The Exceptional Bully

Upon glancing at our local Sunday paper this morning, I realized why what appears to be a majority of the public, knows little of the rest of the world. It rarely exists in the pages of local media. I suspect my rather late recognition of the obviousness of this observation was jolted to consciousness as …

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Resistance

There was a lot of lambasting white male privilege at the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association meeting here in Santa Cruz over the last three days. It started with my friend Ricardo dissing the Declaration of Independence as a document asserting the privilege of rich white men. I think he’s right, don’t you know. It’s men who …

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Michael Moore: Trump Will Win

Michael Moore received an honorary degree from Michigan State University in December 2014. Said I to the packed Breslin Center: “President Simon, it is my honor to present Michael Moore for the degree Doctor of Humanities.” :-) michaelmoore.com: … I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you …

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Bear baiting is dangerous

What do we have to gain by placing interceptor missiles in Romania? Putin’s concerns are legitimate, and security through Mutually Assured Destruction has always been an unstable equilibrium. Watch the video closely. RT.com: … “At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, …

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Independent Streams (Week of July 25th)

Independent Streams (Week of July 25th) | IPPSR Our weekly round-up of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems How Much Does a Stable Home Affect A Child’s Education (link is external) IPPSR affiliate Joshua Cowen speaks to Michigan Radio about his new study that examines Michigan’s homeless student population. Why Clinton And Trump Backers Don’t …

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Connecting Bluetooth Headphones

I recently picked up a pair of Bluetooth headphones (Mixcder ShareMe 7) for use with my laptop (which runs Linux Mint). Getting them to connect properly was a bit of an adventure. After I had things (mostly) sorted out, I decided to script the steps necessary to get them working so that I could just …

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Race to the Farm

I’m headed off to the SAEA meeting later this week, where I’m part of panel. SAEA is the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association. It’s not part of my regular circuit, but I’m looking forward to it. The panel is being sponsored by INFAS, which is part of my regular circuit. INFAS is the Integrated Network for …

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The tipping point

This is only the beginning. To serious people who read this blog, but may have been confused over the past 5+ years about things like missing heritability, genomic prediction, complex genetic architecture, gloomy prospects: isn’t it about time to consider updating your priors? Read all about it here. FT.com: Genetic scoring predicts how children do …

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When the rain comes

My fieldwork in China started off rough. After the sparkle of the first week – being an honored guest, attending lavish dinners and getting private tours – wore off what remained was me, our research team of five and a project that had some serious American bias hiding within it. The soil analysis for my …

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Finding the Kernel of a Matrix

I’m working on an optimization problem (coding in Java) in which, should various celestial bodies align the wrong way, I may need to compute the rank of a real matrix and, if it’s less than full rank, a basis for its kernel. (Actually, I could get by with just one nonzero vector in the kernel, …

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Independent Streams (Week of July 18th)

Our weekly round-up of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems What Is Second Rape And What Can We Do About It? (link is external) Vice President Joe Biden recently spoke about ending violence against women and the stigma of sexual assault. IPPSR affiliate Rebecca Campbell’s research on violence against women is cited. The Missing Link …

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Eat ’em from the Can

What we eat reflects an ethic: a sense of what is right and proper. If beans are not for breakfast—a theme we explored last week—that’s because we (whoever “we” we happen to be at the moment) have adopted some culturally based presumptions about what to eat and when. For a lot of middle-class Americans, breakfast …

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Globe and Mail Article on Cindy Blackstock

Here. “What I saw were children being systemically removed from these communities. And I’d go to these communities, and there was no running water, and people would wonder why the kids weren’t clean, and I’d think maybe someone should do something about the water. We would see the multigenerational impacts of residential schools, and there …

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Be in the know, now back on the grind

Over the past few weeks, I have grown from a perpetually disheveled data scientist and learned to dress slightly better than a sack of potatoes –an added benefit of my summer of experiential learning in the DC area. I was graciously hosted by my guidance committee member, Dr. Abigail Lynch, at the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change …

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The Vanishing Trash Collector

July | 2016 | American Myths A few days ago the trash collector came along on his usual route. Typically, one person would drive while the other collected the trash bins and moved them to an automatic lift that dumped them into the truck. Afterwards, the same trash collector would deposit the empty bins on …

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Poster preservation

Posters, posters, and more posters! A recent donation of several hundred movie posters (not all are shown above) recently invaded the conservation lab. The posters had been rolled for storage, and while a few unrolled easily, those printed on heavyweight paper didn’t want to be flat. I knew that trying to humidify and flatten each …

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Independent Streams (Week of July 11th)

Our weekly round-up of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems  This Could Be a Completely Different Strategy for Tackling the World’s Carbon Emissions (link is external) A new study suggests that reducing carbon emissions can be made more efficient by targeting plants that produce a greater share of emissions first. IPPSR affiliate Tom Dietz comments …

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Beans for Breakfast

After racking my brain for several hours trying to think of something funny having to do with cucumber beetles, I finally gave up. Bing tells me that there are two kinds of cucumber beetle, one with stripes and one with polka dots. There is apparently nothing funny about either of them because once they have …

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Federal Court Issues Order in Little Traverse Reservation Boundaries Case Bifurcating Merits and Remedies Phases

Here is the order in Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians v. Snyder (W.D. Mich.): 91. 2016-07-06 Opinion and Order Bifurcating Case and Granting Denying Plf’s MSD An excerpt: “‘Only Congress can divest a reservation of its land and diminish its boundaries,’ and its intent to do so must be clear.” Nebraska v. Parker, …

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United States v. Decosters Decision

Yesterday, July 6, the Eighth Circuit upheld the United States v. DeCoster three-month prison sentences and $100,000 fines for Austin “Jack” DeCoster and Peter DeCoster, respectively the owner and chief operating officer of Quality Egg, LLC. Over the years, several salmonellosis foodborne illness outbreaks were associated with eggs from DeCoster farms. In a 2010 outbreak …

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State of Michigan Celebrates Reunification Day

State of Michigan Celebrates Reunification Day | Turtle Talk Link to news coverage here. The Michigan Supreme Court ceremonially praised the efforts of family court participants, including Tribal leaders, for restoring children to their families on June 24, 2016, in Lansing.  Five judges from Michigan’s Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum were present.  According to the article, more than …

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What I actually do

So if you remember from previous blogs, my research project is attempting to find differences is in the soil-microbial community between corn, rice (grasses) and soy (a legume). Global soybean trade, specifically soybeans from Brazil and the USA, are being imported by China; these imports are cheaper than domestically produced soybeans, thus driving out China’s …

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Over- and Underfitting

I just read a nice post by Jean-François Puget, suitable for readers not terribly familiar with the subject, on overfitting in machine learning. I was going to leave a comment mentioning a couple of things, and then decided that with minimal padding I could make it long enough to be a blog post. I agree …

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Independent Streams (Week of July 4th)

Our weekly round-up of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems Here’s What the NY Times Got Wrong On Detroit Public Schools (link is external) The Mackinac Center for Public Policy responds to a recent New York Times article on Detroit Schools. The Great Lakes Education Project, whose CEO is a previous Forum Speaker, is cited. …

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Just Desserts

I was down in Atlanta last week and had a couple of dinners-out with some friends & fellow workers. The names of the restaurants have been expunged to protect the innocent (not that there are any innocent victims in this story). We started out a pretty good place, a bit high-toned and treadling the foodie vibe. …

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MSU Shadows

A year ago today, as I began my tenure as Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University, I made reference to a passage by Peter Raible, one that draws from Deuteronomy, in which he reminds us that “we sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.” Although I …

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