Archive for March 29th, 2009
Illinois Representative John Shimkus knows all he needs to know about climate change. It’s all in the infallible Bible. Here he is demolishing all of that silly science with a few phrases out of Genesis. Based on his expressions, he’s a hero in his own eyes. He’s got that look that he knows he will go to heaven. Don’t worry. There’s only going to be one worldwide flood and we’ve already had it. Case closed. Proceedings from the March 25, 2009 hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment:
If you want to learn a lot more about the nonsense Shimkus spouts, visit Progress Illinois.
Intriguing post by Satoshi Kanazawa at Psychology Today. He points out research that purports to show that intelligence correlates positively with attractiveness.
This research does dispel the notion that very attractive woman are less intelligent than average-looking woman; according to this research, very attractive woman are in the most intelligent group. I’m mulling over these findings; I don’t quite know what to think of this yet. I do know that I’m highly suspicious of any sort of simplistic IQ-based characterization of “intelligence” (I recently made that point here).
Kanazawa began this post pointing out the rampant prejudice that attractive people are more intelligent, but then argues that “virtually all stereotypes are empirically true.” I suspect that there is some truth driving many stereotypes, but I think his conclusion (that “virturally all stereotypes are empirically true”) is dangerous in its vagueness. Social feedback loops can cause stereotypes come true; if we mistreat people from stigmatized social groups, this makes it more likely that they will not do as well as social groups that have no such disadvantages. And even if it were true that there is some overall basis for most stereotypes, this doesn’t begin to suggest that we ought to make presumptions about any particular individuals.
Are you fed up with the world? If so, see if this video helps to dissolve your frustration. It features Kylie Minogue & The Wiggles in what clearly seems to be a dangerous earworm.
It’s enough to make Jesus depressed. I just learned of a site called Fundies Say the Darndest Things.
This is your one-stop shop for finding “an archive of the most hilarious, bizarre, ignorant, bigoted, and terrifying quotes from fundies all over the internet.” The bad science is reason enough to visit the site, at least until you are sufficiently depressed at hearing such nonsense. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Consider, too, the 100 all-time most ignorant and offensive fundamentalist quotes. Each on of them is taken from a fundie website and includes the link to the original (consider Rapture Ready, for example).
Consider watching FSTDT’s reenactment of some of the quotes at youtube (warning: some coarse language). All of this will leave you shaking your head wondering how people can be so pompously ignorant.
The Huffington Post has announced that it will begin an investigative journalism branch. I applaud this move, coming at a time when newspapers everywhere are cutting or eliminating the investigative reporting:
The Huffington Post said Sunday that it will bankroll a group of investigative journalists, directing them at first to look at stories about the nation’s economy.
The popular Web site is collaborating with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors to launch the Huffington Post Investigative Fund with an initial budget of $1.75 million. That should be enough for 10 staff journalists who will primarily coordinate stories with freelancers, said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.
Work that the journalists produce will be available for any publication or Web site to use at the same time it is posted on The Huffington Post, she said.
I attended a talk by Arianna Huffington last year. Her site’s procedure is that she doesn’t pay bloggers money to post at her site. Rather, they are rewarded (many of them richly) in traffic. This investigative reporting wing Huffpo continues that same basic model.
I just learned that there is a site called Patients Like Me, where people fighting diseases can share symptoms and treatment experiences. This is another wonderful benefit of being able to network using the Internet. It might even be a life-saver. Here’s how the site describes itself:
Whether you’re depressed, bipolar, anxious, obsessive-compulsive, or simply want to monitor your mood fluctuations, this is the online community for you. By sharing your symptoms, treatments and mood charts, you can gain insight into what affects your mood while helping others learn from your experiences. Create a profile today to begin taking control of your health. Imagine knowing every medication, supplement, or device used to treat your disease. Imagine knowing what treatments work for people just like you — and having the ability to easily connect with those people. That’s what makes PatientsLikeMe different. Patients share their treatments and outcomes not just to help themselves, but to help others. Become part of making a difference for everyone with mood conditions today.
The site has special categories for neurological disorders, mood disorders and immune conditions. It’s wonderful that patients can have information above and beyond their own health care providers–the opportunity to be a member of a larger community of like-minded people sharing ideas and encouragement.