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Posts posted by coquina

  1. I think any animal with nervous tissue and a brain or pseudo-brain could be considered to have emotions. Fear is a good example of a complex emotion that most animals seem capable of feeling. Have you ever seen the butterflies, like a monarch, that display warning camouflage because they're poisonous and taste foul? If a young bird eats that butterfly once, they associate the color pattern with the taste and learn to fear it - and, thus learn to fear and dislike that taste and avoid eating anything with that coloration pattern.


    I've never understood how protective coloration developed. It did that particular animal no good at all - it got eaten. I guess its sucess depends on a mutation that would occur simultaneously in all offspring. There would have to be survivors of the same coloration and taste. I've never heard whether mutations happen like that in insects. Are all the eggs laid by a monarch identical to each other?



    I think in terms of intelligent mammals' date=' a most complex emotion is embarrassment. Why do we feel embarrassment, or shame? It's an emotion based solely on what we think other people think of us - one that, I assume, evolved purely in a social context. I know dogs can feel shame as well; Lord knows I've seen the expression on a dog's face after they've done something wrong, like had an accident or destroyed something. This may be an emotion solely restricted to social animals (I can't see a monitor lizard feeling shame, for example, regardless of its intelligence).


    To talk about emotion, I suppose you must put a specific motion in context for there to be any headway.[/quote']


    Cats become embarrassed if they do something stupid and you laugh at them. I had a cat that decided to make a flying leap to my dresser, which had a scarf on it. Cat landed on scarf, which slid along the dresser and off the other side - cat landed on floor in a heap. It wasn't hurt, but when we laughed at it, it turned its back on us and started to wash itself industriously.


    When we called it, it wouldn't come. It took a day or so before we were in its good graces again.

  2. Well' date=' I am taking this tennis course for my summer classes. Three times a week, and each time will take us 2 hours to go in the session. So I am hoping by the end of July--which is also the end of my sumemr school--My height will obviously be taller 2 inches and mroe than I am. Did you guys see any thing that any boy who is 20 something grwoing some few more inches?

    Also that the breaking-bone surgery mentioned by you is not in Japan. It is being done in China. That surgery is very popular in China~[/quote']


    One way you can significantly increase the appearance of height is to improve your posture. Get used to sitting and standing up straight. A sport like tennis can strengthen your trunk muscles or "core muscles" - the ones that support your spine and can help you have good posture. When your back, abs, and obliques are good and strong and you stand up straight there is more distance between each vertebra.


    Stand in front of the mirror and look at how much difference in height there is between slumping and standing erect. Strengthening your muscles will have the added benefit of reducing the chance of a slipped or herniated disk.

  3. I watched a program on the science channel a few nights ago about the extreme climate shifts that have occurred during the past several million years. The findings were based on ice cores taken arctic ice sheets.


    The idea is that during a glacial period the percentage of the heavier isotopes of water (primarily O18) is less because O16 is lighter and evaporates more readily.


    The graphs shown on the program indicated that climate shifts had been abrupt and extreme. Obviously, the findings are based on the assumption that the relationship of O16 to O18 remains constant. Suppose it doesn't?

    Is there anything that might change the relationship?


    I'm not putting this forth as a theory, just a question which I think has some logic to it. If more O16 is evaporated, then more O18 remains in the sea. If O18 is heavier, then it would tend to sink to the bottom layers of the ocean, and in subduction areas, a higher percent would be subducted. When an andesite type volcano erupts, the ejecta would contain a higher percentage of O18. There have been times when huge eruptions have occurred. If there is more O18 in the atmosphere, could it skew the findings?


    In looking at those charts, it seemed to me that the supposed climate fluctuations and the number of them they represented were just too radical to be reasonable.

  4. How big was this magnet ? I'd be willing go bet a smallish sum that this was a sintered NdFeB magnet. Those things are quite brittle. The first thing you are warned about, when handling NdFeB magnets is to be very careful when you are near metal or when handling two or more magnets. They accelerate (if released) rapidly towards anything iron or steel and strike it hard and shatter into tiny pieces. But this is more true of the smaller sized magnets.

    You'd be betting right. We used a carbide drill. As I said - I just told the people I'd make the effort - when it wasn't going to be an easily accomplished task, I quit and told him to buy a replacement.


