Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 27/28 March 2011 - blog by Gurdur

 




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Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 27/28 March 2011
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Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 01:04 AM (01:04) by Gurdur
Updated 29-Mar-2011 at 12:04 PM (12:04) by Gurdur

My weekly blogs round-up, on science and society and, well, everything. This time round including as much info as possible so you can see how to garner info yourself, giving Twitter handles and so on, and a fair few press reports.

Science, nature conservation, ecology:
Some good news at very long last (with thanks, h/t to @geostuff for the alert): "Tiger Numbers Increase in India". And while on the animal/nature conservation front, the Scientific American blogs have a guest post up on digitalizing Jane Goodall's legacy at Duke University.

Science, society: A really good post, only 11 days old, on work to find cheap, ecologically sustainable ways of removing arsenic from groundwater, something which is very damned important in view of the terrible situation in Bangladesh (and parts of the USA are also affected too).

Science-reporting, society: There's a new award, for recognizing "Individual Contributions to Public Understanding of Science", one which also celebrates the life of Dr. Paul Shin. The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) today announced the Paul Shin Memorial Award. Thanks and h/t to @scicheer for the alert.

Social media: The next biggish step in social media: @area148 has a post up on his posterous account, alerting us that, "Ex-Apple exec rolls out phone-based social network".

Social media again: inside the mind of a community manager (good for board admins!).

Science-reporting & blogging: The D.C. Science Writers Association (DCSWA) have a DCSWA Professional Development Day 2011 in Washington, D.C., USA, on Saturday, April 23.

Yes, it's that argument again. Alice Bell (@alicebell) and others on science, science journalism and blogging. It really is an argument that can never be settled, and will always come up from time to time. Please do take a look at this too: "Mapping the Field: Specialist science news journalism in the UK national media".

Science, politics: The AGU blog talks about the silly USA Republican drive to stop funding certain weather satellites, and the bad consequences.

Science, humour: The blog Dangerous Experiments has, fittingly, a blog post up about the dangers faced by beards in labs. Meanwhile, the blog Life Of A Lab Rat, has a post up on real dangers in the lab, and counterproductive safety regulations.

Social media, journalism: Courtesy of @BoraZ: when thinking about constructing timelines (and how to) for news stories and websites of whatever sort, compare this with this and this. Also see this old blog post from last year by Jay Rosen, "Building a better Explainer".

Society, humour: Chronicling the blitheringly stupid on the web: "15 more sites that forbid you from linking to them".

Science, ethics, society: @GrrlScientist has a good post up in her blog in the Guardian on: "It's time to question bioengineering", about the need for setting out ethics and guidelines in bioengineering science. By the way, a remark of mine: molecular and similar scientists trained in Germany often go to the USA for jobs, because the much stricter ethics and rules in Germany as compared to the USA mean that genetics work and bioengineering is more often carried out in the USA than in Germany.

Politics: A tweet rather than a blog post, but @chuzzlit alerts us to a BBC report talking about the important differences between the Black Block anarchists and the UKuncut people. And see a tweet by @commentisfree and another follow-up tweet. Plus also this Guardian article. Also please see my blog post on this. Please also be aware many disabled marched yesterday; follow their news on The Invisible UK Daily.

Science, biology: I know some biologists who might like the blog post, "Dermamoeba – Having your coat and eating it too".

Games, chess, society: Is nothing sacred any more? @pritheworld tweets about a scandal rocking the world of Grandmaster chess.

Animals, nature conservation: In the context of a recently escaped cobra in the USA (I have no idea why they're whingeing about it; as a child, there were very often cobras in my family's backyard. No, I am not joking), the website Mental Floss has a page up about various famous zoo escapees. By the way, the single escaped cobra now has its own Twitter account: @BronxZoosCobra. Thanks and h/t to @Myrmecos.

Science, neurology: For the first time, I'll mention a blog post in German; Markus A. Dahlem blogs on what pain is (albeit in German), and the discussion then went on to also encompass migraines as well. I shall blog about that specifically later, giving translations of part of that blog post of Dahlem's and the discussion it generated. I have a vested interest in migraines, suffering from them very badly at the present time as I am, and pain is something I blog on every now and then.

Science, sociology, justice, politics: Science does not exist in a vacuum, and -the more important a scientific question is, the more likely it will also involve society at large in signficant ways, as shown in: "Supreme Court to Weigh Sociology Issue in Wal-Mart Discrimination Case".

