“Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial
“”Ah, but the method of madness matters! The non-participating passengers flew at 800 km/hr at an altitude of 9,146 m, but the trial participants jumped a whopping 0.6 meter (2 feet) from a plane traveling at an incredible 0 km/hr. The authors point out their trial’s glaring limitation — an inability to generalize to higher altitude jumps — and use it make a point that health journalists would be wise to remember:
This study was conducted in response to a Christmas, 2003 BMJ article decrying the lack of RCT (Random Controlled Trials) for the efficacy of parachutes. As the authors of this article point out, even RCT’s have their limits.
As one review explains,
Put plainly, if most people already think an intervention works, then an RCT may end up with enough bias in its design that the conclusion ends up clinically meaningless. Sometimes, an RCT is truly unethical, and other times an RCT really might be needed to test an intervention taken for granted. Health journalists should scrutinize an RCT’s methods closely.
I’ve disabled comments on the blog. Please leave your comments on my Facebook page, “Beverly Nuckols.”
If everyone gets a trophy, why should anyone get a statue? Especially men?
Yes, here’s the next woke thing:
The New York Post reports that a City commissioner proposes to “Replace male statues in Central Park with women.”
“”A member of the commission that oversees art and architecture on city property suggested Monday that instead of simply adding statues of historical female figures to Central Park, the panel yank out some of the male ones first.
““There are what, five or six [male] statues that I think could easily be replaced by individual statues of each of these women,” said Hank Willis Thomas, a painter who serves on the Public Design Commission, at a hearing at City Hall.
“Thomas appeared to be specifically fingering statues including that of Scottish poet Robert Burns, in the park’s Literary Row, and the one of Christopher Columbus in the park, near the famed second one of the explorer in Columbus Circle, for removal.”
Goodbye Columbus indeed!
It’s good to have confirmation.
But jobs that don’t allow vacation probably have different effects than jobs that do allow time off.
Mama had surgery for Thymic carcinoma back in 2004. She voted early and scheduled the surgery for the day after the election, so her daughters could work as election clerks.
Seriously, have you ever seen them together? Or Trump in sunglasses?
What “executive priorities” would you like to see implemented by Executive Order of the new Republican President, beginning January 20, 2017?
Even as a “dream,” it’s not easy to write all this. It’s easy to see the objections and possible pitfalls. I need help. I suggest not enforcing any law that can’t be justified in 2 to 3 sentences, using “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and a plain reading of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. No “penumbras,” no nuances. Make it plain and transparent enough that even Gruber’s criteria of “the stupidity of the American voters” is met.
Same 90 day deadline Obama set for his immigration fiat?
Here’s a short list:
Asked about the possibility that Perry could be mulling the opposite move, spokesman Travis Considine noted his comment to the magazine came after Perry was asked where he would live if he could live in any state other than Texas.
“I would live in California if I could afford it,” Perry said according to a partial transcript of the interview with Leibovich, which Considine provided Tuesday. “Why wouldn’t you want to live out here? Seriously?”
Considine added that Perry “posed a rhetorical question, which he has answered many times by noting how California’s high cost-of-living is a contributing factor to why people move away from such a beautiful state.”
Other sites besides Infowars.com have also been miscategorized by Blue Coat.
In the past, the company also labeled New Braunfels Republican Women, the web site of conservative commentator Carolyn Gargaro and Reunion Ministries as “pornography.”
Malwarebytes’ blog, UnPacked, is also promising protection to those of you who are still using Windows XP and understands the problems of switching to Windows 8 for some users:
Rest assured Malwarebytes will continue to offer support for XP, to assist users who find themselves in this unfortunate position.
Many readers of our blog are also the familial tech support, and trying to migrate grandma to Windows 8 might not only be an expensive affair but also a potentially traumatic experience. Windows 8 is proving to be … challenging.
