Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for February, 2011

Some Clarification on Wisconsin’s Budget

Over at The Washington Post, Nick Johnson by way of Ezra Klein clarifies Wisconsin’s budget crisis (italics mine): – Wisconsin’s budget problems are real. The state has a $137 million shortfall in the current fiscal year – after taking into account the need for an additional Medicaid appropriation to get through the end of the…

Links 2/21/11

Kinda cold here. Let’s warm up with some links. Science: From the Trenches of the War on Science Friday Beetle Blogging: A Stunning Staphylinid Koalas bellow to attract a mate Crocodile tears from experienced NIH investigators over the discontinued A2 revision Disease!: Four billion dead Sequenced: The Human Genome – 10 Years Later Other: Can…

20+ Years of Wage Data: America Needs a Raise

By way of Mark Thoma, we come across these two figures about wages. First, with the exception of workers near the top of the wage scale, things have pretty much flat-lined for three decades: Women at the 50th percentile have seen an improvement, but keep in mind that they still lag considerably behind men in…

A couple of weeks ago, I found a post, “Is HIV ‘fingerprinting’ junk courtroom science?“, which argues: But calling the comparison of HIV strains’ genes “fingerprinting” — calling to mind the more-familiar matching of human suspects’ DNA to blood at a crime scene — is dangerously misleading, they warn. “By calling such investigations HIV fingerprinting,…

Links 2/20/11

It’s a sunny Sunday here. Kinda cold though. Links for you. Science: A better, purer science The Bubble, Genetics Exceptionalism and How Genomics Needs to Get Out More Busting the 8-Hour Sleep Myth: Why You Should Wake Up in the Night Drug residues and drug resistance in water: Not good Friday Weird Science: Rats in…

Sidewalk Rage Isn’t a ‘Mental Illness’

It’s called living in Boston. Unbeknownst to the Mad Biologist, we read that some mental health professionals believe ‘sidewalk rage’ is a psychiatric disorder: Researchers say the concept of “sidewalk rage” is real. One scientist has even developed a Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome Scale to map out how people express their fury. At its most extreme,…

By now, you might have heard about how the Wisconsin Senate Democrats have fled the state in order to prevent a bill from passing, supported by Republican Governor Scott Walker, that would cripple public sector unions (if it’s about redressing the budget, then why does the bill deal with union dues, which have nothing to…

Links 2/19/11

This edition goes out to the badass parrots. Links for you. Science: Ordinal Regression: Data to Order A virtuous intolerance Budget 2012: NIH and CDC Republicans are closing their eyes to climate science Who dares enter the lair of the stingless bees? The secrets of ant sleep revealed Other: Why We Should Raise Taxes on…

Faster Trains Versus SUPERTRAINS

I agree with Atrios–while high-speed trains would be technologically groovy, trains that actually got somewhere quickly would be a major, albeit unsexy, improvement (italics mine): As for inter-city rail, I certainly support it too on the grounds that driving long distances and flying really suck. Flying sucks more than it used to for various reasons,…

A while ago, I discussed the limits of the deductive approach in economics (and, for that matter, in anything). Basically, one can be really clever and derive how the world could or should work. This might or might not have anything to do with how the world actually works. Robert Waldmann takes Matthew Yglesias to…