Human Genomes, errors and chills…

Workout notes, dark, breezy (8 mph), chilly (just under freezing) and I ran my 5.1 mile course in 52:31. I didn’t feel THAT bad out there but was puzzled that my time was so slow…then I looked and found that is a typical time for this course.

I have my last spandex chase for the season this Saturday and the weather is supposed to be perfect. Hence I plan to pick up my packet super early and then drive home…and then jog to the start for a warm up (about 2.5 miles downhill). Now if I could pay a spandex wrapped MILF to set about a 7:50 pace for the first couple of miles…..

I haven’t read this whole article yet; I probably will tonight. But there have been many evolutionary changes in the past 5000 years that have shown up at least in the genetic level.

Being wrong Watch as John McCain and Lindsey Graham get hammered for their hypocrisy. Note: they blustered about Saddam Hussein having WMDs and complained about opposition to Condoleezza Rice when she was standing for Secretary of State.

Paul Krugman on types of errors in forecasting:

Some readers may recall the “Peter Schiff was right” campaign of 2009, a sort of public-relations blitz claiming that Schiff, an Austrian-oriented commentator, had foreseen everything correctly. It wasn’t really true even then; still, Schiff became a fixture of right-wing TV shows, constantly warning about how expansionary monetary and fiscal policies were about to produce hyperinflation.

Well, Cullen Roche catches a TV host actually putting Schiff on the spot, pointing out that he’s been predicting that hyperinflation since 2008, so where is it?

Good question. And I’d like to pursue the question a bit more, not just or even mainly about Schiff, but more broadly about the role of predictions — including wrong predictions — in economics.[…]

One kind of error, which everyone makes all the time, involves what you might call extraneous forces. If you didn’t know that there was going to be a war in the Middle East, or a confrontation over the debt ceiling, or whatever, your forecast may well be very badly wrong; too bad, but that doesn’t really speak to your underlying model. And by the way, this exoneration applies even if you should have known what was coming; all this says is that you may not be the right guy to listen to for short-run forecasts, which doesn’t necessarily say that you’re wrong about the bigger issues. […]

Now, the thing about Schiff and all the other Austrians predicting runaway inflation is that they were right to make this prediction given their model. If you believe that a recession is caused by a failure on the production side of the economy, the result of past malinvestment or something, you should also believe that any attempt to correct this decline by expanding credit will simply result in too much money chasing too few goods, and hence a lot of inflation.

In other words, their model is wrong.

The upcoming battle over the fiscal cliff
Robert Reich suggests a bungee strategy:

Obama’s only real bargaining leverage comes from the fact that when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of December, America’s wealthiest will take the biggest hit. The highest marginal income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (for joint filers), and the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent.

This will happen automatically if nothing is done between now and then to change course. It’s the default if Republicans won’t agree to anything else. It’s Obama’s trump card.

So rather than stoking middle-class fears about the cliff, the White House ought to be doing the opposite – reassuring most Americans they can survive the fall. To utilize his trump card effectively, Obama needs to convince Republicans that the middle class is willing to jump.

And the middle class can jump fearlessly if the White House and Democrats enact legislation that reinstates the Bush tax cuts for the middle class as of January 1.

The legislation would operate like a bungee cord — snapping the middle class back from the abyss of paying an extra $2,200 in taxes next year, even as the wealthy go over the cliff.

This bungee-cord legislation could be introduced early next year, but there’s no reason not to introduce it sooner — even now. And challenge Republicans to vote on it as we get nearer and nearer the precipice.

This would give the President’s “My2K” campaign the focus it needs — directly pressuring Republicans to support tax cuts for the middle class and not for the wealthy.

If Republicans won’t agree, they still face the cliff’s automatic tax increases on the rich. But they’re also revealed as shills for the rich — ready and willing to push the middle class over the edge in pursuit of even more wealth for their patrons.

We’ll see what happens.

November 29, 2012 Posted by | economics, economy, evolution, John McCain, politics, politics/social, republicans, running, science | , , , | Leave a comment

Republicans continue to talk; pot meet kettle!

