Monday, August 30, 2004

Don't let Serge see this!

California man's HIV diagnosis turns out to be wrong

He just might use it to bolster his claims that HIV isn't the causative agent of AIDS. But, much like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, I keed, I keed, Serge uses very good evidence to support his assertions. (Remember, they are not beliefs! Those are for religion!)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Cocaine's A Helluva Drug

The navigation, um... blows, but otherwise, it's a great site when you're up late at night high on Honey Nut Cheerios:

Better living through chemistry, that's what I say. Oh, and please note that Jason has never done cocaine. Well, that's what I heard anyway.

Some excerpts: "The world's first drug-testing scandal occurred in 1876. Competitive long-distance walking had become a popular sport. American Edward Weston challenged the English champion to a 24 hour race. The contest was held at the Agricultural Hall in the North London Borough of Islington. The effete Englishman gave up after a mere 14 hours and 66 miles. The American carried on walking for the full 24 hours and 110 miles. It later transpired that Weston had being chewing coca leaves - 'Peruvian marching powder' - throughout the race. There was an outcry; but Weston kept his title."

According to Internic records (1998), contact details for the domain still belonged to the CIA, although the accuracy of the whois record has been challenged.

If cocaine is consumed on its own, it yields two principal metabolites, ecgonine methyl ester and benzoyleconine [sic, should be "benzoylecgonine" I think]. Neither compound has any discernible psychoactive effect. Cocaine co-administered with alcohol, however, yields a potent psychoactive metabolite, cocaethylene.

Cocaethylene is very rewarding agent in its own right. Cocaethylene is formed in the liver by the replacement of the methyl ester of cocaine by the ethyl ester. It blocks the dopamine transporter and induces euphoria. Hence coca wine drinkers are effectively consuming three reinforcing drugs rather than one.

Ok, so this site and others are part of David Pearce's so-called Hedonistic Imperative whose mission statement, that I vehemently disagree with, is:

The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life.

The abolitionist project is hugely ambitious but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and morally urgent. The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. It is predicted that the world's last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event.

Two hundred years ago, powerful synthetic pain-killers and surgical anesthetics were unknown. The notion that physical pain could be banished from most people's lives would have seemed absurd. Today most of us in the developed world take its routine absence for granted. The prospect that what we describe as psychological pain, too, could be banished is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition turns its deliberate retention into an issue of social policy and ethical choice.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Primal Man? - by Jack T. Chick

Primal Man? - by Jack T. Chick
You make the call! What a cruel hoax! And to think of all that silt disappearing every year!


Please note the disclaimer on this page: Google

Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.

Nice. Got it from this slashdot thread.

Aside from a shoutout to PolySciFi...

Considering who posts on this blog and that one, I think a quizbowl match between the two blogs would be very amusing.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Common Courtesy and Fast Food

I've been trying to avoid fast food ever since reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, but today I was in Subway doing my best Jared Fogle impression. The guy behind the counter was new I think and probably foreign, but oddly in a western, northern European sort of way. So, he shortchanges me about 30 cents on my meal, but I don't press the issue cause the guy isn't having the best day. (He's also profusely apologizing every 30 seconds or so as well.) I'm sitting there enjoying my Baked Lays and this guy in line is being a complete asshole to this poor dude and finally says something like "Forget it, I'll go elsewhere where people can understand me." and storms out. Whatever he said, I can't remember exactly right now, it wasn't even that nice. I was on my way out right about this time and I thought about following the guy and either telling him off, or better yet slugging him, but as the proverbial copout goes "I had work to do." In summary, let's all try to be nice to people who have to take shit all day from all the dickheads in our "society". I'm no saint, but this is a pet peeve of mine. Ok, that's all now. Look for Prince concert review soon!

Monday, August 09, 2004

PolySciFi Blog

I wanted to give a shoutout to Jody's blog:
PolySciFi Blog
Him and his team offer "Random musings on political science, science fiction, and anything else that strikes our fancy."
He gave me some advertising a few weeks ago and now that I have more than two or three sets of eyeballs on mine, I thought I would return the favor.

Libertarianism and Poverty

Only 87 footnotes, Dennis? Well, at least it's a prime number.Libertarianism and Poverty

Thursday, August 05, 2004

CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog

Be sure to click on the link on the left of the page for a pic of the blog.

The Onion | CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog

Good stuff.