Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for October, 2010

Links 10/31/10

Happy Halloween! Links for you. Science: The Rare Mountain Mammoth Domesticating the Fennec: Dog Domestication 2.0? The Allais Paradox Other: The Myth of the Bad Teacher Hard questions loom for patronage ‘king’: Investigations are swirling around Representative Thomas Petrolati, a legislative leader with huge sway over Probation Department hiring and a history of acting as…

Yes, we have left no sense of decency. From Indiana, we find this story about parents of disabled children who can’t receive state aid for their disabled children: Indiana’s budget crunch has become so severe that some state workers have suggested leaving severely disabled people at homeless shelters if they can’t be cared for at…

Links 10/30/10

Thank goodness it’s…Saturday. Crap. Well, I’ve got some links, anyway. Science: Disease Experts: Antibiotics Are a Natural Resource that Needs Protection Will Gulf science be compromised by politics? Census of the Science Blogosphere 2000 to 2010: If you blog about science, you should fill this out Other: Authenticity Enough Is Enough on Tax Cuts for…

There’s been a lot of chortling about Republican Senate candidate and Tea Buggerer Christine O’Donnell’s recent misunderstanding of the First Amendment. But it actually reveals a lot about the mindset of movement conservatives (and, remember, everything you need to know about how they operate can be understood by observing creationists). ScienceBlogling Ed Brayton sets the…

Links 10/29/10

It’s Friday. Links for you. Science Why don’t we just leave it to antimicrobials? Influenza Vaccine Mandates Few health benefits from genomic discovery Other: On “looking forward, not back” How to fix our schools Ultimate $uperpower: Supersized dollars drive “Waiting for Superman” agenda Backdoor Bailout, Tea Party Fakeout: The GOP’s Secret $90 Billion Gift to…

I’ve often wondered why college tuitions are rising so rapidly ever year. While in the ultimate sense, they rise because they can–there are enough wealthy people who can pay full freight, it’s not clear what internal cost require such massive, regular price increases. Well, Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman propose that these increases…

Regarding their op-ed page, The New York Times seems eager to provide misinformation via Thomas Friedman columns. It’s a fascinating business model. Besides, being lectured by Tom “Suck on This” Friedman completely blows up the irony meter. His latest inane–and factually incorrect–burbling: Let’s kowtow even more to public service unions so they’ll make even more…

Two Thoughts About MRSA ST239

Maryn McKenna has a good article about a new strain of methicillin resistant of Staphylococcus aureus, ST239, aka The Brazilian Clone (as far as I know, no bikini wax is involved…). ST239 is troubling since it’s not only resistant to methicillin, but also resistant to other antibiotics, including clindamycin, tetracycline, cotrimoxazole (also known as Bactrim),…

Our Pro-Bank Policies Are Losing the Elite

They’re almost there. The NY Times’ Joe Nocera on Foreclosuregate: The lawsuit uncovered a raft of similar examples — case after case where the loan officers not only knew that fraud was being committed, but were actively engaged in committing it. “By about 2006,” says the lawsuit, “Countrywide’s internal risk assessors knew that in a…

…Who coulda thunk it? A while ago, I asked if parents choose schools or student bodies: But what if parents aren’t choosing better schools, but better student bodies? What if parents are paying exorbitant housing costs, not because the schools perform better, but because those high housing costs are able to exclude students who perform…