Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The LHC to Maybe Shutdown Over Black Hole Garbage?

So wingnuts are suing the LHC over some garbage ideas that the LHC will produce black holes. They might be able get an injunction and halt the operation of the LHC. I don't have much to say other than the facts.

A) The LHC probably won't produce black holes.
B) If the LHC did produce a black hole, it would quickly evaporate.

Read the full article here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The UK Wises Up to Homeopathy

Members of parliament are finally urging the NHS to stop funding homeopathy treatments after The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said it's no better than a placebo. Of course those crazy "homeopaths" are making a big stink about the findings. Although, they shouldn't really be called "findings" per se since it has been well known that homeopathy is a bunch of bull for decades (or more) now.

The NHS surprisingly spends about £4m a year on homeopathic treatments. How disgraceful.

Read the article at the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8524926.stm

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life From Non-Life

Evolution of Chemicals in a Test Tube.

Scientists have created RNA enzymes that replicate themselves without being a living cell. The enzymes undergo life-like evolution as well.

From the article:
"Since he and colleague Tracey Lincoln first succeeded in creating this artificial genetic system that can undergo self-sustained replication and evolution last year, the molecules have changed dramatically as they evolve better and better solutions."

There you have it: abiogenesis.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Friday, December 25, 2009

Idiocy in San Francisco

Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to put warning labels on cell phones advising consumers of health risks such as cancer from using said phones. There's just one little problem; cell phone radiation doesn't cause cancer. Even The National Cancer Institute admits this. The type of non-ionizing RF energy transmissions from your cell phone are too weak to even cause noticeable heating of nearby tissue, let alone damage it beyond repair.

Sometimes I'm embarrassed to live in San Francisco even though I still think very highly of the city. In any case, Mayor Newsom is not getting my vote in the next election.

You can read more about it here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Computer Science Blog

I started another blog for computer and computer science related posts. I call it, "A Digital Motion." If you're interested, you can check it out here: http://adigitalmotion.blogspot.com/

For most of you out there, I'm sure my new blog will bore you to tears. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Melvin Foster Versus The Polygraph

In my last entry, I discussed the unscientific and unreliable nature of polygraph tests. However, I never went over any specific examples of people whose lives were ruined because of a false positive or negative on a polygraph. So today, I present to you the sad tale of Melvin Foster.

The story begins back in the early 1980s in the state of Washington. A serial killer dubbed the Green River Killer murdered several young women in the Seattle / Tacoma area. He received his name due to the fact that he would leave the bodies around the Green River.

Anyway, a young Melvin Foster became interested in the case. He called the Green River Task Force in order to share information between the two parties and offer his help. Being that this is unusual behavior, the task force suspected Foster of being the killer since the killer would have an incentive to ask about his own case.

Foster was given a polygraph test and failed despite his innocence. The police used this to obtain warrants to search his house. He was convicted of the murders and spent close to two decades in jail. A DNA analysis performed in 2001 exonerated him.

They did eventually convict the real killer, Gary Ridgeway, shortly after. However, Foster lost nearly 20 years of his life due to a false positive on a polygraph test. I guess that was enough to convict him though.

Just say no to junk science!

1) https://antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1067927512
2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_River_Killer