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Comment Re:A hard day...Mining bulshit (Score 1) 96

Phosphorus shortages have already happened. A lot of farms suffered a few years ago when an intentional shortage spiked prices to 10x normal. There really aren't many places left where you can cheaply shovel high grade ore.

Aside from the supply, which is large but has already been manipulated, lets look at the pollution. If we can recover phosphorous from rivers for anything close to the cost of mining it this will be a huge benefit. We could reduce dead zones and improve river ecosystems which would have an enormous economic benefit.

If drifting piles of socks made giant areas around cemeteries uninhabitable and people remember paying $100 per sock a few years back maybe coffin-mining would be studied. I don't see any reason it is a bad idea to recover a valuable resource that is doing harm downstream.

Comment Re:A short list of things that are like the Holoca (Score 1) 683

You're wrong, excise taxes and tolls only cover about a third of road spending. General taxes pay for the other 2/3. It varies quite a bit by state, you can see the numbers here.

The big reason for this is the fact gas taxes haven't been raised in many years and are a flat rate, not a percentage of the cost. Every year the gas taxes aren't raised to keep up with rising prices roads fall further behind.

Comment Re:Where's the "safest" place on Earth? (Score 1) 115

Precisely! Sure, when a plane crashes it is pretty dramatic. Makes the news every time. However, logically speaking for every person that dies in a plane crash or an earthquake many thousands die from things nobody freaks out about. People are so bad at identifying relevant risks and so "good" at fixating on irrelevant ones.

Comment Re:Where's the "safest" place on Earth? (Score 2) 115

Traffic accidents kill more people than natural disasters by orders of magnitude, and "lifestyle" diseases such as cancer and heart disease dwarf all else.

Logically, the safest place to life is somewhere you are happy and able to stay physically active and don't have to drive much. If it happens to be earthquakey or spidery don't waste your time worrying because it'll be lost in the statistical noise.

Comment Re:Lesson from this story...don't be a glass hole! (Score 1) 1034

Honest question, I keep hearing this advice but have never personally used it. I've been stopped by law enforcement many times over the years, things like taking photographs, exploring abandoned buildings, launching model rockets, setting off illegal fireworks, etc. Each time I am respectful and fairly honest with the officers, with the goal of going about my business in the minimum amount of time and expense. I've never once been detained, and am rarely cited.

I suspect that if I don't talk to them at all they will take me downtown, bring me my precious lawyer, and after spending the night in jail be let go without charges or an apology. I don't know for sure that this is the case, but my personal experience has been that talking to police lets me go about my business.

If I were ever in a situation where things dragged on more than about 5 or 10 minutes I'd probably reconsider my approach, but I honestly question if this advice is sound.

Comment Re:I took it in 1986 (Score 1) 325

Wow, I took it the same year. Where I went to school the AP class was the only way I could find to get an account on their PDP-11 and be given access to the computer lab. Few people had PCs at home, I worked for a year to save up enough for a C64.

The class doesn't really offer much for students these days I suspect. Most students don't want to do extra work on evenings and weekends in high school, it is easy to get access to computers and training, and you'll get at best a couple units of credit.

Comment Re:Aren't there any lessons learned from prohibiti (Score 1) 323

Look at homebrewing beer and wine, there is a very active network of people exchanging and selling homebrew, legally and non, despite the gov't wanting tax revenue. Pot will be the same. Tobacco is different because it is hard to do right. I tried growing tobacco and processing the leaves was tricky. I ended up with some foul tasting stuff that took many hours to produce. Tobacco smokers don't like to change brands, let alone try some moldy crud.

Comment Re:I believe it (Score 1) 1010

There are different ways to measure big buildings, but pretty much none of them are banks. You can measure volume, footprint, floor space, etc. Some of the largest buildings are airplane factories, retail warehouses, airports, and an apparently impressive flower auction house in Holland. I guess those bulbs had a lasting effect after all!

Comment Re:Logic (Score 5, Informative) 160

That's your wrong one. Superbugs are resistant to antibiotics, not the pointless stuff they put in soap these days. There's no way for a bacteria to become resistant to penicillin by being exposed Triclosan. That's just silly.

Your casual dismissal of this possibility seems logical but is incorrect. There are numerous studies of cross resistance between triclosan and antibiotics, Here is one showing several bacteria that evolve resistance to antibiotics after being exposed to sublethal doses of triclosan. This implies that dosing our wastewater with low levels of triclosan is reckless and had better have strong evidence that it does some good. It is definitely doing some bad!

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