Tuesday, May 31, 2005
* They do not, however, make clear what about sex fails to be motivation and reward.
What does this mean for the health-conscious cook? For starters, it may be time to rethink that "Low-Carb Lifestyle" you've been crowing about. Of course, this study needs to be replicated both in more flies and in mammals too, but the result is not an especially surprising one: digesting proteins and fats is much harder on your body, in terms of free radicals and such, than is digesting sugars, so it follows that eating less of them would reduce wear and tear on the body.
Friday, May 27, 2005
The logic seems to be that there is no reason to have a pointed kitchen knife except to kill your spouse. I of course quibble that there are plenty of things I do that require a pointed knife (even beyond coring apples), but besides that, has any kind of 'it might be used for a crime so let's ban it' legislation ever accomplished anything besides a black market and increased police expenditures to enforce said ban? Gun control laws are an entirely different matter, as there is no real reason for most types of gun except to shoot a person, and the likelihood of said guns being an effective method of self-defense is approximately zero.
* I'm using the word cuisine loosely.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
I wouldn't be shocked if the US press was ignoring this, for fear of being barred from Prezitential press gatherings, but if it were from source even less reputable than The Guardian (i.e., said US press), I would ignore it. But it looks legit: Jones doesn't apologize, or really even express remorse.
Take the current flu situation, for example: we had a big overhyped scare over flu vaccines here in the US last year, and the Avian flu is running rampant in Asia. It's spreading too. There is no vaccine, no cure, and it's a nasty little bugger. The editors of the prestigious journal, Nature believe more drastic action needs to be taken, and has created a hypothetical (prospective?) blog about the flu pandemic breaking out later this year.
I don't know what efforts are underway in this area, but it is my instinct to guess that "Ms. O'Reilly" probably knows of what she speaks. This kind of event would make the "war on terror" look like a toddler's teeball scrimmage, so I guess I'd like to see more action on it from NIH, WHO, et al.
In short: I need to find a way for my boss to have this study cauterized into his brain.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Here in the National Laboratory for Bad Government, it's Duck and Cover time -- the Legislature is in session. The Can't-Shake-Your-Booty bill passed the House, saving us all from the scourge of sexy cheerleaders. But nothing else is getting done. The state is being run by people who do not know how to govern. Keep in mind that based on past form, whatever lunacy is going on in Texas will eventually sweep the country.
Rarely are the words of one state legislator worth national attention, but when Senfronia Thompson, a black representative from Houston, stalks to the back mike with a certain "get-out-of-my-way" look in her eye, it's Katie, bar the door. Here is Thompson speaking against the Legislature's recent folly of putting a superfluous anti-gay marriage measure into the state constitution:
"I have been a member of this august body for three decades, and today is one of the all-time low points. We are going in the wrong direction, in the direction of hate and fear and discrimination. Members, we all know what this is about; this is the politics of divisiveness at its worst, a wedge issue that is meant to divide.
"Members, this is a distraction from the real things we need to be working on. At the end of this session, this Legislature, this leadership will not be able to deliver the people of Texas fundamental and fair answers to the pressing issues of our day.
"Let's look at what this amendment does not do: It does not give one Texas citizen meaningful tax relief. It does not reform or fully fund our education system. It does not restore one child to CHIP [Children's Health Insurance Program] who was cut from health insurance last session. It does not put one dime into raising Texas' Third World access to health care. It does not do one thing to care for or protect one elderly person or one child in this state. In fact, it does not even do anything to protect one marriage.
"Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination... When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about 'protecting the institution of marriage' as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree... Fifty years ago, white folks thought interracial marriages were 'a threat to the institution of marriage.'
"Members, I'm a Christian and a proud Christian. I read the good book and do my best to live by it. I have never read the verse where it says, 'Gay people can't marry.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Thou shalt discriminate against those not like me.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination.' Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness -- not hate and discrimination.
