"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Song of the Moment 

I just put the Scissor Sisters CD back into my player today, since I was in the mood for something cheery and fun. Unfortunately, "Return to Oz" was first on shuffle. I'd never paid it much mind before, but it's bloody brilliant. And definitely not cheery or fun. Oh well, it's a good song.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Take Warning 

A rare and nasty variant of chlamydia is spreading among gay and bisexual men in Europe, and is likely on its way to the US. It is curable, but could scar and is no fun to have anyways.
So boys, please play safe, and get regular check-ups.

Making Platypuses 

Or is it "platypii?" Either way, scientists have now found that these fantastic characters are even more fantastic than previously held: they have ten (10) sex chromosomes, by far the most of any known species. I'm mildly shocked that there hasn't been more research on the platypus, given how bizarre it is, since such aberrations can really prove enlightening as to how the rest of the system came about.

Duh! Du Jour 

Two bits caught my attention over the last few days of not blogging that easily qualify as good examples of wasting money researching the bloody obvious. First, British scientists have found strong evidence that smokers are at greater risk of developing asthma. Pardon me while my earth is not the least bit shaken by this news. Second, researchers have finally established that overworked, underslept doctors-in-training make more errors and provide less excellent care. You mean people who are in severe physical and mental distress (and malfunction) don't make the best decisions? Wow!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Remember Me? 

Yeah, so I was very ridiculously busy at a meeting for the Health Information Technology project I'm working on, so I missed BlogJam and have not posted. I'm more annoyed about the former, of course, but it also leaves a fair backlog on the latter. So, here's a bunch of stuff relating to memory.

Drinking tea may help boost your memory, and also stave off Alzheimer's Disease. Green tea seems to work better than black but both do something. I question this research, given how much tea I drink and how crappy my memory is.

Testosterone deprivation appears to severely inhibit verbal memory in men. I wonder if it works in women too (since they generally have less testosterone than men but also better verbal abilities), and if increased Testosterone would improve memory?

Stressing over some things may be better than stressing over others. Stress improves recall of memorized items, it hurts complex problem solving performance. So, figure out what kind of test you're cramming for before getting stressed!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

National Eating Disorder 

I've posted quite a bit about obesity and weight loss and dieting, and have been meaning to link this article for some time.

I'm crazy busy at work today, so I'm leaving the discussion to my fair readers (unlike some bloggers, I know my readers are every bit as brilliant and sexy as I am).

The Daily Grind... 

A new study indicates that a warmer workplace improves office workers' productivity and efficiency. This could be a big deal, if people take notice (and if it's true). I like my office cold, as being warm makes me sleepy, so who knows?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sage Advice 

From Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men...thanks to Kevin for reminding me.

"Are you listening?"
"Yes," said Tiffany.
"Good. Now ... if you trust in yourself ..."
"... and believe in your dreams ..."
"... and follow your star.. ." Miss Tick went on.
"... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Good-bye."

Disparity of Care 

So, as the country panics about the lack of flu vaccine, our Congresscritters have a dedicated supply, and are being encouraged to take the shots, even if they are young and healthy. While this should come as no surprise, in that those in power tend not to lack things their subjects may lack, it's pretty flagrant and disgusting. Especially when you consider that the flu vaccine is of limited utility in the first place, even amongst 'high-risk' populations.

Also, how many people are clamoring to get these shots now, who never even thought about getting one before there was this shortage media-frenzy? Probably quite a few.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Motivation and Doubt 

Another must-read from Teresa Nielsen Hayden. It's a brilliant analysis of what kind of personality one must be to believe so wholly in oneself, and the consequences when one is a leader, or an author.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Parody of the Year 

Probably not safe for work: you'll schnarff your coffee. Here.


Pros, Cons, and Evidence 

I keep saying we need decent, affordable healthcare. We can afford it, and we could do it, if only people weren't to bloody stupid. I also say we need to have legal recognition of gay men and lesbians' committed relationships, as we do for the straights.

