Archives for December, 2011

Elderly Dogs on Viagra? Relax.

Photo source. Sometimes science can sound strange, at least until you understand its drive to understand nature at a deeper level. Mayo Clinic researchers wanted to test whether blocking a particular protein would be useful in treating heart failure, and ended up testing elderly dogs on viagra. Let me explain.

Lush Beauty of Mathematical Cornucopia

When I was an undergraduate student in Chemistry, I was treated to an unforgettable lecture by Prof. Carl Trindel on symmetry in nature. Vi Hart’s example takes this concept in a mathematical direction with depth, insight and beauty. Enjoy!

An Intellectual Threat in Bahrain?

Photo source. Earlier I wrote a post about Prof. Al-Singace, a Bahraini engineer sentenced to life in prison, forced to appeal on September 11. Sadly, another example has emerged of the denial of due process to a scholar, in a region where intellectuals are viewed as a potential threat.

Generic Lipitor, The Same and Not The Same

Photo source. With the news of availability of generic Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering drug, sales of the prescription brand have plummeted, as expected. Is generic Lipitor really the same as prescription Lipitor? Consider this: “Generic drugs are identical to brand name drugs.” True or False?

A Free MIT Education = MITx

Yes, earning a degree from MIT can be costly. Believe it or not, MIT has been offering free course materials for ten years now. If you’re an educator, and you’re not familiar with their extraordinary OpenCourseWare, you’re missing out. One hundred million people so far have learned from this free open source.

Newt Gingrich, An Invented Professor

Photo source, @mjb’s Flicr Photostream (Matthew Bradley) Prologue: I have a hypothesis: Newt Gingrich, a provocateur reaching for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, has stated that the “Palestinian people are an invented people” – well, Newt Gingrich, while not an invented person, is an invented Professor. Gingrich’s longtime communications aide Rick…

Nick Swisher, the prospect the traditional scouts and statisticians agreed upon. After watching the film “Moneyball” with my young son about professional baseball and the struggle to build a strong team on a shoestring budget, I wondered “What really determines a player’s salary?”

A Patented Mega Millions Number Selector

Who couldn’t use $135 million? Try this, just for fun, if you’re game:

Should Academic Administrators Blog, Tweet?

VPAA Corner Communication between academic administrators, faculty and students has never been easy. Should administrators embrace new media? Should they blog, tweet, post videos on YouTube? Or is it somehow undignified, too familiar?

Tahrir Square, February 9, 2011. Photo source. This article was co-authored with Jessica Wyndham, a human rights lawyer. As we mark Human Rights Day 2011 on December 10, it is impossible to ignore a clear theme that has emerged during the year — the use, misuse and abuse of technology in support and in violation…