Monday, August 9, 2010

SAR #10221

Poverty is a symptom, not the disease.

Reality Check:  The US ranks 12th among the developed nations in the percentage of young people with college degrees.  We are, however, first in the number of functionally illiterate adults, obesity, and military aggression.

Quoted:   “Republicans are FOR the government getting out of our lives. That’s unless we look like we could be Mexican, or we’re a woman of childbearing capability.”   Or want to build a Mosque.   Plus, “espousing virtues you don’t personally have to live up is basically the point of being a Republican.”

When?  While the US manages to fund two unnecessary wars and the nations wealthiest – those who caused the problems in the first place - get ever richer, most of the rest of America has not has a real-dollar raise since 1973.   While bailed-out bankers carry their bonuses back to gated, guarded communities, the real world communities of the middle class and poor are having police and fire services curtailed, streetlights shut off, public transport abandoned, and libraries closed.  Amid all this the Deficit Commission is planning ways to cut Social Security and Medicare and even ways to freeze the salaries of our mercenaries.  When will the riots begin? Will they become large enough to overcome Homeland Security and the Surveillance State?

Ethnocentrism:  Sponges have discovered they share genes with humans!

Track Record:  At this point in the summer melt, Arctic sea ice is at its second lowest extent.  Older, thicker ice is now melting, so we may see record low volume and a record low extent of Arctic sea ice come early September.  Stay tuned.

Good for Business, Immoral for You:   The Hyatt Regency in Princeton, NY, “did not have sufficient cash flow to meet interest payment requirements under its mortgage,” so it sent the keys to the 347 room hotel back to the lender.

An Oily Business:  A Princeton economic geographer has toted up what it cost to keep US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, explicitly to protect the oil shipping lanes, for the 30 years from 1976 to 2005. $7.3 trillion in taxpayer dollars.  For that one mission alone.  How much have the rest of America's oil-related military adventures cost?   How many lives.

Car 54?  A court has ruled that the cops can't slap a GPS device on your car and track you day and night. Well, not without a warrant.  But remember to take the battery out of your cell phone...

Punctuation:  Strengthening the suspicion that evolutionary changes are not always the result of eons of slow changes, researchers have discovered that three generations were all that was required to acclimate a species of fish to a water environment nearly 5ºF colder than the coldest water their grandparents could tolerate.  Of course the population crashed and only 5% survived to live happily ever after.

Stable Personalities:  Research indicates that our personality traits are pretty well set by the time we are in first grade and remain relatively unchanged for the rest of our lives.  No wonder those self-help books didn't work.

And Your Point Is?   China points out that the rich developed nations got to be rich developed nations by dumping carbon into the atmosphere and now want to pass the cleanup responsibility onto the struggling undeveloped nations. Limiting their chance at development. (I think they see themselves as one of the struggling undeveloped nations and believe they should be allowed to trash the place catching up.)

Porn O'Graph: T he monthly mourning.


Anonymous said...

Good writeup, CK. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

@ Car 54

particularly if you carry an iPhone. Apparently when you use the mapping functions, the phone takes and stores screen shots.........

K Ackermann said...

I don't know what all the fuss is with the iPhone. I hold mine with a pair of tongs and it works great!

I read that story about the sponges the other day and realized it was actually a non-story. A 30% difference between genomes means 900 million base pairs are different (assuming a sponge has 3 billion like a human).

Try changing even 1% of the bytes in any exe file and see how well the program runs.

I bet 50% or more of the common sequence is common with everything, such as the genes that cause cell division, etc.

Matte Gray said...

Regarding shared DNA with sponges: Was this true before TV took over? Just asking.

Demetrius said...

When I was around first grade age the family used to call me "That blxxdy child". Oh dear.

Anonymous said...

When? ...When will the riots begin? ...

NEVER! Americans who are programmed in school to be conformists and are zoned out on TV, INTERNET, SPORTS, GAMBLING, DRUGS, ELECTROGADGETS and ENTERTAINMENT are never going to rebel.

EconomicDisconnect said...

As a molecular biologist that has sequence compared many genes across many animal families I can tell you most of what we have is pretty universal. What is puzzling is how many viral genes (and oncogenes) have found residence in our genome. Selection kept them for a reason.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Fellow Sponges - The point I had set out to make wit the item was to poke fun at the "we're special" attitude - even though we rather clearly are not. of course much of our DNA is shared with other species, families etc. Why should nature keep re-inventing stuff?

And instead of the 'gee wow' response, why not a fellow being feeling?

I'd be curious to know not how many genes or gene-sequences we share with our remote animal kin, but rather how much, if any, we share with life-forms such as fungi or myxomycetes.