Skip to Content

Paul Raeburn's Tracker

Nate Silver's rational approach to politics seems to provoke highly irrational responses.

At SlateDaniel Engber ...

Nate Silver's rational approach to politics seems to provoke highly irrational responses.

At SlateDaniel Engber writes that Silver, author of the FiveThirtyEight blog at The New York Times, "appears to have hit the mark in every state--a perfect 50 green M&Ms for accuracy." Engber links to a map of Silver's predictions versus a map of the results. Impressive, right? But Engber can't...

I am led to believe that many Tracker readers will be watching election returns tonight instead of roaming through the Tracker's archives, looking for the crankiest, funniest, or most astute posts of yesteryear. (For some reason, Nate Silver did not find it within his means to predict what Tracker readers would...

I am led to believe that many Tracker readers will be watching election returns tonight instead of roaming through the Tracker's archives, looking for the crankiest, funniest, or most astute posts of yesteryear. (For some reason, Nate Silver did not find it within his means to predict what Tracker readers would be doing tonight, so I can't back this up with data.)

So I'm conceding the evening, even before the polls close. You win. But while you're publishing your own cranky, funny, or astute election comments on Twitter or FB, I thought you might like a little diversion. Here are a few things to scan while waiting for Ohio to come in:

--Adam Mann at Wired likes the new Google Mars, which has "more coverage, more detail, and...

You might know that 12-step programs and abstinence are at the heart of many addiction and alcoholism treatment programs. But you might not know--I didn't--that one of the leading and most influential treatment centers has made a gospel of avoiding any medical treatments for addiction.

The treatment...

You might know that 12-step programs and abstinence are at the heart of many addiction and alcoholism treatment programs. But you might not know--I didn't--that one of the leading and most influential treatment centers has made a gospel of avoiding any medical treatments for addiction.

The treatment center is Hazelden, which began in a Minnesota farmhouse in 1949 and now has a treatment network stretching across five states. The problem with its allegiance to abstinence is that the science showing the value of addiction medications is harder to ignore, writes Maia Szalavitz on Time's website. (Disclosure: Szalavitz and I are members of a writing group in New York City. And we're friends.)

In an important scoop, Szalavitz now...

The business press has not been among the leaders in writing and thinking about climate change and the consequences for the economy. 

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek begins to rewrite that script with a slashing story on climate change and...

The business press has not been among the leaders in writing and thinking about climate change and the consequences for the economy. 

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek begins to rewrite that script with a slashing story on climate change and a dramatic cover that is an instant classic:

It's a strong story, and well worth reading. But the cover is what people will remember--and it's what might prod business people into a more open-minded attitude toward climate change and its consequences. 

Josh Tyrangiel, Businessweek's editor, tweeted, "Our cover story this week may generate controversy, but only among the stupid....

I feel sorry for Dylan Byers, a media blogger at Politico, and, from what I read, an entertaining and competent writer.

I'm embarrassed for David...

I feel sorry for Dylan Byers, a media blogger at Politico, and, from what I read, an entertaining and competent writer.

I'm embarrassed for David Brooks, a conservative columnist at The New York Times and a smart guy who writes about human nature in addition to politics.

As for Joe Scarborough, I'm always happy to catch a few minutes of his intelligent msnbc morning show, Morning Joe, when my kids aren't watching Phineas and Ferb. But I'm cringing at his remarks...

Noteworthy moves:

--Phil Plait is moving his Bad Astronomy blog from Discover to Slate on Nov. 12. "I’ve been writing at Discover Magazine for over four years, and...

Noteworthy moves:

--Phil Plait is moving his Bad Astronomy blog from Discover to Slate on Nov. 12. "I’ve been writing at Discover Magazine for over four years, and it’s been a great ride," he writes. Laura Helmuth, Slate's science and health editor, says, "We're thrilled to get him." The Bad Astronomer calculates that he has posted some 4,600 items at Discover. He leaves with great praise for Discover and its blog network, but can't resist adding, "I also hope y’all will follow me to Slate as well."

--Science News announces two promotions to fill top spots....

Ed Yong's missing links.
Paul Raeburn
Share

Ed Yong, the distinguished blogger and official Person Who Never Sleeps, has compiled a list of what he's been reading lately, which is probably more than I've read since I gave up Classics Illustrated.

How he manages to read so much and still make a living as a writer is a ...

Ed Yong, the distinguished blogger and official Person Who Never Sleeps, has compiled a list of what he's been reading lately, which is probably more than I've read since I gave up Classics Illustrated.

How he manages to read so much and still make a living as a writer is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. 

But let's not quibble. Instead, let's sample and enjoy what he's collected for us in I’ve got your missing links right here (3 November 2012) from his Discover blog Not Exactly Rocket Science. Anyone for a little paleotempestology?

-Paul Raeburn

 

 

On this week's Science BlogsTabitha M. Powledge fills a basket with important links related to climate and Sandy. Her selection is especially valuable if you were among those of us who didn't have power to read these things when they were posted.

She...

On this week's Science BlogsTabitha M. Powledge fills a basket with important links related to climate and Sandy. Her selection is especially valuable if you were among those of us who didn't have power to read these things when they were posted.

She also notes that a few other things happened last week, including news on the politics of health care, the election and Jonah Lehrer. Remember Jonah Lehrer?

Find it all here.

