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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

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Last week a workshop at the International Horticultural Congress in Lisbon, Portugal featured a series of speakers known for their work in transgenic technology. I’ll summarize these in the next few posts. Today’s post addresses an important question- why are there few horticultural (basically non-agronomic fruits and vegetables) transgenic crops available, at least relative to corn, soy and other huge agronomic crops? These are the capsules of flavor and nutrition truly necessary in a diverse diet, yet they suffer tremendous challenges to production and distribution. Transgenic technologies could deliver great benefits.

An article in the latest issue of PLOS Medicine, The Haunting of Medical Journals: How Ghostwriting Sold “HRT”, details the use of ghostwriting as a marketing tool for pharmaceutical companies. It is a chilling discussion of how at least one pharmaceutical company, Wyeth, used the peer-reviewed literature as a method of distributing marketing messages to physicians.



Another excellent Morford column. On another day, he could take this passage:

...the hardcore lefty fringe has its violent cretins, to be sure, natty Earth Firsters to slavering PETA blood hurlers, eco-terrorists and freako off-grid cults, but those groups never claim to be a vital part of the Democratic Party. Liberalism does not depend on terrible education rates to survive.
The GOP, on the other hand, sucks hard from the teat of ignorant extremism, splashes gleefully in the shallow mud puddles of Sarah Palin's battered grammar, draws much of its power from the worst the human spectacle has to offer. Simply put, the modern Republican Party would not exist without its army of high school dropouts drunk on Rush Limbaugh and sexual dread.

and go in another direction. The GOP does indeed depend on scummy miscreants for much of its energy and for some of the pillars of its "philosophy". On the other hand, the Democrats excoriate the core of their constituency for suggesting that they, ya know, act like democrats once in while. Hey, how 'bout that public option? Hey, how 'bout Wall street reform that has a snowball's chance of preventing the next meltdown? Radical stuff like deserves a good chewing out by Rahm Emanuel.

It's not difficult to imagine "Burn a Quran Day" becoming a new Texas state holiday.

As this would be the American way of stooping to the level of Iranian "Death to America Day". Was 2007 the last of these? No worries: the day has been picked up in Afghanistan.

Fundies everywhere are so good at condemning others by burning books and wishing ill on the "others."


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