Nov 4th 2012 4:37AM @Eric The technology still isn't exactly cheap, although it's cheapER than it used to be. And it takes the know-how, the patience, and the ability to read and follow written instructions. Don't underestimate that last hurdle. The ability to read and follow written instructions is frighteningly rare in the United States today. It would take a very talented mad scientist to plan such a crime, plan the DNA strategy, execute the false DNA production, and escape undetected.
Jun 23rd 2011 8:23PM I don't mean to, but I have two "tricks" to annoy my seatmates when flying. I don't have any choice, really, because the origin of my tricks is permanently inflamed middle/inner ears due to military service and allergies.
Trick number one: Fail to take meclizine just as they announce that boarding will begin shortly for my flight. If I don't take the meclizine, I vomit profusely from shortly after takeoff until well after landing. The pressure changes alone are enough--it can be a perfectly smooth flight and I still vomit. Sometimes I vomit for up to 3 days if the pressure changes were sufficiently drastic.
Trick number two: TAKE meclizine per doctor's directions (2 tablets every 4 hours). Then I don't vomit. However, I'm so happy, sleepy and uncoordinated that I tend to slump on to my neighbor. And when the beverages/snacks/meals come around, the drug gives me the munchies but not enough coordination to safely consume what is offered. I'm one of those people who needs a sippy cup on flights. And it isn't even due to any alcohol consumption--it's just the meclizine.
So...you have your choice: vomiting nonstop or an irritatingly happy and impaired seatmate.
May 16th 2011 7:01AM Yes, but why should professors who have no control over this professor's or his students' actions be penalized for this? If you want to impose a penalty, withdraw any federal funding from this particular professor (even though I don't see the need for disciplinary action in this case), or perhaps even his section or department, but why should engineering, physics, linguistics, biological sciences and criminal justice professors lose their research grant money because of the actions of a professor they may not even know well enough to recognize on sight?
May 16th 2011 6:56AM Even though I wouldn't want to take this course because of the presence of a large number of "Lookie-Lous" and the large number of students enrolled in the course in the past, I don't think that the controversial demonstration warranted elimination of the course.
My reaction to the description of the questionable demonstration was: "Ewww." However, I've dealt with a lot of "ewww" in my coursework first as a biology major and then as a clinical laboratory science major. "Ewww" is NOT a reason to cancel a course.
Human sexuality is an important part of human culture, psychology and life. None of us would be here without sex, after all. Early hominids would never have proliferated sufficiently to warrant colonization of almost the entire earth if they hadn't had sex. Most people want to have children, and children just don't happen without sexual activity somewhere.
It's not the subject, and it's not the presentation. It's the format of the class. You can't really demand anything approaching academic rigor in a class of 600 students, because the only exams that can be graded in a timely fashion are multiple-choice exams on Scantrons or computerized exams. Research papers don't stand a chance. Essay questions are right out. Add to that the gawker contingent and the students who won't shut up when the professor is lecturing, and the format just isn't conducive to learning or study.
Mar 30th 2011 8:04PM Why is anyone surprised by this? Girls are STILL being socialized from birth to be all touchy-feely and non-technical. Girls don't get Lego as a birthday present, even when they ask for Lego. Baby girls still get shoved into pink ruffly things. I never bought into the "girls are bad at math" nonsense even though my mother did her best to mold me in her non-tech image. I didn't buy into that nonsense even if I had female teachers exhibited math anxiety. I liked math and science even as a preschooler, and I still do. Some of my most treasured "toys" were a chemistry set and a rock collection. I ended up working in science, and I think it's the Best Thing Evarrrr.
Feb 28th 2011 8:41PM I gotta give Charlie Sheen this one: I wouldn't WANT to be in his brain or have his brain in my head for even a nanosecond. I can't imagine a bigger waste of time. I have better things to think about than hookers and blow.
Feb 28th 2011 8:39PM Well, that explains it, too. I may physically, physiologically and sexually be female, but I always did prefer to punch an opponent (boy or girl) than play the popularity game. Social sanctions meant nothing to me in grade school, or even high school.
