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Comment: Strange swarm behavior (Score 2) 220

We've seen strange swarm behavior here in Southern California the past two years. Anecdotes follow:

Last year, we had a swarm that probably lost its Queen (or didn't have one to begin with). They maintained a big ball in the tree for nearly four months, gradually all dying off. They made no honeycomb, just a few weird strands of propolis. In the past, when swarms failed to form a new hive, they didn't continue to go and harvest pollen and function like a hive, but all died off much more rapidly.

This year, we had a swarm ball up in a tree mid-afternoon. They hadn't found a hive by the next morning. By the next evening, they were all falling to the ground and writhing as if poisoned or something. By the second day, there were just heaps of dead bees all around the garden.

I don't claim to be any expert (although my Dad kept several hives when I was a kid). Still, I haven't seen this before. I don't know the cause of either phenomenon.

Comment: Re:Compares well (Score 2) 408

No-fault is about taking money away from lawyers, who used to litigate each and every auto accident as a lawsuit in court before the insurers would pay. Eventually the insurers decided that they spent more on lawyers than accident payments, and they had no reason to do so.

If you want to go back to the way things were, you are welcome to spend lots of time and money in court for trivial things, and see how you like it. I will provide you with expert witness testimony for $7.50/minute plus expenses. The lawyers charge more.

In general your insurer can figure out for themselves if you were at fault or not, and AAA insurance usually tells me when they think I was, or wasn't, when they set rates.

Comment: Re:More than $100 (Score 1) 515

If we don't have more than two children per couple, the human race would've died out a long time ago.

I think the proper way to state that is "If we didn't in the past", not "If we don't". If we were to have 2 children per couple (approximately, the real value is enough children to replace each individual but not more) from this day on, it would not be necessary to adjust the number upward to avoid a population bottleneck for tens of thousands of years.

Comment: Re:$30 (Score 1) 515

The Northern California Amtrak is actually pretty good for commuting from Sacramento to the Bay Area and back because the right of way is 4 tracks wide in critical places and it has priority over other trains for much of the time.

Acela in the Boston/NY/DC corridor is also good, because the right of way is 4 tracks or more for most of the way, and it has a track to itself along a lot of the route. Other railroads run on parallel tracks.

For the most part, though, Amtrak suffers from not having exclusive track. It runs on freight lines that host cars so heavy that the rail bends an inch when the wheels are on top of it (I've seen this first hand).

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