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Comment Re:Or just ignore spelling errors (Score 2) 235

Read those words...they should be spelled lös and löz or something like that (with something like an 'Ö' representing the 'oo' sound). The ending sounds are different, but spelled the same, and the middle sounds are the same, but spelled different. And you really expect people to get that? Oops, did I just start a sentence with a conjunction? I must be a moron. Anyway, the problem isn't that people are stupid (sometimes they are), it's that English was all but made to be misspelled. There are sounds represented by multiple different letters and letters that represent multiple different sounds. My favorite is the word cyclic. That should be spelled siklik, but you've got the C making the sound S (as in snake) and K (as in kick), while the sound of I (as in sick) is spelled with an I and a Y. English orthography is a highly irrational system. Expect irrational usage.

Some people are just illiterate, yeah, but acting as if simple mistakes like misspelling lose/loose are important is just pedantic. Not everyone who screws up the English language's asinine spelling rules is a moron. Maybe they're just exceptionally logic-based people.

Comment Re:Where are the fast transistors? (Score 2) 161

Really, it depends on what way you're speaking. In a horticultural (applied plant science)/culinary sense, vegetables are plant parts usually used in savory food, typically annuals, regardless if what you eat is leaf, petiole, root, tuber, stem, flower head, bud, seed, fruit, ect. Botanically, pure plant science, it's true that the term vegetable has no meaning. Confusion can arise with things like tomatoes because the term fruit has different meanings; as a horticultural or culinary term, it is something sweet, typically from a (woody) perennial, whereas botanically speaking it means anything with seeds in it, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, pea pods, green beans, peanuts, cucumbers, ect. The study of vegetables is a field of itself: olericulture. So, squash & tomato are indeed vegetables; botanical fruit and horticultural vegetable are not mutually exclusive terms. That's true in reverse that a horticultural fruit is not necessarily a botanical one as well. If you ate a cashew apple, Japanese raisin, native cherry, or plum pine you'd probably think them fruits, but they're not.

Bottom line, it's like asking if a chicken is a type of poultry or a bird.

Comment Re:How about (Score 1) 458

Animorphs, holy crap yes, I loved those when I was younger. My grandparents would make the long trip out to Barnes & Noble so I could pick up the latest copies a few times a year, and I'd have one read by the time I got back. Course, you might want to tell your kids you 'can't find' the last couple of books since they get a bit downbeat towards the end and (SPOILER)........everyone dies a horrible death in the last book.

For me anyway, they got me thinking about genetics and had me reading books on drosophila mutations in fourth grade.

Comment Re:Now... (Score 2, Interesting) 348

Yeah, that is, unfortunately, true. Even if we could work out a GM glowing tree (which I would think is harder than just inserting the GFP gene in it like is usually done in 'glowing' GMOs, I'll have to find out about what photoproteins would actually work), it would still be cheaper to install streetlights than replant the trees every year after someone uproots, chops down, or otherwise destroys them. This is a very sensitive issue for some people (namely, people who haven't the faintest idea what they're talking about). If you did plant the hypothetical glowing tree, mark my words, they would be blamed for every little headache or bad vibe in the town. Opportunistic assholes like the weasels at Greenpeace would do what they do best, stoke fear, then you'd have way too many people opposing the planting of the glo-tree to make it a feasible project. Look at how they have all but stopped GM research in France after their last little stunt of destroying a government run GMO grape rootstock test field that represented $1.7 million, seven years research, and zero harm to anyone or anything (no doubt all while shouting that old lie of 'We're not anti-science we just want more research'). I just hope these guys go away before I go into the field.

Comment Re:Now... (Score 1) 348

Or rather - aren't there some kinds of mushrooms and other flora that glow in the dark? Why not just splice that plant with a tree. I know, I use the term splice like its an easy task.

