Pure Pedantry

Archives for August, 2007

Elsewhere on the Interweb (8/29/07)

Gene Expression has 10 Questions with Gregory Clark, author of A Farewell to Alms: Clark also provides archival evidence that in medieval Britain (and to a lesser extent in China and Japan) the wealthy-who presumably had those “middle class” skills in abundance-raised more children than the average person. If you put these pieces together-a system…

That is so gross, yet also very cool. The cowpea weevil or Callosobruchus maculatus has an arms race that is going between the males and females. This beetle species are promiscuous, and there is a lot of advantage for the males to be the last one to have mated with a particular female in terms…

Encephalon #30

Encephalon #30 is up at Neurofuture.

HIV Denialism

Fellow ScienceBlogger Tara Smith has a required reading article in PLoS Medicine on HIV denialists: Since the ideas proposed by deniers do not meet rigorous scientific standards, they cannot hope to compete against the mainstream theories. They cannot raise the level of their beliefs up to the standards of mainstream science; therefore they attempt to…

Genomes Sock

Bring more science into your life with scientific knitting… This comes via Virginia Postrel where she examines the new glamorous scientist. That makes the extraordinary success of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which begins its eighth season this month, all the more remarkable. Unlike its direct spin-offs and numerous imitators, which are more-conventional cop melodramas, the…

Cross-ideological Dating

James Kirchick at Independent Gay Forum mentions the trouble he has had dating outside his politics: “I can’t date someone with a different belief system” is what he told me. I expected this answer from the guy I had been casually seeing. From early on, I suspected that our differing political bents — his liberal,…

Moviendose on up

Every now and then, it behooves us to stop listening to the shouting heads on television and look at some numbers. A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that Latino immigrants are moving up the economic ladder, out of low-wage jobs and into middle-wage employment. The survey uses the hourly wage distribution in…

This is genius. These guys are proposing that we construct Fantasy Journals — drafted sets of journal articles — at meetings and scientific gatherings sort of like Fantasy Football. Each player would get access to say all the papers to be presented at the meeting (or a more limited number if that is too many).…

Elsewhere on the Web (8/22/07)

Megan McArdle on the morality — not the economics — of a single-payer healthcare system: As a class, are the young and healthy more responsible for the bad health of the old and sick? Quite the reverse. Many people in the old and sick category did nothing at all to deserve their fate; they just…

NYTimes Science section, why do you make me so mad? Gretchen Reynolds published an article in the Times on cognitive improvements associated with exercise, and I would like to use it to make a point about how science journalism often gets the facts right but the interpretation wrong. It begins with the following incorrect statement:…