Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for February, 2010

Or as I like to say–people have to like this crap. Two events over the last month, the reappointment of Bernanke to Fed Chairman and some Senate Democrats’ new-found opposition to using reconciliation to pass healthcare reform with a public option, highlight one reason why Democrats lose elections: rather than focusing on outcomes, they focus…

Saturday Links

It’s a slushy Saturday. That means lots of time to read links. Science: Don’t Become a Scientist! They really do hate us: “small dog” haplotype from the Middle East A Look into Obesity and Gut Microbiota Splash Down: Pacific Biosciences Unveils Third-Generation Sequencing Machine Anthrax Case Closing Challenged Pacific Biosciences introduces new third-generation sequencing instrument…

Many of my ScienceBloglings have rightly called out animal rights terrorists who target researchers’ children. They are absolutely right to do so. The one issue I have is that I often read something along the lines of “Terrorism is wrong, regardless of if you’re for or against animal rights…” Actually, I’m not willing to disregard…

To follow up on the economics underlying the training of PhDs, I’ve been meaning to respond to this post by ScienceBlogling DrugMonkey. In it, he writes: As a student I was a big fan of the breadth exam, either written as closed-book or as oral exam. My rationale was basically what I saw as the…

Thursday Links

We’re in full Schlump season here. Links for you. Science: Misunderstanding Darwin: Natural selection’s secular critics get it wrong History in the Remaking: A temple complex in Turkey that predates even the pyramids is rewriting the story of human evolution. In which I dream of revolution Math Shows Some Crime Hot Spots Can Be Cooled,…

Yes, We Have a PhD Glut…

…if you’re not a tenure-track PhD (and that will be most of you. Sorry). I’ll have more to say about ScienceBlogling DrugMonkey’s training post tomorrow, but one of the disturbing things in the comments of his post was the high numbers of people who viewed PhD training only in light of producting more tenure-track faculty.…

In an otherwise not-too-bad post about the value added tax (VAT), Edmund Andrews goes off the rails: I would submit that many middle-income people (including me) SHOULD pay more. The government needs to raise more revenue to provide the services that voters demand, and middle-class people benefit from those services too. This policy shouldn’t be…

Best Defense of Pseudonymity EVAH!

Last week, I defended pseudonymity. Well, the Epicurean Dealmaker has the best defense of pseudonymity EVAH!: …in the United States, schizophrenic home to both the largest number of elite universities in the world and the broadest-based strain of anti-intellectualism known to Western democracy, the aggressive debating style of lobbing witty insults at your opponent only…

By way of Elana Schor, we read that the MBTA’s Silver Line extension proposal, which would be a “one mile tunnel connection between the existing Silver Line/Washington Street Service (Phase I) and the existing Silver Line/Waterfront Service (Phase II)”, is in trouble. According to the Department of Transportation (pdf), the MBTA’s proposal isn’t measuring up…

Monday Links

Merry Monday. Links for you: Red pen, or track changes? Inside-out, or Outside-in, multi-level selection “vs.” inclusive fitness debate The Long Goodbayh Monster Make Up Your Mind: He Can’t Be All Four Without a clutch What stands in the way of “forcing” a filibuster? Another Dumb Right-Wing Idea: Default on the Debt Jews leave Swedish…