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Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 464

That's what sex means in a medical context, though: your equipment. Your doctor is on the short list of people who have a need to care about that, because it's one of the rare places where anatomy matters.

I'm fairly far right on a lot of matters (and just spent a few ammo boxes hunting the elusive wild skeet this weekend). I'm socially liberal in the classic sense, though, in that I don't care what people do if it doesn't affect me. Want to smoke pot? Marry your gay partner? Go by a gender different from your biological sex (or even something totally different)? I couldn't care less. That's between you and your loved ones.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1, Flamebait) 464

They are not medically or legally different things.

I grew up in a medical family and I've worked in healthcare in various capacities for a couple of decades now. In any organization I've dealt with, "sex" or "biological" sex explicitly refers to your anatomy. That's important because biological males can't get cervical cancer and biological females can't get testicular cancer, for instance. They're the words used on the occasions when anatomy are relevant. Most medical organizations I've been around in the last decade or so distinguish between "sex" and "gender", which is what the patient presents themselves as. Sure, they're most commonly the same value, but they are separate database fields referring to different concepts.

But what you and other extreme liberals

LOL. You presume much, and wrongly. But con/lib aside, I've never encountered a single problem with referring to someone by their gender. The people who care to distinguish between sex and gender appreciate the respect, and understand when medical decisions require healthcare providers to discuss their sex instead. It's easy to be nice to people, so why not do so? It doesn't cost us anything.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Insightful) 464

What special privilege is Chelsea asking for? She wants to be called by her gender (not biological sex; those are medically and legally different things). She's not asking to go to an all-girls high school or otherwise do anything controversial. In what remote sense does her request harm you in any way?

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 4, Informative) 464

A definition of "clemency" says:

Leniency or mercy. A power given to a public official, such as a governor or the president, to in some way lower or moderate the harshness of punishment imposed upon a prisoner.

Clemency is considered to be an act of grace. It is based on the policy of fairness, justice, and forgiveness. It is not a right but rather a privilege, and one who is granted clemency does not have the crime forgotten, as in Amnesty, but is forgiven and treated more leniently for the criminal acts. Clemency is similar to pardon inasmuch as it is an act of grace exempting someone from punishment.

Barring contrary definitions, the President granted her clemency. I strongly suspect Assange is far too little to live up to his promise, but this is exactly the situation the Wikileaks tweet described.

Comment Re:Potential military applications are really scar (Score 3, Funny) 76

George Washington and his patriot army had mad ninja skillz.

They did. The old story goes that Ethan Allen was brought back to England as a prisoner in the Revolutionary War, he was housed with a English merchant who to goad the patriot put a picture of George Washington up in the outhouse. Much to the merchant's chagrin, Allen approved. "Nothing," Allen said, "will make an Englishman shit faster than the sight of George Washington."

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 1) 88

Well, the answer might be to try a morning cup of decaf coffee. Why? Because caffeine isn't the only active ingredient in coffee; the anti-cancer properties of coffee appear to be in the phenols which are still present in decaf. And you'd still get the stimulant benefits of caffeine because you're more sensitive, although I'd avoid even decaf after noon.

A cup of decaf coffee has between 2-10 mg of caffeine depending on the process; an ounce of dark chocolate has about 20 mg of caffeine; a twelve once coke has 34 mg of caffeine; a cup of regular coffee has 90-200 mg of caffeine.

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 1) 88

Actually evidence from the 1950s was mixed -- as it still is -- but in fact most of it stands up pretty well. What's a problem is the interpretation of that evidence and its limited nature (e.g. not knowing about different types of cholesterol).

For example it was established in the 50s that high blood cholesterol was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This is still believed as true, but what they didn't know at the time is what factors affected blood cholesterol. It was (plausibly although not conclusively) suspected by many that fat consumption would increase it; nobody suspected sugar... why should they?

In complex systems like the body there is usually conflicting evidence early on, which is resolved by further study.

Comment Re:Potential military applications are really scar (Score 5, Interesting) 76

I'd think from a military standpoint what you want is soldiers who make better battlefield decisions, not ones that engage in a stereotypical behavior regardless of circumstance.

The human brain is both massively adaptable and subject to modification by information inputs. Which means you can indoctrinate men into becoming mindless killing machines. The problem is that historically that approach doesn't seem to be effective either tactically or strategically. US Marines faced waves of suicide attackers in the Pacific theater of WW2, which must have been terrifying, but in the end worked to the US advantage.

On the other hand George Washington's great talent as a general was retreating. He could attack a much larger and better equipped army and then make his army disappear before they could react. That was terrifying in its own way, and much more miltarily effective.

Given a fight between men fighting to kill and men fighting to survive, all other things being equal I'd put my money on the men trying to survive.

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 5, Informative) 88

You know, this kind of shallow cynicism actually makes you easier to dupe, because it's not evidence-based; it's what-sounds-truthy-based.

This article was published in Nature, which requires a complete disclosure of institutional affiliations and financial conflicts. That doesn't mean the system is perfect, but it's about as good as it gets, especially given that Nature is one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. Nature Medicine has an eye-popping 30.357 impact factor, making it the fourth most highly cited medical journal in the world after the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and Journal of the American Medical Association.

Does it mean you should immediately believe anything that's published in Nature Medicine? No. You should wait until it is cited in a literature review article in one of those top journals before making any health decisions based on it. However as individual papers go, this is as credible as they get.

Researchers have been trying to take caffeine down for decades. Nobody can quite believe that something so enjoyable as coffee isn't bad for you. In fact doctors used to routinely warn their patients off coffee because of all the bad things it would do to them, but in fact when researchers tried to confirm all the things doctors knew about why coffee was bad for you, none of them turned out to be true, with narrow exceptions for certain populations (e.g., coffee doesn't cause ulcers as we used to be told, but if you have an ulcer coffee will make the symptoms worse).

What researchers found were surprising benefits, including what appears to be evidence of reduction in risks for multiple forms of cancer and even a reduction in suicide risk.

Coffee is well on its way to becoming the first evidence-backed superfood.

Comment Re:Can only be played on Apple products (Score 2) 84

Everyone wants to own both the distribution channel and the content being sold over that channel. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu...

They all want their own programming so that going to a different store means losing access to content. If Apple's content does appear on Netflix, you can be sure of two things: (1) it'll be old episodes and (2) their programs will include melodramatic, never-ending story arcs.

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