Friday, March 25, 2005
In most European countries, you have to have anti-glare lenses to get a drivers license. For instance, in Japan, 28% of eyeglass wearers use anti-glare lenses.This lead me to two conclusions: first, the people in charge of marketing for Hour Eyes failed 1st grade geography; and second, I now know I have at least one thing in common with 72% of the Japanese population, which is that I did not buy anti-glare lenses.
I suppose it's good to know I have something in common with them, besides an appreciation of raw fish on top of rice, since I am about to spend the next two weeks living among them. I'm going on vacation. No science for two weeks. None!!! Au revoir.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
The researchers found that expenditures for juvenile justice, the child welfare system and inpatient mental health systems were all higher in the non-system-of-care community.All I can say is that, well, at least now there might be a minute change these programs will get more serious funding. It's equally plausible that OJ is innocent and Terri Schiavo might recover.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
> From: "Pete Reilly"
> Subject: The new ganaration of repliccas is here
> Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 09:39:14 -0700
> The new craze is finnally here - one of the bast
> sites that can give you the things you've allways
> wanted to get - watchees, repliccas to be correct,
> of the bast brand s in the world! Impress you're
> with tag heur, roleex, and more. You naame it - We
> got it for you!
> mmmmm show me more
> but i for one offer you my greatest extension of
> gratitude for what you have done for this one.
> these norplant proposals aimed at poor african
> american women are based upon the concept that poor
> black women are deviant and thus less deserving of
> motherhood than white women.
> adoptable cats and kittens the event will offer
> feline seminars talks by leading.
> i m wondering if maybe it was part of suzyhart s
> post as i recall she posted under anonymous with
> her signature at the end i could be wrong but that
> s my best guess.
> dhani s last comment in the piece was i think this
> music has to be heard and i m not saying it s gonna
> like change your life or anything but it definitely
> changed mine.
> jeff não a viagem foi ótima e seu irmão e a noiva
> dele foram muito simpáticos em me buscar na estação.
> major changes by introducing error into christian
> teachings and christians are wondering and
> questioning quot what is going on? quot discernment
> of error is critical discernment conferences are.
> unfortunately i had to work that day so i couldn t
> attend the pre-party dinner gethering but i m so
> happy that you all had a wonderful time at it .
> asians tend to have lower overall cholesterol levels
> and lower incidence of coronary heart disease than
> whites but coronary heart disease is still the
> leading cause of death for all asian americans.
> so we had a cuppa tea and quot right quot said fred
> quot give a shout for charlie but it did no good
> well i never thought it would quot all right quot
> said fred.
> steve i have just logged onto your site the best
> beatles site on the web - by far!!! after being at
> the cavern last night myself.
> so that s my personal encounter with wes no real
> connection but glad to have some contact with a
> person i admire so much.
> this guy is one of my absolute heroes he plays
> really awesome ambient music on his pedal guitars
> zithers and is known for his beautiful-sounding
> homemade metal percussion instruments.
> our tax dollars would be better served in promoting
> the creation of more high speed trains which would
> decrease the need for travelers to use short costly
> noisy commuter flights.
> hagrid fez menção de nos separar mas lembro-se que
> dumbledore o pedira para me acompanhar em um
> encontro e não para me atrapalhar recuou e ficou
> observando após um certo tempo ele me soltou.
> slavery segregation and racism nbsp trusting the
> health care system ain t always easy! nbsp an
> african american perspective on bioethics.
> deborah prothrow-stith m d deadly consequences quot
> an american tragedy quot nbsp.
> he he he he he everybody is writing so do i thank
> you guy xi gwe you are doing a good job thun thun
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
A new study from Cardiff University examines scent peptides released by males which boost (or bust) their attractiveness to females. That this happens isn't news, but identifying the specific molecules involved, rather than just calling them mysterious pheromones, is a step.
A Cornell University professor has written a new book, in which he claims that (a) teenagers don't link their sexuality to their identity, and that (b) gay adolescents will, in the near future, stop needing or wanting to identify themselves as 'gay.'
I haven't read the book, but for any number of reasons these hypotheses strike me as either stunningly naive, or outright daft. First off, people often say they've 'experimented' (stupid term...where can I read their lab reports?) with homosexuality, but don't consider themselves gay because they're not ready to take that step - this is especially common in young people. Secondly, teenagers don't generally talk about their "identities" the way academics and political activists do - they're too busy being teased or bullied or stuffing nerds into lockers. Also, is anyone else bothered by an obviously-older-than-thirty professor being called an "expert on teenage sexuality?" Sounds dirty to me, or at least of dubious legality.
Monday, March 21, 2005
In an essay in the open journal, PLoS: Biology, a senior member of the Wellcome Trust, Robert Terry, announced that all research funded by the Trust (one of the world's largest funding sources), will be required to make their publications freely available on a website analogous to the NLM's PubMed Central.
This is HUGE. Regulars here have noticed how I often link to abstracts (or worse yet, press releases) instead of original articles; this is because these days you have to pay very steep subscription fees to access almost all scientific journals. Even when I have access to things from my own or work subscriptions, I know most other people don't...if this kind of open access becomes more common (and, eventually, the standard), that will change. More importantly though, the entire nature of scientific research will change: not only will it open doors for amateurs and interested, non-professional parties to learn about new discoveries, it will also allow researchers to spend scarce funds on other things, and, most intriguingly, allow for more real-time publication of findings, and quicker turnaround in follow-up.
