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Comment: Re:And now thanks to /. and microsoft (Score 2, Interesting) 275

by madcow_bg (#30045162) Attached to: Microsoft Tries To Censor Bing Vulnerability
Obligatory quote from The Black Adder:

Perkins: Oh, your lawyer now, yes sir. Don't you think that might be a bit
          of a waste of money, sir.

Edmund: Not when he's the finest mind in English legal history. Ever heard
        of Bob Mattingburg?

Perkins: Oh, yes indeed, sir! A most gifted gentleman!

Edmund: I remember Mattingburg's most famous case, the case of the bloody knife.
        A man was found next to a murdured body, he had the knife in his hand,
        thirteen witnesses that seen him stab the victim, when the police
        arrived he said, "I'm glad I killed the bastard." Mattingburg not
        only got him off, but he got him knighted in the New Year's Honors
        list, and the relatives of the victim had to pay to have the blood
        washed out of his jacket.

Comment: Re:Do or do not: There is no moderation. (Score 1) 978

by madcow_bg (#30041712) Attached to: Why Doesn't Exercise Lead To Weight Loss?

First, because farmers can't use certain very safe and developed pesticides, they have to use older and much more toxic varieties. Not to mention the actual amount of pesticides residue you eat a year has less cancerogenic substances than a cup of coffee. The thing is, the human body is very resilient and such exposure just doesn't matter.

Care to provide any supporting information for your assertion that organic farmers use "older and much more toxic" pesticides? Talk about pure bullshit...

Here's what the EPA has to say about it.

As for the issue of pesticide residue, I'm sure that the amount of pesticide residue for a given piece of produce usually falls below some FDA threshold, and I'm sure that washing produce helps even more. The point I was trying to make, though, was not that pesticides are eeeeevil. They have their place in agriculture, but there is growing evidence that they are being overused. In short, heavy use of pesticides (and fertilizers) is not sustainable agriculture.

When you need to dose the shit out of your plants (killing pollenating insects and doing other harm to the biosphere) to keep them from being eaten alive, you're doing it wrong. Your crops are too dense. When you need to pour on the fertilizer to make up for the fact that you've pulled all the nutrients out of the soil, you're doing it wrong. It's not sustainable. You're reliant on Monsanto for your engineered seed + RoundUp and Saudi Arabia for your petro-based fertilizers.

My concern is not based in some wooly-headed "o noes chemicals" fear. I would sign up to have a neighborhood-sized pebble-bed nuke plant next to my backyard if I could. I just believe that we can choose better ways to do things.

As ever, the Wikipedia article on the subject provides the much needed citation. Some of the substances they use a really poisonous, and to add insult to injury, not effective enough. Yeah, as you may have heard "organically grown food" is more expensive because there is less of it, one of the reasons is that the "biopesticides" are just not effective enough.

Actually, organic foods would definitely taste better when you're feeling morally superior. However you cannot taste the difference in a double-blinded test. Especially because YMMV, and the big problem to discerning the difference in taste is that when you *know* you're getting organic you attribute any goodness as organic, and when you *know* you're getting non-organic for all untastyness you blame the non-organic origin of the food. You don't get better nutritional value, and especially for your money it's quite a bummer. Just buy better beef without regard of it being free-range or not.

If you don't eat junk food, then you'll get 99% of the health benefits of any food switch. Last 1% you can get if you have a local farmer that supplies you with good food every day, but that's practically impossible.

As I thought I made clear in my original post, my motivation for buying Organic food is not specifically for a perceived superiority in taste. High-quality produce is high-quality produce regardless of whether or not it's Organic.

Yeah, you should totally do that, it's a damn shame that whole organic-food charade. When the whole point should have been "we want better food" we're being f*cked organically when no proof of health benefits have been discovered yet.

Meat, on the other hand, is a whole other ball of wax.

As an example, the "free range" chicken breasts I buy are far and away superior in taste and texture to the premium conventional breasts I buy every once in a while (depending on which grocery I get to). I usually make a chicken vindaloo several times a month (sometimes twice a week if we're fixated), and my wife can always tell when I've bought the Perdue chicken. I'd be willing to believe that it's simply a matter of freshness, but given the consistent discrepancy I'm not so sure.

I know that often the factory chicken producers inject their meat with saline to plump it up, so maybe that's it... Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that one set of chickens is crammed into a pen so small they can't turn around and fed growth hormones their whole (short) lives, and the others are allowed to develop somewhat normally. I dunno. I don't really care -- I'm willing to pay more for chicken that tastes good.

