Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Race",before DNA, was BLOOD : literally. The hidden subtext behind penicillin's 15 year delay.

BLOOD was destiny, before DNA
The discovery of different blood types in the early 20th century allowed the science of eugenics to 'claim' a scientific basis for denying marriage between people of different colours, because it meant the mixing of their blood.

Raylene Rankin, September 15th 1960 - September 30th 2012 : the voice of Cape Breton

Raylene Rankin, of the Rankin Family singing group, will always be best remembered for her soaring rendition of "Rise Again", the island's unofficial anthem, in the 1985 Cape Breton Follies.

The voice of  Hope for Capers....

It was the first time most of us outsiders first took note that something new and good was coming out of "bad news" Cape Breton.

Rise again !....

1940's ISOLATIONISTS abandoned Europe's 4Fs and America's 4Fs

1A =  53%
From 1938 till 1941, Europe's small and weak nations - its 4F states - were gobbled up one after another, while the majority of Americans sat on their hands and did frack-all.

Republicans: ABORTING the 47%, before they are born, will greatly reduce the federal deficit

ABORT the 47% ???
Eugenicists , such as Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, believe in putting all their eggs and sperm in 53% of the baskets , writing off (permanently) those who are down today (but who might be up again tomorrow).

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aside from VEGEMITE, what did Aussies Gray & Duhig have that Alexander Fleming totally lacked ? (Moral Fervour)

6 million might have lived
In the Fall of 1943, fifteen years after Nobel Prize winner Alexander Fleming proved that penicillin - at least his method of making penicillin - could NOT save lives, two intrepid Aussies using his very same penicillin strain and his very same methods (right down to the use of Seitz asbestos filter pads) plucked a half dozen patients from the jaws of certain death.

If Penicillin was a Scottish DETECTIVE MURDER MYSTERY ....

Alexander FLEMING
.....Alexander Fleming would be the Scottish copper who finds the murder.

But Henry Dawson would be the Scottish copper who finds the murderer .

Henry Dawson and the cart before the horse

Martin Henry Dawson

It could be totally wrong to say that Martin Henry Dawson broke every rule in the book, during an ultimately successful effort to bring penicillin-as-we-know-it into an uncaring world.

Dr Martin Henry Dawson and the MORAL INVENTION of 4F penicillin ---- during a 1A war (PART 1)

Thalidomide has had 9 lives...
Is it truly unfair that only Paul Gelmo initially invented Sulfa-the-(useless)-chemical, but is was Gerhard Domagk , 25 years later, who won the Nobel prize for Sulfa?

Journalists : selected from among the very stupid or just lobotomized after being hired ?

Synthetic Food is deadly !
Are bread and yogurt "synthetic" food ? Heavily processed yes - but not synthetic !

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All Optimists - without exception - are Social Darwinists ; all Pessimists are Altruists

Always the OPTIMIST
Its a Fact. Its a Dogma, a Law, a Commandment you can carve in stone - by definition, all 'blue sky' optimists must be Social Darwinists. Just as, again by definition, all cautious, skeptic, 'grounded' pessimists must be altruists.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Needed : a MORAL history of Wartime Penicillin

SBE fatal to heart valves
It is impossible to write a truthful scientific or economic history of how wartime natural penicillin production became the template for today's enormous biotechnology industry.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Calling his voyages "out-sourcing to India", Romney and Ryan veto any more government money to 47%er Christopher Columbus

Columbus also never paid federal taxes
For the first 15 years, (1492-1507), Columbus was thought to have merely discovered a new route to India, not the entire New World.

Aktion 47% : saving the 4Fs in a time of the 1As , putting them back to work and paying taxes : the OTHER Manhattan project

Romneycare DEATH PANELS for the 47%
In 1941, penicillin was lying about in the gutter, part of the medical world's unfit 47%.

DRUGS and Romney's 47% : AZT, Penicillin and Sulfa once didn't pay federal income tax either

AZT once part of the 47%
In a dynamic - Democratic - world, one minute you're down, not paying any federal tax, the next minute you're paying millions. But in a static - Republican - world : when you are down, you're out - for all time.

