@Used2baFreeCountry: Crichton and others may have fallen for the old "cause but not effect" syndrome. While it is true that malaria deaths began to rise about the same time as DDT was being banned in the US, its use was NOT banned in Africa, and malaria deaths still rose.
This was due to some extent to the independent and separate evolution of chloroquine resistant malaria parasites.
Chloroquine, a manufactured drug based on quinine, started being used in the 1940's (along with DDT spraying) and it was VERY effective. But by the late 1950's the chloroquine resistant strains arose in Asia and South America. The Asian strain spread quickly to Africa, and deaths due to malaria began to rise again.
So yes, DDT did play an important role in limiting mosquitos and stopping malaria in the US. But Crichton's assumption that the rise in malaria can be laid at the feet of Rachel Carson is unsupported by the data. Good old fashioned evolution played a much bigger role.
I'm glad that Ms. Barnett had access to the information with which to make an informed decision.
As the SCOTUS considers the patent of Myriad Genetics for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes I can't help but wonder how many America women are not as empowered due to the artificially high cost of the genetic test.
I had to pass a written test issued by the state and demonstrate competence behind the wheel before I was allowed to drive a motor vehicle. I had to do absolutely nothing other than present cash to buy a shotgun and rifle from a private seller.
Now we have two senators who do not even support the idea of basic background checks for private sales or gun show sales.
My brother in law shot himself dead during a moment of depression. He used a gun that once belonged to his father.
Another close friend lost both parents and a brother when his mentally ill brother came down stairs and started shooting. My friend, a black belt martial arts instructor, was powerless to stop him. Had it been a baseball bat instead of .357 his family would not have been destroyed that day. Only firearms put that kind of power into the hands of the angry, mentally ill, or even more sadly, young children.
It is in the best interests of society to limit access to these weapons of collective mass destruction.posted @ Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 17:08
[quote][b]CharlotteLadyGardner[/b] - Did he have a criminal background? Were there any previous charges regarding domestic violence? [/quote]
Another question. Did he belong to a "well regulated militia"? We will never know for certain but I doubt whether this mother and child would be dead today if he not had ready access to firearms. The gun rights lobby says we need weapons to defend ourselves from bad guys, but sadly most Americans who die by firearms are killed like this. By people they know.
Or by their own hand.
Christians do not envision themselves as self-righteous or myopic.
Ms. Coleman was not addressing her comments to Christians in general, she was directing them at Mr. Yarbrough specifically.
She makes this quite clear when she writes "..using ridicule and fatuous self-congratulatory observations about his own beliefs, Yarbrough seems to feel he has somehow logically countered an atheist’s point of view." identifying him by name and saying that the position she finds objectionable was "his"
I think you are taking offense when none was intended by Ms. Coleman.posted @ Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 12:51
I'm waking this morning to this sad news. Like many others here I too admired his columns, even when I disagreed with them. His voice brought a reasoned and diverse perspective to the ABH opinion page which will be sorely missed. My condolences to his wife and family.posted @ Friday, May 31, 2013 - 07:56
@cyou299: While it is true that five year survival rates for many cancers are significantly better than in the 1970's (which as you correctly say is a complex of conditions, not a single disease) we have not eliminated or eradicated any cancers. We are fighting better battles (most men with prostate cancer end up dying of something else) but we are not defeating the enemy.
By eliminating the cause, HPV vaccine has the potential to eradicate those cancers caused by the virus. We wouldn't have to treat because there would be no illness. This would be a victory unlike any other in the war on cancer.posted @ Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 13:55
My graduation speech is twice as long. Two times a year I send off our Biology grads with these four words: "Do Good - Have Fun"
I stress that one's actions should be carried out in that order
[quote][b]Georgia Boy[/b] - No miracle, just science.
Agreed. While I am delighted for the Saxon and Stockton families, this is not a miracle, at least not in the sense that I use the word.
These families, and thousands of others like them, are enjoying the benefits of work that was started decades ago by scientists trying to understand how a fertilized egg develops into an animal. This sort of basic research, much of which was carried out on creatures like sea urchins, had no immediate practical value. But because the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, supported this sort of research, today Krista Saxon has a son.