    I was imagining a lot of high-vacuum parts for the accelerator, for which you would need non-magnetic steels. The austenitic steels (like 304) are much better in this respect, than the martensitic steels (like 17-4PH).

    Yes, most parts for the accelerator non magnetic stainless, often 304. You probably know 304 is ornery to cut also. They are often purchased parts from companies such as MDC http://www.mdc-vacuum.com/urd/uniface.urd/ecf0018w.display which we modify. One thing we have to be careful about is keeping a sharp cutting edge on the tools, and keeping plenty of coolant on the parts. If heat builds up, the material work-hardens, then you really have a mess. We use a lot of disposable tipped carbide tooling.


    What happens chemically when a material work-hardens, anyway?


    That is neat ! I remember the news about the dolphins - I thought it was in the Mediterranean, but I must be mistaken.


    They're used all over, wherever there is danger of mines. There was coverage of them being used - probably Persian Gulf rather than Red Sea - prior to invasion of Iraq.


    The nastiest in the plastics category (composites actually), in my tiny experience, is fiberglass - not that it's hard to machine really, but it just wears down your tools real fast.


    We machine a fair amount of G10. Thank God for throw-away inserts. The abrasiveness of it will ruin the accuracy of your machine tool too. We can divert our coolant tank to spray with a garden hose and nozzle. We keep flushing the chips out of the machine frequently, the big pieces get caught by the chip conveyor, the tiny pieces get caught by a Racor filter.


    Are you at liberty to say what material is used ?

    A "special" kind of polyurethane. It flexes and seals against the boat-side plug.


    BTW - I was aboard a nuke sub a couple of years ago to check out feasibility of using one of the portable machines we build to cut out a through-hull sleeve. It was very interesting ... and very compact. The officer who was escourting us said that if you tie a rope tight from one side of the other when the boat is on the surface, it will have 8" of slack when the boat is at depth. The hull compresses that much.


    Interesting discussion, but I gotta go to work. Catch you later.

  5. No' date=' two workers for PETA did this. That's different. Also the local diretor of PETA said ""PETA has never made a secret of the fact that most of the animals picked up in North Carolina are euthanized."

    I think you are all smart enough to see my point. Only ecoli said of his example, "Please note, this story hasn't been sourced or proven."[/quote']


    PETA is headquartered locally, in Norfolk. I may hear more about their activities than others do. In the case of the dumping, dead animals had been dumped in this particular dumpster before, so it was staked out by the police. The PETA employees were caught in the act. The police, vets and animal control people from whom the animals were picked up, and the president of PETA have been on the local news. The police showed mug shots of the people they booked. The vets and animal control officers were told that PETA would find homes for the animals and that they would not be euthanized. The president of PETA did deny knowledge of what was going on.


    I have a problem when people lie. When several vets and animal control people all tell the same story, that PETA promised to find homes for the animals, then the animals end up dead in a dumpster - somebody lied. Seems to me it is more likely PETA than the vets.


    Granted, the president of PETA claimed no knowledge of the dumping, but as the president of my company, the buck stops with me. This had happened repeatedly. If the president had no knowledge, what did she think happened to the animals that were supposed to have been brought back to headquarters? What about the fact that drugs used for lethal injections are supposed to be strictly controlled? If employees can take them off the property without being discovered, who is to say that their use will be restricted to animals? If the president, or the person in charge who reports to her, did not know that the drugs were missing, PETA's controls over lethal drugs are so lax that their license to have them should be rescinded.


    I have to pay $85 everytime I have to have my dumpter emptied. Considering that it is now summer in Virginia, and the temperature is usually in the high 80's, low 90's, and that the dumpster becomes an oven, I assure you, the presense of those dead animals would be obvious within a day, and the dumpster would have to be emptied. It is against the law for anyone to throw dead animals in a dumpster, and they can't be put in the landfill - so the owner of it would have to pay someone to retrieve the rotting carcasses and pay to have them disposed of properly (probably cremated). I would not be surprised if the cost to the dumpster owner wouldn't approach a thousand bucks each time this occurred.


    My biggest problem with PETA is that their actions are not backed by logical thinking. They go off half-cocked and cost people and companies money who have nothing to do with the issue. They think any means justifies their end, and they have no problem lying about it. I use the collective "they", because their officers have the responsibility to keep their employees in check.

  6. Thanks JonB and coquina.


    Ah' date=' so you're in Newport News or thereabouts ?


