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It's often the case that attending a conference like AAAS means you have to choose between competing programs, like the good stuff, the fun stuff and the stuff you will make fun of.  This morning I had one of each at the same time but since I didn't get to the one I would likely have made fun of, I will leave that out.

Instead I had to make a tough call between Eugenie Scott and "How Can Scientists Support Policy Makers?" and "The Science of Superheroes" - Genie won, at least in the beginning.
In many parts of the country there is a recession but some segments are immune to the ups and downs of economic cycles.  Three are obvious; your lawyer, your accountant and hotels in towns where conventions are being held.  No matter how bad things get, they will never lower their rates.  There may be legends of them lowering their rates but, like children who look like bats, they always  seem to be in a third world country:

This is a science site and not a political or economics one and therefore we have poor grasp of things we know nothing about, like how missing cigarette tax revenue can possibly be responsible for bloated governments being unable to pay their bills.

But apparently it is and a new method of securing cigarette tax stamps from counterfeiting and falsification could save nations otherwise losing more than $50 billion annually - which, like 'jobs saved' is a number you can believe if you want, because someone said it - that's all according to a group of companies that make holograms designed to ... prevent counterfeit cigarette tax stamps.


The New Cosmetic Surgery Journalism Prize will be awarded by DDr. Heinrich for outstanding reporting on New Cosmetic Surgery techniques.

That's right, journalists. You can win a prize from a cosmetic surgery company if you simply write about the techniques used by their cosmetic surgery company.   Sure, it's like being a public relations flack but since it's a prize rather than a paid puff piece you won't feel dirty.


They want your contribution to be be well-researched and include general legal disclaimers and information, like that cosmetic surgery is not actually taught in public hospitals for a reason.


Scientific Blogging fave Greg Critser has a new book out, Eternity Soup: Inside The Quest To End Aging(available at fine retailers everywhere, or at that link if you want us to make a nickel) and in celebration he has put together a short quiz to find out what you know.
Let's be honest, both poles of the American political spectrum fear the same thing about each other; that if the other gets control a lot of oppressive weird stuff will happen.

If right-wing people get control, the presidency will carry a 'sponsored by Exxon" sign and 'gay' will be outlawed.  Not gay marriage - gay.   If left wing people get control, there will be mandatory gay porn in church and jackbooted enviro-fascists will kick down your doors if you don't compost your orange rinds.