"I have served in this body a lot of years, and I have seen a lot of
promises broken... So... now that blacks and women have equal rights, you turn your hatred to homosexuals, and you still use your misguided reading of the Bible to justify your hatred. You want to pass this ridiculous amendment so you can go home and brag -- brag about what? Declare that you saved the people of Texas from what?
"Persons of the same sex cannot get married in this state now. Texas law does not now recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions, religious unions, domestic partnerships, contractual arrangements or Christian blessings entered into in this state -- or anywhere else on this planet Earth.
"If you want to make your hateful political statements then that is one thing -- but the Chisum amendment does real harm. It repeals the contracts that many single people have paid thousands of dollars to purchase to obtain medical powers of attorney, powers of attorney, hospital visitation, joint ownership and support agreements. You have lost your way. This is obscene...
"I thought we would be debating economic development, property tax relief, protecting seniors' pensions and stem cell research to save lives of Texans who are waiting for a more abundant life. Instead we are wasting this body's time with this political stunt that is nothing more than constitutionalizing discrimination. The prejudices exhibited by members of this body disgust me.
"Last week, Republicans used a political wedge issue to pull kids -- sweet little vulnerable kids -- out of the homes of loving parents and put them back in a state orphanage just because those parents are gay. That's disgusting.
"I have listened to the arguments. I have listened to all of the crap... I want you to know that this amendment [is] blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry."
Then they passed the amendment.
Molly Ivins writes about politics, Texas and other bizarre happenings.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
A computer makes it possible to do, in half an hour, tasks which were completely unnecessary to do before.
All this is a long way of saying how important I think things like this are, and how I wish there were more of them (like this one) that focused on things besides HIV/AIDS: The Terrence Higgins Trust will be putting on a major gay men's health outreach at venues during Southwark's Bear Pride Weekend.
Oh, and now there's an even better reason to drink your milk.
Monday, May 23, 2005
2. Would you rather have sons than daughters? New research indicates that if you and your mate have traditionally "masculine" jobs, like in engineering or mathematics, you'll more likely have boys than girls; if you two are a nurse and a therapist, you'll more likely have girls. This research could be a shoo-in for the IgNobel this year, or it could be entirely valid and very cool. I'm guessing both.
Yes, CPMC, I am talking to you.
I think that going hungry for a good long while, walking around in the hot sun without air conditioning, and contemplating the universe would do untold amounts of good for the self-appointed moralists of modern America.
Also, members of the religious right reading this and getting all offended should probably work on their more complex brain functions.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Ferris Bueller said, "Life Moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while...you could miss it," and today I did just that. I woke up late and as I emerged from my apartment to go to the gym, I saw that it was absolutely gorgeous out, not raining as Id expected. Armed with this information, I went back inside, changed out of my gym clothes and into civvies and walking shoes; Im not about to waste this day in the fluorescent light and climate control of a gym! I walked for a couple hours, heading mostly south because thats the direction that got the most sun on my face, and came upon a Potbelly, where I stopped for lunch. An unimpressive sandwich and completely worthless pickle* (*for which they charge extra!) later, I resolved not to go there again and walked on. A while later I found myself sitting on the patio in front of Cyberstop with a (plastic) glass of iced tea. I sat in the sun, reading and sometimes looking up to watch the freakshow of 17th street walk by, until the sun angled away from my seat.
Thoroughly relaxed, I wandered home to cook a comfort-food dinner spaghetti and meatballs. I cooked slowly, letting the sauce simmer longer than usual and sipping an aperitif, keeping with the flow of the day. I even set a proper place for myself on my table in front of the TV; living alone, I find I almost always eat with the TV on; its a pale distant substitute for conversation, but better than eating in silence. The only thing on TV of interest (I use the term loosely here) was Queer Eye, so I settled in for makeover, uhm, magic. Have you ever noticed that the fab five runs everywhere? None of the gay guys I know rush around like that if they did they might not be so perpetually tardy! Queer Eye crashed through my languid evening, running and screaming (that part is at least in keeping with many boys I know) about, rushing through everything. I shudder to think about the quality and durability of any home décor done so quickly.
