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Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-forget-the-tartar dept.
An anonymous reader writes NPR commentator Bonny Wolf has a unique solution to battle the threat of invasive fish species in our waterways. She proposes we fight them with a knife, fork, and a few lemon wedges. From the article: "Take the northern snakehead, which has made its way into tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. It competes with native species for food, and then eats the native species, not to mention the odd frog or bird, with its mouthful of sharp teeth. It's been called "Fishzilla." It breeds fast, has no natural predators and can grow to be 4 feet long. The northern snakehead hangs out in grassy shallows, making it hard to catch. But a couple of years ago, Maryland started promoting the snakehead as an eating fish. Its harvest has increased from zero to 5,000 pounds a year."

Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round? 421

Posted by timothy
from the home-schooling-never-stops dept.
Around the world, American schools' long summer break is viewed as an anomaly, and the long summer seems to be getting shorter. While most American primary and secondary schools used to start after Labor Day, more and more of them now open sometime in August (and that's not counting the ones that have gone to a year-round schedule). Some of my younger relatives started a new school year last week (in Indiana), while Baltimore schools start later this month. Both Seattle and Portland's kids have until after Labor Day (with start dates of the 3rd and 4th of September, respectively). The 4th is also the start date for students in New York City's public schools, the country's largest district. Colleges more often start in September, but some get a jump start in August, especially with required seminars or orientation programs for new students. Whether you're in school, out of school, or back in school by proxy (packing lunches or paying tuition), what time does (or did) your school-year start? Would you prefer that your local public schools run all year round, if they're of the long-summer variety? (And conversely, if your local schools give short shrift to summer, whether that's in the U.S. or anywhere else, do you think that's a good idea?)

Comment: Re:Check out Detroit (Score 2) 100

by wiggles (#47602103) Attached to: Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

Maybe not Detroit, but definitely not in Northern California - it's way too expensive to do business there. For an R&D/Skunkworks style office, perhaps drawing on the local talent is worth the cost, but putting general office workers and blue collar labor there is silly when you have nice states like Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Michigan which have friendly labor laws and cheaper labor pools, along with some top minds in places like Austin, Huntsville, Raleigh, and Ann Arbor.

Comment: Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (Score 1) 150

by wiggles (#47599619) Attached to: Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019

All of that is secondary to survival, and until we figure out how to make government leaders stop being such assholes, threatening each others' populations with annihilation, we're going to need plans for defense - and if the enemy leverages space for any tactical or strategic advantage, then so must we.

That said, the article says they're just using telescopes to track stuff in space for military purposes, not building Gundams, so you can untwist your panties now that you know this.


NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload 109

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the forgot-the-alien-attack-cannon-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that the Mars 2020 experiments have been chosen: In short, the 2020 rover will cary 7 instruments, out of 58 proposals in total, and the rover itself will be based on the current Curiosity rover. The selected instruments are: Mastcam-Z, an advanced camera system with panoramic and stereoscopic imaging capability with the ability to zoom. SuperCam, an instrument that can provide imaging, chemical composition analysis, and mineralogy. The instrument will also be able to detect the presence of organic compounds in rocks and regolith from a distance. Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer that will also contain an imager with high resolution to determine the fine scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials. Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) — This one will have a UV laser! The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE), an exploration technology investigation that will produce oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide. Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA). This one is basically a weather station. The Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Exploration (RIMFAX), a ground-penetrating radar that will provide centimeter-scale resolution of the geologic structure of the subsurface.

Can't decide if the UV laser or the ground radar is the coolest of the lot.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 511

by wiggles (#47550097) Attached to: Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

> rich white people have drug problems

As someone who grew up in the 80's, drugs have been big with rich, white people for a long, long time. Powder cocaine was the drug of choice for people back then, now it's meth as cocaine becomes more and more expensive, or painkillers for the percieved 'safety', changing to heroin when safety ceases to matter to the addict and cost becomes the primary factor.

In the 40's and 50's, it was GI's coming back from the wars hooked on morphine. In the 60's, it was everything. 70's was when cocaine really took off.

Rich white people have had drug problems as long as there have been rich white people.

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 1) 342

Large cookie cutter subdivision homes developed by a single builder do have some of that stuff because it's more economical at scale - and they can create massive hollow boxes for pennies that blow over at the slightest breeze. There are subdivisions near my house that have some of this stuff - they have a lot of trouble selling because the houses just 'feel cheap'. Engineered trusses instead of joists, laminated or metal studs, etc. just give the house the feel that it's not entirely stable, even if it is all valid according to code.

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 2) 342

The Chestnut was wiped out due to a fungal plague. Ash and Elm species are currently being devastated by the Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease, respectively. Walnut is being killed off by Thousand Cankers disease. I'm waiting for Oak and Maple to be wiped out due to some other exotic pest - perhaps Oak Wilt or some such.

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 2) 342

New apartment buildings are built with concrete. New houses are built with wood and the expensive ones are clad with brick, at least, in my area.

Also, concrete production is responsible for a massive amount of greenhouse gasses - as lime is heated to produce cement, it gives off a lot of CO2, which is dumped into the atmosphere.

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 4, Informative) 342

As someone who does carpentry and has helped build a couple houses over the past few years, this is patently false. You've been lied to by whatever environmentalist rag you subscribe to.

Most homes in the US are framed out of 2x4's cut from pine, floorboards are made of pine plywood, hardwood oak, cherry, and others are used for flooring. All of this comes from the timber industry, mostly from Canadian timber, but some more exotic stuff still comes from Brazil and Africa. My brother's floor is Brazilian cherry.

Some of that lumber is sourced from tree farms, but those tree farms are problematic as well - it takes years to grow them, and habitats establish themselves within those farms as they grow. The longer it takes to grow them, the longer it takes to offset losses in virgin forest. Hardwoods typically take over 30 years to be ready for harvest, longer if you want wider wood as you would need for 2x6 or 2x8 joists and furniture.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson