Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's Big Pharma, no, no, it's Scientology!

I found a post that casts a certain amount of doubt on the previous post I had about big pharma money influencing the DSM-IV TR.

Oil, Science, and an Opportunity Missed

From DailyKos:
The energy problem is, at its core, a scientific and engineering problem. And America knows how to solve scientific and engineering problems better than any country in history. We still have the talent, we still have the resources, we still have the spirit, just as we did in WW2 or the space race. If anything, we have more. What we lack is leadership.

This is an interesting take on what has happened in the past five years. Like the original post suggests, would this not have been a better response to terrorism than telling people to go shopping?

My Residence in America

For you visual people, this is where I stay in the US. It's a convent that has rooms for grad students. Perhaps this will be the first of a series of photoblogs about my life in the US, but perhaps not, it all depends...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Motorcycle Ride Through Hell

It's twenty years ago today that a massive fire led to the name Chernobyl becoming permanently associated with nuclear horror. This site is a collection of photos taken on a motorcycle ride through the region most devastated by the disaster. I really have nothing to add, the pictures speak for themselves.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Strange Bedfellows in Psychology

On the CBC right now there is a story about how over half the psychologists that wrote the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV TR, in it's latest variant) have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. For those not in the know, DSM-IV TR is the "bible" of psychologists. I'm sure it doesn't take much reasoning to figure out why this is very suspicious.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Today's Thousand-Word Picture

(Via Juan Cole) This is the work of freelancer Kirk Anderson. Cole points out that he won an award for this effort.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yet Another Book

I thumbed through Bernard-Henri Levy's American Vertigo at Chapters the other day. It looks rather fascinating. Anyway, I probably will wait for the soft cover version. It's not as though I need to cast about for more reading material these days.

Lewiston Notes

One thing that I miss being in a smaller community is the lack of food-diversity. It's either typical American fare, or Italian, or Chinese. Actually those last two are probably more like Italian-American and Chinese-American. I'm not sure people on the streets of Rome would recognise St. Angelo's pizza as their pizza. Anyway, it's kind of drag if you suddenly want some Pad Thai or some Indian deal.

One thing I don't miss is traffic, I connected this when I was driving down Center St and listening to a Toronto traffic report around 6pm. There may have been maybe five other vehicles on the entire length of Center St. as I listened to reports of trouble on the 401... and the 400... and the 407... et cetera.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Academic Racketeering

Warning: It is doubtful that I can do this whole post with no profanity.

I'm sure that everyone out there is aware of what a protection racket is. You pay the mob (err, legitimate businessmans' club) for so-called protection. But you don't have a choice. Well, this is what is going on in academia right now. See, like a bunch of mob bosses, various groups have marked out "territory" in universities. There's the MLA gang, the Chicago gang, the APA gang, and maybe some others too, I don't know.

Instead of paying for protection, these gangs make you buy their style manuals. See, if there was one, unified style that didn't really change, save for new media formats (how does one, for example, cite a podcast), then I could buy that. But nooooooooooo, every has to have their own unique and anal-retentive technique for citing references and doing title pages.


What about an MLA title page would be incomprehensible to an APA person? Like, would they actually not understand what was what? "Oh, so the author was D. Gouge, and that is not the title." The ugly truth is that the more retentive professors are about style, the more brittle they seem. Like, if there was a semi-colon instead of colon between "New York" and "Penguin" would they really have no idea where a book was published or by whom? Besides, these people are supposed to be the experts on their subject. Yet they are too stupid to comprehend the name of a book unless it is done in just the right way? Maybe some of them think that an author named Anna Karenina wrote a book about Leo Tolstoy.

Now maybe this whole formatting racket is just so that students will look professional if they are ever published in some kind of academic journal. But really, how many people in undergraduate programs, or even certain grad programs ever get published? Maybe one percent attain this honour. The rest of us are just wasting our time jumping through fucking hoops. Either that, or too many professors lack the basic general knowledge to determine what is a title, what is a publisher, what is an author, and so on, in relation to their own field of expertise!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Taken Down By a Guy Named Scooter

(Via Fark)
I wonder how far this will go. I think it's been clear that Bush has been steadily weakening. His base is disappointed in him, and his opponents have finally been getting their act together.
Libby, 55, testified in 2003 that he provided reporter Judith Miller with information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate after being told by Cheney that Bush "specifically had authorized" him to "disclose certain information in the NIE." Libby also testified that Cheney specifically directed him to speak to other reporters about information in the classified NIE (which addressed Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction programs) as well as a cable authored by Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

It sounds like this is getting closer and closer to the Oval Office.

Update: Both DailyKos and Atrios have commented on this now.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

RIAA Is Cruel and Stupid

I think that maybe people are downloading, just to spite these bastards. They are bloodthirsty and really, the dissolution of the large music conglomerates that band together as the RIAA cartel might be the best thing to happen to music.

Rainy Wednesday

If you have to have one of these, spending them in a coffee shop with a warm beverage and a muffin while Sarah Harmer plays in the background is a nice way to do it. The preceding minimester having been completed (it's like a semester, but pocket-sized), I don't have a whole lot to worry about. This is the early-April holding pattern. There is not a lot of exciting music coming now. Chris from school said this too, so it's not like I'm just clueless now. Well, back to Sarah Harmer bliss now, or so I reckon.