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Comment: Re:Snow in Atlanta isn't the same as in the North (Score 1) 723

by vantagec (#46121965) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

"It's only 2-4 inches! I drive in that all the time!" - No you don't. You drive on roads that are prepared CONSTANTLY with salt and gravel, using 4 wheel drive, snow tires or chains. Snow in Atlanta almost immediately melts when it hits the pavement and then turns to ice from the air temperature. ICE people. It's not snow it's ICE.

Yes, we do. Those same air temperatures and conditions occur where I live (Colorado). We call the worst of it - when exhaust and road dirt is mixed in - Black Ice and it is especially dangerous because it can look just like asphalt.

Nobody around here uses chains except semis-crossing mountain passes, or in the most extreme blizzards (like the century storm we had in 2003). We use front-wheel drive and all season tires, and complain about the idiots who immigrate here from California and think 4-wheel drive makes them immune to the laws of physics.

"Southerners can't drive on snow!" - Actually, we don't have experience driving on snow and that would hold true if it were only southerners driving here.

So by your logic, at least two thirds of the people on the roads don't know how to drive in snow. Clearly you don't get the recurrent practice in it that we do around here, but since it does snow there at least a little each year, you should still be prepared for it. The aforementioned front-wheel drive and all weather tires are a good place to start, plus maybe a survival kit, a decent jacket, and sensible shoes. Weather warnings exist for a reason.

So in short, while I empathize with the people who had harrowing experiences, I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who were apparently so drastically unprepared. And I scorn the elected officials who failed your city (cue "Arrow") in the interest of saving money.

Comment: Doing the Math (Score 1) 164

by vantagec (#45989887) Attached to: Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

On the other hand, if they pay the artist a tenth of a cent per minute played, using your formulas I calculate a subscription cost of $14.61 per month. The service then has a million in revenue for every 68,000 subscribers. Whether that's enough to pay the overhead is left as an exercise for the MBAs.

At that pay rate, if the artist can get 50,000 people to listen to 60 minutes of their music each month (i.e. a long album's worth) they can pull in over $30,000 just from the one streaming site.

Seems to me that there is money to be made for both the artist and the middleman.

Comment: Re:Sure complain, but what's the alternative? (Score 1) 715

by vantagec (#45967163) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?
You make some interesting points. I live in Colorado, and sadly we are near the bottom in per student spending, at just over $9,000 per year.

I ran the numbers using your breakdowns as a starting point and some quick Googling for local values. Our average teacher is paid $41k, so I used that as a baseline for the security and janitorial staff. Office space around here seems to go for about $21 per square foot. I added in a line item for bus transportation (although our district has recently made that into a direct fee to the students who ride the bus).

I get just under $3000 per student to cover the hard-to-define values for classroom materials, special education, and administrative overhead. That doesn't seem way out of line.

On the other hand, I've seen how hard our teachers and principals struggle with the budgets they have (not to mention the strangling layers of regulation) and I'm confident they are not the problem. And yet our voters decided once again not to increase funding for schools.

I don't understand what people prioritize ahead of education.

Comment: Re:The true nature of intelligence (Score 1) 640

by vantagec (#40328019) Attached to: South Korea Surrenders To Creationist Demands On Evolution Textbooks
Because one of them is a Theory, supported by reams of evidence, but still falsifiable, and the other is a religious dogma without any substantial evidence, no predictive capabilities, and no way to test it. There really is no comparison. The only controversy is cooked up by one side as a plea for attention.

Comment: Re:nice to see greed is rampant.... (Score 1) 297

by vantagec (#33047906) Attached to: Top Authors Make eBook Deal, Bypassing Publishers
Writing is not a particularly lucrative profession. Unless you are someone like Capote, King, or Rowling, you can aspire to (maybe) make an upper middle class income after YEARS of working at effectively McDonalds wages. If you are lucky. Obviously some take it too far (I'm looking at you, Mr. Ellison) but it seems to me that these authors are just trying to claim equitable payment after a century of disenfranchisement.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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