Until he shot himself at Notre Dame’s altar Tuesday, in protest at France legalizing gay marriage, I had never heard of the right-wing essayist Dominique Venner. He intended his exit to make splash. Femen protester Marguerite, left, turned that into less bloody counter-protest Wednesday. Not being religious, I don’t believe there is a hell. Still, Femen has the right cause.
And better style.
The braver act yesterday was made by Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett of Cornwall, facing down the Islamist murderers in London, armed only with a sense of decency and social responsibility. Three cheers for her.
The evidence on benefit from severely cutting salt intake doesn’t hold up. Most of us seem to have kidneys that control our electrolyte balance, given a range of consumption. That said, the amount in typical American diets is at the other end of the range. And there now is evidence that high-salt diets may promote auto-immune disease. It seems Aristotle was right.
Scientists in Oregon have cloned human embryos through the blastocyte stage, via somatic-cell nuclear transfer. This allows the creation of stem cells genetically identical to the donor. Though there is a lot of research now with induced pluri-potent stem cells, it’s not clear that these two are equivalent. In research, as in other areas, it’s good to have choices. One path or the other should lead to significant advances in regenerative medicine.
One of my sisters worked for the government [redacted] doing [redacted]. I always thought she must have had a lot of cool spy toys. I’m certain she never would have let herself get caught by foreign agents wearing a cheap wig. Ryan Fogle gives spies a bad name.
And no one I know would shoot themselves in the leg while bowling. Though it does seem like the kind of thing that would happen in Florida.
It now is legal to eat roadkill in Montana. Surprisingly, that is illegal in most states, including Texas. And no, armadillo doesn’t taste like chicken.
The bluefin tuna is one of the more over-fished species, and there is considerable interest in how to set catch limits and restore their numbers. Leaking radioactive material from the Fukushima power plant is providing a way to track their movement across the Pacific.
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have discovered that they can significantly increase lifespan and vitality by reducing the effects of a hormone on the hypothalamus. In mice. (Cite.)
Islamic fundamentalists are rioting in Bangladesh, demanding strict blasphemy laws, including the death penalty for apostates. According to a recent Pew study, that view is surprisingly popular in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even in booming Malaysia. Razib Khan has some interesting discussion of the same study’s results regarding creationist belief.