Cool Links

Do you know the difference between throughput and speed?

If you don't, you certainly would not after reading TechCrunch (the deal “may be legally outside of the traditional net neutrality rules”) or NPR or plenty of other places, who are rushing to use jargon like peering, capacity and transit all wrong.

Oh, and cost. It isn't going to cost you more, notes Dan Rayburn at Streaming Media

Bandwidth exchanges, confusing speed and throughput, they get a lot wrong. But Rayburn gets it right, so that's where you should go.
Teach For America is a national group that recruits recent college graduates to teach in poorer public schools. Presumably the students would be better served than they would be by regular substitute teachers in those areas.

But it is never going to be an easy process. Evangelism is just that, for a college student it would mean being a true believer, the same way an intern for a politician or Sierra Club would be. 
If you have talked with a left-wing person who is against food science, vaccines or energy, or a right-wing person who is against climate science or evolution, you may have thought they learned just enough science to be wrong. They seem to bookmark talking points that affirm their confirmation bias and just rehash them over and over.

But in business, the saying goes that the best way to learn about the flaws of your product is to find out what competitors say about it. So skeptical claims have some value, they tell scientists what weaknesses in context are involved in their results discussions.
Recently, it was claimed that all of the big questions in science had been answered and it was now just about filling in the details.

It isn't the first time the concept has taken hold; Lord Kelvin said the same thing about physics and then a few years later a young man named Einstein turned the world upside down: General relativity was special, special relativity was general and we found out that gravity doesn't work the way it should for the very large and the very small, and those concepts are the engine of physics today.

But what about science overall? 
Sorry sociologists, playing Everquest is not science. And OK Cupid knows everything they need to know about their audience, that is what they do, so you spending NSF money to sift through some data and making weak observational claims isn't really a valid use of research funding.
Every parent has an idea of where there child is on a normal growth chart. It's an easy barometer for knowing if there are developmental problems because so much about normal range of height, weight, and head circumference across age is known for kids.

Is a similar tool for cognitive and emotional development or for the development of select brain pathways on the horizon?
Since its discovery in the early 1990s, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast has become the mainstay of human brain imaging. Today, the BOLD fMRI) signal is a widely-accepted marker of brain activity. 
A journal that published papers on something called 'ethical leadership' wouldn't seem to need any strong evidence basis, just a lot of surveys and weak observational claims with pretty words attached, so if it gets so many complaints it retracts five of your papers, you must really be out there.

Fred O. Walumbwa of the College of Business at Florida International University seems to be that guy. He is the common denominator in articles on the "impact of spiritual leadership on unit performance", "the mediating role of follower positivity in extreme contexts", "employee citizenship" and more.
Modern environmentalism is more about promoting distrust and fear than it is protecting the environment. Even when it comes to something basic like Golden Rice, activist groups take the demonize and ban approach. They hate science more than they love children.

In the apolitical segment of science media - yes, it exists, albeit smaller than its corporate face leads people to believe - the running joke is that the only science environmentalists accept is climate change, and only then because it feeds into their Doomsday narrative and says that humanity stinks.
We have noted in the past that smart kids are often sacrificed first on the altar of politics, funding and social engineering. The claim is that 'they are smart, they will succeed anyway'. Which is like saying Olympic athletes will be fine without training.

Regardless, when politicians want to put on a show, they cut firefighters and special needs budgets for schools and blame the public for not wanting a tax increase. But gifted programs are whacked for all kinds of crazy reasons, even when budgets are fine.
During the last few years, if you had a renewable energy idea, Germany embraced it. They already have a lot of protests about science - food, cell phones - and the time was right to say goodbye to nuclear protests as well.

So they trotted out "studies" showing a 20 percent return on wind power and solar and said those businesses just needed a boost in the short term. And people bought the hype. Writing in Spiegel, Anne Seith and Gerald Trauffetter outline the fall of Prokon, which had promised investors a 6 percent return (or your money back!) on green energy. $2 billion and a bankruptcy later and 75,000 investors who believed they were investing in the future are out in the cold.
Maxim Marketing Corp. of Los Angeles business writes in a 24-page Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that Trader Joe’s peanut butter filled pretzels are a monopolistic effort by ConAgra and Trader Joe’s and claim breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations and violation of California antitrust law.

