Friday, July 20, 2018

The Vancouver Model (ctd)....What, Her Worry?


From the MoCo's mystical listicle man...


Does this mean they don't teach German to academic tourists at the Sorbonne?


Monday, July 16, 2018

Sometimes The Bloody Algorithm Works Exactly As It Should.


We're back!

From holidays I mean.

And today I needed tunes to help me get through the towering pile of paperwork that constructed itself in my absence from the day job.

The medley below is the first thing that popped up on the YouTubes and I've been listening to it on repeat all afternoon.

I am of the firm opinion that the first song should be required listening for a whole lot of folks on both sides of the 49th parallel...

Of course, I am in no way pretending that, just because the goddamned algorithm can be used for good occasionally does not mean that it is not used for pure evil approximately ivory soap percent of the time.


Sunday, July 01, 2018

The Vancouver Model....Why?


There are five 'W's' in journalism.

And when it comes to what has come to be known as the Vancouver Model the first four (who, what, where, when) were nailed to the wall some time ago by the work of such folks as Sean Holman and Sam Cooper, not to mention paying attention more citizenish journalists like Sandy Garossino and Laila Yuile.


Now that all four of those W's have been brought to the fore again by the D. Eby-commissioned report from Peter German, I personally don't understand why the local proMedia wurlitzer has been cranked up to tell us about how the government of the day turned a blind eye to what was going on.

Why don't I get this 'blind eye' thing*?

Because, as Laila has pointed out again today and as I fussed about awhile back, it was much more than turning a blind eye given the willful dismantling if the Integrated Gaming Enforcement Team (IGET) in 2009 by Mr. Rich Coleman.

Which gets us to the real fifth W in this case, which is....

Why did the BC Liberal braintrust do this?


Put another slightly more pointed way...

Why did they put policies in place and take active de-regulatory/dismantling steps to facilitate massive gambling corruption in British Columbia and all the internecine webs weaved as a result?

*Actually, I do get it from a local proMedia perspective given that this story has all the same hallmarks of willful ignorance that surfaced when Dan Levin wrote his big money poli-donation 'Wild West' (sans Artemus Gordon) piece for the NYT...A piece, by the way, that Mr. Rich Coleman called 'laughable' at the time.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The States Of Mind


When we were young C. and I were lucky enough to spend a few years living and working in the East Bay across from the Bagdhad of Northern California.

In addition to the biology stuff I was doing it was an exciting time to be in an exciting place as the 1st big tech boom took off.

But more than all that it was the people.

All different kinds of people, mostly getting along.

Including El Cerrito, the home of the musical Fogerty brothers, that was a short bike ride under the BART tracks from where we lived.


This is the America that I know and love:

On top of everything else Bigger E. was born there so we head back every 2nd summer...This morning we're packing up to make our 10th trip since the year 2000...Will report back.
When we were there I worked in a US National Lab, and so got to see the interwebz come on-line with full graphical browser force, not to mention the first baby steps of the big data monster (strictly biologically speaking)...Very separate from all that, we also got to know a guy who had been an early-in at Pixar who, after vesting, went off and started a hypercard-based venture...That didn't last long but he did OK in the end. 


Friday, June 22, 2018

Is There A Viral Component To The Development Of Alzheimer's Disease?


Does a specific viral infection (or infections) contribute to the emergence of Alzheimer's disease?


A new paper in the scientific journal Neuron suggests this might be the case, based on both clinical correlation studies and functional experimental data.

The paper is....Here.

And you will find a very thoughtful, understandable and, perhaps most importantly, mostly hype-free commentary on the findings and implications in a Science Blogs post by Derek Lowe: 

"...A team led out of a Mt. Sinai research group has gone over a pretty large sample of Alzheimer’s brain tissue (622 patients who died with the disease, and over three hundred control brains as well), sequencing infectious organism DNA, looking for changes in the proteome, etc. They find that aging brains in normal patients display plenty of viral signatures (as indeed is probably the case in many other tissues). But the Alzheimer's disease samples were particularly enriched in herpesviruses 6A and 7, a result that repeated across three independent cohorts from different geographical locations...


...But are these viruses a cause of the disease, or are they something that shows up later? That is, do HHV 6A/7 give you Alzheimer’s, or does having Alzheimer’s bring on those viral infections? This has been the problem with many previous proposals for an infectious agent, and it’s a very difficult objection to overcome. I think that this is the first study, though, that has made it over that hurdle. The paper shows that viral DNA is, in fact, incorporated into neurons from the affected regions of the brain. What’s more, analysis of both protein and mRNA levels suggest that such infection produces changes in several transcriptional regulators (specifically, a set of zinc-finger transcription factors and G-quadraplex-associated proteins) that in turn affect expression of a number of very suggestive proteins downstream..."

It looks to be a pretty impressive, and potentially important, body of work. Furthermore, apparently there is more like it coming, independently, from another group.

But....Just to be clear, this is not in my field so it is entirely possible that I might be missing something obvious on the rigour side of the ledger.

Still, it made for most interesting reading late on an early summer Friday afternoon.

In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Lowe's blog and some other life/bio/medical sciency stuff can be found regularly over on the left side bar....I'll probably have more to say about this kind of stuff in the future as I struggle to occasionally fling myself from the endless poli-writing obsession cycles...


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Prop Rep...Training Camp For The Battle Royale Opens.


I am not an expert, but I am starting to pay attention, looking for honest brokers.

On the latter count, I'm not yet sure about Dipper MLA and musical law guy Bob D'Eith, but separate from some partisan sniping, I thought he made a few interesting broader perspective points in his recent GStraight OpEd, one of which was the following:

...In our current system, majority governments have absolute control over the direction of government. However, majority governments rarely reflect a majority of votes.

In fact, since 1928 there has only been one general election where a single party has received over 50 percent of the popular vote. That means that over the past 50 years, a party with less than 50% of the vote has held 100 percent of the power. It is time that our representatives in the legislature truly represent the votes cast by citizens...


Couldn't you make the case that a majority of voters (i.e. 57%) helped to put our current coalition government in power?

Which, I guess, is the larger point.


Meanwhile, the Keef has his say....With a line so short, cynical and fringey that it does not even deserve its own 'Report'...Because, I guess, fine folks like  Jim Shepard and Smilin' Sammy Sullivan represent the 'center-of-everything''...Or some such thing.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

This Is The End (Part Deux)...


Just in case you've got important stuff to do and haven't been keeping up on the Trumpian bonafides of one Mr. Stephen Miller, first consider the following by Gabriel Sherman in Vanity Fair:

...(A)s the border crisis spirals, the absence of a coordinated policy process has allowed the most extreme administration voices to fill the vacuum. White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has all but become the face of the issue, a development that even supporters of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” position say is damaging the White House. “Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said...


With that in mind...



Is it possible that America's so-called paper of record has decided that the good Mr.  Miller's take on why he and his boss instituted their disastrous child separation policy is not newsworthy?

Need more context re: 'the tape' and the self-quislingification of the Grey Lady in her country's greatest hour of need?....It's here.


A Thing Rarely Seen In #BCPoli...


When scanning through the #bcpoli hashtag on the Twittmachine, rarely do you come across a thread that causes you to laugh out loud...



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Local Talkshow Host....Know Thine Audience!


Or not.

'Nuff said?


This Is The End...


From the United States of America's paper of record...

Cue Mr. Morrison and friends.