New on....

Well, just too busy for something original, so it's time for a little linkfest of notable stuff I saw in the blogosphere over the past couple of days:

Carl, Brian, Anne-Marie and PZ report on the Indohyus, a close relative of the whales that lived 48 million years ago in Kashmir.

Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir wrote a provocative commentary about the mind-enhancing drugs - would you use them or not? A discussion is ongoing on Nature Network. Shelley, Janet, Anne-Marie, Vaughan and PZ offer some quite different answers. I think that these drugs, especially as they get perfected and their mode of action better understood, will become ubiqutous and a normal part of life, like wearing glasses, getting a pacemaker, or having a cup of coffee in the morning. Jonathan provides another example.

Hyenas. Loved by Anne-Marie.

Science Commons announces Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data. They have started a new blog just to cover this. Peter Suber and Deepak Singh comment.

Popular Mechanics has a summary of all the Presidential candidates' statements regarding the environment. Greg and PZ comment.

Another anecdote from a peer reviewer: an inside view on the peer review.

Ben Goldacre finds an incredibly silly paper.

Apparently, the vaunted Impact Factor is calculated by hand-waiving and an Ouija board.

Amanda notes why "sustainability" is a word that is losing its meaning. Pigs. Capitalist pigs. Literally.

Mark Chu-Carroll gives the best explanation of the current mortgage/housing crisis - bad math and "free-rein, free-market capitalism" gone berserk.

Echidne comments on the latest Paul Krugman column in the NYTimes. Krugman also wrote something similar on his blog. Which is very similar to something I wrote back in February. And something I wrote back in 2004 (note the prescient last sentence). Warren Buffett and Tim O'Reilly don't get it. It is all about the Overton Window. Glenn Greenwald and Digby explain it even better. And Sara groks it the best of them all. And Tim also misunderstands the term "nurturant parent" and mixes it up with the 'permissive parent'.

I like my beauty sleep to much to wake up in the middle of the night on a Saturday, but if you are up to it, go ahead and participate in the 2nd annual Global Orgasm For Peace on December 22nd at 6:08GMT. Unfortunately, this otherwise cheerful event is marred with the pseudoscientific New-Agey quasy-explanation:

The Global Consciousness Project, located in Princeton, New Jersey, runs a network of Random Event Generators around the world which record changes in their randomness during global events. The results show that human consciousness can be measured to have a global effect on matter and energy during widely-watched events such as the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, large antiwar protests, natural catastrophes, acts of war and mass meditations. Concentrated consciousness has measurable effects.

Our minds influence Matter and Quantum Energy fields, so by concentrating our thoughts during and after The Big O on peace and partnership, the combination of high orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention for peace could reduce global levels of violence, hatred and fear.

The world is full of men with axes to grind and weapons to fire in displays of their superiority over others. It is time to spare the planet from Alpha Male concepts of 'progress', 'growth' and Manifest Destiny, which are endangering all of us. True partnership between the Masculine and Feminine that is within all women and men may enable our species to survive in relative harmony. The Global Orgasm for Peace is one attempt to begin that process.

Orac and PZ made fun of it last year and Greg did it this year. There is an alternative that does not need to use pseudoscientific woo, though, but may be in danger of commercialization. What's wrong with every day? At least once?

How politics is done in Ivory Coast: tymberwolf reports from the ground (hat-tip: Ruby):

Evidently, according to Bita (my counterpart intern), TODAY the President of Cote d'Ivoire sent a death squad to the parents of the Ivorian Assembly President. What seems to have happened was that President Gbobo impregnated the daughter of the Assembly President (same party) twice. The first time, the pregnancy was aborted.

So. The President went to the house of the AP and slapped his wife. In response, the AP went to the house of the President and slapped the first lady. Or something like that. So basically the AP is now in exile in Ghana.

This all happened just now. Evidently, had the AP been in an opposing party, war would have already broken out.

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