Thursday, January 28, 2010

Notes for Today

  • I'm not sure this has anything to do with science, but...there needs to be a place for weird pictures on this blog. This is it.
  • Here's an interesting article from Seed discussing why as peer-reviewed science is becoming more and more open access, while popular newspapers are moving more and more towards a pay-only access model.
  • I'm not a huge fan of economics, but I do think of it as ecology with dollars instead of genes, if that makes sense. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but this article is interesting. So Naples, FL was designated the most overvalued housing market in 2006, prompting one anonymous commenter to state: "I firmly believe the market will continue to appreciate at rates unmatched throughout the country. The fact of the matter is that the southwest Florida is what some call a "sheltered" market. Being one of the most desirable areas to live in the United States, there will always be a strong and true demand for the area." Or how about Aubrey Ferrao: "We are bullish in Collier County," he said. "I see nothing in the market to scare me." From the same article: "Michele Harrison, president of the Collier Building Industry Association, said the worst has passed, as other local, state and national headlines have acknowledged the market has started to turn. "If I were in the market to purchase this is the time I would be looking," she said. "Right now." The Wall Street Journal also featured Naples during this which a commentator in Naples replied: "WSJ, why don't you do an in-depth, responsible, RESEARCHED article on how the average, educated, local investor has fared." Riiiiight. Cue the article, also written in 2006, regarding workers fleeing Naples like rats from a sinking ship. And today? "Today, Naples real estate sells at a 29% discount and the median home price is just $165,500, down from more than $390,000". I know we've seen these articles a lot, but I still don't understand how so many people could be so delusional.
  • Pandas are pretty interesting. Now we know even more about them.
  • An interesting conversation (if a bit long) on the Endangered Species Act (close to my heart). I'm going to have to think about this before I know what to take away from it.
  • I love stylized phylogenetic trees. Here's someone who built one using (of all things) powerpoint. Was that really the easier format?

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