Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Via Greg Mankiw, I've discovered Typealyzer, which, based on reading my blog, declared me an INTJ. Since I've long considered myself to be either INTP or INTJ, Typealyzer passes my first laugh test.

For my next test, I tried not just my blog's front page, but monthly archive pages. So far this year, my blog was categorized as ISTJ for every month except August, which was rated INTJ, probably because of this post, which is much longer than my typical post and currently still on my blog's front page, apparently overwhelming all the short ISTJ-rated posts and producing an INTJ-rated front page. In 2007, my blog was rated INTJ in six months and ISTJ in six months. I don't know what to make of these results.

My wife's (anonymous) blog? ISTP. MR? INTJ. Brian Ulrich? INTP. My math dept. website? ISTJ. One of my math papers (turned into HTML by Google)? INTP.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Here's another unhappy possible Neo-Lamarckian mechanism of inheritance. "Fatty diet during pregnancy makes new cells in fetal brain that cause early onset obesity" (HT: Futurepundit).
They looked at the effects of feeding pregnant rats a high fat diet for two weeks compared with a balanced diet containing a moderate amount of fat. The researchers found that rat pups born to mothers who consumed the high fat diet, even after the diet had been removed at birth, ate more, weighed more throughout life, and began puberty earlier than those born to mothers who ate a balanced diet for the same two week period. They also had higher levels of triglycerides in the blood at birth and as adults and greater production of brain peptides that stimulate eating and weight gain.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally, the solution to all our productivity problems: Write or Die. (Hat tip: Geek Press.)
Apparently the Fortress of Solitude is made of selenite.
In these troubled times, we need to draft Arnold Kling for Treasury Secretary.
Lamarckian evolution?
For example, Matthew Amway of Washington State University and his colleagues found that exposing pregnant rats to a chemical for killing fungus disrupted the epigenetic marks in the sperm of male embryos. The embryos developed into adult rats that suffered from defective sperm and other disorders, like cancer. The males passed down their altered epigenetic marks to their own offspring, which passed them down to yet another generation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Energy independence can't be achieved by substituting ethanol for imported gasoline, because it's demand for diesel, not gasoline, that's growing. Of course, energy independence would have negligible foreign policy benefits even if we could magically achieve it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Change is coming. I feel sorry for my future kids (and my youngest sister).
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
At least I can hope "require" doesn't really mean "require."

Update: The website has been updated. "Require" has changed to "set a goal."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I typically find the social science of national elections at least as interesting as the armchair political strategizing. First, read Anrew Gelman. Next, The Big Sort has had lots of interesting posts over the last two months. Also, Gene Expression (here and here) has been analyzing the election results. Pehaps I will finally get around to reading Albion's seed this year, thanks to Razib's prompting.
I'm having a moment of glee. They're still counting ballots in Alaska, but it appears likely that, contrary to expectations, Sen. Stevens will be reelected and then expelled. My preference for dramatic expulsion over less dramatic electoral defeat may ultimately prove to be poorly thought out, but allow me my moment of glee.

Bad math pun of the day

Last night, one of my board-game opponents got impatient with my contemplating. He jested, was I solving a fifth order differential equation? My retort was that yes, it's fifth order, concerning the acceleration of the jerk.