Posts Tagged ‘Vulnerabilities’

On Pepcid

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Unsurprisingly, I have indigestion. My Dad had indigestion, I have indigestion, lots of out-of-shape American males have indigestion. Now, just as antibiotics are one of the things that make modern life better than antiquity, I can point to the presence of drugs like Pepcid Complete as proof positive that civilization is making progress. My Dad would belch for hours, I take a Pepcid and belch for minutes. Progress. (more…)

On debilitation

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Mostly when we think about biothreats we think about critical rather than chronic attacks. This is because our adversaries are most likely to use these weapons against us to sow destruction and chaos, rather than to attempt a long-term modification of our society (although, as we have seen with 9/11, critical attacks can lead to chronic changes). (more…)

On regulation

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Rob Carlson had a piece recently in The Scientist (which has been kind enough to notice this Blog in the past) on the regulation of synthetic biology, in part due to the supposed threat from the DIY Bio community. (more…)

On dogs

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

When we recall classic movies of the 1970s I know that everyone immediately thinks of … “The Doberman Gang.” What, you thought I was going to say “Star Wars?” For shame. No, in this gem of American cinematography we have a pack of dogs being trained to rob a bank (and later trained to rip off a corrupt politician in “The Amazing Dobermans” before finally turning away from their lives of crime and working for The Man in “The Daring Dobermans;” Spielberg ain’t the only one who can do sequels poorly). I can barely remember watching this and at the time thinking “What a cool idea!” And I still think it’s a cool idea, although not a particularly practical one. In reality, the dogs sans handler would presumably be confused by the inevitable chaos, start biting people, and get shot. (more…)

On influenza

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Not much of scientific worth today. Rather, just a perspective. I guess if I have a hobby, it’s reading history. I hated history when I took it in school, because it just seemed to be a bland regurgitation of dates (it is unclear why I didn’t hate science, which was largely a bland regurgitation of facts). But I love reading it now, especially historical fiction, which provides a narrative to the reality (I highly recommend “Gates of Fire”). (more…)

On Texas

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Texas is my adopted state, I’m originally from the Midwest. Like many transplants, I find the place to be freaky. On the one hand, there is a certain frontier mentality that is refreshing. On the other, there is a certain retrograde mindset that is terrifying. Let’s start with attitudes towards the government. Our gubnor is in a constant pissing match with the Feds over, well, not much except his own political future. But this message resonates with Texans, who like to envisage themselves as embattled and downtrodden by the heavy-heeled boot of authority. (more…)