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SoTier

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  1. Large or venomous snakes, like many other exotic animals that some people think are "cool" to make into pets, should be left in their native habits because they can become dangerous as adults, primarily because of size and/or temperament. Once these animals become habituated to and dependent upon humans, they can rarely be returned to the wild and always have to live in captivity for their own safety and for the safety of people who cross their paths. Too often, when the animals become problems for their owners, they get dumped. Many exotic pets are collected illegally from the wild and smuggled into the US without regard for the animals' health or the possibility of spreading disease. The only way to truly stop this illegal trafficking is to dry up the market so that it's not worth it to smugglers to bring the animals into this country. Hopefully this snake is an escaped pet that can be reunited with its owner.
  2. One attraction that hasn't been mentioned is the Erie County Fair in Hamburg for about 10 days in mid/late August. It's one of the largest county fairs in the US (I think that Los Angeles County Fair may be larger) and is larger than some state fairs. It has a massive midway, top grandstand shows, all kinds of shows, exhibits, and/or demonstrations -- conservation, historical, agricultural, and cultural.
  3. The difference between gold and "digital gold" is that gold has a track record; it's been desirable for at least five thousand years. As long as others view crypto as "digital gold", your investment has value. If too many others decide that something else is the new "gold" digital or otherwise, crypto may go the way of the Dutch tulip in the 17th century.
  4. I'm not against investing in rental real estate but it does have risks like all investments. No matter how good your property is, you cannot dismiss the reality that tenants can be problematic. They may suffer economic reverses of their own which can make formerly top rated tenants unable to pay their rent. Certainly a house fire could easily keep your house empty for months and probably cost you tens of thousands in repairs beyond whatever insurance covers. A tornado can level even the best built and maintained house or apartment building. No investment is perfect for everyone or without risk. It's best to spread your investments among various types of investments.
  5. This is a very simplistic view of investing for building wealth. Contrary to your rosy scenario, there are numerous pitfalls in real estate investing, not the least of which is that real estate is perhaps one of the most difficult assets to liquidate. It's also prone to disastrous hazards that can wipe out most of the investment in minutes: fires, earthquakes, floods, etc. Real estate investors also have expenses that simply don't apply to stocks or crypto or precious metals, namely they have to maintain their properties even when they aren't bringing in rents. IOW, investing in rental real estate has some real drawbacks and not for everyone. Your observation about the 1% club isn't correct. Making great fortunes in real estate generally involves speculation or the development of real estate rather than long term ownership of residential or commercial units for rental income.
  6. Maybe the dude has abandoned all financial transactions based on USD. Probably not the wisest move since crypto isn't accepted for most ordinary purchases.
  7. I agree. I remember that pick six -- it was just like so many of his picks in college. Whether carelessness or poor vision, Darnold isn't good enough to be a NFL QB not only because the talent level in NFL is much higher than in college, but also because the talent between the best teams and the worst teams is miniscule compared to the talent differences between top collegiate teams and bottom collegiate teams. There are no Ball States or Western Michigans or UBs for the top tier teams to fatten up on in the NFL.
  8. Darnold was the one QB from the 2018 draft that I absolutely didn't want the Bills to draft because his college game had a couple of big red flags despite his stats and publicity: he checked down too often and he threw stupid INTs with regularity. He has done the same with the Jests and with the Panthers. I suspect that he doesn't see the field as well as he needs to in order to be a good NFL QB, so he not only doesn't see open receivers, he too frequently doesn't see defenders.
  9. For the ordinary person, I'm guessing that's unlikely. Market timing in the stock market has never proven to be an effective long term strategy for individual investors, so I can't see the much more volatile crypto markets being better. There are people who make good livings as professional gamblers at casinos but the average joe who wanders in off the street loses a lot more often than he wins.
  10. Crypto in the 2020s seems to be where the stock market was in the 1920s: an unregulated investing "Wild West" where fortunes can be made overnight -- and lost in hours. A wise investor might put a very small percentage of his/her funds into it but in its present unregulated state, crypto seems about on a par with gambling at a casino or race track. Maybe the crypto collapse will put the brakes on the recent push by some financial companies to push crypto "investments" for 401ks and Roth IRAs.
  11. I think that Mayfield simply hasn't grown professionally. He started out at a high level (for a rookie QB) but he really hasn't upped his game significantly since his second season. Is that on him or on the Browns? I don't know. What I do know is that it's not uncommon for highly drafted QBs to fail to improve significantly after their first or second year as a starter.
