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Western spotted skunk

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Yellow-throated Marten


Archive for June, 2020

Talk to your kids about Wikipedia before their teachers do.

Friday, June 12th, 2020

Talking to kids, when I find they don’t know something I ask them to google it or to check out Wikipedia. And they all say, “Wikipedia is unreliable, I would never read it!”. Somehow the rule in schools that Wikipedia is not an authoritative source to reference for a paper has turned in a strongly held belief the site should be avoided entirely. Teachers, you done f*cked up!

And really, the school rule not to cite Wikipedia exists because Wikipedia makes assignments too easy–it would be one citation for most kids if allowed, and the teachers want to students to dig deeper, find two or three other sources, maybe crack a book. Which is a fine educational goal, but in implementation it has given kids the completely wrong idea. Wikipedia is a great place to start for most questions, almost always accurate. Entries tend to be short, shorter than Encyclopedia Britannica, but it provides a good starting point–enough info to remind you of an forgotten fact–“When was the War of 1812?”, and enough to give you details to guide a google search for more information.

Links for June 2020

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

I didn’t realize my blood and bones were nextA one-off injection to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease is now a prospect thanks to advances in gene editing.Since 2014, entomologists have sampled millions of insects around LA, identifying 800 species, including 47 new to science.
‘Antifa buses!’ Panicked armed men hit small-town streets across America to fend off imagined hordes by David Neiwert
Zombie Companies in a Zombie Economy by Charles Marohn

I Am Your Progressive Mayor and I Think We Need to Cut Our Roving Death Squads a Bit of Slack by Bob Vulfov
THIS IS AN US PROBLEM by Ed is ginandtacos

Sleep Loss Can Cause Death through Accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Gut
by Alexandra Vaccaro et al.
New article with a partial answer to the question, “What physiological process makes animals need to sleep?” It will be interesting to see if this paper holds up. Only read the abstract, the paper is behind a paywall.

Kilobaser — DNA synthesis machine, $15k Euros

Multiplication magic squares

Surveillance Self-Defense: Attending a Protest from the EFF.

Why This Started in Minneapolis: Conditions that led to George Floyd’s death are not unique to Minneapolis and St. Paul. But there’s a reason why the Twin Cities triggered a national uprising. by Sarah Holder

What’s left of Magic Leap? The dream of mixed reality is on life support by Adi Robertson

Perl subroutine signatures
Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2. June 2020. Science

In its first tough test, CRISPR base editing slashes cholesterol levels in monkeys
A CRISPR edit for heart disease: A one-off injection to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease is now a prospect thanks to advances in gene editing.
Very exciting–some limits: 1) doesn’t hit all cells, only a subset, 2) may not be able to target all cell types, 3) Mainly single base changes, so gene KOs, small GOF changes, or changing on module (binding site), 4) immune response may limit number of treatments.

I didn’t realize my blood and bones were next. by Luke O’Neil
Stories of workers dealing with Republican COVID-19 denial.