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Comment Re: Here come the science deniers (Score 3, Informative) 559

This study proves that working for a publicity-hungry quack clinic damages your ability to distinguish between association and causation.

The author http://www.amenclinics.com/sta... works for a clinic http://www.amenclinics.com/ that sells dubious treatments based on dubious SPECT diagnoses.

Quackwatch has this to say:

https://www.quackwatch.org/06R...
A Skeptical View of SPECT Scans and Dr. Daniel Amen
by Harriet Hall, M.D.

I believe it is improper to charge thousands of dollars for a test that has not been validated and may not be safe. I don't think any of Amen's research has provided clear evidence that patients who have had SPECT scans have superior clinical outcomes to adequately treated patients who have not been scanned. That's really the bottom lineâ"especially with an expensive test that involves significant radiation. At the very least, he should be describing the test as experimental.

Some of Dr. Amen's treatment suggestions also worry me. For example, he recommends: (a) uses for dietary supplements that are not supported by good evidence, (b) EMDR (a highly questionable approach), and (c) hyperbaric oxygen therapy for conditions not generally considered to warrant such therapy.

I don't doubt that many patients who visit the Amen Clinics are helped. The key question, however, is whether or not SPECT scanning is justifiable for most of them. I, personally, would not undergo the test at Dr. Amen's clinic even if it were free. In my opinion, based on current knowledge, the possibility of harm outweighs any potential benefit. Pictures showing that "this is your brain on drugs" may impress some people, but I am far more impressed by quantifiable data (such as tests of mental performance) and clinical consequences (such as improved behavior) than by nonspecific pictures of "holes" in the brain.

So this is an operation that is selling diagnoses and treatments not supported by legitimate scientific research. They wound up with thousands of SPECT scans and decided to do some data-dredging on them, a process that we know is guaranteed to produce false positives http://fivethirtyeight.com/fea... https://xkcd.com/882/ , along with any real causative association. They found an association with marijuana, and rushed to publish.

Once it was published in a journal, they made claims in the press release that weren't supported by the data:

According to Daniel Amen, M.D., Founder of Amen Clinics, "Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function. The media has given the general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug, this research directly challenges that notion. In another new study just released, researchers showed that marijuana use tripled the risk of psychosis. Caution is clearly in order."

Clearly false. Association is not causation.

Comment Re:That is not fake news (Score 1) 270

That's right. News based on eyewitness accounts isn't fake news.

Parent is saying that the news media should believe the police accounts and ignore the eyewitnesses.

Eyewitness accounts are often wrong. Police accounts are often wrong.

People are often convicted of crimes and sentenced to death based on eyewitness accounts. That's what the Innocence Project found out when they used DNA tests to double-check those accounts.

Every criminal defense lawyer knows that police give false testimony, and bribe witnesses to give false testimony. They sometimes get caught by DNA testing and video evidence. So why should you assume that the police are telling the truth?

You need to listen to both sides of the story, and wait for more facts to develop. That's pretty much what the mainstream news media did.

Comment Re:Pretty dumb because all news are fake. (Score 1) 270

So, in all this uncertainty, how can you be sure you have a good understanding of reality? Alternatively, if you consider every point of view, no matter how crazy, how can you not be swayed back and forth by every conflicting report that pops into your view?

John Stuart Mill. On Liberty.
http://www.bartleby.com/130/2....

Comment Re:About to be excited (Score 1) 193

I realize that the Daily Mail has issues.
https://www.theguardian.com/co... After all, we get Private Eye here in the states.

The big problem with this story is that they're hyping a vaccine that is still in Phase I clinical trials. Yeah, doctors are trying to find a vaccine for the common cold. Doctors have been doing that for 100 years. What's new about this one?

Other than that, it's a somewhat disorganized collection of interesting and maybe even useful information about the common cold. She went to experts and they explained their work and what they thought were the important issues. She spent a day at Imperial College London, let them teach her about the common cold, and wrote a story about it. She could do worse.

If you want to understand how to evaluate (or write) a medical story, Health News Reviews has a great checklist. http://www.healthnewsreview.or...