  12. Is there some point to your continuing attempts to "prove" Rob Johnson wasn't a crappy QB? I mean, other than your need to argue contrarian positions that aren't supported by facts in order to demonstrated your superiority to everybody else.
  13. IMO, Rob Johnson is more of a Trent Edwards "doppelganger" than a Josh Allen "doppelganger". Johnson and Edwards suffered from the same issue: they couldn't read defenses well and couldn't process what they did see fast enough to be effective. That's why they were inconsistent, mostly playing poorly but sometimes looking like they were actually competent QBs when playing against crappy defenses or when defenses went into "prevent" mode or when, like the proverbial blind squirrel, they luckily found a nut. They were both sacked so often because they held the ball too long. No amount of physical talent can make up for the lack of a QB being able to recognize defenses quickly and accurately and make good decisions based on what they see.
  14. True believers don't need backup plans.
  15. I have catbirds coming to one of my suet feeders that I located close to my tall arborvitae screen. The starlings either don't like the location or they haven't found it since it's on a combo feeder and faces the trees. They do clean up the other suet feeders in short order.
  16. LOL. The doomsday prepper crowd has been warning "disbelievers" like me about "the manure hitting the fan" for the last couple of decades, most loudly back in the Great Recession. I've made a lot of money over that time by ignoring guys wearing tin-foil hats, so I see no reason to start listening to them just because the stock market has been down recently.
  17. Just about any professional, whether in sports or another field, is better after several years into his/her career than at the start of it. Eventually, everyone peaks and then either stays at the same level or declines. In a field that's not dependent primarily on physical ability, there's not really a limit on how long somebody can continue to improve. Many athletes manage to make up for the declining physical abilities by continuing to improve the rest of their abilities. Peyton Manning and Drew Brees come to mind. Brady's in this group, too, although the decline in his physical abilities isn't particularly apparent yet.
  18. I could have misunderstood the summary; I'm a long, long time away from college biology! As I understood the extract,the basis of this drug therapy was that the cancer had a mutation that made it hard/harder for the cancer cells' to repair altered/damaged DNA. The drug somehow facilitated damage to the cancer cells which resulted in the cancer being "cured". I'm not sure that the extract gave the length of time that the patients have been cancer free, but I don't think that cancer survivors are ever considered "cured" the way someone would be cured of an infection. I think that the promise of this drug therapy is that it shows that the idea of attacking the DNA of cancer cells can be effective. A friend of mine who is very well educated but is totally a non-scientific/non-technological person who generally views things through the prism of "how much it costs" was complaining recently about the billions that have been spent on cancer research without finding "a cure". I tried explaining to her that cancer isn't a single disease but a myriad of diseases with many variations even within the same type but I don't think she accepted that idea. She just saw billions of dollars going to fight "cancer" with apparently limited success rather than a very broad spectrum of success depending upon the specific type of cancer. I think that a lot of people who aren't particularly interested in science/medicine and/or have not been personally impacted by cancer (which is the case of my friend) simply don't understand that cancer isn't a single disease, so they get frustrated that it's not already "cured" despite all the resources devoted to it.
  19. I read the abstract (summary) of the NEJM article, and it seems that the key was that the mutation in the cancer cells was the key because the cancer cells couldn't recover after the antibodies in the drug altered their DNA. Researchers had hypothesized that this would happen but this is the first example of the idea actually working --- and working quite spectacularly. This is a small step, but proving that this kind of drug therapy is effective on one type of cancer opens the door to research on how this same type of therapy can be used on other kinds of cancers.
