Greg Laden's Blog

Archives for April, 2009

Learn Physics At Home

Head First Physics: A learner’s companion to mechanics and practical physics I have been watching these Heads Up guides for some time now, mainly in the context of computer software and development. I have not tried any of these guides in IT because, so far, I’ve felt that while they may be excellent learning resources,…

Can Quantum Ghosts Cheat Heisenberg?

It is theoretically impossible to observe all of the different aspects of state of matter at the subatomic “quantum” level. This means that at the tiniest level of spacetime, bits and pieces of stuff and action can only be vaguely known, and therefore, if you wanted to build a quantum computer you would have some…

As long as we are on the subject (this week) of field guides, I thought I’d go ahead and suggest what guides you might take if you happen to be planning a trip to Central, East or southern Africa1 But since we are doing Africa, we need to do mammals as well as birds. But…

photograph of some grapefruit Grapefruit juice contains enzymes that break down common types of compounds of which pharmaceuticals are made. This means that if you drink grapefruit juice along with some drugs, the effect of the drug will be enhanced. (That was a slight oversimplification.) So great, you say, why not just take all drugs…

1970s Swine Flu Training Video

The swine flu maneno in the 1970s was actually a key moment in the history of epidemiology politics. It also relates to the history of anti-vaccine activism in important and interesting ways. I should probably write a whole post about it. For now, suffice it to say that the government reaction to the sudden appearance…

The Minnesota cases are not confirmed but health officials are saying they likely will be. There will be a press conference on this at 9:00 AM Wed. A child in Texas has died of the flu. Which brings us to the relative severity, or more exactly, the mortality rate. It has seemed to some a…

Seriously. Dr. Sandra Porter of Discovering Biology in a Digital World provides evidence that “the California outbreak might be the same strain that caused an outbreak in 2007 at an Ohio country fair.” What a nice piece of research and blogging. UPDATED: There is some interesting discussion on Sandy’s blog about the validity and meaning…

Birding Binoculars

I am not an expert on binoculars, but that is not going to stop me from giving you some excellent advice. Wildlife watching requires binoculars, and although I’m focusing on birding here, everything we’re talking about applies generally. So this advice may be useful for your Safari to Africa where birds will be only one…

Apparently, this is being seriously considered. By whom you may ask?

Latest Swine Flu Reports

While it is still true that no deaths have been reported for the new swine flu outside of Mexico, the virus has been identified in additional countries.