My Favorite Links

It's a great time to be alive if you love knowledge. This section is dedicated to to providing links worthwhile places on the internet.

Medical Science

Battleing Bad Science

Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.

Frontline Vaccine Wars

PBS's Frontline did a fascinating story on the science, pseudo science and concerns regarding vaccinations.

Taking Health care Off The Mainframe

Eric Dishman gives a fascinating talk at TED about bringing technology into the lives of people to improve health care.

Dr. Kevin McCauley on The Disease of Addiction

It can be hard to look at addiction like a disease in the same way we consider conditions such as diabetes, schizophrenia and depression to be diseases. Dr. Kevin McCauley, former Navy flight surgeon makes a compelling and fascinating case for the disease model of addiction. It seems to me that this presentation, based on recent science can revolutionize the way addicts are treated, even to the point of making the way we treat addicts today seem barbaric by comparison. I have heard people with addicted loved ones who were surprised that they didn't get this information at the treatment centers. I highly recommend this for anyone who cares about anyone affected by addiction. The presentation is split into 10 parts so it may be more convenient to go directly to this URL where each subsequent section is played automatically.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Here is a fascinating talk that sheds light on obesity, processed foods, and fructose. Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. He even talks about a simple way to reverse diabetes in just a few days.

VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization

Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization as we know it. If you liked the episode of House MD where Dr. House relieves Dr. Wilson's neighbor of excruciating pain with a mirror box device, you may find this especially interesting.

Central Autonomic Nervous System Regulation, Dopamine Agonists and Fibromyalgia by Dr. Andrew Holman, M.D.

I was curious about the dopamine system and happened upon this fascinating presentation on Fibromyalgia. It was significant because I have friends who have Fibromyalgia. I found it most interesting when Dr.Holman talked about a sleep study that showed if you wake people up at just the right time (or wrong time, depending on your perspective), and you do it in a particular way, you could cause Fibromyalgia symptoms. You will likely find this of interest if have or you know someone who suffers from the effects of Fibromyalgia.

Applied Math

Math allows us to see things that would be invisible and solve problems that would otherwise be unsolvable. It can open up amazing adventures and illuminate the mysteries of the universe. If you don't find math exciting, perhaps one of these videos will change your mind.

Peter Donnelly shows how stats fool juries

Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics -- and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials. He even makes some amusing jokes about statisticians.

Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything

Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks about his quest to make all knowledge computational -- able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics underlying the universe.

Hans Rosling: Let my dataset change your mindset

Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.

Sean Gourley on the mathematics of war

By analyzing raw data on violent incidents in the Iraq war and others, Sean Gourley and his team claim to have found a surprisingly strong mathematical relationship linking the number of fatalities and frequency of attacks.

God, DNA, and The Origin of Life

This is one of the better arguments I've heard for the existence of God. It sure beats the long debunked bumble bee myth that I've heard people throw around. I find it unfortunate that creationists sometimes use bad arguments like the bumble bee myth because they don't realize that by their carelessness they are trashing the faith rather than defending it. In this video, Perry Marshall uses the branch of mathematics known as information theory to argue that DNA is the work of an intelligent creator.