Completely agree, you should buy the food that tastes better. However, from what I've read and seen, it being better has nothing to do with it being free-range. For example, veal is not free range by a longshot, however pretty much everybody agrees it is high-quality meat that tastes much better than ordinary beef...

As for steak... Have you ever had real grass-fed steak? ...

I prepare 90% of my food by myself, but I haven't eaten free-range meat due to non-availability round here... However I had eaten home-grown pork chopped like 30 minutes ago ... It really is the best meat I have eaten. The pig had been fed off junk (half-rotten apples and ordinary pig grain diet & shit). One of these days I'll do a double-blinded test if I can get my hands on some organic meat. I have seen today "free-range eggs", 6 for 6.45, and I bought ordinary eggs, 10 for 1.20...

My point, again, is not that I think progress is evil or that we should all return to hunter/gatherer society or something. I just think that if more people choose to support sustainable agriculture, it will be better for all of us in the long run.

Well ... it is certainly a possibility, though I personally fear that in 30-50 years the health recommendation will be of some kind of matrix-style protein soup that if not taste, will look like shit...

But I know that for some people "sustainable" or "organic" are watchwords for hippy libruls smokin' dope and trying to take away guns or whatever.

Yes, it is quite unfortunate that the majority of the environmentalist movement mistakes "natural" for "good 4 u" ... the other half trying to ban nuclear energy. And I'm one of the organizers of the local green party ... a depressing thought. If we could only get that idiotic "natural is good for you" mentality off peoples minds, maybe we'll have time to concentrate on stuff that matters, like using less and more focused syntetic pesticides and fertilizers, safer and more tasty (by GM modification) crops ...

Comment: Re:Do or do not: There is no moderation. (Score 1) 978

by madcow_bg (#30038582) Attached to: Why Doesn't Exercise Lead To Weight Loss?

7. Organic food (when you can find it cheapish). Free range meat (compulsory). Before you roll your eyes, give it a chance. From my experience, organic food tastes better, if that's it's only advantage, infact sometimes epicly better to the point of night and day difference. I can't think how many bad pieces of fruit I've gotten from the

It usually does taste much better, and it is common sense that eating foods which haven't been doused with pesticides is better for you. Irrespective of those arguments, the weight of which vary wildly from person to person, I think that eating certified Organic foods is morally superior. I know, that sounds awfully hippy-dippy, but what cemented it for me was an article which pointed out that organic foods cost more because they're more expensive to produce. Duh, but why? Well, it's because they're produced in a sustainable fashion. The farmers can't use pesticides, so crop density has to be lower. The farmers can't use certain classes of fertilizers, so the yields are smaller. The animals are free-range and not crammed full of growth hormones and antibiotics, so it takes longer to grow fewer of them.

The result of choosing organic produce and meats is that we eat less meat. In my mind, this is a good thing. As a society, we've allowed the agribusiness industry to externalize costs, which results in artificially reduced prices for their products. They don't account for the increased societal health costs of a corn- and meat-heavy diet. They don't account for the pollution that results from factory farming (Fertilizer Runoff, Pigshit Lagoons, etc.), and they're doing it all with nice juicy federal subsidies. What is wrong with us?? We're paying them (via taxes and at the grocery store) to make us less healthy!!

I know that many people don't have the luxury of spending more for their calories. My family is fortunate enough that we can. I look at it as an investment in our own health and as an investment in sustainable agriculture. I'm under no illusions that we'll ever make factory farming go away, but if enough informed consumers choose to pay more for better product, then we'll at least put pressure on Big Ag to clean themselves up.

I agree wholeheartedly to the rest of your post, however this one is pure bullshit.

First, because farmers can't use certain very safe and developed pesticides, they have to use older and much more toxic varieties. Not to mention the actual amount of pesticides residue you eat a year has less cancerogenic substances than a cup of coffee. The thing is, the human body is very resilient and such exposure just doesn't matter.

Actually, organic foods would definitely taste better when you're feeling morally superior. However you cannot taste the difference in a double-blinded test. Especially because YMMV, and the big problem to discerning the difference in taste is that when you *know* you're getting organic you attribute any goodness as organic, and when you *know* you're getting non-organic for all untastyness ou blame the non-organic origin of the food. You don't get better nutritional value, and especially for your money it's quite a bummer. Just buy better beef without regard of it being free-range or not.

If you don't eat junk food, then you'll get 99% of the health benefits of any food switch. Last 1% you can get if you have a local farmer that supplies you with good food every day, but that's practically impossible.

