I have some meetings, than I have to leave early to pick up my wheels (getting inspected/Oil change), but here are the latest edition to my Instapaper:

• On the Dole, Corporate Style  (Tax.com)

• Inside the paradox of forecasting: That guy who called the big one? Don’t listen to him.  (Boston Globe)

• Hackers find new way to cheat on Wall Street — to everyone’s peril (InfoWorld)

• Everything that Americans should ask about home mortgages (Chris Whalen/Reuters)

• Interpreting the employment numbers (Eonbrowser)

• Three winning stock fund managers in 2010 make predictions (Washington Post)

• State Of The Unions (Surowiecki/New Yorker)

• If You Could Short Facebook, Would You?  (Reformed Broker)

• Forbes’ rich list of nonsense: the key technique that denialists use in debates (Real Climate)

• How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed (BMJ) How the fraud linking vaccines and autism was exposed.

What are you reading?

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

69 Responses to “Afternoon Reads”

  1. I think someone posted a link to this site here. I haven’t had the chance to get too deep into it but I’m sure it would appeal to many here:

    Watch films (documentaries, short films, interviews & more) at this online film festival. Discover film-makers and their voices. Learn about social issues prevalent in modern world. Vote for the art & entertainment that is evolved and exists for transformation toward a new future. Promote consciousness about humanity & environment – our culture, nature & life driven by the spiritual state, individual and collective.

    Most viewed list is here:

    http://www.cultureunplugged.com/filmedia/films.php?view=thumb&listType=mostViewed&tags=&page=1

  2. Arequipa01 says:

    I am reading on quantum computing (Quantum Computing and the Ultimate Limits of Computation: The Case for a National Investment by Aaronson and Bacon)- no link, sorry. And will be poking at:

    http://www.foresight.org/roadmaps/

    I need to invent a timemachine and go back and make sure I am born much smarter- no more martinis for you, mom…

    Also, wrt Tenet Healthcare- seems the board has voted itself an extra 18 months of work-free compensation. Hurray, Cronysim Capitalism! See, it works!

    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mergers/2011/01/tenet-delays-shareholder-meeting.html

  3. BuffaloBill says:

    A video interview with Ed Hyman of ISI and and Dennis Stattman of Blackrock by Consuelo Mack on Wealthtrack. http://wealthtrack.com/

  4. NoKidding says:

    “Bankers are like 5-year-olds,” said Barry Ritholtz, a New
    York money manager who writes the Big Picture economics blog. “If
    you leave them unsupervised with a bowl of candy, they will eat it
    all and throw up all over everyone. Volcker got that.” Most
    Brilliant thing I’ve read from you. I’ll attribute when I recycle
    it.

  5. Jackson Browne tunage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFowNFvmUxw

    ~~
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/mark-penn-says-obama-needs-similar-event-to-oklahoma-city-to-reconnect-with-voters/

    By Byron York

    There are reports Democrats plan an extensive effort to link the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Republicans in general to the shootings in Arizona. The idea is to pin blame on those groups much as Bill Clinton was able to pin blame on Newt Gingrich, Limbaugh, and Republicans in the aftermath of the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. It’s an effort that was previewed last year, on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City attack, when Clinton himself tried out some of the themes we are hearing today in the aftermath of violence in Arizona. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

    With the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing Monday [4/19/10], former President Bill Clinton is playing a starring role in the liberal effort to draw what the New York Times calls “parallels between the antigovernment tone that preceded that devastating attack and the political tumult of today.” The short version of the narrative is: Today’s Tea Partiers are tomorrow’s right-wing bombers.

    On Friday, Clinton spoke at a symposium on the bombing organized by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, founded and run by John Podesta, the former Clinton White House chief of staff who also directed the Obama transition. The theme of Clinton’s remarks was that movements like the Tea Party, characterized by extreme right-wing rhetoric, could lead to political violence. In the last few days, news accounts in the Times (“Recalling ’95 Bombing, Clinton Sees Parallels”), Newsweek (“Hate: Antigovernment extremists are on the rise — and on the march”), and ABC News (“Watch your words”) drove home Clinton’s point. “This is a legitimate thing to do,” the former president said, “drawing parallels to the time running up to Oklahoma City and a lot of the political discord that exists in our country today.”

