Monthly Archives: October 2011

Gun control keeps suicides down

Michael Bryant says:

Most firearm deaths in Canada are suicides (over 75 per cent). Only 24 per cent are homicides. Suicides in Canada will go up if the Prime Minister isn’t careful about what he repeals.

… Suicides dropped dramatically in Canada thanks to the federal gun registry. Not only do statistics prove as much, it stands to reason that with improved gun safety comes decreased gun fatalities; with fewer tools-of-choice for suicides available, fewer suicides occur. It just makes sense.

… A home where there are firearms is five times more likely to be the scene of a suicide than a home without a gun: Canada Safety Council. The Institut national de sante publique du Québec has assessed that the coming into force of the Firearms Act is associated, on average, with a reduction of 250 suicides (and 50 homicides) each year in Canada. That’s nearly one life saved per day. …

Don Prothero did NOT find creationist field trips in the Twin Cities

… But he could have. Our local Young Earth Creationist group does run a dinosaur excavation in South Dakota and they do local field trips. But, Don does talk about this experience in a different city:

the 2010 meeting last year in Denver took the cake: there was a whole field trip run by YECs who did not identify their agenda, and pretended that they were doing conventional geology–until you read between the lines.

Read about it here.

A Rape in Progress

Early in 2009, my friend and colleague Sheril Kirshenbaum asked several bloggers to consider writing about rape during the month of June, as a coordinated effort to increase awareness and understanding of rape generally, and depending on the blogger, specific aspects of sexual assault and violence. (Sheril’s initial post back in 2009 is here) I welcomed that opportunity and took the approach of discussing two things I actually know something about: Rape in war torn Congo, where I worked for several years (prior to the war) and the behavioral biology of male violence and rape, which is a rather touchy SFAQL subject. There are other aspects of this issue that interest me as well, including the role of anthropological relativism. The definition of rape and how definitional arguments are exploited is also of interest to me, but that has been written about extensively by my friend and colleage Stephanie Zvan (see this list of posts for a start). Another topic of interest that I had not thought about much before bloging about rape is the abuse and rape of men by women (or men, for that matter). It turns out it occurs much more often than many people assume. However, since men are by and large big babies who cry a lot when wounded only slightly, the fact that some men are abused combined with the fact that nobody seems to care enough has resulted in the rise of a Mens Rights Activism movement which is a great example of the Large Lobster Effect but in a bad way. My friend and colleague Jason Thibeault has written some great stuff on this, which you can find by perusing this list of posts.

I want to revive and revise that discussion of rape that started over two years ago, and pursuant to that I’m re-posting (and rewriting) my posts from June 2009. And we’ll start by revisiting this simple question: What would you do if you were the person writing the following passage.
Continue reading A Rape in Progress

The Large Lobster Effect

Have you ever had a large lobster? I mean, a really large one, like five pounds or more? They are hard to get these days. Most of the good Maine Lobsters (and all lobsters are Maine Lobsters unless otherwise specified) come from Maine in the US, and Maine has a rule that you can’t harvest large lobsters. But back in the old days, when I was buying lobsters off the boat or occasionally eating them on the boat, you could still get them. And you can still get large lobsters from New Hampshire and Massachusetts but a) they are not as good and b) they are too expensive to even consider for those of us in the 99%.
Continue reading The Large Lobster Effect

Maggie Koerth-Baker on Dr. Kiki

Maggie Koerth-Baker is a Twin Cities based journalist and science editor at Boing Boing. She has bee a guest along with me on Atheist Talk Radio,and I hope to interview her early next year in relation to her forthcoming book, which I am very excited about. Meanwhile, you can see Maggie on Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour. That show will be at 6 central TODAY.

You can see Dr Kiki a number of ways. I watch her on Twit network on my Roku.