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Comment: Re:Similar observation with ants (Score 2) 315

by osvenskan (#43812959) Attached to: Cockroaches Evolving To Avoid Roach Motels

I have noticed over the past few years that ants in my area have "learned" to avoid consuming Raid borax laced syrup.

Two suggestions. First, if you're mixing your own posion (Raid + borax + syrup) then you might have simply made the mix too strong.

Second, there are sugar ants and fat ants. (I'm sure this is entomologically a gross oversimplification but I think it's fair when talking about invading household ants.) Sugar ants want sweet stuff, fat ants want fat. It might be that your invaders were sugar ants, but now they're fat ants. Try putting a little peanut butter in front of them to see how they react.

Comment: Re:Buy local honey (Score 3, Informative) 387

by osvenskan (#42934263) Attached to: Laser Intended For Mars Used To Detect "Honey Laundering"

Tupelo honey costs 2-3x as much and is considered the superior honey, but honestly I can't tell the difference between it and clover.

Tupelo honey is more valuable to me because it's much less prone to crystallize (due to the sugars in it). Clover honey seems to crystallize if you do so much as look at it funny.

Comment: The best position is a new one (Score 1) 262

by osvenskan (#40958937) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Position To Work For Long Hours?

I've been a keyboard jockey for many years. It's been my experience that holding any single position for hours at a stretch hurts something -- back, shoulders, wrist, spine, or all of the above. The "best position" is usually "something other than the one I've been in for the past 60 minutes".

To address this, I recently got a sit-stand workstation. I love being able to stand up occasionally while I work. Standing relieves the pressure from my sit bones and legs, and since standing takes more energy I feel more awake and alive. I find I stand for an hour or two of every eight hour day. I don't like to sit all day, and I can't imagine standing all day.

The particular product I linked to above has its drawbacks. I love the ease of the transition between sitting and standing. I hate the mouse tray. It's too small for a regular mouse so I switched to a trackball. But regardless of which I use, my arm receives no support while using it. Holding my arm in the air so much stresses my shoulder. The only time I'm completely comfortable using a mouse is when all of my arm from the elbow forward is resting on a flat surface. The mouse tray on this product demands the exact opposite. My shoulder hurts enough that I know I can't continue using this, but I plan to work out something so that I can easily swap between sitting and standing. They offer similar products that might work better for me.

I'm also lucky enough to work from home, so I have six positions in which I regularly work: 1) sitting at the desk, 2) standing at the desk, 3) sitting at the kitchen table, 4) sitting in the living room, 5) sitting on the table on the porch, and 6) here in the hammock. (I have a Mayan style hammock hung on my screened-in porch.) I spend most of my time at 1, 2, and 6. When I'm away from the desk, I have to use the laptop keyboard which isn't great for my wrists. But the tradeoff is worth it. The hammock supports my back beautifully.

In short, I find that the best position for me to be in is a new one. We weren't made to work at a keyboard for 6-12 hours/day, and the best way to make your body forgive you while you do this is to spread the abuse around to different body parts. And after work, make it up to your body -- do yoga, go for a swim, run, or ride a bike.

Comment: Re:Probably (Score 5, Funny) 683

by osvenskan (#40556349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson?

And if -- ghod forbid -- we discover a way to make the vacuum unstable, then we might learn how to make one really big boom. Just one, because it will consume the entire universe, but that one will be REALLY BIG.

What do you think happened when the last sentient species figured this out, about.. oh, 13.7 billion years ago..

And the last thing heard in that previous universe was a scientist saying "Hey guys, watch this!"

Comment: Re:Not a problem (Score 0) 544

by osvenskan (#40187687) Attached to: What Should We Do About Wikipedia's Porn Problem?

What evidence is there that porn is bad for children?

I would argue that porn destroys children. My definition of childhood includes a period of innocence, or a freedom from some knowledge that's usually difficult for people to make sense of. For instance, we don't confront children with knowledge of death (if we can avoid doing so), because death is difficult even for adults. Why burden a child with something that many adults can't bear? Children exposed to enough "adult" concepts (death, sex, violence, etc.) aren't children for long.

Porn, specifically, is even harder for kids to make sense of since it is about sex and kids (I assume we're talking about prepubsecents here) have yet to undergo the hormonal change that will radically shift their opinion about sex. How in the world to do expect a prepubsecent to understand sex, let alone the stylized sex frequently depicted in porn?

Trying to learn about sex from porn is like trying to learn about personal interaction from "reality" TV. It's true that kids need to learn about sex eventually, but if they learn about it from porn they're going to have some pretty screwed up ideas about sex.

For an eloquent argument about how knowledge and childhood are intimately related, have a look at Neil Postman's "The Disappearance of Childhood".

Comment: Re:Welcome to our world (Score 1) 1205

by osvenskan (#39209097) Attached to: The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

Mass transit is better suited to the higher population densities of European cities, much of the USA is too spread out.

And yet good mass transit encourages dense cities. Modern sprawl in the USA is largely a result of public policy decisions, not geography or destiny. We can change that.

Cycling doesn't work in some parts of USA due to weather extremes. You can't bike when its 40 below zero wind chill, or on snow and ice. (and parts of the south are too hot.)

It's not 40 below and icy anywhere in the USA for six months out of the year, and when it is that cold, the rest of the country is no longer "too hot" for cycling. You can't reject the idea just because it doesn't work for everyone 365 days of the year.

Comment: Re:Meat "not required" (Score 3, Informative) 172

by osvenskan (#38529988) Attached to: FDA Backtracks On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Proposal

There is so much in your post that's incorrect that it's hard to know where to start making corrections. I'll just choose a few items.

As to the idea that a vegan eschewing supplements would "[die] from the most basic of food diseases, scurvy, after 2-3 months" -- scurvy a deficiency of vitamin C which is abundant in certain fruits and vegetables. Someone eating a plant-based diet would be pretty much the last person to get scurvy.

...plants do not contain all 9 of the essential amino acids

That's false. Quoth Wikipedia, "Nearly all foods contain all twenty amino acids in some quantity." Plant foods often don't supply a lot of the essential amino acids (esp. lysine) but they provide some. Citing Wikipedia again, "...amaranth,...buckwheat, hempseed, meat, poultry, Salvia hispanica, soybeans, quinoa, seafood, and spirulina also are complete protein foods".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_protein

In fact, tempeh (soybeans + mushroom) does pretty well at supplying essential amino acids.

There is one substance that contains all required nutrients for a human being : meat (raw meat).

This dramatically oversimplifies human nutritional requirements. You get to work on that 100% raw meat diet and let us know how that works for you.

Comment: Re:Too bad Apple is going to abandon desktops (Score 2) 340

by osvenskan (#36846820) Attached to: Will Apple's Lion Roar For Business?

They're a successful consumer electronics company trailing a part of the business they hang on to for nostalgia.

Maybe the $5.1B in revenue (17.8% of total revenue) they got from their desktop/laptop lines in the most recent quarter has something to do with it too. Or the 14% YoY growth in units sold. Especially when the industry as a whole grew at just 2.6%.

Note that the $5.1B in revenue is just for Q3 desktop/laptop sales, which almost equal to the entire company's annual revenue 10 years ago.

Comment: Collapse? (Score 5, Interesting) 1070

by osvenskan (#36381066) Attached to: Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?

We either allow collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model. We will choose the latter.

I wish I could be as sure. Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed does a nice job of documenting societies that, when faced with the same choice, picked collapse. Granted, they didn't have Jared Diamond's book to read beforehand, but neither did they have our capacity for self-immolation.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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