Monthly Archives: January 2005

But was it made in Sherman?

This is a neat story out of Brandeis:

Snackaholics rejoice!

Brandeis University biology professor K.C. Hayes and Senior Research Associate Andy Pronczuk at the school’s Foster Biomedical Research Laboratory, and Senior Scientist Daniel Perlman in the Physics Department have discovered a way to produce chips and other snack foods that can actually lower your cholesterol while you eat them – without having any impact on taste.

The Brandeis research team found that soybean-derived phytosterols (natural sterols that occur in plants) helped block cholesterol uptake (present in animal fat). When added to the cooking oil used to prepare snack chips and other foods, these natural sterols lowered LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol).

In a clinical study chronicled in the American Society for Nutritional Sciences’ Journal of Nutrition, the Hayes team followed 10 subjects who achieved a 15 percent decrease in their LDL cholesterol and a 10 percent drop in total cholesterol after eating two one-ounce servings of phytosterol-enriched tortilla chips each day over a four-week period. “If you have a really high cholesterol, LDL would likely decline even more,” Hayes said.

More on the story from Brandeis’ website and the AP wire

The significance of the Election

When I was in the car yesterday, I was listening to Brian Whitman, a self described “liberal” and a “Democrat who voted for John Kerry” (his words).

What he had to say, I thing should resonate among many. To paraphrase (from memory), he said something along the lines of:

“Yesterday’s Iraqi elections should be seen as a victory for the Iraqi people. It should be seen as a victory for freedom and liberty. They should be celebrated for what they signify…

Those on the left shouldn’t worry if the elections “validated President Bush’s policies” or improve his domestic stature…nor should they whine or carp about that…rather they should just be happy for the Iraqi people.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like many of the big names on the left have followed such advice. As Watcher points out in “Carnival of the PESTs

He was for ‘em before he was against ‘em…redux!

A post election special from Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)

“I think polls today are almost irrelevant, and I just don’t pay any attention to them.”

— Sen. John Kerry, on Meet the Press, noting the polls were wrong about his chances in the Democratic presidential primaries.

Of course, earlier in the interview Kerry used polls to prove the impact of the Osama bin Laden video released just days before the election. “I believe that 9/11 was the central deciding issue in this race. And the tape — we were rising in the polls up until the last day when the tape appeared. We flat-lined the day the tape appeared and went down on Monday. I think it had an impact.”

[h/t Political Wire]

Some people never change….

“Root causes of Terrorism” Rediscovery

I’ve begun to simply laugh at the myriad of reasons that the far-left rolls out as being “the root cause of terrorism”.

From a letter in Today’s issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a reader [first letter] says the “root causes of terror” include:

–Why is it surprising that people might also simmer in resentment when America, a small sliver of the world’s population, consumes most of the Earth’s resources, especially fossil fuels?
–When we create a disproportionate amount of the world’s pollution?
–When we refuse to participate in an International Criminal Court that would ensure an across- the-board investigation of individuals accused of crimes against humanity?
–When we nominate an attorney general who has called the Geneva Conventions “obsolete”?

Um, when is the last time anyone heard the Islamofacists mention any of the above reasons? After all, just look at how they [the Islamofacists] “honor” the ICC and Geneva Conventions….

Just a thought…….

Kerry on MTP

Here’s what I think about Kerry on MTP this morning.
I believe this quote from President Bush summarizes my thoughts about it:

“As a free-speech advocate, I often told parents who were complaining about content, you’re the first line of responsibility; they put an off button (on) the TV for a reason. Turn it off“–President Bush in an interview with Brian Lamb on CSPAN

Yeah–I didn’t bother watchign it.

Sounds like my sentiments

Once I got to college, and was exposed to the mindless dogmatism and reflexive bigotry of many on the left, I realized how much closer I was to the conservative (and, ironically, “Classical Liberal”) position. Yes, there are many on the right I disagree with — but they don’t assume my disagreement means I’m some sort of monster.Kloognome.Com

ugh…

Had a rough night, didn’t sleep well and well basically woke up feeling like crud. (No, I didn’t spend the night out drinking–though part of me wishes I had). I’m sick and tired of being ill.

Perhaps it’s the result of something within the lab that I’m currently doing a rotation in? Would that give me an excuse to get out of said lab (’cause that would really be great)

More postings when the neurons in my brain begin to fire (normally) again.

Gotta know your history

James Taranto on Sen. Kennedy’s speech:

Here he is yesterday at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies:

The war in Iraq has become a war against the American occupation. . . . The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution. . . . The first step is to confront our own mistakes. . . . No matter how many times the Administration denies it, there is no question they misled the nation and led us into a quagmire in Iraq. . . . As in Vietnam, truth was the first casualty of this war. . . . As a result of our actions in Iraq, our respect and credibility around the world have reached all-time lows. . . . Never in our history has there been a more powerful, more painful example of the saying that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. . . . The nations in the Middle East are independent, except for Iraq, which began the 20th century under Ottoman occupation and is now beginning the 21st century under American occupation [em added].

And on and on and on. That last sentence we quoted is really something when you realize that the 21st century began more than four years ago, when Iraq was under Baathist occupation.

And the idea that “the nations in the Middle East are independent” really sums up the EMK worldview. Terror-sponsoring tyrannies are just peachy, suggests brother Ted, so long as America does not have to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend or oppose any foe.

Not only that, but the Senator also conveniently forgot that Lebanon is under Syrian occupation and rule (at least de-facto)

Brandeis and the SuperBowl

Brandeis University already has a winner in Super Bowl XXXIX. Not bad for a school that hasn’t fielded a football team in nearly a half-century.

The owners of both the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, who will clash in the NFL championship game on Feb. 6 in Jacksonville, Fla., graduated from the school.–Brandeis Website

[Bonus: Link includes picture of Jehuda!]

Woah! Who would’ve thought of a scenario like this!

Observation

Why didn’t the 7-11 I just stopped at have any diet ginger-ale for sale? nor did they have any diet sprite!

That’s just wrong…at least when you’re sick

Quote of the hour

What are these “demonstrations” demonstrating — other than adolescent self-indulgence and contempt for the rights of other people to go about their lives without finding their streets clogged with hooligans and the air filled with obscenities?

The irony is that many of those who are indulging themselves in these strident orgies are the same people who were telling us to “get over it” and “move on” during President Clinton’s scandals. Today the liberal MoveOn.org is the last place where people are willing to move on.–Thomas Sowell

Liberalism and Conservatism

There’s an interesting opinion piece in the Justice this week titled: Founded on progress: A case for liberalism

The piece begins as follows:

On a fairly regular basis, I find myself being asked to explain why, given my support for the war in Iraq, I am a liberal. I thought I would try to answer that here. Rather than explaining the theories of American liberalism, I will make an empirical case for it.

I usually start my answer by pointing out the great causes liberals have championed in the past, such as the civil rights movement. “The problem with liberals today,” my more conservative friends tell me, “is not that they’re like Kennedy and Johnson, it’s that they aren’t like Kennedy and Johnson.”

Kennedy and Johnson would be conservatives by today’s standards, I am told. That is probably true. Conservatives today-at least northern ones-are no longer fighting against civil rights, and, while they might be a little hesitant to denounce someone like Jesse Helms as the racist he is, they generally believe the civil rights movement of the 1960s was good for America.

The first thing conservatives need to understand, though, is that liberalism is a lot more than a set of positions on issues; it is a complete ideology. It represents never being content with the status quo, and always looking for some injustice to fight to make society better.

Let me stop there for now.

The main question I have is now what exactly constitutes a “liberal” versus a “conservative”.

Granted, I know that recently the left-liberal magazine The American Prospect was having a contest for people to submit their definition of liberalism.

So is “liberalism” exactly what the author defines it as? Because from that description, it sounds more like what Michael Totten (and others) recently described as “activism as religion”

By the same token then, aren’t there self-defined conservatives who see what they perceive to be injustices which they wish to fight.

However, I also think that the author takes too many liberties at times with his attacks on conservatives, when he says

This progressiveness is precisely the historical difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals of one generation build on the progress of previous liberals, while conservatives frequently have to disavow themselves from the conservatives of previous generations.

Conservatives throughout American history have stood for keeping slavery, denying women the vote, and preventing civil rights.

Now this is where the author goes wrong. Was Lincoln a conservative? What about all the Republicans who voted for the Civil Rights Act while there were numerous Democrats who voted against it?

I believe that here is where the author (perhaps inadvertently) juxtaposes Republican and Democrat with Conservative and Liberal.

There is no great conservative accomplishment in American history that conservatives today can point to and say it represents the great tradition of their ideology. These great American political successes, as acknowledged today by liberals and conservatives alike, were all liberal causes in their time.

If we’re using Conservative to mean Republican–then let’s see…Lincoln freed the slaves. Ronald Reagan won the cold war, lowered tax rates, rebuilt the military….(among other things)…the welfare reform plan of the 90s….or just ask Bill Buckley about the contributioins of Conservatives to America.

The main question I wish to pose, is do you think the author is right in this piece or not? And what exactly constitutes “liberal” vs. “conservative”? Also worth consideration–Bush’s foreign policy (and his inagural address)–was that more “liberal” or “conservative” and look at the responses it got from both camps…

Brainscans for sale?

There’s an interesting article over at Slate titled:
Brain Scans for Sale
The subheadline of the piece reads:

As brain imaging spreads to nonmedical uses, will commerce overtake ethics?

This article (which I recommend reading) raises the ethical quandries which have been moved to the forefront, as “neuroentrepreneurs” are trying to develop brain-imaging protocols for non-medical uses.

Now the technology, while fascinating and medically useful is still too rudimentary to work as a high-tech “lie-detector” (for example).

However, there is the greater question of is it ethical to perform brain imaging for strictly commercial purposes?

Back at the Alma Matter

So time to report on what’s going on back at Brandeis, courtesy of The Justice.

It looks like there’s some squashing of dissent taking place under Ashcroft’s Jehuda’s watch! Refusing to pass a letter on from Music Composition Grad students to the board of trustees.

Now time for the obligatory laugh-at-BemCo moment: BEMCo: 5 to 20 percent of calls this year were uneccessary.

And still on the lighter side, some people finally stole a Keg from Aramark

The Brandeis inaguration trip report

Then finally, there’s this story on an incident involving a Brandeis frat (though the university doesn’t acknowledge the frats).
Drugs slipped to students at ZBT rush party.

This is bothersome on multiple levels, especially in light of the tragic death of a ZBT brother last year.

And this story is further evidence that students should heed Alwina’s timeless advice: “Don’t drink the punch!”