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Out of the Blue

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40. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 16:02 jdreyer
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 09:57:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 09:50:
I would be for a severe fine to anyone going to work with a flu... (Also, anyone saying they can't tell a flu from a cold, bullshit!!) IF you can't tell feeling like death and feeling like a running nose apart you shouldn't even be qualified to live.

God damn, I hate humans.

I hate them even more after reading that narcissism article. Way to go Fox news!! Again!

Yeah, that rant goes off the rails at the end into typical Fox hate of Obama and "Liberal" culture, but I've read this part elsewhere:

Using computer games, our sons and daughters can pretend they are Olympians, Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters. And while they can turn off their Wii and Xbox machines and remember they are really in dens and playrooms on side streets and in triple deckers around America, that is after their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for “being” something they are not.

It is something to be concerned about in children, IMO (not that I think there's evidence that it makes people narcissistic). I have no idea if gaming has a negative effect on the developing mind, but I think it's a valid research topic. Your brain enters a different alpha state compared to doing other activities and it would be interesting to know if that has an effect or not if you do it as a child for hours a day. We already know that TV watching correlates strongly with ADHD incidence. Brain wave patterns are different game playing vs. TV watching, but are there any negative effects? I think it's an interesting question.
 
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39. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 15:45 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 15:00:
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 14:57:
As in wouldn't drink the local water nearby was the impression I got. Take it for what you will.

Yeah, like I said, I've seen accusations that it ruins the ground water, and tons of independent reviews saying it's made no measurable difference to the quality.

Who's right? Until I see irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I'm going to go with the people who actually live in that area and did research and said it's fine.

Creston

You keep mentioning these studies. Could you provide links?

"Everything is dirty" isn't an a good defense, since there are different levels of dirty. Right now, everyone is anti-nuke, but coal kills more people per year than nuclear ever did (although nuclear does have the POTENTIAL of killing thousands of people its just that catastrophic failures are rare). Wind isn't included in the list, but certainly wind has many times fewer deaths as a power source than coal, no (how DOES wind power kill people prematurely? Besides this, I mean)?

That being said, fracking is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

1. It's backed by big oil, which is one of the most powerful lobbies in the country and the richest industry in the world, so it will be hard to get politicians to go against it.

2. It's domestic, so it will be hard to get politicians to go against it.

3. The benefits are strong: natural gas is a much cleaner and more efficient fuel source for electrical production vs. coal, so there's an argument for switching to it short term to meet electrical needs while preventing pollution and global warming until even cleaner sources come online.
 
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38. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 15:45 Cutter
 
Fracking is bad, mmkay. And if all the petroleum subsidies had gone to green energy over the last 20 or 30 years the US wouldn't need processes like fracking to begin with. When you can set your tap water on fire, then yeah, it's a major problem.

Zee Germans have it right

German's doing it right part deux

Solar Energy is ready, the US isn't

 
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37. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 15:07 jdreyer
 
|RaptoR| wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:18:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 09:50:
I would be for a severe fine to anyone going to work with a flu... (Also, anyone saying they can't tell a flu from a cold, bullshit!!) IF you can't tell feeling like death and feeling like a running nose apart you shouldn't even be qualified to live.

God damn, I hate humans. (And as I learned from reading stuff by psychologists, that's normal)

There is such a negative stigma associated with sick leave in the US that most people don't take it unless they're dying. No one wants to deal with that.

For me, that's been the culture at NetGain, Halliburton, and General Electric. Having worked in those places for a collective 12 years, that culture has carried over to my work at Wizards of the Coast. Even though this company isn't like that, I find myself writing this from my desk at while plagued with the flu.


If you work for a tech company, couldn't you work from home if you're feeling bad? Telecommute? That's what I have my guys do when they are sick, but don't want to take a sick day. Not that I am opposed to sick time, it's the first thing out of my mouth to tell them to take a day off if they're feeling ill.
 
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36. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 15:06 Dmitri_M
 
In South Africa, a fairly rough country at the best of times, my grandmother had surgery under our universal health care system. She had no health insurance. It was done in a government run hospital. The surgery cost 3 dollars. In a private hospital with better conditions and higher staffing she would have paid 10 000 dollars. I guess from what I've read here all American hospitals are essentially "private"?  
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35. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 15:00 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 14:57:
As in wouldn't drink the local water nearby was the impression I got. Take it for what you will.

Yeah, like I said, I've seen accusations that it ruins the ground water, and tons of independent reviews saying it's made no measurable difference to the quality.

Who's right? Until I see irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I'm going to go with the people who actually live in that area and did research and said it's fine.