    What Clinton and his supporters do not talk about is the way in which Clinton, aided by pollster/adviser Dick Morris, exploited the bombing to make a political comeback from what was the lowest point in Clinton’s presidency to that time. …”
    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2011/01/how-obama-will-distort-shootings-by-one.html

  6. tax_me_more says:

    It’s interesting to note that when it comes to things that matter us most (health and money) that we focus on the news surrounding these topics we have come to be skeptical of theories and predictions because often they are later contradicted or found to be lacking.

    The fundamentals are strong! Most economists agreed with this statement and almost none predicted the recession. Roubini contradicts it and is wrongly labeled a genuis when he is likely just a contrarian waiting for his counterparts to mess up.

    Fiber helps fight cancer! Antioxidants fight cancer! ?? Then someones study says the opposite or challenges this questionable hypothesis.

    After watching this comedy for years and years many of us have developed a healthy skepticism of predictions in these sciences because while science is great at mining data developing valid theories is far more difficult. However, when it comes physics, chemistry, et al, we don’t have the same skepticism because we (and the media) don’t follow these with as close an interest.

    Human activity is causing global warming! Most scientists agree with this yet some Roubini’s in this field say the opposite hoping to gain the spotlight and the cover of Time magazine. They may get lucky just like him cause certainly in these other sciences there are as many erroneous theories and hypotheses as in economics and the study of human metabolism. The topic is certainly as complicated or more so.

    Yet to question the theory that suggest a relationship between humans and global warming is to be labeled anti-science.

  7. Arequipa01 says:

    In response to tax_me_more’s welcome comments, here is an article some may find interesting:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all

    For those of you fear opening a NewYorker link (you know, Fabian S_cial_sm cooties)…if Jesus rode a dinosaur, why wasn’t Fred Flintstone one of the apostles? Yeah, figure that one out…

  8. tax_me_more says:

    Great article!

  9. You either have a healthy respect for science and non-magical thinking, or you don’t.

    By definition, reality is never fully known. Science works in the realm of provisional theories, always subject to revision or replacement when a better one comes along.

    Some rhetoricians seize upon this to undercut science, and replace it with their own shaman.

    A thinking man does not equate the latest fad literature on vitamins or fiber with evolution or gravity or relativity or global warming, lest he reveal himself to those who know better as a fool.

  10. tax_me_more says:

    Gravity is easily demonstratable and falls closer to the realm of applied science since it can be manipulated in the lab.

    Global warming and evolution. Not so much. Theoretical science.

  11. Perhaps now is as a good a time to mention our strict “If you are an idiot, you go into moderated comments” rule.

  12. Arequipa01 says:

    Hey, hey, hey there Mr. R. Whoa! Listen, be careful about the whole down on chamanes, ok? Mira, I’ll tell what…23 years ago, I met up with Maestro Samuel in Sullana, northern Peru, one of the leading guys, an important brujo del norte, well anywho, I went to a ‘mesa’ he gave and after didn’t want to pay the 220 intis he charged and left in a huff- inadvertently leaving behind a beautiful sombrero that I had bought for 210 intis the day before…long story short, he cursed me for 10 intis (approx 3 bucks) and ever since I have been a pug-nosed mick with a bad temper…try to explain that one with a Bunsen burner and a slide rule.

  13. “A thinking man does not equate the latest fad literature on vitamins or fiber with evolution or gravity or relativity or global warming, lest he reveal himself to those who know better as a fool.”

    BR,

    a ‘Thinking’ Man may not, but the MSM, surely, will. At the very minimum, speaking of Gravity, in relation to 32 f/s/s, all of a sudden ~”Noone’s ever heard of it..”

    remember: “You either have a healthy respect for science and non-magical thinking, or you don’t.”

  14. maddog2020 says:

    tax_me_more Says:
    “Global warming and evolution. Not so much. Theoretical science.”

    Next time you get a drug resistant bacteria, or when someone you know with cancer develops resistance to the standard therapy, just tell your doctor, “But doctor, evolution is just theoretical science!!” See how that works out for ya.

  15. mark says:

    @tax_me_more:

    Gravity can be manipulated in the lab? Wow! You ought to publish that (I recommend the Journal of Cold Fusion Research) BTW, you don’t understand science. All explanations of how nature works are theories. Scientific explanations are, at least in principle, testable and falsifiable. Magical thinking and religion are not, in principle or in any other way, testable and falsifiable. Here are some examples:

    Gravity: observable fact. Einstein’s explanation of gravity: theory until proven false. Newton’s explanation of gravity: falsified by Einstein.

    Evolution: observable fact. Darwin’s explanation of evolution: A theory that has undergone far more testing than Einstein’s theory of gravity. It has not been falsified. Intelligent design: religious/magical thinking that is not testable or falsifiable.

