Welcome to our new house at ScienceBlogs. We trust our old readers had no trouble with the directions to get here. You can wander off to the kitchen and fix yourself a drink while we introduce ourselves to our new neighbors.

We describe EM as a forum for argument and discussion about progressive public health ideas, which both sums it up and probably doesn't tell you much. "Progressive" is a code word for being on the Left. This is a lefty political blog (and a Koufax Award Finalist for Best Expert Blog; PZ took the honors in that category, and deservedly so). The argument and discussion part is also based on the premise that there has been too little hard thinking in progressive public health circles. We have been too long content with slogans like "Prevention Pays" (what if it didn't? would we not do it?). We felt it was time to begin the hard theoretical task of rethinking progressive public health with the help of the hivemind called the blogosphere. That's been the long term vision, but daily blogging has also had short term subjects.

Effect Measure isn't ancient, but it's been around since the end of 2004. There are 1200 posts over at the old house on a wide variety of topics related to public health. Among them are an 18 part series on George Lakoff (begins here); a five part series on where the World Health Organization fits into the international system in the age of bird flu (begins here); another multipart science primer on the viral mutations found in the Turkish bird flu viruses and what they mean (begins here); lots of small posts on problems with Tasers (example here); a five part series on what war and religion are doing on a public health blog (starts here); and a bunch of other stuff. So far we have posted daily, so keep coming back. There should be something new whenever you do.

One topic, however, has tended to dominate and also driven a lot of our traffic: bird flu (aka avian influenza). We were an early adopter of the bird flu theme, well before the strange new world of flublogia was formed out of the inchoate obsessive compulsive disorder called the blogosphere. The bird flu theme was not because of our backgrounds. We are environmental epidemiologists into theoretical and mathematical approaches. It was because of our politics. The initial lack of response to the panzootic of avian influenza 18 month agos seemed the perfect metaphor for the failed vision and pathetic national leadership void in public health. So we started blogging it, one of the few sites in the blogosphere doing so then. But not the only one. Melanie Mattson's Just a Bump in the Beltway and DemFromCT's The Next Hurrah also had taken notice. Both are political blogs. Last June we joined forces to create The Flu Wiki, a grand experiment in global participatory pandemic flu planning. The Wiki now gets around 10,000 visits a day and is considered an authoritative source by one WHO region, several health departments and the BBC, among others. It has a freewheeling (and often off-the-wall) Discussion Forum and a sober information section, a la Wikipedia, but bird flu centered. Several thousand pages of content, including lots of science stuff (much authored by us). Take a look.

The Flu Wiki is assiduously non-partisan, but Effect Measure isn't. It is assiduously partisan. Anti-War, anti-clerical (and godless), pro-community. George Bush isn't at the top of our list unless we hold the list upside down. Every Sunday we do a Freethinker Sunday Sermonette to spread the gospel of atheism. Many of our readers love all this. Some hate it but step around it because there are many other things that interest them here. The rest? Well, there are 20,000,000 blogs out there. They can find one they like. You have been warned. Complaining will get you nowhere.

The name, Effect Measure, is a term of art in epidemiology. An Odds Ratio or a Relative Risk are kinds of effect measures. They are, as the name implies, measures of a risk factor's effect. The Editors/Writers/Bloggers are senior scientist(s) whose name(s) would be recognizable in the environmental epidemiology community (and probably elsewhere). We prefer to use a pseudonym ("Revere") so we can say what we want and how we want to say it. Paul Revere was the first citizen member of the country's first municipal Board of Health, Boston, 1799. Almost everything we have said here we have also said in our real skins, but we use different diction than here. This is a very punitive Administration, and while we are pretty long in the tooth and don't worry much for our own careers, we have students, younger colleagues and an institution we care about. None of them should be punished for how we express our opinions. How many of us are there? Currently we will only say it is not a prime number and strictly less than five.

That's enough. If we have the pleasure of your companionship and participation via comments, we'll get to know each other well, very soon. We are pleased to be in this great venue for science bloggers.


More like this

It's been a long time coming but the time has come. Effect Measure is closing up shop, after 5 and a half years, 3 million visits and 5.1 million page views of some 3500. You commented on them some 37,000 times. It's been a grand ride but to all things there is a season. It's time to simplify my…
by revere [This is another cross-post from Effect Measure but it fits here because it lays out some of the history of the progressive public health blogosphere and welcomes The Pump Handle as its newest -- and we hope brightest -- member!] This weekend is Effect Measure's Second Blogiversary and it…
Yesterday Flu Wiki founding editor and DailyKos frontpager DemFromCT reviewed three recent report cards on public health, one each by the American Public Health Association (APHA), The Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the American College Of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). It was a great a…
by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure Yesterday Flu Wiki founding editor and DailyKos frontpager DemFromCT reviewed three recent report cards on public health, one each by the American Public Health Association (APHA), The Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the American College Of Emergency…

Hmmm...nice place....

