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links for 2010-05-05

  • Quote:"* Bamboo Shoots: We have a good sized stand of bamboo that was on the property when we moved here, so I guess bamboo will be my contribution to the lineage of Yeager Roots. Not all varieties of bamboo shoots are edible (or tasty), so do your homework first. We boil ours to remove the bitterness, then sauté them in butter and a little sherry or sweet vermouth for flavor. Also, be advised that many varieties of bamboo are highly invasive and can be toxic if eaten in large amounts.

    // Bamboo shoots?

  • Quote:"That gain of 14.3%, Doyle says, ranks as one of the largest quarterly same-store sales jumps ever recorded by a major fast-food chain. Even more impressive, the turnaround is taking place at a time when the $22 billion pizza-delivery business — quashed by the recession and vastly improved frozen-pizza technologies — fell 3%, researcher Technomic estimates.

    // Gotta try that pizza yet.

  • Quote:"Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

    // They picked the right year.

    (tags: gop politics race)
  • // Duh
  • Quote:""We'll see . . ."
    How many times did we hear our parents say this? We knew they were buying time, avoiding a fight or confrontation, or really saying no. It's better to be decisive and honest by saying, "I need more information. Please present your case or send me the data–both pro and con–so I can make an informed decision." That way, the interested parties will contribute to an in-depth, well-researched "verdict."

    // I'd rather just say "we'll see" than trying to spit out that little bit of ontology given in the article. In fact, the entire article misses the point. We use this phrases to let others do stupid things, because we get bored telling them they're being stupid.

  • Quote:"Yet the ability to enjoy music has long puzzled biologists because it does nothing evident to help survival. Why, therefore, should evolution have built into the human brain this soul-stirring source of pleasure? Man's faculties for enjoying and producing music, Darwin wrote, "must be ranked among the most mysterious with which he is endowed."

    // In every other species, the sounds they produce have some sort of meaning. Territoial, communication. There's not a lot of noise for the sake of noise. (or any that I can think of offhand).

  • Quote:"1)music evolved through sexual selection, as Darwin mentioned as a possibility, and as Geoffrey Miller has recently argued;
    2)like language, music allowed for social cohesion on a larger scale than was available to more primitive primates, which create and enforce group ties through the physical process of mutual grooming: this is Robin Dunbar’s hypothesis;
    3)the enjoyment of music is just a “happy accident,” a by-product of mental mechanisms that evolved for other purposes: this is Steven Pinker’s position

    // Of course, no room for the Divine.

  • Quote:"According to Steve Pinker (1997) "As far as biological cause and effect is concerned, music is useless". In fact, as Steven Feld notes (Feld, 1982), music can be downright dangerous; in the Kaluli longhouse ceremonies that he describes, music could result in severe burns for the performers, inflicted by listeners as punishment for having been moved to tears by the music.

    // Reading random stuff, and this opening passage struck me as funny.

  • Quote:"But for the theist, the possibility of the multiverse can make perfect sense: it would be every possible state of things that could exist, formed in the mind of God. After all, God must be able to conceive of everything possible since that is implicit in the concept of divinity. Augustine and Nicholas of Cusa were just two theologians to have contemplated the possibility centuries ago
  • Quote:"The story behind this bizarre suggestion began with a vexatious question: why is the universe so bio-friendly? Cosmologists have long been perplexed by the fact that the laws of nature seem to be cunningly concocted to enable life to emerge. Take the element carbon, the vital stuff that is the basis of all life. It wasn't made in the big bang that gave birth to the universe. Instead, carbon has been cooked in the innards of giant stars, which then exploded and spewed soot around the universe.

    The process that generates carbon is a delicate nuclear reaction. It turns out that the whole chain of events is a damned close run thing, to paraphrase Lord Wellington. If the force that holds atomic nuclei together were just a tiny bit stronger or a tiny bit weaker, the reaction wouldn't work properly and life may never have happened.

  • quote:"Before we go any further, a sobering quote: "There are very few legitimate [work-at-home job] opportunities available," says Beverley Williams, President and Founder of the American Association of Home-Based Businesses.
  • // Funny.
  • // Too much. Tasers are a replacement for guns, they are there to prevent violent people from doing harm to others. A 17 year old kid running around is not a violent act. The police officer would not have used a gun to kill the kid, right? So he should not have used the taser. If we're getting to this point where police officers feel it is okay to use a device look this against non-violent people, it's time we re-examined our ROE. Now, if he had pulled a knife? Go right ahead.
  • // Check out the video at the end of the article. Amazing.
  • Quote:"Every additional weekly hour of television at 29 months corresponded to a 7 percent drop in classroom attention and a 6 percent drop in math skills, the researchers found.

    An hour more TV a week as a toddler meant a child was 10 percent more likely to be bullied, exercised 13 percent less, weighed 5 percent more and ate 10 percent more snacks, they found.

    // Duh.

  • Quote:"A new British study finds that people who take aspirin every day have a higher risk of developing Crohn's disease, a potentially devastating digestive illness.

    But it's still not very likely that aspirin users will develop the condition, and the study's lead author said patients should keep in mind that aspirin lowers the risk of heart disease.

    "If the link with aspirin is a true one, then only a small proportion of those who take aspirin — approximately one in 2,000 — may be at risk," said study author Dr. Andrew Hart, a senior lecturer in gastroenterology at University of East Anglia School of Medicine.

    // If you're worried about taking aspirin, take a Pepcid with it.

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