atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#705: Just do the math...if you CAN

Los Angeles teachers were overpaid to the cumulative tune of $53,000,000. LA wants them to pay it back.

One teacher "...says she doubts she really was overpaid by $9,000. She says she's not paying a dime until they show her some proof."

Here's what you do.

Go get your paycheck stubs for the past 12 months. Since this is November, that will include the check stubs for December of last year. Now, find the December 2006 pay rate on those stubs.

Next, compare the pay rate on those stubs to the pay rate on the stubs for checks you've been issued since January. Note any differences. Multiply your hours worked on each stub by the December hourly rate and see if there is any difference between that number and the gross figure (not the take-home figure).

Oh, but wait. That's patriarchal math with a definite answer, and that's just unfair to people who just don't grasp numbers as well as others. You're a visual person, right? Who understands shapes and how they relate?

Then you've got no goddamned business teaching.

...besides, the silly cow probably doesn't keep her paycheck stubs.

* * *

Last year, 4,700 coal miners died in China.

Let me see, that would be approximately 4,640 more people than were killed by the Chernobyl disaster, ever. But nuclear power is dangerous!


There are a few problems with that argument, as good as it is. First off, this is China we're talking about. Communist countries are not well-known for their concern about the proles and working conditions usually vary from "sweatshop" to "slavery".

Let me put it this way: if there had been an Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the Soviet Union, it would have had to be about the size of the Red freaking Army to handle all the "safety issues". And considering that China can't even export non-poisonous toys I would not be surprised to learn that working conditions there weren't even as good as those in the Soviet Union.

The referenced article doesn't give figures for coal mining fatalities in the US. But figure that the US figure is one-twentieth of the Chinese figure; that would be 235 mining deaths in 2006--for one year, which is still almost four times the number of fatalities from Chernobyl since 1986. One-fortieth would be 118, which is nearly double the Chernobyl casualties since--get my point?

These are casualties for 2006. For one year. Not for two fricking decades.

Not to mention the fact that burning coal releases mercury and other heavy metals into the environment and more radioactivity than Three Mile Island ever released.

(Have I mentioned recently that a Chernobyl-style disaster is impossible in any commercial power plant in the US because no one in the free world uses Chernobyl-style reactors? Do I need to explain why, yet again?)

Let's add up all the coal mining fatalities since we started using it to generate electricity, and stack that against all the nuclear power plant fatalities ever. Then let's figure out how many tons of crap coal plants have dumped into the atmosphere, and compare that figure to how many tons of nuclear waste we've generated. Then tell me which method of generating power is cleaner and safer.

I issue this challenge because I'm confident that I already know the answer without even looking at any figures.

* * *

Anyone, by the way, who includes Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualties in those figures will receive a failing grade and a kick to the head. First, nuclear bombs are not commercial power plants; second, "nuclear power" does not equal "nuclear weapons" any more than "bottle rocket" equals "handgun". Both have the same technological infrastructure but are made for entirely different purposes and work in completely different ways.

Yes, understanding how to use gunpowder does allow you to make both bottle rockets and guns. Yes, understanding nuclear fission allows you to make both nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.

But that's as close as it gets.

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