Cool Links

It is difficult to imagine the motivation of Russia in attacking Ukraine yet again. Thanks to European reliance in Russian natural gas and food, they probably felt untouchable.

If so, it was a reasonable gamble. After the last fight in Ukraine, Germany and Europe so desperately wanted to avoid conflict with Russia they ignored their own environmental laws and promised to fast-track a pipeline that went from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine entirely. They were already buying a large percentage of their food from the east because, with a wave of the pen, a large amount of Russian food became "certified" organic - and Europe does no surprise spot testing to see if food really only uses ancient pesticides and genetic engineering techniques.
What does it mean when you have rectal cancer that can no longer be detected by PET scans, MRI, or endoscopy? It means you no longer have cancer.

And that is the case in a small study (n=18) in New England Journal of Medicine which detailed results of  the checkpoint inhibitor dostarlimab. Eight doses over six months at $11,000 per dose means not only sparing patients chemo, radiation, and surgery, it means saving the health care system millions per patient.
When people from more normal states ask me about living in California, I tell them all the good things and the weird things people hear are true.

When it comes to science, though, it's all weird. We charge more for cars that help nothing in emissions, we have 100,000 cancer warning labels on everything from coffee to corkboards, and we have to get exemptions from EPA to have unlimited natural gas pollution because we mandate and subsidize solar that doesn't work. We can't allow rich people in Malibu to have brownouts but want to have poor people pay for their solar.
If you take a hanger and place it around your head, your head is likely to turn. This was studied in 1991 and 2015 for the same reason we sometimes put shrimp on treadmills - because we can. And also because it is a mystery of neuroscience.
Some of the problem with infant formula is due to COVID-19 and the resulting supply chain issues, but the other problem America has during this crisis with domestic formula is that we have tariffs and restrictions on imports that have nothing to do with safety. Democrats claim it is Trump, everything is Trump, while doing nothing about it for the past 17 months but now declaring more government will fix it.

Protectionism is designed to make imports unprofitable and favor domestic companies. Unlike "buy American", which appeals to emotion and is fine marketing, protectionism gives mandates and therefore subsidies to companies, which means higher prices.

In this case, it also means when there is a 40 percent shortage, infants at risk.
Once upon a time vaccine deniers were on the left and conspiracy theorists who felt government was out to control us using radio waves were on the right.

Now they have flipped. Welcome to political intelligence.

Environmental Health Trust, the brainchild of discredited zealot Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., thinks Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and especially 5G cell phone signals are killing us. The most bizarre part is he thinks cell phones were safer in the 1990s, when they emitted more radiation with more power.
As a new century dawned just over 20 years ago, a new war began, this one on expectant mothers. Companies, and their paid influencers, began to trot and even fund "studies" which correlated whatever they were selling to some positive outcome. Organic food meant better grades, abstaining from coffee meant higher IQ, you name it and someone was blastly already worried mothers will fear and doubt.
In the Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in the Pacific Ocean, the exploration ship Nautilus, operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, caught sight of an odd formation that looks like a cobblestone road.

"It's the road to Atlantis," one explorer jokes, before another one asks, "The yellow brick road?"


Sri Lanka is in the midst of a rebellion bordering on civil war, and as these things often go, it resulted from leaders out of touch with the people.

Last year, the government of Sri Lanka, with European environmental Wormtongues whispering in their ears, showed what anti-science activists called "leadership" and banned any process that was not "certified organic." 

The collapse of the country was so sudden, a few months, it can be taught in political science classes for how not to govern. Even socialists in Venezuela had to be shaking their heads and wondering what Sri Lanka was thinking.


In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations World Health Organisation told the Trump administration not to cut travel from Wuhan, they insisted that there was no pandemic at all, and then that SARS-CoV-2 could not be transmitted from human to human.

A year later they repeated the communist dictatorship's claim that COVID-19 might have been caused in the US and shipped to China in frozen food, and finally corporate journalists started to believe what independent people in science media had been saying for a decade - the WHO has a Chinese influence problem.
It’s not socially acceptable to shame people on race, religion, or sexual orientation but an entire industry has been built around shaming pregnant women for what they eat or if they use cleaning chemicals that trial lawyer groups claim might be 'endocrine disrupting' chemicals.