They cook too fast too great food not only takes time, but thats part of the joy of it. I made my spaghetti with pasta from a box and Ragu (heavily altered, of course), but it still took well over an hour to prepare. I could have moved faster used higher heat, timed the pasta-boiling more precisely, etc., but why? Simmering the sauce slowly over a low flame, tasting and contemplating after each shake or drop of seasoning added, makes cooking a contemplative, relaxing and highly satisfying process. I started with an oversweet, flavorless and poorly textured marinara and transformed it into a rich, complex and if I do say so myself superb tomato sauce. And the dawdling pace added another dimension to the experience.
But the rest of the world rushed to interrupt my calm, dragging me (kicking and screaming, of course) back to reality. We spend our lives running, stressed out and off balance, like were just seeing how long we can keep it up. I often dont get on well at work because I work slowly: I take three hours to accomplish a task my boss thinks should take one, but the thing he doesnt focus on is hes thinking in terms of having to go back and revise it four times, I dont want to have to do that more than once. Haste makes waste, they say. Its funny how we can hear a cliché like that a hundred times a day, and even say it ourselves, but then forget it anyway. I wonder how much more we could all accomplish if we worried less about handing in the draft on time and more about getting it right the first time?
so you may as well go kicking and screaming."
I'm actually in a fantastically good mood today - Guerrilla last night was great, and it's sunny and warm now, but that quote just popped into my head so I blogged it.
Friday, May 20, 2005
The usual suspects will I'm sure decry this research as unethical and scream about killing blastocysts (the vast majority of which are, if my memory serves, lost long before a woman even knows she's pregnant), but then they will of course still happily benefit from the improved health and quality of life such research brings.
That is why this work was done in Korea, not the US, and why the US is beginning to really fall behind the rest of the world in bioscience. While the Preznit blathers on about "culture of life" (insert awful pun about cellular research here), tying up scientific endeavors with pseudo-religious nonsense, others move ahead. We'll benefit from the technology Korea develops - they're always happy to sell us their goods - but that's just it, we'll have to buy it. Knowledge and expertise is the only thing the US has left to export.
I'm not at all suggesting that ethical concerns should not be raised, but these days the real noise about ethics only comes from politicians, which is the last place it should be.
But the US is not without its own innovations. Cornell researchers continue to refine their instruments, and now have developed a way to measure the mass of a single DNA molecule - 995,000 Daltons. That's just over 1 attogram, which is 10-18 grams, or approximately 2.2x10-21 pounds. I do not want to know how many attograms I weigh.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
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I have no idea what you think you were looking for, but I've covered most of those topics, so I hope it helps.
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You probably meant "most," and were not helped by anything here.
There are good fetishes, and there are some fetishes that really should stay at home, locked in a dark room with no one around.
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If I knew an Albanian doctor, I'd give you his number. Unless he was hot, in which case I'd keep it to myself!
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Tied for first place, in ascending order of how appalled I am about it.
Not that watching less TV and exercising more are bad things, but this is a slightly stupid approach. The shoes measure 'exercise' by what seems to be an advanced pedometer. What's to stop people from sitting in front of the telly and tapping their feet? Will my Restless Leg Syndrome artificially elevate my step count?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I honestly hope that it does not become a big trend (some sort of metrosexual thing) for hot straight men to kiss each other hello like that. I would never get any work done, and would probably run into far too many innocent telephone poles while attempting to walk to work.
That's the headline of an editorial in the May 17 issue of PLoS: Medicine, an open-source medical journal, whose editors have themselves stated that they will not become “part of the cycle of dependency…between journals and the pharmaceutical industry.” It has been clear to outside observers for some time that the current publication system was failing, just how is only slowly coming into focus. How can we, as readers, know when a drug trial, published in the vaunted JAMA, is really as valid as it seems? I've certainly gotten excited and posted about a few such articles on this blog. Should I retract?
