Around the Web – February 28th, 2011

By Razib Khan | February 28, 2011 12:14 am

February always goes by so fast….

Should you go to an Ivy League School, Part II. I think the value of an Ivy League degree will be more, not less, important in the future. It seems possible that we’re nearing the end of the age when the wage gap between unskilled and skilled workers is relatively modest (roughly, the wage gap decreased between 1800 up to 1970, and has been increasing over the past 40 years). Credentialing and finding juicy rents and sinecures is probably the way to go in the future. As the past was, the future shall be?

Anthropologists Trace Human Origins Back To One Large Goat. “Read the whole thing.”

Advanced Degrees Add Up to Lower Blood Pressure. I’m sure that the paper itself is less irritating in terms of conflating correlation and causation. The problem is that it is the least intelligent people who will think that extra years of education = extra years of life in a magical manner. That being said, peer group effects probably matter, so I suspect that that’s part of what’s going on here after you correct for background variables.

Election Defeat Predicted for Ireland’s Ruling Party. It is rather strange that the more right-wing party generally enters into coalitions with the left-wing party, against the centrist party.

At last – an explanation for ‘bunga bunga’.

Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Loci for Body Composition and Structural Soundness Traits in Pigs.

The Decline And Fall of Effects In Science. Measured take from Neuroskeptic. Incentives matter. Positive results mean getting published. So keep trying until you get a statistically significant result, and get published. Sometimes the sociology of science matters.

Most Doctors Do Not Know Guidelines Well, German Study Finds. This is for German doctors. Since we have the Best Healthcare In The WorldTM and American doctors are absolute geniuses, it doesn’t apply to this side of the Atlantic.

Bamiyan Buddhas Once Glowed in Red, White and Blue. Ancient Classical monuments and statues were also supposedly once gaudily painted.

A Population Genetic Approach to Mapping Neurological Disorder Genes Using Deep Resequencing. On the rare variants side of the ledger.

A Genome-Wide Study of DNA Methylation Patterns and Gene Expression Levels in Multiple Human and Chimpanzee Tissues. Another stab at trying to characterize human-chimpanzee differences in terms of gene regulation.

Discovery of Oldest Northern North American Human Remains Provides New Insights Into Ice-Age Culture.

Man has 39 wives, nearly 100 children. ‘He heads a local Christian religious sect, called the “Chana,” which allows polygamy. Formed in June 1942, the sect believes it will soon be ruling the world with Christ and has a membership of around 400 families.’ Instead of proselytizing, he is propagating.

Catastrophic Drought in the Afro-Asian Monsoon Region During Heinrich Event 1. “Here, we demonstrate that the height of this stadial, about 17,000 to 16,000 years ago (Heinrich Event 1), coincided with one of the most extreme and widespread megadroughts of the last 50,000 years or more in the Afro-Asian monsoon region, with potentially serious consequences for Paleolithic cultures.”

Ancestor Worship. Brian Switek reviews the “first human” arguments. Must read.

Late Neandertals and the intentional removal of feathers as evidenced from bird bone taphonomy at Fumane Cave 44 ky B.P., Italy. This is naturally resulting in some funny “artistic renderings.”

Fossils May Look Like Human Bones: Biological Anthropologists Question Claims for Human Ancestry.

Single-Tissue and Cross-Tissue Heritability of Gene Expression Via Identity-by-Descent in Related or Unrelated Individuals. ” Finally, we obtained similar estimates of the cis components of heritability using IBD between unrelated individuals, indicating that transgenerational epigenetic inheritance does not contribute substantially to the “missing heritability” of gene expression in these tissue types.”

India East and Inward. Comment on the involuted outlook of many Hindus.

Dwarfism Gene Linked to Protection from Cancer and Diabetes.

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Comments (10)

  1. Nice roundup, Razib, some good’ns in there. I esp valued Neuroskeptic’s take on Decline Effect, which I’d missed; the human-chimp gene expression study; and the shot at American MDs. To live anywhere else in the developed world is to see how absurdly, catastrophically overrated and complacent the US health-care system is.

  2. neuroskeptic is great!

    whatever your political beliefs, probably you can agree that the american healthcare status quo has distorted incentives. i like to beat the drum for relaxing some credential regimes….

  3. pconroy

    Razib said:

    It is rather strange that the more right-wing party generally enters into coalitions with the left-wing party, against the centrist party.

    Well political parties in Ireland do not map directly to the standard Left/Center/Right as seen in some other countries, especially the US – there are the issues of the Irish Civil War and the legacy of the Anglo-Irish/Ascendancy class, that need to be accounted for.

    “Fianna Fail” – the more Centrist/Populist party – represents those who were anti-British rule during the Civil War, plus more religious – so like the US Democrats, without the extreme Left wing, but with the religious right from the Republican party.

    “Fine Gael” – the right of Center party – represents the pro-British during the Civil War, the Anglo-Irish/Ascendancy class, the industrials/entrepreneurs and the less religious – so sort of like like the US Republicans without the religious right, but with many of the Liberal Elite.

    Come to think of it, it may be that it’s the US political boundaries that are not normative, compared to much of the world :O)

  4. pconroy, most of the continental European countries I know anything about do map to the left-centre-right thing quite well, the RoI *is* odd in its political landscape. Switzerland is probably closest, in having three right-of-centre parties and one left-of-centre one.

  5. Anthony

    Irish politics sounds much like pre-1932 (and even pre-1964) American politics – party identification is basically tribal, and while there are claims made for a coherent ideology, close examination shows instead a cluster of policies which express various tribal interests.

  6. I thought this was more interesting bit from the German MDs article, which I’m surprised Razib didn’t note:
    “Nevertheless, the evaluation showed that there was no significant difference between the treatment given by physicians who had adequate knowledge of the guidelines and treatment given by those whose knowledge of the current guideline recommendations was less good.”

    Anthony, see Back to Normal.

  7. Naughtius Maximus

    Irish politics is very parochial; throw in cronyism, nepotism and small level petty corruption at every turn around.
    At one point the big 3 in the government were all children of former politicians. They basically “inherited” their seats. I truely believe they didn’t know what they were doing in guarantteeing all the bond holders in the freak show bank Anglo.
    Also people will gladly vote for a candidate based on who their parents were, petty local issues or because they are in a party that their parents voted for.
    That’s without even mentioning the child abuse scandals.

  8. Sandgroper

    My daughter was tickled with the photo of Virginia Woolf in drag and ‘brown-face’ and said “That’s just the sort of thing she would do.” I have no idea. The woman ended it all by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into a lake, didn’t she?I once calculatedwhat weight of rocks she would need to overcome her own buoyancy. It was a lot of rocks.

    My daughter is very disapproving of one woman poet who killed her children before herself. Sylvia Plath behaved much better – she gave her kids juice to drink and put them to bed, before she put her head in the oven. She even stuffed towels under the kitchen door to prevent the gas from the oven from escaping and affecting her childrenn.

  9. Sandgroper, what link is your story in reference to? I am lost!

  10. Sandgroper

    You’re not the only one!

    Sorry, Michelle – the bunga bunga story. Scroll down to the old black and white photo.

    My second para. was in relation to nothing – total irrelevance. The reference to Woolf just started me thinking about literary women who committed suicide.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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