Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Twas The Week Before Christmas by Congressman John Dingell

I found this very amusing and also very telling.

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House
No bills were passed ‘bout which Fox News could grouse;
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;

Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,
While visions of school and home danced in their heads;
In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,
Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;

Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;
Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well…
Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;
A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly

We can pretend that Christmas is under attack
Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger
Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger!

This time of year we see Christmas every where we go,
From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco;
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,
When this is the season to unite us with joy

At Christmas time we’re taught to unite,
We don’t need a made-up reason to fight
So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;
You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs!

‘Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch
With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,
A merry Christmas to all,
and to Bill O’Reilly…Happy Holidays.

Is There 'Marketing' in Science?

"Elucidating a nonapoptotic role for caspase activity in T cell function: a link to NF-kappaB activation"

That's the title of the seminar today. Ok, I have a pretty good superficial knowledge of what the seminar is going to be about. I also know that understanding cell signaling is extremely important, especially in the development of new drugs. But damn! Isn't there a happy medium between letting your audience know what you are going to talk about and 'marketing' your science? Give me a good ole talk about the in vivo effects of such and such a pathogen and I am definitely happy.

Wind Farms or Not?

The construction of giant wind farms in Northern NY has been an issue of interest to me. It seems that harvest of energy from wind is a win-win situation for everyone from capitalist to environmentalist. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. It has been an extremely volatile issue among some in the Malone, NY area. Here the concern is mainly one of effects of giant wind turbines on health. Sound and 'flicker' being the main issues.

This morning there is a NYT editorial on the issue written by Robert Kennedy Jr., who happens to be an environmental lawyer. He is opposed to the construction of a wind farm in Nantucket Sound and offers many reasons why. I agree that the waters under the wind farm should not be privatized and there should not be huge government subsidies to make the farm economically feasible. But I'm getting pretty sick of people worrying about the effects of the wind turbines on 'views'. Ok, I don't want them located in national parks or on the tops of mountains in the Adirondack Park. But give me a break, environmentalist have to give a little. I'm also very very skeptical concerning the issue of wind turbine effects on health. There is very little experimental evidence for this.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Misinformation or a Lie?

President Bush constantly claims that congress saw the same intelligence information that he saw in the runup to the Iraq War. Turns out not to be true, which anyone with half a brain already knew. Now the lie is verified by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Goods From Kenya

Julia is finally home! She brought lots of stuff. See?



That's maybe half of it.