Showing posts from May, 2006

Circumcision as an adult, part 1

I wish to write a personal account of my recent circumcision because I had been looking for similar information when I was in the process of deciding whether or not to have it done, and while I did find a limited number of personal accounts, I would have appreciated more and from different angles. To uninterested observers, the things I'm going to write may seem like a lot of detail about something minor, but it may not seem as unimportant to some. It is these I write for.

Among the predominantly Catholic/agnostic/atheist population in Slovenia, circumcision is usually not performed at birth. If performed, this is usually done in childhood or teenage years due to a significant medical reason - in particular if the foreskin is too narrow to reveal the glans penis completely, making hygiene difficult and sexual performance painful.

I will soon be 26 and I had no such pressing medical cause. My penis performed well, was well-shaped and good-looking. My girlfriend did observe that I had…

The incredible stupidity at Diebold

This is incredible:
David Bear, a spokesman for Diebold Election Systems, said the potential risk existed because the company's technicians had intentionally built the machines in such a way that election officials would be able to update their systems in years ahead.

"For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software," he said. "I don't believe these evil elections people exist." The whole point of election systems is to provide resistance to fraud. The standard (manual) election process has all sorts of fraud protections built in:
You are authenticated before you vote so you don't vote twice and so it's known how many people voted.
You make your vote privately behind a screen, and you throw it into the box anonymously, so that no one can know how you voted, and therefore cannot force you to vote a certain way.
There are a…

FAQ about capitalism and capitalists

In my personal experience, I have run across several prevalent misconceptions about capitalism and capitalists. I feel that some of these need to be addressed in a dedicated FAQ. If you have run into other misconceptions that you think need addressing, you are welcome to post it in a comment. If you have any of your own questions about capitalism and capitalists, you are welcome to post that, too.

1. Do capitalists eat their own children?

Contrary to popular lore, the answer is - disappointingly - no. Capitalists do not eat their own children, or indeed even the children of their neighbors. They have been known to eat veal and sometimes caviar, though.

2. Do capitalists eat poor people?

Again, the answer to this question is a let-down. No. Though there have been stories of capitalists burning poor people over a slow roast, upon detailed investigation these have turned out to be myths. It appears that capitalists are actually quite safe to be around, even for people from poorer elements of…

Cells from mutant mice kill cancers

Here's a link to the fascinating New Scientist article from the headline. My commentary to this article is below in Slovene.

Če obstaja raku-odporna mutacija v miših, gotovo obstaja tudi v človeku. Glede na število ljudi na svetu je celo kar verjetno, da je med nami vsaj nekaj, ali kar nekaj takih, ki so odporni proti raku. Kandidat za to je vsak, ki še nikoli v življenju ni imel rakavega obolenja.

Če bi našli takega človeka ali več njih, bi lahko zdravljenje raka v ljudeh postalo podobno enostavno, kot je opisano v članku. Zajeli bi delež belih krvničk rako-odpornega človeka in jih dali bolniku, ki bi, če bi bilo kot pri miših, nato preprosto ozdravel!

Problem je le najti takega človeka. En sistem bi bil, kot so raziskovalci postopali pri miših, ampak ta bi bil seveda preveč mengelejevski: množico ljudi bi bilo treba okužiti s kakšnim smrtonosnim rakom, nakar je pravi človek tisti, ki preživi. To seveda med ljudmi ne more iti.

Šlo bi pa mogoče tole: identificirali bi vse tiste ljudi,…