One of my family members went back to his laptop with the broken hinge and wobbly screen rather than switch from Windows 7 to 8, so I can imagine there are many, many who won’t like to jump even more evolutionary leaps.
The rest is a description of switching to another sort of code, Linux Mint, that can be made to look and act like a (safer version of) Windows XP. I probably could do it with a lot of coffee and some new cuss words, but anyone with a genuine problem with switching operating systems would most likely need some help from someone more tech savvy.
The important message is that Malwarebytes will protect your computer, even if you won’t or can’t switch
Well, flip! Substitute my F-word for their F-word and drop the suggestion that even straight women want to “do ‘very sexy things’ to Windy, and I could have had the Vast WingRight Conspiracy laughing at this column. Ironically, the f’ing-bomb-this and f-bomb-that commenters all seem to take Wonkette’s “satire” take on Windy as a sex object as supportive!
Wonkette is a left-wing blog whose writers spew forth with a foul keyboard, and I think that she and her readers are serious about supporting Windy. It’s just that their support is . . . shall we say “bent?”
Most of the readers of WingRight would agree that it’s preposterous to complain about “ties” to a Political Action Committee with which Greg Abbott has had no dealings since 2004. And it’s true that Windy ain’t Ann Richards.
But Wonkette’s Rebecca Shoenkopf is mostly upset that Windy’s campaign might object to the “very sexy things” comment.
Even odder than a feminists’ objection to an imagined objection from Windy is the use of an Austin-American Statesman article entitled “Greg Abbott holds double-digit lead over Wendy Davis, who is viewed unfavorably by almost half the electorate” to support the idea that Greg Abbott is a “nothingburger:” “
Someone please tell me this was an April Fool’s joke!
“Even though I promised Michelle that 2012 was going to be my last campaign, actually this one’s my last campaign,” Obama, referring to his wife, told a fundraiser at the private home of longtime donors in his hometown of Chicago.
Just read a long list of long-winded resolutions, evidently sent out from Libertarians to their followers who are attending Republican Precinct Conventions. Here’s a bit of my response:
RESOLVED, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect the inalienable rights of individuals from infringement by others.
RESOLVED, any resolution with more than two “Whereas” clauses will be ignored by all RPT Conventions.
RESOLVED, all “resolved” clauses should be written so that they stand alone since only the “Resolved” portion of a Resolution matters and multiple “whereases” are irritating.
RESOLVED, all resolutions calling for a shorter RPT Platform shall be shorter than the Platform itself.
RESOLVED, the RPT resolutions should be in plain language rather than in pseudo-legalese.
RESOLVED, clauses directing that resolutions passed by the Precinct and County Conventions be passed to the State Convention are redundant under the rules of the RPT.
RESOLVED, the products of gardens, farms, ranches, cottage industries and manufacturing which are not transported across State lines should not be regulated more than the minimum necessary to prevent disease and the infringement of citizens’ inalienable rights.
RESOLVED, licensing of the professions and trades serves to prevent the infringement of inalienable rights of citizens.
RESOLVED, the Primary election rather than a caucus is the best way to ensure one-citizen-one-vote.
RESOLVED, the Republican Party of Texas isn’t interested in redefining marriage as anything other than the union between one man and one woman, so get over it.
Update: additional Resolutions as they come to me.
RESOLVED, laws necessarily limit our individual rights and should be minimal.
RESOLVED, gun regulations and background checks are not consistent with “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
RESOLVED, . . .
What business does the State have in regulating anything that doesn’t require processing (and literally grows like a weed)?
Kinky Friedman is running in the Democrat Primary for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, using legalization of marijuana as a “cash crop.” (Read the Texas Tribune comments to see how much Democrats hate him for “stealing” Bill White’s votes.)
Friedman, 69 — a singer, humorist, novelist and hawker of tequila — has tried, frequently, to add “elected official” to his résumé. But his celebrity status and unique charm have not translated into success at the ballot box, and that seems to be an itch he cannot help but scratch. He has tossed his iconic black cowboy hat into the ring for the race for agriculture commissioner with what he calls a clearer focus.
