Effect Measure

Archives for May, 2010

A note tacked to the door

The lights are out at Effect Measure. It is closed and locked. No one is there any more. So consider this a note tacked on the door. I had always intended to leave it as a way to connect you with The Pump Handle and that’s still its purpose. But now I feel compelled to…

We bid you farewell

It’s been a long time coming but the time has come. Effect Measure is closing up shop, after 5 and a half years, 3 million visits and 5.1 million page views of some 3500. You commented on them some 37,000 times. It’s been a grand ride but to all things there is a season. It’s…

I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death. I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; I hear the clatter on the barn-floor. He is in haste; he has business in Cuba, business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning. But I will not hold the…

Blog matters: who is “revere”?

The person who taps the keys here over the signature “revere” (or sometimes “Revere”; it’s at most one at a time) is not Paul Revere. The real Paul Revere died in 1818. If you want to know the name or names of any of the key tappers here I’m going to disappoint you right away.…

When I was young (high school, college) I had a variety of jobs, including golf caddy (cured me of golf for the rest of my life; there were no carts, just an 11 year old lugging two bags with 16 clubs over 18 holes) and paper boy (4 am on Sundays hauling 80 huge Sunday…

Only the ducks are dead

BP has this great reputation for being an environmentally friendly and responsible company. I know it because their incessant television ads tell me it’s true. The ones that flank the national news stories about their horrendous safety record of explosions and worker deaths or their catastrophic oil spills. Those ads. When something happens they start…

Ending the War on Drugs

In the sixties one of the suggested exist strategies for the War in Vietnam was “to declare victory and get out.” Alas, it was the road not taken, increasing the length and depth of the tragedy for all concerned. For the War on Drugs, there is an even simpler solution: stop calling it a war.…

Salmonella is an enteric pathogen that causes quite a lot of foodborne illness. I learned there were several species of Salmonella bacteria of which the cause of typhoid fever was called Salmonella typi. Spread via food and water it used to kill a lot of people in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Nowadays all…

As the flu pandemic ramped up with no vaccine in sight, attention turned to more prosaic things people might do to avoid infection. At the top of most lists was hand washing. I think hand washing is a good thing to do, although the evidence it does much against influenza specifically is weak or non-existent.…

Thinking about science and what I do

I just started reading an interesting book, “How Mathematicians Think,” written (naturally enough) by a mathematician (William Byers). It got me thinking not only about mathematics but also science, what it is and why I do it. Here’s the paragraph that triggered it: