It s Okay To Be Smart – Answer Bag: Scientific denialism in

#answer bag


Answer Bag: Scientific denialism in the GMOs vs. organic debate

An answer to this question sent in. Click through the break to read the full post.

GMO . That s what you call a buzz word. Just like stem cells or abortion , it brings up some pretty strong feelings in people, for better or worse. I am not sure that people s feelings about GMOs fall into denialism , though. I think it s more a crisis of generalization and misunderstanding than it is ignorance of the facts.

Genetically modified organisms are particularly tough, because the term is really too broad. You can t just address bad GMOs, as if we knew what that meant. The line where genetically modifying foods becomes too far is a fuzzy one, and we all put that line in a different place. The term organic is just as confusing. As great as it is for describing some forms of sustainable and natural agriculture, it also just looks really cool on a carton of yogurt. So how do you get to the bottom of which might be better – GMOs or organics? And are we practicing denialism when we argue one over the other?

I ll start with GMOs. Like you said, from the first moment that human beings began selecting crops to cultivate we have been (inadvertently) genetically modifying organisms. Gregor Mendel genetically modified the hell out of some peas. The Native Americans genetically modified a prairie grass into maize. the Incas mastered potatoes and the Chinese selected rice to grow in their shallow wetlands (as far back as 10,000 years ago!) .

Now let s pretend we lived in a world without GMOs. In that world we are all dead, each and every one of us. We never explore the New World, Asia never rises, life expectencies and birth rates don t increase, etc. This is a sad thought. To be clear, we wouldn t be able to feed the world s population, now or through history, if we were not genetically modifying foods by passive breeding or by deep genetic manipulation. As population grows on Earth, our need for food increases, and we will need crops that can grow in new and challenging climates, perhaps on a warmer planet. Let s use Africa as an example.

If you have seen, well, basically anything about Africa, you know that areas like Kenya are pretty dry. It s sort of what they are known for. Plants, as you also may have heard, need water to grow. Without, genetic modification this would be a mutually exclusive proposition. But thanks to modern selective breeding and genetic modification, drought-resistant wheat strains were introduced to Kenya and thrive today. What was dusty is now green, and regions once known for distended bellies, starving children and Sally Struthers-worthy famine now have greater food security.

Of course, we are all smart enough to know that the practice of genetic modification doesn t unleash a fury of rainbows and sunshine into the world. On the other hand you have companies like Monsanto (cue scary music) who deliberately manipulate organisms to be resistant to herbicides like RoundUp, which they happen to also produce. Easiest gardening technique ever. Plant crop, damn the weeds, just wipe out every other plant on the field with a daisy cutter of chemical annihilation. That you happen to own the patent on.

If you re a farmer who plants Monsanto seed, you have to buy it under a license from the company. You also have to promise to not share it, and if you are a farmer on the field next door you have to make sure you don t accidentally get any of it crossed with your crops, lest you be in violation of Monsanto s patents. Of course, the entire Great Plains were fertilized by wind-borne seeds, so these things have a tendency to drift and migrate without asking permission from pesky humans first. With the hubris of owning power over genes, Mansantokind treads on dangerous ground. In fact, Nature herself has already been assailing the idea by producing RoundUp-resistant weeds. But is this yet a form of denialism? Perhaps denial of knowing that we can never truly have power over Nature, but not denialism in the sense of hindering scientific progress. Incidentally, organic farmers are suing Monsanto as we speak over their seed-Gestapo tactics.

Which brings us to organics . What a mess. What began as a way to resist the influx of chemical fertilizers and monoculture farming has turned into one of the biggest marketing schemes on Earth. You don t need me to explain that to you, though. People like Michael Pollan and Samuel Fromartz do a great job in their books and other writings. These foods still benefit the environment in many ways thanks to their avoidance of chemical fertilizer and slightly more seasonal growth cycles, but whether organic asparagus has more vitamins than conventional is a pretty thin claim. Organic foods, by just being organic , are not better for you. This is a form of denialism, where we assume that a marketing term has christened a carrot somehow better. It may be better, for us and for the environment, but being organic is beginning to have less to do with it than many other things. I suggest you look into the term greenwashing to learn more.

So in simple terms? No, organic foods are not healthier for you, per se. And GMOs are not bad for you or the world, per se. But some of the uses of the term organic are bad for you, just as some genetic modifications of foods actually make us less secure in our meals (and are just plain mean!). I don t think being GMO is bad, like many people jump to. Like I said before, this is a crisis of generalization, not of ignorance. If we would pay more attention to what these terms mean and don t mean, we would be able to separate the truly bad from the benefits each have given us. Is that denialism? I don t think so, unless we are denying ourselves a better perspective.

