Thursday, May 21, 2015

Experimental science 

xkcd: Placebo Blocker:

Placebo Blocker

I recall talking to a psychologist once about how people reacted to getting a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease.  So we thought perhaps we could do an experiment where we gave half the group a case of the flu, and the other half a life-threatening disease, and then we could evaluate which group behaved with more nobility and grace.  But this was in the days before ethics boards...

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Friday, May 15, 2015

The Stupid is everywhere! 

What a triumph!
The Australian minister of agriculture had kept his country safe from rabies now that Johnny Depp’s little dogs have left the country. They will soon be followed by Johnny Depp himself, and by every other film star and film production company on the planet.

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Omar coming! 

After 13 years, Omar Khadr is finally out of jail.

The Harper Con reaction to Omar Khadr's release on bail reminds me of The Wire:

I can laugh at the ridiculous over-reaction of the Harper Cons to the news of Omar Khadr's release, but this has been a shameful episode in Canadian history:

"We left a child -- a Canadian child -- in Guantanamo Bay to suffer torture… We, Canada, participated in this torture . . . Canadians should be deeply disturbed that the rights of a fellow citizen - even one whose family and name are unpopular - were so callously abused and ignored."

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Alberta will have some fun now 

So much for boring old Canadian elections, eh?
NDP wins stunning majority in Alberta election, Jim Prentice resigns
Now, of course, the NDP will have to figure out how they can possibly run the province -- 40 years of pent-up frustration, everybody wanting everything changed RIGHT NOW! and they're stuck with a civil service that has never worked for anyone except the Alberta Conservatives.
I'll bet they'll be having some fun now, huh.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Great line of the day 

From Liberal finance critic Scott Brison, remarking on the Auditor-General report:
"A Liberal government will restore evidence-based decision-making and replace Harper's decision-based evidence-making," Brison said."
Decision-based evidence-making. Yes, that's exactly what the Harper Cons have been doing.
Also, I have to say I was amused by the auditor general recommending that the government "assess a tax measure's relevance and appropriateness" -- for the Harper Cons, the only relevance for each of their picayune tax credits is whether an ad agency can create an Economic Action Plan TV ad for it.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

TS up & at 'em! 

Tabitha Southey's column is priceless:

TS begins work – as TS has begun work at every job TS has ever had – that is, with one clear objective: Whatever else TS may actually accomplish today, TS will try not to do anything that might cause a massive public outcry leading to demands that the institution for which she has been labouring be dismantled.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

So true 

A commenter on Christie Blatchford's latest Duffy story says:
Duffy should have been put in charge of payments to veterans and thalidomide victims so efficient is he at getting the money out there.
Yes, at least then Duffy's greediness would have done somebody some good.
And earlier I predicted that the Duffy trial wouldn't blow back on Harper. I'm now optimistic that I was wrong. As more and more sleaze is revealed, more Canadians will ask the greater question -- what kind of judgement did Harper show in appointing this man to the Senate in the first place?
As Montreal Simon observed last week:
what's also now clear is that Duffy's lawyer is trying to join the two men at the hip. And while that may or may not save Duffy it will almost certainly damage Harper.

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