Are you keeping those drapes?


Congratulations on your new house. It's...lovely! Had no trouble finding the place. (You're out of ice in the kitchen.)

another: No. The drapes belong to Mr. Roth (they are the drapes of Roth).

Hi, Revere

Will/can this new blog have a "Recent Comments" list of links? That was one of my favorite design features of your old blog.

Congrats on the new digs!

By Suzanne Bunton (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

nevermind, i see that my question created its own answer!

By Suzanne Bunton (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Thanks to all who offered congratulations. I'm off to celebrate a friend's wedding and also celebrate our own anniversary (#34). Don't trash the house while we're away. Brought in another bag of ice for slovenia. It's in the Tooth Fairy's knapsack.

Revere - Surprise! Although no surprise they would invite your top quality efforts.

Just one thing. Even with my (Internet Explorer, still the most common one whether you like microsoft or not) browser text size set on 'Largest', I still need a magnifying glass to read it, as the size seems to be set by the stylesheet (Dizzy leans forward, peering). Can that be loosened up a bit please? Scrolling beats peering for me, assume there may be others who feel the same. Or if someone knows of a browser that can handle this better please enlighten me (I can build a website parrot-fashion but my general web ignorance is stunning for a tech!).

Dizzy: I've queried the tech staff at Sb and we'll try to fix the problem. I think the main style sheet is on their server and I don't have access to it. Are others having this problem, too?

I will keep following your blog no matter where you go!

The print size is an issue for us over 40 crowd.

By Science Teacher (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

The font size is fine for me and i'm half-blind. But I use Mozilla Firefox. Which is why I'm writing: i recommend it over IE to everyone. The tabs feature is incredibly handy (you can put all your bird flu sites in a bookmark subdirectory and open them in one click!) and my pop-up & malware problems on my machines that run Windows have all but disappeared since I switched to it, about 9 months ago.

Google 'firefox' and download it: it's quick and easy and you won't be sorry. (But keep IE for your automatic windows upgrades.)

Oh, I forgot to mention most germane feature: you can increase and decrease the font-size to suit your momentary level of eye-fatique by hitting + or -.

By Suzanne Bunton (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

something went wrong with my last comment when it posted.

You can increase and decrease the font size in Firefox by hitting Control + or Control -.

By Suzanne Bunton (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Well, nice blogging space, but I'm concerned about the copyright issues.

Where's the Creative Commons license? I miss it from the old blog!

The terms and conditions here seem pretty strong, are you really willing to "...grant to Seed Media the worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable, nonexclusive right and license to reproduce, modify, edit, publish, display, perform, adapt, distribute, sublicense and otherwise use and exploit such Submissions (and any and all proprietary rights therein that you may have) in any and all forms and media, now or hereafter discovered, without compensation or attribution to you."

Err.. What about the rights of the rest of us to use Effect Measure content (under the terms of a Creative Commons license)?

At least the terms and conditions here state that they are "nonexclusive", so presumably you can license your content to the rest of us with Creative Commons. But I really recommend that you ask your new blog host about this.

Drapes of Roth may be from Rothmans - look like carbon fibre to me. That's good. Is there also a pipe in TF's sack with the dime bag?

Ain't movin' hell?

Eric: I insisted on a CC license but I guess it didn't get displayed. I'll have to install the image when i get back from the weekend. Thanks for reminding me.

As a relatively new arrival to your cyber-soapbox corner I was amazed to find that clearly-written, witty prose, at the service of a very neatly organized logical thought process has not, as I had suspected, gone the way of the dinosaurs.
As housewarming present I am going to give you this poem that I wrote a long time ago, before I started cooking for a living. I hope you like it.

Poem for Spring

You see this written word.
You see this written.
You see this.
You see.

You word.

Great! Let us know how the licensing thing goes with Seed Media.

I hope they recognize the need and value for bloggers to license their content with Creative Commons!

Hey Revere,

Love your new digs. Glad that a scholar of religion like myself is welcome around here. (Before I have my morning coffee, I'm an atheist, too.)


