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Comment Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (Score 1) 950

Richard James Verone, age 57, did not arrive at his current state of affairs without making a long series of bad decisions. The decision to rob a bank to get medical care is just the most recent.

I've worked with the homeless and incarcerated for over 40 years. I've worked with people in the U.S. and third world countries who need medical care and have little money. Unlike elrous0's position - "Sad, but I can see doing it too" it is never necessary to do something misguided or illegal to get medical care. It is never necessary to rely on the government. Family, friends, private relief and charitable organizations, generous individuals and a willingness to seek them out will get the job done.

Comment Re:Evolution does not work solely through mutation (Score 1) 398

Actually, Hawking's premise has little to do with evolution. He's discussing the human contribution to accumulated knowledge and DNA design.
From the article -
"But we are now entering a new phase, of what Hawking calls "self designed evolution," in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA."

"Designed evolution" is an oxymoron.

Comment Re:Oh great! (Score 1) 602

Here is an example of a Ponzi scheme with one participant -

Repeat annually until A cashes out:
Person A gives Person B $100.
Person B gives Person A a phony balance sheet showing $120.

As long as B has enough cash on hand to meet any cash demands of A, the Ponzi scheme continues. When you say, "by definition" I think you are referring to a pyramid scheme not a ponzi scheme.

Bernie Madoff's strategy limited the number of participants in order to make each "member" feel like they were part of something special. Thereby engendering greater trust and larger investments. It was the stock market slide that did him in because he could no longer cover the cash demands of frightened clients.

Comment Re:Oh great! (Score 1) 602

Bernie needs to write a book on how he did it and give the proceeds to the people he ripped off.

What's fascinating is that every Ponzi scheme operator seems to have some level of success until they get absurdly greedy. The moral of the story -
      phase 1 - Ponzi
      phase 2 - I'm not sure
      phase 3 - profit

Comment Tax Subsidies (Score 3, Informative) 1137

The personal cost of public transportation cannot be compared directly to private transportation costs. Political decisions, along with federal, state and local tax subsidies determine the cost of public transportation. For some people public transportation is free (e.g. NYC school children). For those who can't use public transportation but are taxed for it, the cost per mile is infinite.

In 2002 federal transit subsidies were over $7.3 billion dollars. This works out to a subsidy of about 12 cents a mile for every passenger. In NYC, Washington DC, Chicago and Boston the amounts are much higher. On the other hand, the net federal subsidy to highway passenger transportation was negative as a result of gas taxes and tolls.

Comment Re:why just schools? (Score 1) 216

"Would it really be that bad if two billion people died?"

Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then,
Sayin, "Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams,
But mine was a little different you see.
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me.
I didn't see you around."

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
But all the people can't be all right all the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,"
I said that.

Bob Dylan

Comment Re:Bean counters (Score 1) 233

The $3K tax rebate may increase hiring but only at the low end of the wage scale. The employer's contribution to social security, medicare, and unemployment taxes means that an employee making more than $30K a year will cost the employer more than $3K/year in taxes.

Ironically, eliminating state and federal unemployment taxes would allow employers to increase employment by about 3% even if the new hires did nothing.

Feed 28% of US homes have HDTV (

More than a quarter of US households now own a high definition TV set, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

Feed Apple ships 100 millionth iPod (

Device has dominated the music player market since its introduction in 2001; iTunes Store has similar success selling music, video online.

Submission + - Retailers Explore Movie Download Options

Hello7 writes: When movies shifted from videocassettes to DVD, retailers simply cleared the tapes off the shelves to make room for discs. That's not so easy now that movies appear poised to follow music onto the Internet. The shift of music online has hurt stores such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Circuit City, and some retailers are looking to avoid a repeat with movies. Wal-Mart has launched its own movie download service, Best Buy is said to be in talks to start one, and Blockbuster explored buying movie download company Movielink earlier this year.

Submission + - $20K for Time Travel

WED Fan writes: "The Seattle P-I has an article about a scientist with a Time-Continuum-Money problem and needs $20,000 for a bench top experiment to test spooky action.

The Seattle scientist who wants to test a controversial prediction from quantum theory that says light particles can go backward in time is, himself, running out of time.
It's not a wormhole or warp in the space-time continuum. The problem is more mundane — a black hole in the time-and-money continuum spawned by today's increasingly risk-averse, "performance-based" approach to funding research.

The researcher is trying to get money from NASA or DARPA, but it appears NASA may be shutting down the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts department and its funding."

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