Archive for June 2008

For Bill Gates on his Last Day at Microsoft

Jun 27th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Public Health

Dear Bill, Congratulations on your last day at Microsoft and welcome to the world of biomedical research! Everyone I know who endured a ‘billg’ review agrees—you’re apparently a bit of an ass. Quick to question and call bullshit, to point out errors or inconsistency, and to demand the best, willing to yell if yelling is […]

Some Suggestions For Your New Individual Right to Bear Arms

Jun 26th, 2008 | By | Category: Your Rights

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Enjoying your recently expanded rights under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution? Wait, let me adjust that quote above to reflect the Roberts-court interpretation: A well regulated […]

Wait, Why Are There Gay Men?

Jun 25th, 2008 | By | Category: Lead Article, Lit Round-up

If being a gay man is an inborn, inherent trait with some genetic basis–as the massive, overwhelming, credible, sound, tenable, probable, corroborating, confirming, affirmative collection of scientific evidence states–why are there gay men at all? It’s a trait that strongly discourages procreative sex. Less sex with women means less babies and therefore less spreading of […]

Living and Working Energy

Jun 25th, 2008 | By | Category: Energy, Featured Articles, Transit

Adjusting to higher energy prices? You aren’t the only one. The insanity of shipping even the cheapest goods around the planet, to save a little on labor costs, is finally being recognized as insane: As the cost of shipping continues to soar along with fuel prices, homegrown manufacturing jobs are making a comeback after decades […]

Calculus and the Housing Bubble

Jun 24th, 2008 | By | Category: Economics

Bored tonight, I’ve been playing around with the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices dataset that was just released. With all the hysterical coverage around the housing bubble, it seemed like fun to use some of my high school calculus. Yeah, yeah, I could just graph the index over time, but why not graph the derivative? Ah […]

You Don’t Understand Fuel Economy; Blame MPG

Jun 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Environmental

Assuming you drive the same miles per year, which change will save more gas in a given year: * Switching from a Dodge Ram at 13 MPG to a Toyota Tundra at 15 MPG * Switching from a Honda Fit at 32 MPG to a Toyota Prius at 44 MPG. (Mileage figures are from Consumer […]

How to Read a Poll

Jun 18th, 2008 | By | Category: 2008, Featured Articles, Stats

As we approach November, I anticipate a tidal wave of blog posts on polls. Reading the polling data improperly is hazardous to your health. The disconnect between the polling and the 2004 election results nearly resulted in my death. Avoid my mistakes. 1. Remember that polls are always of a population that may or may […]

Antarctic Winters, Not So Wintery Anymore

Jun 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Environmental, Nukes

From the ominously titled European Space Agency press release, Even the Antarctic winter cannot protect Wilkins Ice Shelf: Wilkins Ice Shelf, a broad plate of floating ice south of South America on the Antarctic Peninsula, is connected to two islands, Charcot and Latady. In February 2008, an area of about 400 km² broke off from […]

Show Evolution of a Complex Trait? Ok.

Jun 13th, 2008 | By | Category: Evolution, Featured Articles

No one really argues about the validity of natural selection. Only the most hardened of young Earth creationists contest that organisms with more adaptive traits will preferentially survive and reproduce. The Intelligent Design crowd tends to wave this off as a trivial truth. Of course, they say, better traits are selected for. They instead claim […]

Intrade Says: Obama Wins

Jun 11th, 2008 | By | Category: 2008

(From via slashdot) Intrade, an online futures trading website, allows you to make investments based on whether or not you believe a given event is likely to happen. Will the average price of gasoline be over $4.00 on June 30th? Will Israel and/or the US bomb Iran by the 30th of September? Will McCain […]