URLs du Jour


  • You've probably heard the justification for many regulations: "If it saves even one life, it's worth it!" The Washington Post reports on how that sometimes works out in the unsimplistic real world.
    Warnings from federal regulators four years ago that antidepressants were increasing the risk of suicidal behavior among young people led to a precipitous drop in the use of the drugs. Now a new study has found that the drop coincides with an unprecedented increase in the number of suicides among children.
    This via Hans Bader at the CEI Open Market blog, who comments:
    That's one more reason to stop letting federal regulators at the FDA delay approval of life-saving drugs for years on end, based on speculative or nonexistent risks—and to prevent bureaucrats in other countries from blocking technological advances based on the "precautionary principle."
    Bottom line: the FDA continues to kill citizens via regulation. And that's not an issue of incompetence or stupidity: that's the way it was designed to work.

  • There are two kinds of geeks: Paul Graham fans, and those who haven't read Paul Graham yet. His recent essay on colleges is much worth reading:
    A few weeks ago I had a thought so heretical that it really surprised me. It may not matter all that much where you go to college.
    Good stuff to think about if you, or someone you know, is picking a college. Also immensely reassuring to any UNH student.

  • Knowing how many readers come to Pun Salad for research-based tips on their love life:
    It is a moment of high anxiety in any romantic relationship. But now researchers have found that the first kiss may be even more important than anyone suspected.

    While a kiss may just be a kiss for a man, for a woman it's an all-important means of gauging a prospective partner's compatability. She uses it, the study suggests, to assess a "rich and complex exchange" of romantic and chemical clues that pass between partners as their lips touch.

    This is no surprise to anyone who remembers the wise words of "The Shoop Shoop Song":
    Does he love me, I wanna know,
    how can I tell if he loves me so?
    (Is it in his eyes)
    oh no you'll be deceived
    (is it in his sighs)
    oh no he'll make believe.
    If you wanna know
    (shoop shoop shoop shoop shoop shoop shoop)
    if he loves you so
    it's in his kiss
    (that's where it is.... oh yeah!)
    Although I believe the recent research is slightly harder to put to music. (Via GeekPress.)