There's plenty of room to debate on the former issue, but frankly there is none on the latter: if you think gay couples should not be afforded equal rights, please close your browser window, turn off the lights, lock your doors, close the blinds...maybe you can avoid suffocating on your on arrogant self-righteous pseudo-piety for a little while longer. There are no sensible arguments against it, they all boil down to bigotry (and yes, religion can and does promote bigotry too).

These two items intersect, now and again: 76 percent of straight Indiana men would get a civil union with another man if it meant he could have health benefits. Now, someone is gonna say, 'but that's the kind of abuse to the system we're trying to avoid by banning gay marriage!' Yes. And it is why actual, equal, real marriage is preferable to stupid civil unions. Straight people have sham marriages all the time, I had very good friends in college who married for financial reasons, and it worked out brilliantly for them (as far as I know). If you have to go through the rigmarole of marriage licenses, divorce proceedings, etc., you're less likely (unless you're a celebrity)
to go through the hassle.

Unless your health is at risk. People will do a lot of things to keep themselves healthy (or to perceive themselves as doing so). Demand for healthcare is pretty inelastic (3-5% based on recent studies we've done). Don't want people getting sham marriages for healthcare? Give them decent options.


UPDATE: It's been pointed out that the Hoosier Gazette is a parody site. Doesn't matter. My above statements still stand, because I know people in real life who've done similar things.

Nerd of the Week 4 

The author of this article. The topic fascinating: can you measure cool? Where does it live in our brains? But Kahn gets the prize this week, not the scientist, because she points out how ridiculously flawed his methodology is. He doesn't identify himself as a scientist, which may explain it (why the &*%$! are we letting non-scientists use fMRIs?? Those toys ought to be reserved for people who have a clue).

Aside from the arbitrariness of his interpretations, the methodological issue that struck me was: of course her and Ms. Asp's scans are lighting up: they're fixated on it, they yearn for "cool," they think about it the whole time. He doesn't. He's an outlier. It's his toy. This could have been a really cool experiment, if done properly. With this crap, he won't even get rich on marketing potential.

Kudos for Ms. Kahn, for going through it, and beating the Cool Police.

Sensible Lobby 

Societies on both sides of the Atlantic have just announced policies that are both sensible, and very much in contradiction to what the [ever-unsensible] Bush administration would like. The American Medical Association, generally known as a conservative voice, has come out in favor of Democratic legislation that would give the government the ability to negotiate for better prices from drug companies under the new Medicare law (hat tip: Graham). Now, to be honest, I can't see how anyone who isn't in the employ of a drug company can be against this. The VA system does it already, and the market hasn't collapsed. The Republicans scream "socialism!" and "price-fixing!" to scare people away from what they know is the right/sensible/intelligent thing to do. People talk about letting the free market 'do its job,' but frankly that's what got us into this mess to begin with. The 'free market' doesn't work when demand is so totally inelastic.

Across the pond, the Royal Society has called for the UN to ignore Bush's call to ban all cloning. Good for them. The ban is bloody stupid, and a base attempt to feed on the population's fear and ignorance for votes.

Slime and Ocean Spray  

The slippery mucus that covers a fish's skin may prove to be a source of new antibiotics. The layer protects fish from water-bourne bacteria, and scientists are looking into what chemicals are involved, and if they might be medically active.

Cranberries have long been used as a complementary treatment for bladder and digestive disorders, particularly infections, but now it seems that they may help take on a much nastier foe: genital herpes. The results are preliminary and only in vitro, but if it leads to better management of the virus (which a appalling number of people don't know they have), that'll be good.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Early Blowoff 

Despite the music not being so hot, Blowoff was a lot of fun. The notorious shirt exchange happened, and while I'm still a bit confused as to why it was so amusing, it really is. Plus dancing with the boys. But sadly, I had to leave early, because I've now been at work for a while, and got here ridiculously early. And this report is still failing to write itself.