I've always thought that was a good idea, but two problems: First, I don't think it would be that easy of a task. I think it involves different proteins reacting with each other, luciferase breaking down luciferin in some sort of reaction, or something. I don't know how easy it would be to get a plant to produce both of those (I wouldn't think it would be too hard to get them to simply produce the proteins), but getting them to emit enough light to matter at the right time all night, if the plant would have enough energy to actually go that, the light not goofing up it's leaves' sensence in the fall, not sure how easy that would be to do Getting something to glow is much different than, say, inserting the gene for green florescent protein, which is what you usually see 'glow,' like when the news talks about glowing kittens or pigs or whatever, and is a relatively simple task, but that only works under a blacklight. I don't know much about those types of things though, so I could be wrong, all I really know is that the tobacco plant that could glow (maybe you saw that in a science book) could produce the enzyme but was watered with the substrate, so I'm (baselessly) assuming there is some sort of catch, otherwise they would have just made it express both. I hope there's some way to do it though, that would kick ass. Course, you're going to have a problem in the winter, and I highly doubt an evergreen could work up the energy to glow in the dead of winter (at least not without some massively advanced genetic engineering that quite frankly we are no where near seeing).

Second, however, may be an even bigger problem. You will probably be sued for every other headache, upset stomach, and mild case of the sniffles that occurs within a five mile radius of each tree. Most people don't understand anything about this sort of stuff except what some clueless fearmonger told them, and like the radio tower that could cause headaches before it was turned on, you can bet your bottom dollar people will attribute their mental illnesses and physical problems and erectile dysfunctions to the trees with the spliced gene, and they'll probably get chopped down, if they're ever planted at all. On the other hand, people might realize how cool and useful they are and embrace them, striking a blow to fear and giving science a win, but perhaps that may be an overly optimistic scenario.

Comment Re:Officer Bubbles is Built Like a Typical Cop (Score 1) 594

Amen. In no other profession (and I use that term very loosely) can you murder someone and be rewarded with paid vacation for it. Sounds more like a terrorist cell than law enforcement. Brutal, sociopathic, thieving, scumbags who will screw over innocent people just to advance their own petty, meaningless career. Well, fuck them.

Comment Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (Score 1) 205

You seem to know a thing or two about it, so question: who do you think it responsible for keeping cannabis illegal? I've heard people accuse the pharma companies, paper companies, fiber companies, and maybe some others, because cannabis is a cheap way of doing things better than some of their business models, but I've always assumed the ones who try to keep anti-cannabis laws on the books are the DEA/criminal 'justice' industry/prison-industrial complex ...people who deal in ruined lives and human misery, sucking up billions of tax dollars in the process. Free money and forced customers, must be a pretty sweet gig. And I guess there'd be a lot of douchebag pig-dogs in law enforcement out of a job if they stopped criminalizing cannabis, and heavens, can't have that (though in all seriousness, dangerous unemployed sociopaths running the streets would be kinda bad...maybe they should be the ones rotting in a federal prison because 'I was only following orders' is not a valid excuse). Know of any evidence to support any of those?

Comment Re:FTFY (Score 1) 205

Little nitpick: perhaps you mean therapeutic benefits, which marijuana certainly has, not homeopathic. Nothing has homeopathic benefits because homeopathy is bullshit quackery. Homeopathy is the concept that super dilute concentrations of something have the opposite effect, for example, using poison ivy to cure rashes or using cola nut to help you sleep.

Comment Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (Score 1) 205

Both sides dishonest? On one had we've got people saying that cannabis is a just plant (and last time I checked, science is pretty clear that C. sativa is indeed a plant), and that it is immoral to imprison people because they like to grow and consume the wrong plant in the comfort of their own home, and on the other hand we have the people who brought you Reefer Madness, who go on and on about freedom then try to squash people's inherent right to said freedom because they disagree with it. Only one side is dishonest, and it ain't the potheads.

Comment Re:Food inc. (Score 1) 115

I tried watching it a few days ago. Didn't last too long. How anyone can stomach that movie is beyond me. This review about sums up the what I was able to get out of it. I can't believe how many people are able to find such great meaning out of that steaming turd. I guess it's because most of us are so disconnected from agriculture.

Comment Re:Surely a bet for (or on) climate change? (Score 1) 115

I'm not against GM, I'm against companies OWNING genes.

