Waterboarding

So, I didn’t know what waterboarding was until I read this. This form of torture has been acknowledged by our Vice President. Cheney also says that we are complying with all international treaties to which we are a party.

If a president can be impeached over a cigar, this president and his cronies should be forced out of office in disgrace.

Not your grandfather’s swami’s yoga class

Do not try this brand of “yoga” at home, or anywhere else for that matter.

p{font-size:x-small}. NOTE: probably not very safe for work, and definitely not kid-friendly.

More autism news

Recently J&J’s Risperdal, a drug formerly approved to treat schizophrenia, was approved to treat irritability symptoms stemming from autism. A group has taken issue with the ruling, claiming that the risks (including the risk of tardive dyskinesia) outweigh the benefits.

TV and autism — let the debate begin

??Slate?? has an article on how TV might cause autism. It’s a good food for thought article, but should be read along with the comments.

Who knows whether TV has a role in autism. It probably does, to a small degree, just as thimerosal probably does, to a small degree (and probably in a relatively small subpopulation that’s especially sensitive). Autism is a complex disease that expresses uniquely in each individual, making it very challenging to study. That it seems to have a large genetic component doesn’t really make it any easier.

What I take away from this article is a reminder that babies’ brains are developing so much in the first few years that you need to consider carefully what you do that might influence the development.

Do you really want to have your toddler watching Barney?

More statistics on the upcoming election

I’m doing rather poorly on this news fast. However, given that it is three weeks before an election (and one of the most important midterm elections in a while), I thought I would use my interest in statistics to read a few tea leaves on what to expect.

CNN(Crony News Network) has a poll that describes that Half of Americans think Congress is corrupt. Telling is that over a third think their own is corrupt as well, and the majority of Americans belief that both parties are underwhelming in performance. (This is one of the rare times I agree with a majority.)

It’s pretty sick that it takes a pedophilia scandal to bring this into relief. I’d vote for a constitutional amendment that requires that all business transactions of Congress members be made public. (The conditions are that one exist and I be constitutionally authorized to vote for such.)

The bar is higher for Democrats

Andrew Gelman (a fellow statistician) and colleagues analyze the probability that the Democrats will retake the House. He has a few interesting insights about the past few elections as well. Remember that Gore won the popular vote but lost the electoral college vote in 2000? There’s been a similar phenomenon in congressional candidates in most elections since 1994. At any rate, realize that the linked article is a bit heavy on the statistics, but you should be able to get the gist.

The termite and the elephant

See this “beautifully written piece”:http://leapinglanka.blogspot.com/2006/10/white-elephant-versus-termite-yoga.html on two different ways of practicing yoga. Perhaps you have done both. I know I have.