Journalism: Over on the Scientific American blog, they're talking a little bit about what makes good infographics.

Politics: The Japanese reactor situation had a big effect on German state elections this last weekend.

Literary: The BBC has news of an Orwell Walk.

Big issues like the protest march yesterday (see for example this BBC page) will have to be left to their own specific blog posts, like this one, this one or this one.

Science, philosophy, humanism: The blog Humanists4Science has an interesting post up on James Watt ("father of the steam engine").

Religion: Becky Garrison, author, has announced that she has changed her Twitter handle from @JesusDied4This to @Becky_Garrison, because: "as tired of deconstructing Xn bubble and moving to secular religious world".

Meanwhile, Laura Sykes has started a whole new bulletin board. While it is for Anglicans opposed to the Anglican Covenant, Lay Anglicana, they really do welcome all shades of Anglican opinion. Even some, like, Total Non-Anglicans too, there.

Religion, politics: The German (federal) Minister for the Interior "hopes to build bridges at Islam Conference".

A news article from inside Pakistan, casting doubt on whether the majority within Pakistan are moderate, as some hope. Meanwhile the Pakistani blog Area148 asks, "Is the road to madrassa reform going anywhere?" If you know Pakistan, you will know madrassa reform is a very important key issue to society and religion there.

Then the blog Human Rights First has a post up with a video embedded in it with Shehrbano Taseer talking about the blasphemy laws inside Pakistan, and the murder of her father, Salmaan Taseer.

Then there's a good press report on: "Young Pakistan against terror: Peaceniks". And Raza Habib Raja blogs well on the overall question of secularism and Pakistan.

Games, religion, sports, politics, cricket: During that, Sabahat24 blogged well on the one issue really obsessing Pakistanis and Indians these last few days -- the cricket matches (Australia got wiped out in them). There is also a Dawn report on it too.

Religion, politics: The blog Let Us Build Pakistan has a great post on the Sufi Muslim festival, the Festival of lamps: Mela Charagan Madhu Lal Hussain Urs. With thanks and h/t to @AbdulNishapuri for the alert. Keep in mind that the Sufis of Pakistan, despite being quite orthodox Muslims, are also under constant and very real murderous attack by the Islamist extremists there.

Politics: Also see the press report: "Why Gaddafi’s war is giving Uganda, Nigeria nightmares".

Religion: @PKonWeb reports about the Christian writer George Jurdak reporting on the existence a picture of Hazrat Ali (Imam Ali) in an Italian church, and its reverance by Christian churchgoers and visitors.

Religion, social media:
Elizabeth Drescher in the Religion Dispatches magazine has an essay, "Facebook Doesn’t Kill Churches, Churches Kill Churches".

Human rights, religion, politics, history: Secular News Daily alerts to a press report on the terrible Franco period in Spain, and how babies were stolen from mothers suspected of being too liberal or leftwing.

Economics, politics: The blog Liberal Conspiracy wonders if Britain can turn itself into an economic powerhouse like Germany.

Religion, politics: And the Copt Christians of Egypt are worried about recent developments there. Well, everyone should be worried.

Religion: Since this weekly blogs round-up is already a monster production this time -- I really wish the world would stop having so many things happening all at the same time -- then I can't do what I like to usually do, and look around blogs for individual good posts on religion and secular issues; instead, I am going to refer you to Clayboy's round-up, then The Church Mouse's round-up. But I will refer you to this single good and important debate of guest blog posts on Lesley's blog. I couldn't see any Wednesday round-up on Lesley's blog this week -- did I miss it? -- or round-up's on other blogs (do let me know, please, if I have missed one). Edited to add: Lesley's last Wednesday round-up here.

Religion, society: "Whistle-blowing witch grounded by TSA: Wiccan is fired after complaint about casting spells — and after she complained about lax security at the airport". With thanks and h/t to @AtheistUndrwrld.

And very lastly:
Science ("It's science, Jim, but not as we know it"): @nerdychristie, on her blog Observations Of A Nerd, analyses that map, yes, that one flying around Twitter, and she scientifically (o_0) looks at whether bigger is really better. I have to say, when I first saw that map, I really doubted its accuracy (and I still do); I wonder if it relied on self-reporting and therefore simply reflected one hell of a lot of wishful thinking and neurosis. I don't know and am not bothered; I never got around to checking its sources. As for myself, I have absolutely no worries about my own endowment, thank-you very much.

