April 11, 2005

Random Linkage: Vote for Pedro Edition

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 11, 2005 10:10 PM

Fred Clark's take on the all-important Cookie Monster issue is a must-read.

If you've seen Napoleon Dynamite, you should read the full text of this Idaho House Resolution praising the film. As you file your tax return this week, ask yourself: are your legislators making such efficient use of your tax dollars? (Via Fark)

Learning Curves is a great blog by a math teacher, focusing on teaching issues and the antics of her students (including some truly horrible essay writing). (Via Professor B.)

James Wolcott posts an awesome Thomas Paine quote on organized religion. Where's Tom Paine when we need him, anyway?

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House resolution: Travis, see the upper part of the plot in my paper with the projection onto the votes. Most of the bills with bipartisan support were typically nonsense like this. In the 107th House, something like 20 % of the bills (I have the exact numbers but am too tired to look them up) had fewer than 0.5 % disagreement.

Another example commendation from our roll call was congratulating Sammy Sosa for hitting his 500th HR. (That was unanimous among those who voted.)

If you want to see the plot, go to my MSRI talk on Wednesday 4/20 at 12:15. Otherwise, it's embargoed until one week before publication (by order of PNAS).

Must--shamefully--plug--my--work.

Posted by: Mason | April 11, 2005 11:13 PM

I think with the present Congress, I'm happier when they're passing meaningless resolutions, as this prevents them from doing any serious damage. :)

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | April 12, 2005 11:48 AM

Well, not "prevents" exactly... maybe "distracts".

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | April 12, 2005 11:49 AM

Actually, I ought to take a look historically (just for curiosity) to see if the percentage of meaningless resolutions has increased.

I forgot to mention: We have gotten a UC Davis poly sci person interested in our stuff (and he remained very interested after reading our paper), so he's going to be driving up to Berkeley to talk to us for an hour (one of my coauthors is also attending the workshop) and start the ball rolling. As a mathematician, I always feel much better after a practioner rather than only fellow applied mathematicians approve of my work because it makes me feel more relevant---it's exponentially true for this project because this is a non-traditional application.

Posted by: Mason | April 12, 2005 5:43 PM

And I agree with you about those trivial resolutions, but I bet that the average time spent on one of those is much smaller than the average on other bills, so it may not actually help us. We should root for fillibustering instead.

Posted by: Mason | April 12, 2005 5:44 PM
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