Random Thoughts

With 365 days in a year and a whole lot of causes and events and gimmicks, it is no surprise that there are sometimes lots and lots of 'National XYZ' Days on the same day.

The National Months get kind of cluttered too. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, American Pharmacist Month, Apple Jack Month, Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Clergy Appreciation Month, Computer Learning Month, Cookie Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Eat Country Ham Month. International Drum Month, Lupus Awareness Month, National Diabetes Month, National Pizza Month, National Vegetarian Month, National Popcorn Popping Month and, as you can already tell by the tone of this piece, Sarcastic Month.
Since I retired three years ago, I have been becoming almost as sessile as a sea squirt, sitting in front of my computer, reading not just news but comment and what people are thinking about things.  Among the ‘things’, women’s equality is very much to the front these days.
The time has come for me to take my leave of Science 2.0. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the years. There were some amazing discussions and good times in a variety of ways. Thanks for all the knowledge that was freely shared, the excellent articles I was privileged to read, as well as the many displays of humor. I will miss you all, so take care and good-bye. Gerhard Adam
I don't know enough math to know if this has been precisely defined but I know enough about my ignorance of math to know that if there is such a definition I probably won't understand it.  Mathematics fails to be a universal language in most respects because mathematicians can rarely articulate their concepts in layman's language that actually makes sense.  A universal language is only universal iff the common folk can grok it too.
I think a lot about science outreach. As a non-scientist, I am simultaneously the exact person science outreach advocates say should be excited about science while a few believe my interest (along with 80% of you) in science should consist solely of paying taxes that can then go to government grants, to pay for science they can insist they are doing for us.
Applying the laws of men to murky facts is almost as hard as determining the laws of nature.   In science we have clear experimental and observational data and tease out the laws of science.   In the law the facts are in question the laws are known.  It was hard to decide but the guy clearly chopped up his wife, just kidding.  The case wasn't nearly that interesting.

Omics slapped at the end of words is the latest rage. It makes just about anything sound scientific. If someone says they read an astrology journal, for example, I might roll my eyes a little, but if they call their journal Astrolomics, well ... okay, I would still roll my eyes a little, but if they say they are attending a Beeronomics conference, they are making their way into my blog.
I haven't been on this site in a while, and in looking at a past article it strikes me that some of my previously posted views have changed. (Congratulations, right?) Normally, this is the kind of thing I'd tuck away in some cortical sulcus, but I think it's worth posting because it has got me thinking about some bigger questions. My post on commercial brain-computer interfaces from November of last year meandered around that peculiar industry for a bit and ultimately examined a study in which the authors discuss a proof-of-concept for pulling out volunteers' banking locations, ATM PINs, and the like. I ended the piece with these thoughts:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is always in conflict with itself. While it claims to care about animals, it also kills about 90% of the animals it takes in. While they advocate less meat consumption, the people they rally around that flag abuse animals with dietary quackery and forced ideology, like the recent case of a dying kitten who was non-responsive when brought to a veterinarian by its vegan owners - who told them a diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta was killing their cat.(1) The posturing of PETA members overall is cloying, but nothing like most vegans.