Last 24 Hours

Memorable moments from Labor Secretary’s confirmation hearing

President Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary provided a peek during his confirmation hearing on his approach to running the Labor Department. Several things he said made me ask myself: “will employees at the Labor Department challenge Alex Acosta to keep his word on that?”

And, can we hear the tapes please, before they get Wooded?

“Without these supernova explosions, there are no mist-covered swamps, computer chips, trilobites, Mozart or the tears of a little girl. Without exploding stars, perhaps there could be a heaven, but there is certainly no Earth.” -Clifford A. Pickover One of the most sobering cosmic truths is that every star in the Universe will someday run…

The grieving widower killed the naturopath who treated his wife with cancer after telling her that “chemo is for losers.” Where I see a tragedy, naturopaths see an opportunity to argue for naturopathic licensure.

Occupational Health News Roundup

California farmworkers living in fear of deportation; Ontario health care workers call on officials to address violence in the workplace; West Virginia legislators consider dramatic loosening of mine safety standards; and thousands of workers get ready to strike on May 1.

Donald Trump on Sesame Street

As I’ve pointed out before, New Yorkers have been dealing with Donald Trump for a very long time. Chris Hayes, on All In, came up with some great examples, the last one of which is … well, just watch:

“Dark matter or invisible element? You decide.” -Toba Beta The dark matter wars rage on and on, with both sides — those in favor of modifying gravity and those in favor of adding an additional mass component to the Universe — claiming victories for their own side and defeat for the other. But one piece…

March Pieces Of My Mind #2

“Qualitative research” seems largely to mean “anecdotal material with no statistical representativity”. I’m starting a support group for people who think the novel American Gods is not great, not bad, not particularly memorable. Woah-ho, dude. Lucid dreaming is when you train yourself to a) know that you’re dreaming, b) direct events in the dream. This…

Beginning a little over a year ago, Romania has been enduring a massive measles outbreak. The cause is familiar: Low MMR uptake below what is needed for herd immunity. Is this a warning to the US?

Need pest control, get a spider

A new study shows that globally, spiders consume 400-800 million tons of prey each year. That’s roughly more than double the amount of fish and meat that humans consume. Impressive…yet creepy at the same time. I suppose we should thank them for their pest control efforts. Sources: M Nyffeler, K Birkhofer. An estimated 400–800 million tons of prey…

The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression is a history by Angus Burgin of… well, you can read the potted summaries there, none are quite exact, I’ll off you another gross simplification: of the transition from Hayek as prophet-in-the-wilderness to the triumph of Friedman. So, this post is yet more politics, or economics,…

Quacks love to invoke experts who made predictions that turned out to be wrong or point to Galileo or Semmelweis as examples of scientists whose findings were rejected by the scientific or medical establishment of the time, as though poor prediction or rejection by the establishment means there must be something to their science. Guess what? As Michael Shermer put it, heresy does not equal correctness.

Recent pieces address US healthcare, pollution enforcement in Iowa, maternal mortality in Texas, and more.

“With the Hubble telescope and all the other things that are out there, I believe something would have come through. Today, I really believe we are unique.” -Mark Goddard Want to identify where stars are forming (or about to form) in the Universe? We’ve got no problem using visible light, which reveals unambiguous signatures associated…

“Science and religion are both the same thing. They’re there; they’re life. If it’s not science, it’s not a fact.” -Chuck Berry We always take pride in what we put out into the world here at Starts With A Bang, and I like to think that all of you take that same pride in everything…