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Remembering the Little Things

I feel I was never able to forget anyone I’ve been with because each person has their own specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost. - “Before Sunset” When relationships run their course, we cope in various ways. Some try to move forward quickly, which may result in severing ties […]

Female Ferns Can Turn Their Neighbors Male

If you're a Japanese climbing fern, your sex may be up to those living around you. That's thanks to communication between the plants involving a pheromone called gibberellin, Vox reports. Early-maturing plants, which tend to become female, start developing the pheromone, but they don't finish. Instead, these plants send the...

Shootings and Elephants

October 25, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston Why would an apparently happy kid shoot several classmates? That seems to be the question that’s getting the attention of the press and perhaps the public. “Struggling to Find Motive,” said one typical headline. Show More Summary

Risk Managers Are Worried About Inequality

October 23, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston Who’s worrying about inequality? It’s not just the scraggly bunch that occupied Zucotti Park, and not just the lefty economists and sociologists hefting a copy of Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Show More Summary

Happy 100th, John Berryman!

Sam Leith at the Guardian (this seems to be Guardian day at LH) has a wonderful appreciation of John Berryman, one of my favorite American poets, who would have turned 100 yesterday; as I told my brother, who sent me the link (thanks, Eric!), I have two copies of The Dream Songs (one of which […]

Global boom in hydropower underway, more expected this decade

From the University of Copehagen: Global boom in hydropower expected this decade An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20…

Et in Arcadia Inflation

October 22, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston What do you do when your published predictions prove wrong? How do you resolve the dissonance between your ideas and the facts? In a blogpost earlier this month (here), I looked at the responses...Show More Summary

Hazing and Sexual Assault

October 21, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston Random thoughts on the Sayreville hazing. (If you are not familiar with this case, see yesterday’s Times article here.)1. At least nobody is accusing the freshmen footballers of bring the assaults...Show More Summary

Unveiled: City Founded by Genghis Khan's Descendants

Working along Russia's Volga River, archeologists have discovered what's left of the 750-year-old city of Ukek, headed by the descendants of Genghis Khan. The researchers uncovered the city's Christian quarter, which was often visited by wealthy people; while some Christians were enslaved, the findings suggest that not all suffered that...

Study: Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano sits on a massive magma hot spot

By Kat Kerlin, UC Davis Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and dramatic changes in climate and ecosystems. New research from UC Davis and Aarhus University in Denmark shows that high mantle temperatures…

Are Burden-of-Proof Considerations Relevant in Philosophy?

1. The question this post raises is whether it is at all useful to speak of burden of proof (BOP) in dialectical situations in which there are no agreed-upon rules of procedure that are constitutive of the 'game' played within...

Where are the Medicare savings coming from?

Loren Adler and Adam Rosenberg report: …the disproportionate role played by prescription drug spending (or Part D) has seemingly escaped notice. Despite constituting barely more than 10 percent of Medicare spending, our analysis shows that Part D has accounted for over 60 percent of the slowdown in Medicare benefits since 2011 (beyond the sequestration contained […]

A Banach algebra proof of the prime number theorem

The prime number theorem can be expressed as the assertion as, where is the von Mangoldt function. It is a basic result in analytic number theory, but requires a bit of effort to prove. One “elementary” proof of this theorem proceeds through the Selberg symmetry formula where the second von Mangoldt function is defined […]

Tense Travel

My wife called me in to her office last night to make me watch this segment of The Big Bang Theory, in which Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are watching Back to the Future, Part ii. Harrison Tran has helpfully bootlegged it onto YouTube, complete with a transcript: Howard: Wait, hold on. Pause. [music stops] […]

Saturday Interview: Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown is a trade unionist and Liberal Democrat activist from Kimberley, near Nottingham. Formerly a parish councillor, blogger and active Labour Party member, she left and joined the LibDems 18 months ago. You can follow SarahShow More Summary

Penjing—in Oakland?

Havenscourt Boulevard is a handsome street—wide, with a row of large palms up one side and offering nice views of the Seminary gap and the low and high hills. Then there are the homes, where I spotted this creative use of a roof drain. The water runs down a chute to a stilling basin, where […]

Assorted links

1. The Danish nudge. 2. Clone your dog in Korea for 100k. 3. China’s strangest buildings. 4. There is no great stagnation, unbundling your breakfast edition. 5. Kevin Drum health update, we all wish him well. 6. I agree with David Denby, Fury is one of the best war movies ever made, see it on […]

Loma Prieta plus 25

Yesterday I attended the Loma Prieta 25 Symposium at the Kaiser Center. It was a quake geek’s Woodstock, where a motley host of experts got together to schmooze, celebrate 25 years of progress since the 1989 earthquake, and look ahead. At 10:16 a.m., along with 27 million other people around the world, we participated in […]

Ebola in the US Update

Of the seven Americans who have contracted Ebola, five overseas and two in Texas, all seven have survived. Comments from President Obama, focusing on how we have to be guided by the science: “Here’s the bottom line. Patients can beat this disease. And we can beat this disease. But we have to stay vigilant. We…

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