Terra Sigillata

Archives for September, 2006

Lasker Awards 2006

This year’s recipients of the Lasker Awards were announced yesterday. These awards from The Lasker Foundation are often referred to as the “American Nobels.” The award for Basic Medical Research went to three scientists for “the prediction and discovery of telomerase, a remarkable RNA-containing enzyme that synthesizes the ends of chromosomes, protecting them and maintaining…

A back alley conversation among several ScienceBloggers is the impetus for this week’s post. A couple of weeks ago, Dave Munger over at Cognitive Daily asked all of us about our favorite cheap wine deals. So, with the permission of my SciBlings, I thought I’d let the readership in on the discussion and suggestions:

I applauded Keith Olbermann in this space two weeks ago. I finally got around tonight to reading his commentary presented Monday night at Ground Zero. Apologies to my readers who may be overwhelmed by all of the 9/11 attention this week but, as Olbermann said, “I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was,…

Spontaneous combustion

I have to admit to feeling a bit unnerved by smelling fire all day yesterday, the anniversary of the US terrorist attacks. Little did I know that we’ve got a little case of overzealous municipal composting gone awry: A massive pile of leaves and wood at a city of Durham composting facility ignited over the…

Writing under this masthead for the past three months has been a great privilege, interacting with some really outstanding thinkers and writers in science, medicine, and society. We’ve got real journalists, scientists, physicians, students here, each of whom bring a unique and thoughtful eye to the issues of the day. The 9/11 posts were no…

Let me tell you about John Michael Griffin, Jr. Griff, as he was known in high school, was a friend of mine. Late in the first half of our lives, he stood up for me physically and philosophically, for being a science geek. John’s endorsement was the first time I was ever deemed cool for…

Weekend sex and drugs update

Most of last week’s posts were about music, so I thought I’d round out the holy trinity of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Traveling this weekend gave me an opportunity to indulge in one of my secret guilty pleasures: reading USA TODAY. First up, as it were, is Kitty Bean Yancey’s story on the…

Another reason I reposted yesterday on my Stetson Kennedy visit in January was to also note some bad news that came my way this week. Steve Blackwell, Florida folk guitarist and magnificent songwriter, lost his battle with malignant melanoma last Sunday. He was only 58. His memorial service will be this afternoon in Punta Gorda,…

Stetson Kennedy revisited, literally

Next month, the family Pharmboy is headed down to Beluthahatchee, Florida, to help celebrate the 90th birthday of famed human rights legend, Stetson Kennedy, the subject of some Woody Guthrie lyrics put to music by Billy Bragg and Wilco. Among ScienceBloggers, I’ve learned that Janet and Steinn are big Billy Bragg fans and Josh is…

From BBC News, “With the fight against illegal downloading of songs starting to pay off, the music business has set its sights on a new enemy on the internet – websites which transcribe pop songs into musical notation.” Not content with suing Moms and kids who illegally download mp3s, the recording industry is looking to…