Snake Stone, Part Deux

Oh where do I begin today? As a follow-up to my essay, “The Politicization of Science“, which deals in part with an almost deliberate insistence on the part of policy makers and other practitioners of power to pursue policies devoid of a scientific underpinning, I present you with this pithy quote from one of the forum posters on rabble.ca:

The alternative to basing public policy on evidence is basing it on shit-that-people-make-up-without-having-any-idea-if-it’s-true-or-not.

Finding and pointing out biases in scientific argument is itself still science, if you have evidence of those biases.

And if you don’t have evidence, you’re back in the shit-that-people-make-up camp.
My regular scan of the evil world of Right-wing blogging leads us today to the ever hilarious and pointless Adam Yoshida, who has an irrational obsession with Barack Obama. Over at that veritable Algonquin Round Table of post-Athenian thought (insert sarcasm tags here), the Western Standard, Adam has proclaimed that Barack Obama is a Sissy because his bowling skills are not all that great. As Yoshida says, “No wonder he is beloved by so many women, especially those of the Millennial Generation – I can’t think of a better way to define a Girlie Man than this.”

Yes, this is what the Right has been reduced to: criticizing a Presidential candidate on his bowling skills.

Hilariously, the comments take Yoshida to task. Here are a few from both the Standard and Yoshida’s own blog:

-An obese bachelor mocks an athletic married man about his sexual appeal, based on some bowling footage. Did someone hack the site and post this as Adam?

-Yoshida: “If you can think of a better way to define a Girlie Man, I’d like to hear it.”
Fat moronic perma-virgin living in his parent’s basement pounding out childish wingnut screeds on a blog while stuffing his face with boxes of Joe Louis?

Meanwhile, Medzilla sends us this very interesting lecture on brain physiology.

In other news, my brother-in-law makes the news in India, as Tamil Nadu signs a deal with the University of Saskatchewan. Here he is (green arrow) trying to get a peek at the documents:


Speaking of Tamil Nadu…. Know what one of the most popular posts on this blog is? The one in which I discussed my grandfather’s snake stone. Though that post is 3 years old, people still contact me trying to learn more about the enigmatic stones, also called “nagarathnams”, and I can offer them little more knowledge. Indeed, it was the brother-in-law pictured above who alerted me to the stones’ popularity in South India.

Well, one Deonandia reader, Eunice, has in her possession a snake stone handed down from her mother. In a comment she left in that post, she described the history of the stone:

“My mom got a glittering stone from the graveyard 35 years back. High up on the tree nearby, an eagle was eating some kind of a snake… When she showed [the stone] to a couple of Indian Jewellers, they troubled her to sell it off to them. There was a bad fight and dad came to her rescue and she could get home. A very old man told her it is the snake stone and asked her to hide it from public… we consider the existence of this stone as our lucky charm.”

Eunice was kind of enough to share a couple of photos of the stone. Here they are:

In Other News…

Got a new-old article up on Skiffy.ca.