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Neat Stuff from Elsewhere Wed Jan 25, 2012

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Book #24 – Microorganisms: From Smallpox to Lyme Disease

By Thomas D. Brock, ed.

My poor sick green-faced sproglet is finally sleeping, and since she’s in my bed(*) I’m trapped at my desk doing quiet things, so I’m choosing from among the books on the shelf above my desk. This book seems apropos.

Microorganisms is a good basic introductory text. Well-organized, decently written (more narrative/anecdote than usual for a science book) and with effective illustrations, it covers the last several hundred years’ thinking on this topic very efficiently. They even touch on biological weapons. Recommended for biology geeks and anyone wanting a solid background against which to assess things like anthrax threats.

*: a moment of risk and parental sacrifice: she’s quite barfy, and not very good at making the necessary run to the bathroom. This is more an unwitting sacrifice for D, I suppose, since she’s on his side (which is closer to the bathroom), but I’m the one home doing the laundry today, so.

Across the ranting spectrum

The Zero Boss has a good profane rant up on the US’ bizarre machinations as they try to keep gay couples from being foster parents — the title says it all, I think:

Arkansas Supremes Bitchslap Gay Foster Ban; Ban Likes It, Asks If It Can Have Another

So the issue is resolved in favor of truth, justice, and matching genitals, right? Not so fast, buckeroo. Legislators are burning the midnight oil to find creative ways to keep parenting a straights-only club. State Sen. Jim Holt, doing his best James Dobson impersonation, crows that he has “10,000 studies” – only 9,973 of which were not authored by buttmonkeys on crack – proving that gay and lesbian parents are the Devil’s water-bearers. (This wouldn’t have anything to do with your election bid, would it, Sen. Holt? Naaaaaaah.) So away the legislator goes, attempting to put the smackdown on “non-normal” parents…while 6,500 foster kids eagerly await a home provided by anybody. So long as there aren’t any cages involved, natch.

The question isn’t, “Can gay and lesbian couples parent as effectively as straights?” The question is, “How the hell could they do any worse?”

This woman lends credence to that sentiment. Unwittingly, but still.

Sorry, but my children bore me to death

One wonders why she bothered to have kids in the first place, if she finds children — not children’s activities, but the children themselves — so objectionable.

Elsewhere, Joel on Software takes issue with an insurance ad which disses geeks.

Maybe a know-nothing in the White House has given you the idea that it’s somehow acceptable now to poke fun of geeks and nerds, in big two-page ad spreads on the inside front cover of a magazine for founders of startups. But you know what, morons? You probably forgot that most of the people that read Inc. are geeks. And we buy insurance. Lots of insurance. Like me. And in fact I used to buy it from you. But not any more.