Creston
 
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34. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:57 Verno
 
As in wouldn't drink the local water nearby was the impression I got. Take it for what you will.  
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33. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:57 Creston
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:54:
Mhh, I did not know that. I expected when Obama got all this coverage for his Obamacare.. the comments meant something like Healthcare Insurance we have here in Germany. Or is it really the case that Germany got the best healthcare system in the world? I mean the system here is pretty.. well, expensive (in a sense, you can call it a sort of income tax) but nobody here is ever financially ruined because he fell ill. Though it will definitely be a financially drain on you if you end up requiring 10 different prescriptions that are non-standard (ie, not under coverage) and you end up requiring the social security payments (they are relatively low).

German health care is very good, but obviously you are paying for it out of your income taxes. Obama already can't fund Obamacare the way he intends it (which I'm sure will do WONDERS for our debt and deficits), there would be no way on earth he could ever get the money to turn it into a social healthcare system like they have in Europe. At least not without raising each tax bracket by like 15% minimum.

Creston
 
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32. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:55 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 14:29:
I don't know shit about fracking and don't care to but a friend of my girlfriend is an energy consultant and he makes a fortune pitching fracking sites to municipalities and property owners on behalf of a few large players in the US, he's one of hundreds or thousands doing so apparently. All I know is we were having dinner a few weeks ago and my girlfriend asked him how safe it was and he said he wouldn't live near a fracking site so I'm pretty much convinced it's A) nowhere near as safe as the companies claim and B_ that this guy is a shit head.

Heh. I wouldn't live NEAR a fracking site either, but how close are we talking about? I don't want to live ON the site, no, because it's basically a giant fucking blubber-basin for a few hundred yards in every direction, but it's not like you notice a mile or so away. (before anyone jumps down my throat, that's ignoring the undetermined hazards that may or may not be true.)

Creston
 
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31. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:52 Creston
 
|RaptoR| wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 14:37:
This makes me so jealous of the rest of the world

Definitely not the case here in the US. We are given a set number of sick days a year... at GE, it was 14. Because that number is so low, most people don't take off for "trivial" illnesses like the flu because it leaves them exposed if they run into something a little more serious.

Some companies don't give any sick days at all (Charter Communications) and instead you are forced to take your vacation time (which is VERY limited, Charter only gives 7 days a year).

If you're out longer than that (say you need an invasive surgery), you'll go on short term disability and you get a fraction of your actual pay. For most who make only a little more than the cost of living, this is not a viable option.

Obamacare solves a lot of things as far as getting insurance for people, but it doesn't fundamentally change the way medical care is given in the states. Qualifying for insurance in the states means you have to be 100% healthy or you'll get extorted, and a lot of pre-existing conditions are excluded anyway.

The vast majority of health insurance in the states is provided by your employer. It's not financially reasonable to obtain insurance without the group discounts an employer provides. So if you are laid off or go without work for 2-3 months, your insurance lapses. For someone that has a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, getting insurance becomes an incredible nightmare. You will be denied for pre-existing conditions OR your illness won't be covered, and that's just downright criminal. Obamacare effectively forces insurance companies into covering patients with pre-existing conditions.

We may have some of the best surgeons and doctors in the world, but the cost is insanity. Early on in my career, I had a kidney stone surgery that cost me $12,000 for a half-day stay in the hospital and lithotripsy treatment. That is WITH INSURANCE. It's a nightmare and being unfortunate enough to have an illness or be in an accident, you're looking at potential financial ruin.


A few things:

1) COBRA ensures that you are allowed to keep your health insurance for 18 months after you have been fired. You need to have worked for an X amount of time (I forgot how much it was, it's been a long time since I studied for my insurance papers), but after that you can keep your health insurance. The only thing is that you obviously have to pay for the employer's part yourself, so it makes it terribly expensive.

2) You CAN get reasonable health insurance if you're not permanently employed, but it does depend a lot on your own situation. I paid around ~$250/m with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but I've never smoked, never done drugs, was in my 30s at the time, and crazy enough, I got a discount for living more than 10 miles outside the city limit (big discount too, like 27 bucks a month.)

3) While I understand the idea to be jealous of the rest of the world, realize that it's not as if the rest of the world gets this shit for free. Yes, I realize Canada gets "free" health care, but at the same time, the average Canadian pays TWICE what the average American pays in income taxes.

If you want the government to take care of you, there are countries in the world where it will absolutely do so. Germany is a fine example, and of course in Holland, if you are sick, you will be taken care of. The flipside of that scenario is that you pay about 20 to 30,000 dollars more on an average salary in taxes.

