In an upcoming column in the magazine, Free Inquiry, science-watcher Tom Rees reports on research by University of British Columbia social psychologist Will Gervais. Gervais exhaustively measured “gut prejudice” against atheists. He found that most prejudice against atheists is rooted not in…
Last week two studies demonstrated that a daily antiviral pill protects sexually active men and women from getting infected. Now researchers are showing that the life expectancy of already-infected African patients…
“‘Hey, if being a geek means you’re willing to take a 400-page book on vaccines and where they work and where they don’t, and you go off and study that and you use that to challenge people to learn more, then absolutely. I’m a geek. I plead guilty. Gladly.’”—
Fantastic read about Bill Gates’ work curing and trying to eradicate disease across the world.
“I consider the “Tea Party Movement” to be one of the most brilliant sociological ploys. Perhaps unmatched since a million poor white southern farmers were talked into eagerly and courageously fighting to the death, in order to protect the feudal privileges of a tiny, slave-holding aristocracy. Yes, it is that impressive. Get them to think they are fighting for one thing, while dying for something else. Likewise, by holding up and waving an obsolete and irrelevant old “left-right political-axis,” today’s feudal lords have managed to stir Red America into a frenzy of unparalleled rancor toward every single group or profession that has both knowledge and professional skill — from scientists to teachers, civil servants, academics, medical doctors, attorneys, diplomats, skilled labor… amounting to a “war on smartypants.”—David Brin (via azspot)
“I think the trouble with being a critical thinker or an atheist, or a humanist is that you’re right. And it’s quite hard being right in the face of people who are wrong without sounding like a fuckwit. People go ‘Do you think the vast majority of the world is wrong?’ Well, yes. I don’t know how to say that nicely, but yes.”—Ellen DeGeneres (via buchino)
“This man, who had stood his ground against charging water buffaloes, who had flown missions over Germany, who had refused to accept the prevailing style of writing but, enduring rejection and poverty, had insisted on writing in his own unique way, this man, my deepest friend, was afraid — afraid that the F.B.I. was after him, that his body was disintegrating, that his friends had turned on him, that living was no longer an option.
Decades later, in response to a Freedom of Information petition, the F.B.I. released its Hemingway file. It revealed that beginning in the 1940s J. Edgar Hoover had placed Ernest under surveillance because he was suspicious of Ernest’s activities in Cuba. Over the following years, agents filed reports on him and tapped his phones. The surveillance continued all through his confinement at St. Mary’s Hospital. It is likely that the phone outside his room was tapped after all.
In the years since, I have tried to reconcile Ernest’s fear of the F.B.I., which I regretfully misjudged, with the reality of the F.B.I. file. I now believe he truly sensed the surveillance, and that it substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide.”
“We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice — the end user doesn’t care. We simply have to admit that Apple is nailing this and it is one of the reasons they have people lining up overnight at stores around the world, and products sold out for months. These people aren’t hypnotized zombies, they simply love beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work.”—Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him (via soxiam)
I just resigned from a pretty awful job leaving me with more time on my hands to do fun things besides stressing about my ridiculous work environment. Now that I have a better job (read: free time), I’m looking for some book recommendations to round out my summer reading list.
What are you reading, friends? What is your favorite book? What do I need to start reading immediately?
The Dems’ offer is part of negotiations to raise the nation’s $14 trillion debt ceiling, and presents the GOP with such a massive victory that accepting the deal ought to be “the mother of all no-brainers,” Brooks says.
“Light hitting the retina suppresses the production of melatonin — and there lies the rub. In this modern world, our eyes are flooded with light well after dusk, contrary to our evolutionary programming. Scientists are just beginning to understand the potential health consequences. The disruption of circadian cycles may not just be shortchanging our sleep, they have found, but also contributing to a host of diseases. “Light works as if it’s a drug, except it’s not a drug at all,” said George Brainard, a neurologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and one of the first researchers to study light’s effects on the body’s hormones and circadian rhythms.”—