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Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 536

Everything is hired out. I still can't figure how stuff gets built.

By contracting out, you get people who actually want to do good work for reasonable pay. Unlike union workers, or "set for life" big company employees.

Where I live the city has contracted out extensive sewer work. These contract workers are superb. You wouldn't see one-quarter of this efficiency with a union city crew. Everyone, including the city (and the city union bosses!), knows this.

Comment: Nice try (Score 1) 134

Nice try.

Drinking is drinking. It is physically and psychologically addictive, whether from regular "light" embibing or binge drinking.

Those "wonderfully reasonable" French are probably ALL addicted. They would suffer, especially physically, if they tried to stop.

My father was a "reasonable" drinker. Glass of wine at dinner, and nothing else. I lived with the guy for 17 years, then (after moving out) would visit for summer holidays each year.

I got a chance to watch the problem develop. The man was addicted, and it wasn't a pretty sight. But he never drank more than 2 glasses of wine, and only at a meal.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 1) 52

by justthinkit (#49272271) Attached to: New Compound Quickly Disables Chemical Weapons

This catalyst is for destroying stockpiles, but for helping with decontamination. Previously they were using an enzyme that is hard to deploy, and they've replaced that enzyme with an engineered catalyst that does the same chemistry, albeit less efficiently.

So, they already had a way. But it was "hard". And now they have another way but it is "less efficient" (i.e. probably costs more). How is any of this news?

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 1) 52

by justthinkit (#49271841) Attached to: New Compound Quickly Disables Chemical Weapons
The destruction of a chemical weapon is rather trivial, when you can conveniantly dunk the toxin in a vat of acid, or base, or solvent or whatever. Dioxins burn really well, for example.

The sticky bit is stopping it from entering people via their skin or lungs, eyes, etc. when the toxin is already dispersed.

In short, this wonderful new compound is utterly useless.

Comment: Re:Here are two tablets... (Score 1) 447

by justthinkit (#49247133) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions
Thank you. Not sure how that meshes with people drinking wheat grass juice -- having seen it grown, when the shoots are young, they look exactly like wild grass.

This WebMD page suggests a few reasons, including "One published study reports on a miniature poodle that ate grass and then vomited every day for seven years. Three days after putting the dog on a high-fiber diet, the owner reported that the dog stopped eating grass entirely."

This WebMD page says that "dogs today seek out plants as an alternative food source. Most commonly the plant is grass". It goes on to say: "A dog will seek out a natural remedy for a gassy or upset stomach, and grass, it seems, may do the trick. When ingested, the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining; this sensation, in turn, may cause the dog to vomit, especially if the grass is gulped down rather than chewed."

"Although dogs don't typically graze on large amounts of grass like a cow, they may nibble on grass, chew on it for a while, and not throw up (an unwell dog will tend to gulp the grass down in big bites and then throw up).

This seems much more like why my dog eats (or bites at) grass.

"Whatever the reason may be, most experts see no danger in letting your dog eat grass. In fact, grass contains essential nutrients that a dog might crave, especially if they're on a commercial diet."

It seems to me that humans don't know why dogs do it. But that it is good for dogs. And no, I've never seen my dogs "drunk" from grass eating.

Comment: Here are two tablets... (Score 1) 447

by justthinkit (#49246089) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions
If symptoms persist, take one.
If symptoms persist, take one-half.
If symptoms persist, take one-quarter.

By the way, has anyone seen what dogs do with grass? Ok, it varies a bit by dog. Some eat grass (and throw it up later) while others simply bite at the grass (swallowing little or none and not throwing it up later).

The point is, why do they do it?

I postulate, with the second category of dog, that they are getting a hint, an "essence of grass", and using that as an intentional "almost at homeopathic levels" treatment.

Our dog memorizes where the grass patches are and will want to head down certain blocks just to get to that grass.

BTW, regular lawn grass doesn't work and they will shun it. The best grass is "weed" grass that grows wildly, is longer than lawn grass and the best of the best has a wide blade -- the grass is several times wider than lawn grass.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.