Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lazy linking

Gen. Pace calls homosexuality immoral

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday he considers homosexuality to be immoral and the military should not condone it by allowing gay personnel to serve openly, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Of course, killing other people is not immoral.

Salon had an article about the problems female soldiers face in Iraq. Unfurtunately, they haven't done their fact-checking properly, as Mike Dunford points out.
I do believe that there is some truth to the article, but that they have been too reliant on sloppy sources, instead of proper research. I would recommend that Salon put another reporter on the case, and made a new (better) article about the subject.

There is a new feminism 101 blog up. Useful for avoiding having to explain the same things over and over again.

Somewhat similar, John Wilkins maintains a list of basic science concepts. Well worth to check out to get the basic definitions.

Salon has three interesting articles up:
The Coulterization of the American right

The "faggot" episode isn't about Ann Coulter. It's about the deal conservatism made with the devil -- a deal that has cost it its soul.

This is somewhat related to David Neiwert's series "Eliminationism in America". He has just posted the appendix, and the rest of the series can be accessed through the links in the left side of his blog.

Let's call the coal thing off

Coal supplies nearly half the electricity in the U.S. and is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than any other electricity source. Is it too late to kick the habit?

We have similar problems with the source of electricity in Denmark, so I might write more about this article at some point.

Want a boy? Change the kitty litter.

Well, this is fascinating and also gross: Does anyone remember reports from a while back suggesting that there might be a link between cat feces and schizophrenia? (More specifically, there's a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, sometimes found in cat feces, that can affect the brain.)

I certainly do. But it turns out that there might be more to the story. Discover just reported that this same parasite -- which may exist, harmlessly, in up to 60 million Americans -- might be having an effect on our gender ratios.

A parasitologist (yes, that's his title) in Prague studied the clinical records of 1,800 babies born from 1996 till 2004 and discovered that whereas the normal male to female ratio is 104 boys for every 100 girls, women who hosted the parasite gave birth to 260 boys for every 100 girls.

I would certainly warn against the idea presented in the headline, but the short notice of this finding is interesting. I hope that Carl Zimmer will write something about it.

Washington Post writes about Russia's latest politification of science: Russia Seeks More Control At Academy Of Sciences

The historic autonomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which has pioneered fundamental research in Russia since its founding by Peter the Great three centuries ago, is under threat from government proposals to bring the institution under much tighter state control and end its academic freedom, according to academy members.

"This is really a war," Alexander Nekipelov, vice president of the academy, said in an interview at the institution's august administrative headquarters, a czarist palace on Moscow's Leninsky Prospekt. "I am sure we are going to win it, but of course we cannot help being worried by the situation."

Many American scientists probably feel the pain of the Russian scientists.



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