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So I says to Mable, I says...

Sex Pistol to Rock Hall: 'Kiss this!'
Topic: Arts 3:22 pm EST, Mar 13, 2006

"They never cared who we were," Lydon said. "They never bothered to correct the incredible fatal, bad mistakes about our legend and legacy in their museum and up until now, they've rejected our nomination for three years running, and now they want a piece of us.

"Well, guess what? Kiss this!" he said, making a rude gesture.

I am very impressed that throughout their lives, they have remained true to the punk ethic. Long live the Sex Pistols!

Sex Pistol to Rock Hall: 'Kiss this!'

Topic: Arts 10:04 am EST, Mar 13, 2006

Are you a hard-working research biologist waiting for your story to be told? Look no further than Allegra Goodman's new novel, which Booklist called "a timely inquiry into our society's problematic matrix of science, money, and politics."

From the book jacket:

Hailed as "a writer of uncommon clarity" by the New Yorker, National Book Award finalist Allegra Goodman has dazzled readers with her acclaimed works of fiction, including such beloved bestsellers as The Family Markowitz and Kaaterskill Falls. Now she returns with a bracing new novel, at once an intricate mystery and a rich human drama set in the high-stakes atmosphere of a prestigious research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sandy Glass, a charismatic publicity-seeking oncologist, and Marion Mendelssohn, a pure, exacting scientist, are codirectors of a lab at the Philpott Institute dedicated to cancer research and desperately in need of a grant. Both mentors and supervisors of their young postdoctoral protégés, Glass and Mendelssohn demand dedication and obedience in a competitive environment where funding is scarce and results elusive. So when the experiments of Cliff Bannaker, a young postdoc in a rut, begin to work, the entire lab becomes giddy with newfound expectations. But Cliff’s rigorous colleague–and girlfriend–Robin Decker suspects the unthinkable: that his findings are fraudulent. As Robin makes her private doubts public and Cliff maintains his innocence, a life-changing controversy engulfs the lab and everyone in it.

With extraordinary insight, Allegra Goodman brilliantly explores the intricate mixture of workplace intrigue, scientific ardor, and the moral consequences of a rush to judgment. She has written an unforgettable novel.

You can read an excerpt at Amazon. "Intuition" earned a Starred Review from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. They wrote:

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. In another quiet but powerful novel from Goodman (Kaaterskill Falls), a struggling cancer lab at Boston's Philpott Institute becomes the stage for its researchers' personalities and passions, and for the slippery definitions of freedom and responsibility in grant-driven American science. When the once-discredited R-7 virus, the project of playboy postdoc Cliff, seems to reduce cancerous tumors in mice, lab director Sandy Glass insists on publishing the preliminary results immediately, against the advice of his more cautious codirector, Marion Mendelssohn. The research team sees a glorious future ahead, but Robin, Cliff's resentful ex-girlfriend and co-researcher, suspects that the findings are too good to be true and attempts to prove Cliff's results are in error. The resulting inquiry spins out of control. With subtle but uncanny effectiveness, Goodman illuminates the inner lives of each character, ... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]


Technology: Boom, Bust, and Beyond
Topic: Business 4:54 pm EST, Mar  1, 2006

So begins the postcrash push, when all of this investment begins to pay off. Broadband Internet use in the United States jumped from 6% in June 2000 to more than 30% in 2003. Today, more than half of us have access to broadband at home or work. (Most of us, significantly, signed up for it after the dotcom crash.) Now, instead of engaging in theoretical thumb sucking about "what broadband will mean," we're doing something with it. And unlike the 1990s, when experiments failed because entrepreneurs misunderstood the Internet's usefulness, or because it simply wasn't ready, we're working with a known quantity. It took 30 years for electricity to have a serious impact on the U.S. economy, after all, but by 1930, virtually every home had juice and it was driving refrigerators, toasters, lamps, radios, and other appliances. As Henry Blodget put it, our exuberance, irrational or otherwise, builds industries.