Advice? I m no sage, but try to do what mankind has done for ages: Eat what s around and not what s shipped from across the globe, eat it when it s in season, and try to make sure it was farmed in a way that makes you think of straw hats and overalls instead of lab coats and petroleum.

Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle #bible #questions #answers

#crossword puzzle answers


That revealer is a swing and a miss. Big miss. Terrible miss. THIS ROUND’S ON ME is a phrase. A fine phrase. A grid-spanning 15-letter phrase. THE ROUND’S ON ME is something the alien pretending to be a human might say. Also, it’s not an “offer,” as the clue seems to think. It’s a declaration. Further, the kinds of alcohol are pretty arbitrary, and only a few of them really fit the whole “this round’s on me” thing. A round of cognac? Really? Lastly, the shape is not, in fact, round. It’s octagonal. An interesting concept, totally botched in the execution. Don’t do this.

[from Letterman OMG that CD longbox!]

This played somewhat harder than normal for me (4:01) first because of the ludicrous revealer, and then because of several words I just didn’t know: GIMBAL (48A: Device that keeps a ship’s compass level). MASTIC, and GIRO (26D: Big name in bicycle helmets). That last one especially, hoo boy. Really stymied my eastword motion. I think my last letter was the “A” in GIMBAL. Might’ve been the “B” if I hadn’t already changed THE NET to THE WEB (29D: What Wi-Fi can connect you to). Had LAST LAP instead of LAST LEG (25A: Final part of a relay) and zero idea what a [Common name for a cowboy ] could be, despite having watched untold number of westerns. DESTRY Rides Again. I have no idea who this DUSTY guy is, to say nothing of his allegedly numerous namesakes. The lower part of the SW corner is a boatload of atrocious fill, and RETESTS abutting EAGEREST (!?) is also not great to look at. UNREAL is pretty good, as clued (2D: “That is SO incredible!” ), but the rest doesn’t have much going for it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Monday, October 24, 2016

Constructor: John Guzzett a

Relative difficulty: On the easier side of Monda yness

THEME: MO RNING SHOW (58A: Brea kfast -time TV fare that usually incl udes the ends of 17-, 28, 36- and 44-Across) themers end with NEWS, TRAFFIC, WEATHER and SPORTS, respectively

Theme answers:

  • NEWPORT NEWS (17A: Virginia city known for its ship-building)
  • DRUG TRAFFIC (28A: Flow of narcotics)
  • UNDER THE WEATHER (36A: Not feeling so hot)
  • SPOIL SPORTS (44A: Killjoys)

Word of the Day: CUSPS (1A: Molars usually have four of these )
A cusp is a pointed, projecting, or elevated feature. In animals. it is usually used to refer to raised points on the crowns of teeth. (wikipedia)

This is a perfectly reasonable puzzle. from 30ish years ago that has somehow found its way to 2016. The NYT is having this problem over and over and over again lately. Problem isn’t (only) with the quality of the puzzle, it’s with the ambition level. No, “ambition” isn’t even the right word, since I don’t think a puzzle has to be super-edgy or complicated or avant-garde to be good. A very simple puzzle can be good. But there’s no attempt to be current or funny or, for lack of a better word, alive. We’re getting a ton of by-the-book puzzles. First words do this. Last words do this. Etc. With fill and clues that are less terrible than stale. Nobody expects That much from a Monday, but I think that’s actually a cruddy attitude to have towards Mondays and the people who make them well. A little zing, a little imagination, a little spark. This is all I ask of Mondays. Actually, it’s all I ask of most days. I won’t list all the tiresome fill here, largely because every puzzle has Some, but just look at the grid and consider how much of this stuff you see over and over and over. Even something like EMOTE or ORATE or SATED perfectly fine words, but relentless, and today, all in the same section. A puzzle made for people who wear AFTA and watch morning TV fare, i.e. not me. And, increasingly, not a lot of solvers. If it is unreasonable of me to keep asking the NYT to be the best, then maybe they should stop calling themselves the “best.” That way no fraud, no unrealistic expectations.

