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Comment Re:Speculation (Score 1) 492

Biology being what it is, it's reasonable to think that the health benefits of exercise are a multi-factor phenomenon and that any one chemical will deliver fewer benefits than the real thing.

This is true - for example, this almost certainly won't do anything for improving glycogen stores - but it'd certainly help for people who have been bedridden, the elderly, chemo patients, etc. It may also provide an easier start for people who are badly out of shape.

So many people abandon fitness kicks because the first few times it's really unpleasant/hard; it's a bit sad because the human body is actually pretty responsive and adaptive, and especially if you're in lousy shape, gains can be substantial if you simply give it a chance. For example, someone bikes into work for the first time, and they find it exhausting, so they say "meeeeh" and the bike gets sold or disappears into the basement. Except if they'd simply stuck with it for about a week or two, they'd find it easier and easier every day (note: it's totally OK, and good for you, to take a day or two off if it feels like you need it. The volume of training by 'serious' athletes might surprise many. It's also not particularly intense. It's just focused and smart, and yes, rest days are taken by even elite competitors.)

Also note: for those of you who have thought about biking for transportation or commuting but don't want to because "I'd get all sweaty": Slow. Down. Throw an extra X minutes in for your commute. Seriously. Just slow down. Bicycles are *the* most efficient form of human transport. For the same energy as walking, you can be doing significantly more speed. More speed = more cooling wind. Hottest day ever recorded in my city last year, and I biked in to work.

Comment Re:Are you sure you RTFA? (Score 1) 74

There's also a little bit of trying to scare off the metal scavangers by hinting that the copper cables and other metals that they might be able to recover are radioactive and could be VERY unhealthy to be around.

Risk hasn't seemed to deter any of the people who routinely break into power stations and (try) to steal copper from energized equipment.

Comment calm down. (Score 1) 209

A relative is a mid-level commander who came up from rank-and-file and we talked about this very subject a few weeks ago. His department bans helmet cameras, and it's a policy he said he agrees with strongly.

As part of their job, they interact with people in deeply intimate, traumatic, personal moments and events. They have no right to turn that event into a spectacle for YouTube, and privacy laws *do* apply here if medical aide is rendered, in addition to the ethical side of things. Firefighters, like doctors, often need the truth for their own protection or to save lives. Example: they don't care if you were cooking meth from a legal standpoint, they care about the toxic chemicals in your on-fire house. How do you think "Hey, we need to know: you making meth here?" will be answered with a camera on the FF's head?

Firefighters respond to many medical calls to speed response and/or assist with entry if the ambulance crew need it. What happens when a firefighter responds to a domestic violence incident and the victim sees a blinking camera in their face?

You need a swift kick in the groin for thinking that you have any right to be "virtually" present during those moments. Next time you need emergency services, I want you to think "Do I want a camera shoved in my face and this broadcast on youtube?"

Comment we need people like PJ spreading encryption (Score 1) 350

Poor taste is getting all hysterical about 9-11 (good lord, what was that all about...), claiming she can't collaborate with people, and then declaring she's "going off the Internet."

Does she not know how to install GPG or something? She could've been a force to help get people into using GPG/PGP and whatnot (plus people have pointed out there's services like Kolab), but instead she just Left The Reservation.

Just because someone has been a hero doesn't grant *you* a magical shield to run around deflecting criticism of their actions.

Comment imagine a firefighter's worse nightmare (Score 1) 379

Imagine a fuel cell in every cellular tower, with a CNG tank on-site in case both the power and gas lines fail (and can be refilled by truck). Imagine your central heating boiler being for home and water heating was generating free electricity as well as heat for a combined ~80% efficiency (almost as good as condensing boiler). Imagine every city block has a fuel cell the size of a utility cabinet, reducing transmission losses and easing strain on the power grid.

Imagine a firefighter's worse nightmare:

Electricity? Check.

Flammable gas? Check.

Unlimited supply of flammable gas? Check.

Neighborhood cogeneration might be interesting, but there's going to have to be some serious, serious thought put into making them safe.

