The Corpus Callosum

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Every clinician knows that careful observation is the foundation for all knowledge. Reading the account of how Nabokov correctly anticipated the outcome of DNA analysis of butterfly taxonomy, using only his acute powers of observation, I am reminded of historical accounts of physicians who could estimate a person’s hematocrit value just by looking at the…

From Media Matters: It is difficult to understand how so many errors could be crammed into one simple chart, merely by accident.  It is even harder to understand how the artist could end up with a straight line, after incorporating numerous errors, unless it was an done with the intention of being misleading. First, (problem…

This Angle is Obtuse

Sharron Angle has said some pretty obtuse things before, but for the most part, I’ve resisted the temptation to comment.  But this one is a gem: The 16-page flier, available at TPMM, accuses gay people (aka “sodomites”, “perverts”) of everything from child molestation, to serial murder, to debasing rodeos, to contaminating the water supply by…

Darwin Award Candidate

Clearly, this man is a candidate for the Darwin Award.  K. Wayne McLeod has been charged — posthumously — with running a Ponzi scheme that victimized an estimated 260 law enforcement agents. He deliberately solicited hundreds of people, all of whom have guns, all of whom know how to use their guns, and all of…

Father’s Day Repast Repost

(From five years ago!) There is a restaurant called Pelagos.  The name means “from the sea,” in Greek.  It is underground, but has a patio open to the sky.  A staircase leads from the sidewalk to the subterranean patio.  The is a metal fence along the sidewalk.  On the patio, there are tables with umbrellas.…

Tech Tip #9

This one is useful for very few persons. The story is this: I wanted to get one of those mats that goes under a treadmill, to protect the floor. So I went to Sears, where I got the treadmill, because I had seen an ad for the mat. Thirty dollars is what they wanted. Seemed…

xkcd: Worst-Case Scenario

XKCD usually is pretty good; this one, however, is a brillant commentary on science journalism. People forget that once an event has happened, the probability of that event is exactly 1, and the probability of all other outcomes is exactly zero. (Click image for full-size view.) (Source page.)

Another rTMS Update

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is  a treatment for major depression.  It was approved (PDF) by the FDA in 2008.  However, it has remained somewhat of a niche treatment.  Some providers remain unimpressed by studies of efficacy.  One problem is that most of the studies have been sponsored by the industry.  Often, the studies have…

I Just Noticed

I just noticed this: the average workweek in the USA has declined to 34.1 hours (see the BLS report: Employment Situation Summary).   Last year, the average television viewing time increased to 151 hours per month, or 5.03 hours per day in a 30-day month, which comes out to  35.23 hours per week.  We now spend…

National Geographic reports: A new strain of hypervirulent, deadly Cryptococcus gattii fungus has been discovered in the United States, a new study says. The outbreak has already killed six people in Oregon, and it will likely creep into northern California and possibly farther, experts say… Cryptococcus infections in humans are hardly new.  And so far,…