Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for February, 2011

Before I get to two videos of Democratic congresswomen talking about abortion and birth control, something that Adam Serwer wrote is very germane: These videos are striking because they’re a reminder of how little of media coverage of political battles over abortion reflects the views of real human beings, as opposed to the reductive, paternalist…

A while ago, I looked at the relationship between poverty and educational test scores in Massachusetts, which, on the whole, performs the best in the U.S. Not surprisingly, as poverty increases, performance decreases. The pattern also holds for science scores on the state exam, the MCAS: The horizontal axis is the percentage of children in…

Links 2/24/11

Happy Thursday. Links for you. Science: In a Single-Cell Predator, Clues to the Animal Kingdom’s Birth Two New Dandelion Species Discovered in Spain Meet Diania the walking cactus, an early cousin of life’s great winners Running out of antibiotics — and other drugs too Other: If any sign hits home for @govwalker, should be this…

A Question About ‘Olive Americans’

I’m a bit late to this story (although STOOPID does age well…), but Kansas Republican state representative Connie O’Brien had a minor bigot eruption–she apparently has a fool-proof way to identify illegal immigrants: She explained that she took her son to a financial aid office, and as she was waiting in line, she believed there…

Profiting from Hunger: The JPMorgan Edition

There’s a lot money to be made providing aid to needy people. And where there’s money to be madeextracted, there will be an investment bank, in this case JPMorgan: In these hard times, some 43 million American families rely on food stamps. To the surprise of many, JPMorgan Chase is the largest processor of food…

Links 2/23/11

Graduate students rock! Why? Because they’re organizing the clean up of the Wisconsin state capitol, along with an effort to get food and supplies to the protesters. Support them here. Now, onto the links comrades! Science: Boston British soldiers. Farm antibiotics, human illness and what connects them. (It has legs.) (I think the insect angle,…

I want to follow up on something from a post about the educational failure committed by our political press corps (italics original; boldface added): That so many people lack even a basic understanding of how government works and what it does–even among likely voters (keep in mind that your average Tea Buggerer spends a lot…

No, We Don’t Need to Slow Down Moore’s Law

Matthew Yglesias writes regarding Moore’s Law, which states that CPU transistor counts double every two years: My pet notion is that improvements in computer power have been, in some sense, come along at an un-optimally rapid pace. To actually think up smart new ways to deploy new technology, then persuade some other people to listen…

Links 2/22/11

Happy Tuesday. Links for you. Science: The Fossa: Madagascar’s Strangest Predator Biotech industry says cuts will stifle–Federal budgets would slash aid; Mass. groups look to restore funding A new spider species discovered in Seattle? Antievolution bill in New Mexico tabled House of Representatives Votes to Defund IPCC Other: Backward, Christian Soldiers Twitter’s Dirty Little Secret…

We Are All Post-Keynesian Chartalists Now?

I’m pleasantly surprised by this column at MarketWatch. Actually more like gobsmacked. I realize the post’s title is a wee bit obscure, so some background is order. One of the reasons I write about budget deficit hysteria all the time is that the belief that WE MUST REDUCE TEH DEFICITZ! NAO! is used by the…