  20. PFF likes to pretend that it's "objective" but this list demonstrates that the group is hardly less biased than any group of knowledgeable NFL fans polled as to their choices as best coaches. Ding, ding, PFF ... winning is important, winning playoff games is more important, and winning the Super Bowl is "priceless". Kliff Kingsbury has been HC of the Cards for 3 seasons in which his teams have gone 24-24-1 with 1 winning season, 1 playoff appearance, and 0 playoff wins. His teams have demonstrated a tendency to start off hot and then tail off as the season progresses. In 2019, the Cards started the season 3-3-1 and finished 2-7 (5-10-1). In 2020, they started 5-2 and finished 3-6 (8-8). In 2021, they started 7-0 and finished 4-6 (11-6). They got soundly beaten 34-11 by the Rams in the WC round. How the hell can anyone claim that Kingsbury is currently the fourth best HC in the NFL behind three HCs destined for the HOF? Good grief, Kingsbury isn't even as good as two HCs in his own division, Shanahan and McVay. He's 3-3 versus the 49ers. Shanahan has taken the 49ers to the NFC Championship twice and once to the Super Bowl in the 2 seasons that he's had Garropolo as his QB for most of the season. Kingsbury is 1-6 against McVay's Rams, including the 2021 WC loss. NFL HCs have significant influence over their team's roster, and it's disingenuous to penalize HCs who are good at talent evaluation and management because it's a key part of the job! Both Kingsbury and McVay inherited losing squads. Kingsbury got to hand pick his QB in Kyler Murray. McVay inherited Jared Goff, and made the Super Bowl with him in his second season as HC. McVay has been HC of Rams for 5 seasons in which his teams have gone 55-26 with 5 winning seasons, 4 double digit win seasons, 4 playoff appearances, 7 playoff wins in 10 games, 2 Super Bowl appearances and 1 Super Bowl win. McVay is collecting HOF credentials. Kingsbury may be job hunting in 2023 if the Cardinals suffer another second half of the season swoon.
  21. Love pileated woodpeckers!!!
  22. Why is it at all surprising that PFF tells us that any number of mediocre performers are "actually" better than the guys who are top performers? It's their schtick: manipulating arcane -- and sometimes irrelevant -- statistics to "prove" that traditional methods of assessing players and coaches -- actual production/results -- don't tell the "true story". PFF regularly claim that Crappy QB A is really almost as good as All Pro QB B because A plays on a lousy team with poor coaching while B plays on a well coached team with good talent. That's why Kliff Kingsbury is rated #4 and Mike Tomlin is rated #13 in the magical and incredibly capricious statistical universe of PFF. Why is Tomlin penalized for having Roethlisberger for most of his tenure in Pittsburgh but McCarthy isn't despite having Rodgers in GB and Dak in Dallas and accomplishing less?
  23. I only ever made it about a quarter of the way out on the old trestle bridge. I got freaked out by looking down and seeing the river below. The old trestle bridge was built in the 1800s IIRC.
  24. New York State Parks info The Glen Iris offers a decent restaurant in a beautiful setting (Middle Falls). You can walk to the museum from the restaurant. The Mary Jemison site (there's a monument there) marks the Jemison family home and possibly their family cemetery. If you're going to Watkins Glen, you might also want to make a day of it, and take the winery trail along the east side of Seneca Lake. The Ginny Lee Cafe at the Wagner Winery is a thumbs up. Unfortunately, your boys probably won't be able to do any wine tasting but on the positive side, one can be the designated driver! Geneva, at the north end of Seneca Lake, is a beautiful historic village. The historic district is awesome if architecture is your thing. From Geneva, you can take Route 20 west to Cananadaigua, which is a very touristy little city with an interesting little commerical district on the city pier. Sonnenberg Gardens is a great historic home with extensive gardens on the grounds. Ithaca and Taughannock Falls State Park on Cayuga Lake is another good side trip from Watkins Glen, especially if waterfalls and gorges are your thing. Ithaca is famous for its gorges, many on/around the Cornell University campus. Taughannock Falls is the highest waterfall in NYS. You can hike the gorge right up to the falls. If you are going to hit a number of New York State parks on this trip or later in the year, you might consider investing in an Empire Passport which gives you unlimited free access to most state parks for a single fee. (New York State Parks info) Here's the official Finger Lakes tourism website for more ideas: Finger Lakes Tourism
  25. Stuff headline: "US marks Memorial Day weekend with at least 11 mass shootings". If you actually read the entire news story instead of pretending it's trash, you would have noted that this story talked about the twelfth mass shooting that wasn't included in the database of mass shootings. Washington Post Headline: "U.S. marks Memorial Day weekend with at least 12 mass shootings". The WP version was published on May 31 as an update of the original article by Annabelle Timsit published on May 30. Timsit was credited in both articles so there's no plagiarism involved. Now, to the pertinent issue, why exactly is the headline "dumb"? Since neither headline is untrue nor inflammatory, I have to believe that you think it's "dumb" because you dislike being reminded of the prevalence of gun violence in the US. I'm sure that you prefer that the mainstream US news media as well as the foreign news media kowtow to the NRA and their allies in the US media and government that pretend that gun violence is primarily a problem of inner city criminals engaging in criminal activities with illegal guns rather than a problem that can affect anybody at any time, in grocery stores, in schools, in fast food restaurant, at graduation parties, at Memorial Day events ....
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