Laura @ the San Diego Science Festival

San Diego Science Festival 2010

The San Diego Science Festival is going on as I type this, and will be bringing the awesome with SCIENCE all this week. A bit of context from their site:

The San Diego Science Festival strives to create exciting and interactive experiences that showcase the remarkable science of greater San Diego, a community recognized as one of the Nation’s scientific leaders. Our wide variety of programs and events inspire all ages, with a special focus on building a pipeline of future scientists and STEM thought-leaders.

The University of California, San Diego is lead organizer for the second annual San Diego Science Festival (, a week of community events designed to focus awareness on the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. This year’s Festival will take place March 20-27, culminating in a Science EXPO Day at PETCO Park on Saturday, March 27.

The Festival’s EXPO Day is planned to inspire San Diego’s youth to pursue science-oriented education and careers. Parents and families are encouraged to attend, as are all members of the San Diego community. With the theme of “Excite Your Mind,” EXPO events will include over 150 hands-on science exhibits for attendees of all ages, a Rubik’s Cube Speed Tournament involving 45 local school teams, a science-inspired art show and even the dissection of real brain specimens. Last year, over 50,000 people took part in the San Diego Science Festival EXPO Day activities alone.

Amidst the amazing number of events going on, I am vastly tickled that Laura has been invited as a guest to host the Star Party tomorrow night! Behold:


In addition to hosting the Star Party (including a discussion of the latest news about the James Webb Space Telescope) tomorrow, Laura will also be speaking about Citizen Science at the massive Expo Day on Saturday. For details about these and all the other excellent activities, check out their site, hit them up on the Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. Most importantly, if you are in the area, stop by and bask in the radiant beauty of SCIENCE.

on holism

image by virtualreality on Flickr
image by virtualreality on Flickr

“If holistic-health advocates were content with encouraging sensible preventive medicine or with criticizing the economic organization of American medicine, we might be enthusiastic, but they are not. If the movement were without influence on American life, we would be indifferent, but it is not. Holistic medicine is a pablum of common sense and nonsense offered by cranks and quacks and failed pedants who share an attachment to magic and an animosity toward reason.

Too many people seem willing to swallow the rhetoric—even too many medical doctors—and the results will not be benign. At times, physicians may find themselves in sympathy with the holistic movement, because some fragment of the rhetoric rings true, because of certain practices and attitudes they encounter in their daily work with colleagues and patients, or because of dissatisfaction with the economic and social organization of medicine. One hopes they will speak bluntly, but it does no good to join forces with cranks and quacks, magicians and madmen.”

C. Glymour and D. Stalker from “Engineers, cranks, physicians, magicians”; N Engl J Med. 1983 Apr 21;308(16):960-4

prohibited for disposal

image by misterbisson on Flickr
image by misterbisson on Flickr
The following items are prohibited for disposal at the Alpha Ridge Landfill:

  • ammunition
  • dead animals
  • engine blocks (over 2′)
  • explosives
  • hot ashes
  • infectious waste
  • pathological waste
  • radioactive waste
  • radiological waste
  • septage waste
  • surgical hospital waste

These people are clearly mad. I never let perfectly good ammo or explosives go to waste, and engine blocks are critical to the construction of my many infernal devices, so I don’t have to worry about the first three. As to the rest, well, that’s a bloody damn inconvenient policy. I guess it’s back to my neighbor’s basement with a shovel…

weekly rounds

  • That noted, my interview on KXDJ with Chris was great. His questions were keen, and getting a chance to give a more meaningful answer to the not-so-simple question of “is the H1N1 pandemic overhyped?” is always refreshing. (Easy response – “yes” from a lay media public fear angle, and “no” from a vaccine and preparedness standpoint. That discussion is worth a post or 10… or a few convention talks, as the case may be. 🙂 )