Smith's ending point, his solution to this mess, leaves me disappointed. He suggests that journals should stop publishing trials altogether, and "concentrate on critically describing them." I'm not sure what this means, really, or how it could work (would we rather have trials just posted on the drug company's web site, trusting that it's valid?), or even why this it would be a solution. Unfortunately, I don't have a better suggestion.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
As if we need more to worry about!!
UPDATE: Maybe if I move to a farm and talk on my cell phone I'll grow a replacement hippocampus!
Monday, May 16, 2005
When she IM'ed me to tell me this, I read it and told her that it was as completely Nora as I can imagine anything being, and since the guy had the good sense to say yes, I feel like I can approve without actually having met him, and that I do rather wholly!
She's the third friend who's gotten engaged since college to someone I've never met, and I ought to have some witty comment about that, but I don't. Way to 'Do That,' guys!
Anyone paying attention has long known that green tea is good for you, but this research promises a more reliable, though much less tasty, way to get those benefits: isolation of the active compounds could lead to pills. Me, I'll just have another cup.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Along with the WaPo's article, which almost-but-not-quite announces the demise of corporate radio, John says good riddance. Even kids are ditching the diversity-free radio lineups for iPods and CD mixes. Corporate radio sold us all on homogeneity, but after a while it got to be too much, and now the time is up.
"Good riddance" is my first instinct too. I fully believe that all the mainstreaming of everything, from music to political discourse, is responsible for oh so many of our modern ills. A lack of innovation, or consideration is now the norm. Appallingly, a perfect example of this comes from an episode of MTV's
The Jessica Simpson ShowNick + Jessica: her record company made her re-record a song that she loved, because her singing was too good too hard for people to sing along and therefore unacceptable. Excellence has become a liability. On the other side of the universe, we have talk radio: yes versus no; red versus blue; right versus left; black versus white. Each show is dedicated to one side or the other screaming about the other, with only the tiniest bits of reflection or real consideration. No wonder the country is so polarized, they never hear all sides of anything at the same time, let alone from one person! The god-awful Crossfire was almost an attempt to show both sides, but all it did was show both sides to be loud pompous assholes. Anyone who talks about both sides is a waffler. Thoughtfulness is a liability. On Reality TV, only the loudest, most obnoxious, most manipulative and self-serving contestants win. Politeness and kindness are losing tactics. This is a whole other topic, and Im only really talking about music today.
The focus-grouped, uninnovative, no-variety play lists of mainstream radio (which seems to be all thats left) are being rejected even by those denizens who hang out at The Gap in the mall, as the esteemed Harlan Ellison once called them.
Anything truly controversial, anything really different, never sees the light of radio or MTV day
it might offend someone, or it might be actively disliked or actively loved, as opposed to the fleeting love that pop stars now achieve. 15 years after her last successful album, Britneys courtroom dramas will not be front-page news, the way MJs are.
Im not saying I think this isnt appropriate - I loathe little more than the joke our justice system often seems to have become - but I am saying that people still get worked up about Jackson, not simply because hes famous, but because hes properly so. He worked for his fame, he did something truly revolutionary, he wrote some amazing songs and danced like few others. Britney has had some nice, simple, predictably likeable songs mostly written for her, and she has shaken her personally-trained ass and dubiously-organic tits on stage.
I dont actually begrudge Britney her success I doubt she has as much to do with it as her handlers, and wish shed be less of a chav(ette?), but she does have better T+A than I. The point is that her popularity is so scripted, so crafted, and unlike MJ (or Janet, or Madonna, or Eartha Kitt), she is designed to fade ungracefully. I almost feel sorry for her, but maybe she knows and accepts this already.
The thing is, I can't bring myself to get up that much "care" energy - it's not like I've listened to the radio or watched more than a 10-second stretch of MTV since the early 90's - I will only academically remark on Britneys passing, and will hardly notice corporate radio's. I would, potentially, notice its replacement: if it was worth my attention, if we got radio like the BBC6 I stream at work, or better yet something different and new and innovative (I know I'm dreaming here), then I would listen.
