Miscellany

It's been quite a year since I joined ScienceBlogs in June and there've been many interesting things to write about. Here's a sampling of your favorites (and some of mine) from month to month. June:
Laurie David claims that National Science Teachers' Association (the NSTA) is inconveniently hooked up with big oil because they won't spend the money to send out 50,000 copies of the "An Inconvenient Truth" DVD. If I do the math and estimate that it costs $4 to mail each DVD, that includes packaging, mailing, the costs of hiring a distribution center, I get $4 x 50,000 = $200,000. I think that's an expensive gift. Is there really a smoking gun? For the record, I saw the movie and personally, I would like a large number of teachers and students to see it, too. But, ... Read more
This may seem strange to anyone who hasn't lived in Minnesota, but when I was a child, kids in my elementary school used to have fist fights when it came to the question of which famous European discovered America. To most children in the U.S., this is probably a very silly question indeed. Not so, to the kids I knew. Some kids were convinced that it was Leif Erickson and were ready to fight to defend the point. Since I now live on the West Coast, it's probably safe for me to say that the first white people on the continent might NOT have been the Vikings. NOVA's series ... Read more
Folks have been enthusiastically commenting around the clock on the possiblity of using prisoners in clinical trials. Meanwhile, Thomas Hargrove has analyzed obesity and death rates in the National Football League. He suggests that those pharmaceutical companies with anti-obesity drugs might be better off taking a look at Monday night football. Or, at Monday night football players. He found that 56% of the players in NFL are obese, with offensive tackles weighing in at an average of 313 lbs. ... Read more
I've been fortunate, living in Seattle, to hear talks from many people that my colleagues and co-bloggers might consider to be rock stars - people like Mary-Claire King, Nancy Wexler, Francis Collins, Leroy Hood, Eugenie Scott, David Haussler, Harold Varmus, and Elaine Ostrander. But, if I think about who the public might see as a rock star, the list gets much shorter. To the kids, I know, there are two people who qualify as rock star scientists. One, of course is Jane Goodall. I am seriously disappointed in ... Read more

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