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Comment We've eaten cheese a lot longer than that (Score 2) 214

The stomach of a young mammal naturally turns milk into curds and when. It solidifies the milk so that it digests more slowly, and the young mammal gets more out of it. Our ancestors turned breast milk into a primitive cheese, in their stomachs.

When a baby spits up milk, think about what it looks like - it's curds. Our ability to make curds from milk disappears about the same time our so-called milk-teeth start falling out.

As a result, to make cheese, you need the stomach lining of a young mammal to turn your milk to curds. Old mammals have lost the ability.

Comment Negatives will Abound (Score 1) 439

As a Canadian, I doubt the part about our "net benefit". As extreme weather becomes more common, it will become less comfortable for everyone. Maybe Canadians will be better off than Mexicans, but the farther out from the Goldilocks zone we go, the worse it's going to be, globally.

As for countries, I have doubts they can ever achieve anything. Real change is done at the community level.

Comment We had a Brilliant Jerk (Score 1) 480

Very clever, had a hard time with showering and dressing. Obnoxious, loud, and full of unpleasant remarks, but mostly very productive at our small start-up.

We didn't have to deal with him - he got dealt with by the police. Turns out his drug habit got him involved with not nice people, and in order to repay the money he owed them, he stole all the computers and monitors from our office once night. Some of my office mates got to see him arrested, as they left work after him one night.

Brilliant, but impulsive, with no long-term thinking. He was like a 13-year-old boy in many regards.

He got off on all charges, as he was coerced into committing his crime.


Submission + - 300bps N, 8, 1 - The Hidden Track

puppetman writes: I came across a story about a hidden track found in a band's album.

But the hidden track wasn't a song, it was a text file, encoded as a track. And this wasn't an mp3 or compact disk — it was on vinyl, on an album that came out 1992.

The tracks name was, "300bps N, 8, 1 (Terminal Mode or Ascii Download)", and to those in the know, it was instructions on configuring your modem to receive the file.

Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 3, Informative) 1201

EI (Employment Insurance, for those outside of Canada) is designed to make sure you can get by, but not comfortably; the government wants you working. And it's being changed to reduce the benefits for frequent (ab)users. I've known plumbers that work during the spring, summer and fall, and then go on EI for the winter (and spend it in Mexico).

I've been paying into for about 25 years, and have never once used it. And more than a couple of months at the ridiculously low rate would put us in a huge financial hole. It would be nice if at least a portion was based on how much you contributed - maybe salary matching for a month between jobs - and then to the much lower rate.

Comment Re:Ignorami (Score 2) 452

Those farms produce a lot of empty calories for processed foods. They don't really feed people; I highly doubt I could survive on a diet of corn. And feeding it to cows is wrong; it makes the meat less healthy (more omega-6 fats, fewer omega-3), and it acidifies their stomachs which in turn creates an strain of e.coli that is trained to survive in more acidic environments, and thus makes us sick.

But those mid-west farms won't be producing for very long, they are losing topsoil at 18 tonnes per hectare per year according to World Agriculture and Soil Erosion, by the University of California Press

Being a farmer used to be about being a custodian of the land, not a shill for big agribusiness, planting round-up ready GMO crops.

Small diverse farms produce a huge and diverse array of food - more calories per acre that the midwest monoliths. See Elliot Coleman, and Joel Salatin, or read the chapter on Polyface Farms in the Omnivores Dilemna.

But you won't, because it's so ingrained that there are no other options or ways of doing things.

Comment Rodale Institute Disagrees (Score 4, Informative) 452

The Rodale Institute did a 30 year side-by-side study. They found that,

- initially, organic farms created less, as fertilizers and pesticide initially gave a conventional farms a boost. This disappeared over time, as conventional farming damages and degrades the soil, reducing yeilds.

- organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.

- organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.

- organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient.

- conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases.

- organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.

I am not sure where that last one came from (I haven't read the final report)

Comment That's really patentable? (Score 1) 255

As in, there is no prior art for giving software away for free (or for a reduced price) based on forcing the user to view the occasional advertisement?

I am surprised Apple isn't using this "patent" to go after the ad-supported Kindle in an effort to get the upper hand in content (especially after Apple's smack-down on price fixing for e-books)....

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