Study: Alcohol makes smoking more fun

I can't pass this one up: it brought to mind the tale of the Keep It Simple club in Edmonton. The next thing I'm waiting for is the logical conclusion that could be drawn here: if we ban smoking we'll reduce drunk driving accidents and deaths.

Wasn't it Mark Twain who observed that puritans are busybodies driven by the dread fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time?

In tests on human volunteers, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that even small amounts of alcohol boost the pleasurable effects of nicotine, inducing people to smoke more when drinking alcoholic beverages. The findings provide a physiological explanation for the common observation that people smoke more in bars. The findings also explain statistics showing that alcoholics tend to smoke more than non-alcoholics, and that smokers are more likely to be alcoholics.

(link) [Science Blog]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Upgraded to Panther

on Big Mac. What a royal pain - Apple very cheerfully deleted my sendmail configuration, destroyed my imap server and otherwise variously wrecked havoc throughout the system.

A cardinal rule of installer software is "first, delete no files" ... which Apple seems to do a pretty good job of following, most of the time. When they need to replace a file they'll save the old one as ".applesaved". Except for the sendmail configuration files. AND YOU NEVER DELETE A BINARY UNLESS YOU'RE REPLACING IT WITH AN UPDATED VERSION OF THE SAME PROGRAM. Even Microsoft follows this rule.

I wouldn't have minded so much if they replaced sendmail with postfix (in fact, between Kris and I we now have postfix running just fine as our base MTA), but they could've saved the config and the binary just in case I wanted to refer to them in the future - futhermore, I know that they're perfectly capable of doing this, as they managed to save several other little server type programs running on that machine (including an old version of rsync) just fine. And they politely backed up my Apache conf file so restoring my settings was a simple matter of renaming the old to the new.

Maybe I'm just a stickler for details, but the only time we've ever had any problems with the Mac has been when we upgraded the OS. It'll be a warm day in Hel (a little heathen humor there) before Panther gets to my laptop.

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

World anger after Hamas killing

Let me see if I understand this: this guy was an avowed ememy of Israel, had plotted numerous successful terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians and was opposed to the very existance of Israel.

Therefore, when Israel kills him, it's a horrible act of violence and they are roundly condemned.

In my experience, I've noticed that when one stands in front of a bull tossing bombs and screaming taunts, one should not be surprised if one gets gored. Or at the very least, trampled.

It's the hypocrisy that gets me: this guy made war on Israel with hardly a peep about violence. Israel makes war on him, and the masses rush to condemn the brutal assassination. Just amazing...

The assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin sparks widespread condemnation.

(link) [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

World population growth 'falling'

Nature has a way of evening things out ...

Women are having fewer babies and Aids is having an impact in Africa, the US Census Bureau says.

(link) [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Social Networking in the Digital Age

This is an interesting take on the whole "social web" thing: I still haven't found much of a use for it, but the apps are pretty cool, from a technical point of view.

It used to be if you wanted to win more friends, influence more people or make more money, you bought one of those self-improvement tomes and tried to pump up your personality. These days, all you have to do is go online and join a "social networking" site. The pumping will be done for you.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link