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Comment Re:Not "Episode IV" (Score 1) 272

I was born in 1967 and was 10 when Star Wars came out - Born and raised in Vancouver. Everyone I knew had seen Star Wars. Many kids in my grade 4 class saw it multiple times. I myself saw Star Wars 13 times in the theatre and I bought every comic. I read the novelization until it fell apart.

I was also born in Vancouver (...well, okay, Burnaby) in 1967. I saw Star Wars with a bunch of my friends on opening day at the Stanley. We camped out, watched the early showing, then went back in for the matinee.

As you said, parents weren't stiflingly overprotective of their kids, back then. My friends and I were extremely free-ranging. Those were the days, eh?

Comment Re:Elementary school (Score 1) 320

Yeah, I was in university at the time, too. I was walking by the campus security office when I heard a guard yell "Holy shit!". They were watching the broadcast live on CNN. Soon, there were hundreds of students milling around.

The interesting thing is that, within minutes, people were joking about it. I've read that humour is a common coping mechanism in the face of tragedy because it allows one to distance oneself from a traumatizing event. However, that was literally a case of "Too soon!"

By the way, one of the first jokes that I heard went like this...

Q: What were Commander Scobee's last words?

A: Let the girl drive!

Comment Re:Dialysis == $$$ (Score 4, Informative) 311

Here are some observations from volunteering in a hospital renal unit (even though my background is forensics), as well as being a caregiver for a parent with renal failure:

Yes, peritoneal dialysis (PD) is definitely a cost-saver. And it can be a time-saver, as well, because you can schedule your PD runs around your work and social routines. If you can use an automated PD machine (AKA "cycler") while you sleep, then your entire day is freed up. Also, perhaps the number one advantage is that no needles are necessary.

Finally, it's much easier on the kidneys because it's a continuous therapy (multiple daily runs or an extended nightly run) compared to haemodialysis/hemodialysis (AKA "HD"; two to four runs per week; these short, high-volume runs are very tiring).

Having said that, there are disadvantages, as well. The most commonly-occurring one is that not every renal patient qualifies for PD because of a pre-existing medical condition. Patients with implanted devices (e.g. pacemaker, defibrillator, shunt, etc.) are often disqualified. Many patients who have had previous abdominal surgery may not be able to tolerate a catheter implantation because of built-up scar tissue or other internal issues.

After the catheter is placed, a whole new host of problems begins, The biggest problem is the constant danger of infection at the point where the catheter exits the body (mostly because it's hard to keep everything sterile down there). Peritonitis is a common occurrence due to the presence of the catheter, as well as the infusion of 2+ litres (more than half a gallon) of dialysate per run. Some patients have to perform as many as four runs per day. The potential for contamination is pretty high.

Other complaints that we heard were more about the practicality of PD, such as having to buy new clothes (unsurprisingly, the infusion of 2+ litres of fluid causes your waistline to expand quite a bit!) and having to store pallets of supplies (primarily dialysate) at one's residence.

Overall, though, PD does seem like the easier method and the patients seem happier to be on it than HD. Unfortunately, we noticed that a large portion of those who started on PD usually end up on HD after a few months due to the aforementioned infections and/or their kidneys need more intensive filtration than PD can provide. This probably explains why 89% of all dialysis patients around the world areon HD (see halfway down the page below Table 3): http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/12/2587.long) (Yeah, it's a ten-year old paper. I couldn't find a newer source that was fully available on the web. However, the numbers are holding steady, according to the renal unit stats in my region.)

Frankly, I don't know why some countries (e.g. Mexico) have such high PD numbers. Without eventual haemofiltration, I suspect that their patients' life expectancy is shortened. Tragically, it probably has to do with cost. :(

Comment Re:They still sell those? (Score 1) 105

My house has the original opener that isn't rolling, it was built in 1983. Rolling code technology came out in 1993 [wikipedia.org], which really isn't that long ago considering how often you need to replace them.

Similar situation here. I have a side-by-side garage with two separate early-1980s openers manufactured by Overhead Door Company. Each opener came with two one-button remotes.

