23 August 2008

Joe Biden picked as Obama's sidekick.

Barack Obama announced his running-mate selection in the middle of the night by text message and its Joe Biden!

After weeks of speculation and an utter frenzy, Biden will be traveling to Illinois today for his first appearance with Senator Obama. Until then you can catch up on some of the commentary. Or watch a streaming live picture of Joe Biden's house. In related news, its reported that Senator Biden knows how many homes he owns without needing to consult staff.

Maybe jumping on a bandwagon wasn't the best idea...

Well after two years of young girls and their families being inundated with the scare tactic marketing campaign for so-called cancer vaccine Gardasil based on less than 7 years of research, people are just now wondering if this unnecessary and under-researched vaccine is cost effective, or even if it actually has along-term effect on preventing cervical cancer.
If you are interested in my rant, keep going. Otherwise just go to the full story here.

So what clued you all in that we might be jumping the gun a little? Was it pumping 12 year old girls full of a deactivated STD without any hard proof that it really does what it's supposed to, or was it the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent per girl without any real research to stand on?
And for the record, despite the marketing, Gardasil is not a cancer vaccine, it prevents a virus that is usually cleared by the immune system on its own, but in very rare cases, sticks around asymptomatically, and in only some of those rare cases, has been linked (not proven to cause, just linked) to cervical cancer. And this is worth the risks of a vaccine, the cost of a vaccine, and causing every girl in the country to lose her ability to have her body fight this virus on its own? How about instead, we make sure that all girls get affordable and frequent pap smears to catch any abnormality early instead of spending millions in research and marketing to possibly prevent some rare occurance?

Sorry for the long rant, full story at the New York Times here

20 August 2008

Congresswoman Jones has died.

As a follow-up to reports that the Congresswoman from Ohio has suffered an aneurysm today, CNN now reports that she has died this evening.

About 150 died while taking off in Madrid

A Spanair flight crashed shortly after take off this morning, resulting in a horrific mess and nearly 150 dead so far. The flight was carrying 175 passengers to the Spanish Canary Islands, off the West African coast. The struggling airline already had to cancel 3,300 flights earlier this year due to a maintenance problem with its fleet.

Barajas International Airport in Madrid is the fourth-busiest in Europe. The same airport was the location of the 30 December 2006 carpark bombing that left two Ecuadorians dead[a day or so before I came back to the US via Barajas].

An airplane accident of this magnitude hasn't been seen in quite a while and it's a stunning reminder of that, while incredibly rare in the airline industry, when todo va a mierda, va por seguro.

And People are Just NOW Noticing??

This commentary seems like old news, but apparently many American voters are either completely blind or just don't care.

I couldn't resist...

Many of you may have used the derogatory term "dickhead" to refer to someone who may deservedly have earned such a title. Others of you may have earned the title for yourselves.

However, it should be noted that real "dickheads" do exist in the wild, and may be spending some time this summer at a community swimming pool in your area.

Be alert and exercise necessary caution.

19 August 2008

Hi-Res photos of the world's tallest skyscraper

The Burj Dubai is nearing completion at which time it will take the record as the world's tallest skyscraper. Gizmodo provides some breathtaking high resolution photos that give a better sense of the magnitude of this erection.

18 August 2008

Car pool to the concert and cut the CO2

Wilco isn't the first rock band to encourage their fans to car pool on the way to a concert, but they've provided a facebook application that hooks up drivers and passengers. Transportation to and from concerts is a large contributor of green house gas emissions, so this is just one more way that people can reduce their carbon footprint. Unlike the awkward car pools with strangers that you get through the DOT, this method offers to bring together different people connected by their mutual love of the music. I hope to see this implemented with other music groups in the near future.

Internet radio powerhouse Pandora might go under

Due to rising royalties and stagnant revenue, the awesomeness that is Pandora might be no more. There was a brief scare a few months ago, but this time it seems like the record industry means business. They're charging more in royalties than even traditional radio stations pay and Pandora simply won't be able to make bank.

The beauty of Pandora is that it uses the "Music Genome Project" to determine what music a listener might like. I have been a fan and user for a few years now and I would be sad to see such a great service go.


While I prefer the classic "Reverse Full House," I'll occasionally pull out the "Reverse Family Matters."

17 August 2008

Wind Power Makes People Angry

John Yancey is enraged that his father allowed wind turbines to be built on their land. He admits it is good, clean energy being pumped into the grid, and doesn't even mind the $6,600 per year he receives for EACH turbine on his family's land.

"Dad taught us such respect for the land. For my father to be part of this ..." His voice trails off and he shakes his head and walks away.

Uhmm... Mr. Yancey, I think your father has a lot of respect for the land. Your turbines are creating clean energy without harm to the land around them. Sure the 'woosh' is loud, but I live in the city and I've gotten used to the loud music of my neighbors. It would be no different than living next to a highway or any number of other things man, or naturally created that produce sound. You simply adjust.

Simply put, what a d-bag.