Monthly Archives: December 2011

Censorship of science?

Does this really count as censorship of science? Is it warranted? Likely to be effective in avoiding “Contagion”?

The government advisory board that oversees biosecurity in the U.S. is asking the scientific journals Nature and Science to censor details of recent studies on bird flu due to concerns about biological terrorism. Researchers created mutations of the H5N1 virus, making it transferable between mammals through the air. In 60 percent of human cases, this strain of avian flu is fatal. At present, only 350 people worldwide have died because of the flu, only because it can be contracted via direct contact with infected birds.

                D. A. Henderson, Christine Gorman

Categories: phil sci | Tags: | 1 Comment

Do chronic cell phone users have an exaggerated sense of self-importance?

What is it that’s so annoying about a person talking at length on their cell phone in public?  (I was reminded of this while waiting in airport lines as of late.)  The same person could be talking to an embodied person and I wouldn’t notice; it certainly wouldn’t irk me this way. But put me in line with this person on their cell phone—or put us on the bus or in an elevator together—and I can’t help but feeling just the tiniest bit outraged.  But by what? Their bloated sense of self-importance?  Why do I find it so obnoxious?  I’m guessing I’m not alone*, yet it seems somewhat irrational (assuming the issue isn’t the loudness).  It’s worst I think when the user is just shooting the breeze, or sounding as if they’re closing a deal, or describing (in “real-time”) being in line. Continue reading

Categories: Misc Kvetching | Tags: | 3 Comments

Tapping through philosophical minefields

Well I finally did it!  After weeks of passing by tap classes at Pineapple Dance Studio in London (a main reason I arranged an apt in Covent Garden to begin with) I successfully made it through a Derek Hartley tap class (“elementary”).   First time since the bizarre knee injury of October September (doctors never did say just when I could go back).  It’s quite amazing to walk in off the street, and see he is doing exactly what I have seen him do for years—teaching super-cool jazz-tap routines, telling the same tap jokes, and dancing just as great as ever!  Mind-altering to find myself tapping to a smooth and jazzy “Lullaby of Birdland” again,(a favorite).  Limping just a little, but exhilarated.  Now it’s back to tapping my way through philosophical minefields, or perhaps, pirouetting (as Christian Robert put it).

I don’t know why some of the pictures on this blog do not appear on some devices—need the Elba crew to get to the bottom of this.  I’ll be traveling back there soon enough….

Categories: Music/Dance | Tags: | Leave a comment

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