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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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What life hack is so simple yet so effective, you're shocked more people don't know about it?
  • Not recommended for lycra or spandex suits, or any suit that has elastic closures, particularly during the summer months. They will rapidly degrade in the heat of the car. My wife left hers in the car after a vacation (never used it). It was tucked in the trunk. Found it a month later and it disintegrated in the wash.

  • State Farm Seeks Enormous Rate Increases in California to Prevent Insolvency | KQED
  • Well, you're going to piss off the policyholders then. State Farm is a mutual insurance company. It's owned by the policyholders. It's essentially a non-profit, since profits go to reduce premiums or pay dividends to the policyholders.

    The thing is, the company isn't turning a profit. When what fills the cup doesn't match the hole in the bottom, at some point the cup will be empty. California has mismanaged the wilderness areas and allowed development without concern for potential fire danger. Climate change, high fuel loads after decades of suppressing natural fires, improperly maintained electrical infrastructure, and a lack of "Fire Wise" education are all contributing to huge wildfires and high property loss rates.

    If California were to seize every insurance company in the state, they would quickly be in the same predicament - needing to raise premiums to cover the losses.

    The only real solution is to reduce the risk. That's why the NFPA came up with local Fire Safe Councils. We educate the homeowners about how to make our homes resistant to wildfire damage. Using grant money, we reduce the fire danger by clearing hazardous undergrowth. We provide resources for homeowners, like chipping programs, matching funds for tree removal, and other assistance in maintaining defensible space. We have successfully lobbied for insurance discounts when homeowners complete risk reduction measures.

  • brewing tea with space vacuum?
  • If you place a tea bag in a cup of water at 20C in a thermally isolated vacuum chamber, when the chamber pressure is reduced to or below the vapor pressure of water at 20C (about 17 torr, or 1/3 psi), it will begin to boil. The vapor produced will be at 20C and the water in the cup will be 20C and begin to decrease, because of latent heat of vaporization needed for the liquid/gas phase change. The water will continue to boil as long as the pressure is maintained at or below the vapor pressure of water at that temperature. Eventually, the water reaches 0C. Then it will stop boiling and begin to freeze as the latent heat of fusion provides the necessary heat to continue evaporation. When all the water has converted to ice, the vapor pressure is greatly reduced. The ice will sublime (go from solid to gas) still, but as that continues to cool the ice, the vapor pressure also drops. As the temperature drops, sublimation will slow until it is nearly zero. So you would end up with a tea bag encased in ice.

    In your example, if you suddenly exposed to the cup and tea bag to the vacuum of space by rapidly venting the air, the water would explosively evaporate, shredding the tea bag. You'd be left with bits of tea leaves, an empty cup, and a lot of very fine ice crystals.

  • If global warming is a biproduct of humans, wouldn't the logical answer be to kill 2/3rds of the humans?
  • I see it as one possibility of many. Measures currently employed are limited because most countries are democratic, where politicians must appease the people to stay in office. China could implement one-child because they are a de-facto dictatorship.

  • The interior of your house is hot, the exterior cool. What would the most efficient orientation be for a box fan? Pushing hot air out of a window or pulling cool air in through it? (Solved)*
  • I've tried it many ways. The most efficient method using a fan is to open the windows in a room on the leeward side of the house, then place a fan a few feet in front of the doorway, blowing air into the room. It's more efficient because the impelled air will entrain surrounding air moving a greater volume through the doorway and out all the windows in that room. Then open windows in the farthest rooms to get a cross breeze.

    Also look into an attic fan. They exhaust hot air from the attic, and it makes a world of difference in keeping your interior cool. Another trick is to mount shade cloth 6 inches away from the sunny walls of your home. It absorbs most of the solar radiation and keeps your walls cooler.

  • If global warming is a biproduct of humans, wouldn't the logical answer be to kill 2/3rds of the humans?
  • Logically, killing humans would be way down on the list of potential Global Warming solutions. We would have to exhaust all other methods first. Just banning private vehicles would save a few billion from extermination. Green energy tech and Nuclear power would save more. Vegetarian diets even more. Reducing organic waste, involuntary birth control, carbon sequestration - it's a long list of better incremental solutions. They may be more costly than extermination, but they're infinitely more ethical. It's only logical if that's the sole solution that ensures some of the population survives. We're a long way from that condition.

  • What scientific discoveries greatly weakened religion and the case of God ?
  • It wasn't any particular scientific discovery that weakened religion. It was the popularity of science fiction that did it. As Arthur C. Clarke put it, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." People can now imagine how miracles are done without invoking anything supernatural. We might not have the tech to do it yet, but we have a pretty good idea of potential methods. That has placed a lot of "creator god" religions under pressure. Create life? Tech will eventually do it. Create a world? Sure, tech again. Given enough tech, a solar system can be spawned. Water into wine? We're halfway there with Kool-Aid. We already have vimanas (those ancient Hindu flying vehicles). We call them airplanes or helicopters. We can destroy a whole city with a single weapon. So why should we worship a supreme being who supposedly did those things?

