The Discovery Institute Does More Myth-Making: Looking at #10

Incredibly butt-hurt over Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District almost ten years after their reaming, the Discovery Institute has a series of advent devotionals that they are calling, I kid you not, “Ten Myths About Dover“. Yes, they make the pretense that they are deconstructing myths others have made, but when one reads… Read More »

Utah Physician Recommends Staying Away from Hospitals

(This is a copy of my diary on Daily Kos.) Utah state legislator Mike Kennedy (R) weighed in on the argument concerning extending Medicaid coverage. I first saw this content of Kennedy’s statements via a meme on Facebook. Knowing that false memes are a dime a dozen there, I had a look to see if… Read More »

Programming is Presbyterian

There’s a mind-expanding post at Coding Horror from 2006. Hey, can’t a guy have a nine-year backlog? The title: “Separating Programming Sheep from Non-Programming Goats”. The first link in that article does not work; use this link instead. This discusses work on incoming computer science students, finding that there is a bimodal distribution of performance… Read More »

Exploiting Modern Laptop Hardware

I’ve been in the pleasant position of developing strategy of how best to set up new hardware. Well, new to me, in any case. Through the generosity of Burt Humburg, I have a Razer Blade Pro laptop, which I think is a 2014 vintage model. My previous personal laptop is a 2007-vintage Gateway MT6458, a… Read More »

Some Programming Notes

Some of the stuff I’ve run across in the last few months that I consider cool: Emscripten is a LLVM-based C++ compiler that emits JavaScript code, specifically asm.JS. This is being used to try to bring Avida-ED to the browser, since Avida has a C++ codebase. Speaking of JavaScript, since Diane has been using that… Read More »

Net Neutrality and Irony Meter Implosion

In looking up commentary on net neutrality, I found Kool-Aid chugger Chris Harris. (I was actually looking for “Logan Albright”, and found Harris as an inveterate quoter of Albright.) Amidst a bunch of other hogwash, Harris makes a plea to consider the ISPs: Some dissenters against “Net Neutrality” are most concerned with the free-market implications… Read More »

Perils of Moving

Diane got a job offer for the Avida-ED programmer position at Michigan State University. We’ve gone through the various things that happen in a job transition, leaving the old job, getting a sale contract on our Palmetto home and land, packing and sorting our belongings, and preparing for the move itself. I had even set… Read More »

Open Message to Congress on Net Neutrality

I get email. One of the email messages I got yesterday was from Battle for the Net, a group advocating strong net neutrality rules enforced by the FCC under Title II. In the House of Congress, there is a move by Reps. Thune and Upton to propose and pass legislation that claims to establish “net… Read More »

Net Neutrality and the Contrarian Backlash

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama gave a speech laying out strong support for “net neutrality”. Obama called on the FCC to change classification of broadband internet providers to “common carrier” class, meaning that they would be prohibited from privileging — or blocking — particular sorts of traffic passing through their systems. The backlash was… Read More »

Python: Pandas 0.15.0 is available

Last week, Wes McKinney gave a presentation on new features in a forthcoming release of Pandas, version 0.15.0. The big news is the inclusion of a new data type for columns in Series and DataFrame, the Categorical type. This permits the use of nominal data in analyses with Pandas now, which is a huge change,… Read More »

New York: Strata Conference, Day 1

I’m attending the O’Reilly Strata Conference (the well-respected techical books publisher, not the blowhard TV personality). This is the east coast edition, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Today was tutorials day. Out of about a dozen tracks, I picked the PyData track. This was a rewarding choice. The developers of varioius… Read More »

Government Granting Agencies and Wastin’ Time

NPR some time back had an article on scientists leaving science, mostly because government funding of research has become more like a sweepstakes than a well. I had posted a couple of comments in the following thread, and I’d rather those didn’t get lost, as Google seems not to take note of or index comments… Read More »

Seen on PBS: Weird Guy from AEI

The PBS NewsHour this past evening had a guest on from the American Enterprise Institute, one Frederick Hagan. Mr. Hagan apparently is critical of the president and administration concerning the problem of the “Islamic State” (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, depending on your outlook) in Iraq. It was all pretty much boiler-plate grousing, with copious “I… Read More »

Toyota, WSJ, and Computers: An Update

Back in 2010, I wrote about the sudden unintended acceleration problem (SUAP in the earlier article here, UA in the source I’m about to link) in various Toyota vehicles. Drivers would find their cars accelerating out of their control and braking was unresponsive. People died. Survivors spoke of their unsuccessful attempts to get their car… Read More »

Nutonian’s Eureqa and Concerns of Overfitting

I’ve been using Nutonian’s Eureqa symbolic regression product extensively since early 2013. Back in late 2013, there was an article about Nutonian’s Eureqa that elicited comments. An “A.E. Bartholomew” weighed in with a comment that the title, “Nutonian raises $4M to extract ‘laws of physics’ from data”, was “hyperbolic and misleading”. That led me to… Read More »

Church Youth Groups and Apologetics

Over on Facebook, Nancy Pearcey responded to a post about young people and deconversion from churches with a modest proposal: let them read apologetics. Age at which people leave the church — Tell me again why youth groups focus on games and goodies instead of majoring on apologetics? One study found that the age at… Read More »

Reply to Rick Warren and Other Clergy Re Hobby Lobby and Federal Grants

Rick Warren and others sent the most genteel invitation to perpetuate rank discrimination to President Obama this week. It is really quite eloquently stated. It asks that religious groups receiving federal grant money be allowed to continue discriminating against LGBT people, as a waiver from rules that would apply to others receiving those grants. My… Read More »

Marine Mammals: The Smithsonian Magazine Talks About NOC

Disclosure: I am a researcher who worked with NOC at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program. Smithsonian Magazine ran an article by Charles Siebert titled, “The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans”. This was ostensibly about the work Dr. Sam Ridgway and others at the US… Read More »

“Cosmos” and the Bruno Flap

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s rebooted “Cosmos” series spent a chunk of time relating a version of the life of Giordano Bruno, including his interactions with the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church and subsequent burning at the stake. This has proven unpopular with the heirs of the Inquisition and other nit-pickers. From the Discovery Institute’s “Evolution… Read More »

Florida: Teaching Animal Behavior

I was notified today that a course proposal I put in with the Lifelong Learning Academy is approved for the summer term. Course topic: animal behavior. I’ll be doing this as a seven-session course, taking an early morning slot. Hopefully the course will make. I will be bringing in some bits of the behavior and… Read More »