China admits death row organ use
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Yet another blog that will take up gigs of space, be accessable to anyone on the face of the earth, and will be read by (maybe) three people... If I'm lucky.
A practical science publication (for men):
The full text of previous article
Your 1987 remake of the 1959 children's song 'Why Does the Sun Shine?' is still popular. Why did you cover it?
We have songs about science and also about the pro-science culture of our childhood — the post-war science boosterism that was going on. The science record that we covered that track from was part of the post-Sputnik period in US history when there was a lot of interest in getting kids into science.
Was science a missed calling?
I would have been a crummy scientist but I would have been enthusiastic. I like science a lot and it's something that I think about all the time, almost as an amateur. It was a nice convergence of personal interests and a logical next step that we did an album about science.
How does this follow on from your previous records for children?
We put out Here Come the ABCs as a placeholder. We were not overly concerned about teaching kids the alphabet because they are going to learn the alphabet anyway. It was a pretext for entertainment. The follow-up with the numbers was an obvious choice — although we were resistant to doing the Here Come the 123s because it was so obvious. Science was a departure from that pattern. And that was really exciting. We got to do something personal to us with the full promotional machinery of the Disney corporation behind it.
From the first song, 'Science is Real', this album seems to be making a statement. Why is that important?
It seems that science has suffered in this country recently, so it was political in a way. There has been some scepticism about science in the past 25 years that has been unfortunate. There's a decadent quality to that — that the culture has lost its way.
Your lyrics talk about evolution being real and how stories about angels and unicorns are just that, stories. Did you worry that this might alienate some listeners?
John Flansburgh took the bull by the horns by writing that song and addressing that situation, which is that religion cannot take the place of science. It's not something you can tiptoe around. It's important that everybody gets what the discussion is about. If we're talking about the history of Earth, we can't rely on religious tradition to tell us all the information. He says it in the song: as beautiful as the stories are, they don't tell us everything we need to know. It's an old complaint on the part of scientists, but it bears repeating.
Did you hire a fact-checker?
We did. Eric Siegel from the New York Hall of Science listened to everything and gave us very useful information, only some of which we entirely comprehended. He was pointing out, also, things in the videos that were misleading or not making the point in the right way.
In the new album you write a musical retraction: 'Why Does the Sun Really Shine?' Why set the record straight?
We overstated the case in saying that the original song is fatally flawed, because a lot of the information in it is good. The Sun does convert hydrogen into helium and there's a nuclear reaction and that's the source of the explosive radiative energy coming out of the Sun. The only thing that was seriously wrong with the original song is that the Sun is not gas, it's plasma. It's one of those modern distinctions that was lost on the writers in the fifties.
I wish we could do a second volume of the science because there's a lot more stuff we haven't covered. I don't know, maybe that's going to be our next move. We could spend a lot more time on science.
Interview by Brendan Maher, Nature's Biology Features Editor.
Here Comes Science will be released digitally on 1 September, and as a CD/DVD set on 22 September on Idlewild/Disney Sound.
James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims
From my friend Marc Lombardi:
Filed under: Software
Item #17 is
17. Making someone a real mix tape
Web sites like Mixtape.com and Songza may attempt to fill the void,but the art of laboring over a custom-made mix tape tailored for aspecial occasion or a special person -- as romanticized by John Cusack'scharacter in "High Fidelity" -- seems to have gone the way of electricalappliance repair and blacksmithing. It's a shame, too, because mix tapesmade great gifts for dates -- and by "great" I mean "potentially highlyprized by the recipient and yet incredibly cheap and easy to assemble."
from the Village Voice Wednesday, Aug. 19 2009
from the blog In Iraq Now (at 56)
from World Wide Words:
Well, anyway, I would look like this:
from Sam Goodman:
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Here's the problem:Comedy has lost so many taboos that you need to do photo shoots like this just to be 'edgy'. Really, after Sarah Silverman's jokes about the Holocaust, Martin Luther King Jr, and AIDS, there's not much room left for anyone to be "outrageous" anymore. So you go with Hitler and Jew-cookies in the oven.
Problem is, it just isn't funny. Not because it's sick (which still CAN be funny), it's just that there's no joke there. It's simply a design to be outrageous.
And that's a sign of desperation.
I don't know how you guys feel about modern art, but there have been controversies over Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ" (photo of a crucifix in a jar of urine) and Chris Ofili's "Holy Virgin Mary" (elephant dung around painting of Mary). I remember one artist who designed an instillation that required you to walk on the American Flag in order to get close enough to see it.
Now I'm all for freedom of expression, but I'm all for ART as well. It seems to me that these artists are just trying (really, really, really t-r-y-i-n-g) to be controversial. But it's so EASY to do. Follow these simple steps:
1) Find an image that people value
2) Shit on it.
I think HEEB magazine has just joined the club: "Outrage without Content."
There's no point in screaming at the top of your lungs if you have nothing to say.
Nope ... not being insensitive ... it's called Camp Twitch and Shout