Saturday, September 01, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
They run a piece on animal testings, the good and bad of it and how companies and institutions are looking for alternatives.
Some of the passages I don't fully agree on:
In an ideal world, there would be no animal testing. It is expensive and can be of dubious scientific value, since different species often react differently to the same procedure.
Well, it still is the best we have at our disposal. Once we see that an animal is affected in a way which does not correlate well with humans, we usually look for the reasons, and if necessary take the species out of the pipeline for that compound. It's a win/win situation, except for the animals, of course. But even then, on average is a good deal for them.
As for animals used during experimental surgery procedure, well, it's not up to me to defend that field. I certainly hope that, if using aneasthetics does not invalidate the results, they will be administered, if only for 'humanitarian' reasons.
I get back to describing my attempts of saving as many guinea Pig as I can from being needlessly sacrificed.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
* GI -- Google it
* MOP -- Mac or PC?
* FCAO -- five conversations at once
* IIOYT -- is it on YouTube?
* DYFH -- did you Facebook him/her?
* BIOI -- buy it on iTunes
* CMOS -- call me on Skype
* GGNUDP -- gotta go, no unlimited data plan
* WLF -- with the lady friend
* JUOC -- jacked up on caffeine
* 12OF -- twelve-o'clock flasher (refers to someone less than competent with technology, to the extent that every appliance in the house flashes "12:00")
* SML -- send me the link
* RHB -- read his/her blog
* MBLO -- much better-looking online
* KYST -- knew you'd say that
* NBL -- no battery left
* CTTC -- can't talk, teacher's coming
* TWD -- typing while driving
* CMT (CMF, CMM, CMB) -- check my Twitter (Facebook, Myspace, blog)
* CYE (CYF, CYM, CYB)--check your email (Facebook, Myspace, blog)
And a few just for iPhone owners:
* SPLETS -- send pics later; Edge too slow
* CSVUI -- can't send video, using iPhone
* BPWMI -- boss playing with my iPhone
* SIK -- sorry, iPhone keyboard
* OOM -- out of messages (for iPhone users who haven't upgraded their AT&T "200 messages a month" plan)Here's some special acronyms for oldtimers:
* WIWYA -- when I was your age
* YKT you kids today
* CRRE -- conversation required; remove earbuds
* WDO? -- what are you doing online?
* NIWYM -- no idea what you mean
* NCK -- not a chance, kid
* B2W -- back to work
* AYD? -- are you drunk?
* LODH -- log off, do homework
* DYMK? -- does your mother know?
* IGAT -- I've got abbreviations, too
It's been a while since I've been to Retrospectacle.
And now I see this: Shelley reports of a psychotic patient who killed himself by slowly pushing a ballpen through his eye in his brain... Ugh!!!
Apparently, the guy stayed conscious all the way for four days before dying, but didn't tell the doctors trying to save him what he did!!!
Again, from Nature, a reminders that thirty years ago Climate Scientist J.S. Sawyer predicted that with the expected 25% increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, the average T on the planet surface would go up 0.6 Celsius. The observed value has been 0.5. A remarkable prediction, especially considering that at the time we were thought to be heading into another ice age (which we would be, were it not for man's action, I guess). So, very few people gave credit to the thought of an inversion.
So, now what?
Nature reports that japanese cicadas have been descending in masse over the arcipelago, and they don't just make noise.
They also destroy the country's fiber-optic infrastructure, since they mistake the hanging cables for withered branches, and punch them with their ovopositors in order to put an egg in the cosy place.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
A wonderful picture of a deep-sea squid in Deep Sea News.
Despite its delicate, decorated appearance, this jewel squid was found 1,650 lung-crushing feet (500 meters) beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. Scientists on a recent deep-sea expedition found the squid, called Histioteuthis, along with an abundance of other species thought to be very rare, if not unknown, elsewhere. Jewel squid are known for their mismatched eyes, one of which is larger than the other to scope for prey in the deep's darkness.
Does the dissimmetry in the eye mirror an equivalent dissimmetry in the brain to better process the different input? I am surprised as I thought that down there no light would make it, so predators would rely on other senses to hunt their preys...
Monday, August 27, 2007
I mean, I get cited in the PostDoc carnival, twice, and get an increase in traffic. Good. Except for the fact that most of the increase is for my citation of a NY Times article about police officers in SE Asia being forced to wear Hello Kitty badges of shame, when acting against the rules. So, I guess the conclusion is that Science is much much weaker than Cuddliness.
I just finished this book, and I must say that I loved it. The sheer breadth and depth of arguments treated in the book is mindboggling. The authors cover from the birth of the universe, through that of our planet, to Evolution, our role in the cosmos (or lack thereof) and our best survival strategy in a universe which, if not downright evil, is at least very uninterested to our existence.
Mind opening in so many levels, it really is the very first 'science' novel.
I was a bit skeptic about the alternating structure at first, one chapter of novel followed by an explanatory chapter of science. Yet it does pick up and work wonderfully, giving you a light and varied yet interesting read. 10+!!!
(ps: I am looking forward to read the next one, now.