Archive for September, 2010

Sleuthes or dicks(sluts)…? the same thing, baby

September 30, 2010

Disclaimer: I KNOW it is SLEUTH, the SLEUTHE is a pun in british spelling and american snobbery. I am not that illiterate
This last summer I watched a docudrama about the history of DNA  structure “discovery”.  Jeff Goldblum plays a convingly abnoxius  J Watson. Nature-September 30-has published an extensive comment discussing some of  F. Crick correspondence, considered lost, comcerning that point in time and others. Something went on, W and C did something that impacted R. Franklin until her death. As F Crick puts it, he and J Watson burglarized  data and kidnapped R Franklin work.  Obviously Nature  glamorizes  the inmoral behaviour of these  molecular “sluts” , which the establishment largely condoned and condones today to an inimaginable extent. Comically, the article before the comment about Crick’s letters,  is a report about reserch sabotage in Michigan State. Seriously. I wanna cry.
December disclaimer; I spoke twice to F. Crick shortly before he died, I didnt know he was ill. I wanted him to visit the rez. He never made it. The tenderness in his voice stroke me as a a bad fit with the memory i had. . I had met him previoulsy in my east coast years and he was a pompous insufferable genius. I want to believe he was sorry for what he did to RF. he was gonna lecture my students about his search for the neural corrrelate of consciousness. Which yet has not been found. maybe Dennett will invent a gedanken to find it.


A coward, moral

September 29, 2010

Jacob Weisberg on sept 13 print Newsweek (4 million worldwide readership, 1.7 million in the US, according to Wikifreakingpedia) wrote  the dammingly titled” Obamas’ moral cowardice”, requesting his moral leadership in these fateful american way days. Is there even an audience for these arguments? Nobody wants to be reminded of their own mral cowardice(s) so apparently obvious the last decades (starting with the Iraq war). The article raises the moral specters that hover in our backs and will remain unsolved a for a while particularly if the GOP and the TOP win the Congress (light candles and use vudu dolls ad libitum). Interesting timing nonetheless after Marc H. fall from grace (the moral scientist that went inmoral: did he?). One cant exercise moral lives without a change in heart. Where are the 5 horsemen when you need them? (the team has a new member).

The Pallium and the Palladium

September 28, 2010

Was reading  Deric Bownds blog regarding the evolutionary intricacies  and relationships of the worms’ pallium and the mammalian cortex. Havent read the paper yet, but the abstract is fascinating (last issue of Cell) and made 2 free associations.  1) I met Dr B post doc at Harvard boss E. Kravitz at Woods Hole this last summer. Great human.(s) !! (Dr Kravitz gave a beautiful lecture; he should be around 80? with dynamo energy and graciousness) and the second is that in the 80s I went dancing, invited by a gorgeous dutch flight attendant (she picked me up at bloomingdales’), to the Palladium (Manhattan, 14th st??). Drove up in  a limousine and in arrival were informed  it was gentlemens night. The outcome: we were about the only heterosexual couple in a sea of shirtless (even the bartender) mens’ couples. Quite strong for a teenager, but rewarding. Eveyone was definitely engaged physically: no prisoners. we had a lovely time.  I may have smoked a Pallmall-ium

Transubstantating what?

September 28, 2010

A Pew study shows that  less  “religious” americans compared to “atheists” know what transubstantation means. Not surprinsigly I would add. I know few human beings with less than a PhD that not even know the word, much less its meaning.  The remarkable fact of this study is that of more than 3k surveyees,  86 % declare belief in god or  a “superior power”(nuclear bombs?).

Americans dont know much about anything.  My favourite result:: where did potatoes originate as a domesticated crop?? 90 % of US surveyees answer …Idaho… you know?

O’Donnell: evolution is a myth because monkeys havent evolved

September 27, 2010

Hilarious, if it wasnt tragic, watch hope-to-be-senator O’Donnell make a fool of herself over and over.( Im starting to like Maher (another crazed cat)). It is fine she aired her “ideas” on the air, the problem she may be a senator. And Paladino a governor.  arghh He looks like a Soprano chracter. Last one out turns the light off.

Freedom(Liberty?) many crimes have been commited in thy name…

September 27, 2010

DISCLAIMER: Answering questions, I happen to LIKE Franzen. I should have said I didnt like the book; not that it sucks. Sorry. Franzen, just zeitgeist and schadenfreude

I know one for certain: Freedom by J, Franzen. Despite raving reviews of this “mythical” portrait of american life, it sucks. Which brings back the theme of this months truth and deception. The reviews could be construed as interested deception. Moreover, the sex in the book is pathetic. Oh my. another lame icon bestowed with undue rank. We deserve these minor contributions. We are minor. We became minor. Poor Lady Roland, inmortalized in truth, betrayed by  truth.

The truth is…….

