The Frontal Cortex

Archives for July, 2006

Sam Brownback Has Lost His Mind

I can’t believe this man is a senator. Listen to his speech on stem cells yesterday in the Senate: it’s scary. [Hat tip: Mimms]

New Seed Article

My new Seed article is now online. I wanted to use the neuroscience of learning to draw some connections between a lot of different things, from mirror neurons to Algebra teachers to Toyota factories. Take a look, and tell me what you think.

Car Buyers Are Dumb v.2

In response to my blog yesterday about America’s continued love affair with horsepower and V8 engines, I recieved an excellent comment. It’s worth a read: If you ask people why they drive 4WD SUVs you get a number of answers, usually associated with safety, or power and control. While many early SUV models were available…

How Dumb are Car Buyers?

So dumb that we’re still buying SUV’s. Despite the fact that gas is now almost $3 a gallon, the average fuel economy of new 2006 models was virtually flat with a year ago at 21 miles per gallon, according to a new EPA report. In fact, this is lower than the average fuel economy of…

The Upside of Global Warming

We should all move to Greenland. From the WSJ: Greenland represents one of the largely unrecognized paradoxes of global warming. In former Vice President Al Gore’s recent film “An Inconvenient Truth,” the melting of Greenland’s ice cap, along with a similar cap in the Antarctic, is portrayed as one of the greatest threats of global…

Judge Richard Posner has stepped into the tedious debate over innate cognitive differences between men and women. While I’m usually a fan of Posner’s contrarian streak, he indulges here in some terrible evolutionary psychology. He manages to justify a blatant inequality – women have lower average earnings than men – by constructing a silly, trite…

Well, not really. But there has definitely been a shift in public perception since last summer. As I was watching my local news this morning, the anchor alluded to global warming as a way of “explaining” the record setting heat wave currently stifling most of the country. Of course, the science linking greenhouse gases to…

Nature and Homosexuality

First of all, anyone who argues that homosexuality isn’t “natural,” and that being gay is just a strange human perversion, is clearly wrong. As I wrote in my article on Joan Roughgarden: Having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be…

Is the Hockey Stick Real?

The WSJ editorial page – a very suspect source – opines on a new statistical study which seems to cast doubt on the hockey stick model of global warming. This model began with Michael Mann’s 1999 paper, and is the star of Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The three researchers — Edward J. Wegman of George…

Air-Conditioning Makes You Fat

A new paper in The International Journal of Obesity explores several of the ignored factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic. Sure, corn syrup and lethargy are bad, but other suspects include: 1) The decrease in smoking. Apparently, the Virginia Slims advertisements are accurate. Smoking really does make you skinnier by suppressing your appetite. 2)…