Archive for September, 2009

Animal behavior

E.O. Wilson in Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge: If the religious mythos did not exist in a culture, it would be quickly invented, and in fact it has been everywhere, thousands of times through history.  Such inevitability is the mark of instinctual behavior in any species.  That is, even when learned, it is guided toward […]

Drugs vs. Shoes, or I really am a responsible adult

Today I spent $250 on a 4 month supply of birth control.  That’s $750 a year.  Before the pharmacy at my school closed because of budget cuts, it was $540 a year.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a prescription discount card that covers my pills. Despite the outrageous cost (you’d think the pills with less hormone […]

Why is this a debate?

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health calculated that 45,000 non-elderly US citizens die every year (based on data from the 80s and 90s) because they don’t have health insurance.  That number is higher than the 18 – 22,000 cited in many other articles because the studies that estimated the 18 – […]

How religion went bad

E.O. Wilson in Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge: The rising agricultural societies, egalitarian at first, became hierarchical.  As chiefdoms and then states thrived on agricultural surpluses, hereditary rulers and priestly castes took power.  The old ethical codes were transformed into coercive regulations, always to the advantage of the ruling classes.  About this time the idea […]

What I’ve Noticed

Sexual assault prevention tips guaranteed to work: men, don’t rape people; women, just stop having a vagina to tempt the rapists. For as wealthy as the US is, you’d think we’d have safe drinking water.  But we really don’t.  Pollution is one reason why the popularity of bottled water is such a bad thing – […]

Crossed wires

When I have migraines, my senses become hyper-acute – light, smells, sounds, tastes, sensation are all too much.  Sometimes, though, I sense things that aren’t actually there.  I often smell smoke or exhaust when there isn’t any.  Coffee tastes peppery.  And I can hear an indistinct conversation even when there aren’t any people nearby. It’s […]

What We Killed Thursday

Fitchia mangarevensis was endemic to Tarvai in the Gambier islands of French Polynesia. It was described by science in the 20s and studied through the 50s, but hasn’t been seen since. The Gambier islands have a long history of human environmental destruction.  While the Gambier islands once had a population of thousands, they can now […]