Three more bits of interesting reading


Just got back from braving the holiday shopping crowds. I got myself a housecoat. My first one ever. And I plan on wearing it all weekend — even when we visit Ron and Tanya for supper on Sunday.

Michael Geist covers OECD’s declaration that Canada is among the lowest sources of counterfeiting, despite lobbyists’ and politicians’ recent claims:

The OECD has released new data on its global counterfeiting estimates, concluding that the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade is estimated to have increased from 1.85% in 2000 to 1.95% in 2007. That represents an increase to $250 billion worldwide. That is obviously a big number, but notably far lower than the claims from ACTA supporters. Copyright lobby groups have long claimed – without empirical support – that counterfeiting and piracy represents 5 – 7% of global trade. The OECD data indicates those claims are wildly exaggerated.

PalMD discusses the Ontario push toward legitimizing fake medicine:

Naturopaths like to present themselves as walking a different path to the same destination, but the truth is not so pretty. If we were to, as the naturopaths put it, help nature heal itself, we would die toothless and miserable before we hit fifty. Most of us are likely to die of either cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

Tears may have evolved as a defense mechanism — to elicit mercy from an overpowering human foe:

Humans appear to be the only creatures that shed tears as an emotional reaction. Other animals excrete tears to clean their eyes following an injury or irritation from dust, but only human beings cry in social situations as an expression of sadness or excitement. Hasson says that in a setting in which someone is threatened, a crying person unconsciously increases survival prospects, because an attacker understands that someone who is crying is defenseless and there is no reason to continue to attack.

Oh, and a bonus — photos from the LHC spin-up at CERN.

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