Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Techyum Roundup

January 7, 2008

The Return of BitterSweets

Electric Plane Flies in France

Whiskipedia is Live

Mafia Museum Being Built in Las Vegas

Say You Love Coca-Cola, Satan!

Image via


Monsanto v. Schmeiser, Schmeiser v. Monsanto

December 9, 2007

Among the 2007 winners of the Right Livelihood Award, presented annually on December 9 to honor those “working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today,” are Percy and Louise Schmeiser, two farmers from Saskatchewan.

In 1998 the Schmeisers were successfully sued by Monsanto for patent infringement for growing Monsanto’s genetically modified “Roundup Ready” canola plants without purchasing the annual licensing fee of $15 Canadian per acre.

Read my article at Techyum.

See also: King Corn.

Image from

Techyum Roundup

December 7, 2007


Googly Eyes for Satan (Techyum)

Uganda Ebola Outbreak Spreads (Techyum)

The BBC on UK Plan to Lay Broadband Fiber in Sewers (Techyum)

Image via Rogue Taxidermy.

Techyum Roundup 26 November

November 26, 2007


“Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Bezoar (Techyum)

Video of MS Explorer Sinking in the Antarctic (Techyum)

Paralyzed Man’s Thoughts “Read” (Techyum)

Delicious, succulent brains via Wikipedia.

Techyum Roundup

November 9, 2007


Webworm Takeover (techyum)

Tunguska Crater Found. Maybe. (techyum)

King Corn — Movie Review (techyum)

Project Gutenberg Eats Brains, Detonates Nuke, Rotates (techyum)

Image via Wikipedia.

New England Journal’s “Comprehensive” Sex Survey of Older Americans (Blowfish)

September 26, 2007

From my new column at Blowfish:

In the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago National Social Life, Health and Aging Project published the results of a study described as the first comprehensive national survey to chart sexual behavior among adults aged 57 to 85.

The New England Journal of Medicine

According to the University’s website, this survey overturns stereotypical notions about aging and sex (namely, that old people don’t like it). Edward Laumann, one of the report’s authors, told BBC News: “There are a lot of people who feel that age is very tightly correlated with sexual activity or interest . . . But it turns out that healthy people are sexually active if they have a partner, and that this is an important part of the quality of life.”

In addition to “sex,” the study asked about oral sex and masturbation; half of the people surveyed “up to age 75″ said they had oral sex, and half of the men and a quarter of the women reported masturbating, with no apparent correlation between masturbation and having or not having a sexual partner.

Read more at Blowfish.

The First Kiss (Blowfish)

September 26, 2007

From my Blowfish column:

I vividly remember my first kiss. I was in the clutches of a vastly more experienced girl my age, quite willingly I should add. It had been made pretty clear for at least a few days that we were going to “make out” the next time she got me alone. I was so nervous I was shaking.

When she kissed me, it wasn’t at all what I expected. I remember thinking “whoa, that’s her tongue,” which I expected in the abstract — but in real life it felt all wet, weird, and wriggly. Her mouth tasted ever so slightly sour, not like the oft-described “salty” kisses I’d read about.

To use a popular BDSM term, it kinda squicked me, as surely as if my partner had stuck a bunch of needles through her body and suspended herself by fleshhooks right there in her bedroom (which certainly would have been a novel first date, and far from unlikely for me in the years since then).

Read more at Blowfish.

Happy Equinox, Earth Dwellers

September 23, 2007

 This amazing image courtesy of and the crew of STS-68:

Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 0951 UT. Known as the equinox, the astronomical event marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south. Equinox means equal night and with the Sun on the celestial equator, Earth dwellers will experience nearly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Of course, for those in the south, the days will grow longer with the Sun marching higher in the sky as summer approaches. A few weeks after the September Equinox of 1994, the Crew of the shuttle orbiter Endeavour recorded this image of the Sun poised above the Earth’s limb. Glare illuminates Endeavour’s vertical tail (pointing toward the Earth) along with radar equipment in the payload bay.

Techyum Roundup

September 22, 2007

spacesuit.jpgEhlers-Danlos Syndrome (techyum)

NASA Accepting Aps for its Astronaut Training Program (techyum)

Nine New Ebola Cases in DR Congo (techyum) 

H.G. Wells Stage Festival in NYC (techyum)

Photo via NASA Image of the Day Gallery.

Wikipedia: Only As Full Of Shit As You Are, Professor

September 21, 2007

 One of my favorite science publications, New Scientist, drops the ball in a big way in this article on Wikipedia. I say that because NS gives us an uncharacteristically credulous account of the online user-edited encyclopedia’s attempts to be taken seriously. It opens with a paragraph that reeks of the worst pseudoscientific dramababble:

Wikipedia’s entry on Albert Einstein looks good. Covering each phase of the physicist’s life, from childhood to death, it tells readers about his politics, religion and science. Honours named after him and books and plays about his life are listed. But there is one snag: there is no way to tell whether the information is true.

I can almost smell the Chupacabra’s spoor. In fact, I am so horrified by a so-called science journal asserting that there is “no way” to tell whether information of this sort is true that I just might want to add some spoor of my own, right on top of the latest issue of New Scientist.

The implicit assumption, here and in all discussions of Wikipedia…

Read more at Techyum.

Image via Wikipedia.