By SumatraPaul (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

NO, the Reveres didnt leave the other site because of conservative intervention. I would grant them tenure any day of the week too.

Very nice little floobugle. I havent noticed anything about scalability of fonts... If someone knows how let me know.

Dont mind me, I'll just be nosing around all of the little nooks and crannies for a while...

Oh hey, just one other thing I just opened a door and found Ann Coulter behind it Revere's and knowing your love for this particular type of conservative bug, perhaps the Orkin Man????

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Revere, thanks for everything, but the type is truly too small on IE. Firefox is decidedly better about enabling bigger font sizes (and most other things), but I still use IE a lot for complicated reasons. Some readers will definitely have problems....
Best in all of your work,

Okie Dokie, for font changes in Netscape 7.2 or 8.0 go to Edit, then Preferences, then click Appearances twice. Then Fonts, then minimum font size = 17. If you need bigger, just tool it on up until you can see the big "A" on the eye chart.

For those of you with seeing eye dogs, one bark for bigger, two for smalller.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Ricardo and all my other friends; It's a pleasure to have you here. It will take a bit of getting used to. New platform, new interface, probably some glitches. I'm sure in a week or so we will be back to infuriating each other in our old familiar way.

And Ricardo, thank you for your poem and the praising of my prose of which you are logically, I would say it was some other way, but, enamored of my not splitting the infinitives or dependent clauses to.

Just drove a couple of hundred miles so I'm headed for bed. Back posting tomorrow here in the new quarters. Smells of fresh paint.

Out of internet range (Cape Hatteras) for three days, return to find EM moving to a new location. Progress no doubt. I'll miss the look and "feel" of the old site, but hey, complaining gets one nowhere.

Wishing the reveres success and long tenure in their new digs.

By sharpstick (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Can you increase the font size? The old site was much easier to read.

sharp: I'm a bit nostalgic for the old digs, too. We'll see how it goes. Lots of great bloggers at ScienceBlogs, so that's a plus. I figure folks can still go right to my site without going to the Sb Main Page just as before, although you should check them out. You'll like them.

Tomorrow I start blogging here for real (or surreal). I am on the road so it might be a tad lighter for a few days because of the combo of the new platform and traveling -- a double whammy. I'll give it my best shot.

Abe: I'm querying the Sb folks about this, but one fix is to switch from IE to Firefox or Safari. It's quite readable from either and most of the complaints on font size I think are from IE users. I'll try to get it fixed so it works for everyone.

Welcome to the new venue!

Good to see you are moving up in the world.

Keep up the good work. Your reputation certainly seems to be golden!!!

Congrats Reveres! I use Safari or Firefox, so even with a 12" screen, no font complaints. I visually associate your old graphics and layout with you, but I'm sure I'll get used to the difference. (And, it's been awhile since I took math, but doesn't that mean that are four of you?)

Revere: Yeah, I do love your style, although tonight it does sound like you really need some rest..... And I don't care what size font you use, just tell the caterers to be a little bit quicker with the drink refills.

caia : two isn't a prime number either, or is it ?

Albert: I wasn't sure about that either. I think it is a prime number because it's only evenly divisible by itself and 1. I seem to remember it being the only even prime number all other even numbers are divisible by 2. But like I said, it's been awhile since I've taken math. (And I never suspected there were 4 Reveres; I would have guessed 2 rather than 4. So maybe I'm wrong.)

heh heh...

From Dummit & Foote, _Abstract Algebra_:

"An element p of Z+ is called prime if p > 1 and the only positive divisors of p are 1 and p."

(Z+ is the set of integers that are greater than 0)

By Suzanne Bunton (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Hi Reveres,

Congratulations on the great work.

Just wondering when you will get an RSS feed up and running for your new home? I visited the Scienceblogs RSS page and yours wasn't listed.

I have been reading Effect Measure for some time via my RSS compiler and would like to keep doing so if possible.

By attack rate (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Looks like the move went well. As for housewarming, I hope you dont mind some unsolicited opinions about the new place.

The dark colors on the borders are depressing!!! Maybe that was the first posters subtle gesture about the drapes.

Serif fonts are much easier to read. Seeing as how this blog is primarily for, well, blogging and being read, _please_ choose a serif font. I find it humorous that your old serif font, which I liked very much, was called Georgia. The irony is thick.

As for the rest, settle in, be your Revere-self(ves?) and I'll keep reading.


That does it.

