Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

What I’ve Noticed

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Finding effective treatments for Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses has become much more difficult.  As usual, it’s all about the money:

The problem, they say, started back in 1980, when Ronald Reagan changed the rules governing how scientists (and the entities they work for) profit from their work. Where scientists used to gain fame and fortune by publishing and sharing their work in conferences and journals — and were thus rewarded for furthering general knowledge — the new rules encouraged them to hoard their discoveries as trade secrets; and then leverage their patents and their seats on medical boards to write the disease definitions, mandate approved treatments, and completely control the scientific discourse in order to maximize the profits they made.

This story shows we need to make very big changes to how we deal with chemicals and their effects in the workplace.  Right now, workers must prove that a specific chemical caused their problem.  This is often absolutely impossible to do.  Perhaps a better system would be to hold the employer responsible if workers exposed to a certain chemical show symptoms of exposure to that chemical.  It would certainly encourage employers to be more responsible and careful about exposing their employees to dangerous chemicals.

Best review of Watchmen you’ll ever read.  And a fantastic review of the odious Miss March.

Dr. Isis takes on more sexism in science, specifically this frustratingly common misconception: one of the requirements of scientist-hood is a lack of femininity or sexuality.

A guest at Shakesville on adoption, abortion, and choice:

I’m the birth mother of an adopted child, vehemently pro-choice, non-Christian, very unsuited to motherhood, and after over a decade, have got some things to tell the world about adoption. It’s been stewing since I heard about the recent rash of pre-abortion ultrasound legislation. While I am touched that so many men in such various states are so deeply worried about women possibly being all sad from having an abortion, I wish to point out to these compassionately bleeding hearts that the alternatives are not exactly without their own emotional consequences.

Holy crap. The world O Magazine has actually acknowledged that lesbians and bisexuals actually exist and that gender and sexuality are, well, complicated.

Freedomgirl writes about her experience with marriage:

After the wedding, this circle of people treated us differently.  Our relationship was more serious, our status was higher.  People pressured us about having children, buying a house.

All well and good.  But we were doing this thing without understanding the whole story.  We aren’t straight.  There is nothing we can do to pass in the everyday world as mainstream and ordinary without denying some fundamental facts about who we are.  Which is precisely what we did for a long time.

Most depressing evidence yet of America’s failure to educate its citizens: Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun. via Bad Astronomy.

Have I mentioned how much I love A Softer World?

VOLCANO!!!!

VOLCANO!!!!

A good take-down of the “morality comes from god” idea:

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