Diversity, Comics, and Beyond: Announcing the Cartoonists of Color Datasets

  © MariNaomi I am pleased to announce the availability of the Cartoonists of Color Dataset and the LGBTQ Cartoonists of Color Dataset. Both datasets are derived from the Cartoonists of Color Database (CoC). Dataset release is the result of a collaboration with CoC Database creator, artist, author, and illustrator MariNaomi. These datasets are provided in order to …

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Babette’s Feast

We’ll finish up “food flics month” with the film I take to be the granddaddy of them all: Babette’s Feast. It came out way back in in 1987, before food was cool. Unlike the other three films we’ve mentioned, it is not a documentary. It’s based on a story by Karen Blixen set in 19th …

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Expert Prediction: hard and soft

Jason Zweig writes about Philip Tetlock’s Good Judgement Project below. See also Expert Predictions, Perils of Prediction, and this podcast talk by Tetlock. A quick summary: good amateurs (i.e., smart people who think probabilistically and are well read) typically perform as well as or better than area experts (e.g., PhDs in Social Science, History, Government; …

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Largest repositories of genomic data

This list of the largest repositories of genetic data appeared in the 25 September 2015 issue of Science. Note that the quality and extent of phenotyping varies significantly. 23andME SIZE: >1 million GENETIC DATA: SNPs This popular personal genomics company now hopes to apply its data to drug discovery (see main story, p. 1472). ANCESTRY.COM …

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The night life

This fall, our field team is out conducting electrofishing surveys on sixteen lakes in Michigan (video). Our goal is to determine if changes to shoreline habitats are impacting the growth, reproduction, and population sizes of Largemouth Bass. When we catch Largemouth Bass, we also compare what they were eating to the habitats in which they …

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Giant Manuscript Antiphony

Here are some close-up shots from the giant manuscript antiphonary we wrote about a few months ago.  Last Wednesday was the MSU Libraries Open House, and this was one of the wonderful items Special Collections set out to entice passers-by. Some of the students who stopped by affectionately referred to it as a “Harry Potter book,” …

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63,000 Strong

Ever wonder about those big numbers posted in a window in that tall building on the east side of Farm Lane, across from the entrance to the MSU Dairy Store? Right now, the digits read 63000. That’s the number of generations in an experiment that’s been running in my lab for over a quarter century. …

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Review: Final Rule for FSMA Preventative Controls Regarding Food Fraud and EMA – Preliminary MSU FFI Report

SUMMARY (150-word-brief): This is the MSU FFI review of the Food Safety Modernization Act Preventive Controls (FSMA-PC) Final Rule for Human Food and for Animal Food that was published yesterday. The Final Rule confirms that Food Fraud/Economically Motivated Adulteration (FF/EMA) must be addressed. FF/EMA is under Preventative Controls (Food Safety) and not Intentional Adulteration (Food …

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Gun Crazy

I grew up out in the country in Iowa. Our address was RR1 = “Rural Route 1” :-)  We had a creek, pond, dirtbike (motorcycle) track, and other fun stuff on our property. One of the things I enjoyed most was target shooting and plinking with my .22 — I’d just walk out the back …

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Its Not *That* the Wind Blows…

One of my favorite comedians is the brilliant Ron White, and one of my favorite “bits” of his is one that has to do with his bitingly funny critique of “storm watchers”–that intrepid breed of daredevils that speeds around the countryside following tornados and hurricanes, disregarding their own safety and well-being for the (dubious) thrill of getting …

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This is another one of those Sundays where I am entrusting the blog to robots at WordPress. If things have gone according to plan, I am actually on my way home from Japan this Sunday. I’ve been in Japan giving an invited lecture at a big soil science conference. I’ve been excited about this for …

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17th Century Bacteria?

  Nine months ago, we posted about these jars of water (http://msulconservationlab.tumblr.com/post/108193028342/this-row-of-jars-shows-how-much-discoloration) which hold samples from each subsequent washing of a book printed in the 1600s (http://catalog.lib.msu.edu/record=b2150582~S23a). I was making my merry way through the lab the other day when I noticed something growing in Jar 1. GROWING, you guys.  I fear we have awakened an ancient …

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Forget GMOs, Label DNA!

A survey by economist Jayson Lusk at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University found, unsurprisingly, that Americans remain skeptical of GMOs: 82 percent surveyed supported mandatory labeling of foods made with ingredients grown from GMOs. However, an astonishing 80 percent of those Americans supported mandatory labeling of foods containing DNA! (The difference …

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Colleges ranked by Nobel, Fields, Turing and National Academies output

Colleges ranked by Nobel, Fields, Turing and National Academies output This Quartz article describes Jonathan Wai’s research on the rate at which different universities produce alumni who make great contributions to science, technology, medicine, and mathematics. I think the most striking result is the range of outcomes: the top school outperforms good state flagships (R1 …

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Meritocracy and DNA

Read Toby Young’s new article The Fall of the Meritocracy. The adoption of civil service and educational placement examinations in England and France in the 19th century was consciously based on the Chinese model (see Les Grandes Ecoles Chinoises). Although imperfect, exams work: we have no better system for filtering talent. But few are willing to acknowledge …

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Reframing the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Critics of the proposed “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” agreement with Iran and six other world powers fail to address the double standards that run rampant with the nuclear club. Of the current nuclear club members (US, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) only China and India have pledged a non-first …

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Food Inc.

“Well it’s another burrito. It’s a cold Lone Star in my hand. It’s a quarter for the jukebox boys, play the sons of the mother lovin’ Bunkhouse Band.” This would be Gary P. Nunn explaining “What I Like about Texas”. He goes on to mention Mi Tierra, which has come up once before in the …

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Another OR Educational Resource

Two years ago (two years and one day if you’re being picky), I posted a pointer to a Spanish language web site hosted by Francisco Yuraszeck (professor at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Viña del Mar, Chile). The site, Gestión de Operaciones, is listed in the resources box on the right. Recently, Francisco …

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An interview with Mary-Ann Winkelmes

Project Information Literacy has released a new interview with Mary-Ann Winkelmes, of the Transparency in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Project. Winkelmes has been an advocate for making the “why” and “how” of education explicit to students, a teaching strategy that is gaining traction within the world of information literacy instruction. You can read …

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Endings and beginnings

I returned from my first trip to China. Happily I was able to recover enough to get back into the field, but alas only once. We hiked to the border of Wolong Nature Reserve and the reserve to the north, Caopo. This area had excellent panda habitat and we found four different fecal samples. From …

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Leadership

I was asked recently to write something about my leadership style / management philosophy. As a startup CEO I led a team of ~35, and now my office has something like 350 FTEs. Eventually, hands on leadership becomes impossible and one needs general principles that can be broadly conveyed. I have a “no drama” leadership …

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