Workout notes Morning: Cornstalk 4.2 mile walk in 54 minutes (just about a 13 minute pace; slightly faster).

PM: weight session: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (many different arm configurations), rotator cuff, bench: 10 x 135, 7, 6, 5 x 170 mixed with 3 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell row, incline: 2 sets of 7 x 135, pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160 (one with rotated arms), dumbbell military 2 sets of 15 x 45 lb., curls (machine: 3 sets of 10 with 70). I also did ab sets in between.

Stupid Republican Verbal Tricks

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said that the GOP should “stop being the stupid party. Well, old habits die hard as we shall see….

John McCain: says that Susan Rice isn’t qualified to be Secretary of State…because she repeated the information given to her concerning Benghazi. He said: “she is not very bright.”

This coming from someone who picked SARAH PALIN to be his Vice Presidential running mate? 🙂

He has no credibility here.

Mitt Romney He basically tells his big donors that President Obama won reelection by promising people lots of stuff. Gee Mr. Romney, how did you get so much in campaign contributions and in super PAC contributions? (psst: by offering the rich even more tax breaks).

About those secessionists

That is funny, but perhaps a better picture of the southerners that I am thinking of would be this:

November 15, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, John McCain, Mitt Romney, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans | Leave a comment

Republicans: “All we are saying….is give war a chance!”

Workout notes 10K in 1:24 (walking); did an out and back Cornstalk spur and then 1.2 more miles.


Republican National Convention
I can’t believe John McCain’s warmongering. Good grief.

Chris Christie: bombastic speech; getting ready for 2016? No; he is too thin skinned to last on a national stage. Imagine this being shown: morbidly obese loudmouth walking with an ice cream cone. Yes, he is a reasonably bright guy, but part of a politician’s job is to keep one’s cool….even when your constituents are being idiots (note: in this video, the constituent isn’t being an idiot…but they were in other situations.)

Mitt: he won’t be deterred from lying because of fact-checkers.

Of course the creationist idiots pushed back against the Science Guy’s defense of evolution.

August 30, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, creationism, evolution, John McCain, Mitt Romney, walking | Leave a comment

5 September 2011

A quickie before I go to bed; I have lots of “look at how rotten and miserable the Republicans are” articles for tomorrow. What I find amusing is that the rough-tough-macho “hunt the libs” Republicans have turned sensitive now that one of ours talked about “taking out the sons-of-bitches”. 🙂

No, frankly, I don’t like that kind of talk either, but you’d expect that all of these “hunting metaphor” Republicans would just take it in stride. 🙂

I’d call the Republicans a “bunch of pansy weaklings” but I am about to list my weight workout…and those who live in glass houses….

Oh yes, here is a great political ad:

Yes, it is mostly a Romney vs. Perry race, as far as I can tell. Yes, I know, people were writing McCain off at this time in 2007. But I don’t see a McCain on the horizon.


rotator cuff, lunges (front and back)

rows (hammer) 3 sets of 10 x 200
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 145
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 25 (dumbbells)
bench: 10 x 135, 10 x 150, 4 x 160
incline: 2 sets of 10 x 115
seated military: 2 sets of 15 x 40 lb. dumbbells
standing military: 6 x 45 lb. dumbbells
sit ups: 2 sets of 50
adduction: 3 sets of 10 x 180
abduction: 3 sets of 10 x 180

500 of 25 3g, 75 free (on the 2:20)
500 of 25 fist, 25 free (on the 1, with one 1:05
500 of 25 kick, 25 free (fins)
500 of 50 with 5 seconds rest (just over 10)
200 of 25 free, 25 back (fins)

I had some shoulder crunkles when I did the military, but it didn’t hurt during the day.

September 6, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, John McCain, Mitt Romney, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, rick perry | Leave a comment

8 August 2011 Evening…all over the place

Tomorrow I return to yoga class:

No, it won’t be outdoors and no one in the class is this flexible. 🙂

Remember when Senator McCain said this:

Well, he heard about it at a town hall in Arizona.

