Some random thoughts

Some links, general business, and not-so random thoughts.

Tangled Bank #109 is up at Greg’s place.

The Blog that Ate Manhattan is hosting the latest Grand Rounds, Seinfeld additon.

ScienceBlogs has a new project called Next Generation Energy. It will cover energy problems, alternative, etc. It will feature writers from ScienceBlogs and other outside experts. Interestingly, it’s being sponsored by Shell, which has led to a bit of discussion. Check it out.

The 94th Carnival of the Godless came out a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t realized we were featured, so here’s a link.

PZ Myers had an interesting post yesterday that sparked controversy both IRL and withing the blogging community. It is about some shit-disturbing student who stole a Eucharist waffer from a Catholic service.

I’m of two minds about this. If you wish to protest odd religious practices, fine. But to violate a sanctuary where no one is being harmed is not only in poor taste, it scares people, as it has a tinge of oppression (even though one bored student is hardly oppressive). Writing about religious foolishness is one thing, invading a church is another. Obviously, this would be a different issue if a minority religious institution in a secular nation were invaded—most Americans are going to side with the church on this one, so they are hardly in danger. Sure, it’s just a fucking cracker to me, but not to them. To them it is the physical representation of their god. I’m not sure how violating this serves the purpose of rationalism.

Next, an interesting (for me) occurance. I hate medical mis-information, and never hesitate to go after it. A recent post of mine criticized a post in the NYT. The information in the post was execrable. The writer is not. Tara is a friend of medical reporting, which in no way renders her immune from making mistakes, or suffering criticism (as I often have), but when writing a blog on critical thought, where do you draw the line? Folks like Gary Null and Joe Mercola are systematically spreading bad medical information, and taking people’s money. Tara’s column is generally quite good, and is not an outlet for separating people from truth and money. I’m sure that I don’t always know where to draw the line. I think I hit the correct tone in my earlier post about a news reporter. In my critique of the NYT piece, I think I was spot on about the content, but not the writer.

If you have the stomach for it, I’m going to try to teach you a little evidence-based medicine later, and the name Bayes may come up. Stay tuned.