Comment: Re:How about a special license and exam? (Score 1) 432

by madcow_bg (#29985406) Attached to: FCC/DOT Want High-Tech Cure For Distracted Driving

2.) They ignore how many distractions come from the radio in the car - they would never move to ban radios

Not the same. I will vote to ban the radio the instant it started demanding my attention and screaming if I didn't respond...

3.) They ignore how many distractions come from passengers/pets - they would never more to ban passengers/pets

Not the same. Passengers shut up when you're distracted or in a dangerous situation.

4.) They hold on to the idea that if a phone was in the car, it caused the accident, no matter what the actual cause was
5.) To such people, the citing of a couple of personal examples shows what all of humankind is like
6.) They fit into the general pattern of those who want to tell others what to do

That is a strawman argument. Nobody argues such things.

In any case, it's like drinking and driving. Nobody's blaming the alcohol, but the person who chose to be intoxicated. And if you chose to use the phone ... tough luck.

Let me sum it up for you. Public driveways are public property. If Mr. Youdumbfuck doesn't want to drive responsibly then he should be banned from driving.

The truth is that when bad things happen, people inevitably seek to blame whatever thing/behavior that they don't like but think they have good enough chances of hanging the blame on. Aren't there any studies on actual distraction level and human tolerance for such? Statistics taken at the scene of accidents are just as unreliable as they were in the 80's when any car with any amount of alcohol in it, regardless of form (groceries, sealed bottles, etc) was considered an "alcohol-related" accident.

Nope. Scientific evidence is provided that phonecalls and texting are distracting to drivers AND said drivers underestimate how distracting they are. Since the law has to be as unambiguous as possible, the small cost of not having phonecalls without handsfree and texting by the driver are banned is justified, provided the safety increase.

Comment: Re:Black holes contribute to entropy ? (Score 1) 304

by madcow_bg (#29671283) Attached to: Universe Has 100x More Entropy Than We Thought

Actually, the Hawking radiation doesn't come from inside the black hole.

When a particle/anti-particle pair tunnels into existence at the edge of a black hole, for some reason, the anti-particle tunnels into existence inside the black hole and is immediately annihilated by an already existing particle in the black hole (thus reducing the mass of the black hole by one particle's worth). The particle that tunneled into existence outside the black hole spins off and is referred to as "Hawking Radiation".

The wikipedia article is excellent.

Yet you failed to grasp the actual idea.

It is a VIRTUAL particle/antiparticle pair that gets created out of nothing for a very short time. The pair annihilates in normal circumstances, releasing no energy since none was given in the first place. Strange concept really, but works mathematically.

However near the black hole one of the pair can escape and the other may not. Then the falling virtual particle annihilates with a real one, and the escaping one just escapes. By escaping it carries some of the energy of the black hole away.

Comment: Re:Its just stupid (Score 1, Informative) 408

by madcow_bg (#29603349) Attached to: Federal Summit Eyes Crackdown On Texting While Driving

Are you capable of forming an opinion on a subject without requiring a study to back it up? Are human beings in general able to master things that the average person in the average study wasn't capable of?

I don't doubt that many people are too stupid or unskilled to safely text while driving. There's also a lot of people who can't juggle, and most can't walk on a tight rope over a canyon without falling to their deaths. Yet somehow, some people are able to do these things. I can type out a text message on my phone while watching traffic and barely even thinking about the message I'm sending, the same way I can type at 100 WPM on a keyboard while simultaneously holding a conversation with someone on a different subject. It comes from practice. Maybe you aren't practiced or skilled enough; I'm sorry. That doesn't change the fact that I can do these things, and neither do your studies.

You can't. Really, you just can't do it. Your overinflated ego can twist and turn the facts in you head to make you believe you can do it, but you really can't. And by doing those things you are making all of us unsafe.

Most drunk drivers believe they can drive just fine on three beers. They can't, it's a proven fact. It's also a proven fact that people believe they can do it, and this does not make it so.

You may not have yet killed someone, but I urge you to stop your stupidity before you do. THEN it will be too late.

Comment: Re:Not really... (Score 1) 267

by madcow_bg (#29578997) Attached to: Apple Pushes Unwanted Software To PCs, Again

You can complain about MS all you want, but aside from the malware tool they occasionally send, they do not push NEW software over their updates. They offer them through the Windows Update website as optional / recommended updates that are NOT preselected.

Well, duh! All MS components are already on the machine. If PCs came with all Apple software preinstalled the wouldn't be pushing extra software would they?

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