commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Upon removal of 4th leg, grasshopper goes deaf

My endocrinologist is puzzled by the fact that sometimes, when she increases my dosage of testosterone (which I do not naturally produce enough of), my blood level of it actually decreases.  I thought I’d check if possibly there was some odd interaction between other medicines I take and the testosterone.  One study looked promising – until I read the absolutely unbelievable details, which suggest that researchers will put any dosage of a drug they want into a test animal to prove their point.

From PubMed:

In the first of two experiments, young male cardiomyopathic hamsters were injected intraperitoneally twice a day for 29 days with 8 mg alprazolam/kg body weight or saline. Three hours after the same injections on day 30, they were sacrificed and plasma hormone levels were measured. Alprazolam increased cortisol, total glucocorticoid and triiodothyronine levels…These experiments suggest that chronic benzodiazepine treatment can affect adrenocortical function and perhaps some aspects of thyroid function.”

8 mg/kg body weight twice a day?  These experiments suggest that researchers at the VA Medical Center in E. Orange, NJ, need to move into the world of reality.  These people could make a good case against ingestion of dihydrogen monoxide.  For a 180 pound human (81.5 kg) to get an equivalent dose, that person would have to take over 1300 mg alprazolam per day (or more, for equivalent bioavailability peroral.)

I guess I’m safe at 2 mg/day.

Autism vs. Basketball Stars

What’s the main difference between Michael Savage and Don Imus?

Don Imus attacked Rutgers basketball players, who are perfectly capable of defending themselves.

Michael Savage attacked autistic people, who are people who are at a vast disadvantage for defending themselves.

Think Michael Savage will get fired like Don Imus did?  I doubt it’s likely.  Disabled people get a lot less funding than state university basketball teams – not to mention a lot less fans and a lot less attention.

I’d love to see some of the women’s basketball team at Rutgers step up publicly and say that Mr. Savage’s remarks are just as unacceptable as Imus’ remarks.  But I’m not holding my breath on it.

More quote updates

Robert A. Heinlein:
“Thou shalt honor the noble English language, speech of Shakespeare, Milton, and Poe, and it will serve thee all the days of thy life.”


Dr. Dean Radin:
“Maintaining an open mind is important when examining the unknown, but allowing one’s brains to fall out in the process is inadvisable.”


R. U. Sirius:
“The genius of the hip left 60’s was that it resolved the tension between altruism and desire by enclosing the erotic, the atavistic, and the visionary within a philosophy of humanism, unifying the personal and political under an ideal of liberation.”


Anonymous Seattle Craigslist Poster:
“I am a raging feminist bitch, but I still want to be penetrated like you are planning on fucking my throat from the inside out.”


Gloria Brame:
“Yes, folks, it’s that Lenten time of the year when religious extremists around the world take to the streets to whip themselves and get nailed to crosses to celebrate Easter. No one better get a sexual charge out of it, though, because then whipping and crucifixion would be frowned on by the Church. Let me explain. This is how to tell the SMers apart from the rest of the world:

  • We do such things because they feel wonderful and magical. So that’s morally wrong.
  • They do them to feel miserable and shattered. That’s morally right.”


Eric Flint:
“Online piracy – while it is definitely illegal and immoral – is, as a practical problem, nothing more than (at most) a nuisance. We’re talking brats stealing chewing gum, here, not the Barbary Pirates.”

Full favorite quotations page here.

I finally watched “What the Bleep”

and was significantly underwhelmed. Maybe it’s because I’ve already read some of the underlying philosophies (such as that of Dr. Pert); but the thing that really put me off was the channeled being “Ramtha”, or maybe his host – it was never clear which was speaking – called the idea of the Biblical God, a God who is concerned with acts of wrongness by each insignificant human on this insignificant planet in the backwaters of the Milky Way, “impossible.”

Now, granted, I’m no big fan of the idea of the God of Abraham, especially as described in the Bible, as being a sophisticated enough being to create the universe. That said, the underlying epistemology of What the Bleep do We Know? is supposedly the myriad possibilities, and the notion that nothing is impossible. Ramtha simply didn’t fit into the thesis being presented; within the ideas being presented the best that could be said is that such a deity’s existence had not been experienced by Ramtha.

My suggestion: go to a couple of Reclaiming Witchcamps and pick up a book or two on epistemology, and Dr. Pert’s book Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine. As for their quantum physics thing, just watch the episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where Cmdr./Captain Sisko encounters the prophets. They’re more fun to watch, and convey the same idea without having to deal with the fact that quantum physics theories change so fast that they’re usually obsolete by the time of publication anyway.

YESiceptive, YESiceptive!!

A great post about obscurely painful words:

Possible reversible error in Larry Craig decision?

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
– Mark Twain

CNN reports that Senator Larry Craig’s conviction was upheld. However, I think there may be reversible error on page 18 of the judge’s decision. The judge, in upholding the conviction, wrote the following:

“The Defendant, a career politician with a college education, is of, at least, above-average intelligence.”

Political commentators have known for years that members of the Congress, whether House or Senate, are not presumably of above-average intelligence. The judge may have made an assumption not in evidence that Senator Larry Craig was intelligent enough to sign and initial each admission, each waiver, and each sworn declaration.

I think counsel for the Senator can get at least another appeal out of that by stipulating that the Senator is not intelligent and therefore the Court’s reasoning was faulty on that point. After all, no less an American writer than Mark Twain has observed idiocy as a general feature of Senators and of Members of the House.

Higher education American style
Higher Education 007 by ~Nihilio on deviantART
(click on picture to go to the artist’s page)