Pure Pedantry

Archives for May, 2008

A cat hit by a motorcycle in Port Harcourt, Nigeria allegedly turned into a middle-aged woman. Good thing there were lots of people around to kill a second cat-person and beat the accident survivor into a confession of witchcraft. What could be described as a fairy tale turned real on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers…

Political Quote for Today

Not really a fan of Jonah Goldberg, but damn this is funny: It’s been rumored that McClellan was hired by the Bush White House to appeal to a specific sub-constituency: pasty middle-aged men with a thumbless grasp of the English language. The veracity of this rumor has long been undermined by the assumption that Bush…

Will Wilkinson takes anarchist Crispin Sartwell over the proposition that an illegitimate state is therefore a morally indefensible state: The point is: Showing that the state is not legitimate does not deliver anarchy because “If the state is not legitimate, then it is not morally defensible” is a false premise. The existence of a moral…

Another crane has collapsed in NYC. This is the second crane to collapse in the past several months, and this one is even closer to my house. Yikes. I would say that I would never walk under these things, but it is kind of impossible.

Science and Shakespeare

I had the privilege of seeing Hamlet last night at Shakespeare in the Park. I say the privilege because the production was as usual excellent. For those of you who don’t know, it is a New York tradition for the Public Theater to host plays by Shakespeare — usually two — over the summer free…

This is cool. A computer programmer parsed the all the Wikipedia entries to find the average step length to get from any one to any other. He also found the center of Wikipedia — the article that has the shortest average step length to any other article. The article in question is 2007. Hat-tip: Slashdot

OK, so that title is a bit glib, but that is definitely how the press is going to spin this story about birds who have stable female-female mating pairs: Almost a third of Laysan albatross nests in the Oahu colony have two mommies. That’s the surprise in Lindsay Young’s genetic analysis of breeding pairs on…

Encephalon #46 is up

Encephalon #46 is up at the Neurocritic. My favorite: if you haven’t read Chris’s post how on hyperbolic discounting reflects distorted time perception, you need to. It is genius.

Relevant Graphic of the Day

Don’t tell my boss… Prospects for work this summer are not improving…and fast.

One of the more common questions I get is why they haven’t found any drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. (But they have, haven’t they? What about cholinesterase inhibitors like Aricept? Ed. Those drugs mask the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but they do not change the clinical course.) Drug companies are particularly gifted at finding molecules…