That's a reasonable position, although, while that's frequently said, but it's actually very rare to find someone who actually believes that. A lot of people who say 'I'm not anti-GM, but...' are actually anti-GM, with the second half of that sentence being some weak justification. Many 'not anti-GMO' people are also against GMOs like Rainbow papaya, Golden Rice, and Cornell's Bt eggplant, both of which farmers are allowed, even encouraged, to save seed. They are even against government made GMOs, like HoneySweet plum, or those GM grape rootstocks in France that were recently burned by arsonists. They also disregard and make up facts about commercial GMOs, which is a lot like saying 'I don't like Big Pharma so I'm going to claim vaccines cause autism.' It's not a good thing.

I personally think that people or companies should be able to have reasonable patents on things like that, which plant patents have done long before genetic engineering (of course, they should have to go through some level of reasonable independent testing and all). That's my opinion there. Disagreeing with a view on social issues is fine, just so long as you don't pass it off as science, which so many do.

You might like to know that non-corporate GMOs are increasing in number faster than corporate ones. There's a lot being done by universities and NGOs all over the world. Unfortunately (due in part to the anti-GMO movement) it is so hard to get those GMOs approved for commercial growing that only big companies can afford to spend the time and money needed to get the FDA/EPA/USDA seal of approval, and near impossible to get it approved in the EU (not sure about other places where they grow GMOs, like China, India, Argentina, or Iran). I swear, I would not be surprised if Monsanto was supporting the anti-GMO movement...

Comment Re:Monsanto seeds in there? (Score 4, Informative) 115

Natural News? Seriously? Hint: a site that promotes homeopathy, reiki, and magic silver as cancer cures and says the vaccines cause autism isn't a good source of information. Great example of crank magnetism though.

Crap like this is what pisses me off. No, Monsanto is not your friend, but then you have clueless people railing against them with no idea as to what is actually going on, and that just makes the whole issue that much harder. I won't listen to the medical opinions of a doctor who uses the terms brain and heart interchangeably, and I won't listen to agricultural opinions of people who use pesticide and herbicide interchangeably. And you know so many are only against Monsanto because they do genetic engineering, and, at this point in time, anti-GMO is just another form of baseless pseudoscientific crank denialism woowoo. "I saw Splice once, so I know more about genetic engineering than geneticists!" No, you don't, you just can't be effed to crack a book before protesting. They're like the anti-vaxxers and alt-med quacks who rant about companies like Pfizer and Merck, not because of the bad things those companies actually do, but because said cranks don't understand the science behind pharmaceuticals/vaccines. Then people like me, who do understand the science behind GMOs, the science behind what Monsanto does, are left in the awkward position of defending Monsanto for the sake of accuracy.

By all means, keep an eye on them, they are not to be trusted, hell, it looks like they may have lied about the yield of there latest generation of soybean, but keep it in the real, don't try to pass off anti-Monsanto sentiment as actual science, and stay away from tinfoil land. When the two major points in an agreement are backed by moneyed interests and and the ignorant yet vocal, it makes it really hard to find the truth.

Comment Re:Surely a bet for (or on) climate change? (Score 1) 115

They? Yeah, because all genetic engineers are part of a single monolith./sarcasm

First off, herbicide resistant crops are, contrary to the ramblings of a bunch of people whose education in genetics consists solely of having seen Jurassic Park once, actually fairly useful to the farmer, and pretty beneficial to the environment. Yeah, spraying herbicides (even ones that degrade quickly like glyphosate) probably hurts the environment somewhat, but by allowing no-till farming, they've done a lot less harm overall. Think of it like shooting yourself in the foot to cure brain cancer. It's useful to the farmer because they have more flexibility as to post emergent applications, and because hand weeding is a pain in the ass.

As for yield, that's just wrong. There's not too many that directly increase yield, but you don't have to do directly modify something to yield higher to have higher yield (although it certainty wouldn't hurt and I'm sure there are some folks working on it). Bt crops increase yield, especially in third world countries. Disease resistant GMOs, like the Rainbow papaya, can stop the crop from dying. How's this for increasing yield, without GMO papaya, there would be no papaya industry in Hawaii. There is one, BioCassava, that is specifically designed to be larger. Recently in China, they got some pretty big yields out of a rice plant with corn genes in it (though this news is only about two weeks old, so I can't comment much on it). And, though it isn't a plant, the GM AquAdvantage salmon grows visibly larger than non-modified salmon. Probably quite a number more in the works.

To say that increased yield is propaganda, quite frankly, is simply untrue.

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