    Global Warming: observable fact. Explanations for why the earth is warming: theories that are in principle, but as a practical matter not really, testable or falsifiable.

    On the recommendation of Simon Johnson and Wolfgang Munchau, I watching interest rates for the real European canary in the coal mine, Belgium:

    http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=GBGB10YR:IND

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/64c3886a-1c23-11e0-9b56-00144feab49a.html#axzz1Ag2iaMzP

  16. Bill in SF says:

    RE: If You Could Short Facebook, Would You?

    The reason I would not short Facebook just yet is: Goldman Sachs is involved; they haven’t sucked in enough suckers yet.

    The reason I would someday consider shorting Facebook is: Goldman Sachs is involved; and they surely intend to profit handsomely on the downside as well.

    …only time will tell.

  17. Sechel says:

    Great Chris Whalen piece. He deftly walks the fine line between due process on a mortgage , the politicians and the home owner who isn’t paying his mortgage.

  18. Next time you get a drug resistant bacteria,

    It’s still bacteria and probably was already drug resistant before all the buddies that were competing with him for food died out due to the drug

  19. uncmed says:

    As a medical professional, I think the vaccine fraud is possibly the most disturbing link on here. The fact that some obscure study can sway the thoughts of millions of people, simultaneously endangering the lives of millions more, is obscene.

    Patients who refuse to have their children or themselves vaccinated with well-established vaccines endanger themselves, their family, friends, and other patients within a medical facility. I will certainly be one to politely ask any of these people to leave my practice and would encourage other medical professionals to do so as well.

    Happy New Year to all. Keep up the good work Barry!

  20. uncmed,

    as a ‘medical professional’, one might think you’d be, even, more preoccupied with http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Hospital+acquired+infections+kill+thousands

    Dear Visitor,

    Hospital infections kill more Americans each year than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.

    RID’s Mission:

    When I was Lt. Governor of New York State, I was horrified to hear about patients suffering from hospital infections. I heard from families struggling to understand how their loved one had been killed, instead of cured, by hospital care. That’s why I founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. RID is a non-profit organization dedicated to only one cause: saving lives
    • RID’s 15 Steps empowers patients to reduce their risk of infection.
    • RID delivers accurate research on infection prevention for physicians and hospital staff, bridging the gap between today’s knowledge and yesterday’s practices.
    • RID holds forums, presents at major medical conferences and educates thousands of caregivers using the latest technologies.
    • One of RID’s lasting legacies will be in medical schools and nursing schools, helping to educate the next generation of caregivers on how to provide clean care and “do no harm.” RID’s goal here is to make hygiene a central part of medicine again.
    • RID works with lawmakers to require hospital infection reporting, so if you need to be hospitalized you can find out which hospitals in your state have the lowest infection rates. RID also bring pressure to bear on state and federal governments to reduce infections.

    Recent Victories:

    When RID began in 2004, hospital infection rates were kept secret and government agencies did far too little to address the problem. Since then, twenty-six states and The District of Columbia have enacted laws requiring hospitals to disclose their infection rates to the public.

    Last year, Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly and disabled, announced that it will stop paying hospitals to treat several types of hospital infections that are preventable and therefore should “never” happen. Hospitals will be barred from billing patients for what Medicare doesn’t pay….”
    http://www.hospitalinfection.org/

    http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20100222/hospital-infections-kill-48000-each-year

  21. johnnywalker says:

    Mark: good explanation of the difference between science and magical thinking. I would add that when scientists uncover facts that are inconsistent with some part of a hypothesis, they modify or change the hypothesis; when magic thinkers uncover facts inconsistent with their hypothesis they tend to want to change the facts.

    How the Common Man Sees It: that is exactly how Darwin’s theory of natural selection predicts it takes place. BTW, I don’t want to sound pedantic, but “bacteria” is plural; the singular is “bacterium.”

  22. JimRino says:

    However MMR started.

    There is a statistical link between Thimerosol and Autism.
    Look for studies not funded by the pharma community.
    There is no autism in the Amish community.

    I’m not advocating avoiding vaccines.
    I’m advocating removal of thimerosol as the preservative, removal of mercury as the preservative.
    Yet, the pharma community won’t do this, because a quick removal would show a dramatic drop in Autism, and make Autism court cases easy to win.

