Treasures in the attic

After months of listening to the same music on my mp3 player, I decided to go through my dusty CD collection and see what’s new. Here’s a couple of good things that I forgot I had:

* ??Classic Yes??
* ??Landmarks?? by Clannad
* ??MCMXC A.D.?? and ??Screen Behind the Mirror?? by Enigma
* ??Welcome to the Future?? (a club music collection)
* ??Totally Rewired 2?? (an acid jazz collection)

Hitting the headlines

I haven’t been watching the political news as closely recently because I have much more important things (_i.e._ a newborn) to think about, and I don’t really need the constant drone of bad news and stupidity to string me out even further.

However, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the recent developments in the Plame outing scandal. It looks like one person — Scooter Libby — is about to take the fall for the affair, and I’m wondering if that’s enough. Granted, he’s an important aide to Cheney, but still I wonder how far this has spread, and how much we’ll ever see. For a long time, the Bush administration has been harping on bringing integrity back to the government, but then we get the outing of undercover agents for political reasons. How is this an improvement over a stained dress or shady deals involving cows? And how does the Republican apologist drone of “Clinton! Clinton!” make any of this any better? Clinton isn’t president any more, Bush is. And his corruption is affecting this country right now.

At any rate, I’m glad Tim Russert showed clips of Bush in 2000 and 2004 talking about integrity in government.

Even bigger than mapping the human genome

Scientists have mapped out around 300,000 SNP(single-nucleotide polymorphism)s, which are differences in a single nucleotide in a position in the human genome. This is exciting work, and is already bearing fruit (the article mentions an advance in the study of age-related macular degeneration, for example). This work is even bigger than mapping the human genome (though probably useless without the map) because now we can start to understand why some people are more susceptible to diseases than others, or respond differently to drugs. In fact, if applied correctly, this research might be able to identify who would respond, for example, to particular types of blood pressure medication.

(Not quite) back in the saddle again

Well, I’ve been dealing with the first few days of life of my second-born, and the world has gone on around me. I’m half-time back at work, and I start back full-time next week. It oughtta get interesting.

In the meantime, I’ve found these points of interest:

* Derek Lowe addresses the “Herceptin news”:http://www.corante.com/pipeline/archives/2005/10/24/hype_or_hope.php with guarded optimism. And I think Herceptin is going to be a good example of what cancer pharmaceutical therapy is going to look like for a while now. Herceptin only will affect a few types of breast cancer, namely ones that depend on the expression of the HER2 protein. All others will have to look elsewhere for relief. That’s the way the drug works. Period. Interesting enough, a “commentor”:http://www.corante.com/pipeline/archives/2005/10/24/hype_or_hope.php#45613 builds a huge straw man, throws gasoline on it, and sets it alight. Lowe escapes unscathed from this one, since he was nowhere near the straw man.
* How cute! Two 13-year-old girls form the band “Prussian Blue”:http://www.apostropher.com/blog/archives/002798.html to spread hate. Yeah, no coaching from the parents at all on this one. Nosiree.
* We’ve “run out of names”:http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/23/078226, so now we look to the Greeks for help (specifically, we borrow their alphabet)
* The Cochrane Report on the “(lack of) connection”:http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD004407/frame.html between the MMR(Mumps-Measles-Rubella) vaccine and suspected adverse events, including Crohn’s disease and autism. I can only view the abstract, though. I’d like to see the whole thing, please, without the adverse event of removal of two limbs.

The teacher insanity epidemic has spread to Great Britain

Only they call it snogging. Or at least this one teacher did.

I’m disappointed in Mike

Mike Adams recommends a college _not_ to attend, and it isn’t UNC-Chapel Hill. Damn, I thought he’d go after my alma mater first.

It’s not just at Abu Gharib

One of the sad likelihoods of war is that we become the monsters we are supposedly fighting.

I mean, can you blame the soldiers? You fight a shadow enemy for four years, you get frustrated by day-in-day-out bullshit to save a country halfway around the world from a nasty dictator that does few people harm, you get sniped at by stubborn, radical, frenzied loyalists, and what do you do? You try to put them down. This is what war does to people. It screws up their thinking.