Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for November, 2009

Don’t Know Much About Palintology

Richard Cohen recently wrote that he would like to see an “Institute for the Study of Sarah Palin” receive funding. It’s a pretty good piece (which just goes to show that even the dumbest squirrel can occasionally find a nut). But I do have one quibble. Cohen writes (italics mine): On the other hand, someone…

Friday Links

Happy Friday. Lotsa links for your weekend. Science:

The Republican Establishment Is Absolutely Nuts

Seriously. This isn’t a problem of the ‘fringe’ of the party. By way of Oliver Willis, look at what the Layfayette County Republican Central Committee (of Missouri) has erected on a billboard: This isn’t a couple of guys or a crazy businessman–it’s an official division of the Republican Party. “Prepare for war?” Because Obama might…

…and how Levitt and Dubner fail to see that the Manure problem was not ‘solved’, only turned into a new problem that will also require wrenching change. First, the Great Manure Crisis of the late nineteenth century: The standard horsecar, which seated twenty, was drawn by a pair of roans and ran sixteen hours a…

At TPM, Josh Marshall asks an “obvious” ‘framing’ question about the ARRA: Why was the Stimulus Bill called the ‘stimulus bill’ and not a ‘jobs bill’? To which Atrios responds with a “Pretty Obvious Answer“: Because for whatever reason, economist lingo is what people in the Obama administration are comfortable with. I actually don’t think…

Wednesday Links

Halfway through the week. Some links for you. Science:

When Woo-ism Meets Cancer Prevention

Friday, the NY Times described the relatively paltry efforts in cancer prevention, compared to those for heart disease. Not that researchers haven’t been busy figuring out how to prevent various cancers: Then, in 1999, he had a chance to do another breast cancer prevention trial, this time of an osteoporosis drug, raloxifene, or Evista, which…

What Is the Heritability of Being an A–hole?

I’ve finished reading Richard Nisbett’s Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count, which is a wonderful counterargument to Charles Murray’s (and others’) genetic conservatism (my phrase, not Nisbett’s): intelligence, typically ascertain using IQ, is highly heritable, so there’s little point in spending excessively (whatever that means) on educating most people, since…

I have no doubt that the Catholic ecclesiarchy supports the Stupak-Mills amendment out of a genuine desire to regulate vaginaspreserve the fetus, which they believe is a person. But the financial incentives for Catholic Church-owned hospital systems are enormous:

Underwater Kites and Electricity

(from here) When you think about it, it seems pretty obvious (rising to the level of “duh!”) that if one placed a wind turbine underwater it could be more efficient and, unlike wind power, ocean currents are far more predictable (of course, like most good ideas, it’s obvious after someone else thought it…). A spinoff…