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr., through the Freedom of Information Act:
    http://www.momsagainstmercury.org/deadly-virus.htm

    Note: Even though the pharma industry knows there’s a Strong Corralation, they are NOT phasing Thimerosol out. It’s in the latest batch of flu shots! It’s impossible to find a flu shot that does not contain Thimerosol, in the USA!

  23. Darkness says:

    The vaccine hysteria is a great case study in the obstacles to creating workable public policy in the U.S. It’s all about emotion. Facts are useless.

    Don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but pointing out that the research was faked does nothing to change minds. I did, however, get the last crazy person to drop the topic by pointing out that a vaccine has 25 micrograms of mercury and a single 2.5 oz serving of tuna fish has 50 micrograms. Then I asked how often they fed their kid tuna.

    Oh, and by the way, I added, do you know how much nitrates in hotdogs increase the risk of brain tumors in children?

    People freak out about vaccines, the single greatest invention of the century. And they feed their kids bottom feeding garbage. Is this a population any sane person would want to even attempt to guide with reason?

  24. JimRino says:

    Capitalism and Risk Management.
    When the Pharma community decides that it’s Risk Management is more important then the patient’s health.
    You have an immoral dilemma, that it seems could only be resolved by Government.
    But forget that, now that the Supreme Court has decided that Corporations can Buy Elections.

  25. JimRino says:

    Darkness, learn about “Statistical Correlation”.

  26. Julia Chestnut says:

    You know, I quit reading the HuffingtonPost over their support for the vaccine/autism link and their sucking up to magical thinking in general. But in the case of vaccines/autism, children DIE because of the lies that were told for personal gain. And it has become a full-on religion among a whole segment of society that the sorts of stupidity and lies spewed by a certain aging playboy bunny and her ilk are the truth that the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know. Of course, the irony is that the original study on which their whole religion is based was fraud perpetrated under the most fundamental conflict of interest and without any concern for human-subject ethics. Wakefield bragged about taking blood from the kindergarten children attending his son’s birthday party – without prior consent from their parents.

    It continues to amaze me that people will take a risk with known child killers over a theoretical risk of harm from the vaccines. Clearly, those people have never heard a child with whooping cough, or sat with a child brain damaged by meningitis.

    And yet, over the past decade, more than half of the time when I mentioned that one of my children is autistic, some well-meaning idiot would say “oh – isn’t that caused by vaccines?” [pounds head on desk].

  27. Go figure that Jenny McCarthy — a beautiful curvaceous, sexpot — knows nothing about medical science !

  28. monkeys turning into different kinds of monkeys Johnny?

    you’re going to have to try a little harder than that

  29. JimRino says:

    What about Robert F. Kennedy, is he stupid?
    Is Thimerosol banned in these countries or not? Russia, Austria, Great Britain and Japan.

  30. jeg3 says:

    Multiply by 50.
    http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/nov10/113010.htm

    Some people work hard to do good for a region:
    http://libn.com/blog/2011/01/10/schumer-li-a-regional-innovation-cluster/

    While some people work hard at going to hell:
    http://libn.com/blog/2011/01/07/nuns-cheated-by-li-broker/

    Better to understand Circuit Theory and MMT than Neoclassic economics, unless your life’s objective is to walk around economically befuddled.

    “Monetary system not behaving according to textbooks – system is wrong!”
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=13078
    and
    http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/09/27/it’s-hard-being-a-bear-part-sixgood-alternative-theory/
    and
    “Overall, Yellen’s comments display a high level of competence when discussing the monetary system, however, her comments regarding QE are disingenuous at best.  The Fed has made itself clear in the last few months – they are relying on an equity market recovery to generate a sustained economic recovery.  I personally think that’s a highly dangerous approach to economic growth.  If past is prologue we appear to be barking up the wrong tree again when it comes to sustained US economic growth.”
    http://pragcap.com/yellen-qe2-is-working-but-i-cant-prove-it

    And Steve Keen’s historical discussion about credit (which Neoclassic economics avoids):

    ““Talk about centralisation! The credit system, which has its focus in the so-called national banks and the big money-lenders and usurers surrounding them, constitutes enormous centralisation, and gives this class of parasites the fabulous power, not only to periodically despoil industrial capitalists, but also to interfere in actual production in a most dangerous manner— and this gang knows nothing about production and has nothing to do with it.” [1]”

    “He got it wrong on some other issues,[2] but his analysis of money and credit, and how the credit system can bring an otherwise well-functioning market economy to its knees, was spot on. His observations on the financial crisis of 1857 still ring true today:”
    http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/01/31/therovingcavaliersofcredit/

  31. chadwick says:

    The comments regarding science are interesting. I just finished reading an intriguing article in the New Yorker that is relevant to the discussion. It is titled: The Truth Wears Off by Jonah Lehrer at it is published on line under the dateline of Dec 13, 2010. As a scientist, I recommend it, because it provides a good view of the complexities that must be dealt with as we progress toward understanding in any research field.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all

  32. cyaker says:

    I would like to offer the following in response to the question “what are you reading” and as a commentary on the above issues and article. It’s the comment I made to the Forbes criticism and I highly recommend the referenced book but I link the “Classic Comic” version at Wikopedia.