    "Expertise" ? You flatter me ! But your good looks and sweet words will not win me over ;). Besides, I really haven't very much experience machining any unusual materials. And you know how far theoretical knowledge goes when it comes to machining ! :D You don't know it until you do it, and you don't believe anyone who tells you it won't work, unless they've tried it first (and even then, you're skeptical). ;)


    What kind of unusual materials do you machine for the folks at JLAB ? I would imagine most of their metal is 304 Stainless. Well, actually, when I think about it, there's a few others that come to mind - beryllium windows for x-rays, possibly cadmium or zirconium rods, molybdenum targets, etc.[/quote']


    I'm in York County - about 10 miles away from Jlab. The last unusual material, which wasn't directly for JLab, but which ended up there, was a super magnet. The company which was doing the experiment forgot to order one with a hole in it. You probably know those magnets are sintered, so they shouldn't be so difficult to cut - had we been able to get the chips out of the hole! I had never seen a "super magnet" before - you could not pick it up from magnetic material, I don't know how much strength it would take to make one release its hold on an iron table, but one of my employees who is a weight lifter, could not budge it. We had to slide it onto a piece of plastic.


    Anyway - when we tried to drill the hole the chips adhered to the inside of the hole as though the material had never been drilled. We asked the fellow how much it would cost to reorder the magnet with the hole, and based on the price, told him it would be more cost effective to do that. I'm sure we could have figured out something eventually, but not for $40 or $50.


    We use 17-4 as the main material for machines we build which repair high pressure steam valves in-line on nuclear vessels. It cuts reasonably well and does not change significantly after heat treating - therefore, you don't have to grind it.


    Another neat job we did was "pinger housings". Do you remember hearing that dolpins were used to find mines in the Red Sea? We built the metallic portion of the parts that trained them. The explosives were removed and parts that emitted a particular "ping" were substituted. The dolphins were trained to find them by the noise they emitted and then trained to recognisz the mines on sight.


    We also machine a large variety of machinable plastics. They are a clear thrill because the size changes substantially with temperature. Right now I am making parts that go in the shore power connection of submarines to seal the electrics from seawater when the sub is submerged.


    In what technologies does you lab specialize?

  7. I'll join in the welcome. I own a machine shop, & among other things, we make parts (usually one-offs) in support of experiments at Jefferson Lab's accelerator, and often have to machine unusual materials. I'll probably be calling on your expertise from time to time.

  8. Hey' date=' I apologize for being a grumpy ol fart.


    The archaic usage of the term 'screw gauge' (for a 'mic') is a remnant from Imperial terminology that still exists today in the UK and some of its erstwhile colonies, including right here in the US. Try asking some of the older machinists in your shop - they will remember the name.[/quote']


    No problem, you were right about the threads. I will ask Marion tomorrow. He is 80 and still works 32 hours a week. He is an honest to God toolmaker, and will be extraordinarily hard to replace. He says he has no plans for retirement. I wonder when mics were invented? I have my Great-great grandfather's American Machinists bound volumes from the 1880's and don't remember seeing any pictures of them there.

  9. I have never in my life heard a micrometer referred to as a "screw gage" and I grew up in a machine shop. Around here, we just call 'em "mics". (Pronouced "mikes".)


    I thought s/he must be talking about a thread gage, but I couldn't figure out why s/he was having trouble reading one, since no reading is involved, it either fits or it doesn't.


    Now that I have managed to get off on the wrong foot with you :embarass: - welcome. In what part of the world do you call a mic a "screw gage"? ;)

  10. http://www.wavy.com/Global/story.asp?S=3482974


    PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals), collected animals, promised to find homes for them, and instead euthanized them in the back of a van and dumped them in the dumpster belonging to a shopping center.




    If anyone here has been donating money to these "people", I hope you'll find a better cause.


    I think it is unfortunate that unwanted dogs and cats must be euthanized, but I understand that "we" can't allow them to breed out of control. I have a tremendous problem when the "holier than thou" PETA people collect money from the general public under the guise of treating animals humanely and promising to find homes for them and instead euthanize them in the back of a van and discard them in a dumpster.


    Any comments???

  11. Hi' date='

    I am currently having some problems in using a vernier callipers and screw gauge .I would appreciate a litle help in knowing how to calculate the measurement.


    yours truly[/quote']


    ... but were afraid to ask.


