Archive for November, 2009

“Old Europe”

A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity: The little-known culture is being rescued from obscurity in an exhibition, “The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.,” which opened last month at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. More than 250 artifacts from museums in Bulgaria, […]

Are over-leveraged counties seeing an increase in food stamp usage?

Since The New York Times put up the csv file which they used to generate their maps of food stamp usage, I thought I’d look at the data a little closer. In particular, look at this graphic of change in food stamp usage by county (dark equals more usage): I was curious about this part […]

The grain dole of America

Ben points to the a new article in The New York Times, Across U.S., Food Stamp Use Soars and Stigma Fades. The county-by-county data are of interest. I’ve just snatched the csv file, which they made available. Andrew Gelman has a modest critique of the assertion that 50% of children are on food stamps at […]

The white vote for Obama, by county & correlates

A friend of mine who was looking at the distributions on obesity and diabetes wondered about their political correlations. To do that and add anything new it seems that it would be best to estimate the white vote for Barack Obama in 2008 by county. This is how I did it: 1) I looked at […]

Reality check on American “hunger”

Hunger here vs. hunger there: There has been a fair amount of buzz lately (examples here, here, here, here) about “food insecurity” in the U.S. According to the Reuters headline, one in seven Americans is short of food. In looking into the data, what has surprised us is how different the meaning of “hunger” is […]

Diabetes and obesity

Update: I made a major error in the algebra of estimating “white diabetes rates” per county. So the last set of correlations was junk. I think fixed the issue. Thanks to “bayesian” who noted that something was off with them. The CDC provides data on diabetes by county as well as obesity. Some Correlations: Diabetes-Obesity […]

Where the fat folks live

Since it’s after Thanksgiving and I’m feeling bloated, I figure a follow up to the post on obesity and diabetes might be apropos. I want to focus on obesity. I have the raw county-by-county data, but obviously it isn’t broken down by race. But, I do have the proportions for reach race by county, and, […]

Liberty or Libel?

There has been much discussion in the blogosphere (for example by Olivia Judson here) of the current libel case between the science writer Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association. Most of the comments have supported Singh and criticised both the BCA and the trial Judge, Sir David Eady. Science writers complain that the libel […]

No support for birth order effects on personality from the GSS

In researching for a review of The Nurture Assumption, I read over the debate between Harris and Sulloway over birth order effects on personality. Sulloway’s thesis, explained in Born to Rebel, is that last-born children have more rebellious, agreeable, and open-minded/liberal personalities, and that this manifests itself in history with revolutions spearheaded by last-borns. This […]

GWAS, population structure and the Han Chinese

Two new articles in AJHG, Genomic Dissection of Population Substructure of Han Chinese and Its Implication in Association Studies: To date, most genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and studies of fine-scale population structure have been conducted primarily on Europeans. Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in the world, composing 20% of the entire global human population, […]

Maps of diabetes & obesity

Hope readers have a happy Thanksgiving. I assume this is also a day when you’re not going to think too much about your diet and eat what you want to eat. But I thought this map on diabetes and obesity for those age 20 and up was interesting. These are estimates, which I think explains […]

Discussion of CRU Materials

The debate over global warming is relevant to GNXP (previous posts here and here) not so much because our readers are interested in climate science but because the dynamics of the debate — scientific “consensus” versus politically incorrect minority view — have relevance to various debates over human biodiversity. With that background, I would be […]

The Biggest Loser and Indian obesity

After reading this article about the The Biggest Loser, I checked out the Wikipedia page for the show. There are international versions. Through that I found out that there is an Indian version of the show. I thought this was weird. I mean, it’s India, right? Well, around 2% of Indian women are obese (BMI […]

R1a1 and the peopling of Eurasia

A few weeks ago people in the comments were nagging me a bit about some new papers on the haplogroup R1a1. This Y chromosomal lineage is found at very high frequencies from East-Central Europe into India. Initially, researchers such as Spencer Wells assumed that R1a1 signaled the arrival of Indo-Aryans to the Indian subcontinent, its […]

Why whales get no bigger

Carl Zimmer reports that it might be a function of physics. Bigger whales have proportionality bigger mouths, but at some point the biological engineering runs up against constraints: s they report today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Goldbogen and his colleagues found that big fin whales are not just scaled-up versions of little […]

Prediction markets

It’s News On Academia, Not Climate: Yup, this behavior has long been typical when academics form competing groups, whether the public hears about such groups or not. If you knew how academia worked, this news would not surprise you nor change your opinions on global warming. I’ve never done this stuff, and I’d like to […]

1 million SNPs to bind us all

A a new paper in PLoS ONE, Genetic Variation and Recent Positive Selection in Worldwide Human Populations: Evidence from Nearly 1 Million SNPs: Our analyses both confirm and extend previous studies; in particular, we highlight the impact of various dispersals, and the role of substructure in Africa, on human genetic diversity. We also identified several […]

Lying with the GSS, easy, but not necessary

About year ago I thought perhaps more bloggers would start taking up the GSS. That really hasn’t happened. Sometimes I wonder why, and the other day I had one idea: it isn’t necessary for what most bloggers want to do, confirm what they already believe. Google is sufficient. The GSS can be massaged pretty easily. […]

The mosaic of North American populations

A few months ago an interesting paper connected the historical demographics of New Hampshire with genetic variation. One of the notable features of North American history and culture is that it is a mosaic of different populations, and, that mosaic has come about in very different ways. For example, the millions of Italian and Jewish […]

A tale of two nations

One of the mantras of the new age is that European nations have to deal with diversity, something that’s new to them. This actually ahistorical. Some military units in the Austro-Hungarian Empire actually used English as the lingua franca because of their ethnic diversity (due to those who returned from the United States, see 1848: […]