If you’re concerned about the news that the Federal food stamp program funding will be cut 5%, take a look at this map from the June, 2013 Wall Street Journal, showing the percentage of population in each state which receives Federal food stamps.
It is accompanied by a graph of growth of food stamp enrollment depicting periods of enrollment. That bright red line is Texas’ growth, which is nearly parallel with the US average, shown as a grey-green line. (Take a look at the annual spikes of Alaska’s enrollment, which I guess is due to the disbursement of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.)
But take a look at the growth since the “Stimulus” was passed by the Dem-controlled House and Senate, nearly doubling funds for food stamps and increasing the number of recipients from 28 million to 48 million.Since the increase in enrollment has been over 70%, that 5% cut in payments will not bring the spending levels back to pre-recession levels. Wouldn’t it make sense to tighten up on the eligibility requirements, rather than make an across-the-board cut?
Now, we need to find out once and for all whether male brains are better at directions than female!
First recognized in rats, humans may also owe their sense of direction in part to grid cells—neurons that fire in a triangular pattern and help keep track of navigational cues—according to a study published yesterday (August 4) in Nature Neuroscience. Recording the neuronal activities of people asked to locate invisible objects in a virtual environment, researchers at Drexel University observed grid-like firing in two regions of the brain, providing the most concrete evidence yet for the existence of grid cell activity in humans.
For the first time in history, federal health officials said Friday they will ban certain types of Medicare and Medicaid providers in three high-fraud cities from enrolling in the taxpayer-funded programs for the poor as part of an effort to prevent scams.
“Success in life comes not from the ability to choose between the four presented answers, but from the rather more difficult and painfully acquired ability to formulate the questions.” Mamet, David (2011-06-02). The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (p. 28). Sentinel Trade. Kindle Edition.
I’m reading “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” by David Mamet. Those of you who follow me on FaceBook or Twitter have probably seen a few quotes that I’ve shared.
I’m afraid that I might be indulging in the same thing Mr. Mamet accuses the Liberal Left of doing: surrounding myself with like-minded thinkers and writers. If so, Mr. Mamet at least expresses himself differently than most of the Conservative writers I read.
As an example, I was struck by his description of the new love story, in which two people who don’t even like each other are thrown together by fate and somehow decide they are meant for each other. This is in contrast to the traditional love story in which a couple first falls in love but are separated by outside forces, finally triumphing by their will to be together. (Compare “Sleepless in Seattle” with the movie it references, “An Affair to Remember.”) The difference is subtle, but one of fatalism vs. making a deliberate, conscious choice.
Mr. Mamet is critical of Liberal Arts education, socialism, “change” and “hope.” He explains why Conservatism is better than Liberalism in phrases that go far beyond sound bites and the bumper sticker he sometimes refers to.
“The Good Causes of the Left may generally be compared to NASCAR; they offer the diversion of watching things go excitingly around in a circle, getting nowhere.”
“The essence of socialism is for Party A to get Party B to give something to Party C.”
“. . . Wrights, Cyrus McCormick, Henry Ford, Tesla, Tom Edison, Meg Whitman, Bill Gates, Burt Rutan, and Steve Jobs. How would they and American Industry have fared had Government gotten its hands upon them at the outset—if it had taxed away the capital necessary to provide a market for their wares; if it had taxed away the wealth, which, existing as gambling money, had taken a chance on these various visionaries? One need not wonder, but merely look around at the various businesses Government has aided.”
“Government itself, where waste is the end product.”
Mr. Mamet’s central point is that culture is the unconscious and pre-verbal adaptation of people that creates predictability, allowing us to get along with one another. When we throw out our culture and try to create a new one, the “change” leads us to uncertainty and the necessity to weigh each new stimulus because we don’t know what it means under the new conditions.