    Who cut down the last tree on Easter Island? Might seem like an unrelated question but it’s more conceivable that it is relevant to the situation. To learn more read the Wikopedia entry for Jared Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Suceed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed it would appear as if we are on the path to failure.

  33. Mike in Nola says:

    Saw a link to this speech on Mish. Can we make this guy a citizen and elect him president?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Fyq7WRr_GPg

  34. willid3 says:

    Federal budget works out to be about 25% of GDP. Guess what? The top 1% of all earners also works out to be 25% of GDP. and thats a tax with no benefit to the other 99%

    http://johnquiggin.posterous.com/economical-arithmetic-crooked-timber

  35. willid3 says:

    this just in. being a lawyer really doesn’t pay off any more. unless your the law school
    http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/111784/is-law-school-a-losing-game?mod=edu-continuing_education

  36. willid3 says:

    economists still aren’t sure that EMH isn’t working. and not sure what happened since 2007 either
    http://johnquiggin.posterous.com/at-the-aea-meetings

  37. JimRino says:

    “The shooting in Arizona was an isolated incident… just like all the others.”

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/terror-arizona-just-another-isolated

  38. uncmed says:

    Mark,

    I agree with you that nosocomial infections and deaths pose a larger health hazard to those in the hospital. However, the hospital is naturally a place that harbors infectious agents due to the unavoidable presence of those pesky patients. This is going to continue to be a problem as long as there are hospitals and no magic bullet treatment for infections, whether that be due to resistance or lack of effective treatment. It’s also difficult to determine how many of annual nosocomial infectious deaths are actually avoidable.

  39. uncmed says:

    Julia Chestnut….very well said.

  40. wunsacon says:

    OT:

    Courtesy of someone on hoocoodanode, here’s German comedian/commentator Volker Pispers talking about the “war on terror”:

    5 parts:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4H_E8b-qmo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOZd3iCknZU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRWAyM26YV8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ9Amuri6G8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2ullkbVCL8

  41. maddog2020 says:

    Common man:
    “Next time you get a drug resistant bacteria,

    It’s still bacteria and probably was already drug resistant before all the buddies that were competing with him for food died out due to the drug”

    See Luria-Delbruck (Fluctuation test), essentially proof of molecular evolution & random mutation. Which of course, at that rate might take a little bit of time to create new species.

    Or don’t, since of course the earth is 6000 yrs old, and we humans domesticated the dinosaurs, riding them around like ponies. It’s right there in the fossil record!

    It’s amazing that a certain segment of the population believes that, as a species, we are capable of splitting the atom, creating nuclear bombs, and sending up devices that leave Earth’s orbit. But that somehow, we’re not capable of determining the age of the earth & universe. And of course we can dig up all the millions of years of buried carbon, spew it into the atmosphere but not have an effect on the Earth.

  42. johnnywalker says:

    Well, How the Common Man Sees It, it seems like you support micro-evolution but not macro-evolution. That’s a common position among modern creationists. It doesn’t hold up, however, given the great differences in time scales (millions of years vs tens or hundreds of years) and the existing fossil record–Unless you believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old and fossils were created to deceive humans.

  43. maddog2020 says:

    Re: Jim Rino:
    “There is no autism in the Amish community.” This is again pseudoscience observation posing as actual science.

    Sorry to get all science-y on this blog, I just get tired of pseudoscience and the selective use of science to fit agendas.

