Thoughts of the Day (1)

Running is hard. Especially when you forget to stretch before.

Econ is also hard. I would like to burn my problem set. I mean, who even needs advanced micro, right?

I think it would have been really cool if we had a new country in the world, but there would be a ton of problems. Who gets the oil reserves north of Scotland? What about England’s nuclear base? Currency? Border laws? One article I read asserted that the people who would benefit most from Scottish independence would be lawyers. Still, change is always difficult.

And finally, I’m going to conclude this post by expressing my excitement over meeting new pledge babies this weekend!

I have decided to start writing on this blog again. I’m going to do a daily “Thought(s) of the Day” sort of thing. I want to start ranting, I mean writing, again.

(Reblogged from humanoidhistory)

!#$%!@#$ MICROECON!

Played 32,641 times


Sometimes I want to disappear.

(Reblogged from watermellens)


Howdy - I did a comic for KQED about why wildfires in the American West are getting worse. Here’s a link to the original.

(Reblogged from smallsciencecollective)


American Fighting Ebola Receives Blood Transfusion From Survivor

The third American aid worker to catch Ebola in West Africa has been given two experimental treatments, doctors said Thursday. One of those therapies came from the blood of another American who recently recovered from Ebola.

Last Friday, Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, was flown to Omaha, Neb., in a special medevac plane after he caught Ebola in Liberia. The family doctor had been working at a maternity ward in the country’s capital, Monrovia, when he got sick.

Of the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Liberia has been hit the hardest. The country has reported more than 2,000 cases and about 1,200 deaths, the World Health Organization said Monday.

When Sacra arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center, doctors said he was in stable condition. The next day, doctors gave Sacra blood plasma from Dr. Kent Brantly — another American aid worker who caught Ebola in Liberia.

Brantly was treated for Ebola at a hospital in Atlanta back in August. Doctors gave him and his co-worker, Nancy Writebol, the experimental drug ZMapp. Both of them recovered from Ebola. But it still isn’t known whether ZMapp helped them. So far, the drug has been tested only in monkeys.

The idea is that Brantly’s blood contains Ebola antibodies, which could help Sacra’s immune system fight off the virus.

Continue reading.

Photo: Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, has been working on and off in Liberia for 15 years. He went back to Monrovia in August to help deliver babies. It’s still unknown how he caught Ebola. (Courtesy of SIM)

(Reblogged from nprglobalhealth)


September 11th 2001: 9/11 Terror Attacks

On this day in 2001, thirteen years ago today, two hijacked planes were crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and another into the Pentagon building in Virginia. The Twin Towers collapsed and part of the Pentagon was badly damaged. A fourth plane was intended to strike the US Capitol Building in Washington DC but its passengers seized control from the hijackers and crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died on this terrible day and thousands more injured in the attacks which sent shockwaves around the world. The attacks were planned and carried out by members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, and masterminded by Osama bin Laden, who was since been found and killed by US forces. The aftermath of the tragedy prompted greater focus on national security both in the US and abroad and contributed to the invasions of, and subsequent wars in, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, thirteen years on, we remember the thousands of people who lost their lives on 9/11.

"America is under attack"
- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card telling President Bush about the attacks

(Reblogged from todayinhistory)


I’ve recently become fascinated by why tuition costs have risen so much in the last 30 years. I mean…it’s insane, and it doesn’t result in a better education. It turns out, for the most part, that it’s marketing. Universities spending money so that they look better than other universities so they get more and better students so that they can make more money (largely via student loans.)

Student loans mean well, and they’re vital. But the education industry has been economically incentivized by their easy access to raise prices and get more students paying more. Schools that don’t spend lots of money on luxury dorms and top notch sports programs don’t grow…kids don’t go to them because, effectively, it’s the same price for 18 year olds because the loans are available.

We should start a university that costs $3000 per year, but you have to sleep on a cot with six other people in the room. Like Hogwarts.

(Source: sandandglass)

(Reblogged from acodetojoy)

Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion
For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded.
Hear more about this discovery →


Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion

For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded.

