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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)


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August 16, 2005
Please Pass the DDT
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Science

Would it be surprising to you that the banning of DDT was based on faulty science, fraudulent research and that the ban continues today largely because of eco-ideaology?

A New York Times article of January of this year, titled It’s Time to Spray DDT proclaimed what long ago became the obvious, that “the evidence is overwhelming: DDT saves lives.”2  The American Council on Science and Health printed an article in 2002 entitled The DDT ban turns 30 – millions dead of malaria because of ban, more deaths likely.3  In 2003 Front Page Magazine ran an article entitled Rachel Carsons’ Ecological Genocide, similarly concerned with the DDT ban, and employing that loaded word “genocide”.4  And in his popular novel, State of Fear, Michael Crichton also espoused this view, describing the DDT ban as “arguably the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.” He continues, “since the ban, two million people a year have died unnecessarily from malaria, mostly children. The ban has caused more than fifty million needless deaths. Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler.”

Read the whole article.

Now, ask yourself. Is there anything else going on in our world today that could be analogous?

h/t LifeSite.


Pulled by Emcee on August 16, 2005 at 11:59 PM
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August 15, 2005
The TIME Has Come
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, Science

<satire>

To the inculcated proletariat:

TIME magazine had a perfect opportunity to appropriately portray the obviously Chimpy McHitlerburton inspired comments last week by the Resident Shrub, but instead, they chose to commit the ultimate heresy.

The Gradualist Collective, also known as the New Inquisition, provided a proper submission for the TIME cover when we discovered that they were doing a 'story'...

Timecover20002

and this image and caption clearly captures the nature of what is going on - if you are going to say anything at all. It's best to be silent, but if you can't because of public exposure, you certainly must use ad hominem attack - it's a tried and true strategy - because we certainly can't engage with the opposition - that's like giving credibility to miracles.

However, our worst fears have been realized. It is apparent now that TIME magazine itself has been infiltrated by the cretinous horde because they actually allowed the enemy to speak...

...Continue reading "The TIME Has Come"

Pulled by Emcee on August 15, 2005 at 05:28 PM
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August 13, 2005
Zoom without the churn
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

Maybe, like me, you are very fond of the incredible photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and you download the really big images so that you can zoom in like this on the Whirlpool Galaxy: M51:

M51zoomfull

But maybe, like me, you don't like the churn - or crashes or messing with your capture program - it causes your machine to open and zoom around in a 105 meg jpeg file.

Well, thanks to the folks at the Ewell Observatory, and Richard Bennion in particular, there is an interactive version of the Hubble M51 photo here.

Hubbleheritage

This paired down version of the photo allows for really good panning and zooming around the image and can yeild some pretty good captures...

...Continue reading "Zoom without the churn"

Pulled by Emcee on August 13, 2005 at 01:46 PM
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July 07, 2005
Stargazin' Friday night ...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

Just about sunset tomorrow look to the west - you'll see Venus lookin' large and the crescent moon. As the sun sets you'll see Mercury (fainter) left and lower than Venus. Big bad Jupiter is in the middle of Virgo up and to the left - remember that the planets are on the ecliptic and on Friday, they're having a little gathering.

Skymap_north

Source: Space Weather


Pulled by Emcee on July 7, 2005 at 09:42 PM
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July 05, 2005
Nanotech: Monitoring of single cells now possible
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

In an article publishes in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry in June, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist Tuan Vo-Dinh, Ph.D.:

reviews the emerging field of single-cell monitoring with fiber-optic nanosensors and presents experimental results from the author’s laboratory.

Here's the punch line:

Preparing fiber optic nanosensors is fairly straightforward, according to the authors. Using the so-called “heat and pull” method, a large diameter silica optical fiber is placed in a commercially available puller that heats the fiber using a carbon dioxide laser and then pulls the fiber to the desired thickness, usually around 50 nanometers in diameter. The pulled fiber is then cut in half, yielding two nanoscale fiber tips. Vapor deposition is then used to deposit a thin layer of silver, aluminum or gold on the side walls of the tip, followed by a two-step chemical treatment of the tip that provides covalent attachment points for the biosensor molecules.

This means, among other things, that individual cells and their multitude of chemical actions can be empirically 'observed'.

There should be significant breakthroughs in understanding genetic action within cells using this technology. I predict that all that 'junk DNA' - those portions of the DNA strand that somehow uniquely define us as individuals, but that we know no functional reason for - will yield vast new areas of functional application in cellular process.

The information explosion continues.

Reported by the National Cancer Institute for Nanotechnology in Cancer.


Pulled by Emcee on July 5, 2005 at 06:44 PM
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Nasa's 4th Celebration
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

Deepimpactandcomet Diana and Nathan document Nasa's fireworks show in the early morning hours of July 4th.

Gail reports enough of a shift in the universe over Deep Impact's impact that the lawsuits have begun.

The Hubble telescope was watching as well and has just published a photo sequence showing the probe's impact on Comet 9P/Templel 1.

I'm pretty sure there were some explosions almost equivalent to this one set off by some of the kids in the neighborhood last night.

It wasn't me.

Deepimpact200517aweb_print

The image at left shows the comet about a minute before the impact. The encounter occurred at 1:52 a.m. EDT.

