Pure Pedantry

Archives for September, 2008

Strange Sentences in the News

Not really a lot for me to say about the bailout package, but I stumbled on this funny sentence in the NYTimes: After the overnight drafting efforts on both sides of Capitol Hill — with pizza on the House side, and Thai food in the Senate — Democratic officials said they had completed a unified…

For those of you who are interested in science blogging — either to ask questions or to start one of your own — I will be participating in a panel discussion about science blogging next week (Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 7 pm) at the Apple Store in Soho New York. More info here if you…

Light Blogging to Come

Sorry about the light blogging everyone. I am super-busy at work preparing for an upcoming vacation, so I just don’t have the time for it at the moment. I expect light-blogging between now and the middle of October, so check back with us then.

Here is a clever idea for making sure you never have to search for a parking space: congestion pricing. San Francisco is trying out a system based on this principle: The SFpark project will begin early in 2009 with a new network of pavement sensors in 6,000 of San Francisco’s metered parking spaces and 11,500…

A recent report questions the wisdom of an outright ban on bushmeat sales: The report from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), based in Bogor, Indonesia, suggests instead that the bushmeat trade should be regulated, with hunting allowed for relatively common, fast-reproducing species such as duikers (a small antelope) and rodents, whereas endangered species,…

Explaining the Market Meltdown

As we witness the self-destruction of portions of our financial institutions, many of us have been ask ourselves: what the hell is going on? University of Chicago economists, Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap, have a Q&A at the Freakonomics blog to answer some questions. One important question is why the Fed chose to bail out…

Would you apply for that job?

USA Today prints a (sort of) joke job description for the next generation of doctors: Idealistic Generation X/Y overachievers with low- to mid-six-figure student loans to work in imploding health care system currently subject to runaway entitlement spending. Future salary to be subject to government whim and guaranteed not to keep up with inflation. Will…

Apparently, some people think that the name “Large Hadron Collider” fails to capture the terrific grandeur of the device’s mission. The Royal Society of Chemistry had a contest to pick an newer, better name, but the winning name proved to be “Halo.” No way can they call it that. That name is so copyrighted that…

It is speculation time. My roommate and I were watching a story this morning on CNN by Sanjay Gupta about how astronauts lose bone mass while in space. One of the limitations with space travel is that because of the absence of gravity, your bones steadily deteriorate. Load bearing exercise is required for bone maintenance.…

DNA vs. Dog Poop

An Israeli town has come up with an aggressive method to fight uncollected dog poop: DNA IDing the “originator.” An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward and punish pet owners. Under a six-month trial programme launched this week, the city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is asking…