Goodbye MSU

Goodbye MSU | Punya Mishra’s Web I started working at Michigan State University on the 15th of August, 1998. Today exactly 18 years later I bid MSU farewell to take up a new position as Associate Dean of Scholarship at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. These last 18 years have been …

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We Are What We Eat/Read

We took our son, Noah and his partner, Andy, to dinner last night at a new Thai restaurant in Detroit, Katoi. The menu was unique to my culinary experience. The mix of tastes and combinations of ingredients was so distinctive, that I could not possibly imagine what these combinations might taste like. I was struck …

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The Hipster Donut Experience

We might have seen this one coming. I mean Voodoo Donuts in Portland has been around for quite a while now. In the spirit of what I laughingly call “research” I Googled them and found out that there actually is no such thing as Voodoo Donuts. It’s Voodoo Doughnuts, and their website says that they …

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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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Arthur Kroeber (Gavekal) on Chinese economy

Highly recommended. Kroeber gives a realistic assessment of the Chinese economy, covering topics such as historical development models, infrastructure investment, debt levels, SOEs vs private enterprise, corruption pre- and post-Xi, demographics, hukou reform, etc. In this episode of Sinica, we present an in-depth interview with Arthur Kroeber, founding partner and head of research for Gavekal …

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More Waste

We’ve been on a run of blogs focused on food waste. The topic can’t help but bring up memories of my Nana, an obsessively frugal woman whose closets always contained at least fifty rolls of toilet paper purchased with triple coupon savings at her neighborhood Publix supermarket. Although she never did, I imagine my Nana …

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10 Reasons Why I Bike

I spent the last weekend catching up after a busy past month and biked with my wife Katie around town, and, in the process, thought about why I bike. Here are 10 reasons why: It’s a good form of exercise. Biking, even just a mile or two, is good for my physical fitness, especially for …

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May Day

I wake up and sit by the gas fire with a book. Eventually I go into the kitchen hoping that the oatmeal Diane cooked still has enough heat left in it to melt a pat of butter in the bottom of my bowl. I’ll eventually add a little bit of sugar and some milk. It’s …

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In the Hunt

The blog is posting a few hours later than usual this week because I’m just back from dinner at my mother-in-law’s after flying in from Houston: ham, peas, scalloped potatoes. It was cooked up special by the kitchen, and the place was buzzing with relatives of other residents visiting for the Easter weekend. Food becomes central …

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Chin Warmers

Adzuki beans and arepas make for a pretty good cold weather supper about this time of year. I know we are supposed to be in the midst of Earth shattering changes that will drive all of us into our backyards during late March to grill out before the seriously hot weather sets in. In total …

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Dialog 2016

Everything at this meeting is off the record, so I can’t say much about it. The one comment I’ll make is that among this group of elites almost no one I’ve spoken to groks Trump or his appeal to a large number of Americans. Dialog is an biannual 2-day thought retreat, gathering 150 global leaders …

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Trump on Trump

Someone sent me a link to this 1990 Playboy interview with Donald Trump. There’s much more in the interview than what I have excerpted below. See also Crazy like a fox. What satisfaction, exactly, do you get out of doing a deal? I love the creative process. I do what I do out of pure enjoyment. …

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NIH peer review percentile scores are poorly predictive of grant productivity

The impacts of studies ranked in the 3rd to 20th percentile are more or less statistically indistinguishable. With current funding lines as low as 10th percentile, this means that many unfunded proposals are more meritorious than funded studies. NIH peer review percentile scores are poorly predictive of grant productivity DOI: 10.7554/eLife.13323.001 Peer review is widely …

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Good-Evil Ambigram in Pub Med!

My Good-Evil oscillation ambigram design is easily one of my most popular designs – having made it to multiple publications, websites, covers of magazines, on the TV Show Brain Games… and now it has made its way into a medical research journal Frontiers of Physiology in an article on (of all things), cardiac remodeling. You can read the …

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Deep-Play & the Engaged Scholar

The Engaged Scholar is a magazine published by MSU’s Office of University Outreach and Engagement with the goal of celebrating “Michigan State University’s ongoing partnership with Michigan, our nation, and our world.” I just got the 10th anniversary issue in the mail and was pleased to find an article about the MSU Museum and their collaborations with …

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Peter Singer

We’ve arrived at the fifth Sunday in January. Both of my regular readers know that I am now contractually obligated to come up with one more “food ethics icon,” and that given the parameters laid out on January 3, it has to be a full-bore, no-questions-asked philosopher. (For stray web browsers who just happened to …

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In vivo gene editing with CRISPR

Safe and Effective soon for humans? In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophyin vi Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5143 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating disease affecting about 1 out of 5000 male births and caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Genome editing has the potential to restore …

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Happy 2016, New Video

Since 2009, our family has been creating videos to welcome the new year. The videos are typically typographical in nature, sometimes including a visual illusion or some kind or the other. So as usual, we have a video for welcome 2016. Shot on our dining table, with a budget of four dollars, this video was, as they all …

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Credit and the Public Good, Part 1

(An earlier version of this was published in City Pulse, a local alternative weekly serving Michigan’s Capitol region.) I suspect that few folks reading this don’t have an account at a bank or credit union. I belong to two credit unions. Credit unions differ from traditional private banks in that they are member owned. This …

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Overheard at Ellyington’s

It’s hard to avoid a little inadvertent eavesdropping when you are waiting for breakfast by yourself at a quiet restaurant. The two guys at the adjacent table are also waiting for their food, but they are engaged in an intense conversation over things like “core samples” and some sort of foibles that have occurred of …

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Beyond Individualism

Two books completed recently share some common ground although using different lenses to see it. George Rupp, former Harvard Divinity School dean, President of both Rice and Columbia University and most recently president of the International Rescue Committee, has penned Beyond Individualism: The Challenge of Inclusive Communities (Columbia University Press, 2015). The chapters are largely …

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W-2s don’t lie

These numbers are derived from aggregate W-2 incomes for 158 million working Americans (see link for full table). The “raw” average wage, computed as net compensation divided by the number of wage earners, is $7,050,259,213,644.55 divided by 158,186,786, or $44,569.20. Based on data in the table below, about 67.2 percent of wage earners had net …

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Protests in Berlin

Protests in Berlin Berliners have been demonstrating today against the conditions at a registration point for refugees in their city. Tim Lüddeman (@timluedde) tweeted this composite image and a link to photos of the demonstration for non-commercial purposes with the hashtag #EsReicht (Enough!) that was the slogan of the demonstration, along with #LeGeSo, the German abbreviation …

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Vellum : Before and After

Vellum is a hygroscopic material, which means that it has the ability to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. Vellum will expand in humid conditions, and contract in dry conditions.  Even normal fluctuations in temperature a humidity can cause vellum bindings to warp.  Over time, this book became badly warped.  At it’s …

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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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