“The tool of culture is the capacity to predict the operation of the social environment—a property right little different from a right in land or wealth. This cultural right exists not limitlessly—for any property right is limited, by chance, death, inflation, erosion, theft, laws, confiscation, etc. but, as with a material property right, founded upon an abstract concept: predictability, which differs from omniscience, but is of immeasurably greater worth than ignorance. Culture exists and evolves to relegate to habit categories of interactions the constant conscious reference to which would make human interaction impossible.”
(Mamet, David (2011-06-02). The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (pp. 12-13). Sentinel Trade. Kindle Edition.)
He compares the new situation to “The First Night in A New Home,” where each creak or thump is unfamiliar, and could mean danger or nothing. No one gets any rest, many will get angry, and far too many will simply stop evaluating those noises for themselves. In societies, those who stop questioning and wish only for peace, end up ceding their will and ability to innovate and create to the herd.
Kindle will let you read the first chapter, free. (I don’t profit from promoting the book.)
Life After Life: A Novel, by Kate Atkinson is based on the premise that the protagonist, Ursula Todd, lives her life over and over and over and over. The suggests that the reason might be so that she can do it until she gets it right. Ursula never seems to get it right.
The book illustrates the main reason I don’t believe in multiple universes or reincarnation. The Creator seems to have set up an orderly universe, with predictable consequences – you know, those laws of physics like, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, conservation of mass and energy in a closed system, and that for action there’s and equal and opposite reaction. He has also instilled unconditional love as our highest value. None of which is consistent with forcing us to go through life – or death – over and over until we get it right.
The best part of the book is that most of the story takes place in London during World War II. Ursula was born, each time she was born, in 1910, so she was a teen during the War to End All Wars and a young woman working for the British Government during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. We Americans are blissfully ignorant of the nightly (“save one”) bombing of London for 10 weeks in September and October, 1940, followed by bombing of that city and others by the Germans the attempt to instill terror in the British and to literally destroy Britain. I am in awe of the people who lived through those nights and of the Air Raid Wardens who served them.
The author pretty much lost my respect for her insight because of a scene in which Ursula is raped. I’m not sure the act could physically be completed the way it’s described, but there’s no way that rape is that nonchalant, non-violent and silent. Perhaps it would have been more plausible if she had induced a fugue state in Ursula. Ms. Atkinson does a much better job with the miserable timeline during which Ursula marries an abusive husband.
There is an interesting detour as Ursula sort of falls into the outer ring of Adolph Hitler’s inner circle.
I only finished the book because of the Battle of Britain stories and a hope of making some sense out of the author’s concept. Or maybe I just wanted a happy ending?
We’ve been in Joplin, Missouri, learning how to run an STI (sexually transmitted diseases) clinic. Now, we’re going home!
I’m in the middle of reading Willie Nelson’s latest book, the semi-biographic stream of consciousness, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road.
I enjoy the stories about his life and family, but I’m continually irritated by his confused comments on politics and ethics.
It really knocks me for a loop when I encounter someone like Mr. Nelson, who has obviously thought long and hard about certain issues but doesn’t seem to understand the basics of ethics or logic. Because he doesn’t know *why* some things are right and others are wrong, he ends up proving one of the homey proverbs he quotes in the book: if you don’t stand for something, you’ll end up falling for anything.
I love to hear Willie Nelson and his songs. My husband and I went to see his band play at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio last January and were very impressed by the Nelson concerts — both of them. Lukas Nelson’s band, Promise of the Real, opened for his father and sons Lukas and Mikah joined the Nelson family on the stage.
It’s tempting to reference Laura Ingraham’s book, Shut Up and Sing, along with the theory and demand behind it. Just because a person is a great singer, songwriter and guitar player, doesn’t mean he’s a great person, much less that he’s a great philosopher or thinker. It certainly shouldn’t mean that his philosophy should be given greater weight than that of other people because of his celebrity and access to the press.
