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If spending is the metric, Canadian research is in trouble.

Of course, if spending is the metric, American Democrats hate science a lot more than American Republicans do, but you'd have a hard time getting science media to acknowledge that. Still, spending is at least one metric.
Elements Make Headlines

If you ever enjoyed Tom Lehrer's take on the elements, or even if not, check out this way of using the names of the elements in a novel way:
While the new DSM-5 has attracted plenty of criticism - and the National Institute of Mental Health has given up on it, saying "patients with mental disorders deserve better" - not everyone is critical.
Students of sociology professor Dr. Leszek Sibilski at University of Maryland made a video asking for action on climate change.  They regard climate change as a social problem - most in science would regard it as a physics one but certainly taking action is a political, and therefore social, issue.
The people who brought a certain cultural demographic (*cough*) sand-free peanut butter have now come out with a new product that is going to appeal to the anti-science crackpots that shop in places like Whole Foods and/or have a giant majority in California - non-GMO rock salt.
No one wants to send a poor country gravel but look for appropriate rich country outrage now that a road crew has bulldozed a Mayan pyramid to make some.

Belizean police say they are investigating the construction company that has destroyed most of one of the largest Mayan pyramids in that country - to make gravel to dump on village roads. They are only investigating now?  It seems odd that the company will face a real penalty, since archaeologists and a local TV station watched them demolish the 60-foot-tall main temple at Nohmul ("great mound") - which means it was no secret in advance - one of the tallest structures in northern Belize, along the Mexican border in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Space Oddity by Chris Hadfield - David Bowie Approves

Nearly 5,000,000 views so far.
Chris Hadfield left orbit in style yesterday after five months aboard the International Space Station. Hours before his planned return to Earth aboard a Soyuz capsule, he cast himself as Bowie’s Major Tom in a remake of the singer’s 1969 classic, “Space Oddity”.
The Independent

vidi audienti dilexi
I looked, I listened, I loved it !

see also -
The Supreme Court came down overwhelmingly on the side of Monsanto today, ruling unanimously that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto's patent on genetically modified soybeans when he culled some from a grain elevator and used them to replant his own crop in future years.
While psychology as science is a little overcome by surveys and correlating behavior to images to take seriously, there is one area where it shines - applied marketing.

We know psychology as marketing engineering is successful - it is a giant industry, we even have advertising here on Science 2.0. And it's being used in restaurants right now to get you to spend more money.
Visual effects master Ray Harryhausen, whose stop-motion wizardry - he made his models by hand and painstakingly shot them frame by frame to create some of the best-known animated sequences in cinema - became famous in movies from "One Million Years B.C." to "Sinbad", died Tuesday at age 92. 

Less well known, but famous among World War II buffs, was the "Why We Fight" series he made with Frank Capra for new recruits in the US Army, which also included work by Walt Disney. It was powerful stuff.  Capra, directed by G.C. Marshall, quite literally wanted new soldier to know why they were going to a foreign land and why it was right to do so.
Earlier today, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing his administration to take historic steps to make government-held data more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth.  The White House drafted and released the official Open Data Policy of the United States on GitHub! The Presidential Memorandum calls for the creation of Project Open Data, with the goal of making government data "available, discoverable, and usable – in a word, open".

  • The Executive Order declares that information is a valuable resource and strategic asset for the nation.
  • A Federal judge in Rhode Island didn't like that the Supreme Court struck down an $18 million penalty for a Texas natural gas firm so he is trying to get creative in his new penalty. The company, Southern Union Co., stored liquid mercury from old gas regulators they had removed from customers' homes inside a building in Pawtucket in unsafe conditions and without a permit.  

    Teenage vandals broke into the building and dumped mercury there and at a nearby apartment complex, which had to be evacuated. Residents later were found to have unacceptably high levels of mercury in their blood and showed other symptoms of mercury exposure, such as hair loss and rashes. 90 of them later settled a lawsuit over the spill for undisclosed terms. All recovered.
    Vaccines are good.

    Infectious diseases are no longer the leading cause of death like they were a century ago. Sure, they are also big business now, as marketing for HPV and Shingles can attest, but that doesn't mean just anything can or should be a vaccine.

    Except in Canada. 

    Health Canada has licensed 10 products with a homeopathic preparation called “influenzinum” for "preventing the flu and its related symptoms" and even homeopathic preparations to prevent polio, measles and pertussis - despite the fact that they are so diluted they have no active ingredient at all, they are just placebos.
    The thousands of clueless hippies who hijacked the Cheerios Facebook page to demand that General Mills get behind putting GMO warning labels on food are disappointed the company isn't convinced any of them buy Cheerios anyway.
    A paper in Food and Chemical Toxicology, published in Elsevier, claiming that Bacillus thuringiensis showed toxic effects in the blood of Swiss albino mice has been withdrawn.

    Citation: Mezzomo BP, Miranda-Vilela AL, de Souza Freire I, Barbosa LC, Portilho FA, Lacava ZG, Grisolia CK, 'WITHDRAWN: Effects of oral administration of Bacillus thuringiensis as spore-crystal strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa on hematologic and genotoxic endpoints of Swiss albino mice', Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Nov 9. pii: S0278-6915(12)00777-6. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2012.10.032

    That's good news, right?

    Yeah, but here is the weird part. It is now in another (open access) journal.
    Writing at Slate, Greg Laden gives a terrific overview of anthropology and also the war on Napoleon Chagnon:

    Our way of being is certainly tied to our biological heritage, but the differences we see across cultures are the products of lived experience, with cultural norms shaped by our environment and how we are brought up. It also seems true that within academia, there are subfields into which we are enculturated, and which inform and shape our thinking.
    Doing a Top 10 List Of Science Bloggers is going to be subjective - so many people in science media write because so many in the audience prefer different styles and different content - that is why there are 700 TV stations also but blogging is cheap. Just know your stuff and write well and you'll get a million readers a month.
    The latest Ecosystem Advisory issued by NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center says sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem during 2012 were the highest recorded in 150 years. 

    Sea surface temperature in the region is based on both contemporary satellite remote-sensing data and long-term ship-board measurements, with historical SST conditions based on ship-board measurements dating back to 1854. The temperature increase in 2012 was the highest jump in temperature seen in the time series and one of only five times temperature has changed by more than 1 C (1.8 F).
    Large population-scale studies powered by high-throughput sequencing technologies have generated massive amounts of genomic data, with the potential to revolutionize genetics and medicine.

    But the translation of these data to actionable medicine is complicated by the challenges of extracting meaningful information from high-throughput sequencing  data. The challenge is beyond computational, as bioinformatics is bound by the experimental methods employed to produce genomic data. A successful experiment minimizes false positives and depends on the optimization of an entire pipeline, from sample preparation to computational analysis.
    What was Earth like 5 million years ago?  

    We had camels in North America and got an Arctic ice cap due to the fact that Earth got cooler and drier.  And the atmosphere had 400 parts per million, about what the northern hemisphere could have next month, according to according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Lab.

    Old air preserved as bubbles in the Antarctic ice sheet tell us CO2 levels never exceeded 300 parts per million during the last 800,000 years but they started to rise with the advent of industry. Tuesday of this week the reading was 398.44 ppm as measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. It was 316 ppm when Charles Keeling, who the Keeling Curve is named after, began taking measurements there.