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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Science News!

Well it's been just too long since I've had one of these!

First, I do so love Discover's 20 Things column. This one is on water.

Also, money and happiness. Can money buy happiness? It depends on what you buy.

Last night we went to see Mary Roach speak in San Jose. Her latest book, Packing for Mars, looks like a hoot, but I recommend all of her books. Reading her books, it occurs to me that there's a sort of SF Bay Area sensibility that loves science, but doesn't treat it with reverence per se. It's the same sort of feel that I get from the guys at Mythbusters.

Note: If you're thinking to yourself, "Dang, I really wish I'd heard about that!" the good news is that she's doing another Commonwealth Club talk on August 19th!

The week before, we saw Cynthia Kenyon talk about her work on longevity, specifically by altering single genes in roundworms. She's one researcher who I wished I'd heard of in high school because I might have chosen to pursue science as a career. Her talk was fabulous because she'd explain what they'd found, and posit possible relationships to the human genome, but then always say, "Or maybe not. We don't know yet." It was great. There's so much more research to do that comes from her research. It will be fascinating to see how it turns out.

Also, it occurred to me there that if anyone is doing anything like a Howard Families experiment, it would have to be the Chinese. It's possible they're working towards longevity the same way they worked toward Yao Ming.


  • Interesting article on money. While I like to spend money on experiences (a new restaurant, a dance, a play etc). I take issue with the point that 'once you have experienced something big, you can't go back'. I have found that sometimes the very expensive items don't necessarily live up to their promise. Restaurants follow a sort of price to enjoyment restaurant, where the higher prices ones have a much higher ratio, then some moderately priced ones. And shared meals at a friend's house give a very good deal on the price to enjoyment ratio.

    By Blogger Chrisfs, at 1:54 PM  

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