There will be downsides too: more research will get published, and we'll have to spend more time weeding through things we don't want. Unscrupulous researchers will find ways to peddle their wares in the new system just as they have in the old (the lag time, before that happens, however, could prove interesting). Overall, I am extremely pleased with this result, and hope others soon follow suit.
"If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling, it
would rather be a man -- a man of restless and versatile intellect --
who, not content with an equivocal success in his own sphere of
activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real
acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric, and
distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by
eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice."
- T.H. Huxley
Friday, March 18, 2005
UCLA researchers have identified two compounds which seem to boost immune cells' ability to suppress HIV. Every little bit helps.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Also on the list is the placebo effect, both a useful tool and an annoyance for researchers in the medical realm, and the strange dilution effects seen in examinations of homeopathics. It's not mentioned, but the big scandal on that topic is, of course, the idea of "water memory."
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Yesterday morning I got a surprise in my inbox: a near-final manuscript of the paper on the work I did all those years ago,
Reduced density of cholinergic interneurons in the ventral striatum in schizophrenia: an in situ hybridization study.I had a few parts in the experiment. The first was doing in situ hybridizations on neuroleptic-treated rats, which we used to control for treatment effects on the schizophrenic human brains. When you're looking for the basic pathophysiology of a condition, the part that's inherent to the disease, it's important to make sure there are as few competing variables as possible. Since almost any diagnosed schizophrenic has been medicated at some point before they die, we wanted to be sure that any changes we found in their brains were due to the disease, not to the treatment. So, we treated rats with common antipsychotic medication, and then examined their brains the same way we did the humans'...and found that there was no drug effect on our target. Yay. I also assisted in analyzing the results of the hybridizations on human samples: counting silver-stained mRNA strands under a microscope. Very tedious, but interesting nonetheless. And now (finally) getting published!
The synchronicity bit comes because yesterday evening, I went to the comedy open-mic at SoHo, where the show was made very interesting by some crazy guy talking nonsense and harassing the performers, many of whom took the opportunity to liven up their sets by making fun of him, and some of whom eventually tired of his antics and kicked his ass out the door.
So, my day began and ended with crazy people.
Monday, March 14, 2005
| Bacardi 151 |
Congratulations! You're 141 proof, with specific scores in beer (60) , wine (150), and liquor (95).
All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high
that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure,
you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to
the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is
| My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender: |
|Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid|
Friday, March 11, 2005
Without more details, I immediately wonder if the participating schools weren't also participating in other efforts, or making other simultaneous changes, which might skew the result. But even in that case, it's clear that healthier kids make better students.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Also, a quick side note. It should be obvious that I think the drug laws and policies are, at best, stupid, and more realistically, very harmful. But (yet) another argument against them is that they don't make economic sense: not only do we spend trillions of dollars a year fighting "The War on Drugs," but we also lose all of the economic activity that goes on in the black market. If drugs were legal, you could tax their development, production, and sale. The transactions on the black market are essentially a black hole: it involves exchanges of goods/money between two individuals, and does not really result in a net gain (or loss) to society and the wider economy. Plug all that back into the economy, and we could have tax cuts and social security!
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Not to be put off, I took the test. My results came up strongly in the "female" direction, despite my rather obvious, uhm, maleness. I scored poorly on the 3-D rotation task because I ran out of time...a proper test would control for that. The finger length bit is deceptive - the scores are referred to an absolute average, but of course no one but politicians uses an absolute average for anything. Most interesting was my dichotomy on the emotion-versus-systemizing bit: I scored heavily female on empathy, and heavily male on systematizing. My conclusion from this little experiment is: our brains' "sex ID" is a range of things, and no one fits the profiles perfectly.
*Note: By "pre-coffee" I actually mean "between cups," but the first has worn off so it's all the same thing.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
They're addressing another part of the problem, that beer is usually served in larger quantities than other drinks, by serving in new "long-stemmed, third-of-a-pint" glasses. Because everyone knows that women love anything "long-stemmed," and also they have superior verbal ability so as to not feel stupid ordering "a third of a pint." It just doesn't roll off my tongue the same way, but that could be my male non-verbalness.
One question: will a third of a pint of my
But will my uncontrollable giggle fits really save me from my love of red meat?
Monday, March 07, 2005
I wholly approve of technology being used to prevent torture. If only our government weren't so inclined to the contrary.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
To be, or not to be?
What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Fast forward to today, when scientists have found that a lower 2D:4D ratio (and thus higher androgen exposure) correlates to more aggressive behavior. This doesn't fit with stereotypes of gay men, but does with stereotypes of lesbians. It is interesting to note that gestational testosterone levels do tend to increase down the birth order (higher for younger siblings), as do homosexuality and some forms of personality disorder. Hmmmm......
Both of these studies demonstrate rather nicely one of my favorite things about research: creative data gathering techniques. It's
The whole peer pressure mythos has always been at the forefront of things about the War on Drugs that piss me off: my friends certainly never needed to pressure me into trying things, for starters. I also never saw (even amongst my friends at Wilson and Lincoln) the kind of active pressuring you see in DARE ads...it was always subtler, and more often self-inflicted. Kids tell themselves they won't be liked if they don't get high. That insecurity, like the desire to try taboo things, is part of being a kid. Our policies need to address these, among other - like the one where most of the drug laws are stupid and should be repealed - realities to have any positive effect.