Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for April, 2011

Links 4/30/11

Links for you. Science: More deconstruction of the “tyranny” of excessive reviewer demands for more experiments Armadillos Can Transmit Leprosy to Humans, Federal Researchers Confirm Other: Female physicians make less money than male doctors, here’s why (truly, no good deed goes unpunished) Health reform will drive up ER visits, like it did in Massachusetts (Romneycare…

In looking through the comments of Chris Mooney’s recent post on vaccination denialism, I found this comment, which inevitably shows up in one form or another (italics mine; errors original): i grew up in the 1960s when less than a half dozen vaccines were required for infant protection spread out over the first few years…

Or at least, antivaxxer idiocy isn’t correlated with political leanings. Last week, in response to a post by Chris Mooney I argued that liberals weren’t more likely to refuse vaccination, despite the stereotype that vaccination denialism is more prevalent among the left (that’s always struck me as a ‘limousine liberal’ type of canard). Kevin Drum,…

Links 4/29/11

Gave a talk today. Think it went well. Celebrating with links! Science: Sciparenting and expectations Fire ants assemble into living waterproof rafts Ancient DNA: Curse of the Pharaoh’s DNA Other: Ohio Republicans unhappy Republicans did what Republicans do Don’t leave the city. (Sadly, I think the author will be right) Boomarang-rang It’s A Tradition Deportation…

The TSA Liquids and Gels Farce

By way of Jay Ackroyd, we come across this article about the whole “liquids and gels” silliness. If you fly regularly, it’s nothing you don’t normally experience: My carry-on goes through the scanner and comes out the other side. One of the guards squints at his monitor, then shoots me a hostile look. What’s this,…

It’s an odd-sounding question, but, if you use a debit card, a very important one. I bring this up as The Huffington Post recently published an article about the political battle over the fees banks charge stores when customers use their credit and debit cards. While the article–and much of the ensuing commentary–has focused on…

Links 4/28/11

Links for you. Science: Electronic faucets hinder, not help, hospital infection control Genetics journal reveals dark past Tuesday Crustie: What a happy lad since the day he lost his strings Drama on the sidewalk Other: Taxing China’s Assets: How to Increase U.S. Employment Without Launching a Trade War (must-read) Dodging Bad CEOs The Republicans’ Really…

What Was the Massachusetts House Thinking?

I didn’t think we would see assaults on unions happening in Massachusetts. I was wrong: Last night, the Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill (111-42) to strip public-sector workers of their ability to bargain collectively for healthcare. The rhetoric surrounding the bill, proposed by Democratic State House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, is in…

Over the last couple of weeks, Chris Mooney has written several interesting posts and articles about how human cognition affects the incorporation of evidence, especially scientific evidence (e.g., global warming) and what that means for politics. At the back of my mind have been nagging issues of the assumptions Mooney has been making. The assumptions…

Links 4/27/11

It feels like spring. It is spring! Let’s celebrate with some links. Science: Great editorial response to the Jumbotron ad (responding to anti-vaxxers) Climate Policy Failure, and Laying Blame Is Reasoning Built for Winning Arguments, Rather Than Finding Truth? The @nytimes missed a great chance to suggest what astronauts can do as NASA changes: go…