Archive for December 9th, 2008

Lard: Stops Suicide Bombers, Could Stop Pirates?

Several years ago, Israeli officials suggested using lard to deter suicide bombers, by placing containers of the rendered pig fat in buses and other popular targets of suicide attacks; the reasoning was that the threat of coming into contact with such an “unclean” substance would deter the predominantly Muslim suicide bombers. It’s not clear that the plan was ever implemented, so the effectiveness, if any, of this ploy is hard to gauge, but suicide bombings in Israel are down in recent years.

Now, some boffin somewhere wants to use lard to deter pirates, as well.
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on December 9th, 2008 | 6 Comments »

The Health Care Mystery

There are a lot of disillusioned, and even disgruntled, health-care workers in this country, and their unhappiness isn’t entirely to do with poor working conditions: for decades, there’s been this myth that there’s a huge, unfulfilled demand for new doctors, nurses, and so on. Problem is, there wasn’t – it turns out that people were predicting a huge growth in the health-care field that never really happened.

This is not exactly unusual; there’s a huge glut of qualified, and in some cases experienced, applicants in the law-enforcement field – a large department can see over a hundred applicants per vacancy – yet schools and colleges keep urging students into criminal-justice programs, telling them there’s a “huge demand”. Yes, there’s always a demand for qualified peace officers, but the supply far exceeds demand.

Well, thanks in part to the economy, hospitals are strting to make layoffs, and opting not to fill vacant positions. That noise you heard? A lot of people’s illusions about their employment prospects being shattered. But there’s a weird aspect to this whole thing:
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Published in: General | on December 9th, 2008 | 1 Comment »