Random Thoughts

I'm digging around for posts people have written on what to say/what not to say to autistic people and their family members for an episode Kathleen and I are working on for The Blogger Ladies (on The Autism Channel available on Roku) and I ran across a question by the mother of two autist

Dr. Vandana Shiva, eco-feminist - whatever that means - philosopher and environmental activist does not like that Mark Lynas has changed from being an anti-GMO crackpot, like her, to accepting science.

On her Twitterfeed, which is chock full of lunatic rantings for the 17X as many followers of her nonsense as I have, she provided an extra-special treat for her acolytes: she said that allowing farmers to use GMOs was the same as telling rapists it is okay to rape.

Successful solo rock/pop stars are around twice as likely to die early as those in equally famous bands, indicates fascinating research you can read before you over-indulge on New Year's Eve. Though you could have read this same paper on New Year's Eve in 2007, in a different journal, just covering a slightly shorter period. Maybe researchers had a 2012 publish or perish deadline. 

I recently watched the full two hours of this presentation [Evacuate Earth] and was disappointed in the fact that speculation rapidly degenerated into silliness, and ultimately pseudoscientific nonsense.
Science 2.0 is not like most other science sites. Aside from not being a part of a billion-dollar conglomerate, our audience is also a little off kilter. By off kilter, I mean ahead of everyone else.
Last week I spent my time playing in a strong chess tournament in Padova. The tournament had 50 participants, among which 11 grandmasters and 10 international masters, and was definitely the strongest event I took part in during my amateur chess career.
A recent article entitled "Fluctuating Environment May Have Driven Human Evolution", proceeded to take something that is obvious and attempt to create even more significance from it.  It is obvious, that environmental changes [yes, including fluctuations] have driven ALL of evolution, so to even qualify it as "human" indicates some attempt to make the results more significant than they are.

However, the intent of this article in trying to assign relevance was exemplified by this quote:
According to Magill, many anthropologists believe that variability of experience can trigger cognitive development.
In May of last year, I accepted an invitation from Prof. Dave Deamer to visit U.C. Santa Cruz and it game me the chance to meet Dr. Dick Gordon and also to visit the home of Dr. Bruce Damer.
I just left the following comment in the thread of my most recent posting, but thought it was more visible here, so I am cut-pasting it:

sorry for leaving comments unattended here for long. The fact is I am playing a chess tournament and have no internet connection at home because of a move, so I am a bit disconnected for a while. Will be back at full speed next week.
So maybe I can complement the information here about the chess tournament.

This is the XVth "Città di Padova" tournament, and it runs from December 16th to December 23rd. It is very strong (for my standards) with 11 grandmasters and 10 international masters, plus a few lesser souls such as yours truly acting as a mattress.

Trousers have to be tried on – the variation between size labeling and actual clothing size is huge. This is shown by the report "Large? Clothing sizes and size labeling", which looks at the relationship between clothing sizes and the actual clothing measurements as well as consumers' views on and experiences of this.