    Is it a dial caliper or a straight vernier? Is it metric or English measurement?

    Are the screws metric or english?


    This page shows how to read an English measurement caliper:



    Same for metric:



    Picture of different kinds of calipers - the digital one is self explanatory.




    Instruction for reading dial calipers - The scale is marked in inches and .1". One time around the dial is .1" You read the scale first, and then the dial. If the scale reads 2.3 and the dial reads "33" the measurement is 2.333"


    About screw threads both standard English and Metric threads are 60 degree V threads.


    In English, the first number is the major diameter (outside diameter measurement) of the thread and the second number is the number of threads per inch.


    For example, a 1/4-20 screw has a major diameter of 1/4 or .25 and there are 20 threads per inch. That is known as a "coarse" thread and is abreviated "UNC". A 1/4-28 thread has 28 threads per inch and is a "fine" thread, abbreviated "UNF". The "pitch" of the thread is the length of one thread. To arrive at that number you divide 1" by the number of threads per inch. The pitch of a 1/4-20 thread is .05"; the pitch of a 1/4-28 thread is .03571.


    Metric threads are designated a little differently, for example an M8 x 1 means that the major diameter is 8mm and the lenth of one thread is 1 mm. An M8 x 1.25 means the major diameter is 8mm and one thread is 1.25mm.


    The measurements are "theoretical sharp V". The actual measurement of the OD of the thread will be a little under the actual measurement to allow the screw to fit properly.


    The "minor diameter" of the thread is the diameter of the screw at the bottom of the thread. Unfortunately, I don't know how to put figures here, so I'll wing it. Your thread looks like this vvvvvvv except the the tops of the V is closed. As it is each triangle is a 60 deg. equilateral triangle. To find the minor diameter, you have to first bisect the angle to make a right triangle. The short side is 1/2 the pitch. The opposite angle is 30 degrees. You trig is out to get the dimension of the long side. Here's where is gets tricky - Because there are threads on both sides, you have to double the dimension of the long side and subtract it from the major diameter to find the minor diameter.


    When machinists talk about cutting something in a lathe, you will here them use the term "on a side" - when they say this they are talking about the radius of what they are cutting.


    Hope this helps.

  12. Kitty Litter was developed from a product used in machine shops and garages called "Oil Dry".


    Buy a big bag of the cheapest kitty litter you can find. Don't get the clumping kind. Pick a dry day and sprinkle it liberally on the spot. Use an old brush and scrub the oil dry into the stain so it will absorb the oil. If you have a shop vac, use that to get it up. If not, you'll have to resort to a broom and dustpan. If there is still oil on top of the concrete, repeat. There will probably still be a darkened area. Now you have to really apply elbow grease. You need something heavy and round - like a piece of round bar or heavy metal pipe. Use it like a rolling pin to grind the litter to a very fine powder (use a dust mask over your nose). Work the litter into the concrete and let it set awhile - this should remove almost all of the oil - you might see a faint stain. After that detergent and a scrub brush will remove the rest.

  13. A local T-shirt company can make one for you from your photo or copy.


    If you like geology, you could have


    "Geology rocks!"


    for math:


    "Math is sine language"

  14. One of the main differences between today's lizards and dinosaurs is how the legs are joined to the hip. Dinosaurs walked with their legs perpendicular to the ground. Crocodiles and most lizards walk with their legs almost parallel to the ground. It has to do with how the hip socket is formed.

  15. Could you clarify this? I know the oceans contain about 3.5% salt' date=' and was told it will get saltier as time passes because salt constantly enters the oceans and it does not "evaporate". I know you didn't mean it the way you stated, so what did you mean.






    Until Ophie gets around to a more detailed reply - look at the section on Oceanic - Continental Convergence.


    This is a subduction zone. When seawater becomes saturated with salt, the excess is precipitated into sediment. Where there are leading edge convergent boundaries - ie the northwestern coast of the United States and South America, the ocean bottom is subducted beneath the continental mass.


    When it descends to a certain depth, the water from the sediment changes to steam, which builds pressure and causes volcanoes to form a few miles inland. The Cascade Range and the Andes were formed as a result of this. A unique form of lava called "Andesite" erupts from these volcanoes.



  16. If both you and your wife sense the relationship is getting out of hand' date=' you are probably right.


    Something that Coquina did not mention in her description of a widow[er']'s physical loneliness, and that has obviously not occured to your and your wife is that you are safe.