The lack of good radio bothers me philosophically, but not so much realistically. This has been the case since I got my first dual-cassette recorder and discovered mix tapes; iPods and MP3s and CD-burners just make it faster and easier to be my own DJ.
The big change for me, the past few years, has been how I discover new music. In the past, I would hear something at a show (which is why I almost always show up for the opening bands, even though they most often suck), or hear something at a friends house or at a party, ask what it is, and borrow or buy a copy. All that still happens, but now the networking effect happens with bands as well: I read the Bertrand Burgalat web site, and he mentions a side-project, or whats really inspiring him at the moment, and I probably check it out; NM blogs about a new band shes digging, with a link to samples; I emailed Clarika (who has possibly the worst website EVER) to see if I could get her CDs stateside, and she responded that while I couldnt, I should check out Candie Prune and Autour de Lucie.
And then theres satellite radio. My mom has XM in her car, and Ive tried it a few times, but still find it so limited. Yes, there are a million channels, but each one only plays one market you dont hear Neil Young followed by Brian Eno followed by LCD Soundsystem, which is whats been on BBC6 today; this particular future of radio is an awful lot like the past, and not likely to earn my $15 a month.
I have no illusions about the fact that if I were a DJ, very few people would want to listen: my list might include all the music Ive mentioned so far (yes, even Britney) plus maybe some Count Basie and some Hildegarde of Bingen and perhaps some NY Dolls or Megadeath. This is why I make my mix CDs, reload my Nomad every couple of days, and ignore what may or may not be on the radio.
Friday, May 13, 2005
I hope he's OK and doesn't have to keep that wireless ECG on *all* the time!
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
First, I want a daybed in my office.
ADP356 is a selective 5HT-2C receptor agonist, which is thought to have effects on food intake. Though it is not supposed to be effective on 5HT-2A or -2B, or on other 5HT receptors, I can't wait for the psychological and physiological side effects to start popping up. If they don't, or at least fail to do so before the drug hits the market, we're all gonna be really sorry we didn't buy Nasdaq: ARNA this morning.
Of course, when said side effects do surface, we'll be really glad to have sold our shares the week before!
Is it wrong that this made me laugh out loud when I read it?
Monday, May 09, 2005
1. Alzheimer's vaccine shows promise. Very Good News!
2. You need new fat to burn the old. Whaaa?
3. Men with HIV confide in their moms.
Friday, May 06, 2005
My life right now:
Thursday, May 05, 2005
*Nomas hablaré Espanol.
So: needle disposal. While medical facilities have all kinds of special storage and disposal devices, at-home users (diabetics, allergy sufferers, socially conscious smackheads, etc.) have fewer options and more limited means. A new product, the delightfully named "Disintegrator Plus," is an 8x9-inch device that somehow squeezes 2500°F (1371-ish°C) out of a rechargable battery, which melts (i.e., disintegrates) needles in a few seconds.
Sounds cool. What other household items could one put in there???
The key line, for me, was one woman saying that post injury, it was "like an alien landing on a planet without a map to show your way around. Or seeing the deep sea for the first time." That's almost exactly how I feel. I used to think that I had, in fact, totally gotten over it, and or at least that I would, but reading these it really hits home that there's a certain ease with oneself that you (or at least I) can't properly regain.
It's part of why I am so into neuroscience and psychology, and health in general. How our bodies manage to work at all, let alone recover from such things after so long, or hold on to them.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
I'm just sayin'...
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Monday, May 02, 2005
"[O]ne that does not take itself so seriously this time, based upon our shared acknowledgement of the remarkable preposterousness of human consciousness."I think this is a brilliant idea whose time has come.
* Nonmedical prevention attempts such as contraception and avoidance programs, on the other hand, have been stymied by humans such as The Preznit and The Pope.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
That really covers all that needs to be said about this airport and, for that matter, Detroit in general.