13 February 2009

The Autism Verdict

Well, the verdict is in: no money for the families of the three children with autism who were seeking a court award from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, claiming that thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative formerly used in vaccines, caused their childrens' disorders.
Here is what this does not mean:
-That thimerosal has NO link to autism
-That vaccines in general have NO link to autism
-That the MMR in its traditional form is the ideal schedule for infants
-That physicians have not mislead parents on many subjects related to vaccinations

Here is what this does mean:
-That thimerosal has very little effect on the immune system (saying nothing about the neurological or gastrointestinal system)
-That these families are not entitled to relief from this particular fund, based on what this fund was set up to support
-That based on the evidence presented to the court, the link was weak (saying nothing about the scientific evidence available)

Autism is a mysterious disorder with a complex etiology that clearly involves multiple systems, genetic predisposition, and environmental triggers, all in a combination that is currently unknown. No one can say for sure that vaccines cause autism, but until there is conclusive evidence that it does NOT, which currently does not exist, we should continue to research.

Details on the Stimulus Compromise

The Associated Press has published a simple concise and darned near purty graphic to help you digest the 8 bajillion dollar stimulus compromise to be voted on in Congress today.

If you've got some serious time on your hand, you can also read the whole thing yourself.

12 February 2009

For Once, the Religious Right is Right

In the news in the UK this week, one of the youngest people to become a father has made the news. He has a newborn, and he is a tender 13.

See more here.

Obama beatbox

GOP making up stuff again...

Yet again, the GOP is complaining about non-existent provisions of the stimulus bill. This time around, they're claiming that the bill contains millions of dollars to save a type of mouse that lives in Speaker Pelosi's district. The provision does not now exist in the bill nor has it ever.

I know it's a big bill, but you can't tell me there's not at least one intern in the whole GOP that has read it.

I'm just saying...

Oh China...

This kid is going to have lung cancer before he's potty trained.

Joaquin Phoenix nearly appears on the Late Show

Michael Phelps should NOT be Sorry

Michael Phelps should not be sorry - yea, I know I should be over this, but honestly I'm not. Phelps let me and the rest of our culture out to dry with his comments about his "childish mistake" and this article does a good job of reminding us why Mary Jane is illegal in the first place. Enjoy my first post.

11 February 2009

This is why you're fat....mmmmm

With a tagline like "where dreams become heart attacks," how can you not be intrigued?

A collection of coronary-inducing food items sure to piss off your insurance company and make you drool.

Microsoft SongSmith butchers some classics

It's hilarious and I actually kind of like the version of Hotel California, but MS SongSmith completely butchers a couple of classic songs. Basically, the program adds background music when you sing into the computer.

SCOTUS declares death penalty 'totally badass'

Bath tub gin gets a little homier

I'll see your Mr. Beer and raise you one Crock Pot Still.

And if you really want to take it up a notch.

Transactional truth, the flaw in proof, wikipedia

Slashdot is carrying an interesting post this morning pointing out an interesting error. Without diving into unnecessary detail, in a quickly evolving news story, a man named as a potential candidate for a public service post had his name changed by adding 'Wilhem' as an additional middle name. Now for most people this is a noticeable change, for example Barack Hussein Obama turned into Barack Wilhem Hussein Obama would stand out pretty well. But, when your name is Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, things might go unnoticed for a little while. Then things get a little funny. A german newspaper decides to copy the name out of wikipedia and print it, and then wikipedia users use the newspaper as a citation on the name.

Uh - oh. This sounds truthier than the Bush Administration. Which seems to beg the question, how often do we authenticate inaccuracy by repackaging?

Warning: Law school story

I'm way too lazy to look this up, but consider this. Years ago congress passed an amended requirement for import reporting and duty for certain products. Due to a transcription error, when the law was transferred into the US code an error was made in the reporting requirements for the dimensions of those products. Originally congress passed a requirement that a product had to be reported by its length, width and height, or its volume. In its published form, a product had to be reported by its length and width, or its height and volume. When tested in Federal court, the Judge cited the Code as the law and ruled that the flawed transcription should stand.

08 February 2009

Italy is really hard up for babies

Italy is currently in the midst of a constitutional crisis. The highest court declared that woman who has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1992 can be taken off feeding tubes, in accordance with what her father says would have been her wishes. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi issued an emergency decree preventing any patients from being taken off feeding tubes if their lives depend on them.
"Justifying his campaign to save Englaro's life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was 'in the condition to have babies'"
I guess that tax credit just isn't doing it for them.

Football vs. Handegg

Online predators

What you don't know could hurt you or someone you love.