Saturday, September 4, 2010

From SueAnn’s Science Desk

Every now and then, because I am intrigued by science, albeit superficially, you’ll have to suffer through my yammering about same. Or just skip over it. So here are a few of the tidbits that got my attention recently:

What the hell is the AAAS? I have no idea, but their hosting a “Women in Science” panel discussion. I detest acronyms, and for the life of me cannot figure out why any organization would use them. They tell you nothing, convey no meaning, and carry no passion.  Let’s see, the American Association of Animal Science? Anal Science? I went to their website and it doesn’t even tell what AAAS means on their homepage! I had to go into their website to find out that they’re the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Thanks for letting me vent.

Researchers have long known that laughter boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduces stress, but they are now claiming that it decreases appetite at the same level as a gym workout. Laugh more, eat less. Sounds good to me, these aught to be worth a few calories. "I feel sorry for people who don’t drink, smoke or overeat. Because someday they’re going to be in a hospital bed, dying, and they won’t know why.” (Redd Foxx). "They say animal behavior can warn you when an earthquake is coming. Like the night before that last earthquake hit, our family dog took the car keys and drove to Arizona." (Bob Hope). 

Would you get your genes tested? This is something that I’ve thought about, but I'm not sure I'm interested in knowing anymore about when or how I’m going to die than I already do.  A little factoid worth noting - in the genetic testing contract fine print it says, “If you are asked by an insurance company whether you have learned genetic information about health conditions and you do not disclose this to them, this may be considered to be fraud.… You may learn information about yourself that you do not anticipate. This information may evoke strong emotions and has the potential to alter your life and worldview.” Could it get any more provocative!

Some scientists want to clone Neanderthals. Why? They’re not even rare, much less extinct!

Does anyone else think it’s ironic that the hole in the Ozone was detected in 1985, the Challenger explosion and the Chernobyl melt down were both in 1986 and Prozac was approved by the FDA in 1987?

Of ways the world could end, scientists say the top 30 are:
The merger of humans and machines,
A space colony uprising,
The invention of a Superbomb,
A weather-control mishap,
The invention of time-travel,
Strange matter (look it up),
A dark matter clump (worse than strange matter),
Solar shutdown, and 20 other doomsday stuff, i.e., asteroid impact, etc.
But the numero uno prediction with the seemingly highest probability of happening is, and this is a sort of surprising, and sort of not: A takeover by genetically modified super-humans. Gaud, a perpetual high school!

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