Wednesday Roundup No. 2

Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid podcast tackles cell phone radiation. (You can read the transcript at the link, in addition to download/subscribe to the podcast.)

The Pittsburgh Sports League, and the friends and teammates of Randy Pausch, invite you to participate in the Randy Pausch Memorial Flag Football Tournament Sunday, October 12 at the South Park Fairgrounds. You remember CMU professor Randy Pausch from his inspiring Last Lecture. He died at the end of July from complications of pancreatic cancer.

Sam Harris makes an interesting point about why Sarah Palin should not be on the ticket, saying:

Americans have an unhealthy desire to see average people promoted to positions of great authority. No one wants an average neurosurgeon or even an average carpenter, but when it comes time to vest a man or woman with more power and responsibility than any person has held in human history, Americans say they want a regular guy, someone just like themselves.

I am going to almost completely overlook his additional dismissals of her utilizing “sassy”, “fuss” and grandma status, because this statement about her averageness is truly the heart of the problem with Palin, not her gender. (oh, Sam.)

Do you need a mid-week fix of what I call “Awesomesnarky”? How about this fantastic takedown by Orac of a concerned citizen researcher (with a PHD from Wiki University) panicking and begging the NIH to Save Our Girls and Do Something about less than a milligram of Histidine in Gardasil? The arrogance of someone who admittedly knows nothing about medical research insisting that they’ve found something that actual medical researchers have overlooked is impressively huge. This might have exceeded the recommended dosage of Awesomesnarky, but at least it is polysorbate-80 free.

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2 Responses to Wednesday Roundup No. 2

  1. mikhailovich says:

    Overall, I agree that “Americans have an unhealthy desire to see average people promoted to positions of great authority.” Although he’s still probably above average (yikes!), George Bush’s two terms in office are necessary though not sufficient evidence of this fact. Average people (even Harold and Kumar) feel like they could have a beer with him.

    People don’t want intelligent (or, um, “elitist”) leaders, but they also don’t want to be educated themselves–hence the anti-intellectual trend in America today. The roots of this trend are complex, but at least part of the problem is the willingness (and even the proactive desire) to accept core beliefs without evidence…

  2. Brandon says:

    You missed my favorite quote from this article.

    “Let me put it plainly: If you want someone just like you to be president of the United States, or even vice president, you deserve whatever dysfunctional society you get. You deserve to be poor, to see the environment despoiled, to watch your children receive a fourth-rate education and to suffer as this country wages—and loses—both necessary and unnecessary wars. ” – Sam Harris.

    Wow, Sam Harris has a low opinion of me, his entire audience and Alaska.

    What a douche.

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