Comment Re:Blame the news websites. (Score 1) 624

Kill yourself you intellectually dishonest piece of shit. Idiots like you are why other innocent people are going to die. You are insane.

Reducto ad absurdum logical arguments have become "intellectual dishonesty".

"I disagree with you" has become "you're lying" and "you are intellectually dishonest."

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 108

The thing that bothers me about it is I'd really like to be able to make some of the stuff to play with out in the desert or some other safe place, but it's illegal to do that kind of thing. So, even if you could read the books, you couldn't legally have any fun with the knowledge. :(

I did play with that stuff when I was in high school.

In 1957, when the free world was locked in a death struggle with international Communism, the Soviet Union humiliated the United States by sending up Sputnick, the first artificial satellite in outer space, orbiting the world and beeping its presence on radio frequencies that any Ham operator in the world could tune in to. That was soon followed by the first dog in space, the first man in space, and the first woman in space.

America had to do something. They responded the way they always do -- promoting science, technology, engineering and math. (No coding; we still used T-squares and slide rules.) If you were a science teacher willing to make a Faustian bargain to get endless resources, laboratories, and cool toys in exchange for teaching kids how to become engineers and scientists and find better, more reliable, accurate ways to deliver hydrogen bombs to the Kremlin. We were in a space race with the Russians. Crisis in Education: exclusive pictures of a Russian schoolboy vs. his U.S. counterpart, Life, 24 March 1958, https://books.google.com/books...

You know the line, "If you don't give me a billion dollars and let me do anything I want, the terrorists will win"? Well, that started off in 1957 as, "If you don't give me a billion dollars and let me do anything I want, the Communists will win."

This was not long after the Manhattan Project dramatically ended the world's greatest struggle with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Scientists were war heroes. Scientists could get away with anything.

Science teachers tolerated (and sometimes tacitly encouraged) adolescent boys playing with explosives. You never can tell when your country may be invaded and you'll have to join the guerillas to fight back with improvised explosive devices.

As every chemistry teacher knows, nothing attracts the attention of a class as well as an explosion. The smarter chemistry students were the ones who were most attracted to making their own explosives.

Some of you may recall a column in Scientific American called "The Amateur Scientist," and some of you may further recall their article on model rockets, which set off a craze for building rockets around the country, which I joined. The propellant they recommended was zinc dust and sulfur, which was safer because it was a self-limiting explosion which would slow down as the pressure increased. My high school friends in the Science Club experimented with other propellants. "Experiment" in this context means seeing if it shoots your rocket higher or just blows up. Blowing up was not a total loss. In reference to the other message, everyone who mixed potassium chlorate with red phosphorous, including me, eventually met disaster. Without going into detail, I strongly recommend face shields and tongs. I also recommend that you keep it wet and don't let it dry out as you're working on it. There are a lot of 6-fingered chemists around.

We actually learned a lot of chemistry and physics. The chemistry of rocket fuels is a good lesson in oxydation and in applying theory to practice. We ran into a PR guy at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Aerospace who probably did the same thing at our age and directed us to some basic textbooks on rocketry, which we then looked up across the street in the Science and Technology division of the New York Public Library. The books were full of calculus, so I said to myself, "I have to learn calculus." So I did. I remember how, in a well-designed rocket, the fuel would burn at a certain rate (not blow up all at once like ours). The hot exhaust would go down the inside of the tube, and then through a nozzle, which would increase the velocity of the exhaust. The higher the velocity, the more efficency. So a powder that ignited all at once wasn't a good propellant. But we were never able to make good nozzles. The kids who won the science fairs had fathers with access to machine shops.

We bought the chemicals at Lewis Chemical Supply on Canal Street, whose main business was selling exterminating supplies, but he had a good collection of the kind of stuff you'd find in a high school chemistry stockroom before OSHA. The owner, who was always friendly and possibly drunk, knew what we were doing and would sell us anything. I'd come in and check off my shopping list: a pound of sulfur, a pound of zinc dust, a pound of potassium cholorate, a 1-pound bottle of sufuric acid, four ounces of red phosphorus, magnesium filings (which also came in handy in the Grignard reaction), and anything new we wanted to try out, like cupric oxide and aluminum dust. They were actually cheap, because he was selling stuff out of 50-pound drums at wholesale prices.

