Archives for January, 2011

Fido, M.D.?

Photo by Bruteitup. A DOG or cat owner spends roughly $10,000 on the care and feeding of his pet over its lifetime. (Dogs cost more per year, but cats make up for it by living longer.) What does he get for this investment? Surveys indicate that what most pet owners mainly want is companionship, unconditional…

I receive many emails from students that were likely composed using a mobile device. Their sentences do not contain capitals (“i request…”), there are often grammatical and spelling errors as well as incomplete sentences. This comes as no surprise, I know. But tYp3 LyK tHi5?

“Fuzzy Logic” Department Seminar

Photo source (pschubert.) I came across this gem from The Journal of Irreproducible Results (yes, it really exists) and figured that something light hearted would be appreciated after yesterday’s horrific shootings in Arizona. APPLIED MATH DEPARTMENT SEMINAR “FUZZY LOGIC” Professor B. Vastor, Kings College, Cambridge, England

Stunned by the horrific news of the shootings today in Arizona, my thoughts are with the families of the 18 people shot, including five murdered victims {according to a live news cast at 7:57 pm on CNBC.) I sincerely hope for a full recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. It is a struggle to write this,…

A New Ruler for Learning?

. Photo by cohdra (source) What is learning? Is it the ability to recall facts or to solve an equation? How can you measure it? For college bound students, the Advanced Placement (AP) exam has attempted to address these questions since 1955 and offers students an opportunity to earn college credit while attending high school.

Huckleberry Finn 2011?

Prof. Cornel West, Princeton University (source). The media storm about altering Mark Twain’s classic “Huckleberry Finn,” published in 1885, to replace the “N word” with the term “slave” has sparked debate amongst scholars. How can we teach our children about bygone days, if sharing creative works includes using offensive language in today’s vernacular? I am…

US Enemy Torture: Bad Policy, Bad Science

Guantanamo Bay (Image Source: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Darren Hester, rpmaxwell, Will Montague) This week’s issue of Science has an insightful article on a very important topic: US sanctioned torture of enemies, using enhanced interrogation techniques. The article is co-authored by my colleague Dr. Allen Keller, from…

Beautiful Fly Guts?

Confocal snapshot of the junction between two portions of the Drosophila digestive tract: the midgut and the hindgut. Cell nuclei are labelled in blue, membranes in green and muscles in red. This image was taken by Irene Miguel-Aliaga. {Source.} This is irresistible. In a paper published in the journal Cell Metabolism, biologists at the University…

Fraudulent Vaccine-Autism Study Is News?

View full size Tanya Kovacs of Iselin holds her 20 month old son Caleb as they take part in a rally in front of the State House opposing new vaccine mandates by the state for children. TONY KURDZUK/THE STAR-LEDGER As reported by the Associated Press and in The New York Times this evening {“filed 7:50…

Live Longer, Walk Faster

Predicted Median Life Expectancy by Age and Gait Speed (Studenski, S. et al. JAMA 2011;305:50-58). Staying active, along with a balanced health diet, is probably the best way to age gracefully. An elegantly simple study was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that clearly demonstrates the relationship between longevity and walking…