There’s been a major breakthrough in the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. Every face-to-face friend I’ve told about this has found it fascinating, and one of my regulars has rightly suggested I should blog it. It seems many cases of Alzheimer’s may be due to brain infection by the herpes simplex Type I virus — the one that gives you cold sores. Researchers at the University of Manchester have found herpes-simplex DNA in the abnormal beta-amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The implications are huge.
I am not sure when or where I first encountered it, but the theory that the Arthurian cycle of legends might be rooted in the mythology of Scythia and the Sarmathians instantly struck me as not only plausible but almost certainly correct. The Sarmatians (and the closely-related or identical tribe of Alans) introduced armored heavy cavalry using the shock charge with lance to Europe: the Sarmatian hypothesis would neatly explain several otherwise very peculiar features of the Arthurian material, including the fact that even very early versions insistently describe a style of war gear and knightly combat with slashing swords on horseback that would not become actually typical in Europe until the later Middle Ages.
A commenter writes, replying to my previous post on Eric and the Quantum Experts:
>Eric, you may still have a chance to revolutionize physics, since decoherence by itself may not completely solve the problem.
Alas, I am probably too old now. There is a way outside chance I could do it, yes, but,…hmm…how to explain this…
On my favorite mailing list, it was written:
> Anyway, if you think someone who lives and breathes some field is missing > some obvious point, they're probably right and you're probably wrong.
Generally I think this is true. However, I hereby submit the story of Eric and the Quantum Experts as a cautionary tale for all bright children.
A commenter wrote:
Think about it: guys like Leo Dicaprio or Owen Wilson for example.
These guys are not exactly manly men but seem more like teen boys.
There’s no need to invoke exotic theories like endocrine disruptors; they’re just reflecting the zeitgeist. I just turned 51, and a disturbingly large percentage of men in their twenties and thirties seem like spoiled narcissistic man-children to me. I thought for a while that this might mean I was turning into the sort of crusty old fart I laughed at when I was twenty-five, until I noticed that the percentage of man-children varied a great deal depending on my social context.
Scary news stories are beginning to make the rounds of the blogosphere about endocrine disruptors – synthetic chemical pollutents that mimic the effects of estrogen and have supposedly already created a generation of feminized young men and boys with shrunken genitals and preferences shifted towards girls’ toys.
In Open Source: The Model Is Broken, Stuart Cohen complains that the business model based on selling support and services around open-source software is “not meeting the expectations of investors”. In related news, the sky is failing to meet my expectations by not raining tasty soup.