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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Benefit for bringing to term a pregnancy.

This is Hilarious.

After suggesting the Freakonomics blog to a friend, I went off to read some posts myself.

In particular, one of the posts captured my attention, about a study correlating Depression and abortion rates in Australian women...

Then I start reading the comments, and I find out that the Australian government recently raised child benefits, instituting a 4000US$ Baby Bonus which can be claimed for every pregnancy brought to term. That's right, you get the 4000 bucks not only for bringing to light a live baby, but also if he/she's stillborn.

Factsheet is here.

this brought me to think how hard the legislator job really is, when to draft a law it has to account for almost every possible case!!! It's akin to programming, in fact, where every outcome of an expression must be guessed before hand to avoid crashes or the program malfunctioning. Only, there are no known debuggers for politics. Not yet...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My next steps.

I am toying with the idea of applying for research position in the anti-microbial, or generally anti-infective area.

The reasons? As far as I know, targets are easier to work with, more specifically, proteins are easier to Xtallize so that Structure-based drug design actually has some chance to work. Well, at least there's some material to start from. second, and most importantly, there is a resurgence of such diseases all over the world.

On the converse, though, big [pharma seems to have dropped this field as few doses of an antifungal or anti-viral are less remunerative than the long term treatment of a mentally or metabolically ill patient. But frankly, I don't like that area. It may be challenging, but also gets frustrating when your animal models have very limited analogy with the human condition.

One withdraw of such a coice is that such research positions are mainly available from small companies, and this means (ouch!) smaller salaries too. On the good side though, I'll be able to wear more than one hat, the environment will be more dynamic, and I may grow quicker, if I play my card well.

Well, good luck to me... Now, let's go and hunt down some bacteria!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Richard Dawkins goes to the movies with PZ Myers

They went together to a free (as in beer, not as in speech) pre-screening of Expelled, a documentary about the lack of controversy between Evolutionary theory and IDiocy.

Anyway, PZ Myers was singled out by the security guards and asked to leave, whereas the much less illustrious Tricky Dicky was let in.

He's said to have gone berserk half-way in the projection, dismembering several spectators before being put to rest by the bite of an intelligently designed bull-mastiff. Lol. What a quintessentially english gentleman...

Get the full story here.


Been using my new Forerunner 305 this morning.

Here's the recorded track from home to work along the motorway.

Its accuracy is remarkable... It even gets the lane right, most of the time, an operation that seems to be beyond of the abilities of my GPS navigator, which uses its maps to lock my position on the road.

The forerunner can get a precise lock just by staying in the passenger's seat... Great!!!

I wish I could upload the kml file so that you can have a look at my wanderings on google Earth... Well, may be not my way home, but it would be nice to fly over my next Rwanda trip by using Google Earth in 3D mode...

In the Easter Egg

First post in so much time...

A white Easter has come and gone, with some friends from the UK over to visit us. It was nice and we had a good time, toruing around and eating lots of good stuff...

Also, they acted as surrogate Easter Bunnies, delivering to me a new pair of isolating ear-phones for my MP3 listening, plus the ultimate gadget, a GPS-enabled watch with cardio-pulse recorder...

Now I can finally track my errings, up and down belgium, within a few metres... Now particularly interesting I know, but it'll come in handy when I want to geo-tag some pictures during trips and so on... Plus I can upload my tracks and treks to Google Earth, to look at them frm above and brag about with my friends ;-)

Ain't that nice?

Happy Easter to everyone!!!