AZT, Penicillin,Sulfa : Mr Romney, 47% of life-saving drugs were once written off as "useless"

Romney "latinoing-up" for votes
Asking who invented AZT, like asking who invented Penicillin or Sulfa drugs, is entirely missing the really important point : which is "who exactly first discovered their life saving qualities?"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blue sky optimistic or cautious & grounded : Nature or Nurture stronger ?

nature or nurture ??
We are all born leaning to either being (a) basically optimistic about the new and the unknown or (b) leaning to being cautious and skeptical towards them : that's Nature talking - our genetic and epigenetic mix. But can our upbringing (and later our own adult life circumstances) restrain or encourage those innate tendencies --- ie does Nuture also play a big part ?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

19th century simplified REALITY but 20th century "complexed it up" again ....

photo of actual ATOMS
At the beginning of the 19th century, most people saw Reality as made up of literally millions of different kinds of objects : from all the species and types of animals to all the different kinds of minerals and rocks to all the different types of weather events.

What Romney forgets about the resourceful "r-selected" 47%

r-selected SURVIVORS
The best article, by far,  on Romney's "47%" remarks - and I have read over one hundred of them - is by Ezra Klein,  in , working off a riff first developed by poverty researchers, Banerjee and Duflo, in their book, Poor Economics.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

As a EUGENICIST, Romney exceeds even Hitler , who never thought 47% of Germans were 'unfit'

the UNFIT vote democrat
Social Darwinism - the Ayn Rand variety - has dominated the world's headlines this week as the GOP president-in-waiting, Mitt Romney, defined his take on the world in a secret video : half of us pay federal income taxes and are the makers, Nature's 'fit'.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

If Alexander Fleming had to publish today : would systemic natural Penicillin have languished for 15 years ?

Worth more than GOLD
Most of today's biggest , most influential, most sought after scientific and medical journals demand that any article author(s) agree in advance to post all their notes and data (good and bad) online, before the journal will publish their concentrated (and usually upbeat) thesis in the article itself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thermodynamics laws for laypeople (the Entropy of War)

First Law : Fool's GOLD !
I am frequently called upon to explain the two main laws of thermodynamics that are my two lead characters in SVE and I generally try to explain them in a pared down sort of way.

K-selection dominates history, First Law of Thermodynamics claims

Triumph of the K-selected ?
Nothing buttressed Victorian England's famous optimism and self-confidence more than that the fact that they understood the First Law of Thermodynamics far too well (and didn't understand or accept the Second Law of Thermodynamics at all !)

Death of "K and r selection" : for PhDs and Punksters alike, popularity is anathema

Memes are like indie bands
Nothing kills a good scientific metaphor  more stone dead than having it taken up by the detested "civilians".

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nova Scotian-born Dr Henry Dawson and the "Invention" of systemic - natural - penicillin

The "Invention" of systemic - natural - penicillin

Discovery vs Invention
Many substances were "discovered" many years (sometimes centuries) before they were (re) "invented" as having a highly useful medical effect.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Medium-density walkable, bikeable communities best hope to put less C02 in atmosphere

 SWITCH volunteer
Halifax Nova Scotia held its very first SWITCH DAY on september 9th 2012 - put one long series of connected Streets from Agricola to South Park in the slow lane: no car tires, only feet and bikes.

Lazy HRM employees try to kill citizens, but fail to do so

Gust & sign that hit Mrs May
HRM's special event signs, made of thin sharp aluminum metal, have holes at top and bottom for a purpose - to secure them safely against gusts of wind turning them into weapons.

South Mountain BATHOLITH debated by skygods and earthlings

hunka,hunka burnin' lava
One reason why Nova Scotia has such an unique lobster like shape is that its backbone is one immense chunk of highly-erosion-resistant granite, by far the largest chunk on the entire east coast of North America : the famous South Mountain batholith.

