Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If the world coud vote

Click HERE and help this site reach A MILLION VOTES. Maybe you want to vote as well....or just see the results?

A link for you Sarah....

A reaction to Sarah Palin's ignorance of fruit fly science......Read on Sarah! Don't you have people working for you? Listen to them, you'll look better in front of a microphone, and I am not talking about your physical look if you wonder....

As many scientists have pointed out since Palin heartlessly mocked the insect, fruit fly research has been key in understanding autism, a subject about which Palin perpetually broadcasts her interest, as she has an autistic nephew.
Source: Salon

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neowy/112928378/

Sports and bugs...the story of an infection!

Sports...hockey, football, baseball....big guys, tough guys. And who is the toughest guy of all? Not who you might think! Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) IS the tough one!

Recently, many pro athletes have been plagued by MRSA, short for methycillin resistant S. aureus. This type of bacteria is resistant to many, too many, antibiotics and can lead to desastrous infections and permanent conditions....death being one of them!

MRSA spreads quickly among athletes, especially those involved in contact sports, because many of us are colonized by this bacteria. YES WE ARE! We are covered by bacteria, in fact for each human cell there are 10 times as much bacteria...and not just S. aureus. The problem starts when S. aureus invades the skin, mostly where abrasion occurs. After sticking to damaged tissue, the bacteria starts to grow and invade the tissue a bit deeper causing boils. These boils eventually drain and pus comes out...it can be just a bit of pus...or it could be a lot! Pus contains bacteria and can then be transmitted to the next person through contact. If the bacteria is an MRSA then you can be in big trouble....

Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts was revealed to have a staph infection, the Indianapolis Star reported Friday. University of North Carolina-Asheville fans also recently learned that Kenny George, the 7-foot-7 center on the basketball team, had a staph infection complication that led to part of his foot being amputated.

Picture from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ihp/216070044/in/photostream/

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fruit fly research is useless!

Why spend so much money on fruit fly research? Ah ah....I can almost hear the ignorant public in the background...."Yeah...lets ban fruit fly research!".....Poor Sarah...you really need to learn a bit more about everything......but what a hoot for the rest of us! It seems to me she is showing more and more of her ignorance. Good thing there are only a few days left before she falls in oblivion! So stupid....it's almost cute!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rest in peace dear Jillian

I had you for only a semester....you were a bright student! I told some of your fellow students and they were shocked! So young......

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beautiful microscopic world

Click on the Image to follow link!

Monday, October 20, 2008

IronMan - Human 2.0

Mind over body, mind over matter....against adversity these guys triumph! You are my heroes!!!! Click HERE to see more!

Friday, October 17, 2008

If you find one of these, buy a lottery ticket!

This is a very rare Blue lobster....1 chance in 2 million you'll ever find one!

Fortune tellers and politics

Saera Kahn is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party of Norway. Recently she was forced to resign over a bunch of phones calls (793 to be precise) she made to fortune-tellers. The total amount comes to approximately $7500,00 CDN. Should we be surprized by this? I am not. After all Nancy Reagan hired Joan Quigley, an astrologer to advise the president on such important things as Air Force One flight schedules. Here is what I found on THIS SITE:

  • She devised elaborate horoscope charts that showed dates and times - down to the last minute - that were both good and bad for the president. Nancy would provide Quigley with the president's itinerary, she would calculate the times most advantageous for success, and then Nancy would pass along the scheduling requirements to the White House staff.
  • She contributed to the timing of international summits, presidential announcements and even the flight schedule of Air Force One.
  • Shortly after Reagan was shot by John Wayne Hinckley, Nancy learned through Merv Griffin that Quigley had told him that Reagan's chart showed that this would be a bad day for him. She could have warned him that his life was in danger. Of course, this was after the fact of the shooting.
  • Nancy Reagan had special private phone lines installed in the White House and at Camp David expressly for talking to Quigley.
  • "I was the Teflon in what came to be known as the Teflon presidency," Quigley later wrote, taking credit for the timing of his actions that would deflect criticism.
Normally, when people hear about psychics, astrologers and fortune-tellers, they laugh and make sure you know they do not believe it....but what they do is a different thing.

