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Comment: Re:I'm of two minds about this. (Score 1) 34 34

Science fiction sometimes has a theme in which someone wants to die but is prevented from doing so. Often by law, sometimes by some magical immortality gene. It's technically illegal to commit suicide in many places, with or without help.

I'm of two minds. Suppose your employer considers you essential to her business; takes a life insurance policy on you and surrounds you with protection to prevent any 'accident'. You aren't allowed near any sharp objects. You are a wage slave (if not a sex slave), an investment, and whether you want to live or die is irrelevant. You live to serve the machine as long as technology can keep you alive.

The right to die is critical in a free society. For whatever reason, no power should intrude. Sure, offer counseling, try to minimize the reasons to commit suicide, but in the end stand back and let the person decide for himself.

The *other* mind suggests to me that some people may not be mature enough to make a rational decision of this sort. Here is where this kind of subversive, intrusive technology might be warranted. Teenagers, pregnant women and PTSD soldiers should certainly be given counseling, and perhaps legally prevented from suicide for a certain time period.

A permit system could solve some of the confusion. Qualified adults could apply. They might be required to inform next of kin, etc ... to settle financial, insurance & legal matters ... to sign waivers releasing liability from others ... And then they get a packet of drugs and instructions/suggestions for an easy transition for all involved.

Comment: but we knew that already ! (Score 1) 275 275

An authoritative, expensive survey to affirm what we already know. What's remarkable is that few will argue the results. You might think that conservatives would be embarrassed to see that their kind don't believe in evolution, but since they are conservative they probably agree. It's difficult to see who benefits from this exhaustive study.

Comment: citation please (Score 1) 117 117

I see no evidence that anyone has studied the additional drag caused by bug debris. Lots of study given to a cure, none for the 'problem'. Exactly how much drag do they cause? Perhaps they should start with an analysis of the golf ball. All those distortions on the surface that we call 'dimples'. They must cause a great deal of drag that prevents long distances being reached. Oh, wait...

Comment: Re:Pneumatic bug launcher for the win! (Score 2) 117 117

I clean my visor with a microfiber cloth and Armor-All (or equivalent). No scratching, no harsh chemical, a well-lubricated surface... The slight, slick residue helps prevent other bugs/debris from sticking in the future. There were three miracle chemicals produced in the last century- Armor-All, WD-40, and silicone (glues/sealers/lubricants/sex toys).

Comment: homogeneity (Score 1) 256 256

Some professions attract certain kinds of people. Where I used to live almost all restaurants were run by Greek men. Where I now live, all donut shops are run by Cambodians and the taco shops are run by hispanics. The hospitals here vary- some have mostly black staffs, some mostly Filipino and all mostly female. In Los Angeles, I'm told, the garbage industry is monopolized by Armenians. When I worked for Volkswagen in Chicago, over 90% of the technical employees were German, the rest were Austrian (not one female employee). The sales staff were all American.

Should we force all these industries to diversify? They are that way because people made individual choices that created the flavor of each industry. If those choices lead to business success and employee bliss, so be it. I'd say that they are proof that the US is the most diversified nation on earth.

Comment: ignorance is not bliss (Score 0, Flamebait) 305 305

Around the world, religious nutcases impede progress. In every case that I am aware of, some individual gains power and authority by restricting the rights of others, in most cases restricting the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of their followers and the world around them. Do the Aztecs, the Maya, the Vikings or the American Indians have the power to carry on this foolishness? No, because there is no crazed leader nor is there a body of ignorant fearful followers. But in some Muslim, Jewish and certain other areas, primitive religions defy science, common sense and public safety for ideals that are tenuous at best.

Find out what person or group benefits from this charade and eliminate their incentive to protest the telescope. Debunk the mystical nonsense that they use to indoctrinate their followers. In most (all?) cases the followers are motivated by fear, and the leaders are experts at exploiting that. Empower these ignorant people to understand the real world, which may not be quite as scary as they think.

Educate everyone. No, not the job training that passes for education these days. Real education in the ways of the world, history and wisdom. Give everyone the tools for survival and excellence.

Comment: innovation (Score 1) 219 219

Not sure if this is actually an innovation, but it is a rare attempt to 'think different'. Remember that phrase? As an Apple evangelist for 36 years, I appreciate anything that goes beyond 'clone' status. Anyone who moves technology forward. Do we want adventurous leaders in our industry or do we want commodity followers?

Comment: mystery food (Score 1) 244 244

I worked in a spice factory for 3 days, long ago. They made hot dog spice. I walked in the first day and smelled hot dogs. I was instantly hungry for, guess what, a hot dog!

This was a powerful spice that filled the air, and my eyes and the pores of my skin. So powerful that anything it was applied to would smell like hot dog. Anything. Whatever smell it might have had before, like rotten meat, etc, would be covered by the spice. Anything. Pull a lump from the toilet and spice it up--delicious!

Manufacturers know our weakness. Salt, sugar, chocolate, vanilla, cooking oil, smoke flavoring and more spices/colorants/flavorings than you can imagine. They know the 'mouth feel' that we prefer- crunchy, chewy etc depending on the food. They understand our response to packaging, naming, labeling, product placement... And manufacturers will apply these items to the most unhealthy food knowing that we will buy it. Yum, garlic flavored genetically engineered corn chips! (cost pennies to manufacture, dollars to buy) These addictions lead us to a slow motion form of suicide.

Comment: product safety labels (Score 1) 207 207

Aren't you more comfortable knowing that your lettuce is 'gluten free'?
You wouldn't want to drink beer without the 'lead free' label, would you?
And your linens should definitely have the 'underwriters lab' approval.
I surely hope your grapes have the 'no trans-fats' designation.

Products have long had labels for consumer safety. Excessive use of similar terms, often for products that have no need of such claims, can undermine the usefulness of the labels that *are* important.

Comment: where does the money go? (Score 1) 268 268

Start by investigating their financial statement. Many organizations, even large ones, hide this information. All the non-profits in the US are required to file a basic 990 financial statement--but then the government locks that up so we can't see it. Private companies gather that info and will sell it to you.

If the company won't voluntarily disclose complete financial information (not just a pretty watered-down one); steer clear.

Comment: "rate of vertebrate species loss..." (Score 5, Insightful) 294 294

So sad to see cute, cuddly and some magnificent animals die off. But they are of little significance compared to small and microscopic life forms. When they die, we die. Poison the ocean, the air and the soil and we are killing vast, unimaginable numbers of critical life forms that make our planet livable. Who is measuring our losses of algae and bacteria, the providers of oxygen that made all the rest of life possible?

You've heard about the dying honeybees, now consider the rest. You may not care for cockroaches, amoeba, bacteria or fruit flies; but they matter. And it's not just the external ones. Inside our bodies are critical critters that digest our food and symbiotically live with us. They too are at risk as we experiment with chemicals, radiation, genetics, nanotech and other fun stuff.

We all love lions, tigers and bears. Who can resist adoring a panda, koala or even an ordinary baby kitten? But are these things critical to human survival? Human emotions are fascinating but they often lead us astray.

Comment: clone mentality (Score 2) 37 37

This seems to be based on the concept that groups are wiser than individuals. There's a lot of this thinking going around. Among touchy-feely people there is a tendency to think that groups are smarter than individuals. They are wrong.

Individuals have inspired every worthwhile advance in every discipline through history. The clones, followers, me-too's, don't accomplish anything. If you hope to do anything worthwhile with your life, leave the crowd and do some independent thinking. These games will not help your children in that direction.

And yes, videos are a waste of time- thoughtful text imparts information better.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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