Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 88

by Reziac (#49553721) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

"Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment"

"Many lethal and sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees have been described in laboratory studies, however, no effects were observed in field studies with field-realistic dosages."

As they say there's need for further study regarding synergistic effects and the like. But real exposure effects in the field are what counts, not just laboratory findings. Otherwise it's like finding that table salt is OMG-toxic as studied in the lab, even tho we know it's safe in normal realworld use.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 88

by Reziac (#49552755) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Honeybees are technically an invasive species in North America; they were imported, not native. There are numerous other species, including small native bees, that did the pollination work before honeybees came along. Far as I have heard, populations of these native bees have not been affected by CCD.

Neonicotinoids are relatively expensive (4 years ago, Imidacloprid was $25/pound, about 5x the cost of permethins), and I'd guess despite being about a quarter of the insecticide market, that in ag they are probably not used outside of the fairly limited areas that grow fruits and vegetables -- as those crops have a better profit margin. Yet CCD has been seen very widely, including in areas where there isn't any row-crop agriculture.

Anecdotally, I've used Imidacloprid to control desert stink beetles, and did not observe any issues with my wild honeybees (who frequented the same areas, cuz that's where the water was).

The scare over DDT was manufactured. Silent Spring (which I read, back when it was new) was mostly fiction and has been discredited, yet it influenced a whole generation of environmentalism -- that, not truth, was its point and intent. Some estimates put malaria deaths due to ending use of DDT in the millions. Meanwhile, the connection with condor populations was at best tenuous.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 2) 88

by Reziac (#49551073) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Actually there's a pretty good trail being laid down:


Not only that, but per this article (with stats), bee populations are stable to increasing despite CCD:


The amount of honey being produced is a good indicator, given you can't make honey without bees.

This won't load for me but I imagine it goes into more detail:

And actually, you can demonstrate 'insanity' in any wild colony with an aging queen -- the bees become aggressive at greater and greater distances from the hive. I watched this with a wild colony that had taken up residence in the wall of a barn. For the first three years, they were 'gentle' (not concerned about intruders) -- to the point that you could actually poke around in their entryway without incurring any retaliation. The 4th year, they got twitchy about people walking nearby. The 5th year, they regularly chased people who passed within about 20 feet of their hive entrance. The colony died off entirely that winter. Far as I saw, it never swarmed, indicating they didn't produce any new queens.

We probably don't see this in domesticated colonies because modern beekeepers are diligent about replacing queens in a timely manner. But I asked an old-timer about it (who'd been in the bee business since the 1930s) and he said that was all perfectly normal for a colony with an old queen.

Comment: Re:True (Score 1) 51

by Burdell (#49524379) Attached to: Protein Converts Pancreatic Cancer Cells Back Into Healthy Cells

Yep. My grandfather was an outlier - he lived IIRC about 8 years, and about 7 of that pretty good outside of chemo IIRC every 6 weeks. A former cow-orker was diagnosed and didn't make 6 months.

From what I understand, part of the problem with the common forms of pancreatic cancer is there aren't many symptoms until it spreads, and once it spreads, it is aggressive and kills rapidly.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 536

Now there's a loaded question. Which cause would you identify as "root"? I can see many causal factors: parental responsibility, cultural priority of education, teacher pay (i.e. competitive with industry/business talent pools), outcome based rewards/penalties, curriculum cost/availability, politicization of academia, fundamental conflict between 9th, 10th, amendments and DOE, etc... or something else?

Comment: Re:14 already executed.... (Score 1) 173

by Reziac (#49513111) Attached to: FBI Overstated Forensic Hair Matches In Nearly All Trials Before 2000

I'm not against the death penalty; I'm against making irreparable mistakes.

There's a way to prevent gung-ho justice: if judgment is later found to be in error, visit the same penalty on those who condemned. Tho I vaguely recall this principle comes from Sharia law, and if so it doesn't seem to limit behavior much in Real Life.

Comment: Re:Water- we dump it on the ground (Score 4, Informative) 670

Sure, but the pipeline has been declined in the past by people in WA for the simple reason that they've already declined to divert water for their own use (The Columbia Basin irrigation project has zones - and there's plenty of farmers who live in zones that aren't guaranteed water that would really like it). The residents of WA have already decided to limit their own consumption for ecological reasons - I don't see them sacrificing their streams, rivers, and ecology just because CA has poorly managed its own resources. If the drought doesn't break and CA doesn't get a handle on it's resources - we're about to see some modern ghost towns.

Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 2) 533

by DanielRavenNest (#49505313) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

> Now they're just waiting for the products to arrive en masse.

For the Phillippines, that was 2014. They went from 3 MW installed in 2013 to 117 MW in 2014 ( http://www.pv-tech.org/news/ih... ).

Worldwide, installations are expected to increase from 44.2 GW last year to 57 GW this year ( http://www.pv-tech.org/news/gl... ). I think we have reached en masse.

Comment: Re:How this should have been prevented... (Score 1) 150

by DanielRavenNest (#49501573) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

> An alternate, plausible chain of events is that NASA originally, disagreed with ESAB and felt the floor fix was unnecessary in the first place

That's not plausible if you understand where the Michoud Assembly Facility is. It's next to New Orleans, and all of the ground around there is soft and swampy. If you are building anything heavy or that needs to be rigid, it needs heavy foundation reinforcement (thick slab, pilings, etc.).

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden