Sunday, December 20, 2009
After clearing snow much of the day and then a nice afternoon of preparing for Christmas and having a glass of wine with a friend, it is high time for a tab dump! Herewith, the stuff I have open.
If it is true, there is bad news -- unless you are a trial lawyer -- in the Senate healthcare bill:
The “tort reform” section of Senator Reid’s substitute amendment is not merely meaningless, but is actually a significant giveaway to the trial lawyers. It is essentially a 5-year, 50-million dollar grant program to encourage states to develop more plaintiff-friendly alternatives to the current medical liability system.
Great. But why should we have expected anything less? As Warren Meyer wrote, "[a] lot more of this will come out as the people are actually allowed to read it."
Lessons from the great real estate boom and bust of the 1920s. Great Depression notwithstanding, it ended better than the current one.
How shellfish saved the human race. Here's the scary bit:
Turns out, somewhere between 130,000 to 190,000 years ago, the human species was reduced to less than 1000 breeding individuals--just a few thousand people in total. Ancient, naturally driven climate change pushed our species to the brink, said Curtis Marean, Ph.D., a professor with the Institute of Human Origins and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.
Hmmm. Even before the invention of the internal combustion engine, the climate changed more quickly than even humans could evolve.
Climate blog inside baseball, but telling.
A chart you've seen before, updated: "Four Bear markets."
Not my politics, but directionally very true: "When will white people stop making movies like 'Avatar'?"
My sister, a cancer survivor and a biologist, on "changing the culture of cancer." It will surprise nobody who knows her that her point of view is not (yet) the conventional one.
A few pictures of Princeton University in the new fallen snow.
A Christmas letter for the soldiers in Afghanistan.
Fabius Maximus is reborn. Read the post, which asks how to "reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold." A blog I should read more often. And here, the best reason for anonymity in the writing of a blog. (That and a stone cold desire to keep one's job.)
> Turns out, somewhere between 130,000 to 190,000
> years ago, the human species was reduced to
> less than 1000 breeding individuals
> Hmmm. Even before the invention of the internal
> combustion engine, the climate changed more
> quickly than even humans could evolve.
AFAIK it is not known why the number of humans breeding pairs were reduced to so few (but maybe not <1000 but <10,000). However, I read before that this was (possibly) caused by a cataclysmic volcanic explosion around 75 thousands years ago (Toba) in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. This explosion possibly thrown up so much particles into the air that it blocked sun for a couple of years. One can read about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory
BTW an interesting thing. I also read somewhere a while ago that all people on earth can be traced back to these 1000 breeding pairs. So, does it mean, that all presently know races (blacks, whites, orientals, etc.) developed in the last 75k years?