Early Morning 

Despite the music not being so hot, Blowoff was a lot of fun. The notorious shirt exchange happened, and while I'm still a bit confused as to why it was so amusing, it really is. Plus dancing with the boys. It definitely sounds as though I missed some real fun in the end! But sadly, I had to leave early, because I've now been at work for a while, and got here ridiculously early. And this report is still failing to write itself.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Drunk Blogging 

Is a bad idea. Just fyi. Drunken card games, while the best kind, are also not a god idea. Luckily it's not real money. Portabella is a great fucking band....I can't wait for the album. Now I'm off to BLowoff. is that a circular sentance??

Friday, October 15, 2004

...Pants on Fire 

Did you know that the word 'gullible' isn't in the dictionary? I swear, go look it up. Some people are gullible, others seem to be able to see through lies with ease. Now, researchers are testing these living lie detectors, to see if they can help police and other officials be better at it too. Thing is, I really doubt that it's an ability you could teach...it probably has a lot to do with good hearing, vision, attentiveness, and generally being 'in synch' with your surroundings.

Another thing that may burn you in the pants region is an STD, like AIDS. Now, a topical solution has been developed which seems to block HIV infection via mucosal membranes in female monkeys. This is a very promising step, as a lube-type product should be relatively easy to get people to start using, and even if not anywhere near 100% effective, every little bit helps (said the old woman who pissed in the sea).

Great New Excuses 

Caught on the D-L? Your significant other not down with OPP? You have a new excuse: Sleep Sex! That's right, researchers in Australia (of course) have documented cases where people who don't get REM immobilization, get up, leave the house, and sleep with people both literally and figuratively.

What I want to know is: how do they find partners? I mean, I know straight guys will f*ck just about anything, but are you serious?!?!? Maybe there's a telepathic sleep-sex connection, and people who are in that realm just know how to find each other. There's so much material here I can't even think where to start.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Leave it To the Church 

To condemn anything. After millennia of bashing sex as the greatest evil, church groups have a new foe: "asexuals," that is, people who naturally have no interest in sex. A minor bit in the story, but one that really struck me: how f**ked up is that?!?!?!

But yes, the asexuals are coming out. I won't say it. I swear I won't. You all know what a biology type like me must be thinking. I'm gonna restrain myself.

Ok, I restrained myself. I never said I'd do it for long. How ridiculous a label is that?! They are not asexual, unless they actually have no, err, naughty bits. They may be uninterested in sex, but that doesn't mean they haven't one. I think "Platonics" would be a much better name. It has nothing to do with gender, and it excludes the act of sex.

The media, of course, is eating it up.

Meet The Neighbors 

Please welcome two new additions to the link list: Reynolds' Random Reality, a Brit who reminds me how much fun EMT can be and also why I stopped doing it; and Brechi, because he's a fun read.

Dirty North 

The October issue of Mens Health lists the cities it thinks are the worst for STD's, based on 2002 census data for gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. Detroit falls at the bottom, as the nastiest place to screw. Sorry Bal'mer, you've apparently lost that title.

While this is sad for anyone stuck living in (former?) Motor City, what really strikes me about the article is its semi-ridiculous indignant tone, especially in its central quote, where a Public Health Official says:
No one's on the street saying 'Gee whiz, what do you think about this?'
You know why no one is on the street saying that, Dr. Maseru? Because even in Pleasantville they'd kick your ass for saying "Gee whiz, what do you think about this?" Also, the DPH contradicts itself at the end of the article when another official says it's a good thing for people to be talking about it.


Round bacteria cultures are so 20th century. Those always-trendy scientists have finally figured out how to grow square bacteria in culture. This highly halophilic critter should provide all kinds of interesting information.