The fact is that Mr. Nelson is a leader and he influences a large number of people. It’s a shame it’s not for the right reasons.
In this book, Mr. Nelson praises the Occupy Wall Street protests, says he agrees with Warren Buffet “that it just ain’t fair for people like us to have all the advantages,” and states that the Second Amendment shouldn’t apply to today’s weapons because they aren’t designed for hunting, only for killing people. His religious comments are mostly just silly ramblings.
However, the cause Mr. Nelson is best identified with – and the one for which it would be simplest to correct his logical errors – is the legalization of marijuana. He writes about his founding of the “TeaPot Party” in the book. Mr. Nelson’s reason for legalizing marijuana is simply that people want to smoke it and there are other legal substances that are worse. And he proposes a Statist’s plan as flimsy as his utilitarian ethic: “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!” to raise money for the Government:
It’s already been proven that taxing and regulating marijuana makes more sense than sending young people to prison for smoking a God-given herb that has never proven to be fatal to anybody. Cigarettes and alcohol have killed millions, and there’s no law against them, because again, there’s a lot of money in cigarettes and alcohol. If they could realize there is just as much profit in marijuana, and they taxed and regulated it as they do cigarettes and alcohol, they could realize the same amount of profit and reduce trillions of dollars in debt.
Nelson, Willie; Friedman, Kinky (2012-11-13). Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road (p. 20). William Morrow. Kindle Edition. (accessed 12/03/2012)
It might surprise some people that I – the self-proclaimed “hot air under the right wing” – agree that marijuana shouldn’t be illegal to grow, own or use. I base my belief on a plain reading of the US Constitution. How on Earth can our Federal government outlaw a plant that literally grows like a weed and doesn’t require manufacturing or processing to use? In fact, my theory as to why the plant is illegal is because it would be hard to regulate and tax.
Or maybe not.
Back in the mid-1990’s, I attempted to grow a traditional herbal medicine garden and ran into trouble obtaining Oriental poppy seeds, Papaver somniferum. Most of the orders I placed were cancelled, so I started doing some research. I learned that the Clinton Administration was raiding gardens and arresting people for growing and sharing the seeds of heirloom plants passed down from their mothers. This was in spite of the age-old use of the plants in gardens and herbal medicine, as well as the ready availability of food grade fertile Oriental poppy seeds for cooking and baking.
The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that the Federal government’s “War on Drugs” is not Constitutional and it’s not conservative. I agree with Mr. Nelson that this “war” is a costly abuse of government that strengthens organized crime and too many American freedoms have fallen as collateral damage. But the reason is not because people want to abuse drugs or because the Government could make money off the taxes. It’s because there’s no justification for outlawing a plant in the Constitution.
This is what happens when we the People don’t know our own Constitution and allow our Legislators to habitually pass abusive laws: the infringement of our inalienable rights.
Well, have YOU had your picture in the New York Times?
My husband and I went to see The Avengers tonight – I think every showing in two theaters in New Braunfels were sold out. It was great. There were some hokey lines and the space warriors were not well designed, but the movie as a whole was 5 stars. I loved the subtle and not so subtle wit and humor.
I spent my allowance on comic books as a kid and then discovered science fiction. The movies rarely do either well, but I’m glad to say that this time they did.
The bad guy is “Loki,” the alien adopted brother of Thor. At one point, he demands that a crowd of humans bow to him, declaring that this is our natural state. On elderly man stands, saying he refuses to bow “to a man like you” and that there will always be evil men. In another scene, Captain America talks about self-sacrifice for the cause and for the team. When Thor and Loki are described as “like gods,” the Captain says, “There’s only one God.”
I can’t help but wonder whether Hollywood understands how subversive movies like this are. the themes of too much entertainment are shown to be ugly, selfish and shallow.
(An example of the opposite would be “The Iron Lady” that tells Maggie Thatcher’s life story as though she lived an entire life through moments of dementia.)
