Category Archives: Popular Culture

Climate And Libel

Some thoughts on Michael Mann, the lawsuits, and the sad state of climate science, from Judith Curry.

[Update a couple minutes later]

The Fight Against Dietary Misinformation


In a recent study of 43 Latino and African American children with metabolic syndrome, for example, keeping total and calories from carbohydrate identical, a reduction from a mean of 28 per cent of calories from added sugar to 10 per cent, significantly reduced triglycerides, LDL-Cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting insulin within just ten days.

It’s been this very reliance on eminence trumping independent evidence that often stops policymakers, doctors and journalists asking the right questions while simultaneously misinforming the public.

As Albert Einstein once said, “A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.”

The public must also realise that the overwhelming majority of dietitians have no qualification or understanding of the basics of medicine and although most doctors equally have little or no training in nutrition, it’s not rocket science to advise people to avoid eating processed food, more than 70 per cent of which now includes added sugar.

As with the tobacco industry, there’s a lot of money at stake.

The Dead Letter Of Education

David Solway, with a depressing tale of why he quit teaching:

…when I briefly tried to introduce my students to a portion of the paronomastic, multi-lingual Wake for the sheer fun of language at its most exuberant, I was rewarded with blank incomprehension. It is, admittedly, a formidable text, but I felt that with some tutorial guidance students might be intrigued by the multiplex resources of the language, its potential to “maximize modularity,” to use an aeronautical phrase. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I did appreciate the following cartoon from a graphically talented student for its cheeky insouciance. Still, it was a sign that students are far more comfortable performing in a visual milieu than in a textual environment, as this student, like the majority of his congeners, experienced significant hardship organizing his thoughts and perceptions both in his verbal presentations and written projects.

I’m still a little rankled by the fact that, with all of the writing I’ve done on the topic, the only journalism award I’ve won from the kids is for animations of space-policy discussion.

Oh, and here’s an example of what a mess things are at my own alma mater in Ann Arbor. And they wonder why I don’t donate to the alumni fund.

On The Road Again

We left Denver yesterday, and drove down to Taos. Unfortunately, the galleries were closed; I guess it was considered too chilly to keep them open even on a Friday night in holiday season. But the plaza was decorated, and it was lovely. Heading to Phoenix this evening to stay with Patricia’s sister, then back to LA in time for New Year’s Even tomorrow.