I guess my point is that we trust politicians, scientists and MD's with our economy, our future and our lives and then some of them ask for advice to a bunch of charlatans.....who should we trust?

Picture source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/designwallah/2414830087/

Canucks will win the Stanley cup!

Ah ah....please excuse me while I laugh! The Canucks need more sleep? Yes, of course, that was the problem...how was I so stupid that I did not think of that? Luongo, with a new child is necessarily sleep deprived and that little watch-like device from Sleep Performance will, for sure, help the team...big time!

Why not a taser too instead of old school clean body checks? Maurice Richard, Jacques Plante, Boom-Boom Geoffrion and all the other hockey heroes must be laughing...interrupting their eternal sleep! What a joke!!!!

Here is a little bonus for you....a very informative video on sleep deprivation. All the Canucks players should be aware of that important information!

VIA Vancouver Sun

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bad memory or observation?

This video is quite interesting. At first I thought that people "forgot" simply because they did not pay attention in the first place. But the last bit is quite incredible! Watch for yourself and let me know what you think!

And again and again and again it goes!

How many times was the "END OF THE WORLD" predicted? No aliens came on Oct 14, and on Dec 22nd I will be late in my X-Mas shopping as usual!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I am not a fan anyway but...

Ringo Starr is such a big star he does not have time to sign anything anymore. Poor Ringo, my heart bleeds for you, you are probably saving lives somewhere or obviously you are making a difference in your community with your precious, precious time. Peace and love....what a great message indeed!

Carbon footprint calculator

If you are interested to know how much you are hurting the planet...click HERE

The Aliens are not here.....

The Mothership, Blossom Goodchild predicted, did not hover over Alabama. We are October 15th, and nobody saw anything. No aliens will come, we are alone!

I am amazed by predictions like this. It is hard to believe that someone, of at least average intelligence, can put himself/herself under so much public scrutiny. How do you get ANY credibility by making stuff up? Blossom Goodchild is not the only one guilty. Many people believe that the answer to human problems, misery and greed will come from outside. We like to rely on "saviours", it was like that 2000 years ago and it is still like that today!

We want our leaders to be almost perfect as if we were perfect ourselves. How come nobody seems to understand that we cannot change the world if we refuse to change ourselves first? Why do we rely only on external help? How come we cannot fix minor things within ourselves and make a difference for others. The problem is lazyness, the problem is greed, the problem is narcissism, the problem is that most people I know do not take responsibility for their own mistakes.

WHY???? Because we wait for others to do the job!

Dear Blossom, help will not come from another galaxy, help will come when people realize THEY can make a difference in their own (and sometimes stupid) life!

I know such a change will not happen during my lifetime.This, I can predict but nobody will believe me because the solution I suggest is way too simple!

Cartoon by Gary Brookins

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Students of the nation: "Go out and VOTE!!!!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

No UFO? Do not bet on it!

Thanks to this article I will not watch CNN all night to see if any UFO will hover over our blue planet tomorrow (October 14th).....no UFO! And I wanted to see one so, so bad!!!!! But wait...that black out last night...is still unexplained....It has to be THEM!

I know some people are really hoping THEY do not come because they will have to pay....big time!

Bookies William Hill have taken a £1,000 bet from Lawrence Trout, of Wiltshire, which will win him £1million if Ms Goodchild is correct.

And they have also taken bets from Ms Goodchild's UK relatives. Her Surrey based niece Rebecca Simpson bet £100 and her step daughter Kelly Mosedale wagered £50.

Via: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_3046840.html

I took the image from: http://www.ufodigest.com/news/1008/images/no-ufo.jpg

Mr. Dolphin or Ms. Dolphin????

