QuickReaction, Thursday-1

Deutsche Bank is less broke than before: After mostly cleaning up minor issues and changing models Deutsche compensated for a lousy earnings quarter with claims of improving its capital position. Perhaps it did (since all the majors’ capital positions suck) but does this justify any uptick in the stock. The TBTF banks are still in terrible shape and are using tricks to try to look better, primarily so they can continue reckless gambling and obscene compensation.

Hopefully the Repug hissy fit will blow over on Hagel: McCain is just completely a grouchy old man still wanting recognition he should have won in 2008 and his lapdog Lindsay Graham is pining for the days of the Clinton impeachment, but maybe that’s not enough to derail Hagel. The knuckle-dragging Repugs, like jerkwad and functional illiterate Inhofe will get their soapbox to play to the hard right but at the end of the day hopefully blow-with-the-wind McConnell won’t support holds or filibuster or any other Repug tricks to halt this worthy choice. (And I wasn’t even in Nebraska when Hagel was big here so I’m hardly a supporter)

Clovis peoples weren’t wiped out by comet: Perhaps they didn’t even disappear at all but merely changed to a new technology, a bit like iPhones replacing Blackberrys (Clovis -> Folsom). But a comet didn’t do it. Some vaguely serious science suggested a comet did it, but the facts don’t hold up. Of course, the religinuts could have told you this since the supposed time of the end of the Clovis was 13,000 years ago and we already know the universe and humanity is only 6,000 years old (or some revisionist reports of 10,000 since there is too much evidence to believe Usher’s deranged rantings)

Big surprise, humans wiped out a species: At least it was Australian sheepherders instead of U.S. ranchers or hunters. The Tasmanian Tiger (a real misnomer, and a cool animal) wasn’t killed by disease (which, btw, would have been brought by humans) but by simple bounty killing, like buffalo and wolves in the U.S. Yep, we’re good at managed natural resources, to death.

Another correlation versus causation fail: I’ve been doing a lot of reading on nutrition, trying to find real science not just pop articles, esp. those that are just opinion. One big problem is that nutrition experiments are hard to do: a) they take a long time and lots can happen to a person in that time, b) it’s impossible to control all variables (as a clinical trial might do) and so just isolate one variable to another, and, c) it’s really hard to subtract culture/attitude out of it since in the months that go by these matter. Some people are just more lean than others and often lean people then, in turn, have different habits, which appear to be “healthier”. But what is the causation. So when a study, even a large one, says vegetarians have less cardiovascular issues, even with “after accounting for factors such as age, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, educational level and socioeconomic background” I don’t believe they have isolated causation. Most vegetarians are health nuts and do lots of things different than beer guzzlers and sausage eaters watching football as their most vigorous exercise. Look at racing bicyclists, almost all are heavy meat eaters and yet they’re more fit than most vegetarians. Is it due to bicycling? Only sorta. Most of us don’t have the genes and thus bodies to be bike racers, so with the metabolism that is a minimum requirement a bicycle racer could probably guzzle beer and eat brats and still not get fat or have a heart attack. But attitude goes along with body. People born with great athletic bodies usually are fit (partly because it’s easy for them). Don’t tell me brain chemistry doesn’t change along with muscle structure and metabolism. So until science shows a definite biochemical molecular and genomic link, screw vegetarianism, it’s just a cult which few people who are likely to have heart attacks will ever join (and vice versa). It’s correlation, NOT causation. So if I’m wrong with this “opinion” then prove it with some science, not just more “attitude”

We might know more about pigeons than people: Another species is added to the catalogue of fully sequenced genomes, the pigeon. Apparently it was chosen since, like dogs, it is very plastic in its phenotype and therefore potentially easy to find genomic differences to explain phenotypic differences. So now we know what causes the crests some have, the EphB2 gene. Doesn’t that just make your day.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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