    Abundant evidence is accumulating that autism is at heart a genetic disorder (doesn’t mean that there aren’t environmental influences that act on particular genetics). And I don’t think we want to use the Amish as a reflection of society as a whole. The Amish have a limited gene pool (literally) and are unfortunately a genetic goldmine for studying genetic disorders. Such as this:

    Pediatr Neurol. 2009 Apr;40(4):310-3.
    Gene associated with seizures, autism, and hepatomegaly in an Amish girl.
    Abstract
    A genetic defect causing autism and epilepsy involving the contactin associated protein-like 2 gene (CNTNAP2) has been discovered in a selected cohort of Amish children. These children were found to have focal seizures and autistic regression. Surgical biopsy of the anterior temporal lobe of two such children revealed cortical dysplasia and a single nucleotide polymorphism mutation of this gene. The present case is that of a related but geographically distant proband with a similar phenotype but a single-base-pair deletion in the CNTNAP2 gene. This patient exhibited the additional features of periventricular leukomalacia and hepatomegaly.

  44. Bill in SF says:

    Re: Hospital infections; another potential source.

    http://www.outpatientsurgery.net/newsletter/eweekly/2010/12/28

    “Since anesthesia providers work at a distance from the draped patient and the surgical field, many may believe there’s little chance they’ll transmit bacteria to patients. “Nope!” says Steven Shafer, MD, editor-in-chief of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, in which the Dartmouth research is published. “These studies provide evidence that our bacterial flora contribute to surgical site infections.”

    In a previous study, Dartmouth researchers associated the presence of bacteria on stopcocks with increased patient mortality.

    The authors of the most recent study stress the importance of conducting proper hand hygiene before entering each room. “It seems likely that organisms were brought to the patient and the environment as providers moved from room to room with continued lapses of decontamination,” they write, calling for better hand hygiene practices among anesthesia providers. “This could significantly reduce postoperative infections.”

  45. yuan says:

    “See Luria-Delbruck (Fluctuation test), essentially proof of molecular evolution & random mutation.”

    Actually, in prokaryotes and simple eukaryotes it is now widely accepted that lamarckian genetics occurs under selective pressure. Its an open question just how “incomplete” the poissonian mutation model is. Much of what you learn in a classroom setting will prove to be either an inaccurate or incomplete. And IMO the speed at which this is occurring is accelerating.

  46. Greg0658 says:

    ok this intelligent design < evolution < creationism < O ) _ t
    (thats a sun, moon, dirt & tree)
    science vs religion
    religion is political science in its early form
    all people primitive or advanced need a government aligner

    words have meaning and for about 8000 years we've been writing words to pass ideas on to generations

    now if worders weren't trying to play God then the non-worders would have 1000x things less to worry about … but but but .. I digress – I love my big boy toys (I guess until the day I call out damn)

    necessity is the mother of invention* – our inventions are for increased comfort – or a scheme to make a living**

    in closing – put your science hats on – you know people need religion – stop dissing it while attempting to build the ultimate facsimile of the aquarium terrarium

    *coda – cash has run its course – plan for it
    **coda – and why "Leave It to Beaver" is so "been there done that" and _?_ (what) is the most disgusting show I can think of – is the new just gotta have it

  47. awake1563 says:

    don’t forget to tighten your drain plug and check the oil level… ;)

  48. Julia Chestnut says:

    Jim, first, thimerosol was removed from almost all vaccines in (if I remember correctly) 2000 or so. It is still present in some versions of the flu vaccine because it is necessary as a preservative for the base. Second, thimerosol is ethyl mercury, not methyl mercury – which is known to be bioactive and is the one used in industrial processes. They do not behave the same in the human body, with ethyl mercury clearing faster and failing to concentrate in the brain.

    But again — it was removed a decade ago. Statistically speaking, we should then have seen a severe drop off in the number of autistm cases reported if there were a link. As I am sure you know, that has not happened — indeed, has not happened even as the number of infants vaccinated at all has dropped.

    Finally, the idea that there are no autistics among the Amish is a myth. I’ve actually met a couple. The difference is that, until one is severely affected, autism is pretty adaptive within their lifestyle: preference for sameness, preference for animal contact over human, flat affect, rigidity. . . .living in an isolated rural environment is a fantastic place to be if you are mildly to moderately autistic.

    You should also bear in mind that “autism” is a construct based on a defined pattern of differences (deficiencies that amount to disabilities in our society) as defined by the DSM. “Autistic” behaviors can be based on any difference — and there are distinct patterns within the groups of those diagnosed — and the diagnosis does not speak to origin of the behaviors as far as neurological damage. It would be virtually impossible for there to be NO autistics within any given group, because what doctors call “static encephalopathy” of any origin could be at fault. That includes organic brain misformations, damage caused by brain bleeds and hypoxia in premature infants, fetal alcohol syndrome, damage from some of the known metabolic disorders (such as phenylketoneurea). . . .

