Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for December, 2010

Education ‘reformers’ constantly talk about how schools need to be run more like businesses. Now, like Comrade PhysioProf, I do think good management is important. But what does good management have to do with business? So asks David Carr (italics mine): On Wall Street and on Silicon Valley office campuses, in hedge fund boardrooms and…

Links 12/20/10

Almost vacation. Almost. Still have links for you. Jet-propelled calamari: Rare photos of squid species that can leap through the air to dodge predators Science, Blinding QCut Other: Global Housing Boom Matthew Hoh’s Afghanistan: An Insider Talks Why is Obama leaving the grass roots on the sidelines? The Unorthodox Solution: Embracing Pluralism and Reason in…

We Can Afford Mortgage Cramdown

So can the banks. A key impediments to economic recovery is underwater mortgages: people repay housing loans for more than the underlying property is worth. Many Dirty Fucking Hippies sane people have recommended that banks be forced to ‘cramdown’ these mortgages*. This would make the banks’ books more transparent (and probably cause some ‘zombie’ banks…

Links 12/19/10

I’ve hit the green gooey phase in my cold (that’s actually a good thing). Yippee!! Let’s celebrate with some links. Science: ‘Rockstars of Science’ hurt the cause of science education How the Republican Party broke up with Science New Obama Scientific Integrity Memo Is Late And Vague Yet another reason why the Wolfe-Simon conclusion is…

While there’s been some discussion of the massive cut, albeit temporary, in the estate tax (arguably the tax cut least likely to produce jobs), the new gift tax rules are even more obscene: Families would be able to make tax- free gifts to their children or others of as much as $10 million, an increase…

Links 12/18/10

Happy Saturday. Links for you: Firms See Long-Sought Goal in Sight: Major Pay Cuts The trace elements of a nation The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery Do international test comparisons make sense? A True Wake-up Call for Arne Duncan: The Real Reason Behind Chinese Students Top PISA Performance Remember:…

So Google has released this Ngram thingee that searches for words in all of the archived Google stuff. So I decided to look for the words “MRSA”, “staphylococcus”, and “Staphylococcus.” Here’s what I found:

Politics When the Media Shrugs

Driftglass makes an excellent observation: What happened this week was that the GOP finally dropped its last fig-leaf and with it, any pretense of a conscience. In 2004, the Cheney Administration offered the imbeciles, cowards and bigots who despised this country enough to re-elect the worst president in American history an ample supply of flags…

Well, technically speaking, it’s Fox News, but, really, what’s the difference? Fox News has a website, Fox News Latino, that ran with this headline: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Are Having an Anchor Baby. It’s like a nervous tic or something. They just can’t help themselves. And remember, as driftglass likes to say, no nation…

I’ve written before about the municipal and state level fiscal crises that are occurring across the U.S. (and, yes, this was not only predictable, it was predicted). Well, now we have a new crisis: no more BABs. BABs is short for Build America Bonds program, and there are two types of BABs: 1) BABs that…