Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for October, 2010

Links 10/26/10

What a difference a good night’s sleep makes. I feel like I could conquer the world. I expect to hit Asia Minor sometime tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are some links for you. Science: Cracking the Mystery of How Sloths Got Long Necks Smoking bans are good for barkeeps How Handwriting Trains the Brain Other: The GOP…

Movement Conservatism, the 2010 Version

But she’s probably not a real American, so this is ok: This is kind of like freedom, except for the physical violence Real American values apparently involve stomping on women’s heads: As the candidates arrived, a group of [Republican congressional candidate Rand] Paul supporters pulled a female MoveOn member to the ground and held her…

A problem in genome-wide association studies (“GWAS”) is the”missing heritability” issue–identified genetic variation can only account for a small fraction of the estimated genetic contribution to variation in that trait. Razib has a good roundup of several explanations (and I added some speculation about nearly-neutral mutations). GWAS also have problems accurately characterizing the trait. For…

Links 10/25/10

Links for you. Science: How (not) to communicate new scientific information: a memoir of the famous brindley lecture The Darkside of Scientific Competition Is There Really a Systematic Problem in Medical Publishing? Or Just a Reporter With a Narrative? Shifting to Second Gear in Obesity Prevention? Other: Concerned Taxpayers of America Represents Exactly Two Taxpayers…

I’ve railed against the rise of supplemental data and methods before, but, having just reviewed a paper where I spent more time reading the supplemental sections versus the actual fucking paper, what Scicurious wrote struck a chord with me: Sci wishes she could make her own flowchart of supplemental data. It might look like this:…

Links 10/24/10

Better late than never. Links for you. Science: Bacteria using bacteria Why boomerangs come back This too, too solid flesh… Double whammy reveals cholesterol gene Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation Other: St Kern’s way is the American Way EXCLUSIVE: Michael Mann responds to Rep. Barton Please Just Make Sullivan Stop Writing About This Hemp…

Boston of the Future Viewed from 1908

The Boston Public Library has a really cool exhibit about postcards related to Boston. Here’s one I thought was funny from 1908 (based on the postage, I think it’s 1908): I want my own unidirigible! Too bad Boston doesn’t really look like this…. If you can’t get to the library, the postcards are online here.

A dirty secret of charter school ‘success’ is that they typically transfer their poorly-performing students the students they fail to educate to public schools. Consequently, charter schools are able to claim better test scores than regular public schools (clearly, ethics aren’t on the charter school agenda….). It’s been a problem in Boston and Bay Area…

Links 10/23/10

A nice, sunny Saturday. If you’re stuck inside, and you don’t feel like calling up Anita Hill and harassing her for no good reason, here are some links for you. Science: Curious controversial case of colony collapse disorder afflicting bees in U.S. Royce Murray and Caveat Emptor 50 More Urban Species #42: Phidippus audax A…

Bestest City Council Resolution EVAH!

Gotta love Cambridge, MA: Policy Order Resolution O-32 IN CITY COUNCIL August 2, 2010 VICE MAYOR DAVIS COUNCILLOR CHEUNG COUNCILLOR DECKER COUNCILLOR KELLEY MAYOR MAHER COUNCILLOR REEVES COUNCILLOR SEIDEL COUNCILLOR SIMMONS COUNCILLOR TOOMEY ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to investigate with the MBTA the possibility of installing a long flat…