In the middle image, captured 15 minutes after the collision, Tempel 1 appears four times brighter than in the pre-impact photo. Astronomers noticed that the inner cloud of dust and gas surrounding the comet's nucleus increased by about 120 miles (200 kilometers) in size. The impact caused a brilliant flash of light and a constant increase in the brightness of the inner cloud of dust and gas.

The Hubble telescope continued to monitor the comet, snapping another image [at right] 62 minutes after the encounter. In this photo, the gas and dust ejected during the impact are expanding outward in the shape of a fan.


Pulled by Emcee on July 5, 2005 at 11:39 AM
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July 02, 2005
Seattle Times: Clash over "little blue pill" for women
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

The final installment in the Seattle Times Suddenly Sick series addresses the medicalization of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD):

Efforts to develop a comprehensive definition for women's sexual disorders have been controversial from the start, pitting those pushing for drug therapy against those worried about medicalization of women's sexuality by drug companies.

Did you know that Pfizer tested Viagra on women?

Feb. 27, 2004 – Pfizer pulls the plug on testing Viagra in women. In giving the drug to 3,000 women, the company found no conclusive evidence that the drug improved their sexual responsiveness. A company news release calls female sexual arousal "a complex constellation of symptoms that are difficult to identify, measure and treat" and says that sexual disorders result "from a broad range of medical and psychological conditions."

One developed drug by Procter and Gamble called Intrinsa is a patch that delivers testosterone as a treatment for FSD. The FDA advisory committee evaluating it voted against its approval - but Procter and Gamble haven't given up on it - and about 25 other FSD drugs are in the development pipeline.

This is certainly a complex issue and the Times article treats it respectfully and fairly.

I wanted to highlight this series because it is an example of mainstream media performing excellent investigative work and exposing powerful forces that don't want the publicity.

I'm tough on the MSM - but when they do something right like this they deserve praise. They certainly have mine for this series.

From the about the series link on the site:

Seattle Times staff reporters Susan Kelleher and Duff Wilson interviewed more than 160 doctors, patients, medical analysts, regulatory officials and other experts for "Suddenly Sick." They traveled to Europe, Canada and around the country, obtaining records and interviews with patients, officials with the World Health Organization, and doctors attending medical conferences.

The series also relied on thousands of pages of medical-journal articles, financial disclosures by researchers, cost-benefit studies by government and industry groups, Securities and Exchange Commission records, transcripts of Food and Drug Administration hearings, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings, and tax returns filed by not-for-profit foundations with the Internal Revenue Service.


Pulled by Emcee on July 2, 2005 at 10:58 AM
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July 01, 2005
Seattle Times: Many new drugs have strong dose of media hype
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

Been worried about a blood clot forming in your legs when you fly? Under 30? Under 40? Under 50? Even the World Health Organization (WHO) says not to worry.

But Aventis doesn't want you to think so:

Image

That's the ad they sent to doctors in 2003. She look over 60 to you?

So goes another 'manufactured' disease - deep vein thrombosis - a real condition, but one that doesn't occur in young people:

"From the ad, you might conclude that the disease affects women in their 30s," said Welch, editor of Effective Clinical Practice magazine. "In fact, it's a disease of people over 60" recovering from surgery, injury or immobilizing illness.

This is another multi-billion dollar business built on one drug: Lovenox, from one company, Aventis.

Another good read in the next to last in this hard hitting series from the Seattle Times.


Pulled by Emcee on July 1, 2005 at 02:43 AM
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June 30, 2005
Cassini sees a lake?
Filed in: Celestial, Current Affairs, Satire, Science

  The US-European Cassini spacecraft has imaged a feature on Saturn's largest moon - Titan, that may be a 235km x 75km liquid methane lake - in the top-left portion of the image:

Darkspotontitan

Upon further examination, though, there is a much more momentous discovery:

Now with UPDATES:

...Continue reading "Cassini sees a lake?"

Pulled by Emcee on June 30, 2005 at 02:25 AM
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June 27, 2005
Seattle Times: Figuring out who's fat...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

Prerequisite.

In the continuing series this week, the Seattle Times examines the medical community and it's relationship to the obesity phenomena in: Rush toward new weight-loss drugs tramples patients' health. It contains a blistering denoument of the 'phen-fen' and Redux prescription plague that occurred in the 1990's.

Interestingly, the article points out how poor the aged 'BMI index' is for determining 'overweight' or 'obese' conditions. For example, applying BMI to some well known basketball players yields some interesting results:

Normal
Seattle Sonics' Luke Ridnour
6 feet, 1 inch; 167 pounds;
22 BMI
Overweight
Seattle Sonics' Reggie Evans
6 feet, 8 inches; 245 pounds;
26.9 BMI
Obese
Miami Heat's Shaquille O'Neal
7 feet, 1 inch; 325 pounds;
31.6 BMI
NBA players Luke Ridnour, Reggie Evans and Shaquille O'Neal


This article points out that more than 70 new drugs to treat overweight and obesity are under development. This in the face of Wyeth labs expecting to pay $21.1 billion to settle the legal claims involving phen-fen.

The Times article leaves us with watching new drug developments and a sense of anxiety as we contemplate our health.

Even the most mainstream of health organizations promote good nutrition and exercise as fundamental to vitality and healthy living. Other, more alternative approaches utilizing more extreme nutritional and exercise regimens have also yielded incredible, drug free results for a significant spectrum of people.


Pulled by Emcee on June 27, 2005 at 11:05 PM
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