Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?" (Link Round-Up 11/30/11)


"Rock" is no longer a catch-all term for pop music.
But if not rock, what? Is it time to start talking about emerging rock bands plugging into “the heart of hip-hop”? Should rappers be claiming non-rap artists as their own, forming a new lake that all other musical tributaries lead to? It might only be a matter of time before music historians remember Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith for contributing drum parts to so many classic rap songs; The Beatles for inspiring parts of the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique; and King Crimson for supplying an awesome hook to “Power” from West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Because Run-DMC won’t be barging into the music museums of the future; it will be running them.
Gene therapy blocks HIV in lab mice
But both Burton and Koff caution that gene therapy comes with its own set of problems. Because the antibody DNA is permanently inserted into the genome, there’s no way to turn it off if someone has an immune reaction against the antibodies. But it won't be known whether such side effects exist until the method is tested in people, something that Baltimore aims to do in the next few years. The researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, meanwhile, hope to get the first round of human trials of their technique started before the end of 2012.
Why energy journalism is so bad
If the article only talks about resources or reserves, and doesn’t mention production rates, you can safely ignore it. Yes, America may have 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale (not shale oil, which again is an entirely different thing), but right now we’re producing exactly zero barrels of it, and for good reason: it’s a highly marginal source of hydrocarbons, and too expensive to produce with today’s technology. Remember this: Only flow rates matter, not how much is in the ground.
100,000 Year-Old-Artifacts in Arabia Rewrite "Out of Africa" Theory
Instead of hugging the coast, early modern humans might therefore have spread from Africa into Arabia along river networks that would've acted like today's highways, researchers suggested. There would have been plenty of large game present, such as gazelles, antelopes and ibexes, which would have been appealing to early modern humans used to hunting on the savannas of Africa.
Henry Morgan Stanley's Willpower Secrets
You might think the energy spent shaving in the jungle would be better devoted to looking for food. But Stanley’s belief in the link between external order and inner self-discipline has been confirmed recently in studies. In one experiment, a group of participants answered questions sitting in a nice neat laboratory, while others sat in the kind of place that inspires parents to shout, “Clean up your room!” The people in the messy room scored lower self-control, such as being unwilling to wait a week for a larger sum of money as opposed to taking a smaller sum right away. When offered snacks and drinks, people in the neat lab room more often chose apples and milk instead of the candy and sugary colas preferred by their peers in the pigsty.

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