mikethemadbiologist

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September 1, 2011
I've dropped some hints in the past that my relationship with ScienceBlogs would be...altered. Well, I've decided to leave. Mostly, it had to do with the issue of pseudonymity, although I'm very excited to hang out my own shingle once again. I don't want to rehash the issue of pseudonymity,…
September 1, 2011
The old saw that 'we hang together or we get hung separately' is a perfect description of how the left has disintegrated into irrelevance. Too often, groups will focus on modest gains for their own narrow constituency, while selling out other allies. Over the long term, each component of the…
August 31, 2011
Links for you. Science: Underground river 'Rio Hamza' discovered 4km beneath the AmazonWhat do accommodationists do about creationist politicians?I've Been Told You Can Get Flu From the Flu Shot: False!Federal Work Suspension of Leading Arctic Scientist Ended as Investigation of His Investigators…
August 31, 2011
Recently, The New York Times published an op-ed calling for curricular changes in K-12 math education: Today, American high schools offer a sequence of algebra, geometry, more algebra, pre-calculus and calculus (or a "reform" version in which these topics are interwoven). This has been codified by…
August 30, 2011
Links for you. Another Scientist Calls Out Sen. Coburn's Misleading, Juvenile "Report"XMRV: ITS EVERYWHERE! UUUUUGH! ITS IN MY RACCOON WOUNDS! AND MY QIAGEN COLUMNS!Coulter Goes All Science-y in Bid to Disprove EvolutionYet another bad day for the anti-vaccine movement 2011Antibiotics: Killing Off…
August 30, 2011
They're getting pretty good at hostage taking, and it worked before. Alex Seitz-Wald reports: Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by…
August 29, 2011
Not much of a storm, at least in Boston. Let's celebrate with some links. Science: Teh Wimminz in Academia Thingy AgainRacial Disparity in NIH Grants: Solutions from Your Humble NarratorWorst Excuse Ever (to not disclose ties to pharma companies. For Intelligent Designer's sake NIH, even Darrell…
August 29, 2011
Fortunately, Irene just ended up resembling a bad nor'easter, but without the cold temperatures (or snow). We had high winds from about 9:30 - 10:30am, and if they had become progressively worse (as was predicted), it could have been pretty ugly. Didn't turn out that way thankfully. In fact, it…
August 29, 2011
One of the ludicrous notions that has infected our political discourse is that government jobs aren't 'real' jobs (tell that to fireman when your house is burning down...). But a lot of private sector jobs are heavily subsidized by the government. I'm not referring to private contractors hired by…
August 28, 2011
Links for you. Science: Something in the water: What drugs are local residents abusing? A researcher's solution to that vexing problem suggests just how much our sewage knows about usModern Rivers Shaped By Trees: Rivers were wide and shallow until the evolution of treelike plants, which got the…
August 28, 2011
First, on Saturday, around noon, I observed this on Commonwealth Avenue: Because it's not like it's going to rain for the next 24 hours or anything. Second, we are once again reminded how poorly the Boylston Street Apple store fits with the Boston environment: Although they're protected against…
August 28, 2011
Admittedly, some boycotts have worked: Glenn Beck seems to have been seriously harmed by the boycotts against his advertisers. But what happens when the corporations you want to boycott have massive market share? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate-backed lobbying…
August 27, 2011
Links for you. Science: 'Shrimp On A Treadmill': The Politics Of 'Silly' StudiesEvolutionary DiplomacyNHGRI funds development of revolutionary DNA sequencing technologies (lotsa nanoporey stuff being funded)Nat'l Academies Hope to Build a Better PostdocDoes Tenure Matter? Other: The worst thing…
August 27, 2011
...I've got water, flashlights, batteries, and my list of who gets cannibalized first when civilization disintegrates. I'm not sure how you prep this for the hurricane though: (corner of Berkeley and Marlborough, First Church in Boston) And I hope these guys survive: (Boston Public Garden)
August 27, 2011
I've always understood why the very rich would favor economic ideologies that support their self-interest. What I've never quite understood is why so many people who aren't Galtian overlords buy that crap. Lance Mannion puzzles over the same thing (italics original): The Koch Brothers are under a…
August 26, 2011