Personally, I feel I can afford REALLY fucking awesome health insurance for 20 to 30K a year.

4) you can typically buy short term disability "shore up" insurance to make sure that if you're sick for any amount of time, it will pay you up to your full salary. This is typically not even that expensive, usually a few dollars per month. In addition to that, you can also get long term disability insurance (basically if you are permanently disabled), and it's also not that crazy expensive, though obviously if you start adding it all up it does become a pretty serious amount.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jan 10, 2013, 14:58.
 
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30. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:37 |RaptoR|
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:54:
Mhh, I did not know that. I expected when Obama got all this coverage for his Obamacare.. the comments meant something like Healthcare Insurance we have here in Germany. Or is it really the case that Germany got the best healthcare system in the world? I mean the system here is pretty.. well, expensive (in a sense, you can call it a sort of income tax) but nobody here is ever financially ruined because he fell ill. Though it will definitely be a financially drain on you if you end up requiring 10 different prescriptions that are non-standard (ie, not under coverage) and you end up requiring the social security payments (they are relatively low).

Mhh, this makes me realize that you Americans must have misunderstand my rant then. To me, going to work with flu is a CHOICE you have to MAKE. It is not something you *have* to do or that someone can force you to do. But if you are not insured for the lost income then... wow that is retarded. How come there is no rebellion yet?

I still hate all humans hehe, but at lest I can understand why you go to work with flu now.

For your understanding, if you have a real flu (not a cold, an actual proper flu) any doctor in Germany will give you a week off from work. This is also why Germany tends not to have large epidemics... at some point people get worried and go to a doctor who blanket takes them off work. But if you are signed out by a doctor you should really take that serious, and not make a vacation, throw parties or dance naked on your balcony, you can get fired for that ;p

By the way, there are some rules to that insurance obviously.. but I am not entirely sure what they are.. I never was sick for longer than a week. Only once, but that was before my working (or freelancing) days... ^^

This makes me so jealous of the rest of the world

Definitely not the case here in the US. We are given a set number of sick days a year... at GE, it was 14. Because that number is so low, most people don't take off for "trivial" illnesses like the flu because it leaves them exposed if they run into something a little more serious.

Some companies don't give any sick days at all (Charter Communications) and instead you are forced to take your vacation time (which is VERY limited, Charter only gives 7 days a year).

If you're out longer than that (say you need an invasive surgery), you'll go on short term disability and you get a fraction of your actual pay. For most who make only a little more than the cost of living, this is not a viable option.

Obamacare solves a lot of things as far as getting insurance for people, but it doesn't fundamentally change the way medical care is given in the states. Qualifying for insurance in the states means you have to be 100% healthy or you'll get extorted, and a lot of pre-existing conditions are excluded anyway.

The vast majority of health insurance in the states is provided by your employer. It's not financially reasonable to obtain insurance without the group discounts an employer provides. So if you are laid off or go without work for 2-3 months, your insurance lapses. For someone that has a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, getting insurance becomes an incredible nightmare. You will be denied for pre-existing conditions OR your illness won't be covered, and that's just downright criminal. Obamacare effectively forces insurance companies into covering patients with pre-existing conditions.

We may have some of the best surgeons and doctors in the world, but the cost is insanity. Early on in my career, I had a kidney stone surgery that cost me $12,000 for a half-day stay in the hospital and lithotripsy treatment. That is WITH INSURANCE. It's a nightmare and being unfortunate enough to have an illness or be in an accident, you're looking at potential financial ruin.

 
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29. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:29 Verno
 
Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:40:
Steven Chu (Secretary of Energy in the U.S.) had a task force assigned to research fracking and their conclusion was that it posed a serious risk and ecological hazard. Even safer usage of fracking was in question because of the higher cost and lack of oversight for companies who would be doing it, meaning they would use less safe methods to make more money from the process. Duke University, an actual independent group, released a paper that documented serious methane contamination in drinking water in gas-drilling areas for example.

I don't know shit about fracking and don't care to but a friend of my girlfriend is an energy consultant and he makes a fortune pitching fracking sites to municipalities and property owners on behalf of a few large players in the US, he's one of hundreds or thousands doing so apparently. All I know is we were having dinner a few weeks ago and my girlfriend asked him how safe it was and he said he wouldn't live near a fracking site so I'm pretty much convinced it's A) nowhere near as safe as the companies claim and B_ that this guy is a shit head.
 