If we allow politicians to financially strangle or try to direct basic research in this country, how many other wonderful things will we not know about decades from now? How much poorer will be life of Tucker Saxon and his children?posted @ Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 08:53
Every piece I submit to Jim Thompson and the ABH comes with a long list of references (which BTW I am happy to share with anyone who asks for them)but which the ABH does not publish for space considerations.
In that sprit I would ask that you provide us, the readers of the ABH, with references to the studies you refer to in your letter so that we might read them and form opinions for ourselves.
-Mark Farmerposted @ Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 12:40
@davidxto: When you use the word "doctor" I assume you mean physicians. Physicians are practioners of scientfic knowledge, most are not researchers and very few are scientists or think as scientists. So we are talking about two very different groups of people choosing where to work based on very different sets of criteria.
Look up the story of Neal Copeland and Nancy Jenkin; both American members of the highly prestigious National Academy of Sciences who in 2005 left the US to pursue their research in Singapore. They did this largely in response to what they perceived to be a federal government at the time that was hostile to science:
“We wanted to be in a place where they are excited by science and things are moving upward,”
In 2011 they returned to the US to work at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute. Perhaps the changes in Washington had something to do with their decision to return, but their situation is not unique. I know many colleagues who are considering, or have accepted, positions abroad. And the perception that the governement and people of the US are hostile to scientific progress is almost always a factor in their decsion making process.
This happens at the statewide level as well. How many centers in regenerative medicine will you find in states that have passed these so-called "personhood" amendments?posted @ Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 12:15
@davidxto: I for one would not wish to comment on Dr. Kaswan's dispute since I have no knowledge of it or the details and I'm willing to bet most of my peers do not either.
What I do know is that the NSF, NIH, and other federal funding agencies do have very high expectations for making discoveries publicly available and that without exception the researchers I interact with take this mandate very seriously.posted @ Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 12:03
Because the more basic the research, the less likely you are to be able to say what the final consequences of the research are?
Case in point. Any of you accessing the internet via a wireless connection of any sort can thank the NSF and projects they funded decades ago for computer scientists who were interested finding better ways for satellites to communicate. In the 1990's we discovered that malaria is caused by an organism descended from a photosynthetic alga. We certainly weren't looking for that, just doing basic research.
There is already tremendous transparency in finding out who gets funded and what they do with the results and with funding rates less than 10% in most programs, trust me, only the best of the best gets support. So two of the three points demanded by Mr. Smith are already being met and have been met for the past 30 years.
It is that first point, of only funding research that someone (Mr. Smith?) determines is in the national interest, that would bring the basic research in this nation to a halt. Many of our best scientists are being recruited to other countries and the best ones from other countries are no longer looking at the US as a destination.
We have been losing our edge in research since 2000 and Mr. Smith's proposal would kill it off completely. Most likely for good.
@Farmer GA: With all due respect there is a big difference between regulations and agenda setting. As researchers we must abide by a great many regulations, just like everyone else spending tax payer money. These regulations are imposed on us for safety, ethical, and even legal reasons. For example did you know that I am required to share with the entire world any genetic data I generate within six months of discovering it? The amount of paperwork regarding chemicals, personnel, etc. is also burdensome, but we bear it.
What we are talking about here is not regulation, but rather deciding of who does, and who does not, get to compete in the scientific commons. The NSF model of deciding who gets funding is the envy of every other nation. When I worked there we had a contigent from France come to Washington to learn how we did it.
It is the fairness of this system, the one that has done so much good for our nation and our economy, that is endangered by political meddling.posted @ Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 13:28
It is actually worse than I thought when I wrote this piece. Rep. Lamar Smith has already written and circulated a draft House Resolution that intends to redefine the criteria by which the NSF and all federal research agencies award grants:
"(a) CERTIFICATION.—Prior to making an award of any contract or grant funding for a scientific research project, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall publish a statement on the public website of the Foundation that certifies that the research project—
(1) is in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense by promoting the progress of science;
(2) is the finest quality, is ground breaking, and answers questions or solves problems that are of utmost importance to society at large; and
(3) is not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other Federal science agencies."
Better not let Mrs. Editor read that one. Sounds like somebody's got a crush on you!posted @ Monday, April 22, 2013 - 20:36
[quote][b]Green[/b] - Maybe if the idiot dad used the bat on his son, his son would not be a 24 year old doper / loser.
Ah yes, what better way to help a child struggling with addiction than to top it off with physical abuse.