The Atlantic has a funny little interview with physicist Lawrence Krauss, the author of last year’s A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing,
Krauss states that he likes to “provoke people” and believes that science is meant to make people “uncomfortable.”
The joke is that the interview’s subject is whether science has made philosophy and religion “obsolete.” What they should really be discussing is the claim by Krauss that physics can answer the question, “Why?”
Science is pretty good at answering the questions “How?” and “What?” In fact, one of the criteria of a scientific experiment or statement is that observers around the world should be able to replicate that experiment if they work with the same variables as the first reporter.
But science never answers “Why?”
The hypothesis of the article is that theoretical physics has answered enough “whys” that philosophy and religion – and the notion of a Creator – are “obsolete.” That’s the “hook” that Krauss says he was looking for in order to make his book sell. It also won him praise from (Red Letter Evangelical) atheists Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.
It’s ridiculous to talk about any aspect of natural physics within this universe as though the discussion or findings rule out the existence of a Creator. Obviously, what is within the Universe, what can be observed, measured, or even “presumed,” must adhere to the laws of physics of this universe – whether or not there is a Creator.
The problem of “something from nothing” is resolved by Krauss by imagining an infinite number of universes, interconnected so that this universe is not a closed system: “infinite” “calculable” “multiverses.” Where did those multiverses, and the conditions that make Krauss’ quantum physics exist, come from?
We still get back to “something from nothing.”
Without philosophy, I dare anyone to explain the existence of concepts such as “like,” “provoke,” and/or “meant to.” Or “Beauty,” “Truth,” and “Justice.” And religion is the best way to explain “Love” and to answer “Why?”
My brilliant son pointed out the “prt sc” button on my keyboard when I asked how to make a screen print.
This is too cute to pass up. The Google News headline for a Business Week article on “lean, finely textured beef” contained a typo that proves the rule that you can’t believe everything you read. Or the rule that typos rule.
Beer Price May Rise on `Pink Slime’ Hysteria, Perry Says
BusinessWeek – 16 hours ago By Elizabeth Campbell on March 29, 2012 via Google News.
Of course, the real headline should have been “Beef Price . . . ” and was corrected on the website.
Working within the 5 letters for the personalized plates was tough. “DR 4 LF,” “MD 4 LF,” etc. were not available.
Then: Standing at the counter at the Comal County tax office, today, it occurred to me that I could have used my initials.
The frame and the plate are worth a lot of bumper stickers, aren’t they? Just think, the regular plates cost $30 a year, with $22 of that going to support adoption services in Texas. This is an easy way to donate and much less messy than bumper stickers!
Order yours at the Choose Life link at Texas Alliance for Life.
While I’m very tempted to make “Saturday Night Live” jokes and puns about the opening statement by the SAEN that “Pelosi whipped up” anything, I think I’ll just quote the SAEN quoting Charlie Gonzales,
“Of course I’m endorsing him,” he said. “And when you support Joaquin Castro, you support Nancy Pelosi returning as speaker of the House.”
The “rest of the story,” at LifeEthics.org.
We wanted Glenn at Celltex because from the start we have been determined to do things right,” said David Eller, chairman and chief executive officer of Celltex, which is based in Houston, Texas. “Celltex is a leader in adult stem banking and multiplication technology. We already have state-of-the-art technology, and with Glenn, we are assured that we will be using it in the most ethical way possible.”
Dr. McGee, who resigned his position as the John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics and his role as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Bioethics in November 2011, was the founder of the publication. Under his leadership, The American Journal of Bioethics became the leading journal in its field. He is now serving in an advisory capacity with the journal until March 1, 2011. [sic]
I think I’m so tech-savvy. And then, I hit one little old button and shut down the website for hours.
WingRight is back up after a silly mistake. GoDaddy and WordPress are communicating again. And I won’t mess with critical settings without a lot of research – at least until the next time.