In the Ear 

Scientists have discovered what seems to be the mechanism for signal transduction in the ear. Signal transduction, that is, how stimuli, like sound or light or neurotransmitters, get translated into the nerve impulses your brain uses to do its job, lies really at the heart of neuroscience. Learning the mechanisms of signal transduction are crucial to understanding how we perceive the universe, and how we can treat various disorders, deficits and diseases. (Editorial note: "transducer" is a noun; the hairs in your inner ear transduce waves into electrical impulses.)

The bad news is, even though using a cell phone for less than ten years doesn't cause cancer, using one for more than ten years does. I'm looking forward to my new dentate.

More Hydrogen 

Not to be smug (well, not terribly), but I told you so. A hydrogen energy economy is far off, if not infeasible, for essentially the same reasons I've discussed before. The amount of hydrogen needed to fuel a significant portion (let alone all) of our needs is just staggering, and producing it is impractical and inefficient.

So, we need a different solution to our energy woes. I'm a big fan of hybrid power: combine solar, wind, nuclear and yes, fossil fuel technologies to produce energy more efficiently. They key is efficiency.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

More Gays!!! 

[Retrospective] Gay Penguin For America. Wouldn't have been worse than Dubya.

(via Ernie)

Phonemes Don't Lie 

After this morning's Big Gay Post, more gay science news (hat tip to Cory). Acoustic researchers have found that there does in fact seem to be a 'gay accent,' but contrary to what many would presume, it does not appear to involve a feminization of gay mens' speech or a masculinization of lesbians' speech.

This is really a fascinating idea, not only in light of the other research on the biological (or other) homosexuality. Maybe gaydar is just a heightened ability to pick up on these subtle linguistic shifts ... doesn't make much/any sense, in terms of evolutionary genetics, but it's possible.

Does anyone happen to have full-text access (and can send me a copy), since I also wonder if socio-cultural effects were controlled here.


Kinda like QOTW, but this is a Phrase, and while also a quote, it's somehow different. The Lady Nielsen Hayden is well known for her turns of phrase, but this one really is special:
...Fractal with lacunae...
Really a lovely way of saying something not very nice, which is one of my favorite linguistic arts.

My Big Gay X 

Yet another study has found male homosexuality to be linked to the X chromosome, but this time with an extra interesting twist: whatever gene or factor it is also confers increased fertility to the mother. They found that female relatives on the mother's side of gay men had more children on average than the female relatives of straight men.

Bear in mind: a genetic link does not mean that being gay is 100% genetic. It almost certainly isn't. But it is probably something that's built in to genes, meaning they have the capacity for it, but need environmental factors to activate them. These could be gestational environment (hormone levels, stress, nutrition, infection), they could be parenting styles, home environment, exposure to radioactive waste, whatever.

You could count on two hands the number of traits that are purely, 100% due to "nature" or "nurture," independent of the other.
Off the top of my head:
100% Nature -
Hair color (without dye)
Huntington's Disease
Cystic fibrosis
Tay Sachs
Color blindness

100% Nurture -
Religion (which one)
Language (which one)
Political affiliation

More Bullshit 

So the Washington Post has finally decided to call Bush on something: his current healthcare ads are full of unsubstantiated claims and outright lies. Now if only it wasn't buried in the middle and full of apologetic (to the RNC) language. And if only the rest of the media would pick up on it.

Because while I don't think Kerry's plan is perfect, it is pretty good, and infinitely better than the Bush one, which will just give money to pharmaceutical and insurance companies straight out of our ("our" meaning anyone earning less than $200,000 per year) pockets. And, if the Medicare Modernization Act is any indication, a Bush plan will make things worse, especially in terms of choices and creating a sustainable health system.

