A small win for science and rationality

A state judge in Maine has rejected an effort by that state’s governor to impose a quarantine on Kaci Hickox, the nurse who treated Ebola patients in Liberia and then on her return was the target of a short-lived attempt by New Jersey governor Chris Christie to quarantine her for 21 days before pressure forced him to change his mind and send her to her home in Maine.
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What is normal when it comes to sexual fantasies?

Off and on, depending upon whether it coincides with my eating dinner, I listen to the daily CBC-produced radio program Q with Jian Ghomeshi that is broadcast by my local NPR station. It is a reasonably good program, more heavy on longer interviews with arts and cultural figures than the CBC show it replaced that was called As It Happens.
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Got milk? No? Good!

I have had mild lactose intolerance since childhood. This means that I have no problems with butter or ice cream or milk in my coffee and tea and cereal and in other foods but cannot drink a full glass of milk with getting an upset stomach. It turns out that what I thought of as a limitation and even a minor health hazard (milk is good for you, right?) may actually be a positive thing. While butter and eggs got the green light some years ago, switching from being bad for you to being either good or neutral, a new study suggests that milk may go the other way, switching from being an unalloyed good to health hazard.
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Visualizing the physics in the film Interstellar

Although I like science, or maybe because of it, I tend to get irritated with films that casually break the laws of science merely to achieve a cheap solution to a plot problem. I don’t expect perfect fidelity but gratuitous violations of laws (such noisy explosions in space or the presence of Earth-like gravity on spaceships) are annoying. This is why I liked 2001: A Space Odyssey and to a lesser extent Gravity, because they tried to stick as closely as possible to what may be actually possible.
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Why Ebola seems to be less lethal in the US

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been all over the media trying to damp down the excessive fear over the Ebola virus and reassuring people that it is not that easy to get the disease. In this photo, we see that he stands by his conviction, showing him embracing the nurse Nina Pham who got the disease after treating a person who died from the disease but has now been declared disease-free. I hope that photo calms some people down.
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New dinosaur fossils found

The discovery of the fossils on a new dinosaur has created quite a stir. This one looks very different from the other ones we are familiar with. Back in 1960, paleontologists had discovered the fossils of two huge dinosaur arms but not the rest of the animal and couldn’t figure out what the rest of the animal might have looked like. But in Mongolia two nearly complete fossils have been found that complete the picture. And it is pretty strange. (The Nature article on the discovery can be see here.)
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America’s enemies have taken over the Pentagon

Climate change skeptics have suggested that those who warn about it are engaged in some diabolical plot to foist changes in the US that are harmful. The fact that there is a worldwide overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that this is a real danger and that we are already past the time when we could reverse the effects and now must settle for limiting the damage does not faze them in the least. They have pooh-poohed it as alarmist rhetoric and fear mongering. The more who warn of it, the wider the conspiracy is in their minds.
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