One of the openers was damaged in 1994 (a roofing contractor backed into the door with his truck), so we ended up with the old fixed-code opener on the left door and a new rolling-code opener (also by Overhead Door) on the right. The new opener came with a pair of three-button remotes. Two buttons are strictly for rolling-code openers, but the third button can do both fixed- and rolling-code. Now, I can open both doors with one remote. Very handy.

Anyway, the point is that some of these openers can last a long time. Like your opener, my remaining fixed-code example is verging on 33 or 34 years old. Considering how often it's opened and closed, it sometimes surprises me how it continues to operate so smoothly.

Comment Re:Yo dawg, I heard you like keychains... (Score 1) 278

I also use a mini-carabiner to hold two keychains together. One is home-related and has a car key/alarm fob, house keys, gun safe key, and safe deposit box key. The other is work-related and has a truck key, office keys, gun safe key, firearm trigger lock keys, Leatherman Micra multi-tool, and an Inova LED squeeze light.

Depending on where I'm going, I unclip them and leave one or the other in the gun safe.

As for other stuff that I carry... Just the usual things like a wallet, cell phone, and a Leatherman multi-tool. On the job, I sometimes also have to carry a satellite phone, GPS, a shotgun, and various other tools.

Comment Re:I Have Plans Now (Score 1) 222

I had pretty much the same experience that you did. I was 14 and was a big PKD fan, so I dragged half a dozen friends down to see it. I recall that one of the other choices at the theatre was a sword-and-sorcery movie; might have been Conan or Beastmaster or somesuch. We were conflicted about which to choose (because barbarian movies usually had babes in chain-link bikinis), but I convinced everybody to see Blade Runner.

Luckily, most of my friends were high-minded enough to recognize and appreciate the film noir aspects of it. The grittiness was a stark contrast to, as you said, the "clean futures" that most science fiction movies portrayed.

The one negative influence that I noticed from Blade Runner is that it influenced the production of a lot of low budget,"neo-noir" movies set in dystopian future settings. The entire decade of the '80s was rife with them. On the other hand, it also influenced many decent movies like 12 Monkeys and even The Dark Knight Rises. You win some, you lose some. :)

Comment Re:Huh (Score 1) 334

If you have "unfailing reliability" why change it? It's a weapon not a computer.

The reliability of the Lee-Enfield is not the issue. Rather, according to TFA, they've run out of spare parts to maintain/repair them.

Therefore, they're looking for a modern, off-the-shelf, firearm with similar reliability, accuracy, and stopping power to replace them.

Comment Re: The problem with double standards. (Score 2) 292

Shit with these kind of stories, even the experts aren't allowed to be experts!

Well, it turns out that she isn't an expert in animal behaviour. Her specialty is zooarchaeology which is mostly concerned with how ancient people utilized animals in their cultural and dietary practices. (Disclosure: I'm an archaeologist who works on Vancouver Island where Dr. Crockford is located (University of Victoria). We hire people like Dr. Crockford to carry out studies like this for us.)

Meanwhile, she does appear to be connected to the Heartland Institute. There are lots of references to this via Google, Bing, etc. (Example: http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-payments-university-victoria-professor-susan-crockford-probed).

There are also examples of her denialist stance from the Heartland Institute's own website (Example: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/09/17/polar-bears-successfully-adapt-climate-change-scientist-says). A search of Heartland's site finds that she's quoted or cited on several of their pages, actually (http://policybot.enginez.com/results.engz?uq=crockford).

Comment Re: Hard to believe (Score 2) 804

It's like comparing Kraft Mac & Chesse to your own homemade. Sure, making your own is less expensive and has more options for upgrades (bacon)... but Kraft is much more convenient if you don't want to sweat the details, has a nice box & packaged look, and a taste you cannot fully replicate on your own.

Also, something that do-it-yourself PC builders always overlook is the warranty, phone support, documentation, etc. that comes with a manufactured product (like a Mac Pro).

Those kinds of things are not free, obviously, but are almost never taken into account.

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