Pure Pedantry

Archives for July, 2007

Simpsons Movie

I saw the Simpsons Movie, twice in fact, which should indicate to you how good I found it to be. Two favorite lines. This one from the trailer: The other one was where Tom Hanks is trying to sell the US on a new Grand Canyon in a commercial. He says: “If you are going…

Are you shocked? I’m not: Drinking malt liquor — the cheap, high-alcohol beverage often marketed to teens — may put young adults at increased risk for alcohol problems and use of illicit drugs, particularly marijuana, according to a new study of malt liquor drinkers and marijuana use by scientists at the University at Buffalo’s Research…

Libertarian Link Clean-up

I am clearing out links, so here are two quotes on a libertarian persuasion. From Jane Galt (about media coverage of the Hillary/Obama foreign policy debate: It’s not really my business, since I don’t think anyone will ever describe me as progressive or (outside of Britain), liberal, but I don’t find this surprising, or even…

From Edgar Allen Poe’s essay The Imp of the Perverse: We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the…

What constitutes a disease?

A healthy debate rages as to whether Restless Legs Syndrome is actually a disease, or whether it was something contrived by drug companies in order to sell drugs. Nicholas Wade reports in the NY Times that two separate studies have found a gene that is linked with the disease: Kari Stefansson, chief executive of Decode…

Aside from believing that cell phones give you cancer, many individuals report that feelings of illness around cell phones and other electromagnetic fields. This being in spite of the fact that human beings possess no sensory apparatus to detect electromagnetic waves — unless of course you believe that an X-men-esque revolution is impending. Researchers in…

Despite numerous statements by the airline industry and government to the contrary, it is in fact slightly safer to sit at the back of the plane in a plane crash. The first class cabin had the lowest survival rate for the crashes they examined. Hat-tip: Slashdot.

I am as excited for the new Harry Potter book as everyone else. I mean, come on, you want to see the end of even a bad movie, right? But Jane Galt echoes something that I have been thinking for a long time about the series: Harry can be such a tool and his buddies…

Giancola and Corman wanted to know why drunks are more aggressive. The prevailing model to explain this effect is what is called the attentional allocation model wherein the alcohol inhibits an individual’s ability to focus on a broad range of stimuli — they become attentionally myopic. This means that when they focus on something that…

European market for religion

As an American living in Europe, I am at times accutely aware of the differing levels of religiosity between my country of origin and my current residence. But an article from this past weekend’s edition of the Wall Street Journal suggests that the disparity may be starting to decrease. Surveys show that, particularly among young…