Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for April, 2010

Or, if you prefer, the housing bubble that started well before the onslaught of CDOs. First, let me point out for readers that ScienceBlogling Mark Chu-Carroll’s description of the latest Vampire Squid Goldman Sachs scandal is perhaps the clearest and most concise description of the whole CDO problem. Having said that, CDOs weren’t the fundamental…

Thursday Links

Merry Thursday. Links for you. Science: But is it science? It’s a microbial world: Worldwide census ups diversity estimates for marine microbes one-hundred-fold. Is this the end of migration? Climate change is affecting bird behaviour at a staggering rate. Some 20 billion have already changed their flight plans Mat of microbes the size of Greece…

Narcissism, CEOs, and Academia

I came across this post by Digby about the narcissism of CEOs, which is worth a read. One of the things I think a lot of academics have a hard time understanding is how common antisocial personality disorders can be in positions of power outside of academia. In my experience, sociopaths and narcissists–and I use…

Chickens for Healthcare!

“Will these be enough chickens for an angioplasty? No. Ok, then. Can I get a couple of weeks of chemo then?” (from

For most people reading this blog, especially the scientists, budgets matter. Not only is most of the cool science stuff you read about here funded by government funds, but, unless you’re independently wealthy, you’re going to need an uncut, untouched by Peter Peterson Social Security. Regarding budgets and deficit spending, we constantly hear about ‘responsible…

Last week, The AP described what living the life of Palin is like: Among the perks laid out in the contract, the former Alaska governor will fly first class from Anchorage to California – if she flies commercial. If not, “the private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger …,” the contract specifies. Palin…

One of the best ways to deal with the problem of antibiotic resistance is infection control in hospitals. That is, if patients aren’t getting infections, whether those be sensitive or resistant to antibiotics, then there’s less of a problem. Massachusetts has released its annual report on hospital infection rates. The report currently looks at two…

More Brutal Turkey Terrorism

On this Patriot’s Day, we must never forget that the Heroic Struggle Against Our Demonic Turkey Overlords has not abated. Now they are assaulting the basic workings of our government: click to embiggen (from here) Preventing the Boston Transportation Department from the appointed rounds! (and Intelligent Designer knows, we need the revenue). Have they no…

Since I’ve raised this issue before, and it doesn’t seem to have taken, the gloves are coming off. Once again, we see the sorry spectacle of blaming scientists for policy failures–all scientists, not a subset (consider this foreshadowing). As always the ‘scientists’ are described as bookish nerds who bore policy makers and reporters with p-values.…

Sunday Links

There’s some kinda local race tomorrow or something. While I figure that out, here are some links. Science: E. coli illnesses at 5-year low in US ClimateGate Inquiry: No Scientific Misconduct From “Squeaky Clean” Researchers Lack of Trained Workforce Still an Obstacle to Smart Grid Success E. O. Wilson was wrong! Why Do Academics Write?…