Ever tried to sex a dolphin? Me neither! But it seems like it is a difficult task for obvious reasons. A team of researchers decided to compare visible features (!) sizes, and scars! For those of you who get the wrong idea (admit it) I am talking about fins.

Via Nature News

"Rowe and Dawson found that male fins had significantly more scars than female fins, probably as a result of fighting. Male fins had a median of 15% scar tissue, whereas in females this was just 3.9%. Conversely, female fins tended to have a greater number of patchy skin lesions than male fins, with a median of 12.1% coverage compared with males' 6.8%.

The two then used a statistical analysis of scarring, number of fin nicks and fin size to correctly predict the sex of 93% of the 43 dolphins in the group. This laser-sighted technique could potentially be applied to other, less-studied populations of dolphin or even to other species, the scientists say."

It was a turkey "brown-out"

Yesterday 200,000 people on the Vancouver Island got their turkey roasting cut short. At 5:44 PM the power went out! We were lucky, our turkey was cooked! A (funny) logical explanation for this was: "Too many people were roasting their turkey at the same time"....from my Father in law! We had a good chuckle!!!!

Almost there....ahhhhh!

My personal best at a half-marathon was 1h 34 minutes 10 seconds...that was in Comox last March. After my bad results at the Lands End half marathon a few weeks ago I thought I was getting out of shape but I had no reason for that. At the Royal Victoria Half Marathon 2008 I realized, once more, that long distance running is all about pace....I missed my PB by a few seconds....15 seconds total! That's 0.71 seconds for every km....AHHHHHHH! Oh well....I was 26th in my age category which makes me quite happy!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Is this girl for real? You decide...

via:Cognitive daily

Hockey Night in Canada Challenge - My choice

Here is what I would like to hear at the beginning of every hockey game!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Gallo, not the first one! Nobel snubs!

Top 10 Nobel Snubs from SciAM. Interesting. I just wanted to say that Rosalynd Franklin did not receive the Nobel because she died before, it should not be counted as a snub!

The other ones

Want to know what the IgNobel prize is? CLICK HERE! Want to know who won this year CLICK HERE....chuckles garanteed!

To be fair...

I just wanted to come back on my last posting to be fait to Dr. Robert Gallo, a great scientist nevertheless. I found THIS ARTICLE that makes a good primer to Gallo's career.

"For the record, here is what Gallo did achieve: He first described retroviruses, which is the class of viruses to which HIV belongs, and he linked a retrovirus to a rare leukemia--this alone is deserving of the Nobel. (In an interview that I read, he considers this his most significant scientific achievement). Then, his lab discovered a "T cell growth factor" that turned out to be pivotal in sustaining the growth of T cells in culture, cells that are the target of HIV."

Gallo must be fuming, oh well...too bad!

Viruses are cool. Not because some of them kill people but because they are relatively so simple, yet so efficient! Viruses can make you famous, if you are working hard on the right project, at the right time, in the right place you can score big. The Nobel prize of physiology/medicine was awarded to virus researchers: Harald zur Hausen for his work on the papilloma virus and to Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for their discovery of HIV. The reason why Gallo must be angry is that the science that helped link HIV to AIDS was developped by Gallo's team.

If you followed the story you might be aware that Gallo surrounded himself with a shroud of controversy, he was originally accused of science misconduct regarding samples from which HIV was identified, this was overturned after an appeal....but doubts are very resilient, I guess that's what happened to this scientist.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Human nature explained by science: A slippery slope?

I am a person of great skepticism and I almost never believe anything unless I experiment it by myself but I am convinved that human behaviour can be explained in plain scientific terms. Genes regulate many aspects of our personnality but the extent to which the gene effect will be measured involves social interactions and other things that cannot be explained in biochemical/genetic terms.

Yet, bot aspects of who we are are connected through genes, mind, conscience, perception, stress etc.... (May I propose a very good podcast about the effect of a crowd on human behaviour? CLICK HERE to access it) and the scientific community seems to be reluctant to create relationships between Science and Human Nature. According to an article from the Skeptical Inquirer there are two reasons that explain the distance observed between "hard science" and "social sciences":

"There are two overly concise reasons for the segregation of social science from biology.