President Obama continues to catch flack at places like Daily Kos (not that he cares that much). But some of us have had enough:

I thoroughly enjoy watching keyboard warriors talk about how weak Obama is on this, and how terrible he is at that, when the biggest decision these folks have to make is “do you want fries with that?” You think you’ve got the resolve, you think you’re a better decision-maker than he is, and you think you know so much more than he does because you read Krugman or Greenwald or that totally underrated super-hipster political website that hasn’t hit the mainstream yet. Guess what? There’s a reason why he’s president and you’re not. If you think you’ve got what it takes to do a better job, then run for President! I’d love to see how you do to fix the entire free world’s every little problem in three years.

I think I’ve figured out what the anti-Obama crowd wants. You want a George Bush. Not the “Obama = Bush” bullshit, but a ruthless bloodthirsty president who will kill and character-assassinate his way to fulfill political goals. You want a liberal president who uses the same tactics to get what he wants that you complained about for eight years when the other guy did it.

You want Obama to raise taxes on the rich. You want him to focus on jobs. You want him to pass a robust stimulus plan. I would love that too. Okay, we all want it, but how does he do that in the House? He can talk a good game and say “tax increases!” three times and click his heels together, but it doesn’t amount to diddlysquat unless 218 teadrones in the House of Representatives vote for it. President Obama can talk until his mouth goes dry, but it won’t do a lick of difference unless you work to elect over 218 Democratic votes in the House.

If you need to hear him talk angrily to a wall, that’s fine. Whatever makes you feel better. But the reality is that the Republicans in Congress want him to lose. They’re not going to help him at all no matter how sternly he words a speech.

If you want to make a change, go fix the damn House.

Now it is true that President Obama is far more cautious on the economy than many of us would like; there is nothing wrong with us wanting to pressure him from the left, and I happen to agree with Robert Reich here. But from what you read on Daily Kos…well, putting up with arm-chair quarterbacks is part of the job.

So, how will President Obama do? Intrade has him barely over 50 percent (stock market?)

Other topics
Paul Krugman on weighing arguments:

Some people seem confused about what I meant in my post on pulling rank. They seem to believe that I meant that you should never consider the source of an argument — and that therefore my poking fun at S&P is somehow a contradiction.

Um, no.

What’s illegitimate is saying “I pay no attention to what Joe Blow says, because I’m a tenured professor at Harvard, and he isn’t.”

It is, however, perfectly legitimate to say “I pay no attention to what Joe Blow says, even though he has a fancy job title, because he has a track record of being wrong about everything.”

Notice that what’s happening in the case of S&P is precisely that many people are giving them credence because of where they sit; it’s therefore highly relevant to point out that they may be a prestigious organization for some reason, but their track record is ludicrously bad.

Note: stocks are down but US Treasury bonds….ARE UP.


Frogs and toads (via Conservation Report)

This is fascinating; the eggs are forced into the mother’s back during amplexus. They “dig in” so to speak and form pockets; they then hatch to tadpoles in the pockets and eventually work up to becoming fully formed toadlets that push out of those pockets.

Life: building blocks for DNA have been found in meteorites.

Illinois weather in July The weather patterns have been strange; dry in some areas and record rainfall in others. For example: Chicago had a record July rainfall, though 6.86 inches fell in THREE HOURS time (yes, during our visit…we were in a museum when this happened).

August 9, 2011 Posted by | 2010 election, 2012 election, arizona, Barack Obama, big butts, biology, economy, evolution, frogs, Illinois, John McCain, science, social/political, spandex, yoga | Leave a comment

28 July 2011 PM: Republicans continue to FAIL and other topics

First, non-political stuff
consider the “share-me-not” application; it keeps some “what have you been browsing” cookies from being created when you visit certain applications.

Attack the cars of some biology professors.

Here is the source article:

Letters, nails and vehicular sabotage haven’t kept two UF biology professors from expressing their belief in evolution.

In a string of events occurring over the past four months, the professors’ cars, which were parked in the Bartram-Carr Hall parking lot, were vandalized.

First, religious letters were left on the cars, and then pro-evolution bumper stickers and Darwin-fish emblems were scraped and torn from the vehicles. Most recently, nails were put into the tires.

One of the victims, Brian McNab, said he noticed a problem with his white Volkswagen when air continued to come out of the tires even after he had re-inflated them.

