Skepchick Quickies 9.2


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. A linear graph plot of the equation ‘X’ = ‘Y’

    X is the amounst of abstinance only education
    Y is the number of shotgun weddings

  2. No surprise that the cc companies stepped on Mythbusters. There’s a lot about RFID that’s scary. Check out the latest issue of Scientific American (the Security issue). There’s a great article about RFID.

  3. Wow! check out this comment from the Indexed page: “bah, not funny. teaching contraception doesn’t stop unwanted pregnancies, it only increases abortion. doesn’t take a rocket scientist.”

    Wowie zowie!

  4. Re: Obama answers the “Science Debate 2008”

    Um, can we talk about how he ducked the real issues:

    Nothing about:

    End of the Mayan Calendar?
    Crypto Zoology?
    Alien Technology?
    Remote Viewing?
    Abiotic Oil?
    World destroying Large Hadron Collider?

    (The cartoon and point at indexed was good, the comments were better, in that for a while at least, there actually was a reasonable conversation about the merits of each position from supporters of each side.)

  5. The MBTA recently put the smack down on some MIT students who hacked the CharlieCard system.

    I don’t see what the point is. It’s not like this is going to magically plug the vulnerabilities. You can’t just hide them and hope everything works out ok. No, hiding massive security holes like this can only result in very bad things, as consumers won’t know that they need to protect themselves and the providers won’t feel any pressure to fix anything.

    Trying to keep research like this secret doesn’t increase security, it only decreases transparency. Which is, of course, exactly what the companies want. They can’t stand being held accountable for the consequences of their poor design decisions.

  6. …and neither candidate addressed Sasquatch, UFO’s, crop circles, Mothman, od the need to wear tinfoil hats to keep the CIA’s brain-control waves from taking people over!

  7. …and neither candidate addressed Sasquatch,

    So Sasquatch came to speeches from both candidates, but I understand he was tossed out, threatened with tasing, and ended up in the free speech zones. :(

  8. The case of the vaccination was probably decided poorly.

    Today, the department asked the court to dissolve the order saying a lesser order for the parents to present their child for medical assessment may encourage them to come forward.

    But Justice Paul Brereton declined the request, saying the court should not back down to those who put themselves above the law.

    “CPS” says the charge is wrong and probably not beneficial to the kid’s health, but the judge has to make a stand for the law….

    That’s not exactly an awesome decision, imnsho.

  9. I liked most of Obama’s responses on the science questionnaire, especially his strong support of basic research; however, it’s obvious that, in true politician style, he’s promising virtually everything we might want (except the moon, strangely enough), without making clear where he expects to get the budget for so much research. Knowing how he expects to support so much innovation would be helpful.

    However, I think it was a poor decision to post Obama’s responses to the science questions before receiving McCain’s answers. As with the religion-based “debate” hosted by Pastor Warren (when McCain was supposed to be isolated from the questions and Obama’s answers to them, which he clearly was not), McCain will no doubt make his responses only after knowing Obama’s answers — that is, if he even follows through on this questionnaire at all.

    That doesn’t mean that he’ll copy Obama, but he keeps letting Obama do stuff first and then only makes his decisions in reaction — following Obama at the “debate,” following him in choosing a running mate, and now following him in this. It’s an irritating habit at the least, and possibly a sign of major insecurity (not to mention dishonesty) as well.

    And I still am fuming that a nationally televised debate based on science issues was spurned in place of a religion-based one. That needs to be reversed in future races.


  10. The case of the vaccination was probably decided poorly.

    I see the department’s point: it’s too late to vaccinate now anyway, and better for this child to see a doctor and maybe changing tactic might help that. Whether that would work, given the parents’ already questionable judgment, I don’t know.

    But I still think the judge made the right call, because setting a precedent that you can deny your child vaccination would be dangerous to the health of many more future children.

  11. I see the department’s point: it’s too late to vaccinate now anyway, and better for this child to see a doctor and maybe changing tactic might help that

    There’s a little more to it that what the media has been reporting. I’ll try and fill in the blanks.

    DoCS has a rule where all babies born to Hep-B positive mothers must be presented to a doctor for assessment and if necessary immunization. I think this is a fair rule, especially since the public health service has to pony up the cash for extended treatment if the baby does develop Hep-B complications.

    The parents were members of the aluminium anti-vax brigade, and refused to go to the doctor, who then had to notify DoCS by law (the mother was Hep-B positive).

    And things went on from there with the anti-vax brigade blowing their horns and the pulling usual stunts of pulling the victim card and dodgy studies. There isn’t an arbitary cutoff time either. The optimum time for treatment has expired, but only for Hep-B. And there are plenty of other diseases to be immunized against still wait in the pipeline – go easy on them now and they’ll pull exactly the same stunt when the next period comes due.

    Given the increasingly common outbreaks of measels in the UK and the US the AU supreme court did the right thing. The supreme court came down hard, and hopefully this will send a clear message to other potential anti-vax idiots – you want free health care, you accept the obligations as well as the benefits.

  12. “…if there are more shows out there that lend people to do critical thinking and break something down and think about it like that, that’s fantastic… the fact that other people are trying to replicate our success by making science shows is absolutely not a bad thing.”

    I adore him even more now than I ever thought I could. I thought I had reached the limit. Hooray for critical thinking!

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