There is also a map flying around Twitter on global breast cup size. Sheeeesh. Look. A handful is quite good enough, and better one in the hand than on a magazine. Or something.




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  1. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Edited in news of Becky Garrison, Lay Anglicana, other things too, now to edit the tags.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 01:16 AM (01:16) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
    Updated 29-Mar-2011 at 01:30 AM (01:30) by Gurdur
  2. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    And edited in bit about TSA sacking a Wiccan witch.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 01:58 AM (01:58) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  3. Old Comment

    Lay Anglicana

    Hi Gurdur
    Thanks for the link to Lay Anglicana. You have 'got my number' in saying that it is for people opposed to the Anglican Covenant (I have never been very good at hiding my own views!) but we really do welcome all shades of Anglican opinion.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 01:59 AM (01:59) by Unregistered
  4. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar

    Lay Anglicana

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Unregistered View Comment
    Hi Gurdur
    Thanks for the link to Lay Anglicana. You have 'got my number' in saying that it is for people opposed to the Anglican Covenant (I have never been very good at hiding my own views!) but we really do welcome all shades of Anglican opinion.
    I've edited my post to reflect that. My bad. Now fixed.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:09 AM (02:09) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Makbawehuh's Avatar
    "Wiccan witch" is kind of redundant- You may be a witch without being Wiccan, but if you're Wiccan, you're a witch. Just letting you know.

    Thanks for posting that; I want to go hug her. That's... Life in the US if you're pagan, period. My heart goes out to her, and I really hope she pulls off this lawsuit and wins. Shit like that needs to stop.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:20 AM (02:20) by Makbawehuh Makbawehuh is offline
  6. Old Comment
    iamwombat's Avatar
    Great gobbstoppers man!! Your creating a regular sensory overload for me. :^) Thanks!! Timely migraine news, wish I had a majic wand Tim, I'm pulling for you. A science blog on, what, getting more science to the public, fantastic and also timed well with your current posts. Tigers on the comeback? AAAwesome. Muddleglum in a chemistry class demonstrating the explosive nature of Oxygen in "the dangers faced by beards in labs." Not to downplay the danger to faces attached to beards in the lab. lol Aresnic out of groundwater, I will share this to the Navajo Nation media, they have this problem on a macro scale along with uranium in groundwater. I'll be blogging some Native American news on this sort myself later. Geeez Gurdur, you worked over time on this post, gracias amigo! My favorites list under educate is getting packed now, great links sir. This is like having st. Nick bring presents and no coal or switches.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:37 AM (02:37) by iamwombat iamwombat is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Actually, dammit, I forgot about how I could have tied in Muddleglum; and now IIRC, he even did a blog post on beards. If IIRC, and he did, then what I can do is make a special blog post on beards, scientists, theologians and risk. Will look into that later.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:40 AM (02:40) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Makbawehuh View Comment
    "Wiccan witch" is kind of redundant .... .
    I'm kinda ignorant. I stand there and beg passing-by Pagans to inculcate me into their mysteries, but all that happens is I get arrested repeatedly. Disheartening.

    But will keep in mind for the future. Also keep in mind, I actually do deliberately often include redundant info, because readers may not know certain things. I like to err on the side of too much info rather than too little.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:42 AM (02:42) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  9. Old Comment
    iamwombat's Avatar
    4 Makbawehuh, "Shit like that needs to stop." Unrelated to witches or switches, I know a great Navajo story for teaching children called "stop that shit", no kidding. It involves the wonderful dung beetle, but like all great stories with a lesson, it really has to be seen being told to be effective and fully humorous.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:43 AM (02:43) by iamwombat iamwombat is offline
  10. Old Comment
    iamwombat's Avatar
    "I stand there and beg passing-by Pagans to inculcate me into their mysteries" Dude, be wary wary careful, she had cats claws, spiders and slivers of wood in my likeness until I bowed low, with my hat off and properly addressed her as M' Lady. shhhhh.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:45 AM (02:45) by iamwombat iamwombat is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iamwombat View Comment
    .... Aresnic out of groundwater, I will share this to the Navajo Nation media, they have this problem on a macro scale along with uranium in groundwater.
    Good, many thanks. Would love some feedback/contact with them,

    Quote:
    I'll be blogging some Native American news on this sort myself later.
    Excellent, and many thanks!
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 02:50 AM (02:50) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Makbawehuh's Avatar
    Gurdur, that's why I told you, lol. It's fine. ^__^

    As far as I can tell there's not a lot of mystery involved, but then, I'm kinda smack dab in the middle of things, and it's different when you sit in the middle of something than it is when you're sitting on the edge of it,

    Edit: Admittedly, there are some rather stupid Wiccans (or Wiccan-wannabes) that I wouldn't be terribly offended at getting sacked. There are folks who'd do shit like say they hexed someone's car for the scare factor, but from what I picked up, she didn't look or sound like the sort to do that.