Turns out I don’t really know what CUSPS means. I finished this puzzle in under my normal Monday time, but I think I might’ve set a personal Monday best if I’d had some conception of CUSPS. I know the term “bicuspid,” but I think of “cusp” as meaning the edge; like. you’re on the *cusp* of something. Or in astrology, if you’re on the *cusp*, you are on the edge or boundary of two different signs. Right? Anyway, the clue [Molars usually have four of these ] totally stymied me. Filling in ROT at 4D: Drivel didn’t help (it’s PAP ). Also had lots o’ trouble with 5D: One often seen standing just out side a building’s entrance ( SMOKER ). since all I wanted was some version of “doorman.” So maybe it’s most accurate to say this puzzle had a Challenging (for a Monday) NW corner, and a hyper-easy everything else.


  • 50A: Shoe material ( LEATHER ) not that I care, but you don’t usually see replicated letter strings as long as the one this answer shares with WEATHER (in UNDER THE WEATHER )
  • 8D: “___ Gotta Be Me” (Sammy Davis Jr. song) ( I’VE ) not sure why I’VE sounds too formal / grammatical to precede “Gotta,” but it does. I GOTTA feels more natural. But a title’s a title’s a title.
  • 11D: Procedure for solving a mathematical problem ( ALGORITHM ) not to be confused with the theoretical concept AL GORE RHYTHM. P.S. I have a mathematician friend, who is also a constructor friend, who teaches in NEWPORT NEWS. Here’s the exciting proof.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Pricing For Answering Service #a+questions #and #answers

#answering service pricing


  • Get Pricing For Answering Service Solutions – Control Your Cost, Don’t Be Controlled

    Just how much should an answering service cost and what if you could control the fees and plans to get the best rate from local call centers? The fact is you are in more control than you may think. From flat rate pricing, pay-per-call, or pay by the minute plans we’ll get you the most affordable and competitive rates from companies that will deliver their lowest prices, and the good news you won’t have to be a super negotiator to get that reduced price, because they know you’re shopping. We know time is important and getting the most for your money is even more important. That’s why we offer a one stop solution for you to complete one form and get quotes on answering services within 1 business day. Describe your needs (takes 30 seconds) and we will connect you with providers delivering their best prices on inbound call services that match your requirements. You deal directly with them they fight for your business. You save time and money.

    Pay For Time Usage Only: This type of plan bills you for actual time used. Most of the time you will be billed by the minute. Some companies bill in one minute increments so it’s best to use a service that bills in 10-15 second time increments, and ideally actual seconds used. Expect to pay a typical monthly base rate of $19 $49 plus your actual usage. The cost per minute will vary between $0.79 $1.25 depending on requirements.

    Pay Per Call: Pay a flat for every inbound call. This plan is great for those that have low call volumes but the down side can be that you will pay the same rate for incorrectly dialed numbers. The typical monthly base rate for this service will range from $10 to $30 a month and the price per call will be around $0.69 $1.50, usually depending on the anticipated length of your calls and number of questions that are being asked.

    Flat Rate Plans: A program that promises flat rates can be offered in a few ways, but the basic understanding is you pay one flat price for unlimited calls. This rate is based on your realistic call volume expectations but is a great way to manage the cost of service. These answering service plans range between $49 and $139 a month and usually require no contracts or set up fees.

    Pay as You Go: This program allows you to have a monthly base rate of $0.00 and you only pay for the actual time used. In some cases a small security deposit of up to $100 may be necessary to protect the supplier in the event you have excessive usage and don’t pay your invoice. A credit check may also be requested which you may or may not be required to pay for.

  • Answer bag texting #ask #any #question #instant #answer #free

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    Answer bag texting

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    Telephones – Cheap Telephones Deals #answer #and #question

    #telephone answering machines



    Showing 1 – 20 of 107 results

    Staying in touch with friends and relatives is an important part of life, so it stands to reason that you need a telephone in your home. It can also work out cheaper to call from a landline than a mobile, especially when calling 0800 numbers.

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    Automated Answering Services #free #algebra #worksheets #with #answer #key

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    Automated Answering Service and Systems

    Database Systems Corp. is a leading provider of call center products including phone systems and automated answering services. DSC provides these services using our multiple location call centers.

    Automated answering services from DSC are provided using our award winning IVR (interactive voice response) software that answers phone calls without an operator. Inbound phone calls are automatically answered using our service and these calls can be routed to your service representatives.

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    “The mission of The Johns Hopkins University is to educate its students and cultivate their capacity for life-long learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins University utilize our IVR hosting services and interactive voice response data center to manage automated surveys of student volunteers. Johns Hopkins is collecting behavioral information over an extended period of time for long term health care research.