The big criticism of Kerry's plan is that it will cost a ton. Well, duh-uh. Healthcare, even without today's overinflated prices, is expensive. The trick, that the BushCo and also even many more reasonable conservatives either refuse to realize or simply don't know, is that We're. Already. Paying for it. We spend two to three times (in terms of total percent GDP) what places like France and Britain and Canada pay for their universal healthcare systems. Moving to a nationalized plan, like Kerry's, just means we pay our healthcare by way of the government, not directly to insurance companies. (his plan does NOT nationalize insurance, it keeps the private system we already have for FEHBP and Medicare)

A universal health plan will cost less, in real terms, than what we have now, because it not only reduces costs (via a healthier population and single administrative system, plus taking over the duties of and consolidating existing programs like Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP)

See here for a simplified explanation of why a single-payer plan (again, not what Kerry has in mind, but his plan is in that direction).

< /rant du jour >

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Not News 

In news that should not surprise anyone who's been paying attention, not to mention just plain paying, drug companies spend more money on stock dividends and buybacks than on R+D. This is not as appalling as the fact that they spend more on advertising than on R+D, but considering their relatively poor stock performance of late, it's pretty bad.

Grand Rounds 

I have nothing interesting to say today. Go read Grand Rounds #3 over at Kevin, M.D.'s place.
Warning: you might learn something.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Revisiting Old Ideas 

There's an annoyingly persistent myth that we only use 10% of our brain's capacity. It is, of course, not true. However, just what we do with all our brains' enormous power is almost totally unknown. A new study published in Nature doesn't really answer any questions, but poses a number of very interesting new ones. Researchers found that in adult ferrets, visual cortex activation closely mirrors visual input, and is 80% active even in a darkened (no visual input) room. In young ferrets, they observed neither a correlation of imagery to activation nor the idle activation in a dark room. Do infants really perceive reality in a totally different way than adults?

Less interestingly but still amusing, Kentucky researchers have found that women appear to be better at handling their liquor than men. We clearly have a few good exceptions to prove the rule.

Emailing Tokyo 

So last night was Taint. Jeff and I arrived early (as I do not have today off, boo-hoo), and got right into it. The music was brilliant (as always), and later on we ran into all of the boys on the dancefloor.

I think the absolute ... err ... highlight ... of the evening was "Le BFK," the band who performed around 11. Billed as "a paramilitary synth trash terrorism cell," the band consisted of, as far as I could tell: an out-of-costume drag queen; possibly a guitarist; a very cute DJ; and, where most bands would have backup dancers, this band had backup posers. Yes, backup posers: two very skinny boys with excessive cheekbones posing and radiating attitude. Their music sucked, but the show was a riot, and there was much laughter.

I just wish this event was not on Sunday night, as right now the contracts on my desk are a bit too blurry for my own good.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Retrospective Meme 

Via Kyle, an exercise in possible futility:

10 years ago today, I would have been...

1. 14 years old
2. Hating and avoiding school, discovering photography and swimming.
3. Still thinking too much about the past year: A., Wisp, explosives?

5 years ago today, I would have been...

1. Starting sophomore year, loving it.
2. Trying to push away from D.
3. Looking forward to Strasbourg.

3 years ago today, I would have...

1. Started to realise that as interconnected as orgo and molecular bio are, taking them together was stupid.
2. Been wondering what happened with A (#2) and what's going to happen with A (#3).
3. Been learning to make a killer pecan pie.

1 year ago today, I...

1. Was unemployed.
2. Had gotten way too involved with a certain Italy-bound art historian/law student.
3. Had just purchased "Eternal Youth" and "Finisterre," which are still in heavy rotation.

So far this year, I have...

1. Discovered that I can love work.
2. Realised that I can do better.
3. Had more fun because I stopped trying.

Yesterday, I...

1. Spent way too much time on the Metro.
2. Wished that there were decent condos in my neighborhood for less than $250k.
3. Went to a surprisingly fun office party.

Today, I...

1. Went to the grocery store.
2. Want to be outside.
3. Plan to go to Taint with whomever feels like it.

Tomorrow, I...

1. Will work all day, possibly longer.
2. Hope something wonderful will happen.
3. Might go see Paul's show, or maybe catch up on sleep.