McNab took the car in for an inspection, and two two-inch nails were found and determined as the cause of the flat tires.

“I can’t prove who did it and I don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” McNab said. “But I think it’s obvious that it’s someone who has a strong opposition to evolution.”

The creationism movement, he said, has always stemmed controversy with evolution, and believers of the ideology assert that all humans were made as a part of “intelligent design” by a deity.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but where do you draw the line?” McNab said. “I think they ought to learn something about science.”

Some famous atheists give their reasons for not “believing in God”.

High Speed Rail yes, there have been corruption problems in China. That is NOT a reason not to pursue at least some version of it here. But there are arguments why we won’t get a national high speed rail system like China’s.

No, we don’t have a budget problem; we have an employment problem. Robert Reich explains:

In economic terms, we will not “run out of money” next week. We’re still the richest nation in the world, and the Federal Reserve has unlimited capacity to print money.

Nor is there any economic imperative to reach an agreement on how to fix the budget deficit by Tuesday. It’s not even clear the federal budget needs that much fixing anyway.

Yes, the ratio of the national debt to the total economy is high relative to what it’s been. But it’s not nearly as high as it was after World War II – when it reached 120 percent of the economy’s total output.

If and when the economy begins to grow faster – if more Americans get jobs, and we move toward a full recovery – the debt/GDP ratio will fall, as it did in the 1950s, and as it does in every solid recovery. Revenues will pour into the Treasury, and much of the current “budget crisis” will be evaporate.

Get it? We’re really in a “jobs and growth” crisis – not a budget crisis.

And the best way to get jobs and growth back is for the federal government to spend more right now, not less – for example, by exempting the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes this year and next, recreating a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps, creating an infrastructure bank, providing tax incentives for small businesses to hire, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and so on.

So what about the debt limit ceiling circus? Here are the key players.

So far, it is 26 Republicans voting no.

The Republicans have tried to get media on their side; they landed Dick Morris. They do NOT have Townhall, which sent me the letter at the bottom of this post that has this link to a petition to oppose Mr. Boehner’s bill.

The catfight among Republicans

John Mccain

The blow-back can be found here:

Angle hit back at McCain in “A statement from a ‘Tea Party hobbit’.”

One man in Washington, who chose Sarah Palin to be his VP running-mate and came to Nevada to campaign for me last year in the Senate race against Harry Reid, is now promoting attacks against Tea Party activists, ordinary American citizens, and fiscally conservative members of Congress — all of whom are adamantly opposed to continuing the deficit-spending strategies proposed by some congressional members and the president.

Ironically, this man campaigned for Tea Party support in his last re-election, but now throws Christine O’Donnell and I into the harbor with Sarah Palin. As in the fable, it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land. This Lord of the TARP actually ought to read to the end of the story and join forces with the Tea Party, not criticize it.

The Tea Party favorite added, “It is regrettable that a man seeking dialogue, action and cooperation for votes on the floor of the United States Senate has only one strategy to achieve that effort: name-calling. Nice.”

I love it. 🙂

Here is the e-mail from Town Hall (via Ron Paul)

Dear Concerned American,

With the White House determined to tack on TRILLIONS more to our national debt, I need your IMMEDIATE help to send a critical message to the Republican congressional leadership.

“Lead – or get out of the way!”

The sad fact is, right now, Republican leaders can’t make up their minds as to whether they want to lead or cut a backroom deal with President Obama.

What you and I need is someone who stands for conviction over compromise.

I have spent my entire career standing up for what I believe in, even if it meant standing alone.

Conviction and leadership go hand in hand. If you don’t know where you want to end up, it’s virtually impossible to lead.

That’s the problem Republican leaders in Washington have right now.

But you and I can help them make up their minds.

The Republican congressional leadership is susceptible to our pressure – good old-fashioned grassroots pressure.

That’s why I need your help to DEMAND Republican leaders show some backbone and loudly say “No!” to any business as usual, status quo-empowering compromises to raise the debt ceiling.

