Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘comas

Friday Night!

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* Biocapital vs. cultural capital: Proceeds from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are going to a foundation dedicated to helping Lacks’ family, which has received none of the biotechnology profits derived from the HeLa stem cell line.

Reading ACA tea leaves at the Supreme Court. I think Scott mostly has this right; overturning the mandate would be an incorrect decision, I think, but a relatively inconsequential one; overturning ACA altogether would be radicalism on the level of Bush v. Gore, if not worse. I just don’t think Kennedy will do it.

* Nemesis watch: Questions for James Franco.

* Gynomite! has an interesting post about the dreams Emily experienced while she was in a medically induced coma several years ago.

* And Vizzini, socialist.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

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Following up on that story yesterday of a man who had been trapped in his body, conscious but unable to respond for twenty-three years, there’s now some apparently well-founded skepticism about the report. I first saw this at Pharyngula, where he makes the point that “facilitated communication” looks an awful lot like somebody using an unconscious person’s finger to type. James Randi has a related post. The latter half of the MetaFilter thread is likewise awash in skepticism, including of the fMRI technique used to determine his brain activity, which had previously been used to establish that a (dead) fish was able to respond to the emotional state of human beings.

Hard to know what to think about this; it’s horrible just about any way you look at it.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Monday Misc.

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* Three Mile Island may still be leaking. More at Infrastructurist, which gives the story a strong pro-nuclear slant not really supported by the facts.

* When it rains too much, sewage gets in your drinking water. The stimulus package could have been devoted entirely to infrastructure and green economy programs and that still would have been just a start on the sort of spending that is necessary.

* John Marshall says the public option is now so tiny it is no longer worth fighting for. I like Josh, and I see his point, but I really think this takes too short-term a view; the point is to get any public option in, so that it can subsequently be improved and expanded using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process. And even in the short-term, the progressive left is sufficiently invested in the public option that its loss would be widely understood as (another) demoralizing defeat—which is something we just don’t need right now.

* HASTAC is part of a big Obama administration science and math initiative today.

* The terrifying story of a man trapped in a twenty-three-year coma.

* And via Tim Morton, the Danish journal ReThink has a new section on climate change, with pieces from Morton and Latour among others. Check it out.