Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for January, 2010

In response to my post about the scientist glut, ScienceBlogling Razib writes: But that aside, what’s the point of funneling more math and physics graduates into math and physics instead of finance if they can’t put bread on the table? Or is the issue narrower, specifically the difficulty of getting an academic job? Or perhaps…

These will have to be some quick hits, since I’m at a meeting; I’ll try to revisit them later this week: 1) The absolute numbers indicate that Democrats lost this election: In 2008, Obama received 1,904,097 votes; in 2009, Coakley received 1,058,682. In 2008, McCain received 1,108,854 votes; in 2009, Brown received 1,168,107 votes.

You Can Walk Away

File this under caveat mutuor. Henry Blodget points out the obvious in his retort to those who claim people have a moral obligation to remain in mortgages that are ‘underwater’ (paying more than the house is worth)–it’s a business contract. Blodget (italics mine): Importantly, the reason is not that “Wall Street deserves it” or “We’ve…

A minor kerfuffle has erupted around healthcare expert and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, with some fireworks between Glenn Greenwald and Paul Krugman. Gruber has received $392,600 in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to model healthcare outcomes. The argument has arisen because Gruber has been promoted by the Obama administration as…

Tuesday Links

Happy Traveling Tuesday! Links for you: Rebooting science journalisTS More Flame Bait Inflation Targets and Financial Crises The Unofficial List of Pundits/Experts Who Were Wrong on the Housing Bubble Poll: Americans think standing for principle is more important than bipartisan compromise.

Go Vote for Coakley

Just to remind all my MA readers–there’s a Senate election today. Go vote for Martha Coakley.

GEBA GEBA Hey!

Since I’m on-route to a Human Microbiome Project meeting (uncharacteristically, it’s being held in a climate-friendly location–Houston; last year, it was held in Boston. In January.), reviewing this paper about the GEBA project, the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea, seemed appropriate. Sequencing bacterial genomes not only tells us a lot about the biology of…

Go teabaggers, go! Of course, in all fairness, maybe he was smiling and nodding at the previous outburst suggesting Coakley commit suicide. I suppose that’s what passes for moderation these days. He could have disavowed the comment, but he didn’t (it even sounds like he says, “We could do that.”) I wish I had my…

Why I Am Voting for Martha Coakley

If you’re in Massachusetts, there’s a special election for U.S. Senate tomorrow, and it’s much closer than it should be–the Republican Scott Brown (who is horrid–who votes to eliminate tax breaks and aid for 9/11 emergency responders?) might actually win. There are several reasons why I’m voting for Coakley*:

Image by Bettmann/CORBIS With ten percent unemployment, and nearly eighteen percent underemployment–and much of the political establishment unconcerned about this–Martin Luther King’s passion for economic justice sadly is still relevant. What is forgotten about Kings–often willfully–is that he was an advocate for racial and economic justice. From a speech he gave to striking sanitation workers…