Sign the Debt Ceiling Betrayal Petition by Clicking Here

The current debate is filled with talk of fake cuts, budget gimmicks, and political stunts that both parties use to try to lay blame on each other without solving the problem.

That’s why we need to act TODAY.

Without your help, I’m afraid you and I will get sold down the river – and President Obama could put the Tea Party on life support.

Even as I write you, rumors are swirling fast and furious.

News reports are that Speaker Boehner is trying to ram through a deal to raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion with no real spending cuts.

This is NOT what the American people overwhelmingly elected Republicans to do in 2010.

So if the Republican leadership shrinks from this fight, they’ll pay the price for this BETRAYAL at the ballot box in 2010.

That’s why it’s vital you urge your representative and senators to pledge to stand up and oppose backroom, business as usual deals from Speaker Boehner to raise the debt ceiling.

The good news is, your IMMEDIATE action will make an enormous impact.

Sign the Debt Ceiling Betrayal Petition by Clicking Here

The establishment is in full crisis mode.

They see their gravy train of deficit spending and pork barrel politics in jeopardy.

They see Wall Street fat cats in a full-blown panic.

They’re bringing out the usual suspects to scare everyone – Geithner, Bernanke, and even Bush-era Treasury officials are being brought into secret congressional briefings to try to scare your representative and senators.

In fact, this is eerily reminiscent of something . . .

The 2008 bank bailouts.

The Republican establishment lining up to make a deal because they just don’t have the backbone to fight.

The White House promising certain doom if it doesn’t get its way.

Well, I fought the leadership of BOTH parties in 2008 when they bailed out Wall Street.

And I’m still fighting them today.

And I’m the only one who can stop this Washington machine because I’m not beholden to it.

But I can’t win this fight without you.

Sign the Debt Ceiling Betrayal Petition by Clicking Here

I know millions of Americans share my belief that it’s time to stop selling our children’s futures to finance more debt.

So Congress needs to hear from each of them that they are ready to fight for fiscal responsibility.

If you have not yet done so, please sign the No Debt Ceiling Deal PETITION today.

After you sign the petition, please follow up with your representative and senators by calling their offices today.

And be sure to spread it through email and your social networks.

Don’t let the Republican leadership cave in. Together, you and I can FORCE them to fight.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul



July 29, 2011 Posted by | creationism, economics, economy, evolution, John McCain, political/social, politics, politics/social, republican party, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, technology | 1 Comment

The Al Gore problem

Mention Al Gore around any group of polyester clad middle aged mediocrities and you’ll hear chortles about “how he says that he invented the internet”. Of course he never claimed that (he said that when in Congress, he took the initiative to push for the internet to be put in the public sphere). He might have been guilty of exaggerating his importance in pushing for it, but that is about it.

But Al Gore really got slammed in the media; he developed a reputation as a “nerd” who told whoppers” and was never able to shake it. There are those who claim that the same is happening to Mitt Romney (example: they pick on him for not wearing a tie,
Paul Krugman has some things to say about that:

Indeed: the treatment of Gore in the 2000 race should be taught as a lesson in journalistic malpractice; what the Milbank piece shows is that, on the contrary, it’s still considered somehow justified.

What Chait doesn’t quite say, however, is that there are also reverse Al Gore problems, in which the press corps in effect decides that someone is a genuine, honest, good fellow, and ignores all evidence to the contrary. George W. Bush is the most obvious example; anyone remember Chris Matthews saying — in 2005, no less — that the man who misled us into war and made dishonesty about policy standard operating procedure — “glimmers” with “sunny nobility“? Oh, and this was after Katrina.

And as for McCain — not only weren’t his mannerisms taken as evidence of character flaws, he retained his label as a straight-talking maverick long after he had established through his actions that he was anything but. Actually, the McCain enabling continues to this day: he’s a perennial Sunday talk guest, even though he has no significant political power and has been wrong about everything for years.

Now, I don’t feel sorry for Romney; he’s a smart guy who chose to sell his soul, and is now paying the price. But it’s very bad to see that Heathers political reporting is still the norm.

The part about Mr. McCain made me howl with laughter (emphasis mine).

