Pure Pedantry

Archives for April, 2008

(Keeping with our trend towards a week of economics — see here and here — I have another post where I attempt to talk above my pay grade.) I am as unhappy as anybody about high oil prices making everything on Earth expensive, but I am getting a little annoyed by the Presidential candidates glib…

Open Economics Question

Paging Kara (or some other economist). I have an economics question. We were discussing monopolistic competition in micro today. So I get how because the quantity produced under monopolistic competition is less than the efficient scale there is some dead weight loss on the level of the firm. The quantity is less than where the…

The NYTimes Editorial Board wrote at piece lamenting the high prices of college textbooks and praising Congressional action to limit them: College students and their families are rightly outraged about the bankrupting costs of textbooks that have nearly tripled since the 1980s, mainly because of marginally useful CD-ROMs and other supplements. A bill pending in…

Funny Psychology Dictionary

This is pretty funny. Check out Dr. Mezmer’s Dictionary of Bad Psychology. Some of my favorites: Evolutionary Psychology: A branch of psychology, unwittingly inspired by Charles Darwin and Rudyard Kipling, that describes how we behave through made up stores that guess why we had to behave. In this case, the stories are about what traits…

I can tell you from personal experience that being a med/grad student is not an environment that promotes healthy eating. Your schedule is all over bejesus and back, you’re poor, and your often stressed. Rising food prices have made eating out at some place healthy a non-starter. Let’s just say the easy fast food fix…

Boo on you, Democratic candidates

Boo on you, Barack and Hillary. Others have this subject amply covered, but I wanted to note that Barack and Hillary have both jumped on the anti-vaccinationist bandwagon. The bandwagon is getting crowded what with McCain already being on it. Granted, Barack and Hillary did not say something as flagrantly wrong as when McCain cited…

(I have been meaning to post this for about two weeks, so if it is a bit dated forgive me.) Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by slower reading skills acquisition, and it is associated with certain structural abnormalities in the brain. However, it turns out that different areas of the brain are affected depending…

The NYTimes has a great interview with Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert: What we’ve been seeing in my lab, over and over again, is that people have an inability to predict what will make us happy — or unhappy. If you can’t tell which futures are better than others, it’s hard to find happiness. The truth…

Quashed!

The subpeona against Kathleen Seidel has been quashed. ENDORSED ORDER granting MOTION to Quash Subpoena. Text of Order: “Granted. Attorney Clifford Shoemaker is ordered to show cause within 10 days why he should not be sanctioned under Fed R Civ P 11 — see Fed R Civ P 45(a)(2)(B) which requires that a deposition subpoena…

Autism-vaccine subpeona update

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Kathleen Seidel, a blogger at neurodiversity.com, who was being intimidated via subpeona by a lawyer for anti-vaccinationists. The lawyer, Clifford Shoemaker, represents plaintiffs in a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers alleging that mercury in their vaccines caused autism in children. The subpeona filed by Mr. Shoemaker was particularly intrusive,…