Links for you. Science: Blog Debunks 13-Year-Old Scientist's Solar Power BreakthroughWhen Anthrax first came to North AmericaEco-labelled fish may be unsustainably fished, or the wrong speciesIf You Are Anti-Science, You Are Anti-JobsThe complexity of cancer Other: Why isn't the climate left…
August 26, 2011
One of the key differences between those who favor educational 'reform'--that is, those who view education primarily as a personnel issue--and those that oppose it is how each group thinks good schools come to be. Consider this by Matthew Yglesias, an education reform supporter (italics mine):…
August 25, 2011
Links for you. Science: Why biology (and chemistry) is not physicsThat's One Gigantic WaspDo You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?When you say flu, what do you really mean?Newly found: the world's oldest fossils! Other: Legal academia and the problem of bad faithWhy the World hates economics (the end…
August 25, 2011
Sheril has the details: That's what Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled Legislature just did. Embarrassing for Florida and a travesty for the Everglades. They've dismantled the South Florida Water Management District-the state agency charged with protecting the Everglades. As…
August 25, 2011
...imaginary jobs that might or might not materialize. As a long-time customer of New Balance shoes (not only do I like the shoes, but they're U.S. made), it looks like a 'free'* trade agreement will kill off 1,000 existing jobs in Maine (italics mine): At the factory here owned by New Balance,…
August 24, 2011
Links for you. Science: Smart people accept evolution (I have a different take, in that 'smartness'--which to me is actually just educational attainment--mirrors political leanings and socioeconomic status, which themselves are correlated)Evolution doesn't fit our generalitiesNIH solicits opinions…
August 24, 2011
By way of Matthew Yglesias, we read that,over at National Review Online, Kevin Williamson claims progressives only care about science as a way to wage culture war (yes, coming from movement conservatives, that's rich): There are lots of good reasons not to wonder what Rick Perry thinks about…
August 23, 2011
Links for you. Science: Warning: Killer fungi could run amok againRepublicans and Democrats Differ on EvolutionSewage Treatment, Coral Disease, and Koch's PostulatesRacial Disparity in NIH Grants: Priority Scores Other: The Purpose-Driven LieTwo bad polls for Obama (liberal blogs and the Cassandra…
August 23, 2011
It would seem that education 'reformer' and former D.C. schools chancellor is enamored of personal responsibility for everyone but herself. To give you some idea of the kind of person, Rhee is consider this heartwarming tale from her days as school chancellor: Early in her chancellorship, she was…
August 23, 2011
Erm, better late than never? Links for you. Science: Sentences You Will Probably Never Read in a Published PaperThe GOP candidates have no time for your "science," scientists13-Year-Old Looks at Trees, Makes Solar Power BreakthroughGlobal Warming is a Litmus Test For US Republicans Other: Does…
August 22, 2011
There's some good news and bad news regarding E. coli surveillance in meat products. The good news: The pathogenic Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia Coli (pSTEC) serotypes known collectively as the "Big Six" will soon be banned from U.S. meat, a top expert told a meat industry conference…
August 21, 2011
Links for you. Science: NIH Uncovers Racial Disparity in Grant AwardsOtters are back in EnglandScientists engineer suicide bomber bacteria to kill other bacteriaProject Nim - The Untold Story Other: Painstaking, dot-point summary - bond issuance doesn't lower inflation riskWhat I Learned in Two…
August 21, 2011
As some of you might have heard, National Geographic has decided that pseudonymous writers (other than Mark Twain) aren't going to be part of their online presence. I usually don't discuss ScienceBlogs inside baseball stuff, but I'm not getting any response from them (I've received emails telling…
August 21, 2011
In this case, South Carolina. From Steve M.: I was reminded of this when I glanced at Jacob Weisberg's Jon Huntsman profile in Vogue and my eye fell on this this har-har-har good-ol'-boy anecdote about a Huntsman campaign appearance in Greer, South Carolina: Henry McMaster, the state's silver-…
August 20, 2011
Links for you. Science: Just What is the Brain-Eating "Amoeba" Naegleria fowleri?OA doesn't cost jobs: it creates them. And saves lives.Why Sequence Microbes?Tests confirm that roaming deer caused fatal E. coli outbreak in Washington County, elsewhereScientific Literacy by Gender (only ~50% of…