Tag Archives: science

What I’ve Been Reading: May 17th

Coursera and other inexpensive, online ways to learn are popping up and evolving.

Great, thanks to my graduation ceremony (where I get to hear Petraeus speak!!) I’m going to miss the solar eclipse since I’ll be too far east.

Pirate Bay suffers a DDoS attack.

Coffee drinkers live longer! Well, kind of. There’s a correlation.

Mind-controlled robots!

Different kinds of currency are popping up across the world, from local money backed by national fiat to barter economies in Greece.

When Antivirus Software Updates Go Awry

I read this, and even though it’s not all good news all I could think was, “YAY LOWER GAS PRICES!” And yes, I was yelling in my head. The caps are indeed appropriate.

Sometimes entirely appropriate names in one language are phonetically hilarious in another.


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What I’ve Been Reading: May 14th

So… non-battery powered toys are better? Yeah, we’ll go with that.

I opened Skepchick Quickies, and every single link sounded interesting. Of course, there were only four, but this doesn’t happen often. Anyway, you’ll probably get all of them below.

Mayim Bialik is anti-vaccine. I’m rather disappointed by this because up until now I thought she was a pro-science, phd-holding celebrity that also acted on one of my favorite shows (Big Bang Theory). On another note, the author simultaneously takes Bialik to task and explains why not vaccinating hurts more than just the voluntarily unvaccinated (“Mayim is freeloading on the system and weakening it at the same time.”). I loved the comment pointing out that even when polio was a live-virus vaccine and thus carried a risk of contracting polio, people got their children vaccinated.*

From that article, I found this. It’s a heartbreaking account of the death of Roald Dahl’s daughter from measles. There was no reliable vaccine at the time of her death, but he makes a case for vaccines. I did do a quick fact check to make sure this was real.

I don’t really think this study is going to cause an increase in the use of IUDs in the US. Wider insurance coverage would do that, as would greater inclusion in sex ed classes. When I was in school, the IUD was covered very briefly and incompletely.

This is an odd Jezebel piece about a documentary on pedophilia. It’s not exactly information-rich (yes, I know, it’s not a news article), but interesting none-the-less.

I love Joss Whedon. And now I need to go see the Avengers.

This was horrifying, but also enlightening. Forced sterilization isn’t something most of us think about often, especially when it doesn’t refer to something the Nazis did.

Interesting take on the costs of higher education, calling it all a bubble. Not sure I agree, but it’s definitely worth a look. When it comes to commetns…I definitely don’t like when people claim the European system (think Germany) will work in the US. European countries and their governments operate much differently than in the US. For this country to adopt, say, a German system would require a huge amount of investment as well as tremendous changes to our school systems, and some sort of (successful) propaganda campaign to change the attitude of the entire country.

Media myths – this one is about “real-life Barbie.” There’s not much evidence to suggest she’s trying to look like “real-life Barbie.”

*I do have to say that there’s more than just an anti-science issue here. There are major trust issues in the United States these days.

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What I’ve Been Reading: May 4th, or It’s a pancake, it’s a volleyball, NO! It’s SUPER MOON!

It’s a pancake, it’s a volleyball, NO! It’s SUPER MOON!

Today in Gender Role Marketing” – Skepchick does a lovely job pointing out sexism and misogyny in advertising and products. Yesterday’s example of gendered toys is particularly disturbing: word magnets for children. The words are supposed to help expand vocabulary. I bet you thought boys and girls should learn the same words when they’re young! Not so, apparently – just read the list of words on the “boys” magnets compared to the “girls” magnets. I guess money is only for boys. At least girls get music, stars, and sky.

I wish this reporter would have reported a bit more on Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati’s talk itself and not just reactions to it. Also wish I could’ve been there to hear it.

Religious sites are worse for your computer than porn sites. Symantec can’t seem to figure out why religious sites are such a popular target for fake anti-virus software. I think that’s pretty obvious. We’re talking about people who believe in things like immaculate conception, zombies*, people talking to a deity and angels, a fiery but non-physical place where bad people go, I could go on. Is it really such a surprise that these unskeptical people are targeted?

Science positive toys? Check. I’m going to have to buy this for my niece and nephew.

Pragmatic Republican party? Or perhaps proof that both pragmatic and moderate Republicans outnumber very conservative Republicans enough to get the moderate candidate nominated?

I don’t think it’s a question of “if” Google and Facebook will become irrelevant, but “when.”

I watch Gossip Girl. It’s one of those guilty pleasure television shows for me, right up there with Grey’s Anatomy. I always watch The Vampire Diaries, but since I watch it primarily to laugh at how ridiculous it is, I don’t consider it so much a “guilty pleasure” as a chance to laugh. Anyway, up until now Gossip Girl has managed to stay on the right side of the shark, but the latest episode available on cwtv.com calls that into question. Spoiler alert: they just brought Bart Bass back from the dead – either that or he had an identical twin all this time. Regardless, I think it may have just jumped to the wrong side of the shark…

*I have one particular zombie in mind. His name starts with a J and ends with an esus.

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What I’ve Been Reading: April 24th

Whaling Camp: Frozen Seas and Icescapes” – Gorgeous photos.

Mike & Ike are divorcing…apparently. Um, I don’t agree with Tony Perkins’s reaction, but I am kinda wondering whose idea this was? It kind of reminds me of when Barbie and Ken broke up.

US tax laws are so f***ed up. Wish they’d just scrap it all and start again, even though I know that would cost a pretty penny.

The future of Netflix looks dismal.

Therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer. Sometimes Fox has intelligent articles about science.

Why is a disease that we can vaccinate against and that was virtually eliminated in the US making a comeback? Vaccinate your children, people. VACCINATE THEM. Stop with the irrational anti-vacc crap.

Deja vu: they said the iPhone wouldn’t sell.

Supersonic, hypersonic… when’s the teleportation going to happen?

I read part of one article that I considered posting on here, but instead I wanted to offer something else to think about. The article said, “Women are more emotional than men.” Now tell me, other than cultural beliefs and conventional wisdom, is that statement supported by anything? I’m not saying it’s not true (it may be), but I would prefer if people would question it a little more often. It’s quite annoying that this is a widely accepted piece of “wisdom.”

Our brains focus on one thing at a time, unless you make up a part of 2.5% of the population who are “super-taskers.” Did you see that gorilla?

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