Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Waltzing by the Nile, ladies loved the style--5.4.2005
Buried in his jammiesIt wasnt King Tut, but he or she is in better shape. A superbly preserved Egyptian mummy was uncovered in the Saqqara Pyramids south of Cairo by a group of Australian scientists. No one knows who it is, but it has been dated as part of the 30th dynasty, which makes it about 2,300 years old. He or she was buried in a wooden sarcophagus in sand at the end of a tunnel now about 20 feet deep. The mummy was wrapped in an illustrated burial cloth showing scenes of the goddess Maat [whatever happened to her?] and the four children of the falcon-headed god Horus [he was big once too]. The chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities says it's the most beautiful mummy ever found in Egypt. They are sending it out for CT scans to see if they can discover who it is, or at least to see if it is a man or woman. Judging from how the job was done and where the mummy was buried, whoever it is must have been important, or at least rich. Easy come. Easy go. In this remarkable world of the Internet, the best photos are in the China Dailys English web page. Click here.
For a discussion on the dating, see the University of Chicagos discussion group.
AP MSNBC [slides]
But her feets too bigMedicine is full of procedures and practices that seemed like a good idea at the time and are accepted for years before anyone looks to see if they actually do any good. Take episiotomies. If you are a woman who had a baby, you probably did. It is one of the commonest surgical procedures in the U.S. A study by the Center for Womens Health at the University of North Carolina, published in JAMA, says the procedure is not only generally useless, it often does more harm than good. The study was done with a grant from the Agency for Health Research and Quality at the request of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which is apparently frustrated that episiotomies are still being performed on a million women a year for no apparent reason. There has been a decease in recent years, but one-third of all vaginal births in the U.S., include the surgery, more than hysterectomies and caesarian sections. Of first-time mothers, 70-80 % have them. Designed to prevent tearing during birth, the researchers found the operation may actually promote tearing. WP USNEWS
Drug bust bustEverybody knows it. No one in charge will admit it. We lost the war on drugs. We were never close to winning the war on drugs. Being totally outwitted by the folks selling the hard stuff (and their customers), law enforcement officials have increasingly aimed their attention at the easy targets, like folks with marijuana. Using FBI data, a liberal think tank, the Sentencing Project, found that nearly half of all the arrests for drug offenses involved people and pot. Arrests for the hard stuff, which were 55% of total arrests in 1991, are less than 30% now since the cops shifted their attention. Marijuana arrests went from 28% to 45% in the same period. Most of the marijuana arrests were misdemeanors, so they didnt affect prison populations but it made the War on Drug guys feel useful. Meanwhile, it is no harder to acquire marijuana now than it was 20 years ago, and it remains the largest cash crop is many rural counties. You dont have to take those liberals word for it. Last month, the American Enterprise Institute published a report suggesting that that the anti-drug forces were wasting their time and $35 billion a year. Undaunted, the Feds issued a simultaneous report [Coincidence? I think not] claiming that kids who smoke pot are more likely to suffer from mental disorders than kids who dont. Once again, repeat after me:"correlation does not equal causation." But read on WP Reuters Minneapolis Star-Tribune CT
Walk away from that computer and light up a jointA survey of 1,100 people in Britain shows that people who are distracted by e-mail, text messages and phone calls, suffer a greater loss of IQ (10 points) than the people who smoke dope. Hewlett-Packard, of all corporations, commissioned the study. The survey showed that almost two out of three people check their e-mail when they are not at work or on vacation, one in five will break off a conversation to respond to a message despite the fact that 9 out of 10 said it was rude to do so. Researchers at Kings College London University gave people IQ tests during the day and found that those struggling to handle all that input lost 10 points in their score, the equivalent of losing a nights sleep and more than double the fall you take when you light up a joint. CNN