The Corpus Callosum

Archives for September, 2007

In the most recent debate among Presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Party, there was an exchange regarding the so-called “ticking bomb” question.  The question itself, and the way it was handled, reveals shortcomings in the way we evaluate our candidates. TIM RUSSERT: I want to move to another subject, and this involves a comment that…

Heavy Hitter Favors Open Access

Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced a policy to promote open-access publication of scientific papers.  They are not only supporting it philosophically, but financially as well.  In fact, they are not only supporting it, but requiring it for their researchers: HHMI Expresses Support for Springer Open Choice September 27, 2007

Microsoft Big Flub

One of their flagship products, Excel , has been caught making errors doing simple multiplication.  According to a Microsoft Developer blog: Yesterday evening we were alerted to an issue in Excel 2007 (and Excel Services 2007) involving calculation of numbers around 65,535.  The first example that we heard about was =77.1*850, but it became clear…

Wiki-based Legal System

The government is finally moving the legal system into the 21st century, with wiki-based laws.  The idea is that the people are the customer, and the customer should have a say in the rules.  This is, oddly, a government-sponsored revolution. Of course, this would not be possible in a government where corporations have sway over…

Dick Cheney, ICD, and Anxiety

The implantable cardioverter defibrillator is a device placed under the skin, near the heart.  It delivers an electric shock to the heart when a dangerous abnormal rhythm is detected.  As you might suspect, it hurts when this shock occurs (doctors call it a “short-duration nociceptive stimulation“).  Also as you might expect, it can create a…

Deceptive Genitals

Sorry, no bizarre sex organ photos this time.  But the story is interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. Bat Bugs Evolved Fake Genitals to Avoid Sex Injuries     Anne Minard for National Geographic News September 25, 2007 For African bat bugs, the battle of the sexes is quite literally a violent struggle—and now it appears that…

Progress in Wind Energy

The government, finally getting wise, has installed 100 stations to measure wind velocity in 32 areas.  The idea tis to get a map of available resources for the generation of wind power, specifically with the intention of reducing dependence on foreign oil.   There is already a demonstration project with 1.67MW wind generators.  This particular…

Typical Health Insurance Costs

I was prompted to rant again about health insurance, after reading a post at Blogcritics.  The author was highly critical of the SCHIP proposals.   SCHIP: It’s for the Insurance Companies, Not the Children Written by Dave Nalle Published September 25, 2007 Whenever someone in government makes a proposal and says it’s ‘for the children’…

Microsoft Makes Life Easier

In response to customer demand, computer manufacturers pressured Microsoft into offering an easier way for users to “downgrade” their new machines.   Business customers who feel that Vista is too bloated and slow, or who find it doesn’t run what they need it to run, now can get Vista taken off, and XP put in…

Clinton Health Plan: Bad

The long-awaited details of the Hillary Clinton health care finance plan have been revealed.  The plan has received lukewarm support from columnists at NYT (Paul Krugman) and The Economist.  It has been criticized by Mitt Romney, oddly, as it is quite similar to the plan he enacted while governor of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts plan has, in…