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Biotech

Police Pull Over More Drivers For DNA Tests 562

schwit1 sends this news from the Washington Times: "Pennsylvania police this week were pulling people to the side of the road, quizzing them on their driving habits, and asking if they'd like to provide a cheek swap or a blood sample — the latest in a federally contracted operation that's touted as making roads safer. The same operation took place last month at a community in Texas. Then, drivers were randomly told to pull off the road into a parking lot, where white-coated researchers asked if they'd like to provide DNA samples for a project that determines what percentage of drivers are operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol at given times. With uniformed police in the background, the researchers also offered the motorists money — up to $50 or so — for the blood or saliva samples."

Comment Diesel is a better solution (Score 2) 314

Diesel engines are twice as efficient at extracting energy from fuel as are gas engines. The US should do what Europe has done and basically fully embrace diesel fueled vehicles for their efficiency.

No, you won't be breaking any 0-60 records, which might make it difficult for the MURKA! FUCK YEAH! crowd to accept, but when you can drive from Bakersfield to Baltimore on 100 gallons of diesel, it's worthy of serious consideration.

I am dismayed that this administration is so openly hostile towards diesel technology when it would seem to be a very simple, very clean, very cheap, and very easy solution both in the short and long term. You can buy a Jetta TDI cheap and get 55mpg on the highway. That beats the snot out of any Hybrid in overall cost.

Businesses

Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak 606

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Washington Post reports that in Germany, Amazon's second-biggest market behind the United States, hundreds of Amazon.com workers went on strike just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay and conditions that has raged for months. Amazon, which employs 9,000 warehouse staff members in Germany plus 14,000 seasonal workers at nine distribution centers, says that 1,115 employees joined the strike at three sites. 'Amazon must realize it cannot export its anti-union labor model to European shores. We call on the company to come to the table and sign a global agreement that guarantees the rights of workers,' says Philip Jennings of the global trade union UNI. Verdi organized several short stoppages this year to try to force Amazon to accept collective-bargaining agreements ... The union says Amazon workers receive lower wages than others in retail and mail-order jobs and that other retailers pay overtime, but Amazon does not. 'What Amazon is doing is taking this American race-to-the-bottom roadshow to Germany and trying it out on our German brothers and sisters,' says David Freiboth. Amazon has defended its wage policies, saying that employees earn toward the upper end of the pay scale of logistics companies in Germany. Amazon also says it prefers to address employment issues with worker councils at individual sites rather than through negotiations with the union. Amazon says that there have been no delays to deliveries ... adding that Amazon uses its whole European logistics network during the Christmas period to ensure delivery times. A delegation of German workers was set to rally at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle along with U.S. unions. 'We're standing in solidarity with them. We are asking that Amazon respect the union there in Germany and negotiate in a way that is acceptable to Verdi,' says Kathy Cummings of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, which was also attending the protest in Seattle."

Comment Re:red v blue (Score 1) 285

I never said that. I am only speaking of the people I know.

It could just be that the liberals I know are not happy in the south where they don't have the expectation of having micro-managerial control over everybody else.

But yes, it is absolutely true that I don't know a single liberal who isn't bitching incessantly about something all the time.

Comment Re:Spent $1,000 on incandescents thanks to this la (Score 1) 1146

Why don't you just use halogen bulbs? They are still available in a wide range of wattages, as are 90W 130V commercial bulbs that have just slightly less output than a 100W 120V bulb. The halogen bulbs are more expensive but last much longer, especially if you have a soft-start digital dimmer.

I installed halogens on a digital soft-start dimmer in my living room in 2005 when I remodeled, and haven't had to replace one yet. The light is very nice, too.

Comment Re:red v blue (Score 4, Interesting) 285

It's simple, really.

They believe more in personal responsibility than shared responsibility. I live in the South, and the overwhelming majority of people I know would rather work hard for what they earn than take it from someone else without working for it. They believe that you must earn what you have, rather than simply be given it. And, they are okay with the fact that they don't have as much as others. They are happy with what they have.

I've lived in ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative parts of the country, and everywhere in between. The liberals I know are miserable. They can never be happy with what they have - they always see the grass being always greener elsewhere. They are also overwhelmingly underachievers with expectations that their slack will be taken up by "someone else."

Also, you have to take the data with a grain of salt. I live in a "poor" area by national standards - the median individual income in my city is approximately $30,000. However, the median home price is only about 2.5x. You can buy a "nice" home for $120-140k. My wife and I recently purchased a 2000 square foot home on 2 acres for $140k.

So, it's important not to confuse "poor" with "behind in the inflation race."

As far as my personal beliefs, I would rather shovel shit for minimum wage that reach into your wallet and steal your money. That is wrong, and I won't do it. So, it's not about voting in my own self interest, it is about voting for what is right.

Censorship

UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game 598

magic maverick writes "Reuters reports that three men were arrested for posting anti-Semitic comments on Twitter following the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in October, police said on Friday. 'Two men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested on Thursday in London and in Wiltshire, while a 48-year-old man was arrested at his home in Canning Town in London last week on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. The investigation following the match on October 6 was triggered by complaints about tweets that referred to Hitler and the gas chambers.' I guess it goes to show, you'd be stupid to use your real name or identifying details on Twitter. Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)."

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