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Comment Re:Incomplete title... (Score 1) 399

... it's about someone trying to snidely imply that they are much more intelligent, high-minded, and enlightened than everyone else ... It's about trying to make themselves look like an upright, cultured, magnanimous person by publicly expressing disdain for others.

In the recent post on Twitter's free speech woes a lot of commenters decried the utterly vulgar language and bullying that manifests on it under the guise of "free speech".

I'd venture to say that anyone trying to debate any issue insightfully and civilly, will be seen as much more intelligent, high-minded, cultured etc. etc. as that baseline. And may draw a lot of abuse upon himself for that reason.

Comment One benefit (Score 1) 203

If this could be used for a larger system so that the car could go at a constant speed (even if lower than the speed limit) and catch all the lights green, I guess this might save a considerable amount of fuel and pollutants by avoiding the braking and acceleration. It will also feed into my OCD and make for a more pleasant (gratifying) trip - I hate waiting at red lights. Lights would need to be synchronized though. And I guess cars without such a system will still race from intersection to intersection, which might foul things up.

Comment Re:Either .. Or (Score 1) 465

I hear you, but as soon as you start putting qualifiers onto it, it's not "free" anymore. Maybe call it "civilized debate" instead of "free speech", and weed out the abuse. As another poster has pointed out, no platform is compelled to provide "free speech" - so just accurately label (and define) what you provide.

Comment Either .. Or (Score 4, Insightful) 465

Either you believe in free speech or you don't.

Unfortunately even in today's modern world, unpopular opinions continue to need Voltaire's "defending to the death" because those in power are all too ready to mete it out (if they only could) - instead of countering it with their own opinion and civilized debate.

And it doesn't matter where in the political spectrum you fall, people everywhere pay lip service to "free speech" only when it suits them. To the contrary, those on the left are often the most intolerant of people saying something falling foul of the accepted orthodoxy.

Comment Heh... (Score 1) 230

From what I heard from friends that are bipolar as well as pop books written on the subject (supplied by them in order to understand them better), the manic part is actually quite nice - you feel sharp and full of energy and creativity. Many a creative work has entered society from those heights. Of course, they also tend to make very bad (over-confident) life decisions in that stage... Which is why treatment is geared towards attenuating that stage (as well as the depressive stage, obviously) towards (very mundane and boring) middle ground. The manic stage has been compare to a high from a very addictive drug.

Fun fact: some disagree with the name "bipolar", which implies that the two poles are mutually exclusive. Some have experienced both stages at the same time.

Note: My lighthearted tone above should not be taken as disrespect about a very serious condition - quite the opposite: I hope that talking more openly about it may contribute to better understanding.

Comment Cost... (Score 1) 80

At the cost it currently sells for (i.e. just under $3000 and apparently $4000 once the 25% off offer runs out), I doubt that it's gonna be a smash hit in the developing world. Obviously currently aimed at the first world, where food security is arguably a non-issue.

BUT: many low-labour, water-saving and biomass-recycling manual gardening methods do exist and do feed people with abundant, nutritious and fresh produce. Even in the third world, believe it or not.

Targeted watering seems to be this robot's main selling point, but I think I can buy a LOT of water from my municipality for $3K, applied via hoses and micro-sprayers by opening a tap for some minutes maybe once or twice a week (500-600mm per year rainfall in my locale). Oh, one can get timers to do that too (just take them off before freezing weather sets in...).

Targeted weeding: I don't know, when I go to get something from my veg garden, I may spend around 5 mins pulling some weeds by hand as I go along the beds. One tends to get them small when done say once a week or so... Not backbreaking (raised beds and uncompacted soil), actually relaxing and adding to the pleasure of gardening as I'm actually getting outside a bit.

Mind, I've been gardening like this for the 3rd year now, so I believe I'm past the wide-eyed enthusiasm stage and have a good feel for how things work in general. (And yes, brown cardboard really works wonders suppressing unwanted plants and keeping moisture in.)

And I do realize that to put something like this robot together won't be cheap, so I'm not actually against this project. But it does look like being aimed at the "affluent hipster's newest toy" segment.

Comment Re:I hope it's self aware (Score 1) 73

Don't want it shooting one of own wheels off, thinking was some curious object that didn't seem to belong.

Giving such a young machine free will and a laser, isn't that a little like leaving the gun on the kitchen table where the four year old can grab it while you're out in the garden?

I want my childhood over! We only found magnifying glasses in the kitchen drawer... no wait, actually dad's desk drawer.

Comment Re:Raw milk faddist here (Score 1) 258

It was poorly phrased. Of course the amount of calcium in the milk remains the same, but over heated milk does seem to have reduced bioavailability of calcium. The above poster's claim of a 50% reduction between raw and pasteurized milks seems to be really high, but I can't find any numbers on that. Pasteurization does reduce B and C vitamins in milk by about 5%.

So it was. Unfortunately that's the language commonly used in cheesemaking tutorials. Hence the 3rd paragraph in my original post. One day I might get around to read up on the actual biochemistry and be able to quantify more precisely, but for now I'm too lazy to do that and the cheese works out all right.

About adding Ca:

Comment Raw milk faddist here (Score 4, Interesting) 258

The technology they've developed involves increasing the temperature of milk by just 10 degrees for less than a second, which is well below the 70-degree Celsius threshold needed for pasteurization. That quick heat blast is still able to eliminate more than 99 percent of the bacteria left from pasteurization.

So which is it? Do they first pasteurize the milk, then "blast" it with the 10 degrees? Or is the 10 degree thing the only treatment?

without affecting the nutrients or flavor.

As any hobby cheese maker will be able to tell you, pasteurizing diminishes calcium content by around half. If you google for cheese making instructions, almost all will tell you to preferably use unpasteurized milk, and if you have to use pasteurized, you need to add calcium. Calcium is one of the things needed for the fermentation processes. (UHT milk is strictly discouraged as about all calcium is destroyed, and the stuff one can add back is not of the same quality - cheeses with UHT milk usually flop).

Obviously, a lot of other nutrients (minerals, vitamins, probiotics) are diminished. I'm not sure about the chemistry, but I assume it would not be elemental minerals, but some organic compounds being broken down so as not to be utilizable by biological processes (fermentation, digestion) any longer.

Thankfully, in my country one can sell raw (unpasteurized) milk legally, provided samples are tested every few months for some pathogens - this is called "certified raw milk". My provider voluntarily does the tests once a month. I obviously use some of the milk fresh, which seems to last longer in my fridge than the commercial pasteurized milk. Most of it is used for feta-style cheese, one of the easiest cheeses (I know, I know, cows milk does not make "real" feta). I do not need to add any cultures, it uses its natural-occurring cultures for the fermentation step, I only need to add some coagulation enzymes. The cheese also differs light-years in taste from the chalky store-bought stuff made from cow's milk.

And let's not get me started on taste. Just not comparable to the white stuff from the supermarket. The milk also comes unhomogenized, and somehow that cream just does it for one's tastebuds.

Anyhow, as you may deduce, I'm a fan of making milk last for weeks in the traditional (and nutrient-enhancing) way: fermentation. Jogurt and kefir do last about double as long as the fresh milk, and can still be used instead of fresh milk in a lot of applications; cheeses obviously last for some months at least and be default only get better with age. Cream and butter also last a bit longer, and freeze well. Then there is the trip to the supplier every week or two to restock - for the few single days in between where your fresh milk is used up, there REALLY are other diet options, you don't need fresh milk every day.

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