Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Selective Outrage

It should be noted that the voter fraud Republicans are so afraid of is not only vanishingly rare but is very difficult to do. They don't seem to care because the processes to prevent this rare fraud also make it more difficult for folks who tend to vote for Democrats to vote at all.

But the kind of voter fraud that is easy to do (with absentee and mail-in ballots) tends to occur with folks who tend to vote Republican. So once again we see that the true motivation about "voter fraud" is nothing more than an attempt to win an election that you can't win fair and square. They should be ashamed of themselves, but I guess that is asking too much. 

Democrats' Shot at Taking the House

An analyst has a key indicator.
Geoffrey Skelley, who closely tracks congressional races at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, suggests there’s a crude shorthand for evaluating the battle for the House: Look to see if Clinton can beat Trump by 6 points or more in the presidential race. If that happens, Skelley projects 50 seats would be in play.
And recent polls show that she may be doing better than that. 

Grow Your Own Liver

We may be getting quite close to being able to grow a functional new liver from skin cells

"Based on the success in my lab generating tissue-engineered intestine and other cell types, we hypothesized that by modifying the protocol used to generate intestine, we would be able to develop liver organoid units that could generate functional tissue-engineered liver when transplanted," said Tracy C. Grikscheit, MD, a pediatric surgeon and researcher at The Saban Research Institute of CHLA and co-principal investigator on the study. Grikscheit is also a tenured associate professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Closing Off Coal Trains

Since coal cars have to be open to keep them from spontaneously igniting and since Wyoming coal has to pass along tracks adjacent to the Columbia River in the Columbia Gorge, a lawsuit against the BNSF railroad may make it impossible for coal trains to cross the state at all.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The Divide in the Electorate

This isn't surprising, but there are real, fundamental differences in how the two camps view the type of people who should be in charge.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, mainly released Sunday, finds that majorities of Hillary Clinton’s supporters believe minorities and women have too little influence in American society, while half say men and whites have too much influence. For all his outsider appeal, Donald Trump’s supporters, by contrast, are far more apt to endorse the status quo in this regard.

Universal flu vaccine

‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science

Here is a paper on how climate change deniers have to believe multiple contradicting things to justify their position. 

There is considerable evidence that the rejection of (climate) science involves a component of conspiracist discourse. In this article, we provided preliminary evidence that the pseudo-scientific arguments that underpin climate science denial are mutually incoherent, which is a known attribute of conspiracist ideation. The lack of mechanisms to self-correct the scientific incoherencies manifest in denialist discourse further evidences that this is not the level at which rational activity is focused, and we must move to a higher level, looking at the role of conspiracist ideation in the political realm. At that political level, climate denial achieves coherence in its uniform and unifying opposition to GHG emission cuts. The coherent political stance of denial may not be undercut by its scientific incoherence. Climate science denial is therefore perhaps best understood as a rational activity that replaces a coherent body of science with an incoherent and conspiracist body of pseudo-science for political reasons and with considerable political coherence and effectiveness.