Radio days

by Henry on April 7, 2006

Over the next hour or so, I’ll be in a debate with Jerome Armstrong, Dan Drezner and Stefan Sharkansky on Puget Sound “public radio”:http://www.kuow.org/weekday.asp – Seattle area readers should feel free to chime in.

Modelling lame duck prime ministers

by Daniel on April 7, 2006

David Clark in the Guardian is pointing out that people are thoroughly bored with the Tony Blair versus Gordon Brown show. So I thought I’d settle the matter once and for all by setting a date for Tony’s departure, based on quantitative economics rather than all this nebulous political stuff. I am taking my modelling strategy from David Clark’s observations that what really matters here is 1) the non-Blairites perception of whether Tony is staying or going and 2) how vindictive a victorious Gordon is planning to be to the Blairites. So let’s make a model.
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Update on propaganda and advertising

by John Quiggin on April 7, 2006

A year or so ago, I was surprised to find out that a fair bit of the news on US TV is actually advertising produced by corporations and fed into news broadcasts with spurious “reporters”. The NYT has an update, with a report by the Center for Media and Democracy on the extent of the practice.

Ichthyopod

by John Holbo on April 7, 2006

“Tiktaalik, Dr. Shubin said, is ‘both fish and tetrapod, which we sometimes call a fishapod.'” (NY Times link)

It seems to me there is a missed opportunity in not calling them ichthyopods. Because then you could riff on Daniel Dennett – the whole ‘no skyhooks’ thing. You could pen an attack on ID: ‘ichthyopod crane and the headless horseman of natural selection.’ Something like that. (I suppose an ichthyopod would really be an organism with fish for feet. But, then again, so would a fishapod. Come to think of it, suppose we find an organism with the number four attached to the ends of its legs. What are we going to call it? Not a tetrapod, surely. A problem. Speaking of four, google only gives us four hits for ‘ichthyopod’, as of today. If you are feeling lucky, you see this.)

Scale

by John Quiggin on April 7, 2006

Following up Kieran’s post quoting Douglas Adams’ line that “You may think it’s a long way down the street to the Chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space” I thought I’d try to work out the scale of comparison that is, in some sense directly available to us and compare it to the scale of the universe. (I’m bound to make a mistake here, but what are comments threads for if not to fix these things).

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