    So you don’t have to worry about thimerosol. If you are that concerned, don’t get a flu shot. Children’s vaccines for childhood diseases have not contained it for a LOOOONG time. But you should also bear in mind that the flu also kills a certain number of people each year, and infants and the elderly are the majority of those killed. And more to the point, I’m not sure if you remember playing with balls of mercury when you were a kid – rolling the quicksilver around in your hand and watching it attach to other metals. But any of us who are adults now had much, much higher exposure to mercury, lead, and arsenic when our brains were developing than any child gets today. Exposure has radically shifted towards petrochemicals today. If you are concerned about heavy metal load in infants, you should look not to the vaccine schedule, but to the release of heavy metal stored in fat and bone in the mother that is released when those nutrients are motivated for gestation and nursing. And that’s the God’s truth.

  49. scottsabol says:

    I am a meteorologist who has studied climate over the years. Based upon what I’ve read and researched, the issue isn’t science as much as its political contamination of the scientific date both for the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) pundits as well as the “its all a part of a natural cycle” group. Its a shame that if you are critical of the AGW camp, you are labeled “conservative, big-oil”. If you are pro-manmade global warming, you are labeled “liberal, environmentalist wacko”.

    I will say this: I am not a climatologist by trade. I do not have any reason for pushing an agenda either way. I try to keep an open mind to all of the science on climate study that is out there.

    I recently found many, many peer-reviewed papers on global warming skepticism that are worth a read.

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    The list is very large and is packed with scientific data from climatologists around the world.

  50. Gnatman says:

    Latency in distance for electronic trades. Place your trading server in Manhattan, 500 microseconds (millionths of a second) for the transaction to go through. Place trades from Shanghai, the delay would be at least 40 milliseconds (thousandths of a second), nearly 100 times longer than for the investor in New York.

    But your highlighted article on latency injected by hackers has a bit of TRON to be dealt with. ” but when changes occur in microseconds, they’re not visible

  51. mathman says:

    wunsacon: those videos were hilarious! That guy is like Lewis Black here – get’s the truth out in comedic form.

    scottsabol: we’ll be skeptical right up to the time humanity starts perishing from all the accumulated effects of our continuing action (the polluting, careless way we live)/inaction (failure to do anything to change the status quo of business interests, and “normal” humans who want life to be “easy”): continually rising seas from glacial melting, continuing climate chaos making it hard to grow enough food, pollution in the food chain, overfishing and dumping toxic substances in the oceans, landfills, and (in PA’s case recently) streams and rivers, lack of potable water, killing off of necessary species (oh, like bees for example), etc. This will surely result in a big decrease in population all over the world (it may take a while, but it will be sooner than most people think and be “unpleasant” even for the “survivors”). So, by all means, let’s just keep doing what we’re doing and deny everything that’s going on around us (even when we can measure it). That’s the “right” thing to do . . .

  52. uncmed says:

    Mark, Not sure what you’re getting at re: Pasteur. I’m not denying that nosocomial infections aren’t a problem. That said, there wasn’t a link about it in BR’s post that we’re commenting on, nor was there a reference to it in my original post.

  53. maddog2020 says:

    Yuan -
    I agree that interest in “lamarckism” has somewhat been revived (low fidelity polymerases as mutagenic ‘agents’ for example), but I think the evidence for directed evolution in this regard is still scant. Maybe the application of high throughput sequencing will put the theories to the test.
    Epigenetic modification may look like lamarckism as well, but I wouldn’t call it molecular evolution yet.

    Wow, way off topic for this blog!

  54. Malachi says:

    I work in the field of autism. I recognize that Wakefield’s study has been discredited (in fact it hasn’t been considered credible in the mainstream for some time now) however I am not convinced that the current vaccine schedule for children won’t be changed in the future due to possible detrimental effects of some vaccines. Children today receive considerably more vaccines at a much younger age than you or I did in our youth.

    There have been many parents who have shared with me over the years stories of their child’s regression soon after vaccination. Yes, it is anecdotal evidence and it may simply be a coincidence or perhaps in their bias they are not remembering the timeline correctly. But I’ve heard it enough from down to earth intelligent parents to keep an open mind.

    How many times have we been told by the scientific community that they are so confident about something only to have that change five, ten or twenty years later?

    I think BR may have posted a link to the following article by a respected researcher. It makes for interesting reading.

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269

    Also after decades of the mainstream defending water fluoridation there is now a growing consensus that the drawbacks should be given more consideration.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=12562835&page=3

    It’s not to say don’t vaccinate your child. Vaccinations can be life savers. But it is important to explore how a number of environmental factors including vaccines might impact a child’s health and neurological development both in the short and long term.

