Archives for February, 2009

Nerds once again in control of government

And I breathe a sigh of relief. Working nights my schedule is a tad goofy, but I wake up today to see this guy describing the changes in the new budget: This is Peter Orszag the new director of the Office of Management and Budget. He is a nerd and I instantly like him. I…

Tumors in a (quack) human stem cell therapy

It’s almost like a bad Yakov Smirnoff joke, “In America you test therapies in animals before giving them to humans, in Russia…” All I can do is wonder, what were they thinking? Injecting stem cells into a kid’s spinal fluid to correct a genetic disorder? Are they insane? Stem cells, in particular embryonic and fetal…

Phillip Reese and Andrew McIntosh of the Sacramento Bee report: If you give to a charity over the phone, there’s a growing likelihood that most of your donation will go to the telemarketer instead, according to a Bee analysis of state records. More than a third of California charity telemarketing campaigns sent less than 20…

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that four young people have been arrested on suspicion that they harassed UCB and UC Santa Cruz animal researchers under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. It is clear from the reporting that law enforcement is taking this issue seriously. The FBI and seven other law enforcement agencies were involved, and…

I’m heartened to see a broad disgust with George Will’s lies about climate science. After all it’s pretty extraordinary when a major syndicated columnist repeats a lie about science, not once, not twice but three times despite being corrected. PZ wishes he too could just make up his own facts, and Mike too is pleased…

Bank Secrecy on Life Support

If you are socking money away in offshore banks, pay attention to this man’s expression. He’s saying, you’re screwed. Yes, taxpaying citizens, you can rejoice, because tax cheats across the country are having panic attacks. They’re thinking about refiling their tax returns, or going to the IRS to beg forgiveness with a check to cover…

Psychiatry

What to say about psychiatry that isn’t already completely covered by television and movies? It’s unique among the specialties for its coverage in the media. Maybe because we’re such social animals, or maybe because such shows about psychiatry or therapy appeal to a voyeuristic impulse in us to peer into people’s most private thoughts and…

Dan MacArthur has started a big discussion on whether or not the relationship between IQ and race should be studied. Inspired by a pair of essays for and against the idea it has created a pretty healthy debate among the sciencebloggers including Razib with whom I will likely never agree on this issue. For the…

Scientologists blame psychiatry for 9/11

We’ll have to add Scientology to Pal’s list of disease-promoting groups. Via Screw Loose Change I learn that as part of their bizarre hatred of psychiatry, they’ve now taken to saying that 9/11 was caused by psychiatrists in addition to the holocaust. Apparently, Osama was just a regular guy until al-Zawahiri, a psychiatrist, got to…

One would think given recent findings that antarctic warming is robust for instance, that the canard of antarctic cooling would go away. Or, that based on the round dismissal of the myth of 1970s global cooling warnings we’d stop hearing about that in the media too. But instead I’m watching TV last night and there’s…