Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day, May Day! (Link Round-Up 5/1/2012)

[via reddit]

Newt Gingrich celebrates worker solidarity by ending presidential campaign
A formal announcement that he is suspending the campaign, coupled with an endorsement for Mitt Romney, is on the calendar for Wednesday.
Bolivia nationalizes the electric grid (away from Spanish company)
Morales took advantage of the symbolism of May Day, the international day of the worker, to order troops to occupy installations of the company, a subsidiary of Red Electrica Corporacion SA

The president’s placing of another of what he deems basic services under state control comes as neighboring Argentina moves to take control of the country’s oil company, YPF, from the Spanish energy company Repsol SA, which had held a majority interest.
Ron Paul and Paul Krugman prove that debates are nearly useless
If you want to increase your understanding of a subject, public debates are worthless. But that's because that isn't their purpose. Their purpose is emotional appeal, and understanding actively gets in the way of that. Ron Paul already knows that. I hope Krugman does too.
How to read science news
4. Look at the original source of information. The source of the articles is an editorial, as noted. But one of these articles also provides a link to an actual research paper. The paper doesn't even address any of the "top 10" chemicals listed but instead is about cigarette smoking. News stories about this study describe it as linking smoking during pregnancy and autism. Yet the study abstract states that they did not identify a link, saying "We found a null association between maternal smoking and pregnancy in ASDs and the possibility of an association with a higher-functioning ASD subgroup was suggested." In other words: No link between smoking and autism. But the headlines and how the articles are written would lead you to believe otherwise.
Al-Qaeda smuggled plans with porn
What emerges from the document is a twin-track strategy -- with the author apparently convinced that al Qaeda needs low-cost, low-tech attacks (perhaps such as the recent gun attacks in France carried out by Mohammed Merah) to keep security services preoccupied while it plans large-scale attacks on a scale similar to 9/11. 
Those already under suspicion in Europe and elsewhere would be used as decoys, while others would prepare major attacks. 
That is yet to materialize, but Musharbash believes a complex gun attack in Europe is still on al Qaeda's radar.

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