Effect Measure

Archives for September, 2007

Let them eat anthrax vaccine

Bioterrorism defense dollars seem to be devoted mainly to procurement. This follows President Bush’s prescription for how all Americans could defeat the terrorists after September 11: go shopping. Practicing what they preach, the federal government has gone on another buying spree for something we don’t need: anthrax vaccine:

Last week about 50 Boulder High School students walked out of class rather than recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “one nation, under God” in it. They wanted to recite their own version, cleansed of the offending phrase. I have a better idea, but first here’s what happened in Boulder:

Polio outbreak in Nigeria from vaccine

There’s a polio problem in Nigeria. You may have heard that. Unfortunately what you haven’t heard — and what one could even characterize as a cover-up — is that among the many cases of polio in northern Nigeria and surrounds, there are also 69 cases of paralytic polio in children from the type 2 vaccine…

Charting progress in Iraq

General Petraeus, speaking for President Bush, has told us things are going well in Iraq. He backed it up with charts, numbers and “twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence.” (YouTube version here).…

Methyl iodide: strawberry fields forever

If regulators in the state of California, a slate of scientists and doctors including 6 nobel laureates in chemistry and environmental and farmworker groups were all against registering a new toxic fumigant for fruits and vegetables, who would you expect to be in favor of it? If you guessed the Bush administration lap dog agency,…

So the Harvard Coop fiasco goes into yet another day with lawyers at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society giving the book sellers (part of the Barnes and Noble College Division) a much needed lesson in copyright law. To recap (see also here and here), Harvard undergraduates running a comparison-shopping textbook service…

It’s not nice to get mumps. Mumps is caused by a paramyxovirus. Since the introduction of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine most people have been spared the unpleasantness of the swollen, inflamed an painful salivary glands, or in older individuals, the systemic complications like orchitis (inflamed testicles) that can sometimes cause sterility in young males. It can…

Don’t ask, don’t tell at CDC

The Department of Defense is not the only Bush agency with a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Apparently CDC has one too:

Flu vaccine, the elderly and the CDC

If you are in the elderly population (over 65 years of age) you are in the crosshairs of CDC’s influenza vaccination program. The reasons seem clear — at first, anyway. Risk of influenza-related death (as measured by a specific statistical technique to estimate excess mortality during influenza seasons) increases dramatically after 65 tears of age.…

In my other life (science) I’ve been reading about measurement theory (Dover just reprinted the multivolume set, Foundations of Measurement by Krantz et al.). It’s pretty abstract stuff (Archimedean simply ordered groups make an early appearance) but the problem is not at all abstract: how do you assign quantitative representations to qualitative structures. Some things…