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Placebo Buttons?

A recent article suggested that many of the buttons/toggles that we experience in our daily lives...

The Development Of Social Monogamy In Mammals

Two papers published this week have proposed explanations regarding the evolution of social monogamy...

Easy Answers To World Problems

After reading another article by Alex Berezow ["The Arrogance of a Well-Fed Society"] insisting...

The Precautionary Principle Review

There is an interesting series of articles published by the Guardian discussing various aspects...

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Gerhard AdamRSS Feed of this column.

I'm not big on writing things about myself so a friend on this site (Brian Taylor) opted to put a few sentences together: Hopefully I'll be able to live up to his claims. "I thought perhaps you... Read More »

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Too often we see the "anti-science" label being tossed around and invariably we get behind our respective barricades and prepare for the barrage of arguments thrown at each side.

However, the question we should be asking is why a different point of view should automatically be considered "anti-science".  After all, how is "anti-science" even manifest?  Is it simply the denial of facts?  Is it simply the denial of research?

I suppose that any of those might be sufficient to consider someone anti-science, yet for people to have an opposing opinion, doesn't it suggest that exactly the opposite has occurred?  That they have facts and research.  They simply don't agree with each other.
Having come across this article, "Sleepy medical staff run increased risks of accidents driving home after a night shift", I couldn't help but be struck by two obvious questions.

(1).  Since when does being a medical staff member make any difference in the risks of driving while sleep deprived?  If it doesn't matter, then it seems that the study is being unnecessarily specific for something which is common, obvious knowledge.

(2).  More importantly, if the risks are dramatically higher for "sleepy medical staff", one has to wonder what the risks are to patients. 
It appears that Hank may have become infected with a virus that originated from his computer.  If so, this would represent the first instance of a computer virus capable of acting on a biological host.  It has been speculated [mostly by me in an IM] that this could be the result of a biological weapons test.  Hank seems to be at a complete loss to explain this virus' origins.

Given the amount of time Hank spends connected to the internet, he is clearly at higher risk than most for such infections, so despite the normal precautions to ensure the computer system doesn't get "infected", apparently no such precautions were in place to protect Hank, himself.  
Tax Talk

Tax Talk

May 23 2012 | comment(s)

After reading this article "Sociologists' research study finds everyday tax talk is 'morally charged'", I was somewhat stunned that in 2012, it would still be a topic of research to consider what the American taxpayer is upset about.
"We propose that everyday tax talk among the middle class is not simply about economics or free markets," NIU sociologist Jeffrey Kidder said. "Tax talk is morally charged.
OK, perhaps I shouldn't be so cynical and critical, but DUH!!!!
Periodically it seems that the subject comes up regarding human colonization of space and then all manner of problems and difficulties are discussed with various people taking their respective sides on the physics that's possible and what isn't.

However, I would offer a different perspective on this and argue that it isn't a physics problem.  This isn't about speed, about time, or about energy, although these are problems.  The problem is about biology.

More specifically, the problem is about the passengers we have to take.  Not humans, not embryos, or not some cryogenically preserved individuals.  The problem is bacteria.
I recently read two pieces in RealScience entitled "Cyberwar is already upon us" by John Arquilla and "Think again, Cyberwar" by Thomas Rid.  While there are obviously differing views about what each perspective entails, I couldn't help but be struck by a few comments made by Rid in his piece.