Monday, March 14, 2016

Headlines below the fold

Professor Mary Beard reports that the UK NHS has decided to screen everyone over the age of 40 for Alzheimer's disease.

It is I guess the trade off that comes with mass health testing. You get an early diagnosis for a few, at the cost of putting more into a blind panic. Much the same goes with things like mass prescription of statins. Globally it saves lives, but it might not save yours even though you've been tied to taking them for 20 years. It's fair enough for public health officials to think the trade-off is worth it, but it's also hard not to suspect that it is a way of delivering mass health care without much of a personal element: the just 'give it to everyone' approach, or at least try to.
she then says it reminds he of the one size fits all bureaucratic approach to education.

Hmmm...since both Churchill and CSLewis essentially flunked math, I suspect she has a point. In my case, it was trying to explain why I didn't do well in English composition but had no problem with advanced math courses.

related item: Gardening prevents Alzheimer's disease.

via Dave Barry comes the "you're gonna need a bigger boat cat" item of the day:

Photo: Tony Smith/

four foot rat found in Children's playground in London.

no it's probably not Sherlock Holmes' giant red rat of Sumatra, but an African grasscutter rat, eaten by homesick Africans and sold in local ethnic grocery stores.

and according to this site, it could be on your menu in the future.

No thanks I'll stick with GuineaPigs/Cuys


when I saw the millionaire-funded groups of professional demonstrators in Chicago verbally threatening the Trumpettes in hopes that maybe a single dangerous 78 year old Korean war vet grandfather in a crowd of thousands might hit back after being given the finger... so the press can hyperventillate like they did about the tea party about all those geriatric thugs in the audience.

AnneAlthouse reminds her readers that professional demonstrators trying to stop speakers they dislike is not spontaneous and did not start with Trump.

all of this reminds me of how the radical left in 1968 got Nixon elected over the traditionally liberal Humphrey.

Attention guys: Such demonstration only harm Democrats (although it might help you kick out Mayor Rahm who actually did cover up police brutality).

So I wish Bernie would tell them to stop. Maybe he should hold a joint press conference about free speech and civility with Trump.

Ah, but maybe science points out a proven way to discourage the Donald: to fill his audience and look bored.

Improbable research podcast discusses this scientific study:

How the power-hungry respond to aggressive boredom — Fodor, Eugene M., and David P. Wick (2009). ‘Need for Power and Affective Response to Negative Audience Reaction to an Extemporaneous Speech.’ Journal of Research in Personality, vol.43: pp. 721–26.

The "birther" conspiracy theories hit another dead end.

Yes, the SC says that Poe can run for president even though she is a foundling and no one knows who her parents were or where she was born. (actually everyone knows who they are, but it's not polite to discuss "second wives" here in the Philippines).

but the real constitutional problem is that she was a US citizen and a "Balikbayan" for 10 years, but only renounced her US passpart 5 years ago, and the law insists on ten years.

that will make our cook happy, since her son is a backer of Trillanes who is supporting Poe. (here, candidates for Pres and VP are voted for separately, but usually run paired on a party list).

ah, but the US has Trump and we have Duterte...
and a lot of his posters are all over town.


LATimes reports China is publishing a guide to become a living Buddha.

In order to gain greater control over Tibet, the officially atheist party has taken over the process of designating the leadership of Tibetan Buddhism -- including the next Dalai Lama. The State Religious Affairs Bureau now determines which Buddhists will be reincarnated, and more importantly, who will become a "living Buddha," an earthly incarnation of Buddha.

hmm...outsiders conspiring to take over a dangerous religion. Sounds familiar. 

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