Archive for November, 2004

The new buzz-word: Telomere

I seem to be hearing a lot about this little bit of genetic material in popular culture these days; The New York Times goes into a pretty indepth article for a media that is scientifically illiterate. In a report on CNN about Yushchenko’s appearance there was an explanation by a doctor that extreme stress could […]

Uber-geekdom (or I can cast 8th level spells!!!)

(Related, read “The gaming mind and intuition” at my blog) Recently I had lunch with a friend from my community college days (ten years back). We originally met in a psychology class and our conversation turned to that. In that class the teacher set aside a time for students to voluntarily take the Stanford-Binet IQ […]

WTF! seems to have hijacked my browser. I keep getting links inserted on my own blog that I did not insert. I would not care much but it insists on highlighting as a link the first four letters of the word ‘analogy’. Does anyone know how to take it back from them? I’ve tried everything […]

SURVECTOR: The Orgasm Drug

I’m no fan of the corrupt bureaucrats at the FDA. In particular, I think drugs widely tested & prescribed in Europe but not vetted by the FDA should be available in the US with that caveat. Let the public decide for themselves. An interesting case is the drug Survector, a novel tricyclic antidepressant which was […]

English only Lawsuits

Michael Blowhard points me to the 612% rise since 1996 in EEOC lawsuits against employers mandating English Only workplaces. Claims against workplace English-only rules have increased 612 percent, from 32 cases in 1996 to 228 in 2002, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But they’re still only a fraction of the EEOC’s 9,000 […]

The Way of Truth

Cross-posted to Dean Nation. The person you agree with 100% of the time is yourself. And sometimes, even that isn’t so! Running a weblog focused on diverse topics I stumble on to many areas where I disagree with person X and agree with person Y, and many areas where the converse happens. The person with […]

The Fallujah Report

This entry is totally unrelated to the primary subject of the blog, but I felt that I had a responsibility to post this (kudos to Noah Shachtman at Defense Tech). This is a PowerPoint presentation apparently created by U.S. Central Command about the battle of Fallujah in Iraq. For an HTML version of this PowerPoint, […]

The Pentagon’s “Cambrian program”

Andrew Parker, who has been discussed on this blog before, has been recruited, along with “all manner of political and military figureheads, as well as defence analysts, computer programmers, tacticians and statisticians,” by the British Ministry of Defense to develop a piece of software that will use “evolutionary theory to predict possible threats and outcomes,” […]

NAACP President steps down

Reports about President Kweisi Mfume will be stepping down from his position, and that the organization will be looking for a new for a new candidate. Callers at C-SPAN have offered their views; Jesse Jackson, Barak Obama, Julianne Malveau, Colin Powell etc. Save for the last one I think each of them would be horrible, […]

Support the blog, blah, blah….

Extrapolating current bandwidth needs, I’ll probably have to move the blog to another host around the new year. This means more costs and more hours of my short life devoted to the ignoble task of weblog administration. Please consider following one of the Amazon links on the sidebar if you are buying books as presents […]

Zimbabwe’s New Strategy

We’ve all read about how well Zimbabwe is being governed these days, so this brainstorm shouldn’t come as a surprise: ZIMBABWE has come up with a bizarre proposal to solve the food crisis threatening half its population with starvation. It wants to bring in obese tourists from overseas so that they can shed pounds doing […]


From the authors of the forthcoming Madame Bovary’s Ovaries: Biology for the Bookishvia Arts & Letters Daily The prospect of staying alive through time via future generations is the motivation underlying sex, love, and indeed everything in the organic world. …. In justifying [the society of Orwell's 1984], Winston’s torturer, O’Brien, explains: “You are imagining […]

Yushchenko’s Illness

While cognizant that this post feeds the conspiracy minded, I did find it interesting that Ukranian Presidential contender Viktor Yushchenko has been battling a mystery illness, which: Yushchenko’s doctors in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, said they had determined that “chemicals not of a food origin” had triggered the illness. Is this illness the result of […]

The Nurture Assumption

Kevin Drum continues his stirring of the hornet’s nest, this time linking to Alex Taborrok’s post on a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper by Bruce Sacerdote that examined the outcomes of Korean children who were randomly assigned to adoptive families back in the the 70′s. Jane Galt also picks up the item. We […]

Biological aspects in dystopian literature

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a great piece called “Biology, Culture, and Persistent Literary Utopias” that I’m sure all of you will find interesting. The primary focus of the article is a common unifying them in most dystopian literature, mainly the “denial of biology.” Literary dystopias have this in common: They are imagined societies […]

X chromosome evolution

A few weeks ago there were reports of a possible ’gene for homosexuality’ on the X-chromosome, which produced a higher incidence of homosexuality in males but increased fertility in females. In comments on the subject I suggested that a gene on the X-chromosome would tend to promote the reproductive fitness of females at the expense […]

Coalitional stress

Long time readers of this blog know that I love to employ Paul Krugman as a coalitional stress inducer in dialogues. Left-of-center individuals who might otherwise accept the conventional wisdom about the glory of Stephen Jay Gould (the late literate Left-of-center intellectual) are far more likely to stop and reconsider their assumptions if offered a […]

Why are Dutch Immigrants Lagging?

An in-press paper by two dutch psychologists, Jan te Nijenhuis and Henk van der Flier, explores why Dutch immigrants are lagging behind the majority population in work-related measures. 78 immigrants (their composition in terms of country of origin is not mentioned, but the authors do state that their research focuses primarily on people from Surinam, […]

$100 kit tests who’s sporty and who’s not.

Crossposted from Trawled from Genetic Kit to Pick Sports Stars The West Australian. Want to know whether you’re better suited to endurance sports like marathons, or “sprint-power” sports like Judo or short-distance swimming? You could spend some time swimming and running and see which one feels more natural… … or, you could just send […]

Looking for Steel…

Lot of hating on Jared Diamond at GNXP lately, but his book Guns, Germs and Steel does put forward an interesting and readable “…history on the continental level” as Steve Sailer says. A more appropriate title might have been “Germs, Seeds and Hooves”, since Mr. Diamond says almost nothing about imperialism or industrialization, other than […]