If RON JOYCE still ran it, rural NS Tim Hortons would have WIFI

Not for RURAL Cdns
It seems, as of this date, that the closest TIM HORTONS to my family home in Seaforth Nova Scotia (the outlet in nearby Porters Lake) isn't going to get WIFI.This is a rural location and I suppose the attitude was "it doesn't really face much fast food 'n' coffee competition, so why offer WIFI to gain and hold customers, if you don't have to ?"

'Nasty' Abbott and Howard Florey : told they'd be important from day they were born

the new Howard Florey ?
Reading David Marr's fascinating walkabout through the early years of the next Aussie PM, A. 'Nasty' Abbott, an astute student of that other hard-driving Aussie, Howard Florey, can't help but see similarities in how both men's families deliberately distorted their only son's personality to suit their parental dreams.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crick's DNA Central Dogma is 80% JUNK, new 'Encode' project intimates

Crick's central Dogma is dead
Crick's simple-minded Central Dogma of DNA : that there is a single physical spot on your chromosome that encodes for bed wetting and for why some men prefer Arsenal instead of Manchester United, has been revealed to be 80% junk by the new ENCODE project.

Seaforth Nova Scotia : Surf, Hope for Wildlife, Skunk, and my pen

"our" beach in Seaforth NS
I wrote the first drafts of today's SVE posts out in Seaforth Nova Scotia, my family's home.

The triumph of natural penicillin : Uncle Tom's Cabin, Mark II

MkII : WWII moral battle over penicillin
Unabashedly I intend my first book, on the unexpected WWII success of the humble little natural penicillin team against the massed forces of artificial penicillin, to be a sentimental work in the full Victorian sense of the word.

WWII : Jazz Agers pulled the trigger but Victorians pointed the gun

They pulled WWII's trigger, but didn't aim gun
It is true that most of the people that actually, physically, pulled the triggers in WWII were kids of the Jazz Age, born roughly between the Fall of 1916 and the Fall of 1929. Equally true, and rarely acknowledged then or today, is that most of the people pointing those guns were born in the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).

Forgotten by design : Victorians loved Sentimentality as much as Social Darwinism

Victorian Values ???
Thanks to libertarians like Thatcher, Reagan and their rich friends who own big media , most people today regard the Victorians as being obsessed with the values of social darwinism : law of the jungle, might is right, god-on-side-of-big-battalions, survival of the fit, red in tooth and claw , things they claim we have forgotten.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

VIRAL meme alert : "Deniers deny denial-conspiracy link, claim conspiracy"

WATERMELONS! Under the bed!
Trust EOR to come up with the funniest take on the whole "deniers-see-conspiracy-in-study-that-links-deniers-to-beliefs-in-conspiracy-theories".

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

PQ posts SMALLEST PLURALITY EVER for a full-slate Canadian government

smallest plurality EVER !
The PQ set a new record low (31.9%) for the winning government party in Canada on Tuesday - maybe a new low anywhere and anytime in a "first past the post" electoral system.

"Blue Sky" libertarian think tanks are today's "Boiler Rooms" of deceit

Libertarianism = Blue Skyism
Who says God doesn't have a sense of humour ? How else to explain that in Standard & Poor's dictionary of financial terms, "boiler room" follows immediately upon "blue sky" stock laws?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Thomas "Melody" Moore : loathed by IRA, loved by Halifax FRINGE audience

Richard Hanna as Thomas Moore
Thomas "Melody" Moore - the man, not the melodies (they hated themselves but they still loved his melodies) - was much loathed by the IRA and their political and cultural kinfolk in Ireland and America.

But they're dead, gone and buried while he's back - for a two week stint only - at Halifax's Atlantic FRINGE festival.

Former OXFORD UNIVERSITY chemist found - in National Portrait Gallery !

its all about this gold
Congratulations to Wolfgang Suschitzky , honored with a retrospective of his best known photographs at Britain's National Portait Gallery - including the un-butchered , original, version of his most enduring image.