Effect Measure

Archives for November, 2008

Fresh flowers and spoiled lives

A story on the wires about a paper in the journal Epidemiology this month (November) confirms what other work has shown: those beautiful flowers we buy in American florist shops have an added price attached to them, paid by the children of Central America. Epidemiology is one of the top tier journals in the field…

Gravity — just a theory, not a fact:

Toxic toy: the gift that keeps on giving

The economy is bad and everyone expects retail sales to be substantially off. But parents will scrimp on presents for each other to make sure their kids get presents they want. Whether we approve or not, we do it for our kids. I assume it’s hardwired into our brains somehow. But in the waning hours…

Bird flu resistant GM chickens?

Genetically modified crops is not a special interest of mine, which is a good thing because once you get into that controversy you are like the worker who gets his sleeve caught in the machine: before long you are dragged into the gears and badly mauled. I’m not reflexively against it. I recognize that what…

Travel is off this year because of the dreadful state of the world economy, but this is still probably the biggest travel weekend of the year. So to commemorate it and because our publisher, Seed, is a German publisher as well, we present this tribute to the pleasures of Thanksgiving travel, first in English, then…

Swine flu: not common, but there

In 1988 a 32 year old woman, 36 weeks pregnant, checked into a community hospital in Wisconsin. She’d had flu-like symptoms with a moderately high (spiking to 102 degrees F.) fever for the previous week. Three days before admission she started a cough that brought up sputum and a day before started to get short…

It’s Thanksgiving Holiday in the US. For many Americans a time to dine on traditional foods with family and friends; for a significant number of Americans a difficult time of loneliness or family tension; for the original Americans, a time to reflect on how European occupiers and invaders took your land and your way of…

Chicken head control

The other day we wrote a post about the reduction in genetic diversity among commercial chicken breeds that attracted a surprising amount of informed comment (surprising to us, anyway; I think it shows more about the general knowledge of a city boy like me than anything else). So while we were on the subject of…

Iraq: Bush “very pleased”

In a recent interview with a Japanese broadcasting company, still-President George Bush summed up his judgment on the Iraq debacle: it’s a great success. He’s “very pleased,” mainly that he toppled Saddam Hussein. What about the rest. Like the streets being rivers of sewage?

Nanothinking at NIH

My Scibling Mark H. over at the Denialism blog has reproduced an internal NIH memo that is something to behold: If you aren’t used to the conventions of scientific collegiality you might not realize at first the unbelievable stupidity of this. A visiting international scientist (a Canadian or someone from Latin America, a European, often…