No surprise

A thorough follow-up at Vanity Fair:

The pattern is inescapable: she takes disagreements personally, and swiftly deals vengeance on enemies, real or perceived.

Staff and Republican stalwarts are still shaking their heads over McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin.

Palin’s lack of aptitude in her new starring role as VP candidate became obvious quickly.

The friction between McCain and Palin was so intense that it carried over into election night…

…one close adviser to McCain “was heard to refer to Palin as ‘little shop of horrors’ during the campaign.

As Palin has piled misstep on top of misstep…

…they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be.

When she chooses to reveal herself, what she reveals is not always the same thing as the truth.

For a split second she stops, pauses, turns her head and shoulders just so, and smiles. She holds the pose until she’s sure the man has his shot and then moves on.

Lost Undersea Forest

Seagrass fixes as much carbon dioxide as tropical forests.

The University of Western Australia found that since 1980, 29% of seagrass has disappeared and the overall rate of loss has accelerated from 0.9% a year, before 1940, to 7% a year, since 1990.

Nutrients in sewage and run-off from agriculture and industry are the major cause of seagrass death, says Kendrick.

These nutrients trigger the growth of algae, plants and animals that grow above or on seagrass, and stop it from getting the sunlight it needs. [story]

Not Going Gently

Essay at Slate:

“These war metaphors, which pervade the coverage of celebrity cancer cases, perpetuate the false notion that survival is directly related to how hard the patient tries to live.” – Barron H. Lerner, M.D., Ph.D., and professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University

Reagan was wrong

Henry Fairlie said Republicans sowed their present-day destruction from the start.

When he arrived in America, he expected to find conservatives with similar beliefs. Instead he found the Republicans.

He described his kind of conservative as one who stands alongside “the King and the People, against the barons and the capitalists”.

“The conservative can all too easily drift into a morally bankrupt and intellectually shallow defense of those who have it made and those who are on the make”, he wrote.
“Narrow minded, book banning, truth censoring, mean spirited; ungenerous, envious, intolerant, afraid; chicken, bullying; trivially moral, falsely patriotic; family cheapening, flag cheapening, God cheapening; the common man, shallow, small, sanctimonious.”

Republican ‘booboisie’.

Scrotum wars

Evidence on domestic violence by women suggesting that it happens at an equal rate to domestic violence by men. “In 100 domestic violence situations approximately 40 cases involve violence by women against men.” [metafilter thread]

Our wealth as mere crops

None of these fellows have been patriot:

It was as if banks like Goldman were wrapping ribbons around watermelons, tossing them out 50-story windows and opening the phones for bids. In this game you were a winner only if you took your money out before the melon hit the pavement.

public radio blog

World's oldest instrument found

Stone flute, world's oldest instrumentThis five-hole flute was meticulously carved with stone tools 35,000 years ago – the oldest musical instrument.

The area reveals flint tools used to chip the instruments, traces of bone and ivory, along with minerals, charcoal, blood and animal fats for cave painting.

“We can now conclude that music played an important role…”

Goldman Sachs, Paulson's TARP

Pretty amazing isn’t it?

To have the world at risk of complete collapse, meltdown, how the U.S. taxpayer must pour trillions of their own money to put out the fire immediately, only 8 months later to have one institution report their biggest profits ever?

Audio trickery

This is silly but likely disturbingly true:

We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear and are more likely to perform a task when we receive the request in our right ear rather than our left.

A series of three studies.

Bummers shorten life

Adults aged 65 years or older with self-reported depression had a 5-year mortality of 30.2% versus 19.7% in those without self-reported depression.

“I felt depressed”, a simple measure of depression, predicts mortality among cognitively intact community-dwelling older adults.