September 27, 2010

KC Davis writes in Smithsonian, Oct 2010 (online) about the religious/cristian origins of this nation.-rather Puritan origin.-using the true history of religion in “america” as a handle. His conclusions are that religious discord is in the social DNA of this country and that widespread religious freedom is at odds with the historical record. Many know this, few ackmowledge this important fact which is at the core of the national sentiment-mood regarding secular education, science and treatment of catholics, mormoms and muslims ,  today. There is a profound religious  heart inthe pun.. It seems that americans (sic) at large are unable to relate to their history in a manner that would allow moving beyond it.  How long is taking for people to pass beyond basic rights.? There are state houses that still fly the ‘flag” and the fact that we live in a democracy ( a republic, beck argues) only restrains the obvious animosity towards blacks, latinos and others. and the animosities against all hings not-american.  The truth we live is not consistent with our behaviours, think O’Donnell.  Think US,epitome of capitalism, whining about jobs exports. The market has conquered the souls.

Nada es verdad nada es mentira, todo depende del cristal con que se mira (Campoamor)

September 26, 2010

Or where truth is what it is measured. The status of truth is, for this value of alpha, i.e:  we earth, miserable. Let me explain myself: ” Evidence for spatial variation of the fine structure constant ” by John Webb, Julian King, Michael Murphy, Victor Flambaum, Bob Carswell, Matthew Bainbridge submitted to Physical Review Letters, 24th August 2010 ( has opened a new -er-insight-in my case- to the strucure of the measurable universe and truth. The fundamental constants underlying the “Laws of Nature”  may not be the same elsewhere. Some property is changing that modifies the value of alpha.  Neat and astounding. However, I dont see this paper discussed in the US, neither at “comic variance” nor at motls-limbaughesc reference frame nor in the papers. I find it a bit shocking that consistently the press and the continental intellingentsia ignore ‘truth” when it is not locally generated. No pun intended. I have followed the group that did the work  (decade ago?) some of it done  with the chilean instalations -VTL-of  ESO,  and was wondering how was the story coming along  until this came up (the economist run a decent commentary). Someone remarked that more than one truth-that is local fine structure constants- could inevitably lead to different realities, that is different truths. Great. So much for the “laws of nature”. Veritas NoN sequitur esse rerum. Nature is no longer , well, actually it could NOT longer be that . So how  would Foucault feel? Truth no longer depends on the power structure that endorses it-the truth the knowledge. (I claim that the scientific establishment behaves in a focaulian manner, deconstructionism ?) How so? Ill tell how so: challenge the status quo and you are in for being accused of anything-from a moron to a creationist-  (funny that etymologically truth brings in the idea of faith-ful..)unless you are a well funded tenured or more than bright scientist. I read a guy that disqualified Sean B Carroll, Sean Carroll, EO Wilson, M. Nowak and Sloan Wilson the same week.  and HE IS  professor of good lineage and understanding. Lots of cojones notwithstanding.

Contrast the zero attention to this paper with  all the attention given to a NYT opinonator article advocating for the selective elimination of carnivores…gimme a break..  This reminds me of the suggestion to repopulate the heartland with megafauna. I mean, get with the program. Viva la verita.

El Mono Jojoy (RIP or not, hopefully)

September 23, 2010

meanwhile the science educated class of bloggers foam about a PLoS paper suggesting a geophysical explanation (really ..?) for “parting” the Red Sea..(.Im serious) in Colombia, el mono jojoy, a notorious FARC mercenary was dronidized to eternity together with more than 60  of his soldier-killers  (sicarios). I mention these two facts in tandem to point to the  irrelevancy of blog-mostly scientific-commentary in its inability to engage and influence positive change elsewhere.  Life happens physically. …still and the comments, secular, religious or whatever should adress the pressing conditions which somehow are hidden to the ruling bloggheads. What is the importance of the geophysics of the parting of the red sea??Zilch. Instead Coyne, Hawks and a bunch of others dive unto the issue as it was a matter and a metter of life or death when actually el mono jojoy was. Scientists are too scared to comment on anything real. If it wasnt so tragic it would be hilarious. Which it is. Picture a group of scientists blasting at each other about the merits of peer review (which is a euphemism for gorup interest), the Red Sea parting, darwinius, creation, group selection, the f*&*^&ing  selfish gene and more, much more. How has science blogging increased understanding to solve  the tragedy of Colombia? or the tragedy of the “Pledge to america” (the GOP preposterous claim to recovery). It is a pertinent question; scientists, rather than engage in futile, inane and insane word wars (after the second comment is mosty insults)should move their energy towards solving inequality and inequity. Social chiasm is fundamentally a problem of justice and distribution of resources.   Science blogging has become a ridiculousy superflous veneer of …meaningless bs (for most)

Palin (the Jr) Stewart, Colbert et al.

September 21, 2010

Hope for (the) US: Colbert and Stewart are holding DC rallies on Oct 30. Long live the movement!! Gleck (Beck) trembles shivers and shudders or maybe not-while Palin the Jr dances away looking cheap. Some say is character some say is derangement. I say : sue your mother, however my sensibilities are different than most, but I would swear she was trying to look like her- mother.? Finally. Utter madness? I predict that this will be a turning point in our history. Showing-in a sex-n-ual manner-yourself on TV is a prolongation of cheerleading and being a comedian is a prolongation of high school lampooning but Now is when it gets “serious” and becomes mainstream. Stewart asked about the DADT repeal; are we run by a**holes? I say we are a**holes (mostly) run by a**holes (definitely)Forgot to mention the  highheelathon (sob)……or maybe this is the right way and  the end of history??