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Comment Re:Before you start complaining... (Score 1) 548

In fact, they'd be happy if there were more among them.

My experience as a female Magic player in high school is, while anecdotal, not entirely supportive of this. It wasn't that I didn't feel like I belonged in the group, only that my gender was not relevant, a non-issue. It was simply ignored. Often I was the only female there, and was never treated as anything other than just another opponent in game. Which, I'll admit, was nice, because being dismissed as a girl in other activities is/was common and annoying. No one ever told me I played like a girl, for example (it probably helped that I was as good as they were). But there was a definite lack of ability to interact with the males there on any level other than player-vs-player. Maybe they would have been happier with more girls there, but they certainly didn't show it.

Basically, I found the Magic geeks to be far more egalitarian than any other group in high school.


Submission + - Mussel Glue Could Help Repair Birth Defects (

sciencehabit writes: When it comes to hanging on tight, the lowly mussel has few rivals in nature. Researchers have sought the secrets behind the bivalve's steadfast grip on wet, slippery rock. Now, a researcher says he has used the mollusk’s tricks to develop medical applications. These include a biocompatible glue that could one day seal fetal membranes, allowing prenatal surgeons to repair birth defects without triggering dangerous premature labor.

Submission + - Edwin Mellen Press sues University Librarian over his personal blog posts (

McGruber writes: The Chronicle of Higher Education has the news ( that Herbert Richardson, founder of Edwin Mellen Press ( is suing McMaster University ( and University Librarian Dale Askey ( for $3 Million over Mr. Askey's posts on a personal blog.

In 2010 Mr. Askey wrote a blog post about Edwin Mellen Press on his personal Web site, Bibliobrary ( Mr. Askey referred to the publisher as "dubious" and said its books were often works of "second-class scholarship." For a few months afterward, several people chimed in in the blog's comments section, some agreeing with Mr. Askey, others arguing in support of the publisher.

In a February 11 statement, the McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA) ( stated that The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) "and the MUFA Executive agree that this case represents a serious threat to the freedom of academic librarians to voice their professional judgement and to academic freedom more generally."

Academics around the world are tweeting about the case using the hashtag #FreeDaleAskey. Martha J. Reineke, a professor of religion at the University of Northern Iowa, created an online petition ( seeking an end to the lawsuit. It has drawn nearly 1,900 signatures since Friday from Britain, Canada, and the United States.

United States

Submission + - The US Redrawn As 50 Equally Populated States ( 3

Daniel_Stuckey writes: "Bam! For anyone that's paid a speck of attention to the tedium of political redistricting, which happens while a state grows unevenly, (and must dynamically respond to density, electorate disparity, natural resources and ridgelines, etc.), this is straight out of some psychedelic dream. For Democrats, it could be straight out of a nightmare. That's because Freeman's map necessitates 50 equally populous United States. His methods for creating the map are explained thusly:

"The algorithm was seeded with the fifty largest cities. After that, manual changes took into account compact shapes, equal populations, metro areas divided by state lines, and drainage basins. In certain areas, divisions are based on census tract lines... The suggested names of the new states are taken mainly from geographical features."

The new 50 states would be equally potent in terms of voting, but how many would be red? I made this layered GIF of Romney vs. Obama by county to try and figure things out."

Comment Re:This is surprising (Score 1) 202

"I'd drop them but they're bundled with my cable"

The way I got around that is by signing up for business class service. No cable required, and (at least here in KC) it costs the same as their consumer internet plan. You also get a static IP and no data caps, if that matters to you. You don't need a company, though they'll ask you for a company name. Just make something up.

Comment Re:Hold your head high ! (Score 1) 684

And they were all kind of odd and I don't mean because they were obviously bright and skilled, but they'd been hanging around older people so much they were like awkwardly premature adults. They saw kids their own age much like an older teen would see a bunch of brats and at the same time they didn't really fit in with the older ones either.

That was me. They held me back academically because I couldn't relate to my peers, and I didn't fit in with the older kids either. I also spoke to adults on their level (and sometimes with a better vocabulary), which caused its own set of problems.

If I knew I had a really bright kid I think I'd worry less about reaching his full genius potential and more on not raising a Sheldon.

This is the key. Socialize your kids, even if they don't want it. They don't want to eat veggies either, but it's still good for them.

Comment Re:Unionize (Score 1) 630

But they aren't buying a product, they are providing one-- the output of their labor.

That depends on whose point of view you're looking at. From the employee's point of view, yes. From the employer's point of view, they are the one paying money for something, which makes them the consumer. Therefore, labor (or you could argue skills and time) is the product employees are selling.

If one feels that their labor is worth more than what their employer is paying, they are free to move within the market and see if they can find another purchaser of their labor at their preferred price.

And if the purchase of their labor can be arranged through a third party, is that third party not also a market force?

all the union does is distort the price for labor

If indeed the union is a market force, then its price for labor is not a distortion--unless the union is the only market force on that side of the equation, i.e., a monopoly. If it is not a monopoly, it is simply another competing provider of the product. The union can charge more for their product because it has been upgraded (much like a staffing company) by a guarantee of a certain skillset.

Now take all of the above with one caveat: I'm talking about laboratory conditions. In the real world, unions get monopolies, they're corrupt, they protect the lazy and unskilled, distort the job market, yada yada yada. But employers aren't any better. Before unions, they abused and distorted the market. Child labor laws, the 40 hour work week, minimum wage, and safety standards all come from union efforts. Until unions began asserting some power in the marketplace, employers were the monopoly, and the market value of labor was low wages for long days and shitty working conditions. Even with all the progress made, to this day employers will still find a way to screw you over if it's good for the bottom line and legal, or if not legal, the penalties cheap enough.

Comment Re:Unionize (Score 5, Insightful) 630

I've never understood the free market argument against unions. Unions are a *function* of the free market. They fit in the role of consumers (of employment) who want to have some control over the product they buy (the work they do). If the free market provided everything the employees need/want, no one would want to unionize.

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