Links 12/16/12

Links for you. Science:

What Neil deGrasse Tyson would do if he were NASA director
Syphilis Is Soaring In SoHo, Murray Hill, And UWS
Elsevier editorial system hacked, reviews faked, 11 retractions follow
The High Return on Investment for Publicly Funded Research
Paper Towels v. Air Dryers (though you shouldn’t be using anti-microbial soaps outside of a clinical setting!)


Today In Michissippi
Americans for Prosperity Lures Michigan Right-to-Work Fans with Gas Cards, Free Food (didn’t Milosevic do this in Serbia? Just saying)
We are illiterate! (Australian take on TIMMS)
Like In the Weberman Trial, I Was a Victim of Sexual Abuse Within My Hasidic Community, and Here’s the Truth of Modesty Commitees
On Cory Booker and Poverty’s Psychic Costs.
Dereliction of Duty: The Sequel
You know that kidnapped doctor rescued by SEAL Team Six over the weekend? (if true, this puts every U.S. aid worker at risk)
Wages vs. Wage Shares
Not funny
The Reality of Nightmares
Ted Cruz’s Bonkers Speech
Attack of the Giant Killer Debt Limit Tomatoes III

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2 Responses to Links 12/16/12

  1. Zachary Smith says:

    *** On Cory Booker and Poverty’s Psychic Costs. ***

    The name “Cory Booker” rang a bell because I’ve been seeing it on a lot of blogs, but besides being the Republican Version of Obama 2.0, I couldn’t really place him. So on to the google:

    “Cory Booker: A Clear and Present Threat to Public Education” at

    Looks to be another stalking horse for the rich right-wingers, so the Obama 2.0 tag could be a good fit.

    *** Like In the Weberman Trial, I Was a Victim of Sexual Abuse Within My Hasidic Community, and Here’s the Truth of Modesty Commitees ***

    “I was born to a Hasidic family in Brooklyn, the fourth child of 12. ” Twelve kids!

    “In 2005, I got married. Like everyone in my community, I had an arranged marriage and was engaged after a two-hour meeting with the girl. By 2008, I was divorced.” A US subculture I never dreamed existed.

    *** Paper Towels v. Air Dryers ***

    It’s difficult for me to believe that the air dryers are much of a factor in spreading germs. After all, in theory the wet hands have had an exposure to soap and rinse water, and dilution alone ought to have greatly reduced their numbers. No, the biggies in bathrooms, and especially public bathrooms, are the open-top (no lid) toilets. Flushing action tends to be both noisy and violent, and zillions of aerosol particles are thrown into the air. Come the epidemic, if I’m compelled to use a public bathroom, I think I’ll have an N-100 mask already on when I step inside the door. And back in the car, a spray bottle of denatured ethanol to lightly wet the mask before replacing it in its ziplock.

    As for the noise of the new air dryers, the link author appears not to have run into the same types I have. Some are actually painful – definitely worse than my chainsaw at arm’s length. Others have noticed this:

    “Frost Products Limited manufactures the EcoFast model widely used around the College. The product specifications state that the drying time is less than 15 seconds with a sound level of 75 decibels from one metre away. However, repeated albeit unofficial tests tended to show total drying times are closer to 30 to 35 seconds, with noise levels peaking at approximately 115 decibels.”

  2. evilDoug says:

    I much prefer paper towels to air driers in public lavatories. Where paper towels are available, I can use one to turn off the faucet, the handle of which will be horrendously contaminated. I can use another to open the door to exit, since the door handle will also be grossly contaminated. Of course these considerations disappear in better facilities where the faucets are electronically controlled (though often the controls are really badly done) and the entry/exit is a door-free “S” type. Unfortunately, those things are not very common, in my experience.

    “75 decibels from one metre away”
    Cripes, I’m tall and my knuckles practically drag on the ground when I walk, but there’s no way me ‘ands are metre from me ear ‘oles.

    Here’s a little grossity: A dentist I have used has the x-ray head arranged so it can be used in either of two adjacent “cubicles”. The assistants wear gloves. Gloved fingers go in my mouth, sometimes several times to get film or sensor in position. Gloved hand goes onto handle of x-ray head. Same process other side.

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