Bharat”s Pocket Scraps July 28

What I read last week

Pisces porn: Could the sounds of spawning lure lake trout?

Lake trout make noise in bed, according to new research by Great Lakes scientists. The report may cause a smirk, but researchers say the findings are serious.

I am a sucker for a provocative science news release, so, I give you trout aphrodisiacs to start with.

Read Pisces porn: Could the sounds of spawning lure lake trout?

Sterilization of indigenous women an act of genocide, new book says

An Act of Genocide, Colonialism and the Sterilization of Aboriginal Women was written by Karen Stote, an assistant professor of women and gender studies at Wilfred Laurier University in Ontario.

Read Sterilization of indigenous women an act of genocide, new book says

Read this article earlier in the week, was appalled at how recent the book’s stories were. Then, I read this report from Saskatoon.

Long awaited review into forced sterilization of Indigenous women at Saskatoon hospital finds “covert and overt racism” among staff

An external review report released Thursday by the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority into the forced sterilization of Indigenous women at Royal University Hospital has found “covert and overt racism” amongst healthcare providers and is putting forward ten calls to action.

2015, not 1970s, procedures forced on indigenous women without informed consent. I tend to trust authorities because of my privileged upbringing and status, but really, how do you rebuild trust after something like this?

Read Long awaited review into forced sterilization of Indigenous women at Saskatoon hospital finds “covert and overt racism” among staff

Study shows India can integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into its electricity grid

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed the technical and economic viability of integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into India’s grid by 2022.

In case you needed more data to tell you that humans’ ability to make the transition away from fossil fuels is restrained only by political and implementational barriers, not technology or feasibility ones.

Read Study shows India can integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into its electricity grid

Moral luck

There is a contradiction in our ordinary ideas about moral responsibility. Let’s explore it by considering two examples. Killer, our first character, is at a party and drives home drunk. At a certain point in her journey, she swerves, hits the curb, and kills a pedestrian who was on the curb.

I like the blog 3QuarksDaily because it takes me outside my usual science/politics wheelhouse on readings, such as this one. Completely agree. Also, I support systemic fixes which take luck out of the equation, better transit, and you don’t need to drive, inexpensive alcohol sensor locks, and you can’t drive if you drink! Speed limiters that link your vehicle’s maximum speed to posted speed limits, you can’t speed! Yeah, personal freedom, etc, but freedom to act in ways that endanger others has always been restricted, only, we now have better technology.

Read Moral luck

Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould tells AFN to prepare for future beyond the Indian Act

Jorge Barrera APTN National News Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday said First Nations need to prepare for a future that has been set into motion by the Justin Trudeau government that will permanently alter their relationship with Canada.

Stay tuned, the Trudeau government talks a good talk, and rarely acts, will this be the same?

Read Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould tells AFN to prepare for future beyond the Indian Act

Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis

Among Unselected Western studies, the mean SC (edit: sperm count) declined, on average, 1.4% per year with an overall decline of 52.4% between 1973 and 2011.

This meta-analysis (where authors put together results from a set of individual studies) has garnered a lot of attention. Note, half of what it was in 1973 is still plenty, but this is a large decline and the cause is still unknown. No, we’re not in Children of Men territory yet, but it’s a striking statistic.

Read Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis

Rule that patients must finish antibiotics course is wrong, study says

Telling patients to stop taking antibiotics when they feel better may be preferable to instructing them to finish the course, according to a group of experts who argue that the rule long embedded in the minds of doctors and the public is wrong and should be overturned.

Oh snap, really? I read this, and some of the logic is convincing, the issue is there’s little evidence for either of these treatment modes (a reminder that a lot of Western medicine is not evidence based either, although it at least tries to be).

Read Rule that patients must finish antibiotics course is wrong, study says

In South Asian Social Castes, a Living Lab for Genetic Disease

In certain states in southern India, anesthesiologists know to ask anyone undergoing surgery whether they belong to the Vysya, a regional group traditionally associated with traders and businesspeople.

I am mildly obsessed with South Asian genetics, apparently, but, current cost of sequencing a genome (I got an estimate) is $2500, so I’ll hold off and just read these articles! My Tamil Brahmin community also frowns on inter-caste marriage, but it’s a larger cohort.

Read In South Asian Social Castes, a Living Lab for Genetic Disease

England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy

LONDON — England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.

Wow, I would love to see this implemented here in Canada.

Read England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy

American Muslims Are A Diverse Group With Changing Views

Only days after the end of Ramadan and just before the July Fourth holiday, thousands of people gathered at a Chicago convention center for the 54th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America.

Read American Muslims Are A Diverse Group With Changing Views

Great stats. I would love to see a similar one for American Hindus (a smaller cohort for sure, but one that I’m sure has similar diversity in views, if not in race)

The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women

This list, of the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present, is an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation.

Like all lists, subjective, but I’ll take a listen, have not heard of many of these artists (which is partly the media, and partly my music listening habits!)

Read The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women

What, no birds?!

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