I’m happy to be a poll crash nimrod and point you to one being run on the LA Times blog piece covering the UCLA Pro-Test demonstration (start here, here).
They are asking if you endorse:

  • Yes — and I support it if the animals are treated well
  • No — it’s inhumane by definition and I don’t support it
  • Not sure

Only 67 votes as of this writing? I think this thing needs a larger sample size, don’t you? I’m all about the science, you know. Just trying to help out.
Now, there’s little need to get too worked up about web polls that don’t do a good job of covering the likely response space, right? They all fail on this. I mean, yeah, I’m a little ticked about the concern trolling inherent in “if the animals are treated well”, but that’s not a huge deal.
Nevertheless, consideration of the poll options says something critical about the discussion. Somthing that people who constantly want advocates of animal research to “meet them in the middle” need to consider.
This is only part of the distribution of viewpoints, the middle and only one extreme.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is kinda messed up. Video footage from the Coachella festival depicts what appears to be police screwing up. It is making the rounds so you may have already seen it. In case you don’t want to click through for the NSFW video, I’ll summarize.
Guy nudes up, police object, nekkid guy starts babbling about feeling beautiful (hello!), police try to talk him into putting his clothes back on. obviously high on something other than life and the music, nekkid guy….doesn’t. Not resisting, just refusing. After a very long time in close contact with nekkid guy, when they clearly could have just cuffed him already, something triggers the police to beat him up a little. Nice little knee drop to the abdomen and (gee, whaddaya know) nekkid dude starts trying to get away. Yeah, don’t think we didn’t notice the supposed pain-holds in the finger and wrist department. Eventually it devolves into throwing on the ground and repeatedly tasering the guy.
I dunno, it is really so hard to think that just maybe a guy high on drugs isn't going to actually comply with what you want him to do? And maybe you should just de-escalate the thing right from the start by cuffing him? Is it sooooo freaking important that you get his clothes back on him that you try to argue him into it? How may times does that usually work anyway? Srsly.
Alright, video after the jump. NSFW. Might shock kids and those of a sensitive constitution. Don't say I didn't warn you…

Read the rest of this entry »

The reporter for Science Magazine who was twittering (@dosmonos) the rally today has put up a summary post on the blog ScienceInsider.

The organizers of today’s Pro-Test rally at University of California, Los Angeles, say it succeeded beyond their hopes. Hundreds of people–many of them students and postdocs–came out to show their support for biomedical research. U.S. scientists who use animals in their research have been under attack from animal rights extremists in recent years, and UCLA has been the epicenter. Many scientists have been reluctant to speak up in defense of their work for fear of provoking further harassment. But today that changed.

KCAL 9 / CBS 2 report is here.
CNN coverage after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »