Friday, December 26, 2008
The short article makes an observation which is especially interesting: the gene RAD51C, which is normally responsible for mending chromosomal breaks, is disrupted in this particular instance. Perhaps, the researchers suspect, this has allowed the rest of the breaks to take place.
These results are of course early, so we should be careful to take them with a grain of salt; but I recommend that readers keep an eye on this field of study.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Meanwhile, in Iraq...
Friday, March 28, 2008
The "golden balls" offer a sign of hope to Wall Street traders
The article itself comments on this further:
""" Now its more private parts are rubbed for a bit of a change in fortune. You can imagine they are looking pretty shiny at the moment."""
Indeed, it looks like this has been going on for a while, albeit mostly from tourists. If you want pictures, check http://www.wallstreetfighter.com/2006/12/raping-wallstreet-bull.htmlFor a video, see
Monday, February 11, 2008
- It has a complete lack of focus on global -- or even national -- events, insulating residents from the rest of the world. In the news today (Monday, 11 Feb), for example, the only nonlocal news coverage I found included 3 articles on sports in the corner of the sports page and a few articles on travel -- which tend to focus on travel for Michiganders. The paper seems to stress the fact that its readers are expected to be Michiganders, pushing away any chance at the paper appealing to anyone outside the area.
- In the cases in which the paper looks beyond Michigan (and even within Michigan), it is rather conservative. Its opinions page is peppered with support for Bush, and its news articles never cover problems faced by the current [Bush] administration. The problem here is not that the paper fails to espouse my (admittedly more liberal) beliefs; it's that the paper is so far to the right that they never publish problems with conservative politics.
- It is overtly religious. Spewing "Merry Christmas" across the top of the front page on December 25th should make my point. While this is probably because the readers in the area tend to be Christian, behavior like this alienates the Jewish and Muslim residents of Michigan.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The gist of the article is that the income gap in American society isn't as big a deal as it's made out to be. It claims that looking at the income alone is misleading because, instead of comparing income at various quantiles, we should instead be comparing personal consumption across quantiles. The authors move on to claim that consumption per person does not vary much within these households, e.g. "the average person in the middle fifth consumes just 29 percent more than someone living in a bottom-fifth household." Finally, the authors show a graph of adoption of various pieces of technology and make the claim that quick, universal adoption of technology means everyone is doing just great.
Here is why the authors are wrong:
First, most complaints about the income gap focus on the skew at the very top; for example, the top 1 percent earn 21.2 percent of the nation's income, and this fact is diluted by mixing these very wealthy with the rest of the top quartile.
Second, although the authors acknowledge that the bottom quartile include those living off savings like the elderly and those between jobs, they ignore this fact and move on. This is a very important part of the analysis, and it greatly skews the data set, ignoring those who are truly poor and the fact that the very poor cannot maintain a negative gross income.
Third, the authors make the claim that everyone is better off because we are adopting technology faster, and everyone has access to this technology. They use a graph to demonstrate this but ignore the fact that adoption of some of the earlier technologies (phone, electricity, and stoves) have heavy infrastructure costs not required by new, smaller pieces of technology (microwave, VCR, and Computer). The authors suggest that this is really all we should use to measure differences in "income", completely ignoring the much higher availability of education and real estate to the wealthy and lack of availability of this to the poor.
The authors, W. Michael Cox and