Daily Archives: June 15, 2013

It’s What You Do, Not What You Say


-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal) Guest Blogger

220px-Seurat-La_Parade_detailOn Friday, President Obama gave a speech concerning the collection of metadata by the NSA. Obama said “So, I want to be very clear—some of the hype that we’ve been hearing over the last day or so—nobody is listening to the content of people’s phone calls.” This is an example of the straw man fallacy. No reputable news reports have claimed that the content of phone calls is being listened to. We are well-informed enough to know that it is transactional data, metadata, that’s being collected. Obama also claimed that “the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls.” What Obama excludes is the collection of the user’s location from cell tower ID, antenna sector, and signal strength.

View original post 349 more words


Overweight Women Predisposed to Preterm Birth

There appears to be a correlation between the body mass index (BMI) of a pregnant woman at her first prenatal visit and her risk of preterm birth. A review of Swedish medical records found that the more overweight a woman was early in her pregnancy, the more likely she was to have a premature baby. Among both overweight and obese women, weight-related maternal complications increased the risk of medically indicated preterm delivery—meaning artificially induced labor or cesarean section. Additionally, obese women were at greater risk of spontaneous extremely preterm delivery, defined for the purposes of the study as between 22 and 27 weeks gestation. More… Discuss


Quotation: Alexander Hamilton on willpower

There are men who could neither be distressed nor won into a sacrifice of their duty; but this stern virtue is the growth of few soils; and in the main it will be found that a power over a man’s support is a power over his will.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Discuss

This Day in the Yesteryear: THE BATTLE OF SAIPAN BEGINS (1944)

The Battle of Saipan Begins (1944)

With an approximate area of just 45 sq mi (117 sq km), the island of Saipan was the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II. The US invasion in mid-June surprised the Japanese, who had expected an attack farther south. After a month of brutal fighting, the US captured Saipan and made the island a base for air attacks on the Japanese mainland. About 22,000 Saipan civilians—the majority of the population—died during the battle. Why did many commit suicideMore… Discuss



The Sokal Affair

In 1996, physics professor Alan Sokal submitted a parody article to the journal Social Text to see if the editors would publish it just because it “sounded good” and “flattered” their views. Though Sokal disregarded their requested edits, they still published his article. In a different journal, he revealed that his piece was a hoax meant to expose the unreliable nature of non-peer reviewed publications and the bias of “the academic Left.” What was the subject of Sokal’s article? More… Discuss