    Assuming we can conquer poverty, religions that survive will be centered around improving the human condition. Worshipping dieties will eventually fall by the wayside. It will still be a long process. You can't dispel faith with reason and facts. And people in poverty tend to embrace religion because it gives them comfort and hope that things will be better in the afterlife.

  • What was the first effective cure for a disease in history?
  • Animals were doing it long before humans even existed. Some birds will "bathe" in an ant nest because the formic acid excreted by the ants rids them of parasites. There's even a word for it - zoopharmacognosy.

    Long before recorded history, people knew what plants were helpful to treat or cure various maladies. Who knows what possessed the first human to chew on willow bark to relieve pain or reduce a fever? The earliest documentation of it was 400 BCE by Hippocrates, but it was probably common knowledge for much longer than that. The Chinese have been using various herbs to treat disease for at least 3000 years.

  • Has anyone ever had a bot on a website answer their question?
  • Every time I do a search, the bot usually provides enough info. The problem is that I don't trust the bot because it's been wrong before. So I still need to continue the search to find an authoritative answer.

    That's the problem with bots. If you trust their answers and they're wrong, it can be a real problem. There was a story a while ago about an Air Canada customer service bot that was giving out bad info about bereavement travel. When a customer tried to get the promised refund, the airline admitted the advice was wrong, but claimed the bot was a separate legal entity, therefore they were not responsible for the advice it gave.

  • is there a set top media player that doesn't require an online account?
  • Pay-as-you-go phones work. A $15 (sometimes free) basic cellphone with a few minutes are all you need. Once the account is set up, the phone isn't needed. I've made quite a few Google throw-away accounts this way. Just never lose your password and don't turn on 2FA.

    As far as Google tracking goes - you can firewall off all the Google servers if you dislike them, or use a router that connects through a VPN if you need that level of privacy.

  • is there a set top media player that doesn't require an online account?
  • An Android TV box doesn't -need- Google once you've downloaded all the apps. But you do need it to keep all those apps up to date. I'm not sure what you gain with not having an account attached to the device. All those streaming services you mentioned require accounts. What's one more?

  • To those of you who drink tea: What brand of tea do you drink?
  • Bigelow or Stash double bergamot Early Grey, or Hime Genmaicha. I've tried brands that cost more or less and always come back to these three.

    Not sure it counts as tea, but I've also got a taste for Yerba Mate.

  • Do blurry glasses exist that you can just randomly buy?
  • A pair of off-the-shelf reading glasses will make everything other than what's right in front of your face blurry. But please don't use them to blur distant things you actually will be looking at for long stretches. Your eyes will still try to focus on those blurry distant objects, and that will cause ocular muscle strain. If you did it for a few years, you could cause permanent changes to the shape of your eyeball. Then you will really need glasses.

  • These are the debate ‘traps’ Republicans fear Trump may fall into
  • Nope. I'm a RINO. For LGBTQ+ and women's reproductive rights. For gender equality. For religious freedom without interference from the government. For supporting our kids' education and well-being. For reasonable gun control measures that involve training and background checks if that cost is borne by the state. Against banning of weapons or special taxes on guns/ammo. For involuntary psychiatric treatment (commitments). I want single-payer healthcare. I want a vetted method of entry for immigrants that doesn't take years to complete. I want non-violent convicted criminals to have the option to be surgically "tagged", then allowed to continue their lives knowing that they're being monitored. Maybe then they can repay their victims. I want to abolish the death penalty. I want to set fines as a percentage of a person's wealth. I want all non-lethal drugs to be legalized, including prescription drugs. I want the government to provide an interest-free home loan for anyone who can show they can afford the property, currently owns no other property, and will use it as their primary residence. I want a free path to a self-study college degree, but I oppose paying for others to obtain degrees without some form of payback.

  • Jeffco Sheriff: Man shoplifts bolt cutters from Walmart to steal kid’s e-bike locked up in front of store
  • The bike alarm is triggered by motion. It's a standard off-the-shelf seat tube bike alarm, armed/disarmed by a fob. My modification was to beef up the output power to operate the flashing lights, motor shorting relay, sonalert, and the time-delayed electric theft deterrent. I can't be shocked unless I'm riding around for 30 seconds with lights flashing, alarm blasting, and the motor acting as a regenerative brake. That's why there's a time delay.

    There's also an Airtag in the seat, but I'd rather deter the thief than have to track down the bike.

