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California Whooping Cough Cases "an Epidemic"

benarius Re:Stay in the basement! (387 comments)

When we had our first child we were worried about contracting pertussis and then passing it on to our as yet unvaccinated infant. So my wife and I both had booster shots for pertussis a few weeks after the baby was born, all recommended by and paid for by the Australian government. Consulting google it was probably Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (dTpa) vaccine. I don't see the problem with the inclusion of several more antigens...

about 6 months ago
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IBM Discovers New Class of Polymers

benarius Terrible journalism (90 comments)

This is a polymer formed from a diamine and paraformaldehyde which would yield formaldehyde upon depolymerisation. It will make a network of hemiaminals initially which then give poly(hexahydrotriazine)s when heated, ie 6 membered rings with alternating carbons and nitrogens. Heating an aminal (NH-C-OH) would eliminate water which is driven off giving the ring.
Different diamines could be used, either PEG diamines to give water soluble materials or aryl diamines. Not sure if part of the thermosetting is due to Mannich reactions (Aryl ring + -N=CH2) in the case of aryl diamines.
Note I only read the abstract.

about 7 months ago
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Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

benarius What about chemistry? (497 comments)

Science can be settled. This happens when there is a consensus that the evidence for a theory is overwhelming. When there is a consensus that the current theory doesn't explain observations, then it is settled that a new theory is needed.

The atomic theory of matter is an example. Atomic theory was once nothing more than conjecture. Experimentation and observation determined that matter is made of atoms. All modern industries involved in biology and chemistry as well as manufacturing rely upon this theory. We can now "see" atoms with a variety of different tools, but their presence is still inferred much like I infer that there is a computer screen in front of me because light reflected from it is hitting my retina.

Atomic theory being wrong has the same probability as someone discovering that a 2013 Prius is not made from parts.

about 9 months ago
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Court Grants RIAA Summary Judgment Motions vs. Limewire

benarius Re:In Summary (170 comments)

Now IANAL but there is something about all of this that I do not get. In Australia, all created works automatically receive copyright, this includes websites, books, everything. What is the difference between a website being saved locally and a book or song being downloaded and then being saved. Presumably the authorities dont have a problem with someone saving a local copy of a website but this is a copyright infringement as a complete copy of the work has been made without authorisation. What about the link save target as... which pops up everytime someone right clicks in windows. By the same logic, this is the creation of a new copy and is a copyright violation, at least in Australia. Is not Microsoft willfully aiding copyright violations by letting people save copyrighted works on their own computer. In Australia, if saving a copy of a book or movie is illegal, then saving a local copy of a webpage is just as illegal and I do not think it matters who owns the website. By publishing the website, they still have not given permission for you to make copies in the same way a book and movie publisher has not given you permission to make copies.

more than 4 years ago
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How Bad Is the Gulf Coast Oil Spill?

benarius Re:This has got to be the lamest guilt trip (913 comments)

- if you or any relative ever used opiates (e.g., as painkillers for a cancer), then you're at least partially responsible for funding the taliban in Afghanistan. (There is no opium poppy grown in the USA to the best of my knowledge, you know.)

Pharmaceutical companies do not buy their raw poppy extracts from Aghanistan. They buy them from opium poppy farms in the first world. Much of it comes from Tasmania, an island state in Australia which is geographically isolated and so not easily raided by addicted fiends.

more than 4 years ago
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Red Hat Prevails Against Patent Troll Acacia

benarius Re:Epic patent trolls? (89 comments)

It looks to me like they have two modes of operation. They either work on behalf of the patent owners and share patent revenue or they purchase patents and then try to enforce them. If they are sharing revenue with the inventors then they are no more patent trolls than any other patent attorney for hire.

more than 4 years ago
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Geohot Brings Other OS Support To PS3 With Custom Firmware

benarius Re:PS3 no longer a "computer"? (270 comments)

And should the PS3s that have been imported over the last couple years be retroactively taxed as well?

more than 4 years ago
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Wikileaks Releases Video of Journalist Killings

benarius Pleaazzz can I shoot them. Pleeeaaz!!! (1671 comments)

If these werent americans but were germans and they didnt do this in 2007 but in 1943 these pilots would still be hunted by the Jewish state. Murder is murder, when committed in war or otherwise.

more than 4 years ago
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Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks May Be Illegal

benarius Re:Misrepresentation of data! (398 comments)

On the other hand, as a doctor I can tell you that caffeine and taurine belong to the group of drugs called xanthines, whose pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects are very well known.

You may be a doctor but you are most definitely not a doctor of chemistry. Caffeine is a xanthine which is a type of heterocycle. Taurine is 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid.

more than 5 years ago
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Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

benarius Re:Emigration is a Privilege, not a Right (515 comments)

The most interesting part of this is that they are looking at mitochondrial DNA which is maternally inherited. People generally associate their ancestry to their surname and that of their antecendents which is paternally inherited. It would be very hard to look at non-mitochondrial DNA and determine origin as this gets swapped around so much. So the authorities know that someone with the name of Mbere has or is likely to have Kenyan ancestry. They may be 1099511627775 parts in 1099511627776 Kenyan yet when tested it might be conclusively determined that the person comes from a Somali region where Al Qaeda is active all because someone went on holiday 1000 years ago. If its your job to determine suitability then this alone is probably grounds to send them back home. As Kurt Vonnegut wrote, "There is nothing funny about national security. Nothing funny at all."

more than 5 years ago

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