How to cure cancer: Time magazine’s April Fools cover

“The real problem with Time’s headline, … is not that it’s wrong, or even that it might create funding problems for future cancer researchers—it’s that in the context of a fatal disease with excruciatingly painful treatment options, it’s simply cruel.”

How to cure cancer: Time magazine’s April 1 cover is wrong and cruel. – Slate Magazine.

Tip to Young Homebuyers: Rent! (or be born in 1946)

How myopic is the following quote – from a study by The Urban Institute, cited initially in the NYT and debunked in the Ecomonitor.com article cited.

“If a person delayed the purchase of a home to age 40 instead of buying at age 30, that might result in a $42,000 loss in home equity by the time she reaches 60, given trends in wealth accumulation over the past few decades.”

Trends in wealth accumulation over the past few decades were driven by Boomers.  Those days are gone.  The party is over. The good ship Aloha has sailed.

Ecomonitor provides some solid rationale for renting, not buying, a home.

via EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » Bizarre New York Times Article on Lousy Finances of the Young Gives Undue Prominence to Housing as an Investment.

Internet Explorer: How did Internet Explorer up until version 9 get to be so bad (relative to Chrome, Safari, and Firefox)? – Quora

http://www.quora.com/Internet-Explorer/How-did-Internet-Explorer-up-until-version-9-get-to-be-so-bad-relative-to-Chrome-Safari-and-Firefox

Lots of responses on the Quora web site but I like this one by Eric Berman

“As part of the Internet Explorer 5.0 team, I agree with both the premise of the question and with most of the answers. However, I think I’ll add two other cultural observations about how Microsoft itself has changed.

“First, Microsoft has always done its best work when chasing taillights. Chasing Netscape gave us a clear goal, and I’m very proud of what we did with Internet Explorer 5.0, but like the proverbial dog chasing the car, Microsoft doesn’t know what to do when it catches it. Look at office: once WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 had been defeated, innovation in office essentially ended. The only meaningful difference between Word/Excel/PowerPoint today and 15 years ago is pixel pushing of the user interface on the screen. It’s only with the rise of Google Docs that the Office team got off its ass with respect to the cloud and hosted office.

“Second, I think Microsoft stopped being hungry. I was there from 1987-1999, and it was always filled with people who were hungry to change the world (albeit letting others define the direction for Microsoft to follow, as above). They weren’t there to make money (although they certainly did so in that time frame). Mass exodus started in the late 1990s – right when Microsoft stock was soaring – because Microsoft wasn’t as exciting as other startups as a place to work; it was about the passion. Fast forward to today, and if you wander the halls at Microsoft, you find a ton of people who are at Microsoft for entirely different reasons. It’s a safe place. It’s good on the resume. They can learn lots of stuff, they can move between product groups, they have great benefits, etc. But the real passion-driven stars largely left in the late 1990s and have been replaced by far more conservative 9-5 40-hour-a-week people.”

via (1) Internet Explorer: How did Internet Explorer up until version 9 get to be so bad (relative to Chrome, Safari, and Firefox)? – Quora.

Iran’s Nuclear Gamble, Canada and Obama’s Second Term

Iran’s Nuclear Gamble, Canada and Obama’s Second Term

I found this fascinating and scary.

Fascinating for its succinct summary of recent history of Iranian diplomacy.  Scary for the detached calculations of the toll (in human casualties and suffering) of a U.S. military intervention in Iran to delay (but not prevent) the develop of nuclear weapons.

At A Glance

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  • War with Iran is closer than we may think, but is not inevitable.
  • If war with Iran does occur, the likely tactical victory of the U.S. (and other supporting countries) will come with a larger political and strategic defeat due to the size and nature of probable Iranian civilian casualties.
  •  The current crisis could be solved with an alternate approach, based on a political endgame accept able to both sides, that includes a broader set of factors than the nuclear issue alone.  

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It’s by John Mundy, a visiting “associate” at U of O and a former “diplomat”.,… not exactly a heavyweight.

 

Whose freedom counts in Canada’s Middle East policy? | Toronto Star

Whose freedom counts in Canada’s Middle East policy? | Toronto Star.

This is excellent.  Author Brender identifies the  two distinctive  ways of celebrating Judaism

  • a “universalist” conception: ” The 2012 statement from the Prime Minister extends well-wishing to “those in Canada and around the world who will be celebrating Passover tomorrow.” Referring to the story of ancient Israelites but not at all to present-day Jews, his message strikes a universalist note in stating that Passover “reminds us of the value of freedom and perseverance,” and gives “an opportunity to think of those who are still struggling and fighting for their freedom around the world.”
  • a “particularist conception: “By contrast, the [2012]  statement jointly issued by Ministers Kenney and Baird …  gives Passover a wholly particularist cast. Presenting the holiday as marking “the Jewish people’s exodus from slavery” and a “celebration of the Jewish people’s resilience then, and throughout history,” Kenney and Baird declare that “[a]t a time when the Jewish people, and the State of Israel in particular, continue to face the ancient evil of anti-Semitism, we are proud that Canada’s relationship with Israel has never been stronger.”

    “On one account, then, Passover is broadly about contemporary global struggles for freedom; in the other, it’s specifically about the Jewish people’s historical struggles and Canada’s support for Israel as the embattled locus of Jewish freedom. And insofar as the Harper government’s mixed messages implicitly and explicitly convey two very different perspectives on global affairs, they should be of interest to all Canadians.”

Her conclusion seems sound:  “Canada’s Middle East policy would be sounder if a universalist political ethic supplanted the currently very particularist outlook toward Jewish freedom held by the Harper government. Expecting a change of foreign policy in a commemorative ministerial statement is too much to hope for. Still, it’s worth taking a sharp look at the Passover messages coming out of Ottawa next week – and holding political well-wishers to account for what their words, as well as their actions, say about the global meaning and scope of freedom.”

 

New Invention – “The Green Machine”

First, it’s called “The Green Machine” because it’s green.

The Green Machine purées every-day table scraps so they can be mixed with water and poured  down the kitchen sink.

The Green Machine cuts the volume of wastes carried to curbside garbage or green bins by 90%, preserving our precious landfill sites for things that are too hard for The Green Machine (bones, peach pits, batteries, etc.)

The Green Machine will be manufactured in the same factories that make knock-off food processors.  There will be only one attachment and the  plastic blending bio-container will be solid green rather than see-through.

“Oh,” I hear someone saying, “how will The Green Machine impact my local sewage treatment facilities?”  Not a problem: when used as directed, the output of The Green Machine is completely organic.

Dealer inquiries invited.