-Paul Raeburn

 

We've heard the statistic before, but it's useful to be reminded of the exact numbers:

Medicare costs are already expected to reach $830 billion a year by 2017. About one-quarter -- or $208 billion -- will be spent on people in the final year of their lives.

And what...

We've heard the statistic before, but it's useful to be reminded of the exact numbers:

Medicare costs are already expected to reach $830 billion a year by 2017. About one-quarter -- or $208 billion -- will be spent on people in the final year of their lives.

And what will that exorbitantly expensive care do? In many cases, not much. And sometimes it will hurt more than help.

The statistic comes from "The Cost of Dying: Simple act of feeding poses painful choices," by Lisa M. Krieger at the San Jose Mercury News. The piece is about a very small piece of medical equipment, so simple and common that we rarely stop to give it much thought--the feeding tube. It is used on one-third of demented nursing home residents who have forgotten how to eat, Krieger reports...

Paul Raeburn
Share

Editor's Note: All is well at the Raeburn household in lower Manhattan following Sandy, but we've been without power, Internet, and water since Monday night. We're still unsure when any of these necessities of life might return. Meanwhile, I'm clawing my way online at a coffee shop in midtown to...

Editor's Note: All is well at the Raeburn household in lower Manhattan following Sandy, but we've been without power, Internet, and water since Monday night. We're still unsure when any of these necessities of life might return. Meanwhile, I'm clawing my way online at a coffee shop in midtown to write this note. You probably have not noticed any disruption in service, as they say, thanks to the fine work of trackers Deb Blum and Faye Flam. I hope to rejoin them soon.

-Paul Raeburn

On Saturday, Linda Holmes of NPR's monkeysee blog watched 14 hours of The Weather Channel. Why oh why? she laments. Why did I do it?...

On Saturday, Linda Holmes of NPR's monkeysee blog watched 14 hours of The Weather Channel. Why oh why? she laments. Why did I do it?

She isn't sure, but her hilarious introspection on that lost day had me howling louder than the winds of Hurricane Sandy (which are swirling around my apartment as I write). One reason, she writes, is that "the darkest and guiltiest part of your soul is waiting to see a wipeout. Not a dangerous wipeout; you don't want the weather guy to get hurt. But blown over harmlessly so that his windbreaker comes partially unsnapped? Well, yes."

Holmes bares her dark, hurricane-addled soul before us, and by the time we...

When the Chicago-Sun Times said it was hiring Jenny McCarthy--Playboy playmate, actress, model, ex-girlfriend of Jim Carrey, and notorious proponent of a vaccine-autism link--to write a lifestyle blog, it rekindled the ferocious debate over vaccines and autism. (Admittedly, it...

When the Chicago-Sun Times said it was hiring Jenny McCarthy--Playboy playmate, actress, model, ex-girlfriend of Jim Carrey, and notorious proponent of a vaccine-autism link--to write a lifestyle blog, it rekindled the ferocious debate over vaccines and autism. (Admittedly, it doesn't take much to stoke that debate.)

When I posted on the hiring four days ago, the Sun-Times emailed me to say that her blog and column would not be merely about parenting, but that they would also deal with "lifestyle issues," including "family, dating, relationships, fitness and yes, parenting as a single mom."

The paper did not address the vaccine issue in that email. But now it has.

In an email today, a spokeswoman for the Sun-Times said, "Jenny McCarthy has signed on to share her special brand of humor with fans through her...

The productive collaboration between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today has produced another strong story on conflicts...

The productive collaboration between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today has produced another strong story on conflicts of interest in medicine.

The latest story comes out of a Senate investigation prompted in part by the Journal Sentinel's earlier stories by John Fauber, who wrote this one, too.

Here's the lede:

Medtronic marketing employees were secretly involved in drafting and editing favorable medical journal articles about the company's lucrative back surgery product while the company paid millions to the surgeons whose names lent weight to the studies, documents from a U.S. Senate investigation reveal.

Follow...

Last month, Radiolab decided for reasons that are unclear to produce a podcast on a nearly 30-year-old story about allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Laos. And in a single interview with a Hmong man and his niece, it managed to offend the people it was interviewing, the Hmong...

Last month, Radiolab decided for reasons that are unclear to produce a podcast on a nearly 30-year-old story about allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Laos. And in a single interview with a Hmong man and his niece, it managed to offend the people it was interviewing, the Hmong people generally, and many of its listeners.

As you will see, the people being interviewed thought that this was an opportunity to finally tell the world about the disaster that befell their people during the final years of war in Indochina. Radiolab had a very different idea about what the interview was meant to do.

On Sept. 24, Radiolab released a podcast of the interview with Eng Yang and his niece, Kao Kalia Yang, about whether the Russians had used chemical weapons--so-called "yellow rain"--against the Hmong people in Laos in the 1970s and 1980s. Robert Krulwich of...

CNN has the "news": It reports that estrogen influences who women are likely to vote for. "When levels of the hormone estrogen are high, single women appeared more likely to vote for Obama and committed women appeared more likely to vote for Romney," CNN reports.

Or,...

CNN has the "news": It reports that estrogen influences who women are likely to vote for. "When levels of the hormone estrogen are high, single women appeared more likely to vote for Obama and committed women appeared more likely to vote for Romney," CNN reports.

Or, that's what it did report. It has now posted an editor's note retracting it. 

Adam Marcus at Retraction Watch explores this goodie in a post this morning

Interestingly, the CNN reporter, Elizabeth Landau...

Login or register to post comments