Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for July, 2010

Links 7/31/10

It’s nice outside, but if you’re stuck inside, here are some links for you. Science: ‘Friendly bacteria’ in pregnancy may prevent eczema in childhood Drug discovery in academia and NIH, a new type of U01 Fleming Painted With Bacteria Other: A crime story College Students Hide Hunger, Homelessness HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN MEGAN McARDLE…

I had been considering, over the weekend to write a navel gazing post about The State of ScienceBlogs and Its Relationship to the Mad Biologist. And then Virginia Heffernan of the NY Times wrote a quote picking article about ScienceBlogs, thereby screwing up my weekend blogging (so much stupid, so little Mad Biologist). At the…

Maryn McKenna makes a critical, yet neglected point about the recent whooping cough (pertussis) outbreaks that have been hitting California–one that emphasizes that vaccination not only protects the vaccinated, but everyone else: Between a day job as Scary Disease Girl and a childhood spent moving between continents, I am pretty much the most vaccinated person…

In his weekend roundup, driftglass reminds us that there was a time when our mainstream pop culture villified torture and praised those who attempted to resist it: And then Fox TV’s Torture Porn Show, also known as 24, made torturing fashionable. Strength was to be had in torturing people, not in resisting it. At this…

Links 7/29/10

Some Thursday links for you. Science: The familiar Matamata, known to us all since the 1700s, and its long, fat neck (matamatas part II) Sunday Protist – Farming forams: a case of protistan agriculture The Pepsi Challenge: A controversy at ScienceBlogs raises questions about whether “institutional” blogs have editorial integrity Other: Defining Lynching Down. Liberalism…

Since I’ve been writing a lot about education, I have some brief thoughts about the NY Times report by David Leonhardt about some findings from Tennessee’s Project STAR which tracked the long-term outcomes about a randomization trial of kindergartners (slides from a presentation are available as a pdf): Just as in other studies, the Tennessee…

Yesterday, I described the relationship between low-income and poor performance in English and math in Massachusetts (see the post for methodological details). Well, I’ve saved the worst for last–science education: Just to remind everyone, the horizontal axis is the percentage of children in a school who qualify for free lunch, and the vertical axis is…

Links 7/28/10

Some Wednesday links for you. Science: It’s more than genes, it’s networks and systems Unsafe at Any Meal It’s My Genome and I’ll Do What I Wanna Other: License plate of the week The 5 Signs You’re Talking To A Social Media Douchebag. The Art of the Deal as Entertainment Gall ‘WE WILL REGRET IT’….…

Or, for that matter, jumping into the water with financial sharks under any circumstances. The NY Times has an article about the ongoing legal trials of David H. Brooks, the chief executive and chairman of a body-armor company. The article primarily focuses on what a loathsome piece of shit Brooks is: not only did he…

Poverty and Learning in Massachusetts

I’ve described before how there is a significant correlation between poverty and educational performance when we use state-level data. But as I pointed out, one of the interesting things is that the residual–the difference between the expected scores for a given state and the actual scores–can be quite large for some states (e.g., Massachusetts does…