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Quick Note For The Weekend

“I have never gone out of fashion. And do you know why? Because I never sought it. When you don’t seek it, it’s always with you.” -Bonnie Tyler Well folks, it’s summer, and that means a lot of things for a lot of people, including for me! So, some fun announcements: My new book, Treknology,…

“Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.” -Francois de La Rochefoucauld So, you’d like to ruin the fabric of your space, would you? Similar to tying a knot in it, stitching it up with some poorly-run shenanigans, running a two-dimensional membrane through it (like a hole in a sponge), etc., it’s…

With the future of the Affordable Care Act still up in the air, most of the news coverage has gone to insurance coverage, premiums and Medicaid. And rightly so. But also included in the massive health reform law were a number of innovative measures to improve the quality and value of the medical care we actually get in the doctor’s office. With repeal still on the table, those measures are at risk too.

Yesterday we had a guest entry from Lars Amréus, the Director General of the National Heritage Board about the signage with fringe theories at a much-visited archaeological site in southern Sweden. As I read it, the main take-away message is ”Sorry, I know this used to be our job but it isn’t any more”. So…

Researchers at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative at Scripps Research Institute have discovered that cows can produce antibodies that effectively neutralize HIV. Thus far, developing an effective vaccine for HIV has been hampered by the ability of the virus to mutate. Some people who have been infected with the virus for a period of years develop antibodies that are…

“If I had to describe myself to an alien I’d say I was bigger than the average human, enjoy a drink or two with a good meal and have a bigger head than most. I’d also say I’m really handsome — especially if they were a female alien.” -Dwayne Johnson The Earth, to the best of our…

The Director General Responds

It seems that my comments yesterday on the small issue of signage at Ales stenar touched a nerve regarding something bigger, having to do with the National Heritage Board’s overall societal role in relationship to archaeology and public outreach. Lars Amréus is the Board’s Director General, an archaeologist and Qaisar Mahmood’s boss. He has kindly…

July Pieces Of My Mind #2

Los Alamos means “the poplars”. A friend lent me J.P. Hogan’s 1980 novel Thrice Upon A Time. It’s set in 2010 but has pre-PC “mini” computers the size of fridges, with text terminals and command-line interfaces. Four years before Neuromancer… 1970s computer designers: “What? You folks run your screens in graphics mode all the time?…

The ubiquity of quackery and pseudoscience of the sort epitomized by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop empire can be depressing if you’re a skeptic. Sometimes it feels as though it’s not worth refuting the nonsense she peddles. But it is. Just maybe not in the way you think.

In what New York Magazine is calling the most-read article in the publication’s history,  David Wallace-Wells writes about what will happen if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels soon. In a nutshell: the climate “will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us.” This has made more than a few climatologists rather…

“Lord of Light! Come to us in our darkness. We offer you these false gods. Take them and cast your light upon us. For the night is dark and full of terrors.” -Melisandre, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice Imagine a world where you know that winter is coming, but you don’t…

Bob Lind has yet again managed to get the National Heritage Board to abdicate its responsibility at Ales Stenar, a beautiful 7th century AD burial monument near Ystad in southern Sweden. Bob has self-published odd interpretations of the site that have found no traction among professional archaeologists. He has kept vigil at Ales stenar for decades, lecturing…

A new study by Leigh Turner has found that dubious stem cell clinics are registering even more dubious “clinical trials” under ClinicalTrials.gov in which they charge patients to enroll. In this unethical practice, they are merely following the trail blazed by cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski.

Dr. Michael Tobler and Dr. Zach Culumber at Kansas State University examined 112 species of live-bearing fish (Poeciliidae) and have made some interesting discoveries about their evolution. Their analyses included information on body shape, fin size, where the species are found and information on global climate. What they discovered is that the evolution of female fish is…

“It’s like an oven in there”: preventing work-related heat illnesses

Business lobbyists in California claim proposed worker safety rules for heat illness prevention are on too fast a track. They might think differently if they set up their desk in a warehouse or laundry without air conditioning.