    You are married, a friend of her late husband, and, most importantly, a continent away; she doesn't have to worry about falling into bed with you. So she is free to fantasize about it.


    Practical advice on how to remove the latent sexual component in the relationship: have your wife start talking to the widow. She should email her occasionally, ask how she is doing, what the hot new travelling exhibit currently on display in "Vancouver" is like, whatever. Give the widow a new contact, relieve your wife's sensation that she is excluded, deny your fantasy lover status.


    You are certainly right about that. I don't have any kids living at home, but Butch was loud and boistrous. The only thing he ever did quietly was to die.


    The silence and aloneness at night are the worst things. I used to go shopping at Walmart at 11pm just to be someplace where there were people.


    Late at night you get beset by the "what if's" and the "woulda, coulda, shoulda's".


    One other thing I should mention is that you often feel deserted by your old friends. Butch and I had a load of them. For a while, I continued to go to our club and meet with them. However, when I walked in the door, they got that "kicked puppy" look in their eyes. They missed him too, and I was a reminder. To them I will always be "Butch's widow", and not my own person.


    Your friend is going to have to make her own new life. It was one she was thrust into, and didn't chose. It's like being tossed out of a whitewater canoe with no life vest or helmet. You have to try to make shore without being sucked down by whirlpools or battered into rocks.


    As she meets new people, she will frequently be "hit on" by people who think she is an easy target. Friends will try to "fix her up" because they want to get her out of "5th wheel syndrome".


    In my case, I was married the first time when I was 17. I had never lived on my own - I was always, "somebody's daughter" or "somebody's wife". My mother died 6 months after my husband, so I suddenly found myself "nobody's nothing". At first, I was desperate to find someone. Then I came to the realization that I couldn't be someone else's partner until I learn who I am.


    Your friend is probably going through all of the above and more. For one thing, I can assure you that she dreads going to bed at night. Ain't nothing worse than sleeping single in a double bed when you're not used to it, especially with constant reminder of the empty side. I set a big nylon laundry bag on Butch's side of the bed, just so I don't see it empty.


    She may be trying to get a man's point of view from you. It is very difficult to contemplate dating after being with the same person for 31 years.


    I'm going to DC to see my daughter this afternoon and won't be back til Monday, so if you have comments, do be surprised if you don't get a response back right away.

  17. Sandi' date='


    A question for you. With your male friend, was their ever any discomfort for either party, or confusion, regarding the platonic nature of the friendship? On occasion my friend has emailed some considerations that make me wonder -- talking of her need for self-stimulation, really personal items of the sort (sometimes I think, well I know, she drinks too much and writes stuff she later regrets). Once or twice she mentioned meeting me if I were to visit anywhere near her hometown. I don't know what to make of it though, it could be that she sees me as "just one of the girls" or something. Historically she's had close friendships with other gents that were/are totally platonic so while the ego side of me of course almost wants to think one thing, the rational caring side is thinking "Good Jesus I hope not!".[/quote']


    One of the things that comes up very frequently on the widowed board is the issue of "skin hunger". When someone has been sexually active with someone they love, and that source of affection suddenly is gone, the body apparently doesn't have time to figure out what the mind knows.


    It is not uncommon for widowed people too drink to much. Many of us are given anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants, just so we can get through the early stages of grief. People still have to function during the day, if they expect to bring home a paycheck and take care of themselves and their kids. However, I think the combination makes the part of the brain that says "it's Ok to think that, but for God's sake don't tell anyone" go on holiday.


    I did talk some about things with my friend. I can remember telling him, "If anyone had told me six months ago that I would have to consider these thoughts, I would have laughed in their face. When I was in high school, my biggest fear was that indescretion would result in an unwanted pregnancy. I am beyond that now, but there are worse things out there. How does one deal with the health issues when one thinks things might be progressing to the next level?


    Of course, I grew up in a man's world, and am frequently more comfortable talking to men than I am with women. Perhaps she is the same.


    She desperately needs to talk to someone about these issues, you can listen, but it will be hard to offer advice, because believe me when I tell you, you can't begin to imagine what it is like to find yourself suddenly partnerless, and not of your own chosing.


    Widownet has been written up in several magazines and newspaper articles. You could always say that you heard or read about it somewhere, but don't remember where.


