Effect Measure

Archives for June, 2008

Summary of last year’s flu season

We started blogging on public health at the beginning of the 2004 – 2005 flu season, although we didn’t concentrate on flu immediately. We intended to use the public health problem of influenza, a disease that contributes to the death of almost 40,000 US citizens a year, as a lens through which to look at…

We take for it granted that technology can be used to tag objects in various ways, useful and otherwise. The anti-theft devices used on retail clothing stores are a familiar example. Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) are used for this purpose as well as for security access. I have a device like that on my…

This week we lost George Carlin. I only saw him once in person, sometime in the early seventies or maybe late sixties. He was already wildly popular and Mrs. R. and I weren’t too flush with disposable income so we wound up sitting in the stratosphere of a gigantic theater, stuffed to the gills with…

Democrats behaving badly

I’m still trying to get my blood pressure under control over last week’s House FISA vote that gives telecom companies immunity for illegal acts. The focus of my anger is not on Republicans. Republicans have shown themselves reliable enemies of civil liberties and everyone expects them to protect the fat cats. Their votes were asured.…

Another phone hazard

Every time I write about the hazard of phones some readers flip out. The hazards of non-ionizing radiation, whatever the evidence (and it is controverted, difficult, ambiguous and contradictory), seems to acquire a junk science label from people who don’t have much training or experience in evaluating the kind of evidence that forms the basis…

Is it in the public domain?

Traveling and busy as hell, but wanted to share this. The ever expanding copyright laws is one of my pet peeves, but almost as irritating as the increasing length of copyright is the difficulty in knowing if something is still under copyright. The copyright date and name of the copyright holder in the frontmatter of…

In our earlier discussion of the science behind greenhouse gases we pointed out that all objects radiate electromagnetic radiation, doing so at a peak wavelength dependent upon their surface temperatures. That means two things. One is that things at the usual temperatures in our world are radiating EM radiation at wavelengths characteristic of the far…

One thing about the sixties. If you weren’t there, it can be hard to understand the real message. For the age challenged, here is one of the great Beatles songs sung by the one-of-a-kind Joe Cocker at Woodstock in 1969, complete with subtitles so you can understand the words: Hat tip Jesus General.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) newspaper is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) worst nightmare because it continually runs in depth stories about why CDC is the worst nightmare for scientists concerned with laboratory safety. CDC is the agency supposedly ensuring the public’s safety from laboratories researching contagious disease causing organisms. They have their own…

There is a great deal of activity on the bird flu vaccine front. Several different new techniques to make vaccines are being tested and so are additives to vaccines, called adjuvants, that boost the ability of the preparation to induce the body to make sufficient antibodies to protect us against infection. The smaller the dose…