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Comment Re:Antibiotics and Viruses (Score 5, Informative) 106

Uh, yeah. The massive die-off you're talking about is called a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. It can happen with any gram-negative bacteria (which has endotoxin/lipopolysaccharide), and can easily throw somebody into septic shock. It's also a particularly common problem with spirochetes (syphilis, Lyme).

Comment Re:Antibiotics and Viruses (Score 4, Informative) 106

Sooo many things wrong with this. For starters, viruses aren't even really alive, even though they interact with living things. So they don't really die, although it is possible to destroy them. For nexters, viruses don't have any ribosomes, so they can't possibly make (let alone release) toxins or anything else. Somebody doesn't have a f***ing clue what he/she is talking about. Magnets. Um, yeah, right.

Comment Re:Still Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 926

Wow. Where to begin? I would assert that Malthus has not (yet) been proven wrong, even though he lived too early to see effective birth control and the Green Revolution. I will believe that he has been shown to be wrong and the "demographic transitionists" proven right once the population of the planet has actually stabilized at a sustainable level. It hasn't. We have some reason for hope because the world's population is not increasing in relative terms as fast as it once was and because we have areas of local stabilization; unfortunately in absolute terms the population is increasing about as fast as it ever has (though I acknowledge the predictions say this will change soon), and demonstrated areas of local stabilization are not guarantees that the planet as a whole will be able to that's not the same as proving that the world as a whole will get there without a major catastrophe caused by overpopulation. The Green Revolution *has* given humanity a reprieve, as we have vastly increased the carrying capacity of our planet. This is not the same as a pardon, as it yet remains to be seen whether or not this is sustainable in the long run. And by the way, Malthus was even right about the Green Revolution as well, despite not having foreseen it- human population exploded as a result of the increased availability of food, and in areas where we've not yet had a 'demographic transition', the population of the poor has continued to expand to meet the available means of subsistence, except to the extent it is "kept in check by misery and vice." I totally hear what you're saying about human progress and absolute numbers of scientists, and I even buy into that argument to a point. Your argument still presumes that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel and that mankind will continue to be able to build telescopes powerful enough to always keep seeing such light, and that wealth and power will be distributed evenly enough such that the vast mass of humanity will benefit from future 'progress'. I'd like to think all of those things will be true, but wishful thinking isn't always an appropriate method to make prognostications.

Comment Re:Still Wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 926

Last I knew, those "experts" were pretty much on target -- vast swathes of humanity have been starving to death since there were vast swathes of humanity. Malthus totally got it right except for two developments he couldn't foresee. The first (the Green Revolution) is only a temporary fix-- all it ultimately did was to increase the carrying capacity of the planet, not to change the basics of Malthusian economics. The second factor (effective birth control) is the only reason you can remain ignorant enough to call Malthus wrong.

Comment Re:Back to the future! (Score 1) 150

Speaking of asymmetrical warfare, SAMs are pretty expensive. Helium, hydrogen, and hot air aren't. if I were an insurgent designing a counter-weapon system, I'd think about fighting fire with fire--both figuratively and literally, in this case. That is, I'd build a bunch of tiny contact-fused thermite bombs (maybe with a small amount of a petroleum jelly/napalm-like element for stickiness), wait for a day without a lot of crosswind, then get underneath my flying-football-field sized target and simultaneously launch a wave of small balloons from multiple locations with said bombs rigged to go off when they encounter something on the way up.

Comment Re:I have a better idea (Score 1) 1127

Never hire women.

Almost right, but totally wrong. The solution in this case is to hire at least two women. Frankly, the more, the better. 10 guys and 1 woman = total adversarial situation, especially if she's young and attractive. 10 guys and a few women = much more balanced,much more normal working environment. Everybody is less tense; even if jokes are told, they're a lot less likely to come across as harrassing and a lot less likely to cause offense because there's a lot less of a power differential and feeling of "me vs. them".

Comment Re:Apple Disappoints -- Again (Score 4, Interesting) 392

There was one, and only one mega-fail here. It didn't happen today. It happened when Apple made their announcement of "Let's talk iPhone" and then failed to keep expectations within line. Everybody has now been buzzing about the dual iPhone 4S/iPhone 5 announcement for the past couple of weeks. Without an iPhone 5 announcement to be made today, Apple needed to kill that rumor DEAD. Instead, they've managed to totally underwhelm the world with a new product launch for a fine incremental update for something that would have looked fairly decent if examined in its own light. Mr. Cook, I'm sorry to inform you that you just flunked the oral portion of your CEO marketing exam and that the board is likely soon going to be announcing your imminent departure from the top spot. Nice knowing you.

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