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28. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 14:02 nin
 
This varies by company. I get both PTO and sick time...but yes, there's a definite pressure not to over use sick time. Although in flu season, where I'm at, they're coming around to the mindset it's much better to have one person out for a couple of days than for that person to make another 5+ people sick.



 
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27. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:54 eRe4s3r
 
Mhh, I did not know that. I expected when Obama got all this coverage for his Obamacare.. the comments meant something like Healthcare Insurance we have here in Germany. Or is it really the case that Germany got the best healthcare system in the world? I mean the system here is pretty.. well, expensive (in a sense, you can call it a sort of income tax) but nobody here is ever financially ruined because he fell ill. Though it will definitely be a financially drain on you if you end up requiring 10 different prescriptions that are non-standard (ie, not under coverage) and you end up requiring the social security payments (they are relatively low).

Mhh, this makes me realize that you Americans must have misunderstand my rant then. To me, going to work with flu is a CHOICE you have to MAKE. It is not something you *have* to do or that someone can force you to do. But if you are not insured for the lost income then... wow that is retarded. How come there is no rebellion yet?

I still hate all humans hehe, but at lest I can understand why you go to work with flu now.

For your understanding, if you have a real flu (not a cold, an actual proper flu) any doctor in Germany will give you a week off from work. This is also why Germany tends not to have large epidemics... at some point people get worried and go to a doctor who blanket takes them off work. But if you are signed out by a doctor you should really take that serious, and not make a vacation, throw parties or dance naked on your balcony, you can get fired for that ;p

By the way, there are some rules to that insurance obviously.. but I am not entirely sure what they are.. I never was sick for longer than a week. Only once, but that was before my working (or freelancing) days... ^^

This comment was edited on Jan 10, 2013, 14:00.
 
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26. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:44 Creston
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:31:
Just to get something right, you have health insurance I assume? does it not take pay the wage you lost for a set amount of sick-days? Because this is quite literally why employers here usually don't have to go to work with a flu, though they'll have to see a doctor to get .. what you call it, proof?

No, it doesn't. There is a supplemental insurance you can buy that would pay you if you're sick. The most well-known of those is AFLAC, though it's more known for its commercials (which are usually pretty hilarious) than for its actual product. There are so many buts and ifs to their policy that you practically have to be dead before they start paying you.

If your sick days are not paid by your insurance.. then one wonders wtf you are having insurance for, honestly. Because health insurance shouldn't just cover medical stuff, obviously being ill has an economic effect that it has to cover as well, or you just end up being punished for being ill.

We have insurance because otherwise going to the hospital for a few days will wipe you out financially. Friends of mine had their twin children six years ago, and they are STILL paying off their hospital bills from her several week visit. (and will be for the next dozen years or more.)

Creston
 
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25. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:40 Creston
 
PropheT wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:22:
Independent companies like "The Independent Petroleum Association", which represents gas companies?

No, I mean like actual independent research done by legislative/governmental groups from the areas affected.

Steven Chu (Secretary of Energy in the U.S.) had a task force assigned to research fracking and their conclusion was that it posed a serious risk and ecological hazard. Even safer usage of fracking was in question because of the higher cost and lack of oversight for companies who would be doing it, meaning they would use less safe methods to make more money from the process. Duke University, an actual independent group, released a paper that documented serious methane contamination in drinking water in gas-drilling areas for example.

And at the same time we have research done by the people in the affected areas that says that methane contamination isn't caused by the fracking, and that there is no danger to ground water sources. So.... one side or the other is wrong. Obviously we need a lot more research, as fracking is still very new technology, and it can likely still be improved more. But all this fucking panic mongering by illiterate retards who scream that your dog will lose all its hair if they have a fracking site within 30 miles of your home, and that fracking "just like, fucking KILLS people, man!" isn't really fucking helping.

Basically, there aren't enough regulations on the process at the moment to ensure that fracking companies are using safe methods and it's not even clear if there are enough widespread studies as to the overall impact since drainage and water flow are different in every area in which it would be applied. There's also a serious question as to waste disposal.

Which I have no issue with. Like I said, it isn't 100% clean, since nothing is, and there is a concern regarding the slurry (aka the water used to wash the fracks clean with) and where it winds up. The companies try to capture all of it for disposal, but I'm not really sure how they would track whether they captured all of it. They've already made big improvements to the process since they first began using it.

And sure, there will undoubtedly be companies who will ignore all safety measures and regulations, in order to make more money. They currently already do that on pretty much every energy source we use. So the answer is then to just stop using those energy sources as well?

It's not so eco-hippie when they want to do it in your back yard, like what's popped up not far from here recently where they have plans to start fracking in a large watershed area surrounded by farmland.

