Tom Friedman Interview on NPR

Tom Friedman may be best known for his best-seller about globalization "The Earth is Flat", but his 3 Pulitzer Prizes have come from his Middle East Expertise.

The most frightening thing the United States could do to Iran, short of attacking it, is to leave Iraq, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The second most frightening thing for Iran, he says, would be a U.S. success in Iraq.

Listen to this interview with Terry Gross on NPR's "fresh Air".(In Windows Media PLayer)

And if you would like to hear some earlier interviews. 

The ear wax cleaning madness must stop

Dr. Paul J. Camp, Spelman College, Department of Physics is in the don't-pick-your ears camp: Plug o' earwax Oh for god's sake, this has gone on long enough.Ear wax is there for a reason. It has antibacterial properties as well as preventing dirt and bugs from going further into your hearing system. Excess earwax is pushed naturally to the opening of the ear canal, where it is washed away, pushed out as the cerumen glands secrete more wax and also by epithelial migration as your skin goes through its replacement cycle.

From the Mayo Clinic: "Never attempt to dig out excessive or hardened earwax with items such as a paper clip, a cotton swab or a hairpin. You may push the wax farther into your ear and cause serious damage to the lining of your ear canal and even to your eardrum." Wanna go deaf? Stick a bobby pin in your ear. See herefor what it looks like when you've been packing that stuff in for a while.

Even if you don't do that, simply scratching or abrading the skin in the ear canal provides a protected growth site for fungus — the dreaded swimmer's ear. I had this once when psoriasis broke up the skin in my ear. You don't want it. Also, removal of impacted ear wax, from pushing it further down in the ear, is inevitably very painful.

Now there are a VERY FEW people who have excessive wax secretions and need to have it cleaned out every now and again. The solution to that is a few drops of mineral oil to soften up the wax and, a day or two later, a bit of warm water or hydrogen peroxide squirted up the ear canal.

And for god's sake, don't stick a candle in your ding dang ear. Ear wax cannot be sucked out by a candle. There are easier ways to set your head on fire.

Reactionary revolutions

Venezuela News And Views: Reactionary revolutions
No, the title is not an oxymoron.

I came up with it watching the news from France where for the first time perhaps in its history people are rioting in the streets to make sure that nothing changes. (C)havismo is very much a reactionary movement, a look to our past and a desire to go back to “halcyon” days that were never halcyon. In Chavez we have a caudillo, just as those who gave peace to Venezuela by imposing their will.

Controversy Grows Over Brokeback Ban

Controversy Grows Over Brokeback Ban
The Bahamas Plays and Films Control Board banned the controversial gay movie, Brokeback Mountain, not just because of its homosexual content, but because it promotes bisexuality, according to the board’s director, Dr. Olga Clarke.

I spoke to Javaz Turnquest, the chairperson of the Board who said the Board did not ban the movie but rather the distributors in the U.S. simply did not sent it here. Really? Interestingly, the movie was sent and approved last week in Jamaica, the most homophobic country on earth. Brokeback Mountain opened on Friday in a theater in Kingston and another in Montego Bay.

"The board chose to ban it because it shows extreme homosexuality, nudity and profanity, and we feel that it has no value for the Bahamian public," Chavasse Turnquest-Liriano, liaison officer for the control board, said Wednesday. Amazingly, the supposedly "Christian conscious" Board has allowed the 50 Cent movie, "Get rich or die trying" to be shown here.

‘It’s hard to believe it’s spring’ 'It's hard to believe it's spring'-Alpine Meadows records most snow in 35 years
An unending series of March snowstorms pasted the Sierra in white, with one Lake Tahoe ski resort reporting more snowfall than during any other month over the last 35 years.At Alpine Meadows, the resort received more than 16 feet of snow at its base lodge since March 1. At Fallen Leaf Lake near South Lake Tahoe, for example, the snowpack went from 39 percent of average on March 1 to 166 percent on Wednesday, Barbato said.

Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development

Scientific American: Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development
The pattern of brain growth during development may figure more importantly than overall brain size when it comes to intelligence. Although such intelligence seems to be genetic, the child-rearing environment may play an even more critical role, the researchers stress. Studies in rats have shown that their cortex thickness depends on richness of experience.

Forecasts: Northeast Due for Big Hurricane

BREITBART.COM – Forecasts: Northeast Due for Big Hurricane
Meteorologists say conditions _ including warmer temperatures in the Atlantic Basin and cooler temperatures in the Pacific Ocean _ are ripe for the Northeast coast to be hit by a whopper of a hurricane this season.

A Chance Find, and Voilà! Goodbye, Hot Flashes. Hello, Sleep.

A Chance Find, and Voilà! Goodbye, Hot Flashes. Hello, Sleep. – New York Times
Those who took 300 milligrams of gabapentin three times a day reported a 54 percent reduction in overall hot flash activity (frequency and severity) compared with a 31 percent drop in the placebo group.