I think the collective group here on Memestreams has been saying this for oh, about 5 years now.

Technology: Boom, Bust, and Beyond

A Meditation On the Speed Limit - Google Video
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:39 pm EST, Feb 28, 2006

A good example of why speed limits are ridiculous.

A Meditation On the Speed Limit - Google Video

Greenland's glaciers losing ice at faster rate
Topic: Science 10:18 pm EST, Feb 19, 2006

Satellite observations indicate that Greenland's glaciers have been dumping ice into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate that's doubled over the past five years, researchers reported here on Thursday. The findings add yet another factor to the long-running debate over the effect of climate change on the world's ice sheets and sea levels.

Some of you have heard me reference this phenomenon a few times lately. There was an episode of NOVA Science Now on PBS which highlighted these findings and how the melted water is actually pushing the glacier up and away from the polar cap, exacerbating the melting.

Greenland's glaciers losing ice at faster rate

Long or Short Capital » The Down Low on Low Cut: Cleavage Hypothesis
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:47 am EST, Feb  9, 2006

The Trader, realizing he would have another valuable trading tool if hypothesis held true, graciously funded my research into this theory. For a month I did nothing but read back issues of fashion rags and the Wall Street Journal. I developed what I call a flesh gradient; it’s a measure of the amount of skin showing in proportion to the woman’s torso. I charted both the historical measures of the flesh gradient (as determined by back issues of Vogue, Elle, In Style, Cosmopolitan, and other fashion magazines) and the corresponding historical measures of market strength (as determined by the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and the NASDAQ 100).

Long or Short Capital » The Down Low on Low Cut: Cleavage Hypothesis

Dance Dance DNA Revolution on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Topic: Science 11:52 am EST, Jan 31, 2006

This is the awesomest thing ever.

At the scripps aquarium near San Diego, they devote half the space to teaching kids about science. In a wing devoted to explaining gene expression they had some stuff about DNA and the coolest thing was this video game that taught you about building blocks of life, then proceeded to a real DDR game where you have to step to the DNA parts being shown on screen.

The best part was when one of the 20 amino acids were built, it would say the name. So you'd see A T T G C and so on... and then it would shout "Cysteine!"

Kick ass!

Dance Dance DNA Revolution on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The Failure of Democratic Nation Building
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:49 pm EST, Jan 27, 2006

In this book, Somit and Peterson argue that humans are social primates with an innate tendency for hierarchical and authoritarian social and political structures, and that democracy requires very special "enabling conditions" before it can be supported by a state, conditions that require decades to evolve. As a result, attempts to export democracy through nation-building to states without these enabling conditions are doomed to failure.

This echoes your comment the other day at lunch about how there's an eco-system necessary to support the society we have which is missing in other places (middle east, China, India, etc).

The Failure of Democratic Nation Building

The New Boom
Topic: Business 1:42 pm EST, Jan 27, 2006

First, technology adoption has continued at a torrid pace (and even accelerated at times) despite the bust. The dotcom business models of the 1990s may have been based on wild projections of broadband, advertising, and ecommerce trends. But the funny thing is, even after the bubble burst, those trends continued. These days, it's hard to find a technology-adoption projection from 1999 that hasn't come true. Meanwhile, the digital-media boom sparked by the iPod and iTunes has blown through even the most aggressive forecasts.

Amen. Despite the fact that it's in Wired's best interest to proclaim that we're entering (in?) a new boom, I have to agree that they are right.

The New Boom

Irishman has three million kids
Topic: Current Events 10:27 am EST, Jan 19, 2006

Irish scientists have discovered that three million men worldwide share a common ancestor - allegedly a fifth century Irish warlord rather splendidly called Niall of the Nine Hostages.

The revelation, Reuters reports, comes after a team from Trinity College Dublin tested the Y chromosome in 800 males across Ireland. The results showed that up to one in twelve Irish men has the same Y chromosome, with the highest concentration being in northwest Ireland, where an impressive one in five males boasts the same chromosome.

Irishman has three million kids

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