Thursday, August 25, 2016

How Melanoma Spreads

There's some big news on the melanoma front. Science now understands the mechanism by which melanoma metastasizes. And with that knowledge, it shouldn't be so hard to stop it from doing so.

AP’s big exposé on Hillary is not so much

In an effort to generate some sensational headlines, AP does some sloppy reporting.
There's no there there. No unethical conduct has been discovered. It's just another example of trying to generate dirt on the Clintons when there is none. Compare this to how fast wheels have come off the scooters for Roger Ailes, Donald Trump and other notables.

An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy

An article in Science Daily talks about progress on smoothing out the intermittentcy problem of solar energy. They have a demonstrated solution that uses proven technology without exotic elements.
The approach taken by EPFL and CSEM researchers is to combine components that have already proven effective in industry in order to develop a robust and effective system. Their prototype is made up of three interconnected, new-generation, crystalline silicon solar cells attached to an electrolysis system that does not rely on rare metals. The device is able to convert solar energy into hydrogen at a rate of 14.2%, and has already been run for more than 100 hours straight under test conditions. In terms of performance, this is a world record for silicon solar cells and for hydrogen production without using rare metals. It also offers a high level of stability. 
The other side of the equation would be an efficient hydrogen-base fuel cell and there has been much recent progress on that front as well.

Longterm Cause of Climate Change

You guessed it. It's us. Humans have been warming the planet for 180 years. If it takes that long to reverse it, we are probably doomed.

'Cocks Not Glocks' Anti-Gun Protest

Sounds like they are having some fun times down at my alma mater. In protest about the legality of concealed-carry of guns on campus, students are protesting with technically illegal open carry of sex toys.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SMR Plant would create more than 1,000 jobs in Idaho Falls

Our liberal friends on the wet side of the mountains probably helped Washington State
miss this boat. Our state needs to take another look at good ways to provide for Washington's economic future.

Who Wants Trump?

Here's a good analysis of who Trump supporters are. As you might expect, the results don't align with conventional wisdom.

What makes a Trump supporter? Surveys show that racial resentment is a much bigger factor than income, education, or view of the economy. A person with a higher income is more likely to support Trump than on with a low income. A large segment of Trump supporters are less-educated, blue-collar workers who are gainfully employed. A Trump supporter is likely to live in a zip code which is homogeneously white. Folks who have contact with immigrants are not Trump supporters. Manufacturing areas are less likely to support Trump as are areas which have high exposure to Chinese imports. It isn't the poor whites who are experiencing global economic dislocation who support Trump. His base seems to be reasonably well-off white folks who are concerned about maintaining their de facto segregated white bubble.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Sweden does guns right

There is a strong and deep hunting culture in Sweden that not only co-exists with strong gun regulation but is instrumental to it. Hunters don't want guns being used to kill people either and they are willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Getting responsible hunters in the U.S. on board with common sense gun safety regulation could help greatly.

Monday, August 08, 2016

The New Standard of Health Care Programs

As political forces wrangle about the future of health care policies in the U.S., it would be near-criminal if changes cause low-income people to lose the gains that have been made. Regardless of political philosophy, we have a moral obligation to maintain this minimum baseline.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Private Health Insurers Are Problematic

Wendell Potter has a good essay on how highly profitable insurance companies  want to drop ACA participation. They miss the good ol' days of being able to cherry-pick their clientele and to hell with the sick folks who really need good insurance. I think that forcing insurance companies to stay in the ACA will have constitutional problems. Eventually, there will have to be a public option. Perhaps the cost of that can be paid in part by taxing insurers who don't offer ACA plans.