The world is a disco ball. And we're tiny mirrors one and all;
remember, when you feel very small: the world is a disco ball.
(S. Merrit)

Friday, October 08, 2004


Want. Now!


While it does make me happy to see this kind of thing published outside of The Onion, that is really where this belongs. Some guy has proposed Political Apathy Disorder to be added as a new diagnostic category to the DSM.

Now, I fully agree that people who don't make themselves at least passably aware of the world at large (including politics) are guilty of glaring stupidity, it's not a bloody disorder. Politics itself is more likely a disorder: it certainly leads to distress, pain, increased risk of suffering or death, and most clearly to a loss of freedom.

Semi-related background music: "Oh Bondage, Up yours!"

Revising Old Ideas 

Contrary to traditional views, more intensive care isn't always a good thing, according to new studies. Not surprising, as the article explains, due to the increased opportunities for errors and accidents, not to mention the added stress (which impedes healing) of being in the ICU.

And, the long-standing tradition of giving steroids to head injury patients (thinking that they would help reduce swelling) has shown to be harmful, rather than helpful. This does make some sense, in that healing from head injuries involves a natural boost in estrogen levels. Estrogen being a steroid itself, and interacting strongly with/regulating other steroids (including testosterone, cortisol, etc). So, this is a pretty pickle, I guess!


I've been using Mozilla for years, and when Firefox came out, I jumped right on it. Today has given me yet more reasons to love it.

This morning, I began the task of searching the NIH grantee database for a list of grant applications. This involved entering the first and last names of each PI, and then (if more than one result occurs) picking the right one based on the grant number, and then copy-pasting the abstract info into Word. And repeating, about 150 times. On Firefox (currently calling itself, on my system, "Mozilla Moonpossum"), using the autofill feature for search boxes (people's first names are wonderfully repetitive), tabbed browsing, and of course my speedy mouse-gesture navigation, I finished in about 100 minutes.

Plus, it blocks all the annoying popups, and launches much faster than IE. It's also free, and a small download. You should go give it a try.

More Bad Demographic News 

Gay marriage bans appear to harm black and interracial couples more than white couples. This is not surprising, for all the reasons listed in the article, but still disturbing. Maybe this will get the black community at-large off its collective hypocritical ass to help out with this current (and other future) bouts of the struggle for civil rights. (I can dream, right?)

Cost Cutting? 

I've written before about the hazards of patient populations skimping on their care/meds/etc. A new study just published gives some even scarier numbers: among older adults, 18% with chronic conditions skip some of their meds because of out-of-pocket cost pressures, and 14% do so at least every month.

It's not discussed directly, but the costs of this, in terms of peoples' health and quality of life, and also in terms of impact on the rest of us, has got to be tremendous. These people are sicker, which means they can't be as productive (many are still working), their medical bills are likely to be higher (which means Medicare or insurers have to pay more, raising premiums), and this will all take serious tolls on their families.

We need serious healthcare reform. Now.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Next Step 

I wrote yesterday about the inherent problems of hydrogen-fuelled cars. Today, I see an article that really ought to have made more national headlines, but addresses (partially) some of my concerns.

This truck is an interesting proof-of-concept, as if something slapped together by hobbyists can fuel itself a few miles at a time, one hopes that, say NASA, can do an order of magnitude (or two) better. And as solar panels and hydrogen cells get become smaller and more efficient, the idea comes closer to reality.

As the first idea that popped into my head, that it could produce hydrogen all the time, even when parked, and so store up for longer trips, I remembered problem number three: hydrogen is tricky to store. And driving around with big (even petrol-size, 21 gallons) tanks of H2 just doesn't seem like a good idea, for crash (and pothole)-prone autos. Time will tell.

Nerd of the Week, Part 3 

This week's winner is more of a conceptual winner, and there may be some circular name-calling going on.
That being said, the winner of this week's prize is a new blog: Dork City, for outstanding idea propagating ridiculous, unnecessary geekiness on the web.