Also: this does not solve the problem of needing carbon neutral energy sources. It's "better", but we've dug ourselves into a sufficiently deep enough hole that we're well past "better" being good enough. Nuclear, wind, solar, hydro. Anything else is just delaying the problem, not fixing it.

Comment Siiiiigh, the SMC provides an ESTIMATE (Score 4, Insightful) 363

Calculated battery capacity is an estimate, nothing more, used by power management to decide when the computer should be force-slept, then suspended to disk to keep from damaging the battery (ie, it's not useful to wake up too late from sleep to do the suspend-to-disk.)

The SMC's estimate is just that: an estimate. Errors build up over time, and certain things fake it out a bit. For example, note the capacity, unplug the laptop, use it for 30 minutes, plug it in. Immediately the value will be different. It'll change again when fully charged. Your battery capacity didn't actually change. Even in a perfect world, since batteries have internal resistance, capacity gauges can never be perfect(if you draw at X you'll get less power out than if you draw out at X*0.8), and the battery's capacity varies with temperature. Battery degradation is impacted by temperature as well, so unless you're controlling for temperature of the pack, this was a completely useless endeavor. The only way this would have been useful would've been to cycle several (probably a dozen or more) batteries on lab-grade equipment in a temperature-controlled environment.

The noise and big upward swings alone should tell you that using the SMC's estimate for the purposes of statistical analysis or trending is virtually useless.

The stupid shit I see "enthusiasts" of any product obsess over is absurd. The time wasted on such an exercise far outweighs the impact it possibly could have had on the author (and probably even 9-10 other people combined.) The batteries last for well over 6 hours. Most people using a ultrabook with the battery life of a Macbook Air have plenty of opportunities to charge their machines during the course of a day.

Comment Re:From ivory tower to silicon valley (Score 1) 372

though a lot of ex-hippies get to watch the drama unfold from the comfort of their homes in the Berkeley hills.

One of the things that amuses me about gentrification whining is that much of it comes from the people who cashed out and moved to much nicer, richer neighborhoods - or moved and rent out their property, exploiting the people who want to live in the nicer neighborhood. For example, I live in a community that flipped from predominantly black to predominantly white. All the black people cashed out on rising property values, buying huge houses in other areas. They then overbought, signed stupid mortgage terms, etc...people making $25k a year were given $600k mortgages. Then they all whined about foreclosures and how that was just so goddamn unfair and racism and blah blah blah.

What's goddamn unfair is that my tax dollars are going to bail out people who abandoned their communities in the name of financial gain, and through greed and stupidity, signed contracts they couldn't possibly honor.

Comment More interesting site: English Russia (Score 2) 254

You know what's a more interesting site?

English Russia. Mostly photo-essay / slideshow style, but with really high quality, large images. Tons of urban exploration themed stories, for example. Very neat.

One of the reasons that I think the mainstream press has been biting it online is that many of them still think 300-pixel-wide images are acceptable for covering a story. I have a camera where I can shoot someone's photo from a block away and practically see their nosehairs, news photographers are shooting with the same or better, and they're posting crappy, overcompressed, over-contrasted, tiny garbage.

The Boston Globe's Big Picture posts images 990x660, and they're so much better it's astounding. They're standard newswire photos - just not compressed to hell and shrunk to the size of a postage stamp like they are almost everywhere else!

Comment get a fountain pen, a good notebook, and good ink (Score 2) 217

I would add: Get a decent (~$100-200) fountain pen, good quality notebooks, and quality ink.

Waterman makes the Expert 2 and is a pretty safe recommendation, but there are a bunch of others out there to try. Note that fountain pens should be held extremely lightly against the writing surface, and are not really ideal for occasional use if you live in a dry climate. For daily or bi-daily use, they'll be fine.

Clairefontaine sells notebooks with superb paper that is very smooth, strong, and thick enough to not bleed through to the other size...and sells proper cloth-covered, stitched-binding notebooks.

Noodler's Ink has "bulletproof" varieties which will not run or bleed from almost any common solvent or bleaching agent, making them quite ideal for labs and such (or if you simply drop your notebook in a puddle.) Doubles as a very good ink for signing important documents.

