1. It’s been a very long time since the last time I had a blogging pause for more than a week – I hate that this had to happen so soon after Razib’s links, because that’s just the wrong impression to give to these potential new readers. Look at the monthly archieves – I’ve posted more than 200 posts this year so far. This is an active blog, dammit, with frequent updates!
But I’ve been very busy. Real life stuff.
2. Let’s say you’re a nudist. Say you’re invited to a party at a friend’s house. Most of your friends are ‘normal people’. Most normal people will probably prefer not to invite you if you insist on showing up naked at the party, and quite a few of them will probably make such an invitation conditional on you wearing clothes at the party.
Next, say you think the earth is a 6000 years old creation of an invisible sky fairy and that the person inviting you will Burn In Hell because he hasn’t ‘seen the light’. Say that in order to save his children you like to try to convince them, when you meet, that if they do not ‘sign up’ and go to an official Indoctrination Center every week, they (and their parents) will suffer unspeakable horrors for all eternity.
Now ask yourself what are the ‘standard’, as in ‘considered normal’, magnitudes of response to these two types of behaviours/behavioural patterns. If the religious nutter and the nudist both live in the same neighbourhood, is one of them more likely to be considered the ‘black sheep’ by the rest of the community than the other?
3. I’ve been following the live commentary of the London Games here. Here’s the main site. Comp. analysis is usually available at Polgar’s blog. ‘I’ve been busy’ = this is pretty much the only outlet I’ve allowed myself over the last days, aside perhaps from the piano. The commentators – Trent, King, ‘who was that third guy?’ – are doing a wonderful job and usually the guy who has a rest day joins the party and gives his views about a few of the games being played; so that’s live analysis by the world elite provided for free online. There’s also an extensive library available of the previous day’s coverage, so that you can see the game commentary later on if you don’t have the option of watching it live. (Little voice screaming in a very high-pitched voice inside my head: “Nerd, geek!”).
4. Some wikipedia articles of interest (from my bookmarks, haven’t spent much time at wikipedia of late): Hayflick limit. Paracetamol (“Paracetamol toxicity is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the Western world, and accounts for most drug overdoses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.”). [Related: After reading this, I sent a link to this study to my big brother – it’s a new result so it’s still uncertain if there’s ‘anything to it’, but I didn’t think I should keep it to myself given their situation (my brother’s GF is pregnant). My brother knows how to read a study too.] Red imported fire ant. Here’s a related link to Ed Yong’s post on the subject – don’t miss the awesome rafting video in that post! And here’s an article about the Kargil War (which very few people living in Europe has probably ever heard about).
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