Vatican buries the hatchet with Charles Darwin. Old news, really. This conclusion has been talked of in backchannels for at least three decades. As opposed to blinkered literalists, the Vatican is okay with Darwin, as long as you don’t go touching God as sole Creator.
Scientists Confirm Algae Is the Most Effective Alternative Energy Source. Yep, algae grows on you.
A mammoth discovery - skull, tusk and foot bones found at future site of law school in East Village. Oh, tusk, tusk, tusk. East Village San Diego, not Manhattan. Any news source with national coverage should know to differentiate such things in their RSS feed.
NY Review of Books:
Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption. “One clue was provided six years ago by four researchers who, using the Freedom of Information Act, obtained FDA reviews of every placebo-controlled clinical trial submitted for initial approval of the six most widely used antidepressant drugs approved between 1987 and 1999—Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor. They found that on average, placebos were 80 percent as effective as the drugs. The difference between drug and placebo was so small that it was unlikely to be of any clinical significance.” My italics.
Brain simulates actions in stories as a person reads: study. Read your way to a physical skill? Perhaps.
SF New Mexican:
Speaking with your hands helps you think and learn, too. My late grandmother was one of those people who, if you tied her hands, she’d be unable to put two words together.
Why NASA should give up its ambitions to send men into space. Makes more economic sense to send a Hummer-size rover to Mars, rather than humans, at this point in time. Much as I’d like to get all Star-Trekky.
Long Droughts, Rising Seas Predicted Despite Future CO2 Curbs. “The already parched U.S. Southwest would probably see a 5 percent drop in precipitation during its dry season.” Our weather has been so variable in the last decade, this is well within ‘normality’ here ... as long as it is not consistent, which is the implication.
Haven’t removed high fructose corn syrup from your diet yet? Enjoy the mercury.
NY Times Science:
In Lots of Animal Art, Wrong Foot Is Forward. It seems artists haven’t progressed much beyond the old “all four legs sticking out” paintings of a couple hundred years ago.
Dead athletes’ brains show damage from concussions. “... today, using tissue from retired NFL athletes culled posthumously, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) is shedding light on what concussions look like in the brain. The findings are stunning. Far from innocuous, invisible injuries, concussions confer tremendous brain damage.” No wonder so many longtime full-contact athletes go postal.
US regulators have cleared the way for the world’s first study on human embryonic stem cell therapy. In which we as a country turn away from medievalism.
NY Times Science:
Identifying the Bird, When Not Much Bird Is Left. Adding the word ‘snarge’ to my lexicon ...
World’s highest drug levels entering India stream. “At first, Joakim Larsson, an environmental scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, questioned whether 100 pounds a day of ciprofloxacin could really be running into the stream. The researcher was so baffled by the unprecedented results he sent the samples to a second lab for independent analysis.” Thanks for the heads-up, bro.
NY Times NY Region:
Seeing a Lost Engine to the Surface. Finding the engine from Flight 1549, but also dropping clues about what other curious items reside at the bottom of the Hudson.
The tomb-chapel of Nebamun at the British Museum. Do watch the video. The quality of the artwork is astounding. Too bad it was removed, and the other parts of the paintings (seemingly) destroyed.
In Texas, a Line in the Curriculum Revives Evolution Debate. I’m sorry, but you don’t “teach the controversy” in grade and secondary schools. You let the scholars argue over the fine points at scholarly institutions, and when a theory is reasonably confirmed by evidence, then it trickles down to the children.
I remember creationism and evolution, when I was in grade school, being treated as sort of parallel universes. They were contextually relevant. As one progressed through the grades, creationism became less and less relevant, except in literature (martyr and other symbolisms). As math, physics, biology and other scientific courses increased, so did the value of dear old ‘Chuck D’.
Wired Gadget Lab:
President Obama Wears Bullet-Resistant Suit at Inaugural. If so, it was much better than that oversize stovepipe Mr Bush wore in 2001. He looked like the turret from the “Monitor.”
NY Times Environment:
Warming in Antarctica Looks Certain. “From 1957 through 2006, temperatures across Antarctica rose an average of 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, comparable to the warming that has been measured globally. In West Antarctica, where the base of some large ice sheets lies below sea level, the warming was even more pronounced, at 0.3 degrees per Fahrenheit.”
NY Times Artsbeat:
Mummy of female pharaoh uncovered. Equal-opportunity grave robbers.