun owner to kill someone with a gun eventually".
The rate at which gun owners kill people is in any case very, very low as AC suggests; but it's not really what you want to know. What you want to know is your chance of getting killed by a gun owner.
Suppose you identify some group that (a) has a lower rate of firearm ownership than the general population and (b) is less likely to commit crimes than the current gun owning population. You could decrease the *percentage* of dangerous gun owners by giving everyone in that group a gun.... BUT since *some* of that group will turn out to be criminals, you've increased the TOTAL number of criminals with guns.
What you really want to know is what the marginal effect of increased gun ownership would have on public safety, taking into account, of course, the possible deterrent effect of a more highly armed populace.
The problem with the hope for an *increased* deterrent effect is that the US already has the highest rate of firearm ownership in the world *by far*. Nearly half of all households have a gun, and about 1/3 of adults own a gun. It's hard to imagine getting much more deterrence benefit by increasing those already astonishing numbers.
Furthermore, if you look for deterrent effect by comparing states by firearm ownership, there is no evidence. States with higher rates of firearm ownership have higher rates of gun violence. This is correlation rather than causation, of course; it is quite possible that people in violent states buy more guns to protect themselves. BUT -- if there were a dramatic deterrent effect you'd expect to see it in the data eventually.