Thursday Linkorama

This linkorama is brought to you by the letter H.

Non-political links:

  • More on the horrific torture and murder of children in Nigeria on witchcraft charges. Worse: the lead witch-smeller pursuivant is being feted by people in this country.
  • Gun cliches. These annoy the heck out of me too.
  • I actually think the discovery of vast mineral reserves in Afghanistan could be bad for that country. Natural resources are frequently more of a curse than a blessing. Think of war-ravaged Africa on the one hand and the British Empire on the other.
  • Coolness. A direct image of an exoplanet.
  • Another study looks at why there are fewer women in science. I expect this will be an unpopular study — note what happened to Larry Summers. But hopefully it will stimulate some discussion. While I think the study makes some points, I’m not convinced we are in the interest-limited regime for women in physics.
  • Jesus. (H/T: Astropixie).
  • Political Links:

  • Bill Kristol, the delusional hack who denounced predictions of sectarian violence in post-war Iraq as liberal hysteria, is advocating for bombing Iran. I should really fisk the shit out of this one. Well, somebody already did.
  • Why I Don’t Like Big Government, Part 135: Apple is getting castigated and threatened for not genuflecting to Washington. We’ve seen similar things happen to Microsoft, Paypal and Google. If you become powerful, you have to give Washington their pound of flesh. There is no opting out of the lobbying game.
  • I remember Margaret Thatcher. I admired Margaret Thatcher. You, Sarah Palin, are no Margaret Thatcher.
  • You can add Denmark to Spain and Germany as countries that have lost jobs as a result of “investment” in green industries. Broad tax incentives, not subsidies, are the way to go here. Subsidized industries are almost always an economic drag.
  • Illnois educators are retiring well.
  • Yet more unintended consequences, this time from bank charge restrictions.
  • As I feared, Republicans want to fix healthcare by removing the insurance mandate but leaving everything intact. This would be the only thing worse than the current bill — it would destroy the insurance industry.
  • 2 thoughts on “Thursday Linkorama”

    1. That Tierney article in the NY Times is just nuts and has set off a quite predictable storm of outrage in the women in science blog-o-sphere. Tierney seems to have a “thing” about the whole women in science issue, he’s published multiple articles on the topic including two in the past two weeks. While there may indeed be an interest-limited regime for women in physics (or all the sciences), we’re nowhere near that point yet. Case in point — the fraction of currently enrolled female astronomy PhD students (30%) is nowhere near the fraction of women faculty in astronomy (17%) and the pipeline is still leaking at every step. The numbers are substantially worse in physics and downright terrible in engineering. There’s a great response to Tierney from Ed Bertschinger at MIT here:

    2. I’m somewhat perturbed to find out that you read my blog! 🙂 But I agree that Tierney tends to be too glib on this subject (and a few others as well).

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