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Comment Re:What in the blue hell are you talking about (Score 1) 834

I get the "joke", but just a note, Sao Paulo (largest city in S. America) is mostly Italian...ão_Paulo#Immigration

I was surprised that a NY-area American like me fit right in (until I opened my mouth)!

Comment Re:mountains of diamonds (Score 1) 365

Okay, I see you are able to be reasonable about this. So I have a few questions/observations.

The Native Americans and the Jews have also been victims of the most horrible forms of colonialism, institutional and interpersonal racism, or both. Why are they not topping the charts for violent crime like the blacks?

Native Americans


The 2nd is much more illustrative of the mechanisms, and finishes with a simple enough point: sub-sets of society who are marginalized long enough (living in reservations, jewish ghettos, US inner-city ghettos) will end up with increased crime rates (including violent crime). Also note that while what you said is logically correct (your "or both" above helps), the Jews haven't in recent memory been "colonized", as until recently they did not claim any land. Crime records for Jews in (e.g.) biblical Egypt would indeed be interesting to see...

Comment Re:RTFA this time (Score 1) 264

The people on one of my relative's block have an interesting solution to that:

Everyone who's "prepping" all have the same style/caliber of weapon. This way they can all use each others caches if/when they become available.

...I took it upon myself not to point out that this also implies there are lots of people with guns around who know where "things of value" will be found...

Comment Re: Wrong as per usual Warming Alarmists (Score 1) 240

Just a thought, but instead of spending the time telling the GP to pound sand, shouldn't you have asked your city why they're lying about their published weather data? At the least, ask them to install a weather station in your neighborhood, due to extreme local variation from the available measurements?

Comment Re:Becasue... the children! (Score 1) 190

As a frequent hiker, I couldn't leave this one alone. The linked paper is about sterilization in health-care, but it quickly comes to (emphasis mine):

Chemical Disinfectants


Overview. In the healthcare setting, "alcohol" refers to two water-soluble chemical compounds—ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol—that have generally underrated germicidal characteristics 482. FDA has not cleared any liquid chemical sterilant or high-level disinfectant with alcohol as the main active ingredient. These alcohols are rapidly bactericidal rather than bacteriostatic against vegetative forms of bacteria; they also are tuberculocidal, fungicidal, and virucidal but do not destroy bacterial spores. Their -cidal activity drops sharply when diluted below 50% concentration, and the optimum bactericidal concentration is 60%–90% solutions in water (volume/volume)

Keep in mind that alcohol is a disinfectant however it is not an effective sterilizing agent as some things can survive. Alcohol is not very effective against bacterial spores. Sterilization implies that there is no living organism left whereas disinfection eliminates or reduces the harmful organisms present.

Comment Re:The water wars are coming (Score 1) 151

I see your point, but it makes me think... how do you propose to "fix the canals"? Cement the bottom better, or close-over the top? I ask, because I truly don't know the sources of the loss, but....

...if the loss is mostly into the air (evaporation), I agree, that sucks (unless the rain stays somewhat local). I wonder though how many acres of land are "accidentally" watered by seepage/waste/runoff/spillover/outward-gradual-soil-moistening. I'd imagine lots of creatures are making new homes along the shore in previously scrappy (from your description) land. Granted (to play devil's advocate against myself), my gut tells me that (a) it's likely opportunists (weeds and annoying creatures) moving in along the canal, (b) some nice native creatures are being pushed out of their "desert paradise" and (c) it's probably still more net harm than good... I just think it's worth thinking about the upsides of "inefficient water transport" ;-)

Sorry, just in that kind of mood today.

Comment Re:Read Slashdot (Score 1) 479

It seems I'm somewhat agreeing with the other replies to your post here, with a "we had useful PhD's at my highly-specialized niche company". We build bespoke data management systems within the financial realm, and one of our best tool/product builders was a PhD (Physics, I think). He was of course "a bit goofy", but very easy to work with, willing to put in long hours and wear a suit if needed on-site. Sad to have lost him, frankly, but the new owners have a hard time seeing salaries that high...

Comment Re:Untested? (Score 1) 357

I can guarantee you, from years of overseas consulting, that this is not a US phenomenon.

Just this month, we found out at a non-US client recently that a new build of our server made it from Dev to Prod *untested* by the bank who was implementing it. A sub-beta-build, at that (spot/hot-fix). It treated a certain type of function call differently (almost unarguably better) than before, however we have to defend why the old version "worked"; while on the new server, this causes a "bug" due to a consultant's *cough cough sorry* poor coding.

I'm all for trashing on the US (though shooting fish in a barrel is generally not recognized as sportsmanlike), as I think it's only being intellectually honest to treat all downward-sloping-gradients equally; but please don't believe that we're exceptional in this regard.

Comment Re: Bullshit we won't notice (Score 1) 466

Most of the non-bottom-of-the-barrel airlines offer this, for United at least it's called economy plus.

I've flown US->Brazil 6 times in the last year. I've kept an eye open for business class at an affordable price each time, but the difference tends to be $1400 vs $6000 (sometimes 8). Economy plus is an extra ~$115 each way, and gets you 'up to' 5" extra legroom. As an added bonus, you generally get to board early, so the overhead bins will be nice and empty.

Still, I feel your pain. Try to shop around and see if you can find a similar-priced flight on an airline with this option. For me at least, the difference between having that metal bar from the top of the magazine rack (WHY do you need to put a damn metal bar in there! my knees protest verily!) and suffering for days, vs paying the extra $115 or so and getting room to shift my legs freely, is making flying tolerable again.

Best of luck.

Comment Re:Sounds like evil to me (Score 1) 325

One of my favorites was the time when, after getting through security in Zurich on a flight to the US (and mind you, having my ovomaltine crunchy cream (think nutella consistency), a gift for my wife, confiscated; because it's a "liquid"!), being able to buy cask-strength whisky and lighters *in the same shop*, dozens of feet from the gate to my plane.

...(also, yes spellcheck, whisky is the right spelling of that word, considering my heritage).

Comment Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score 1) 249

...your first point may be valid (but really? *this* is what the laws spend time protecting?)... but your second point is handled already by the GP's HS math teacher reference. Or, your own post, which points out that in order to break the average speed >= speed limit rule, your speed must either always equal the speed limit, or have exceeded it at some point.

If you need an in-depth lesson (sans actual math), I recommend the first few lectures from .

Comment Re:Greed (Score 1) 292

Indeed, re-purposed weapons-grade material is a great source of enriched uranium. In general it's enriched *way* beyond what's needed to run a plant, so can in fact be diluted before being used.

The uranium market declined significantly through the 1980s and 1990s because of the end of the Cold War arms race as well as a cessation in construction of new nuclear plants. Disarmament of nuclear-weapons stockpiles added surplus weapons-grade uranium to the market, which led to a price drop as low as $7 a pound. Much of the fuel currently powering U.S. reactors, for instance, was originally intended for warheads atop Soviet ballistic missiles.

...the fun part is that, for a while, this led to mining/processing companies not actually supplying the amounts needed per year. As the flow of HEU from established stockpiles was slowing down, this led the market price to spike - I'm still kicking myself for not investing in uranium-linked financial instruments (for some silly reason they don't just let people buy uranium hexafluoride like many other commodities ;-) ) over the last few decades. Note that recently, due to less-than-expected new reactor building, and a ramp-up in mining/processing, the price has stabilized a bit, but for a while there was a small fortune to be made if you read the supply/demands right.

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