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Comment: Re:You missed one option:Socialist fantasy (Score 1) 471

by nealric (#49485701) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries
Who said anything about Janitors making the same as a skilled employee? I seriously doubt this company had many employees making much less than $50k. Pretty much all the employees were skilled to a degree, and probably most of them probably already made six figures. Most companies don't directly employ janitors these days. Everywhere I've worked, they are outsourced by building management.

Comment: Re:And... (Score 1) 160

by nealric (#49432663) Attached to: NASA's Chief Scientist Predicts Evidence For Life Beyond Earth By 2025

The peak oil alarmists really don't understand the oil industry. We haven't even scratched the surface of available oil on earth. Forget shale and other unconventionals. Consider that 70% of the earth is deep water oceans. The average ocean depth is around 12,000 feet. Until recently, we didn't have the technology to drill at 12,000 feet. There has been essentially no exploration deep offshore in international waters. That's more than 2/3 of the earth that hasn't even really been explored for oil yet, let alone tapped. It won't be until prices rise substantially, as it's nowhere near economic at today's prices. We also keep finding more and more shale. Everyone's been talking about the Eagle Ford shale in Texas. Well, guess what? The Austin Chalk layer, which is largely untapped, has been found to have huge potential as well. Same physical location above ground, just different depths.

It's almost certain that there will be some point in human history (perhaps within some of our lifetimes) when oil dependence ceases. When it happens, it will simply be because oil got out competed in the market place by other alternatives. That's what is starting to happen to coal in some parts of the world. There are myriad potential doomsday scenarios, but peak oil isn't one of them.

Comment: Re:Defense was never arguing innocence (Score 1) 250

by nealric (#49432525) Attached to: Verdict Reached In Boston Bombing Trial
Exactly. There would have been no trial at all if the prosecution had just agreed to a life in prison plea deal. There's basically no reason to plead guilty if the prosecutors seek the death penalty. You go to trial and set up the appellate record for decades of appeals. Frankly, I think this whole trial was more about the prosecutors wanting career advancement than anything else.

Comment: Don't get the Hype over MOOCs (Score 2) 145

by nealric (#49385561) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast
I am still scratching my head as to why MOOCs are supposed to be such a revolution. The problem in education has never been access to the information itself. You've been able to learn all the information and concepts taught in most undergraduate courses for pretty much free since the invention of the public library. Video lectures in correspondence courses have been available since VHS. The only thing the internet adds is the potential for real-time interactivity. But in a MOOC, any interactivity is going to be very limited, as the professor can't realistically answer questions from thousands of students.

Comment: We get the IRS We Deserve (Score 2) 349

by nealric (#49373549) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

It's convenient to complain about the IRS, but its flaws are a result of our own animus. Note the flaws of the agency are separate from those of the underlying tax code it has to administer, which it does not write (blame Congress for that).

We don't want to fund the IRS, so its budget keeps getting cut, while the list of demands placed upon it increases. Nobody likes the IRS, so it has difficulty attracting high-quality job applicants. Would you want to work for an agency constantly being berated for doing its job? The workers are forced to do without simple benefits private sector workers take for granted, such as free water coolers and coffee because of public stinginess. I recently read an article in a trade publication that states the IRS has fewer than 750 workers younger than 25 out of a workforce of almost 70,000. The figures aren't great for under 35s either. With that kind of recruitment, it's little wonder that they are a bit behind the times.

Of course, there are the scandals, but those have involved small subsets within the organization. If one subgroup of 5 employees in Exempt Organizations did something wrong, public opinion pillories the remaining 69,995 employees. One example of waste becomes an assumption that everything is waste.

To share a personal story as a tax professional: I applied to the IRS coming out of school out of an interest in protecting the public interest. The pay was just over 1/3 of what I was being offered in the private sector (albeit with slightly better benefits). The recruiters did not exactly exude excitement about their jobs. Ultimately, that was too tough of a pill to swallow. Now, I help companies minimize their corporate taxes.

Comment: Re:Amazing post (Score 1) 496

by nealric (#49355667) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds
Even accepting your figures at face value, there's more to it than that. Gaining lean muscle mass also includes the calories required to build and maintain that mass (training requires regeneration of damaged tissues). Your muscle gains will go away if you don't train, but the fat stays there if you just keep eating. Here's a helpful calorie counter based on scientific research (it even lets you choose which research model you use): http://scoobysworkshop.com/cal...

Comment: Re:Move more, eat less (Score 2) 496

by nealric (#49328771) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds
I can't find something like that funny. But it is instructive. When I see a morbidly obese person roll up to the checkout counter, their food choices are awful. EVERY SINGLE TIME. They are buying nothing but soda by the case, prepackaged meals, and bags of candy. I've literally never seen someone who was 100lbs or more overweight come to the checkout counter with a significant amount of fresh produce. The correlation is so strong I can estimate someone's BMI pretty accurately just by looking at their unattended shopping cart.

Comment: Re:Amazing post (Score 1) 496

by nealric (#49328539) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

Here's an NIH funded study that touches on the topic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

But there is a metric TON of bad diet and fitness research out there. It's mind boggling how many studies use slow walking as "exercise" and think "weight training" involves nothing more than a leg lift machine. It also seems like the vast majority work with "sedentary" subjects and follow them for a few weeks before pronouncing the study "done". Here's a critique of one such study that compared cardio to strength training: http://www.builtlean.com/2013/...

Comment: Re:Amazing post (Score 1) 496

by nealric (#49328153) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds
Yes and no. If you get very little exercise, it's going to be extremely difficult to have the self control required to eat few enough calories to not be overweight. Most people will be hungry all the time doing that, even with a high fiber/protein diet. On top of that, the end result of trying to lose weight by diet alone will be someone who is "skinny fat" with very little muscle mass. Once you build significant muscle mass, it becomes a lot easier to keep away body fat, as your basal metabolic rate is higher and you can eat many more calories without consuming a surplus.

Comment: Re:Dialects != Language (Score 1) 667

by nealric (#49277469) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'
No, but you generally need counsel to litigate in anything but small claims court. And "clearly did not mean" is rarely so clear. Just because someone uses "ain't no" doesn't necessarily mean they didn't mean to reference a statute (and if it's in their interest, they will argue that). Like I said, the courts try their best to look to the intent of the parties in whatever dialect they used, but in real life things get messy. Really, the legal profession does not intentionally go out and create opaque language or language that is outside the vernacular.

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