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July 2008

"This is what American dream provides you: a way of getting rich by suing others"

Title quote is from a commenter, Andy Gongea, on the Channel Intelligence story:

Channel Intelligence, a company based in Florida, filed a lawsuit for patent infringement in Delaware on Tuesday against a long list of startups and other companies and individuals who have one thing in common - they offer wish lists for products people may want others to buy for them. 

Hopeful news about cancer (there's always hopeful news about cancer)

L.A. Times: "Cancer drug dramatically shrinks prostate tumors . . ."

The survival rate more than doubles among most of the men with aggressive cancers. A second, wider test shows similar results. 'Spectacularly effective,' a researcher says.

Jane Brody, New York Times: "Cancer as a Disease, Not a Death Sentence".

BBC News: "Anti-Cancer Gene Shield Discovery".

The Boston Globe, on brain cancer: "First, Do Not Give Up".

And then there are the folks at Wake Forest's Baptist Medical Center who are now trying on people a method that had a 100% success rate on mice. (But lots of things that worked in mice didn't work in people. Still, it certainly seems worth trying.)

"The Free Market's Invisibility Problem"

"Much effort has been expended by libertarians in making the case for how the market could address any number of potential problems. This is important work, but presenting a brilliantly argued case for libertarianism only means success in a world of completely rational people. If we were living in that world, libertarianism would have prevailed long ago. The charts and graphs (the seemingly lone visual aids) trotted out by economists to make the case for laissez-faire economics are more likely to put audiences to sleep than inspire them to action. Defenders of the free market need new visual rhetorical strategies that highlight the human costs of intervention."

"The Power of TENS"

"TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation. . . . [It] works by disrupting the pain signals originating from the nerves near the pain spot, so the area that would normally be hurting feels sort of tingly. In some patients, the area goes numb after a while. In me, it loosens up my back to the point that, for example, I'm not wincing every time I so much as think about moving and I can actually walk around, bend occasionally, and be more or less functional."

"Time to Add Basket Weaving as a Course"

Commentary on another report--see my earlier post--about a school district considering a minimum score of 60.

The idea is that a mediocre student who is doing his best can pull a 60 up, when averaged with other grades, to a passing score.  Whereas the same student might not be able to do the same with a score of 20 or so.

"We're making it possible for them to overcome some bad circumstances," the superintendent said, according to the newspaper report of the meeting.

As the saying goes, this looks like an idea "whose time has come".