“ConAgra and Trader Joe’s have engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to eliminate competition in, and ultimately to monopolize, the peanut butter filled pocket pretzel market,” Maxim wrote in the court filing.

H/T Morning Cup. Thanks, Bob!
If you ask most people what Froot Loops taste like, they will give you a litany of flavors, based on the colors they remember, it seems. 

It's all in their heads, just like buying organic food or homeopathy flu medication. In reality, Froot Loops all taste the same. 

This is not news, it's been well documented since at least the 1990s but it got mentioned in TIME a few days ago and so the blogosphere has been engaged in faux outrage. Not the kind of hyper outrage a Nature editor gets if he uses a real person's name after being insulted over and over on Twitter, but outrage just the same.
The administration has never gotten tired of the idea that money is just something they print and so the solution to the student debt problem - which government created decades ago by declaring a college education a 'right' and making student loans unlimited - is to start forgiving student loans.

This is the wrong approach. Writing in The Atlantic, Jordan Weissmann notes Department of Education data showing that undergraduate tuition at public colleges for the entire United States was under $63 billion.
On Christmas Eve, the Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy, on an Antarctic expedition to duplicate a voyage 100 years ago, the 1911-to-1913 voyage of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson to Antarctica, and study the effects of global warming, became stuck in ice and its 52 passengers were trapped for 8 days before a helicopter from the Chinese ship Xue Long rescued them.

Then the Xue Long got stuck in the ice.

Like climate activists and journalists who insist they need to fly to every climate meeting to build relationships while they tell us to reduce our carbon footprint, it has to be asked how much carbon was created undertaking the trip and the resulting rescue. Answer: A lot.
PETA has decided to show it's support for animal rights by giving human animals hypothermia.

But only female human animals. They seem to hate female humans. No idea why, but hatred is the only explanation for why they would send mostly-naked women onto the streets of Minneapolis wearing nothing but lettuce.

Temperature: 0 degrees. At that temperature frostbite can occur on exposed skin within 30 minutes if the winds reach speeds of 15 miles per hour.
There are no chestnuts roasting on an open fire this Christmas if you live in San Francisco, But, really, if you cared about science, freedom or tolerance you moved long ago so you don't mind. You may even be a member of the SPCC - the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Chestnuts. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District says light winds mean the air would be unsafe to breathe if residents burned actual wood in their fireplaces, so they have announced that wood burning will be banned Christmas Eve and probably on Christmas Day, too.

“We’re not picking these days for the fun of it or anything, it completely has to do with the science behind air pollution,” said air district spokesman Tom Flannigan.

Holidays are a big season for anti-science groups. Greenpeace gave us a mopey, dirty Santa saying the North Pole was going to melt and now an anti-GMO group in Russia comes right out and says what most groups won't come right out and say - that GMOs should be banned.

Most anti-science types at least establish a pretense of 'we distrust corporations' or 'this needs to be studied until we find someone to say GMOs are evil'. Not Russia.  Irina Ermakova, vice president of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety says “it is necessary to ban GMO, to impose moratorium [on it] for 10 years. While GMO will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed.”
A systematic review of studies has found insufficient evidence that vitamin and mineral supplements are effective for preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer, or mortality from those diseases in healthy adults.

Two studies included in the review found lower overall cancer incidence in men who took a multivitamin for over 10 years. Those same studies showed no cancer protection benefit for women.
The eco-terrorism that made Greenpeace famous is no longer in vogue and a large part of their traditionally liberal base has been turned off by their irrational anti-science crusades against food, energy and medicine - basically, the only science they accept is climate science and only then as long as the IPCC continues to estimate our doom.

They are dutifully trying to train the next generation of people scared about science - and they are willing to stoop to Santa to do it.