Well, Time Magazine’s list of 100 “men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming our world” has hit the streets, and once again it appears as though they’ve overlooked me. I don’t blame them, really — they had quite a pool of applicants (more than six billion, I assume), so it’s inevitable that they’d overlook one or two. Here are a few of the people who pushed me down to at least #101 or so.
Let me think about this for a second. Does she have power? Well, I suppose she has the power to make anorexic girls cry. Talent? Is walking in heels a talent? And does she provide a moral example? Well, they don’t specify that it has to be a good moral example. So, okay.
The Dixie Chicks
Apparently, they’re still alive.
Some South Korean Pop Star You’ve Never Heard Of
And who you’ll forget about before you’ve finished reading this sentence.
Okay, I’m cherry picking. Those were all “entertainers;” the section on “Scientists & Thinkers” is actually loaded with some interesting bios that you should check out. Some of my favorites:
A smart dude researching for women’s health.
When the U.S. government finally put together a large, multiyear study of older women’s healthÃ¢â‚¬â€the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)Ã¢â‚¬â€estrogen supplements, when combined with progestin as part of hormone-replacement therapy, actually increased women’s risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and breast cancer. More revelations from the WHI have rocked the biological world of women in just the past few months: calcium supplements don’t necessarily save their bones, and a low-fat dietÃ¢â‚¬â€long touted as the acme of nutritional virtueÃ¢â‚¬â€doesn’t seem to do much good at all.
Not only is West an interesting character (a theoretical physicist tackling some biological conundrums), but this essay was written by Murray Gell-Mann, a fabulous and engaging scientist in his own right; namer of the quark, fascinating lecturer, and serious party animal as many of us discovered at the most recent Amaz!ng Meeting in Las Vegas.
I really enjoyed this short essay, written by Levitt’s sometime adversary Malcolm Gladwell (author of Blink). Gladwell briefly touches upon the importance of making your theories fit the facts and not the other way around.
I suppose I shouldn’t be too upset that some of these guys beat me for the top spots on the list. Maybe I’ll just focus my efforts on achieving other honors. An Ig Nobel Award, perhaps? Ã‚ Which is gaudier, nominating myself or coercing a reader to do it for me? Six of one, half dozen of the other, I guess.
That’s all for today, though I may talk more about the Time 100 tomorrow as I read through the other categories. In the meantime, the latest Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is now out for your enjoyment.
Podcast Quote of the Week, said by Jay Novella imitatingÃ‚ a creationist’s use of phallic symbols to disprove evolution:
I like the way the banana feels in my mouth!