Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for August, 2010

How Not to Make Iraq-Like Mistakes Again

In the movie Quiz Show, which is about the quiz show scandals of the 1950s (and a wonderful period piece), there is a scene at the end of the movie which has always stuck with me. Van Doren, the disgraced upper-class professor who cheated, gave a teary mea culpa in front of Congress. The gallery…

Links 8/23/10

Monday. Rainy. Links. Science: Astronaut Strength In Space Equal To 80-Year-Olds Wake Forest projects worth every penny spent Seasoning Livestock Feed With Curry Spices Cuts Methane Emissions 40 Percent “Hausergate” is good for science Other: Is ‘More Efficient’ Always Better? (a little painful, you might want to skip to the end) Public v. Lobbyists on…

Meet your new Treasury Secretary My guiding political principle is “people have to like this crap.” That is, if a policy makes peoples’ lives worse, then it’s a shitty policy*. More about that in a bit. Last week, a bunch of bloggers went to visit the Treasury Department, and one of the topics for discussion…

Links 8/22/10

It’s kinda cloudy. Brighten your day with some links. Science: Do Big Cats Like Catnip? Is this the answer to latent TB? Updated: Harvard says Marc Hauser guilty of science misconduct Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked Other: Proud Brothers, Do Not Fret US Dodges Obligation to Help Iraqi Women Trafficked into…

Park 51: Lessons for the War on Science

Amanda Marcotte makes a very astute observation about the opposition to the non-mosque not-that-close-to-the-former-World-Trade-Center* that has arisen over the last month (italics mine): Make no mistake—all soft language about how it’s just too close to the WTC or how this is an assault on 9/11 victims is just crap to keep this whole controversy going,…

Links 8/21/10

It’s nice out, but if you’re stuck inside, here are some links for you. Science: This Hauser thing is getting hard to watch Creation Museum Creates Discomfort For Some Visitors (didn’t know that guard dogs are what ‘teaching the controversy’ meant. Also, creationists ‘debunk’ evolution in real museums all the time, so why do they…

Razib, in a link roundup, wrote: A Grand Unified Theory of Palinisms. Jacob Weisberg, Yale grad and Rhodes Scholar, wonders why Sarah Palin says “stupid and ridiculous things.” An easy answer is that she’s stupid. But I think the truth is that Sarah Palin is closer to the norm in intelligence and polish than the…

Links 8/20/10

Thank Intelligent Designer it’s Friday. Links for you. Science: Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Pain NDM-1: The early warnings Carnal Carnival #1 – Essentials of Elimination Other: The Christian Reconstructionism Dodge Attacking Social Security Damn It: For Once, Obama (Briefly) Happened to be Right When “compromise” really means “STFU” Dow Soars on News That NYC…

The Crappiest Blog Carnival EVAH!

No, really. It’s very crappy. And it’s all about poop. So grab a…stool…. Just go read it, as there’s lots of interesting stuff there.

I’ve spent the last two days discussing the problems with value-added teacher evaluation, and I thought I would turn it over to the readers, since there has been some really good discussion. At the end, I’ll revisit some statistical and methodological issues, but I want to address a good question raised by becca–and, in other…