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Comment Re:inequality (Score 1) 1063

Because pregnancy and childbirth are inherently dangerous, for both the mother and child. Just because a 13-year-old is biologically mature enough to have a child, she is no way emotionally mature enough to care for that child without significant assistance, something even affluent, white (or perhaps especially them?) girls often do not receive. Easy to see how this could lead to higher mortality, through emotional problems increasing the likelihood of suicide, or just poor parenting leading to accidental deaths. And this doesn't even touch the idea of teenage pregnancy being an indicator of poor decision-making overall.

Comment Re:Terrible example. (Score 1) 323

Protests are not meant to cause damage, they are meant to cause awareness. That's why there are legal restrictions to protest, like having to be on public property, etc. "Blocking and discouraging people from shopping" at a business are two very different things. I think you are confusing a protest with a riot.

Comment Re:Billionaire. (Score 1) 418

Anyone who invests "substantial portions of their life savings" on the stock market is gambling, and in this case they lost. What would be the response if "mom and pop" had put everything on the roulette table? They would be pilloried as idiots, and rightly so. Would you still be outraged that they won't be getting their money back? I thought not.

This is no different. The only safe way to invest in the stock market is to distribute your risk: different companies, different industries, and a lot of time. Any other strategy may occasionally pay off, but too many people listen to the siren song of the quick buck.

Comment Re:And so another empire has fallen (Score 1) 910

The problem is that modern communication has made geography irrelevant. Political/religious beliefs are not nearly as geographically homogeneous as they used to be. Nations/states/communities have always defined their boundaries as "us vs. them". How do you draw those lines when "they" live all around "us", and most of "us" don't even live withing comfortable driving distance of each other? You'd have to have some sort of mass migration, sorting people into different regions by shared beliefs.

Comment Re:politics? (Score 1) 816

So the answer then is to not worry about the current trends continuing, because something better will come along eventually? Sure, we might develop cheap fusion energy, or solar systems with 1000x more efficiency than today's, or whatever other silver bullet tech you can imagine.

To me it seems the height of selfishness and self-delusion to rely on what might happen someday than to take the tough steps now to mitigate the impact in case that something doesn't happen (or doesn't happen soon enough).

Comment Re:More government propaganda (Score 1) 816

The point of TFA was that consumption on the scale now occurring in the industrialized world is unsustainable.

Did you manufacture your two cars? Or your big house? Or generate the electricity to run your AC at any temperature you choose? Your justification of "living within your means" is laughable. Even if you are a responsible, productive member of society, you are still consuming resources of all kinds at an unsustainable pace.

And that doesn't even consider what is going to happen as all the billions of people living in poverty and squalor today wake up and demand the same standard of living you currently enjoy. Or are you advocating limiting the development of the developing world?

Barring a breakthrough in renewable energy bordering on the miraculous, there is a finite limit to the resources on this planet. Period.

Why can't we use studies like this as a jumping-off point for individuals to take responsibility for voluntarily reducing their own consumption? (Wasn't individual responsibility the point of the parent? Or did I misunderstand?)

Comment Re:More government propaganda (Score 1) 816

Only idiots or ideologues frame historical and social issues in terms of absolutes.

Every government reduced wealth?? Every reduction increased it???

IIRC, it took several generations for Europe to climb out of the midden-heap left behind by the collapse of the Roman Empire. The same Empire (read: big government, one of the biggest ever) that brought global economic trade (i.e. wealth) and unprecedented public services like running water and reliable roads and public education to most of the Western world.

Certainly there are valid arguments against big government in the modern context, but I must have missed those niggling details in your rant.


Submission + - Student Expelled From School For Tweeting Profanity (whatshawt.com)

OopsIDied writes: A senior student at Garrett High School was recently expelled after tweeting profanity (f**k) from his own home. Supposedly the school has a system which tracks students' social networks after they have logged in at school. Although the tweet was done at home at 2 AM, the school decided that such behavior was unacceptable and that the most fitting punishment was expulsion. He did use a school computer, but it was set up to use the school network even when used outside the school because the school claimed the tweet was associated with the school's IP address.

Comment Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 90

Just thinking out loud here, but... could you maybe engineer some bacterium that naturally develops a biofilm to reduce metal ions from solution (a chemical reaction that has already been observed in cells) to produce a flat, shiny surface, i.e. a mirror? I'm curious what the requirements are for a surface that would be sufficiently mirror-like.

Comment Re:New Business (Score 1) 161

Any rock could pierce armor, provided you could get it moving fast enough. Think about it, depleted uranium AP rounds are significantly softer than some types of rock, but when moving at thousands of feet per second do an excellent job of punching through armor. It's all a matter of kinetic energy, not hardness.
United States

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"

Comment Re:Does this mean... cyborgs? (Score 1) 71

I'm a little lost here. In my lab we already engineer discrete parts like promoters, terminators, resistance makers and individual genes all by their lonesome into plasmids that we use as starter material. Then we cut and paste with restriction enzyme and T4 ligase to make our "composite material" or BioBrick as they would call it. How is this product better? Its only 235 dollars per 50 reactions according to the NEB website...maybe their way saves a dollar or two when you buy the kit....

But the current software is god-awful, and exceedingly limited.

I know its a bit off topic but I'm curious. What software do you use? I primarily use Sequencer and Clone Manager myself. Occasionally Vector NTI. They get the job done but there is certainly room for improvement.

Comment Re:Why do so many people...? (Score 1) 227


The Swedish king Karl XI has this figured out already in the 17th century when he organised his forces so that people would fight side-by-side with brothers, cousins and people from the same region as you are from. This improved morale and made people less likely to flee the battlefield as you knew you could depend on, and wanted to support loved ones.

Gays in the military is sounding like a good idea. Retreat!? We can't abandon Fernando!! I LOOOVES him!

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