Carbon fibre 'Drapes of Roth' from Rothman's; bags of ice, dime bags and pipes in the Tooth Fairy's knapsack; the primality of the number of Reveres; and now, the presence of 'thick irony' in the fact that the old font was called Georgia?

You guys are all smoking crack, aren't you?

By Suzanne Bunton (not verified) on 09 Jun 2006 #permalink

Folklore (particularly Microsoft folklore) has it that sans serif is easier to read on a screen, and serif is better for text on paper. Afaik, this has never been proved, it is just a lot of fashionable nonsense. After font size, which is a matter of thresholds with little variation in reading "ease" or speed between them, the next factor is contrast. Its not for nothing that paper has always been light colored - usually bleached somehow - and ink as dark as possible.

Well now that I have burbled on a bit Mr. Kruger can get me a glass of white wine. And pass the olives please.


Found my way to the kitchen and the ice and poured a drink to celebrate the move with the regulars. I'm not going to bitch about the drapes or the wallpaper, I'm sure you'll have all the old stuff that you want to move with you hung in a week or so. I'm sure you'll enjoy hanging with the new neighbors. Paul, you aren't the only theologian in the house:-)

Ana, these stuffed grape leaves are just delicious....

Suzanne! Geez, shhhh! (cough)

Even if you can't bring along the old pages, hope you can re-instate all the good links. I do miss the "Revere's lantern" though, it makes me think both of Paul Revere's warning, as well as Diogenes...

I'm beginning to feel I'm in one of those never-ending stories where bloggers becomes characters and contribute to the plot...

I think we need an hoeurs d'oeuvres tray for longer sessions.

attack rate: We're supposed to have an RSS feed. I'll check why we don't.
darin: The landlords are redecorating. They started with the main page, but tell us that the gray borders will soon be gone.

Regarding what's prime and not prime, remember that in the ring of integers, if the unit is is member of an ideal then the ideal is the whole ring. I'm sure that helps. Also consider that if the clue we gave you specified the number uniquely we wouldn't have given it to you.

If numbers are like lamb, they come in the following grades:


Generally, higher grade numbers are more tender and flavorful (and so more expensive), and also (and not coincidentally) with a higher proportion of calories from fat

PS Congratulations on your new home.

By Freddy el Desf… (not verified) on 10 Jun 2006 #permalink

Thank you Melanie (A tastes gleefully)

Party chatter:

Bird flu dance sweeps Ivory Coast

-- The infectious craze has hundreds of people shaking, flapping their arms, and clucking on the dance floor, an imitation of chickens' death throes when they are culled to stop the virus from spreading. --…

BIRD FLU google search results are censored in China. - Along with results for many other expressions such as democracy, falun gong, protest, etc.

Ps. I have lost apostrophes, no doubt I ll find them again somehow, cheers!

Love the new house Reveres! A toast to your move!
BTW, I too use Internet Explorer but the type size appears fine on my screen. Don't know how or why, it just is. And thank goodness because I don't have the will to get used to another browser. My life is complicated enough already. Besides I'm more of a pencil-and-paper kinda girl. Now... if I... could... just get... the lead... out of... this... mechanical pencil....

It is nice but I do sorta miss the pretty light-house graphic from the other site.

At least the ads as I type this feature a beautiful photograph of Krakatoa (boom!).

I kind of wonder how Merapi is (or isn't) going to play into the bird flu mix.

By Lisa the GP (not verified) on 10 Jun 2006 #permalink

I skipped down from the post about Firefox. In another life, I fix computers, which mostly involves removing viruses and spies. IE is the main entry point for such, and Firefox is far less prone to attack. I'm over 55, run a 17" LCD at 1280x1024 and (with my ready readers) I can read it fine. Cudos to Suzanne for the tip about increasing the font size for those without access to the WalMart glasses kiosk.Oh! Nice digs. I like it... Which way to the kitchen???

By Man of Misery (not verified) on 10 Jun 2006 #permalink


It's down the hall on your left. What can I get you?

reveres, is it possible to configure the comments (I don't know what platform this is) so that it remembers name/address/url information so we don't have to re-enter it each time?

More math burble: Deeply confused, I asked my favorite mathematician (I call him "Dad"), and he confirmed that 2 is a prime number. But 1 isn't, because prime numbers are defined as greater than 1. (Kent, I should have paid better attention to your comment.) So there is/are either 1 or 4 Revere(s). :)

Lisa the GP,

Are you still looking?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 Jun 2006 #permalink

Been thinking for sometime that there is really just one of them. 1 isn't prime either.