Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for November, 2010

Anyone who follows politics regularly is aware of the phenomenon of the voter who “wants the government to stay out of my Medicare” (Medicare is a government program). But a huge fraction of recipients of government aid do not believe they have received government aid. I’ll get to why I think that’s the case in…

Links 11/25/10

Links for you. Science: Natural Selection and Macroevolution in your lifetime Gluttonous amoeba White House science office faces lawsuit Other: Unemployed Councils, Eviction Riots, and the New Deal Misleading tax and spend rhetoric–public worker “overcompensation” and “too-high pensions” Welcome To Another Of Ken Buck’s Ethical Misfires (where does the GOP dig these guys up?) Ezra…

There’s never a good time to be hungry–and, yes, people in the U.S. still experience actual hunger–but Thanksgiving is an especially cruel time. Since everything is closed today anyway, take a couple of minutes to send some help to your local foodbank. Every dollar helps–and they don’t just need food, but also funding to pay…

Links 11/24/10

Links for you. Science: Money CAN buy happiness…well, sort of. Bridges that resist the rust: Strong, lightweight, easy-to-assemble arches with no steel bars may solve a New England problem Other: The Fastidious President Calling Bullshit on The News The ongoing, albeit amusing, battle to save Bristol Tax the transactions? Ensign played Reid in Angle debate…

When biologists refer to the ‘wild type’, we mean that there is a dominant phenotype or trait that most organisms in a species possess. For example, most Drosophila melangaster (the fly commonly used in genetics) have red eyes–red eyes are the wild type, while white eyes are often referred to as the ‘mutant’ phenotype. If…

Links 11/23/10

Links for you. Science: 7 Deadliest Bacteria on Earth The Army Ant Entourage (some amazing pictures here) Graduate Student Becomes Target of Choice for Animal Rights Extremists Taxing soft drinks to combat obesity Other: Unintended Consequences: Raising Retirement Age Could Cause Spike in Disability Payments The Ten Lessons of Rahmses — Lesson Seven (Daley makes…

Lessons from How Rome Fell

A while ago, I finished reading Adrian Goldsworthy’s How Rome Fell. While there are far too many inane comparisons between the Late Roman Empire and the U.S., this summary of Goldsworthy’s thesis seems appropriate (italics mine): That is not to say that the latter emperors were more selfish, but simply that they could never be…

Links 11/22/10

Links for you. Science: More to Pseudomonads than the kiwifruit crisis…. Rare Golden Sea Robin Landed and Released At Captain Joe’s A de novo paradigm for mental retardation Other: As the stomach turns The NYT’s Apocalypse: $1 Trillion a Year in Interest on the National Debt UK Students trash British Conservatives’ HQ … the children’s…

Brad DeLong, Scott Lemieux, and Felix Salmon all take Stanley Fish’s absurd discussion of Why Does College Cost So Much by Robert Archibald and David Feldman to task–and are right in doing so. It’s a shame because Archibald and Feldman actually do have some key insights into where the money goes. The arguments they make…

For Any Digby Readers…

…Digby gave me a nice little mention last night. This is the post the Atrios quote came from.