Neuron Culture

Archives for April, 2009

Selection Bias in Torture Studies

Apparently the Bush Administration’s survey of the legal literature of torture missed something. From Antemedius: George W. Bush’s Justice Department said subjecting a person to the near drowning of waterboarding was not a crime and didn’t even cause pain, but Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department thought otherwise, prosecuting a Texas sheriff and three deputies for using…

Emotional Cartography

Leave it to Vaughn Bell to find this stuff: emotional maps of different cities. Got to get a hold of this — and as Vaughn explains, you and I can, with free download. (But leave the author some $. It’s the right thing to do.) Nold came up with the idea of fusing a GSR…

Flu news you can use

The excellent blog H5N1 (now covering H1N1 as well, and all over it), points us to the New York Times for an op-ed by John M. Barry, author of the definitive history of the Spanish flu in the US: Where Will the Swine Flu Go Next? Excerpt: As the swine flu threatens to become the…

I’m guessing most everyone interested in swine flu already reads Effect Measure (as well you should; it was an invaluable resource in my reporting for my Slate piece on the mystery of the virulence of the outbreak in Mexico). But in case you haven’t or are not, today’s primer there on case fatality rates, virulence,…

Swine flu and the Mexico mystery

“Swine Flu and the Mexico Mystery,” my story on the swine-flu outbreak, is up at Slate. It looks at a question hotly pursued right now: Why does this flu seem to take a much deadlier course in Mexico than elsewhere so far? The answers will suggest much about what’s to come. Of the two two…

Maureen Dowd pretty much asked for parody of her clueless snarkdown of Twitter. From Nancy Friedman at Frittancy Telephone SAN FRANCISCO — I was here on a simple quest: curious to know if the inventors of Twitter were as annoying as their invention. — Maureen Dowd, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet,” New York Times,…

via Nicholson cartoons Veteran, author, and blogger Kelly Williams, who was there, ponders what torture does to the torturers: There have been lots of questions raised — about the history and effectiveness of these techniques, the impact on those tortured, the larger foreign policy implications — all of which are important considerations. There is, however,…

Reading the Mindreading Studies – Science Progress seeks a handle on fMRI hype, hope, and horizons The evolving Swine Flu story [Effect Measure] The skinny on a scary run of deadly swine flu, from people who’ve been doing this a while. Green Issues Fade Is green losing its lustre? Eli Lilly Tops List of Drug-Company…

Two hacks at self-castration

In Predicting the determined self-castrator Vaughn Bell links and looks at a surprising study looking at psychological attributes that predict which castration enthusiasts who will actually go on to remove their own testicles, in contrast to those who just fantasise about it. That’s as far as I got; I couldn’t summon the strength to read…

As the comments and correspondence about my PTSD story and posts accrue, I’ve been pondering ways to pull out some of the most interesting, powerful, and affecting. I finally decided to just start posting some, sometimes with commentary, sometimes without. This is a story of many different colors and textures.   I’ll start with this excerpt…