The Primate Diaries

Archives for August, 2009

Phineas Gage in the Flesh

The only known photograph of famed head case Phineas Gage was discovered last month (on Flickr of all places!). Jack and Beverly Wilgus had the above daguerreotype for thirty years before realizing what it was. As they describe the image’s history at their website: We called it “The Whaler” because we thought the pole he…

As I’ve been preparing my formal review of Unscientific America I’ve been struck by the question: who was this book intended for? Clearly it was a critique of science communicators to be sure (more on that later) but as I realized in going through my notes, Mooney and Kirshenbaum’s strongest sections are those discussing the…

Right Wing Rejects Free Market for Glenn Beck

Twenty companies have now pulled their advertising from the Glenn Beck Program (eight of them yesterday). The right wing outrage to the free market at work continues to grow. The website DefendGlenn.com has today attacked Sargento as “the worst company in the world” because they sent the following response about why they pulled their advertising:…

According to a press release put out today by the organization Color of Change, the campaign to encourage companies to pull their advertising revenue from Glenn Beck’s FOXNews show earned some major new signatories: Eight more Glenn Beck advertisers, including Wal-Mart – the world’s largest retailer – have confirmed to ColorOfChange.org that they pulled their…

The Giant’s Shoulders #14

The monthly history of science carnival is now up at The Dispersal of Darwin. This is one of the best collections produced yet, proving that The Giant’s Shoulders’ second year is getting off to a tremendous start. Head on over to check out these great posts. My favorites in this edition include the following:

Monty Python Explains Health Care Reform

I’m sorry, I’m afraid that title’s misleading. This is actually an early video of UnitedHealth CEO Stephen J. Hemsley (whose salary is estimated at $102,000 an hour) discussing his principled stance on why he’s opposed to the public option in US health care reform. Or it could be The Money Song from Monty Python’s Flying…

Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “Where there’s marriage without love there will be love without marriage.” His affairs are well known in American history, however this founding father may have been stating a truth extending to evolutionary history as well. Christopher Ryan (author of the forthcoming Sex at Dawn) offers some thoughts on the role of…

In light of the AstroTurf outrage promoted by right-wing organizations, media pundits and lobbying firms over the health care reform legislation, I thought it would be appropriate to remember the reason we need reform in the first place. In this interview with Bill Moyers, Wendell Potter, former head of corporate communications for CIGNA, reveals how…

Dispatches From the Two Americas

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein urges his employees not to engage in “conspicuous consumption” for image concerns after their “record second-quarter profit of $2.3 billion” thanks to a government bailout: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has warned his employess to avoid making big-ticket, high-profile purchases as the gold-plated Wall Street firm hunkers down amid a…

Primatologists Had it Coming

The Daily Show’s Jon Oliver investigates the question of whether humans are more closely related to orangutans or chimpanzees. The answer shouldn’t surprise you in the slightest (though it will be quite funny). The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Human’s Closest Relative www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor…