Long-time readers of this blog know I very rarely re-blog. Occasionally something strikes my fancy so hard, I have to (if nothing else) mention it and post a link to it here.
Derek Lowe, a chemist who also writes In the Pipeline, a great chemistry blog, recently posted something striking:
…a new analysis of clinical trials for pain medication shows that the placebo effect in [the area of pain relief] has been getting stronger. The same also seems to be true for antipsychotics and antidepressants, but this effect seems to be mainly (or only) visible in large-scale US trials…
You did, too, right? (Non-USA residents excused.)
I’m not sure Eric Clapton is the greatest guitar player ever. I can think of a number of other guitar “gods” that seem in his class (Carlos Santana and Lindsey Buckingham, to name just two). But I am pretty sure the late (great!) George Carlin was without peer. I can’t think of anyone else who lasted longer (50 years!), worked harder, gave us so many classic bits or been more consistently good. He died in 2008, at 71, having done his 14th HBO special just four months earlier.
I thought he went through an angry period (the 1990s, maybe?) where he seemed to lash out indiscriminately at everything and everyone. He seemed a little less funny to me then, but he was never really wrong… just angry. I only ever really disagreed with him once.
And that was on his view that you shouldn’t vote.
Have you ever really thought about the fact that South America isn’t?
Isn’t all that South, I mean. Nearly all of it is actually east of nearly all of North America. Most of it is east of Florida, although residents of Maine can safely refer to “south” America (especially if they mean Peru, Chile or Ecuador). And people on the USA west coast? The closest shores of Hawaii are just about as far west as the closest shores of South America are east.
And it’s nearly as far east from New York City (at 73 degrees west) to Rio de Janeiro (at 43 degrees west) as it is from Rio to Lisbon, Portugal (at 9 degrees west, so only four degrees further).
Perhaps we should rename it South-South-East America!