Unconventional Wisdom

Challenging the conventional wisdom isn’t always easy or safe. But as the old saw goes, ‘it ain’t what you don’t know – it’s what you know that just ain’t so’ that hurts you most. Here are three recent little variants on that theme:

The human appendix needs an asterisk. Long believed to be an ‘evolutionary relic,’ useless to all practical intents and purposes, instead the appendix appears to “serve a critical function”.

On another front, a researcher at Michigan State University believes the evidence indicates that current health standards denigrating nitrates and nitrites in food are, in part, in error and that nitrates and nitrates in plants may well provide health benefits.

And finally, it appears that homes are a radically underestimated source of water pollution – contributing as much as 50 percent more water pollution in the form of pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants, than previously believed.

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Samoa Changes Down the Road

Samoa

On at least ten occasions since the end of the Second World War, nations have decided to change the side of the road on which they drive. In every case, the change was from left to right, beginning with South Korea in 1946, and concluding with Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Ghana in the early Seventies. But this time is different. The tiny island nation of Samoa has decided to change their traffic from the right side of the road (where about 70% of the world drives) to the left., effective on the 7th of September. Why? Patrick Barta explains the less-than-compelling logic.

Samoa Locator

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picturing America

The Haysville Community Library is a participant in the Picturing America program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and courtesy of the American Library Association and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences can offer our community a collection of vibrant images from America’s past and present. Our Picturing America collection brings to life the story of our nation through display of high-quality color reproductions of masterpieces of American art. Here’s a sample of what’s on display now at the library:

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Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm  Comments (1)  

“Satire”

When satire is done well, you get Jonathan Swift. When it’s done badly – very badly – you get Amazon Reviewers Take On the Classics.

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 10:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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