Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Link roundup

1. From Drew Magary's latest NSFW and funny, but probably offensive column:

I gotta go to church more often then. I think churches operate as the epicenter of most American daydreams. I can't sit in a church for more than five minutes without imagining a flock of vampires crashing through the stained glass window, and I have to stab them all in the heart with a steel crucifix. I'm pretty sure my visions are exactly like that new Paul Bettany movie.

I've been at ceremonies where they do the whole "Do you reject Satan?" thing, and it's impossible to not think of The Godfather at that moment. I also wish they had an effigy of Satan right at the altar that you could stab or shoot with a crossbow. Why not add a bit flourish to the ceremony?
2. Robin Hanson:
What if the airline industry lobbied to end the practice of routinely investigating the cause of each airline crash? After all, if there is no investigation, it will be hard to show an airline was at fault. You might imagine there’d be a public outcry. But in 1970 the US medical profession did essentially the same thing, and few complained:

Today, hospitals perform autopsies on only about 5 percent of patients who die, down from roughly 50 percent in the 1960s. … Autopsies play a critical role in helping to advance understanding of the progress of a disease and the effectiveness of various treatments. At the same time, they may identify medical conditions that clinicians and high-tech imaging miss or misdiagnose. …

In 1998 the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that autopsy results showed that clinicians misdiagnosed the cause of death up to 40 percent of the time.
3. The Batman by Aragones statue I posted yesterday is available for preorder at the BBTS for $80.