The Elements of Style is fifty years old. It’s one of the most vital books to my profession. I wish everyone had a copy.
Archive for May, 2009
Orac takes on Jenny McCarthy again on vaccine. Worth a read at least, although Orac debating science with Miss 36-24-34 is about as even as me playing checkers against my cat.
Hey, it’s not surprise to me that the earliest human sculpture was essentially caveman porn. As Steve said in Coupling, when man invented fire, he didn’t say, “Hey, let’s cook!”, he said, “Great! Now we can see naked bottoms in the dark!” Now we know that when sculpting was invented, he also said, “Great! Now we can carry naked bottoms around with us.”
I’ll say this for Roger Clemens. Either he really didn’t take steroids or he’s the stupidest man on Earth. (Warning: link automatically starts up ESPN video. What the hell, ESPN?)
ABC news has a hysterical story about the danger of doggy doors.
Yes, Virginia, the drug czar is full of crap. He’s so full, in fact, he’ll make me link to HuffPo.
Reason runs down the case of a British woman arrested for having noisy sex.
Yes, you read that right.
Fortunately, most British people only have sex about once a year, so the problem will be minimal.
You know, polls showing that a slim majority of Americans favor waterboarding of terrorist might mean something to me if we decided issues in this country based on popular vote and not, as we thankfully do, on the law and Constitution.
The most common defense of waterboarding is that we subjected our own soldiers to it. That’s true–as a way of training them to withstand enemy torture. When you reverse engineer a torture-resistance program, you’re almost by definition engaging in torture.
In reality, Bush’s waterboarding methods did differ from the U.S. military’s torture-resistance training, in that our soldiers knew how far we’d go and could stop the exercise if they couldn’t bear it. Conservatives have inadvertently confirmed this point. Numerous Republicans object that the release of the torture memos will render waterboarding and other techniques useless–“terrorists are now aware of the absolute limit of what the U.S. government could do to extract information from them,” complain former Bush officials Michael Hayden and Michael Mukasey.
It’s true. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, or torture methods devised thereby. Our chief weapon is surprise. (Surprise and fear. … Amongst our weaponry are such elements as surprise and fear, as Michael Palin might put it.) That’s exactly why training soldiers to withstand waterboarding is different than actually waterboarding.