Hear more about this discovery →

(Reblogged from ucresearch)
(Reblogged from comethearchers)

AmyYou know, Adam likes to drive barefoot. And he’s from Santa Cruz, so he’s a lot less tightly wound, I think, than Ben is.
AdamBro, listen…If you’re wearing flip flops and you’re driving a car, it’s unsafe to keep the flip flops on, right?
AmyNo…(audience claps) Okay, okay. But why do you think it’s okay to drive barefoot?
AdamHow do you think people drove before there were shoes?

(Source: dysfunctionalairspace)

(Reblogged from caitlinfaith)


Being good to each other is so important, guys.

(Reblogged from acodetojoy)

[TW: rape] I asked the Congolese women; ‘give me the 5 major issues affecting Congolese women today’. Rape was number 4. Political participation was number 1. Economic empowerment was number 2. Domestic violence was number 3. And they qualified it; the rape you see is because we don’t have women in high places to effect the change that needs to be done. No.2, if we were economically empowered, we wouldn’t be in abusive relationships and will know how to handle ourselves.

But outsiders expected rape to be number 1 because that’s the global image of Congolese women. One Congolese woman asked where people got the idea that rape was their major problem. Someone answered her “if you don’t say so, the West won’t give you aid”.
Congolese women wanted to show their fellow sister how they’ve been sustaining their children and communities in midst of the violence they lived in. By the time the white people arrived, they changed their tune: ‘help, I’ve been raped. I’ve been abused’.

They’ve figured you all out. That’s the stories you white people want to hear. You travel to cry. So they will make you cry. The media never goes into any community to pick stories of how you survived and what positive things are happening. A pressman once asked me if I’ve been raped during the Liberian war and when I answered no, he passed the mike over my head. So the easiest thing for those who need media attention or aid is to talk about their personal history and say they were raped.

This is a similar situation across the globe for migrants who wanted papers after war; every time they went to the US consulate and told the truth, they were denied. When they went and told a sad story, the counselor cried and granted them their papers.

Mighty Be Our Powers with Leymah Gbowee (youtube)

Western media and charity need to portray AfricanS as helpless and meek because that is the global image of Africa they want to sustain. 

(via thisisnotafrica)

Reason #44546445980 I hate Western journalism: It is nothing but misery porn. I’ve had the misfortune of encountering many Western journalists, and they are first and foremost interested in only suffering and violence, and anything they can use to present their “subjects” as abject and savage or bestial in some manner. Never mind the comfort of those who have suffered, it is far more important to obtain those award-winning photos of that burnt flesh, the front-page story about your deep trauma.

And they will invade your privacy and put you in peril if they have to, to get it.

(via toniuzoma)

Yes! This is exactly what I was thinking when I finished rereading the UN mapping report on the conflicts in Congo, we never get the stories of those Congolese who are standing against all the violence, all we get are the stories about the victims and nothing about those Congolese who are daily heroes…

(via jomul7)

(Reblogged from acodetojoy)



Imagine you wanted to measure the coastline of Great Britain. You might remember from calculus that straight lines can make a pretty good approximation of curves, so you decide that you’re going to estimate the length of the coast using straight lines of the length of 100km (not a very good estimate, but it’s a start). You finish, and you come up with a total costal length of 2800km. And you’re pretty happy. Now, you have a friend who also for some reason wants to measure the length of the coast of Great Britain. And she goes out and measures, but this time using straight lines of the length 50km and comes up with a total costal length of 3400km. Hold up! How can she have gotten such a dramatically different number?

It turns out that due to the fractal-like nature of the coast of Great Britain, the smaller the measurement that is used, the larger the coastline length will be become. Empirically, if we started to make the measurements smaller and smaller, the coastal length will increase without limit. This is a problem! And this problem is known as the coastline paradox.

By how fractals are defined, straight lines actually do not provide as much information about them as they do with other “nicer” curves. What is interesting though is that while the length of the curve may be impossible to measure, the area it encloses does converge to some value, as demonstrated by the Sierpinski curve, pictured above. For this reason, while it is a difficult reason to talk about how long the coastline of a country may be, it is still possible to get a good estimate of the total land mass that the country occupies. This phenomena was studied in detail by Benoit Mandelbrot in his paper “How Long is the Coast of Britain" and motivated many of connections between nature and fractals in his later work.

that’s an interesting paradox. fractals solve every problem. 

(Reblogged from acodetojoy)