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Comment Re:Polar ice caps melting faster than expected (Score 1) 268

Al Gore's prediction was the ice would be gone in 2014. That doesn't square with "much faster."

Isn't it about time to throw Al Gore and his movie under the bus on behalf of ..... umm ..... less easily refuted alarmism?

Where did Al Gore predict that polar ice would be gone in 2014? In 'An Inconvenient Truth' he says that there were two major studies showing that the arctic ocean, which he refers to as the polar ice cap, would be ice free in the summer in 50 to 70 years. Using Google I could not find anything where Gore was predicting that the polar ice caps would be gone by 2014.

Comment Re:The Most Shocking Thing About the France Attack (Score 1) 259

Do you really believe that preventing legitimate Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. will prevent a single existing terrorist from an organization like ISIS from entering the U.S.? Even if no Syrian citizens are permitted to enter the U.S., terrorist organizations will pick another route to enter the U.S. Fake passports are not that difficult to come by. Hell, the Syrian passport found near the body of one of the Paris suicide bombers was a fake. Serbian police arrested a man Saturday with the same passport information except for the photo. But why even bother with coming in with false passport when you can use nationals who are already in place. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, stated, “Let me underline—the profile of the terrorists so far identified tells us this is an internal threat. It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security."

Comment Re:Don't worry, they'll try again (Score 5, Insightful) 229

Disney management will simply wait for the uproar to die down and then start setting vague and aggressive performance objectives for the U.S. workers. They'll then get rid of people via performance review. Workers who had formerly been getting good reviews will suddenly find themselves on notice for not measuring up in Disney's new high performance culture.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 3, Insightful) 407

While I think people should be allowed to alter their consciousness using the substance of their choice, it is important to recognize that different addictions are not equivalent in their effects on individuals, people close to them, or society at large. An addiction to caffeine or chocolate doesn't result in the sort of disruptions to families and communities that addiction to alcohol and opiates does. Alcoholism almost always results in people hurting those around them. An addiction to chocolate, not so much.

Comment Re:Yay Canada! (Score 1) 231

But certain caring individuals, mostly at insurance companies, don't like paying for his treatment since it's expensive. And yes, they've recommended and tried to convince him to move to Washington and off himself. In my mind, if you're going to legalize it, that sort of behavior should be a felony.

What insurance companies were these individuals working for? What do they do, call up your father and tell him air fare to Seattle is pretty cheap this time of year? You said people who worked for insurance companies, plural, encouraged your father to move to Washington state, that's pretty amazing, really nearly unbelievable, that people at multiple insurance companies are urging your father to off himself. My wife has been an oncology nurse for forty years. She's had to deal with hundreds and hundreds of people who died, many of whom who took years to do it and cost the insurance companies bundles and bundles of money. I just asked her, and she's never known of a patient or their family say an insurance company encouraged someone to move to a state that has assisted suicide for terminally ill people.

Comment Re:Rubbish (Score 3, Interesting) 250

My understanding is that only 10% of a book needs to be read to be counted as read. Without a minimum size for what counts as a book this subscription model seems like it favors authors who publish short books. If a book is only 50 pages long, only six pages of it need to be read in order for it to be counted as read. If I'm paying by the individual book I'm more likely to pay attention to reviews before downloading a book. With a subscription model that only requires 10% of a book to be read in order for an author to get part of the pool it seems like authors of short crappy books get subsidized by better authors.

Comment Re:Extrapolation (Score 1) 421

Since the comment I was replying to specifically stated, "Either possibility increases the likelihood that the disease mutates to become airborne which is a far more dangerous transmission mode of infection", I thought it was implicit that we were discussing mutations modifying a virus' mode of transmission.

Comment Re:Extrapolation (Score 1) 421

I stated my reasons in my post. You've yet to present a case where a virus mutates and expands the ways in which it is transmitted. None of your examples accomplished that. Can you cite one example where it has been proven that a virus mutated and went from being transmitted by bodily fluids to airborne transmission via small particle dispersal? Viruses jumping from one species to another is well established. Viruses don't even need to mutate to do that. The point of all this is how likely is the variant of Ebola that we're dealing with to mutate and become transmissible in a way that would make it much more contagious. From what I've read that sort of mutation seems to be exceedingly rare and there doesn't seem to be any reason to think that the current Ebola epidemic will lead to such an occurrence. The final sentence in your post that I was replying to said,

Either possibility increases the likelihood that the disease mutates to become airborne which is a far more dangerous transmission mode of infection than via skin contact.

This whole thread from there down is what is the likelihood of that occurring. What is the likelihood that the current strain of Ebola that is being transmitted person to person will mutate in such a way that it becomes airborne. And by airborne we're talking about it becoming flu like, not being transmitted via large droplets in spit or mucous when a person sneezes. We're talking about small particle aerosol dispersion, like the flu or measles. While viruses undergo frequent mutation, some types of changes are more likely to occur than others. AIDS never became an airborne disease. Measles never became a mosquito borne disease. Yellow fever never became an airborne disease. Small pox didn't change its mode of transmission. If none of these ever changed their mode of transmission, despite millions and millions of more cases than we're likely to see from Ebola, why would the current strain of Ebola do so? What makes this current strain of Ebola an exception to what seems a general rule?

Comment Re:Extrapolation (Score 3, Interesting) 421

For example, Ebola has made this transition to airborne transmission before. Influenza has been transmitted by diarrhea before. Bubonic Plague is another disease that has managed the transition to airborne transmission. And of course, AIDS was readily transmitted by blood transfusion and shared needle use even though that's not its original mode of transmission. So there's four examples right there, including Ebola itself.

The variety of Ebola that is suspected of being transmittable via small particle dispersal is the Reston variant. It has not been proven that the Reston variant is transmittable by small particle aerosol dispersion, just suspected. It's worth noting that the Reston variant is not pathological in humans. No humans who have acquired it have become ill. The presence of influenza virus in children's diarrhea is not necessarily a new mode of transmission. It may have always been present but no one looked for it until very recently. Just as influenza has shown up in bird shit since forever, it doesn't seem unreasonable that it might be present in the diarrhea of children. From what I've been able to find out it does not appear that influenza has mutated and is being transmitted through a new mode. Pneumonic plague is not a new mode of transmission, and the bacterium that causes it is the same as the one that is transmittable by insect bites. Besides, plague is not a virus. AIDS has always transmitted via bodily fluids. Blood transfusions and shared needles are still transfer by bodily fluid.Every virus that can survive in the blood is transmittable by these means by default. None of the examples that you provided qualify as an example of a virus changing its mode of transmission.

Comment Re:Extrapolation (Score 1) 421

Either possibility increases the likelihood that the disease mutates to become airborne which is a far more dangerous transmission mode of infection than via skin contact.

I have read that viruses don't change their mode of transmission. AIDS, for instance, despite hundreds of thousands of cases, never changed its mode of transmission. Perhaps what I read is wrong, so I'm wondering, how many viral diseases can you cite where the mode of transmission changed?

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