Feb 28th 2011 8:33PM Gee. I guess my chromosomes, my heterosexuality and my anatomy notwithstanding, I'm a man. I would always rather work or play alone than work or play with one or more others. I can be induced to work or play with others if the reward is also certain (or near-certain) AND sufficient to overcome my reluctance to form alliances even if I could potentially receive a greater but less-certain reward by working alone. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to find and keep a job. However, it's a tradeoff, and there must be enough for me in the tradeoff to do so. I won't suffer idiots gladly for minimum wage.
In other words, I won't automatically form an alliance when I don't think the reward is sufficient to compensate for what to me are the hassles of forming an alliance. Competition doesn't even figure into it. I am completely unmotivated by the presence of a competitor. Either I want something, and will pursue it, or I don't want it and couldn't care less if someone else does.
Feb 28th 2011 1:32AM Chances are, this woman, while "severely ill" by the time she reached Alberquerque, was still in the prodrome stage. That means her symptoms would have been indistinguishable from the common cold. If she wasn't hacking and sneezing, and "only" had a raging fever, muscle aches and fatigue, she could have quite easily not been noticed by airport security or flight personnel. Since the woman is probably not in health care, she's not exactly likely to know that these were the symptoms of something serious like measles or influenza. Even if she'd been a physician or a nurse, if she wasn't cheerfully obsessed by infectious diseases like I am (I'm not a doctor or nurse, but I am in health care), she wouldn't be likely to associate her symptoms with something as serious as measles.
I know. I spent many long flights as a child slumped in my seat because I'd caught influenza or just a bad cold that hadn't hit my nose and throat yet. And before you get all wound up and get on me for knowingly infecting people, I was 8 to 10 years old, and knew that if I told my mother, she would only yell at me about how I was just trying to "ruin" this trip (even if it was a flight we had to take because we were moving to another continent). I was not in a position to declare that I was infectious and needed to be isolated at home or in a hospital bed, even if I'd understood the danger of spreading infectious diseases.
There was a time when most children in the United States were vaccinated adequately against measles (the MMR vaccine), but we can all thank Jennie McCarthy and a now thoroughly discredited study for causing a significant number of parents to avoid having their children vaccinated. That's also why more children are now coming down with (and even dying from) whooping cough. The fear of vaccines (or mercury, depending on how specific you want to get) causing autism (they don't) has dropped vaccination rates significantly. It's stupid, but there you have it.
Many people don't remember the "good old days", when you didn't dare go to the public pool or swimming hole in summer because you might catch polio. They don't remember seeing photographs (or the real thing) of patients laying in iron lungs in hospital wards. They don't remember children dying, or recovering blinded or deaf from measles. Measles CAN be a very big deal. It's one of the diseases that helped to decimate previously unexposed Native American populations (as well as smallpox). If there's a vaccine for it, there is a greater risk of disability or death from the disease than the vaccine. It's that simple.
Feb 28th 2011 1:12AM Maybe this is great advice for MOST parents and children, but I would have been offended if you told me that "scary movies" were inappropriate for me as a 7-year-old. That said, I was an odd child.
I was already a nightly news junkie at 2 years old, and the only time I experienced news overload as a child was due to the JFK assasination. They kept playing the footage of the shooting over and over that day, and I was ready to move on to other news by the second or third showing. I was fine with violent news footage.
My little brother was just as odd. We both enjoyed "scary movies" from a very early age. The only three films I've ever actually been frightened by as a child or an adult were: "M", with Peter Lorre. It's still terrifying. "The Shining" with Jack Nicholson. I still won't watch it alone, even on TV with commercials. The third was some thing with antique dolls that bit people to death. I was also frightened by a B/W Dr. Who episode in 1967. It was set in the London Underground, and there were Dalek eggs there. To this day, I will not have a gazing ball in my garden because it's really a Dalek egg. I will not hatch Daleks in my garden.
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