Pure Pedantry

Archives for August, 2006

I don’t even want to know how he got it: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have yet to show their baby daughter off in public, but eager fans were given an unusual preview with the chance to see a bronze cast depicting her first solid stool. The scatological sculpture — more doodoo than Dada —…

I have posted before about how I think that the role of genetics, at least in popular culture, has been overemphasized. Rather, the really interesting and important parts of genetics are the ways in which your genes interact with environmental factors. There is an excellent article in the NY Times today about how longevity has…

Kyra, Kyra, Kyra… Note to self: turn off mic in the john. Kyra Phillips, anchor of CNN’s “Live From…,” unwittingly upstaged President Bush’s speech in New Orleans with on-the-air analysis of her husband and the marriage of her brother — all live from a CNN ladies room.

Reminder: Submit to the Synapse #6

The Synapse #6 is being hosted on The Mouse Trap on Sunday, September 3rd. Submission guidelines here.

Ethical Stem Cells Hyped?

Those of you who read an earlier post here noted that I was somewhat skeptical of the technical aspects of the so-called ethical stem cells. I felt that there were several technical hurdles that had to be surmounted before this technology could be used reasonably. It turns things were even worse than I thought. New…

The Neurophilosopher has a fabulous long post on the discovery of the neuron as the fundamental unit of the nervous system. I would note when you get to the part about Ramon y Cajal that his picture of the neurons in a chick cerebellum formed the red banner for this site, and a picture of…

Discussion on Means and Ends

There is an excellent discussion on Prometheus about whether it is OK to distort the means of science to justify certain ends. Money quote: This is of course an issue much broader than climate change, and at its core is about how science is to operate in a democracy. The practice of science, insofar as…

Wouldn’t we all like to know how to control hairiness? Women complain that they have too much, and spend half their lives eradicating the little bastards. Men have too little on the tops of their heads, and, let us say, carpets in other places. Well the molecular pathway that regulates hair density has been established.…

Encephalon #5 is up

Encephalon #5 is up at Developing Intelligence.

Tom Cruise Linked to Valerie Plame?!

You be the judge? Meanwhile, Cruise has been busier pushing Scientology than anyone knew. According to a just-declassified State Department schedule, Cruise visited then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on June 13, 2003, just an hour after Armitage had met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. (It’s speculated that Armitage outed Valerie Plame as a…