Philter

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Moderate Voice: Talk About A Crappy Attitude

via oxblog, a most unfortunate turn for tourists in Chicago as the Dave Matthews tour bus, ahem, empties its septic tank.

For the best analysis of the Swift Boat affair

head over to Reason. Read the whole thing. Link via oxblog

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Coffee of the future?

BBC NEWS:

"Normal monkeys and people procrastinate - tend not to work very well when they have a lot of time to get the job done, and work better when the reward is nearer in time," Dr Richmond says.

"The monkeys under the influence of the treatment don't procrastinate."
Forget caffeine, they do it by blocking dopamine. Which is also the title of a very interesting recent DVD release. The future Starbucks selections: regular, decaf, de-dopa? Makes you wonder if this wouldn't also be a suitable method of treating bad habits (smoking) that provide short term enjoyment, but disastrous results over the long term.

link via drudge

Update: more at Wired News, and much more over at FuturePundit:

He fashioned an agent (DNA antisense expression construct) that, when injected directly into the rhinal cortex of four trained monkeys, spawned a kind of decoy molecule which tricked cells there into turning-off D2 expression for several weeks. This depleted the area of D2 receptors, impairing the monkeys' reward learning. For a few months, the monkeys were unable to associate the visual cues with the workload – to learn how many trials needed to be completed to get the reward.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Conversation With Colin Powell - must read

via Polipundit: P. J. O'Rourke of The Atlantic Online has an amazing interview with Colin Powell
money quote:


"P. J. O'ROURKE: In terms of non-zero-sum thinking, is our country in the unique historical position of wanting other nations to be as powerful as we are?

Powell looked at me over the top of his glasses.

SECRETARY POWELL: Wanting other nations to be as powerful? No, I wouldn't say that. I think our historical position is we are a superpower that cannot be touched in this generation by anyone in terms of military power, economic power, the strength of our political system and our values system. What we would like to see is a greater understanding of power, of the democratic system, the open market economic system, the rights of men and women to achieve their destiny as God has directed them to do if they are willing to work for it. And we really do not wish to go to war with people. But, by God, we will have the strongest military around. And that's not a bad thing to have. It encourages and champions our friends that are weak and it chills the ambitions of the evil.

A deputy secretary interrupted. 'That's good,' she said. 'Did you just make that up?'
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. Not bad, eh? "

It never fails to amaze me how well spoken our former high-ranking military officials are. Tommy Franks was excellent on tv last night.

He goes on to talk about the importance of role models:

SECRETARY POWELL:And then the Army's the same way. That's what drill sargeants do. Young recruits hate their drill sergeants with a passion. It's unbelievable the first week. They want to kill him. By the second week, they're kind of relaxing a little bit. By the eighth week, there's one overpowering emotion in those recruits. Know what it is? They want to please him. They'll do anything to please him, and they will never forget his name.

I was having dinner with Ted Kennedy once. We were kidding around. He was talking about some fight he had in the Army or something. And I said, "Ted, what was the name of your drill sergeant?"

P. J. O'ROURKE: And he had it.

SECRETARY POWELL: Instantly.

Reminds me of the times I've spent both as military trainee and trainer. There's no feeling like the strange mix hatred and respect that trainees feel for trainers.

Democrats are not smarter than Republicans

I took one of the IQ tests on tickle.com. Most of the questions are probably familiar to most folks, but there were a few that I had no idea how to logically work through to an answer.

Of course, the next step after finding your score is to see how you stack up against everyone else. Instead, I found out that Democrats are NOT smarter than Republicans. I seem to remember hearing that the Dems were the party of the educated/elite, but in tracking the 2000 election, it doesn't appear there is any correlation between IQ and voting patterns.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Heavy Lifting via Marginal Revolution: "Kansas City radio station Mix 93.3 FM, which threatened to play Billy Ray Cyrus's 'Achy Breaky Heart' continuously until the station had met their goal of raising $20,000 to contribute to the travel expenses of Courtney McCool's (U.S. Olympic Gymnast) family.

The station started with $6,000 and raised $14,000 in a little under four and a half hours, during which they played the song 48 times in a row.

Think your candidate is the guy?

via Jim Garven's blog: Put your money where your mouth is at
TradeSports Trading & Betting Exchange. At the time of this writing, Bush is going for $54.50.

It's like they say, the orange futures market is a better predictor of weather in Florida than the NOAA. Tell that to Randolph and Mortimer.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Researchers Develop Shark Repellent

via drudge: Researchers Have Developed Shark Repellent

At last my utility belt is complete.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Things are looking up in Afghanistan

Via instapundit The New York Post reports that things are looking up in Afghanistan:
This was no pro-Bush put-up job. The polling firm, Charney Research, is a partisan Democratic polling firm. And superstar Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who's read the study — and who has worked on similar polling in developing countries — calls it "very reliable."

Too bad you have to look hard to find this kind of information.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

unique...just like everybody else

via Instapundit: now visiting one of 3 milllion bloggers.

Could Liberals be falling out of hate with Bush?

I can't find the article, but one of the prominent blogs recently took the Onion down a notch for its unhelpful stereotypes of the American populace. Even so I couldn't let this one pass:

The Onion | Nations Liberals Suffering From Outrage Fatigue

The one aspect of this that I haven't heard anyone talk about is that people enjoy complaining. Have there ever been any studies on this? I mean, I come home from work at the end of the day. I eat dinner with my girlfriend and spend a fair amount of time complaining. Not about her of course, but work and traffic and weather. Idn't funny that it's the ones you are close to that you can really complain to?