Politics

The Physicists of Journalism

This Alberto Cairo piece on “data journalism” has been kicking around for a while, and it’s taken me a while to pin down what bugs me about it. I think my problem with it ultimately has to do with the first two section headers in which he identifies problems with FiveThirtyEight and Vox: 1. Data…

Super-sniffing elephants

Like Aesop’s fable, rats have another reason to be envious of elephants. Elephants also have significantly more genes that can detect different smells (i.e. olfactory receptor genes) than other super-sniffers like rats and dogs. In fact, compared to 13 other species, African elephants have 1,948 genes related to smell putting them ahead of the previous…

R.I.P. H.E.Taylor

I have a sad announcement to make, further to my previous posting about a missing edition of A Week of GW News. Harvey E. Taylor, aka het, died Monday, July 14, 2014 at his home in Portage la Prairie, a small town in Manitoba, Canada.  All I know of it is from one brief online obituary and one more…

[Updated: Letter to the Editor, Worthington Daily Globe.] This is a followup on my earlier post (see “How do you say “Surprise” in Norwegian? The word is “Entenza.” I am not making that up” also reposted here) on Matt Entenza’s bid for the DFL (Democratic Party) Primary candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor. Entenza claims he…

Israel

There’s plenty of science and religion stuff out there, but I think talking about anything else right now would be to ignore the elephant in the room. There’s a basic moral principle that I subscribe to that goes like this: When your neighbor is relentlessly firing rockets at you in an attempt to kill as…

How do you say “Surprise” in Norwegian? The word is “Entenza.” I am not making that up.* DFL activists and party leaders were both surprised and annoyed when perennial candidate Matt Entenza filed at the very last moment to run for Minnesota State Auditor against sitting Auditor Rebecca Otto in this year’s primary. He claimed…

Only In It For The Gold: Neither Optimist nor Pessimist, Just Activist. “We must stop treating the natural world as something to exploit, and start realizing that it is our home. If we do that, we can thrive.“

This is funny. Sort of. Well, actually not funny at all.

Last year, the U.S. Census reported that record numbers of people were living in poverty. But along with overall poverty numbers, the Census recently reported that concentrated poverty is up, too — and that’s worrisome because it means that more people may face even greater barriers and fewer opportunities to moving out of poverty.

A recent article published in the American Journal of Physiology reviewed how the brain regulates feeding behaviors. Humans are not the only species to eat food in spurts we like to call meals. Research suggests that this behavior may actually aid survival as it reduces exposure time to the environment and makes responding to fluctuations in the…