May 13, 2011 Posted by | John McCain, Mitt Romney, political/social, politics, politics/social | Leave a comment

John McCain’s Victorious Defeat – The Colbert Report – 8/25/10 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

Vodpod videos no longer available.

John McCain’s Victorious Defeat – The Colbert R…, posted with vodpod

August 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, humor, John McCain, mccain, political humor, political/social, politics, republicans | Leave a comment

25 August 2010

Classes start today. Back at it; I’ll be busy with a rewrite and classes, and rehabbing my knee/shoulder.

Politics Senator Jim Inhofe calls Senator John McCain a “closet liberal”. I say: Senator Inhofe is an out of the closet loon (creationist, climate change denier, etc.)

But Senator McCain did win his reelection primary (57-32 at of last night) and will probably win reelection.

Mice can be trained to sniff out disease:

Scientists have trained mice to recognize the whiff of bird flu in duck poop, and they think they can train dogs to do the same thing. If so, flu-sniffing dogs — or chemical sensors built to duplicate this not-so-stupid pet trick — could become a new line of defense in the fight against epidemics.

The latest findings focus on the detection of avian influenza, a.k.a. bird flu. But Bruce Kimball, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher who presented the study today in Boston at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, suggested that the trick could be used to sniff out other diseases as well. “To be honest with you, I think we could demonstrate this type of effect in a lot of areas,” he told me.

Human evolution Here is an interview with a scientist who thinks that tools really forced human evolution; that is, it wasn’t mostly natural selection after a certain point:

You begin your book The Artificial Ape by claiming that Darwin was wrong. In what way?

Darwin is one of my heroes, but I believe he was wrong in seeing human evolution as a result of the same processes that account for other evolution in the biological world – especially when it comes to the size of our cranium.

Darwin had to put large cranial size down to sexual selection, arguing that women found brainy men sexy. But biomechanical factors make this untenable. I call this the smart biped paradox: once you are an upright ape, all natural selection pressures should be in favour of retaining a small cranium. That’s because walking upright means having a narrower pelvis, capping babies’ head size, and a shorter digestive tract, making it harder to support big, energy-hungry brains. Clearly our big brains did evolve, but I think Darwin had the wrong mechanism. I believe it was technology. We were never fully biological entities. We are and always have been artificial apes.

So you are saying that technology came before humans?

The archaeological record shows chipped stone tool technologies earlier than 2.5 million years ago. That’s the smoking gun. The oldest fossil specimen of the genus Homo is at most 2.2 million years old. That’s a gap of more than 300,000 years – more than the total length of time that Homo sapiens has been on the planet. This suggests that earlier hominins called australopithecines were responsible for the stone tools.

Is it possible that we just don’t have a genus Homo fossil, but they really were around?

Some researchers are holding out for an earlier specimen of genus Homo. I’m trying to free us to think that we had stone tools first and that those tools created a significant part of our intelligence. The tools caused the genus Homo to emerge.

I don’t know how this conjecture will play out.

Social From NPR: young people are struggling to find athletes to use as a hero or role model.

My take: so what? Being a good athlete means that you are good at sports. That is fine; I enjoy boxing,NBA, NFL and track action. But being a good athlete hardly means being a hero. Scandals? Meh. Sure, I don’t like cheating. But this off the field/court/out of the ring stuff means little; these peoples are really a type of entertainer and not much else. Scandals involving our elected leaders or, say, scientists who falsify research bother me much more.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, arizona, disease, evolution, flu, health, John McCain, mccain, morons, nature, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, science | Leave a comment

16 August 2010: pm

Mathematics: sent off a paper. Well see; this is the resonance paper. I think that it is good enough to get published somewhere so I went ahead and tried for my first choice.

No, President Obama is not feeling the love. But as I said earlier today, that is par for the course.

This is the type of Republican that I can’t stand:

But here is the kind of Republican behavior that I respect (see 1-1:15 into it)

And evidently Senator John McCain is deciding to stand on principle concerning the proposed repeal of the 14’th Amendment.

Internet: no, Facebook doesn’t have a “dislike” button.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Barack Obama, John McCain, mccain, morons, Republican, republicans, republicans politics | Leave a comment