  55. uncmed,

    from: “…Patients who refuse to have their children or themselves vaccinated with well-established vaccines endanger themselves, their family, friends, and other patients within a medical facility. I will certainly be one to politely ask any of these people to leave my practice and would encourage other medical professionals to do so as well…”

    to: “…as a ‘medical professional’, one might think you’d be, even, more preoccupied with…”

    then: “…However, the hospital is naturally a place that harbors infectious agents due to the unavoidable presence of those pesky patients. This is going to continue to be a problem as long as there are hospitals and no magic bullet treatment for infections, whether that be due to resistance or lack of effective treatment….”

    to: “…it’s EZ to make things sound complicated..easier, actually, to maintain adherence to the fundamentals(?)”

    LSS: we should Practice that which we, already, (well) know..’til then, further extrapolation, often, becomes Malpractice..
    ~~

    maddog2020,

    I wouldn’t worry about “Wow, way off topic for this blog!”, ’twas providing, at the minimum, a compelling parallel story-line..

    btw, would you agree that most of ‘modern genetic engineering’ is premised upon the ‘Static Genome’-Theory(?), and that ‘epigenomics’(“Fluid-Genome”) understanding should be cause for consternation, in light of such?

  56. Greg0658 says:

    my lame attempt at doumentation & influence:

    saw on Charlie Rose last nite:
    Twitter Creator Launches ‘Square’ — Like Smartphone Paypal for Credit Cards
    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/12/twitter-co-founder-launches-square-like-smartphone-paypal-for-credit-cards/
    http://www.charlierose.com/guest/view/7046 (not yet available)

    “… Not only is Congress empowered to coin money, but states are specifically forbidden from coining money.
    On the other hand …”
    http://law.jrank.org/pages/12510/Federalism-State-Powers.html

    food for thought .. between coins* and electronic transfers can a new world order be achieved
    (do no evil tho) like:
    gun & bomb purchases – school drop outs – product counterfeits – and beyond All linked in …
    (ah but what about recreational drugs)

  57. Greg0658 says:

    *coda – what could a coin buy in a new world order?

  58. farmera1 says:

    “The Rigorous Mind of Chief Justice John Roberts; An unflinching look at the man who is presiding over the most pro-business court we have ever seen”

    FORTUNE Magazine (January 17, 2011 issue) cover story:

    This is an even handed article. It does fit right in with corporatism as our new system of government.

    No link available unless you subscribe to Fortune Magazine. Worth a read to see where we are headed/or already there

  59. [...] yesterday’s afternoon reads, I mentioned a Boston Globe story “That guy who called the big one? Don’t listen to [...]

  60. JimRino says:

    I’m a little tired of the “Straw Man” argument about Vaccination.

    I didn’t say Don’t Take Vaccines.
    I said Please remove thimerosal from vaccines, and flu shots. ( I didn’t think there was a difference. ) I have heard that thimerosal has been removed, but when I checked, there it is in the flu shot. If my child is getting thimerosal from a flu shot, then that invalids the last ten years of supposedly shots on the vaccine schedule being free of the drug.

  61. formerlawyer says:

    @scottsabol Says:

    Take a look at this site, in conjunction with the “peer reviewed” denialist papers:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

  62. jad714 says:

    where do you think the DOW will be on Feb. 28, 2011? Tell us by Jan. 12 midnight and win “The Little Book of Sideways Markets.”

    http://ilene.typepad.com/ourfavorites/the-little-book-of-sideways-markets-contest.html

  63. maddog2020 says:

    Mark -
    “btw, would you agree that most of ‘modern genetic engineering’ is premised upon the ‘Static Genome’-Theory(?), and that ‘epigenomics’(“Fluid-Genome”) understanding should be cause for consternation, in light of such?”

    Sorry for the late response, busy actually doing genetic engineering.
    Re: static vs. fluid: I agree with your statement to an extent (I doubt most who practice GE even think about it). Genomes are rarely, if ever, static entities. I would prefer the engineered versions stay in the lab, for now, FWIW.

    Did I answer your Q?

  64. maddog2020,

    this observation, similar to my own, “I doubt most who practice GE even think about it..” is what troubles me..

    this: “Genomes are rarely, if ever, static entities.” strikes me as True.

    and, this: “I would prefer the engineered versions stay in the lab, for now..”, to me, is what Prudence would dictate..