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Rachel Kahler

Rachel Kahler's picture
Blaine, Minnesota
Commenter for
3 years 36 weeks

Recent Comments

A worldwide outbreak of disease from some unknown corner of the world isn't unprecedented. Even if we ignore HIV (not coincidentally, originating from almost the exact same location as Ebola), every flu epidemic started somewhere. The difference is that we've forgotten what a quick-killing pandemic looks like (again, we're ignoring HIV--like we usually do). We live cushy lives where we can decide not to vaccinate our kids because of a very real, but ill-understood, bogey man that almost...

Posted on 10/13/14 at 02:54 pm in response to A geek's guide to political polling

I actually wonder what the value of a political poll is, other to influence voters.

It's one thing to point out that oil and the methods for obtaining it include known carcinogens at levels known to contribute to cancer. It's quite another to implicate a handful of other companies for having products with "suspected carcinogens." It's clear that Ms. Perry is making her own news in some of her articles. I understand that these are opinion pieces, but there are some broad and unfounded suggestions and statements, lately. Alcohol /use/ (rather than just alcohol--not to be...

Seems like a good time to switch providers. Good thing the exchange makes this much more feasible than before.

I guess you could say that the actual ease of switching hasn't changed. Except for the fact that you now don't have to create your own spreadsheet and hunt down details--details that weren't necessarily easy to find, let alone compare-- before switching. It seems to me that being able to directly compare takes a lot of the work out of switching.

Posted on 10/01/14 at 02:25 pm in response to Making sure the monarchs always return to Minnesota

Genetically modified crops are an easy target for the "save the monarchs" campaign. However, they're probably not the best target. While farmers that use GMO crops need to be more responsible about how they use them and companies that produce the seeds and chemicals need to be more vigilant about how they create them and market them, the problems related to the use of pesticide resistant crops will likely find a resolution long before the problem of our lawns has been adequately addressed...

Posted on 09/30/14 at 11:10 am in response to Can pig farmers be good environmental stewards?

As a scientist, as well, I would have to agree with your position. Antibiotics (and other chemicals) are a very real problem in the meat production industry. There is strong evidence that antibiotic use in beef cattle, pigs, and poultry are driving up the incidence of resistant infections in humans. Even if an antibiotic isn't commonly used in humans, or in humans at all, that doesn't mean that the use of such an antibiotic will necessarily cause no harm. Bacteria are sturdy little...

Posted on 10/02/14 at 03:35 pm in response to Can pig farmers be good environmental stewards?

"Here data, reason, and logic are king..." Usually. And this time it's true. The argument he's trying to make is like saying "if you shoot someone in a cold, dark environment, they're less dead than if you shoot them in a bright sunny field, and I don't care about any proof otherwise." The fact of the matter is that those chemicals and antibiotics have effects even if they're not direct. It doesn't matter whether you should keep them in a refrigerator before using them. The problem is...

Posted on 10/03/14 at 08:37 am in response to Can pig farmers be good environmental stewards?

How about a review of multiple studies? This one has full text freely available and sums up the issues fairly well.
Another review here:

The Catholic Church's doctrine has changed throughout the years with the interpretation of the Pope and councils held over its history. Not all of the doctrine is considered infallible, and is therefore subject to change. Compare, for example, the outcome of the Council of Jerusalem with modern Catholic practices.

Regardless, the point is that the Church allowed the abomination of child molestation and rape, which violate doctrine in at least the prohibition against fornication (...