Comment Military and politics don't mix. (Score 4, Insightful) 151

Are you seriously comparing a civil employee to a military officer?

If you're an officer, you're not criticizing "the administration", you're criticizing your commanders. Most people in the military understand why they shouldn't even consider getting involved in politics...if you need to understand why military shouldn't be involved in politics, I cannot help you. A history book can, however.

Comment food density; calorie restriction; muscle mass (Score 1) 461

If you're hungry, eat. When you're not hungry anymore, stop eating. This sounds simple, but it can be difficult to practice.

Yup, partially because processed foods have very high calorie counts, and sweetened drinks are everywhere. One of the reasons soda is such a pain is because it's so many calories for not a lot of stomach space. Switching to water, tea, etc helps. I almost never have anything except water with meals now. Kinda nice - cleans the palate, works with everything, cheap, etc.

But as an instructor pointed out, "You spent 20 years putting on that weight. It's not going to all come off in 20 days."

Eh, that's kind of a silly comparison or line of reasoning. The problem is mostly that there are a TON of calories in one pound of fat - 3500+. Calorie restriction works, it's just that because of the energy in a pound of fat, it can only work at a certain speed (dropping too many calories from your diet will result in weakness, getting sick more, etc), and that speed is a bit slower than people might hope. Let me put it this way: if your daily calorie usage is about 2000 calories and you don't eat anything for 24 hours, you'll lose well less than a pound (yes, I'm ignoring glycogen stores.)

Implementation of calorie restriction is difficult for many, yes. If you eat because you're unhappy, for example, then you shouldn't just talk to a dietician - you should also talk to a (licensed) mental health councilor of some sort. If you're snacking throughout the day or eating a massive lunch, you need a better breakfast. Etc. etc.

Everyone thinks exercise helps - and yes, it does, and you're definitely healthier and better off for it. But one of the cruel jokes about exercise is that when you do more of it, you become more efficient as a food-burning machine. People also underestimate the amount of calories burned from exercise, and above a certain level of activity, most of the calories come from your glycogen stores and carbohydrates, not fat.

Increasing activity and muscle mass helps, too, as muscle mass increase = daily calorie use increase. Everyone should do at least some sort of weight training, including-and-especially women, where weight lifting helps counteract bone density loss. Walking and cycling for transport helps quite a bit - even a 15-20 minute commute by bike is worth a decent number of calories, maybe 10% or so of your daily needs.

Comment and for people who aren't Estonian....? (Score 1) 399

So your government gives out these cards - great. That works fine if you're Estonian (and apparently, you don't have a choice in whether you carry one or not...unlike, say, the US, where you are not required to acquire nor posses ID.)

What if you're not Estonian? What if you're not in the country legitimately?

It wouldn't surprise me if you have an entire second class of people - those who can't get the cards, and thus can't sign contracts, can't get bank accounts, can't email officials, can't get transportation passes, etc. Do you need the card to get medical care? File a police report? Etc?

The problem with being forced into the black market is that there's a lot less legal protection in it, and a lot more people interested in taking advantage of you...especially if you can't/won't go to the police.

The technology sounds great, but it's effectively an immigration control tool. Which is a bit of a problem, given Estonia's population has plunged in the last 30 years.

Comment Please stop supporting the CSM (Score 3, Interesting) 58

Please do not link to the CSM or support them - their parent organization (which is where the profits from the CSM go) spreads belief that if you get sick, it's punishment for not being a good enough Christian Scientist/follower of god, and that you should not seek medical treatment. That's some seriously fucked up shit.

If you're a dimwitted adult and you want to deny yourself medical care, fine - but the children of Christian Scientists don't have a choice, and this cult endangers the lives of tens of thousands of children who depend upon their guardians for sound medical care decisions.

Mary Baker Eddy was relentlessly criticized (rightly so) by the press of her time for being absolutely batshit crazy (which she was. Someone should've tattooed "correlation is not causation" backwards on her forehead.) She got all huffy about being called a wacko all the time, and started the CSM - specifically to have a newspaper that wouldn't criticize her and would present her with a worldview she found acceptable.

Yes, they do good reporting. It doesn't matter - the money still supports a cult.

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