Women on the night shift

No, it’s nothing dirty.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Thanks to the fantastic site tingilinde, I saw this little article on the effect of working night shift on a woman’s body.  In particular, the increased risk of breast cancer.  Very briefly, the study mentioned in the article suggests that nighttime exposure to light interferes with the body’s production of melatonin, since this primarily occurs at night.  This alteration in melatonin production might increase the risk of breast cancer.

A woman’s blood provides better sustenance for breast cancer just after she’s been exposed to bright light than when she’s been in steady darkness, researchers led by David E. Blask of the Bassett Research Institute in Cooperstown, N.Y., report.

“Light at night is now clearly a risk factor for breast cancer,” Blask says. “Breast tumors are awake during the day, and melatonin puts them to sleep at night.” Add artificial light to the night environment, and “cancer cells become insomniacs,” he says.

“Sleep per se is not important for melatonin,” says Russel J. Reiter, a neuroendocrinologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. “But darkness is.”

Read the whole article for more details.  Very interesting reading.

Bad judge!! Bad!

OK, how’s this for bad? A judge sentenced a man to 60 days in prison for repeatedly raping a young girl over a four year period from when she was 7 until she was 10. His reasoning? Well, let’s get a quote from the fine judge:

“The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul.”

Apparently, Mark Hulett, the offender, is considered low-risk for repeat offense. Let me just say, that if I had a daughter, I’d never want him to babysit for me, no matter how unlikely he is to offend again. I’m sure someone will tell me how wrong I am to hold a person’s past against them, and blah, blah, blah, and so on. I don’t care. You want to make this scumbag unlikely to repeat the offense, you castrate him and lock him up for 10, 20, maybe 30 years. Rape is a horrid thing. Child abuse is almost unspeakably bad. Put the two together and you can just write the offender out of the books, in my opinion.

Odd thing is, the judge use to give harsh punishment for crap like this. He doesn’t believe in it any more, though. Are you wondering why? Well, let’s just give the fine gentleman a chance to speak again:

“I discovered it accomplishes nothing of value;it doesn’t make anything better;it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger.”

Not good enough for me. If you are interested in letting the judge know how you feel about his sentencing, try writing him at:

Edward J Cashman
29 Lamoille St
Essex Junction, VT 05452-3729
(802) 872-0615

Videogame journalism

I planned on pointing out this article titled “The Pointlessness of Current Videogame Journalism” tonight.  The article starts with the author saying “I hate the videogame press.”  It doesn’t really improve much from there.  I was going to write on the problems with this article, but the fine folks at Joystiq beat me to it.  Vladimir Cole’s write-up is much better than what I was going to do.  Read his.  Let me just say I agree with and had planned to write about one point in particular.  Don’t write an article saying how bad the gaming press is, then not give any examples of just what you are talking about.  Especially when your reason for not giving examples is because, apparently, you are looking to get work in the future with exactly those sources you think are so bad.  It’s not really a great article, except for using as a focus of what’s wrong with gaming journalism.

NOTE: The fact that my writing is not really any better than the article in question is not lost on me.  But I’m also not going around saying “Videogame writer’s are bad!  I won’t tell you who, though, because I hope to work with them soon.”

Chumbawumba on copy protection

If you’ve been paying attention lately, you know there’s been a bit of a fuss in the world of CDs over the copy-protection schemes the record labels are forcing us to suffer.  It seems that artists don’t want the copy protection crap on their CDs, but of course the recording industry contracts deny most artists the right to decide that.  Not surprisingly, more artists are sharing their opposition to this.  Check out this brief write-up by a member of Chumbawumba speaking against copy protection.

Follow-up on last night’s post

Last night I was finally able to get the the next-gen.biz article I linked to below.  I think, after reading the whole article, that the writer actually intends to say the new Nintendo controller could be a good thing.  I think that, but I’m not really sure.  I don’t find the article all the well written.  Perhaps I’m just not that bright.  Still, if you haven’t read it, please take 5-10 minutes and see what it says.  Then decide if my guess is worth anything or not.