Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for March, 2011

Matthew Yglesias makes a good point about budget negotiations–their intransigence on tax increases means that, at least in the House, the budget is entirely up to the Republicans: Under these circumstances, there’s nothing to negotiate about and nothing presidential leadership can achieve. If Republican leaders don’t want to agree to any revenue increases, that’s their…

Because that’s not been his MO so far. A long-time reader emailed and asked me why I haven’t commented on Libya. Well, it’s simple: as far as I can tell, the U.S. government has a long-standing policy of doing the opposite of what I want when it comes to matters of war and peace. Nonetheless,…

Links 3/27/11

Links for you. Science: Big dust-up about kin selection Writing Popular Science Books Doesn’t Make You a Scientist Why are these trees completely wrapped in spider webs? Other: Humanitarians of the Year The Gang That Couldn’t Lobby Straight Bachman For President (the Tea Party is the theopolitical right) How Not to Respond to Political Bullies:…

Republican Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is such a disgrace, he can’t even beg for money correctly: At the public dedication of MIT’s David H. Koch Integrative Cancer Institute last Friday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) effusively thanked conservative billionaire David Koch for supporting his election in 2010 and made a plea for help in his re-election…

The whole CDO binge (aka Big Shitpile) led to a whole slew of perverse incentives to not help a borrower who is having difficultly paying the mortgage, even though, in the era before mortgages were treated as commodities to be sold, banks routinely went out of their way to avoid foreclosure–usually the costs were too…

Links 3/26/11

Links for you. Science: Congress and Science Education: Wolf Berates NSF on Overdue Report Inclusive Fitness: Return to the Wrestling Ring Researchers Challenge E. O. Wilson Over Evolutionary Theory Robert Trivers and colleagues on Nowak, Tarnita, and Wilson’s “The evolution of eusociality” Re: Homophobia and Evolutionary Psychology Other: Turkeys at Longwood Medical Area and Harvard…

Boston Public Library To Be Closed Sundays

It sounds like the Boston Public Library will be closed year round on Sundays : Boston Public Library trustees have signed off on a $39.3 million budget that does not include branch closures or layoffs, but that does call for shuttering the Copley branch on Sundays…. The proposed library budget for fiscal 2012 budget will…

A few weeks ago, Glenn Greenwald gave a speech where he discussed the climate of government intimidation in the U.S.: I received a lot of comments from people via email, from people in person telling me at my attended events, from people in my comment section, American citizens who said the following: “I understand and…

Links 3/25/11

Happy Friday! Links for you. Science: We need to work together to save the Statistical Abstract of the United States At odds with disease risk estimates The other weaver ants Unauthorized medicine: Leave important clinical testing to the professionals Other: What the Baby Joseph cases tells us about the anti-choice movement Nobodies of Macroeconomics (Very…

Because that’s just good speaking. Chris Mooney has a very good post about the civic obligation scientists have to explain their work and its implications to the public. I recommend it highly. But one small part of the post rubbed me the wrong way (italics original; boldtype mine): When it comes to scientific topics, citizens–and…