Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for January, 2011

Links 1/31/11

Links for you. Science: First, Amoeba Farming. Next, THE WORLD. N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say Genetics will not be used to abort straights OR gays How The National Science Foundation Drives US Innovation Separating Fact & Fiction: News about the proposed National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Jumbo Shrimps: Why Mega-Mammals Still Looked Puny…

By way of Atrios, we find that Massachusetts is the second safest state for drivers. No, really: The safest places to drive in the USA are Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. Among the most dangerous: Montana, Wyoming, Louisiana and Mississippi. Those conclusions are based on federal data of traffic fatalities per 100,000 population and per 100…

The most awful thing about the proposed bill, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3), is, well, the bill itself: With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many…

Links 1/30/11

Links for you. Science: Gender and blogging (and everything else) Nonfiction: Nabokov Theory on Butterfly Evolution Is Vindicated Of course scientists can communicate Send in the Creationist Clowns and Watch Science Education Suffer Why University Scientists Do Not Discuss Religion Other: Hey You Men Who Yell “Nice Tits”: STFU Is President Obama Playing Peter Peterson’s…

Anti-Vaxxers and the Lizard Brain

Dave Noon makes a very cogent observation about resistance to vaccination: Advocates will have to explain why, if the risks are so minimal, the packaging inserts for commercially available vaccines all warn of horrifying potential complications (with no reference to their statistical unlikelihood); or they’ll have to explain why the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System…

Links 1/29/11

More snow. Maybe. Links, however, are certain. Science: “Pink Meanie” Pictures: New Jellyfish Attacks Other Jellies The Antimicrobial Index Iran’s endangered cheetahs are a unique subspecies Are Dangly Things an Evolutionary Development to Limit Rape? Hidden Women, Hidden Writers Other: Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Head of 50 State Investigation, Retreats From “Tough With Banks”…

I appreciate the value of optimistic weather forecasters, as opposed to the usual doom-and-gloom types, but this seems a little too far in the other direction: Look at the bottom right: who plays golf in this weather? I don’t think even Scotsmen are that crazy…

Blood Libel, Jews, and the Democratic Party

Like clockwork, every time an election rolls around, Republican-leaning pundits and political operatives, in their infinite wisdom, predict that this election will be the election wherein Jews abandon the Democratic Party. And then, like clockwork, Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic. One reason has to do with the Republican Party’s exclusionary identity politics: even if Jews were…

Links 1/28/11

The snow berms now reach my shoulder. Ugh. Links for you. Science: Phylogeny rules: Why P-values are Evil Belly Button Microbes: The First Peek Polar bear’s epic nine day swim in search of sea ice (gee whiz amazing, but very sad in the context of global warming) Other: TFA Founder Wendy Kopp: Don’t Release Teacher…

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne recently wrote this about Obama which puzzled me: An Obama who roared straight ahead hit a political wall. This next Obama is using finesse and subtlety to get to the same place. Roared straight ahead? Obama? Yes, he appointed two not-batshit-lunatic Supreme Court Justices. But economically, how different would he…