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Linkpost, 11/15/2010

Linkpost, 10/26/2010

Linkpost, 10/19/2010

  • Canada’s lax border.
  • Bacteria ‘R’ Us. Very dense, but worth the effort. It makes the argument that we’re as much colonies of bacteria as anything else.
  • Remember how I couldn’t believe that Martha Coakley was Massachusetts’ Attorney General? Well, the Republicans in that state didn’t nominate anyone to run against her. It turns out that there is a write-in candidate. This is not a full endorsement; just noting that this guy is not Alvin Greene, so should be better than Coakley.

Linkpost 10/15/2010

Continuing my new tradition of linking a day late, here’s some interesting stuff from yesterday:

  • Do any of you remember the idea that the universe eventually collapses back in on itself? Well, there is some math that indicates that this is still possible: a Big Bounce explains the early inflation of the universe.
  • Also, it looks like reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Europe actually increases emissions planet-wide. It looks like they’ve managed to reduce their internal emissions by 17%, but increased the emissions produced by their consumption (i.e., the real number including imports) by 40%. So they’ve outsourced their pollution, and (surprise!) it’s less efficient.

Labor Day Science Links

While I’m doing the eight-hour brisket barbecue …

Linkpost: 8/30/2010

3D Scanner and Printer

Jay Leno hosts a short video of replacing a 1907 steamer part using a 3D scanner and printer.

Recommended: How We Decide

I finished How We Decide (by Jonah Lehrer) three weeks ago, and I’ve been remiss in recommending it. The book is about how the human brain works (or doesn’t) and how to take advantage of it. The book is so good that I’m planning to get a copy when I buy my iPad. (I originally checked it out from the library.)

One of Lehrer’s conclusions is that your brain can be thought of as two computers. There’s the one that we’re aware of, that’s maybe as powerful as an old calculator. Its advantage is that it can be directed consciously, so is useful for novel situations and simple decisions (or math). The other one is usually referred to as the emotional brain. It’s like a massively parallel computer that outputs a heuristic: an output that’s good registers as a happy emotion, while an output that’s bad registers as fear or anxiety. It’s good for really complicated decisions (if you spend the time giving it input), but can be overwhelmed by novelty.

Obviously, there’s more to it than that, or Lehrer would not have been able to write a book about it. Read it.

Linkpost: 8/3/2010

Friday Links

Power Line‘s been following the SEIU protest in a Bank of America executive’s front lawn. This link is part five of a series: A Thug Too Far. The semi-hidden subplots: SEIU want to the guy’s front lawn, which means the SEIU now considers it okay to intimidate an opponent’s family; and BofA holds a $120 million dollar loan to SEIU — which might make one think this all might go away if BofA forgives their loan. Which might be the reason for the protest in the first place.

In happier news, there are New Drugs for Macular Degeneration.

Also, it looks like we’ve dodged a lethal epidemic carried by the swine flu. Debora MacKenzie breaks down what our government did right and wrong in Swine flu hoax? Get real.

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrisey summarizes a recent Harvard Business School study: Study finds increased gov’t spending results in unemployment.

Ending with doom-and-gloom: US money supply plunges at 1930s pace as Obama eyes fresh stimulus.