  • These are the debate ‘traps’ Republicans fear Trump may fall into
  • The only thing that stopped the last big fire from burning down my home was a clear-cut patchwork left over from the last logging operation 15 years ago. It allowed CalFire to establish a firebreak. In areas that had not been logged in 50 years, folks lost their homes. I'm a member of my community's Fire Safe Council. We have retired CalFire chiefs on our board. They were the ones who told me that California's opposition to logging has resulted in major fuel loads with no firebreaks and a rapidly degrading network of logging roads that are used to fight fires. You can quote articles by tree huggers like the NFF. I see the thousands of acres of dead burned "mature" trees with "thick bark" just up the road.

    You say my complaints are petty. People are losing their homes because of the out of control increases in fire insurance. People are worried about what they'll use to power their homes during our frequent outages when CARB outlaws gas generators. California Democrats want us to go all electric. I'm all electric. My utility bill last month was $500. I'm expecting $700 for this month.

    Know what starts big fires here? The electric company. My utility company deferred essential maintenance for over 50 years with the blessing of the California Public Utilities Commission. Camp Fire, LNU Complex Fire, Mosquito Fire, Dixie Fire - those were all major wildfires caused by PG&E. Now they want to play catch up by undergrounding power lines and hike our rates even more to pay for it - again with the approval of the CPUC.

    If you believe that outdoor boilers are a fire hazard, you have never seen one. Burning wood waste is carbon neutral, yet the EPA and CARB restrict the use of a method of combustion that's over three times as efficient and clean compared to a fireplace. They're one of the safest ways to burn biomass. Safer than a fireplace and much safer than an open fire, which is how most folks in my area dispose of green waste. We had 4 fires this year in my county due to people burning green waste. How many fires nationwide were due to outdoor boilers?

  • These are the debate ‘traps’ Republicans fear Trump may fall into
  • You don't live in a rural area, do you? Yeah, Trump is a trainwreck. I won't vote for anyone so antithetical to what is right. Biden is currently the lesser of two evils. My point is that I'm voting -against- Trump. I'm actually hoping Biden does terrible in the debate, allowing another candidate to become a contender. I'd rather vote for someone I actually want to be president.

    Biden is borderline senile. He's like a well-meaning but incompetent father. His party stands for many things I totally disagree with. I can't buy gas-powered tools to maintain my orchard because of Democrat "one-size-fits-all" regulations. Instead, I'm paying thousands for electric tools that need multiple batteries. They do the work slower, and that means more man-hours of labor. You see that as higher produce prices.

    Every year I torch thousands of pounds of wood from the 3 acres of forest that I'm required to manage. I could use it to heat my home, but CARB (controlled by Democrats) won't let me have an outdoor boiler. Instead I use electricity that comes from non-renewable resources and burn the wood in a big pile every spring, creating 10 times the pollution of that boiler and consuming 3 days of my time. The only other option for us rural folk is to haul it to the dump and pay $300 a truckload. And Democrats are holding up the biomass power project in my town over pollution concerns. That facility would give us a place to take green waste, reduce our fire danger, and probably lower our electric utility rate.

    The fire danger here is directly a result of Democrat-led forest management - or lack thereof. Their anti-lumber industry policies caused the town's mill to close 15 years ago. Without thinning, the forest was primed for the destructive fires that have swept the area. That has made fire insurance unaffordable. Mine was $800 just 5 years ago. Today it's $6500. Others in my area are paying a lot more. One neighbor got a renewal letter for $85,000.

    Sorry for the lengthy post. I wanted to show that I have legitimate reasons for not wanting a president from a party that is making my life more difficult. But vote for Trump? Not happening.

    Edit: typo

  • Jeffco Sheriff: Man shoplifts bolt cutters from Walmart to steal kid’s e-bike locked up in front of store
  • Install a bike alarm inside the seat tube. They're hard to defeat without tools. Mine alternately flashes bright blue and red light strips epoxied to the frame. In California, that's a guaranteed police stop (blue lights are only allowed on law enforcement vehicles), plus it makes everyone look at the thief. There's also a relay that shorts out the motor, making it a bitch to pedal. If that and the 120 dB alarm doesn't stop them, 30 seconds later two metal strips under the seat fabric get powered from a 55 kV mosquito zapper circuit.

  • How to intentionally get terminated from a job without sacrificing unemployment benefits?

    My friend is a customer service rep who is ready to retire. Her company is talking about layoffs with 13+ weeks of severance, but when she asked (anonymously) if they were accepting volunteers, they said no. In case she's not one of the ones told to clean out her desk, what are the ways she could get terminated while preserving her ability to claim unemployment (which would equal the 13 weeks of severance)?

    UPDATE: She took my advice and saw her doctor. He agreed that she's experiencing a job-related stress injury, set her up with a Disability claim, and referred her for psychiatric counseling.