Wednesday, June 23, 2004

on the ball

sorry, I've been sitting on these for a while:
  • production of very long chain polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in transgenic plants [Nature Biotechnology].
  • Rigorous scientific research from a peer-reviewed publication [Nature]:
    Public debate on biotechnologies illustrates the difficulty of combining democratic forms with regulation of complex technoscientific issues. The root of the problem is often identified as a lack of "scientific literacy," mainly caused by a distorted and alarmist representation of these issues by the mass media and associated with prejudice against science.

    Two years ago, we used data collected from two large surveys of Italian public opinion to demonstrate that, although lack of information on biotechnologies and a marked hostility against food biotechnologies are clear, the links between media exposure, levels of awareness, and attitudes toward biotechnologies are far from straightforward. In other words, it is not sufficient to be more informed to be more open to biotechnologies; indeed, the contrary is sometimes the case.

  • It's the IMF board game! [Harper's]:
    A monopoly is based on one player's ability to purchase another player's property, even when that player does not wish to sell. The IMF authorizes the sale and profits from the monopoly by taxing it.

    Let's imagine that "Pedro" has wheat with two national industries and one multinational. When "Maria" lands on wheat she should pay "Pedro" $700, but "Maria" decides to monopolize the wheat. She should pay the IMF the "monopoly tax" of $2,000, and afterward she should buy the territory, which will include all of the investment made by "Pedro." In total, "Maria" pays $2,000 to the IMF and $2,550 to "Pedro" and becomes the owner of wheat.

    Monopolies can be created only in the South. (In the North monopolies just develop over the long term.)

  • Apollo the Lizard Slayer comes to Cleveland. No really, I'm sure its authentic.
  • Awesome [Miami Herald via Maud, who has a login for you]:
    By translating Hebrew letters into their numerical equivalents, which he says are laid out in ancient scriptures, Braden has matched them to the atomic weight of the chemicals that make up the human genome. Hydrogen becomes the Hebrew letter Yod, nitrogen becomes the letter Hey, oxygen becomes the letter Vav, and carbon becomes the Gimel, spelling out, Braden claims, Y-hweh, one of the 72 Hebrew names for God.
    Furthermore, this has something to do with DNA, but you'll have to figure that part out yourself.

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