I have 50+ iron horses in my "backyard" (within a mile or so of my home), and several rusted out oil containers that are fed by them. So far, my dog still has all its hair.

If they wanted to frack in my backyard, after they pay me the royalty fees, they'd be more than welcome to.

Again, like I said, it can undoubtedly be improved, and it'll never be 100% clean. But it IS the most abundantly available energy source in the US, and in its usage at least, by far the cleanest. So we can either start using it, or we can continue to keep using coal and oil. Or we can shift to 90% green by 2030, and start paying 5 times as much for our energy bill. (though that would eventually come down again, apparently once the availability of green energy goes up.)

Those are the choices. Take your pick. I can guarantee that the anti-fracking people will be the first ones to whine if coal and oil usage goes up, or if their energy bill goes up.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jan 10, 2013, 13:50.
 
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24. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:37 Mr. Tact
 
Fracking -- most appropriate name for a process EVER.

Listen, even if this process can be done "safely", which I'm not convinced of, but let's just say it can. Even then, I think it's a terrible idea to use potable water to extract hydrocarbons from the ground.
 
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23. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:31 eRe4s3r
 
|RaptoR| wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 13:18:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 09:50:
I would be for a severe fine to anyone going to work with a flu... (Also, anyone saying they can't tell a flu from a cold, bullshit!!) IF you can't tell feeling like death and feeling like a running nose apart you shouldn't even be qualified to live.

God damn, I hate humans. (And as I learned from reading stuff by psychologists, that's normal)

There is such a negative stigma associated with sick leave in the US that most people don't take it unless they're dying. No one wants to deal with that.

For me, that's been the culture at NetGain, Halliburton, and General Electric. Having worked in those places for a collective 12 years, that culture has carried over to my work at Wizards of the Coast. Even though this company isn't like that, I find myself writing this from my desk at while plagued with the flu.


Just to get something right, you have health insurance I assume? does it not take pay the wage you lost for a set amount of sick-days? Because this is quite literally why employers here usually don't have to go to work with a flu, though they'll have to see a doctor to get .. what you call it, proof?

If your sick days are not paid by your insurance.. then one wonders wtf you are having insurance for, honestly. Because health insurance shouldn't just cover medical stuff, obviously being ill has an economic effect that it has to cover as well, or you just end up being punished for being ill.
 
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22. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:22 PropheT
 
Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 11:37:
In other news, that fracking article is wrong. Fracking isn't used to extract oil, it's used to extract natural gas from shales. So far, every claim by its detractors that it poisons ground water and (hilariously) causes fire to shoot out of your faucets, or to have your cats and dogs lose their hair when they drink contaminated ground water, have all been proven wrong by independent review.

Is fracking 100% clean? No, it's not. But we can either start using our massive, MASSIVE deposits of natural gas we have in our own country, or we can keep depending on the fucking middle east for oil, and we can keep watching shit like the Gulf happen.

Independent companies like "The Independent Petroleum Association", which represents gas companies? Steven Chu (Secretary of Energy in the U.S.) had a task force assigned to research fracking and their conclusion was that it posed a serious risk and ecological hazard. Even safer usage of fracking was in question because of the higher cost and lack of oversight for companies who would be doing it, meaning they would use less safe methods to make more money from the process. Duke University, an actual independent group, released a paper that documented serious methane contamination in drinking water in gas-drilling areas for example.

Basically, there aren't enough regulations on the process at the moment to ensure that fracking companies are using safe methods and it's not even clear if there are enough widespread studies as to the overall impact since drainage and water flow are different in every area in which it would be applied. There's also a serious question as to waste disposal.

It's not so eco-hippie when they want to do it in your back yard, like what's popped up not far from here recently where they have plans to start fracking in a large watershed area surrounded by farmland.
 
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21. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 13:18 |RaptoR|
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 09:50:
I would be for a severe fine to anyone going to work with a flu... (Also, anyone saying they can't tell a flu from a cold, bullshit!!) IF you can't tell feeling like death and feeling like a running nose apart you shouldn't even be qualified to live.

God damn, I hate humans. (And as I learned from reading stuff by psychologists, that's normal)

There is such a negative stigma associated with sick leave in the US that most people don't take it unless they're dying. No one wants to deal with that.

For me, that's been the culture at NetGain, Halliburton, and General Electric. Having worked in those places for a collective 12 years, that culture has carried over to my work at Wizards of the Coast. Even though this company isn't like that, I find myself writing this from my desk at while plagued with the flu.

 
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