When Knowledge Becomes Power—Academics who became politicians

Since I’m studying (or, really, am about to start studying) academic political science towards a PhD in Government, I get asked a lot if I want to become a politician, which seems like a strange question to me. Anyhow, it raises the interesting question of how often academics become politicians. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find otherContinue reading “When Knowledge Becomes Power—Academics who became politicians”

Beautiful Etymology

Anandamide, the endogenous cannabanoid neurotransmitter; name comes from “the Sanskrit word ananda, which means ‘joy, bliss, delight.’” (I guess Vishy Anand, the chess player, gets his family name from this word too!) Coprolalia, the word for clinical profanity. Coprolalia comes from the Greek κόπρος (kopros) meaning “feces” and λαλιά (lalia) from lalein, “to talk”. Literally means to talk shit.Continue reading “Beautiful Etymology”

Summer Reading Goals and Progress

I have spent some time reading this summer. And a lot of time listening to Audiobooks. Not sure what my goals are, but I do like to keep on learning. I’ll track some progress and short-term targets here in this post, I guess. – Bible: Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon Job Psalms (To Do) Proverbs (ToContinue reading “Summer Reading Goals and Progress”

Some reasonable goals for near future

I’m feeling a little ambitious, but not in the “get something done” way so much as the “think abstractly about ways to improve yourself” type of ambition. Here are some reasonable goals for the near future (<5 years?): 1) Lend to every country on Kiva (currently ~50/84). So 34 to go. I already have severalContinue reading “Some reasonable goals for near future”

Is there systematic gender discrimination in Metro Nashville Employment? Part 1

Using the same municipal employee data from data.nashville.gov as the previous post, here I am looking at whether there is evidence of gender discrimination in the salaries of Metro Nashville government employees. Obviously this is a pretty complicated issue, and I am only really going to scratch the surface of it. Mostly this is just a funContinue reading “Is there systematic gender discrimination in Metro Nashville Employment? Part 1”

Playing around with Nashville Open Data – $400 million on government salaries!

I found that the government of Nashville has some open data at https://data.nashville.gov. I messed around with a couple of employment datasheets and made some graphs. Mean Salary vs Ethnicity Mean Annual Salary by Job Category Interestingly, elected officials are not the highest paid category. Metro Nashville Salaries In total, annual salaries for Metro Nashville governmentContinue reading “Playing around with Nashville Open Data – $400 million on government salaries!”

Two odd side-effects of drug prevention campaigns

A Washington Post article today reveals a new cannabis prevention campaign targeting teenagers in Colorado. Unfortunately, the state which has shown the freethinking boldness to legalize marijuana for adults is implementing some of the same, long-debunked nonsense typical of drug prevention efforts. The campaign uses human-sized rat cages, adopting the mantra that teenagers using marijuana are lab rats forContinue reading “Two odd side-effects of drug prevention campaigns”

Planned remarks before Houston City Council

Below are my planned remarks for the speech I gave at Houston City Hall on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Unfortunately, due to the number of speakers, I was only allowed one minute instead of the three that I had planned, so I said something a bit different than planned. My remarks are inspired by aContinue reading “Planned remarks before Houston City Council”

Why do so few medical students become Psychiatrists?

Today one of my coworkers and I got in an interesting discussion (or maybe an argument) about why relatively few medical students become psychiatrists. She just finished her first year at a pretty prestigious medical school. I claimed that it boiled down to stigma against mental illness, while she argued that the difference is explainedContinue reading “Why do so few medical students become Psychiatrists?”