    I found it by googling "widow" and "grief", so it's not like it's hard to find.

  18. Theoretically' date=' what would the effects of an all-fresh-water world be, besides the obvious effects on aquatic life forms? How would the atmosphere be affected, and various other systems, be changed?


    As far as I can tell, the oceans:

    - Will be colder because salt water holds heat better

    - Will be harder to float in because of a lower TDS

    - Will be able to support larger creatures because of a higher DO content, since cold water holds oxygen better[/quote']


    Well - if the oceans were fresh, it is hard to imagine what the land would be like. I guess the continents would have to consist of a diamond hard, non-erodable material, since the saltiness of the oceans is derived from the material that is eroded into them by way of rivers and streams.

  19. As I was lying in bed' date=' I thought of this....Lets say some scientific satellite experiment in space went wrong and sent a human killing pulse thru the planet earth which killed [b']every single human[/b] on the planet. Not one was spared and humankind was 100% gone.


    Now we have a planet that has oceans, blue skys, beautiful sunsets, trees, animals, plant life, etc, but no humans.


    Since there are presently some 15 million to 100 million species on earth but only one species able to post this question, what do you think would be the chances of humans ever populating the planet again.




    I'd put my money on the dophins taking over. Maybe they would enslave the octopi - The dolphins have superior intelligence, but no method of building - the octopi have limited intelligence and 8 arms.

  20. Sandi' date='


    A q though: if you're friend had told you, say, 8 months into it, that the contact was bothering him and perhaps affecting his marriage, would this have been devastating to you? My wife as I mentioned wonders if my doing that would be a severe blow to this person who has had not one, but two great losses. Four if you count the other two.


    Thanks again,




    No - I don't think you have to be overt about distancing yourself from the relationship. Don't respond as often, and be brief in your communication. You don't have to explain everything chapter and verse, she will read between the lines.

  21. About 2 weeks after my husband died suddenly and unexpectedly, I attended my 35th high school reunion. It was the first "social" thing I had done, but old high school friends were coming from all over the country and I didn't want to miss seeing them.


    There was a guy there with whom I was a very close friend all the way through high school. He is married, but his wife didn't come to the function and we sat together and talked about what we had done. We had a similar common interest in boating and we both are small business owners.


    When the reunion was over, I had no idea that I would hear from him again, but the next day I got an email. (We had all received a program containing contact info for one another.)


    The bottom line was that we corresponded daily for almost a year. This guy literally saved my sanity. For one thing, I could discuss business problems with him, which I would have never done with my friends around here. For another, he used to be premed, and when my mom got a staph infection from hip replacement surgery, he made helpful suggestions about what to ask the docs.


    I still consider him one of my closest friends. I asked him how his wife felt about our correspondance, and he said she trusted him and viewed it as 2 old friends corresponding. There was never anything romantic between us in the least.


    Your widow friend is going through the most difficult time in her life. It is wonderful that you have been there for her. People always tell us "you are so strong". I don't know what they expect to see - perhaps wailing, tearing of hair, and rending of clothes. In the beginning we are numb, then we are broadsided with the knowledge that he ain't ever coming back, and if anything in our life is gonna get done, we are going to have to get off our dittyboxes and do it.


    As far as your marriage goes - take a lesson from us both - treasure what you have, it could be gone in a heartbeat. Never miss an opportunity to tell your wife how much you love her and how much she means to you. Most importantly of all "Don't sweat the small stuff." Realize, that given the perspective of a life ending circumstance, everything else is small.


    With regard to your widow friend - if you want to put her in touch with me, you're welcome to do so. Also, please let her know about an invaluable internet support group called "Widownet" - I hang out there when I'm not here. http://www.widownet.org/


    There is a really great forum set up similar to this one, and they have "get togethers" where members of the "involuntarily unspoused" can meet and share experiences. PM me is I can help more.

  22. Do you think mandatory country-of-origin label on goods are necessary? Mandatory country-of-origin labelling costs very much and there seems to be very few benefits.


    See http://www.countryoforiginlabel.org/overview.htm


    In the case of beef, I wouldn't want to buy it that originated in a country with a high incidence of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) - also some foreign countries are not as careful about cleanliness of food handling procedures. Food bourne illness can be devastating - I have a friend who suffered complete kidney failure from it. She will be on dialysis for the rest of her life.

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