Posts by Cushla McKinney

  • Up Front: I Walk the Line,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. I've never (thankfully) had to undergo chemo or radiotherapy, but I HAVE undergone treatment that felt even worse than the illness it was intended to treat. Never let go hope, and do whatever you need to do to get through. Kia haha and my thoughts are with you.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Southerly: This Week in Parliament: 14…,

    Does his ascendence to papal status mean he has to refrain from textual relations with anybody, or just non-believers?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    What about:

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Election '11: the special votes, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Don't the Nats lose a vote if they make Lockwood the speaker again?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • OnPoint: Transcription of new Rick Perry…,

    It is also scary that politicians in the US are portrayed as somehow being superhuman creatures that can singlehandedly fix stupendously complex issues (or create new ones) with a wave of their hand, or a speech from the Oval Office..

    Unfortunately the politicians believe it too. Then they get into office and find out they can't. This is where Obama has come unstuck; he promised so much only to find out that "no we can't" (at least not when he's outflanked by the Mad Hatter's Tea Party(

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Hard News: Science: it's complicated,

    Hi Ben,

    The rock stars of science aren’t, in my opinion, necessarily closely related to the good science.

    I think we are moving closer to the point where 'good science' incorporates the ability to communicate scientific ideas to a lay audience. The Science Communication course at here at the University Otago being a case in point. Because as scientists we operate within a wider society and what we do will have effects on that society, it is important that we discuss what we are doing, why we are doing it and the implications of our work.
    I would like to think that both ethics and communication will become core components of science education in the near future.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Muse: That Book, The Ban That Isn't,…,

    "Paper Plus, The Warehouse and Unity also have little concerns about selling “true crime” non-fiction, self-justifying memoirs written by convicted criminals. "

    Nor do they refuse to stock the accounts of other parents of murdered (or missing) children, such as the book about Madeline McCann, which has also just been released. Is the difference that we think Macsyna King is guilty and the Kate McCann innocent? What about books by/about David Bain or Lindy Chamberlain? Would they have been banned while they were found guilty by the courts and acceptable after acquittal? I'm not sure the distinction between presumptive guilt and innocence justifies the difference in treatment the two books have received, especially since it seems nobody who is boycotting the former has read it yet.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Muse: Shelf Life: The Dying Elephant in…,

    Here in Dunedin we don't have Borders, and the Whitcoulls has a disappointingly small, mainstream stock list (especially in SF, as others have also commented). Luckily for us we have the University Book Shop which stocks or can get just about anything. Generally, though, I tend to get most of my books via Amazon or ABE (generally as presents for others). The one thing shopping on line doesn't give you, though, is the pleasure of just browsing.

    One thing I did like about Borders (at least as they worked in the US) is the ability to just sit and read, but you don't need a good chain store for that. Personally I don't think anything can beat a good second hand book shop (I make a pilgrimage to Scribes every weekend). Not only is there the possibility of randomly stumbling over something fascinating, nothing can beat the thrill of finding that one book you've been awaiting for ages. Plus my 2 year old can sit and read to herself happily too without my having to worry about being glared at by staff concerned about damage to their spotless stock. I think if Whitcoulls wants to survive, it needs to recreate itself as a more eclectic, friendly type of shop rather than a plastic popular-fiction chain store.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Hard News: I hope she does something interesting,

    regarding DCA, ORAC (a doctor and oncology researcher) has an interesting article on his blog Respectful Insolence regarding the hype surrounding this issue. He is cautiously hopeful about the drug's potential, but also points out that several other drugs which showed great promise in cell culture and animal trials are ineffective in humans. Although no fan of big pharma, he also debunks some of the conspiacy-mongering by poointing out that the cost of a clinical trial is only a fraction of the development of a new de-novo treatmenttreatment de-novo, and that it *is* possible to patent a new application of a drug approved for other purposes. There have also been papers published showing DCA induces apoptosis in tissues other than tumours (Dichloroacetate Prevents and Reverses Pulmonary Hypertension by Inducing Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Apoptosis
    M. Sean McMurtry, Sebastien Bonnet, Xichen Wu, Jason R.B. Dyck, Alois Haromy, Kyoko Hashimoto, Evangelos D. Michelakis
    Circ Res. 2004 Oct 15;95(8):830-40) and that it may itself be carcinogenic (Carter JH, Carter HW, Deddens JA, Hurst BM, George MH, DeAngelo AB. A 2-year dose-response study of lesion sequences during hepatocellular carcinogenesis in the male B6C3F(1) mouse given the drinking water chemical dichloroacetic acid. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Jan;111(1):53-64., Bull RJ, Sasser LB, Lei XC. Interactions in the tumor-promoting activity of carbon tetrachloride, trichloroacetate, and dichloroacetate in the liver of male B6C3F1 mice. Toxicology. 2004 Jul 1;199(2-3):169-8). I hope money *is* forthcoming for a good, lage-scale clinical trial, but until this is done I think it is too early to hail victory over cancer.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Island Life: I have aspirations going,

    Dear Manakura,
    I'm not accusing John Key of anything, in fact I'd very much like to believe him. I really was impressed by his ability to project a moderate line that will probably appeal to a lot of people. My suspicion is founded on a scepticism that extends to politicians in general. You are right that it is a popularity contest, but that it is the policy that counts, and my experience is that (as the old saying goes) "fine words butter no parsnips" The better the rhetoric, the more suspicious I get, and this goes for parties on *both* sides of the fence.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

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