Archive: Code for life November 2011

Natural Health Products bill gets quietly dropped

Grant Jacobs Nov 16, 2017

Today Newsroom reported that the Natural Health Products bill has been quietly dropped. Fellow Sciblogger Mark Hanna offered thoughts on this in an interview. There is a need to address an unregulated market that has problems. In an earlier piece, I offered some thoughts on the draft bill. I felt quite a bit could be added. Claims about … Read More

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Offering sympathies for disabilities

Grant Jacobs Nov 12, 2017

Short version: don’t. Be a wee bit careful about empathy, too. Why to not offer sympathies for disabilities is worth knowing. It’ll help you be kind to others in many situations, and to write or talk about disabilities and difficulties better. There’s a connection with science and science communication, too. A mantra about kindness that circulates in science communication and … Read More

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Vote for your favourite book

Grant Jacobs Nov 10, 2017

The GoodReads Choice Awards is the only major book award decided by readers – you! Even if you’re not sure about voting, the mid rounds of competitions offer great reading lists to explore. Get to it! Don’t take too long – the semi-final round ends in three days. (There is a final round from November 14th until November 27th.) … Read More

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Vaccine battles

Grant Jacobs Nov 08, 2017

Two articles from Stuff have sparked a long-drawn out battle over vaccines. The Facebook pages have drawn an huge number of comments, many posting ill-formed opinions. Yeah, it’s happening again. The Stuff articles themselves are mostly fine. The vaccine battles in the comments… not. Yesterday was the 150th birthday of Nobel laureate Marie Curie.* She once wrote, “Nothing … Read More

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When to kick out a professor

Grant Jacobs Oct 27, 2017

(Or a taught course, or department.) Reading about the latest retraction of a Shaw and Tomljenovic research paper on aluminium (with two ‘i’s!) and vaccines, I was reminded of topics I’ve ruminated on in the past: when to investigate a professor, and when do they no longer justify their position? What criteria might we use? What are the hallmarks … Read More

2

Autism is mostly genetic again

Grant Jacobs Oct 24, 2017

Ever since Rain Man, autism has been a condition du-jour for those touting (fake) ’wellness’ remedies, opposing vaccines, and general head-nodding concern. Some claim autism is caused by any number of things, offering just many remedies offered to “treat” it. Recent research reminds us that autism is mostly genetic. People with autism, or autism spectrum disorder, have difficulty in social … Read More

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What do you want in a science commission?

Grant Jacobs Oct 22, 2017

Now that New Zealand has a government, we can look to what they might do. Several parties offered to reorganise the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor role, and to introduce a Science Commission. How would you like to see this role work? I’m going to offer a few suggestions to encourage people to put their ideas forward in the comments … Read More

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Migrating email accounts with custom folders to Gmail

Grant Jacobs Oct 10, 2017

This long suggestion might be useful to those trying to migrate email between other service providers and Gmail. It’s particularly meant for (and inspired by) New Zealanders still trying to get their email accounts with custom folders out of Vodafone’s email system before Vodafone’s deadline to abandon email. [I rarely post how-to’s but this is one of a number of … Read More