    I also really liked that she backtracked and pointed out that she was only speaking for herself. Not in so many words, but a pagan who only admits to only speaking for themselves is a pagan who gets a lot of respect from me.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 04:16 AM (04:16) by Makbawehuh Makbawehuh is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Hiya - yes my round-up is <a href="http://revdlesley.blogspot.com/2011/03/wednesday-whimsical-web-round-up.html"> here </a>

    Thanks for the plug for the food bank post - important ethical questions
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 09:03 AM (09:03) by Unregistered
    Updated 29-Mar-2011 at 12:17 PM (12:17) by Gurdur
  14. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Unregistered View Comment
    Hiya - yes my round-up is here
    Thanks for the plug for the food bank post - important ethical questions
    I've now edited into my blog post a link to your Wednesday round-up, marked out in red so as not to be missed.
    Posted 29-Mar-2011 at 12:06 PM (12:06) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  15. Old Comment
    iamwombat's Avatar
    Quote:
    Good, many thanks. Would love some feedback/contact with them,
    Sorry to say, they are not my people to solicit and as Natives A's go, are a bit ethnocentric about outties. lol. I love them, I will ask a particular teacher to subscribe to the Hub and see if he is interested in sharing there. His fathers death dream included telling him to teach both people, white and true people, but as children, students. Here are some regular links for what it is worth,

    http://www.cskt.org/
    flatheads, confederated tribes Salish

    http://www.cdatribe-nsn.gov/ si johns family adopted me, but John si'john is gone.

    http://www.potawatomi.org/index.php?...layout=default
    nationless people in my consanguine heritage


    http://www.navajo.org/
    I only know people in New Mexico, much Navajo Nation Government is in Arizona. New Mexico is more beautiful IMO.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/returnofnavajoboy
    Some good links within this Fb page, and a great but sad story.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/...s/147969681232
    I correspond with these folk, the editor mostly, they have published the link yet on arsenic groundwater removal that you provided, I think they will though, after checking it out. This paper is also out of Arizona, where much arsenic and alkaline contamination exists in the water table at surface.
    Native peoples tend to think all whites are just out to pervert the Red Road, and most are skeptical of light skins. Bear this in mind when corresponding. (I am adding, when corresponding with the Navajo Nation, you can say whatever you damn well please to anyone, I have never taken offense to anything you've said. But this particular Nation is filled with members who think they are still the 'true people' and unfortunately it has led to prejudice among them with regard to outsiders. I don't get it when they are a minority affected people who should have learned to adjust their view enough to lead by example more in this department, my opinion as usual, you may hit it off well with anyone of them or others that you speak too. Also, Catholicism is rampant among them due to early and current Jesuit influences from the Spanish.
    Posted 01-Apr-2011 at 05:12 PM (17:12) by iamwombat iamwombat is offline
    Updated 02-Apr-2011 at 03:50 PM (15:50) by iamwombat (Addendum, spelling, removed a booger. :))
  16. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iamwombat View Comment
    .....
    Native peoples tend to think all whites are just out to pervert the Red Road, and most are skeptical of light skins. Bear this in mind when corresponding. (I am adding, when corresponding with the Navajo Nation, you can say whatever you damn well please to anyone, I have never taken offense to anything you've said. But this particular Nation is filled with members who think they are still the 'true people' and unfortunately it has led to prejudice among them with regard to outsiders. I don't get it when they are a minority affected people who should have learned to adjust their view enough to lead by example more in this department, my opinion as usual, you may hit it off well with anyone of them or others that you speak too. Also, Catholicism is rampant among them due to early and current Jesuit influences from the Spanish.
    Many thanks indeed, IAmWombat, for the info and the cautions.
    Posted 03-Apr-2011 at 01:09 AM (01:09) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
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