The first has to do with a broad allergy to “reductionism”—in effect, trying to explain a social phenomenon by a physical or genetic cause."

The second and perhaps more significant reason for the segregation of the two sciences has to do with the appropriation of some biological and many nonbiological materials by various fascist groups, especially the Nazis. Consequently, there was plausible and understandable suspicion of attributing to genes any major social or cultural phenomena."
In an interesting intellectual twist, the author (Lionel Tiger) refers to a set of behavioral "vitamins" that explain our needs, when these "vitamins" are missing, problems seems to emerge. Curious about the nature of these "vitamins"? Read HERE

Conspiracy theories and stress in the population

As you are all aware, we are now facing times that are extremely stressful for many people here in Canada and in the US as well. Both countries are facing elections, both countries are involved in armed conflicts and losing soldiers, both countries are impacted by the financial crisis and the stock exchange meltdowns of the last few days....and we are allies and neighbours.I was reading my Vancouver Sun today and came across an interesting article about conspiracy theories and the reason why they become popular in times of stress (see my recent post on a supposed alien Mothership, predicted for Oct 14th, 2008).

It seems that when people's confidence is shaken, the same people will try to understand and many will start to see patterns when, in fact, there are none. This was replicated in the lab with the same conclusion:

"A quest for structure or understanding leads people to trick themselves into seeing and believing connections that simply don't exist"
Speaking of conspiracy theories I have to admit that I am a big fan of Adam Curry's Daily Source Code and it's podcast. I am a proud "Chucklehead" (Adam Curry's fan) and religiously listen to every single episode while walking on my way to work to Camosun college. I like Adam Curry (see picture above), he is a bright guy and quite funny but lately I think he gets a bit delusionnal, he seems afraid of everything and sees an amazing conspiracy against the freedom of everyone. I am not saying he is totally wrong and I think he is probably right on many issues....but he talks like a person that's really afraid.

Illustration source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lloyd-davis/308659540/

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How old is HIV ?

This is from Nature news. I knew that an AIDS-like disease has been described way before the term AIDS was GRID. For sure the HIV has been around for a while.

Using a database of HIV-1 sequences and an estimate of the rate at which these sequences change over time, the researchers modelled when HIV-1 first surfaced. Their results showed that the most likely date for HIV's emergence was about 1908, when Léopoldville was emerging as a centre for trade.

Curious about the Large Hadron Collider?

Via: http://drop.io/dailysourcecode

So what is going to happen on October 14th, 2008???

I recently heard about October 14th, 2008....A mothership should come and we should be in contact with "beigns" from another dimension. Many websites are actually devoted to this event, whatever that event will/would/could/should be. This event is predicted by Blossom Goodchild, an Australian psychic.

We wish it to be understood that on the 14th day of your month of October in the year 2008 a craft of great size shall be visible within your skies. It shall be in the south of your hemisphere and it shall scan over many of your states.

We give to you the name of Alabama.

It has been decided that we shall remain within your atmosphere for the minimum of three of your twenty four hour periods.

During this time there will be much commotion upon your earth plane. Your highest authorities will be intruding into ‘our’ atmospherics that surround our ship. This ‘security field’ is necessary for us, as there shall take place a ‘farce’ from those in your world who shall try to deny that we come in LOVE.

Do you want them to come?....you can vote! Your votes will be tallied through telepathy!

Click HERE for more info! Keep posted!

Once again,lets apply the general rules of critical thinking...shall we???

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Death by hot sauce

I was looking at one of my favorite blogs....the Bayblab blog and found an interesting post on pain perception. It appears that eating too much hot chili sauce can be lethal. It is not known how hot sauce can kill you but if you ever go a a shop where they sell hot sauce you will find these silly bottles covered with skulls, fire and whatever reminds us that in comes in as hot and goes out with the same burning sensation.....

Read this article