You know why the Manhattan Project was called that? Because the Quartermasters Corps started building it in Manhattan, and during the preliminary work they bought a lot of stuff on Canal Street. Canal Street was a center for industrial equipment and supplies, and a science teacher's dream, where you could buy not only chemicals (uranium oxide, anyone?) but metal stock, plastics, rubber, optics, lathes and milling machines, laboratory equipment, and especially electronics and computer parts. There are neighborhoods like that in India and China today. No waiting for Federal Express. You have an idea, you go down to Canal Street, buy the parts, and try it out.

(Trigger warning -- Chinese model minority stereotype coming)

By now, most of the actors in this story are dead, the evidence of any illegality is long gone, the statutes of limitations have long passed, and only I am left to tell the tale. The Lewis Chemical Supply House was replaced by a Chinese fresh fish store and a Chinese housewares and clothing shop (which BTW has good prices). It's on a little triangle block, opposite Starbucks. That's one of my favorite coffee shops. When I'm reading Science magazine, it's a good feeling to be surrounded by Chinese students studying math and chemistry, and to look out the window at the site of Lewis Chemical Supply, and remember the old days.

So we lost all that. In compensation, we got the computers we always dreamed of. It's part of the progress and change I have to accept. But there's a romance to a blast going off that you can never get on a monitor.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 857

Voting against Trump is no excuse for voting for Clinton. They're both evil. Determining which one is more evil is a pointless exercise. Trump has disagreeable moral opinions unacceptable to a majority of Americans. Clinton has a reprehensible record of moral atrocities on a global scale unacceptable to humanity in general. If you people elect either one of these, you have no moral compass.

The best answer to that comes from John Oliver. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Hillary Clinton is like a cookie with rasins (if you don't like rasins). Donald Trump is like a whole shitstorm of rasins.

Comment Re:Donald Trump is evil (Score 1) 857

Technically Muslim are already banned, because to immigrate into the US you have to affirm that you don't seek the overthrow of the US Government through violence and will obey US laws and Islam as defined by the Quran requires the faithful to fight a Jihad to establish a Caliphate (a religious dictatorship), and holds Sharia law superior to any other legal system.

Your staggering ignorance of immigration law is matched only by your staggering ignorance of Islam.

Just for fun, I'll ask you to link to the source of your claim.

Comment Re:Texting isn't typing (Score 1) 55

On a full English language keboard there is no way speech is faster if you know how to type.

How fast do you type?

I've transcribed hundreds of hours of tapes, mostly lectures and panel discussions. I tested ~72 wpm. I spent a lot of time perfecting my typing methods and speed.

I estimated that most lectures were about 120 wpm. Some people talk much faster, particularly in bursts. I think certified courtroom stenographers have to pass a test at 210 wpm.

I could never keep up with continuous speech. I used a transcribing machine, and played it back at a slower speed, and/or backpedaled. I could usually keep up with normal lectures without pausing when I reduced the speed to 50%.

I know a lot of people who transcribe lectures and interviews, and there is a general consensus that it takes about 3 hours to transcribe 1 hour of speech. That's with good accuracy and corrections. It probably takes about 2 hours for a rough draft. I could never do it in 1 hour.

Comment Re:Incitement in Hebrew (Score 1) 232

You are using the logic of a criminal lawyer who defends clients who are guilty, and uses every argument, no matter how dubious or irrelevant, to try to get a murderer off.

The parent asked, "can you show me some Jewish incitement?"

I showed him.

That's the end of the discussion as far as I'm concerned.

Comment Re:Incitement in Hebrew (Score 1) 232

So it's ok to try to kill someone if you miss?

The Israeli excuse when they kill innocent children is that they did it "accidentally."