Remind me never to let you anywhere near my family.
Finally an answer to the age old question, "What does a guy have to do to get some Breadsticks and Cheddar Bay Biscuits around here??"posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 10:30
Rep. Broun can claim another first. He is, to my knowledge, the first and only US Congressman to openly laugh when a constituent called for the assassination of the President.
And this guy wants to be a US Senator???
Read the front page of the ABH and the article about LEDs and how much energy they could save. How many plant Vogles would NOT have to be built and paid for by those of us who may not be in Georgia long enough to get one electron from them. Is that your idea of economic freedom and progress?
No one is talking about riding horses or sitting around the campfire. But I do want indoor lighting at a quarter of the cost. I do want a car that gets 40+ mpg. I do want solar collectors on most roofs to keep buildings cooler in the summer and generate needed electricity. I do want the GA Power monopoly broken so that entrepreneurs can develop on site power generation for consumers. I do want better recycling programs so the government wont take my neighbors land for a trash dump. I do want new buildings to have geothermal heat exchangers. And I want lots more, I want the US to lead the world in ALL these things.
Most of us want progress, nor regressposted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 09:57
Ugh! You just never get tired of beating the same dead horse do you harrumph?
CRU email scandal you say? Watch this:
British Met admits that there is no warming? Watch this:
Honestly could you just take one day off and give me one less mole to whack?posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 09:48
[quote][b]Sockpuppet[/b] - Who establishes these facts? And what good is their word?
They are the ones who actually take the time to go out and collect the data instead of the armchair pundits who just sit around griping about things. Their word is as solid as their data. If you are privy to data that supports an alternative conclusion then by all means, share it with the rest of us and tell us how you collected it so that we can ascertain its validity.
@Sockpuppet: No disrespect intended or implied.
"The term can also be used to describe someone who migrates within a country, possibly their own, in order to pursue work such as seasonal work."-Wikipedia
Once the cherries are picked at one farm it is time to move on.
As for harvesting being beneath me, while in college I worked several summers as a ditch digger. Good hard, honest work. My grandfather drove a taxi. My sister works at Walmart. I have nothing but respect for honest hardworking people.
But I have little tolerance for journalists who cannot be bothered to take the time to check their facts.posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 10:45
Mr. McClanahan is so good at cherry picking he should consider a career as a migrant laborer.
The supposed cessation of warming since 1998 is the result of choosing a relatively narrow range of dates, taking the average value and then proclaiming "No warming here, move along." His erroneous conclusions are based on a hatchet job written by David Rose for the Daily Mail. Rose completely twisted the data of the British Met Office. FOX News made hay of this supposed "analysis" by Mr. Rose and apparently Mr. McClanahan has bought in hook, line, and sinker. If one looks at ALL the available data the evidence is wholly consistent with the idea that global temps have been steadily rising for the past century, in tight correlation with a rise in atmospheric CO2. If Mr. McClanahan is a decent journalist I'm surprised he did not go to the original source, namely the British Met Office.
Here is what the Met has to say about it:
The one thing Mr. McClanahan may be correct about is how to implement a carbon tax while still promoting enterprise. Take a look at what the conservative Energy and Enterprise Initiative has to say about this.
[quote][b]Nevermore[/b] - Best column by a local writer this past year was "Reclaiming a future in the stars," posted on 31 Aug and written by Eddie dePeterse - one man's reflection after hearing the news of Neil Armstrong's passing. [/quote]
I second that. It may have been Eddie's best piece ever.posted @ Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 10:43
Want your business here? Contact Leslie Turner for more information.
As a huge Backstreet Boys fan, I was little perplexed on reading Nick Carter?s book. It?s not like reading a book about Elvis Presley or The Beatles. I didn?t live through those moments. I didn?t see them in person. But as someone who has followed Nick?s career since I became a fan in 1998, not just in the Backstreet Boys, but as a solo artist, I?ve always thought we had a lot in common besides being the same age. read more
The Athens Banner-Herald sports staff combined to win 11 individual awards on Sunday at the Georgia Sports Writers Association's annual meeting in Marietta. You can get a few more details on that in this story ? "Banner-Herald sports staff wins 11 awards" ? and I thought I'd provide some links to the winning stories for the curious. The awards were for the sports staff's work in 2012. read more