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    Our call center service is more than just a simple call answering service. DSC can provide the following features that are not available with most outsourcing providers:

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    Automated Answering Systems

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    Amplicom AB900 Review 2016 #answers #to #physics #problems

    #telephone answering machines


    Amplicom AB900 Review

    The Amplicom AB900 is a standalone answering machine intended for use in personal offices or homes in need of a single message inbox. It offers you the ability to control playback speed and can achieve remarkable audio levels so that you’re not always straining to hear the details of a message. If audio levels are your concern, this device will provide a remarkable level of volume without sacrificing clarity.

    As a telephone answering machine, this device offers a solid level of performance. It comes with 24 minutes of digital recording, combined with flash memory to ensure your messages aren’t cut off in the event of a power outage. You can control two rotary dials for frequency tone control and playback speed, which means you can improve the quality of audio and speed up or slow down message playback as needed.

    In addition, the digital answering machine comes with all the other controls you’d expect, including play, pause, delete message, delete all messages, skip and repeat. At the top of the device is a two-digit LED display that indicates the total number of messages recorded on the unit. When a new message is received, this indicator blinks to alert you. The device also sports a 3.5 millimeter audio jack for a headset if you have difficulty understanding the loudspeaker or need to listen to messages more quietly.

    Audio is a common problem faced by many phone answering machines. The loudspeaker often suffers from sub-par hardware that turns any playbacks into a static mess where the message gets lost in all the noise. The volume on this phone answering machine can reach a maximum volume of 40 decibels, so it isn’t something you’ll struggle to hear. In addition, it utilizes quality speakers, so the clarity of the message doesn’t suffer as the volume on the device goes up.

    The Amplicom AB900 is a simple and reliable cordless phone that’ll work with cordless phones. It comes with a reasonable digital recording capacity, combined with numerous controls for managing your messages and their playback. Combined with its quality playback and high audio levels, this is a device that will perform well in any personal office or home without significantly hitting your bank account.

    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #answer #a

    #answering service pricing


    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.


    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including and Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.

    Crossword puzzle maker #fraction #problems #with #answers

    #crossword puzzle answers


    Crossword puzzle maker

    The Crossword puzzle maker is used to make simple crossword puzzles. It turns out that good crossword puzzles of the type found in newspapers are fairly hard to generate, and require a pool of lots of words, not all of which are used. This program puts all of the words you specify (no more, no less) into a simple crossword puzzle.

    The puzzle that is generated will remain on this server for about two months. If you want to ensure that you have a copy of the generated puzzle, make sure you save a copy.

    If you want help with international characters, you can call up an Alphabet chart to use for cutting and pasting letters that are hard to type. This chart will come up in a separate window.

    I have also added an “Information Gap” mode, suggested by a teacher who uses this site. This creates two partially solved puzzles, and pairs of students need to work together to give their own definitions to the other student in order to help complete each sheet. Let me know how this works for you.

    I’ve added a “Word Bank” option to show the words that are used within a puzzle. Some teachers think this is a help for their students.

    I have changed how Arabic is handled to be closer (I think) to how Arabic is actually supposed to work. If you try this out and have any feedback, let me know.

    The first part of this is for you to enter a list of words and clues.

    Once that part is done, hit the Make Puzzle button for a puzzle which incorporates your words.

    As the number of words you put in the puzzle, increases, the wait increases exponentially. However, if you want a puzzle that is larger than what fits with this form, go to the Large Puzzle page.

    Tip: If you’ve listed a puzzle for the public that you wish you hadn’t, go to the My Puzzles link in the sidebar. From there you can “Unlist” a puzzle, or completely delete it.

    Bin Weevils Blog – All the latest Bin Weevils Scoops – News

    #binweevils crossword answers


    January 11th, 2016

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    January 9th, 2016

    The What s New Blog that you know and love is getting a makeover! The Bin Weevils Team have been busily working on the update and we can t wait to share it with you! What a Bin-tastic way to kick-start the new year!

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    January 8th, 2016

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    January 7th, 2016

    Calling all Bin Tycoons!

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    We hope Bin Tycoons across the Binscape will enjoy this exclusive sneak peek at the Classic American Diner Booth seating and the Classic American Diner Table !

    All you have to do is log in and redeem these two codes at the Mystery Code Machine to get your items!

    Both codes will remain active until 20th January 2016 and all Weevils will be able to buy plenty of American Diner style nest items at Nestco very soon !

    Not a Bin Tycoon yet? Click the below button to find out all about the exclusive features available to Bin Tycoon members!

    Listen to the Bin Weevils Show every weekend from 10am on Fun Kids Radio – tune in on DAB Digital Radio, online at or grab the radio item and listen in your nest!