They say, that's the difference between the Palestinians and us. They kill children deliberately, and they feel good about it afterwards. We kill children accidentally, and we feel bad about it afterwards.

But I've never heard an Israeli government spokesman apologize for killing innocent Palestinian children. For example, Izzeldin Abuelaish's daughters https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:Incitement in Hebrew (Score 1) 232

I hate replying to an AC, but can you show me some Jewish incitement?

http://www.alternet.org/story/...

As soon as it was published late last year,Torat Ha'Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when an Israeli tabloid panned the book's contents as "230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew." According to the book's author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, "Non-Jews are "uncompassionate by nature" and should be killed in order to "curb their evil inclinations." "If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments⦠there is nothing wrong with the murder," Shapira insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared: "There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults."

One of Shapira's followers, an American immigrant named Jack Teitel, has confessed to murdering two innocent Palestinians and attempting to the kill the liberal Israeli historian Ze'ev Sternhell with a mail bomb. Teitel is suspected of many more murders, including an attack on a Tel Aviv gay community center.

Despite its apparent role as a terror training institute, Od Yosef Chai has raked in nearly fifty thousand dollars from the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs since 2007, while the Ministry of Education has pumped over 250 thousand dollars into the yeshiva's coffers between 2006 and 2007.

Though he does not name "the enemy" in the pages of his book, Shapira's longstanding connection to terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians exposes the true identity of his targets. In 2006, Shapira was briefly held by Israeli police for urging his supporters to murder all Palestinians over the age of 13. Two years later, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, he signed a rabbinical letter in support of Israeli Jews who had brutally assaulted two Arab youths on the country's Holocaust Remembrance Day. That same year, Shapira was arrested under suspicion that he helped orchestrate a rocket attack against a Palestinian village near Nablus. Though he was released, Shapira's name arose in connection with another act of terror, when in January, the Israeli police raided his settlement seeking the vandals who set fire to a nearby mosque. After arresting ten settlers, the Shabak held five of Shapira's confederates under suspicion of arson.

  while Lior served as the IDF's top rabbi, he instructed soldiers: "There is no such thing as civilians in wartime⦠A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew's fingernail!" Indeed, there are only a few non-Jews whose lives Lior would demand to be spared. They are captured Palestinian militants who, as he once suggested, could be used as subjects for live human medical experiments.

Otherwise, Lior appears content to watch Palestinians perish as they did at the muzzle of Dr. Baruch Goldstein's machine gun in 1994. Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians and wounded 150 in a shooting spree while they prayed in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs mosque, was a compatriot and neighbor of Lior in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Goldstein's funeral, Lior celebrated the massacre as an act carried out "to sanctify the holy name of God." He then extolled Goldstein as "a righteous man." Thanks to Lior's efforts, a shrine to Goldstein was constructed in center of Kiryat Arba so that locals could celebrate the killer's deeds and pass his legacy down to future generations.

Comment Re:Universities aren't completely honest either (Score 1) 420

There were a lot of good technical schools in the 1980s and earlier.

The old RCA Institute was very good; Bell Labs used to hire technicians there. But after the phone company broke up, they couldn't be economically viable.

Devry just became a university in New York State, which isn't easy to do (just ask Donald Trump).

I think that at least some of the technical schools were good, gave a good education, their graduates could get good jobs.

However, once they were under financial pressure, they had to move into marginal classes and outright scams to make money, like medical assistant jobs that didn't lead to certification. A good concept destroyed by the market. Government guaranteed loans didn't help either.

Comment Re: What liberal arts actually means (Score 1) 420

You had it right up to the part about engineering.

Starting in the 18th century, the liberal arts expanded to include the sciences.

Take a look at the Nobel prize web site. A lot of the laureates started out in the liberal arts.

https://www.nobelprize.org/nob...

"for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system"

Eric Kandel was born in Vienna, Austria, where he lived until his family emigrated to New York in 1939 to escape the Nazi regime. He studied history and literature at Harvard University, before becoming interested in psychoanalysis, learning and memory. At New York University medical school he turned to the biological basis of the mind

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