Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

links for 2010-10-28

Read Full Post »

links for 2010-10-27

  • Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks has spent his career examining patients struggling to survive with a wide range of neurological conditions: Tourette's syndrome, autism, Parkinson's, musical hallucinations, Alzheimer's disease and phantom-limb syndrome.

    But in his latest book, The Mind's Eye, Sacks turns the tables on himself. He writes about being diagnosed with a rare eye tumor and the subsequent total loss of vision on his right side. He also shares the case studies of other people who learned to compensate and adapt after neurological disorders robbed them of their ability to recognize faces, read or see.

Read Full Post »

links for 2010-10-26

Read Full Post »

links for 2010-10-25

  • This tale of bobtail squid would be just another mildly jaw-dropping story in a natural world full of marvels if it weren’t a portal into an unsuspected realm that has profound consequences for human beings. Regardless of the scale at which we explore the biosphere — whether we delve into the global ocean or the internal seas of individual organisms — bacteria are now known to be larger players than humans ever imagined.
  • How much did the Cold War cost everyone from 1948 to 1991, and how much of that was for nuclear weapons? The total cost has been estimated at $18.5 trillion, with $7.8 trillion for nuclear. At the peak the Soviet Union had 95,000 weapons and the US had 20 to 40,000. America's current seriously degraded infrastructure would cost about $2.2 trillion to fix—all the gas lines and water lines and schools and bridges. We spent that money on bombs we never intended to use—all of the Cold War players, major and minor, told Rhodes that everyone knew that the bombs must not and could not be used. Much of the nuclear expansion was for domestic consumption: one must appear "ahead," even though numbers past a couple dozen warheads were functionally meaningless.

Read Full Post »

links for 2010-10-24

  • That’s why most people, myself included, have no sympathy for Bank of America’s legal predicament — and no patience for its “we’re not the bad guys here” arguments. It is absolutely true that the homeowners that Bank of America wants to foreclose on are in default on loans they should never have gotten in the first place. (Gee, whose fault was that?) But it simply does not follow that the bank therefore has an absolute right to take back the home. Under the law, it has to prove it has that right — by filing documents that show that the owner of the mortgage has conveyed that right to it. That’s why this affidavit scandal isn’t some legal nicety. It’s about the single most important value of American jurisprudence: due process.

Read Full Post »

links for 2010-10-23

  • Our collective response to the emerging catastrophe verges on suicidal. World leaders have been talking about tackling climate change for nearly 20 years now — yet carbon emissions keep going up and up. "We are in a race against time," says Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat from Washington who has fought for sharp reductions in planet-warming pollution. "Mother Nature isn't sitting around waiting for us to get our political act together." In fact, our failure to confront global warming is more than simply political incompetence. Over the past year, the corporations and special interests most responsible for climate change waged an all-out war to prevent Congress from cracking down on carbon pollution in time for Copenhagen. The oil and coal industries deployed an unprecedented army of lobbyists, spent millions on misleading studies and engaged in outright deception to derail climate legislation. "It was the most aggressive and corrupt lobbying campaign I've ever seen," says Paul Begala…
  • From London, TAL contributor Jon Ronson tells the story of a man who has spent more than a decade trying to convince doctors that he’s not mentally ill. But the more he argues his case, the less they believe him.
  • How do we know precisely what constitutes “normality” or mental illness?  Conventional wisdom suggests that specially trained professionals have the ability to make reasonably accurate diagnoses.  In this research, however, David Rosenhan provides evidence to challenge this assumption.  What is — or is not — “normal” may have much to do with the labels that are applied to people in particular settings.

Read Full Post »

links for 2010-10-20

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »