Friday, November 28, 2003

More Iraq Incompetency Exposed

They didn't want to be called occupiers so they fumbled the ball instead. I just love this administration and its appreciation for the truth.

Why Bush went to Baghdad

He had to show that at least had the cajones of a certain traveling senator. Sad, so sad.

Ancient Maize Genetics

Early Native American farmers drastically altered the genome of corn without the precise genetic engineering methods of today.

"'Changes being made today are probably much smaller than the ones that changed a wild grass with very hard seeds to one that is edible and useful for people,' said Nina Fedroff, a plant biologist at Penn State University, who wrote a perspective that accompanied the Science study. 'As far as a general hazard, (modern day genetic modifications) are much less hazardous than what people have done for most of the century.'

The changes scientists make using molecular biology are tiny, she said, compared with the modifications that dramatically changed the appearance and taste of corn 4,400 years ago. Scientists can manipulate a single gene, while selective breeding is much less precise."

It still behooves genetic engineers to be very careful, but most of the really big steps have already been taken.

Eat More Cinnamon

As noted in a previous post, cocoa has anti-oxidant features. Add some cinnamon to it and it can help control blood sugar as well. This also points to a reasonable first aid approach for a diabetic needing a quick reduction in their blood sugar.

Spray-on Contraception

In Australia a new female contraceptive is being tested. Because the hormone being used breaks down in the stomach, pills are not an effective delivery method. When sprayed on the skin it penetrates, pools, and then is delivered in a time-released manner. It has possibilities for nursing mothers because the baby's gut would destroy any of it that was excreted in the milk. The method could also be useful for other compounds that need to be time-released and are broken down by stomach acid.

On the other hand, the mechanism used is the same one exploited by water-resistant sunscreens. I hope they have been properly tested for the long-duration exposures they present by their persistence in the skin tissues.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Global warming 'detected' in the US

Here's the beef! A new series of models show that the warming we are seeing is attributable to human activity. So Mr. Bush, stop studying it and do something about it instead of giving money away to the fossil fuel industry.

Desktop Manufacturing

If you could build something at your desk, what would it be?

Revolution of Roses

The Serbs and now the Georgians. It's time to get the ball rolling here in the States. A stolen election and a corrupt regime. All the elements are here.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Ocean gliders

I read about these in a science-fiction context over a decade ago. Why did it take so long for the Navy to catch on to it?

FBI and new powers

It looks like the ACLU is right. You can't give the government such power and expect them not to use it. Note to terrorists: the best place to hide is in the Justice Department. They'll never look there.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Divided Over Iran

Does anyone else notice the clear difference between the evidence procured in the Iran nuclear matter and the WMD of Iraq? The international community found the evidence and is now deliberating together on what to do about it. When the decision is made almost all parties will be in it together. How unlike the Republican cowboys that is.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Sexual Orientation Is in the Brain

The evidence mounts that some sexual orientation is related to alternate brain structure and function. Those that consider it to be merely a choice continue to lose ground.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Diabetes Cure?

[Link] "Cells from an unexpected source, the spleen, appear to develop into insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells in adult animals.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Dirty business

"How Bush and his coal industry cronies are covering up one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history."

Is anyone surprised? You are? What a shame!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Zbig and Bush

As reported by Kaplan:
"The excitement that Brzezinski's speech inspired in a roomful of liberal Democrats--the American Prospect's Web site headlines it 'A Must-Read Speech'--suggests that the liberal critique of Bush's foreign policy is at one with the conservative critique. It suggests that, on a basic level, Bush's foreign policy is neither liberal nor conservative but, rather, callow, smug, and reckless."

Hot Cocoa May Be Healthier Choice

This works for me. Don't drink wine and I prefer coffee to tea but hot cocoa is second only to my coffee.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Army buries its mistakes

Fred Kaplan shows the administration continues business as usual in the removal of a lessons-learned report from the web. If it tells the truth about the Army's inefficient and shody intelligence practices, they don't dare let the world see it.

The atmosphere of honesty in the analysis world must really be chilly by now.

Stem Cell debate reveals character.

Michael Kinsley elucidates how the issue of stem cells has demonstrated the (lack of) depth of character in the current administration.

"THE DISTINGUISHING feature of modern Washington dishonesty is that it is almost transparent, barely intended to deceive. It uses true-ish factoids to construct an implied assertion about reality that is not just false but preposterous. Modern Washington dishonesty is more like an elaborate, stylized ritual than a realistic Western-style performance. The goal is not to persuade but merely to create an impression that there are two sides to the question without actually having to supply one of them."


"How can you restrict embryonic stem-cell research because it encourages the creation and destruction of embryos, and yet praise the fertility industry that creates and destroys embryos by the thousands (and would supply the embryos for stem-cell research, if that were allowed)?
But why get into tedious arguments when bogus facts can see you through?"

The Empire Strikes Out

Ausubel can be forgiven for being a bit of an alarmist because both history and the trends in today's society are real. The environment will indeed get us if we simply continue down our current path.

Adaptive Glory

In a new book, Michael Ruse weighs in on the Darwin question. He disassembles the arguments for and against Darwinism and once again the "intelligent design" argument is found seriously wanting.