Not a Hallmark© Moment 

A San Francisco company has developed e-cards you can send to your tricks to let them know you
... wait for it ...
have a disease and they may too. Precious.

Good Idea, Bad Idea 

Good Idea: a hand-held voice translator. This is a damn cool toy, or at least will be when perfected...it may however render useless my foreign language habit. Oh well.

Bad Idea: resurrecting the 1918 flu. This is the virus that killed about 50 million people. The next story I hear about this work had better involve the sentence "a vaccine has been developed."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


China has set up a monument to honor thirty-eight (38) rhesus monkeys who died in SARS research. No word on the monument to (how many is it?) the people who died from the disease due to Beijing's sluggish response. Maybe the monument is more by way of setting up the monkeys as Good Comrades?

Head Trip 

Oh dear. This is very, very fun.


False Hopes 

The promise of hydrogen fuel is one that many people keep touting as the way of the future. And new breakthroughs in fuel cell technology continue. However, no one likes to talk about the bigger question: where do you get the hydrogen? It's expensive (in terms of energy needed) to produce, and difficult to store/transport.

That will be the measure of a true hydrogen fuel cell breakthrough: when it's enough to get people thinking about where to get hydrogen.


I used to have to keep my clothing and gadget habits separate, but it looks like this could change: British researchers and designers have developed a clothing material that adjusts to keep you cool! I'm so buying.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Clever Pup 

Dogs have had a pretty good year for proving their brilliance. Now, an inmate of a London kennel has been found to be freeing himself and his buddies. I've not seen any previous research into canine social networks, outside of the "pack" in wolves, I wonder if this kind of friend-preference gets seen a lot? My dogs have always been pretty much indifferent to others say, at the park.

Monday, October 04, 2004

More Idiocy 

Big week for damnfools. Now we learn that TV viewers can't distinguish entertainment TV from politics. Watching NYPD Blue and other shows seem to color subjects views on all sorts of important stuff. Not that this comes as a surprise, but uggh. Sometimes reality sucks so much!


An Apple A Day 

May also make you stronger and reduce organ fat. I'm not really sure what the significance of organ fat is, as opposed to regular fat (I know what it is, anatomically, but why is it separate from regular fat in terms of fat loss?), but I'm guessing it's a good thing to reduce, and certainly increasing muscle mass is good (since the creatine isn't working!).

Friday, October 01, 2004

Funniest. Post. Ever!!!! 

If you all don’t lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes.
Absolute, total genius. This girl needs a prize, of some sort. If only I'd thought of it back in the days of my 45-minute H2-Brookland commute, which was often adorned by various "preacher ladies." And at least three paranoid schizophrenics.


Tourists are flocking to Mt. St. Helens. Because they are stupid. A 28-year-old woman and her husband came down to "spend the day hoping for an eruption -- just not a big one." Not that I really want people to die horribly, not at all, but please, God, make it a BIG ONE!!!! Or, preferably, a number of very small ones that kill only volca-tourists.

Related meme: my friend Beth has a word for these people. It is "touron" (tourist + moron - istmo). I think it fits.


As others have pointed out, the weather today and that predicted for Sunday are, in a word, perfect. It's cool, sunny, not too humid, and there's a breeze. I'm happiest between 18/64° and 22/72° (C/F), which I'm told is colder than many people like, but I guess I'm just a bit odd like that. Cool like that, even.

Having spent all day today inside, I hope that Sunday brings all sorts of outdoor activities. Because it won't be this nice for long.

Esteemed Research 

The 2004 IgNobel Prizes were awarded last night at Harvard University.
The prize in Medicine went to a study confirming what we all should have known, that country music is linked to suicide; farting fish; invisible gorillas; and the patenting of the combover. This is the kind of stuff I love...clearly I should have watched this ceremony last night instead of that other one.

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