The New York Times continues its grand tradition of always letting its ideology trump sound science and journalism at every opportunity. In a 25-page opus last weekend, they published a piece seeming to portray an evil corporate entity callously and recklessly poisoning the water in an Ohio river watershed home to 100,000 innocent people.

While dating in the workplace is not inherently bad and cannot be effectively forbidden there are certain rules that go with that.  Don’t date subordinates, if you do find them a new supervisor, if you end it don’t also end their employment/threaten their career.  Christian Ott violated all three of these basic rules in how he treated Io Kleiser his student.   The old case of Timothy Slater is more troubling in what happened, reassuring in what was done about him, but should trouble any who believe in due process and redemption for what is happening now.  

Pre-test Q: What in blue blazes does he mean by that? (Answer at the end)
**A commenter pointed out to me the apparent insensitivity of the juxtaposition of "Watermelon" and Obama. I am sorry — that thought never crossed my mind. IF you'd be so kind as to either read till the end OR skip to it now, you'll see that no such disrespect was intended! I do apologize if anyone was offended--the furthest thing from my mind.  GR

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that U.S. Marshals seized almost 90,000 bottles worth over $400,000 of a dietary supplement said to contain a psychoactive plant. 

Here is my holiday card for 2015, a tradition of mine going back to 1990.  Enjoy.

On the back...

I also include a summary of the year.  Here is the stuff on my research efforts:


 Geoff Marcy soon to be retired Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkley.  Pioneer of the search for exoplanets accused serial sexual harasser and perverse sexual assaulter was tried by media this year*.  Now more documents have been released. The problem with trial by media is that accusations often equal guilt.  That is the hallmark of a witch trial, that is the hallmark of a lynch mob, and no one should be lynched in the 21st century.  Especially now that social media makes it so easy to jump on the pile.   We can do better than that by giving both sides a chance to be heard.

In order to save you-all the trouble of poring over the 2000 page Omnibus Budget bill passed last week, let me point out some of its issue of concern:
The Code of Federal Regulations, which govern ‘standards of identity’, was created in 1938 specifically to prevent companies from selling fake food using established names and duping customers into thinking they got one thing while spending money on another.
Introduction: A covert alliance forged of mutual interest has declared victory after the recently-concluded Paris climate conclave issued its final accord, garnering almost 200 national signatories. Do they have reason to celebrate — or are their gleeful press statements meant to cover up the real shortfalls of this agreement? 

Not content with blathering about the politics of soda and the urgent need to label GMO-containing food to protect America's consumers from science, Prof. M.