Food bullying is common now and we can thank marketing groups for perpetuating it. They will pressure people by getting one n a group to believe $8-a-gallon milk with an "organic" label is healthier than $4-a-gallon milk. The somewhat ridiculous Non-GMO Project has gotten over 60,000 products to pay for their label when only a handful of things are actually made using modern science like genetic modification.
In 2015, a group of doctors asked Columbia University to take action against Dr. Oz for his sloppy advocacy of supplements and alternatives to medicine and science while wearing scrubs to give his beliefs an air of authority.

Not only did they refuse, progressives in media rushed to his defense, claiming everyone involved, including Dr. Henry Miller, MD, founding director of the FDA Office of Biotechnology, was part of a right wing cabal. You know. Republicans. out to tear down the Great and Powerful Oz, darling of the left standing up to Big Pharma and the evil corporations trying to block out natural medicine. 
Environmentalists have spent tens of millions of dollars to raise hundreds of millions of dollars convincing people that bees are in decline and that if you don't pay them to stop science, our food ecosystem will collapse.

It's all nonsense, of course. Bees aren't in decline. They do have blips where some mass die-offs occur, but those have been recorded for as long as bee hive numbers have been recorded, over 1,000 years of mass die-offs.

The top three risks for mass bee deaths are varroa mites, varroa mites, and varroa mites. Number four is travel, since the largest impact of bees on our food system is not natural pollination, but pollination on demand. Like almonds in California. Or apples in Alaska.

That's right, apples in Alaska.
California has spent decades using taxpayer money to evangelize their beliefs in solar and wind power but this summer those quasi-religious beliefs could wither before scientific and technological reality.
When a judge declared the Biden administration's attempt to extend the mandate of masks on airplanes unlawful, the Biden administration walked away from that effort. That, to me, was a sign that they knew the science was not on their side but they were placating their constituents who do not really trust vaccines.

Wait, aren't the Republicans the ones who don't trust vaccines? Only for the last year, and only for political reasons. California, which once had more vaccine deniers than the entire rest of the US combined, suddenly claimed to be pro-vaccine. Except weird places like San Francisco told people they needed four shots. And to wear masks outside. 

That is not pro-science, it means you don't trust it at all. Just as always.
Does the CDC dictate property law in the United States? The Biden administration claimed it did, and that was only one of the bizarre efforts to use government agencies to legislate around Congress.

The White House hoped to stretch "Chevron deference", a flawed Supreme Court interpretation which found that government agencies could create rules that act like laws without needing Congress as long as it was in their regulatory mandate, beyond recognition.
In the 'politics makes strange bedfellows' department, the Biden administration conceded that a California judge appointed by Democrats had no legal authority to block a rule denying what Southern states tried to do to keep slavery - say that states rights were supreme over the US.
I got an email from a PR agent for a vitamin company criticizing other vitamin companies for doing a questionnaire for visitors to their website and then recommending up to 8 vitamins based on their health goals and current self-reported state in this material plane. Others got it down to 2 pills a day. Still too many, they said!

The two doctors behind this company did the exact same thing, except the big news was they got it down to 1 pill. In other words, they paid someone to promote the big breakthrough that they created a multivitamin. Multivitamins have existed since 1943. Even during World War II, with sugar and meat rationed, someone found a way to be a grifter and call it science.
The pandemic changed a lot of political landscaping when it comes to science. The anti-vaccine movement was once squarely centered inside the left but now lots of right-wing people have done their best to make Republicans look just as stupid. 

Prior to 2021, environmental activists were not only comfortable with anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists under their umbrella, they embraced them, because they were overwhelmingly their wealthy donors. Now even Brooklyn hipsters and their shoulder cats say they are on Team Science again but the kookier members of the progressive movement remain opposed to nearly all applied science. They are even turning on vegetarians.
Erika Girardi, a "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star, has been sued in a new $2.1 million complaint claiming she "aided and abetted" Tom in his law firm Girardi&Keese's alleged financial wrongdoings. They are being sued by the people who represented because he would get settlements and he kept the money, it is claimed.