Conservatives are more likely to believe that vaccines cause autism - The Washington Post:

The probability of believing in a link between vaccines and autism is much higher among conservatives than liberals — regardless of whether people identified as Democrats, Republicans or independents. The apparent impact of ideology is most pronounced among political independents. There is no evidence that support for the vaccine-autism link is higher among strong liberals. …That liberals are least likely to believe in a link between vaccines and autism might be surprising given well-publicized reports about low childhood vaccination rates in wealthy, liberal enclaves in states such as California. It may be that anti-vaccination liberals are quite rare and that their existence is mostly anecdotal.

Didn’t expect this at all. I’m thinking that at least some of this is tied to the self-reporting. We don’t actually know their political views, only their claimed identity.

Rudy Giuliani, American Soviet:

in 1990, I went to Leningrad to study. The Soviet empire was in its death throes and most people there, particularly the younger ones, knew it.

But some hadn’t gotten the memo yet, and those folks, usually nice enough, often older — university administrators, check-room attendants, security guards, parents of some of my classmates, others — were constantly challenging me and other exchange students to East-versus-West debates, usually with the aim of proving that “their” way of life was better.

the problem with exceptionalism is that it can turn unintentionally comic with the drop of a hat. You’re made to believe you’re at the center of an envious universe, but then the world changes just enough and suddenly you’re a punchline clinging to a lot of incoherent emotions. I watched this happen with my own eyes to a lot of people in the former Soviet Union.

Matt Taibbi points out the way Soviet exceptionalism looks embarrassing in retrospect is happening right here to the GOP view of American exceptionalism.

Why Conservatives Suddenly Care About Rightwing Mail-Order Scams:

Anyone who follows the conservative movement carefully could tell you that it’s about 25 percent politics and 75 percent mail-order scam. For more than half a century now, charlatans passing themselves off as conservative leaders have exploited ordinary conservatives’ anxiety about a changing America to collect addresses and now email lists in order to sell snake oil and raise funds that followers believe are going to political causes but frequently just line the pockets of the con artists.

Selling outrage and victimhood to conservatives is incredibly profitable. You can literally make millions doing it.

Leading Climate-Denier Caught Accepting Bribes from Fossil-Fuel Corporations:

Historians and sociologists of science say that since the tobacco wars of the 1960s, corporations trying to block legislation that hurts their interests have employed a strategy of creating the appearance of scientific doubt, usually with the help of ostensibly independent researchers who accept industry funding.

Yep. If we had a functioning independent media, this would be called Climategate.

Though often described on conservative news programs as a “Harvard astrophysicist,” Dr. Soon is not an astrophysicist and has never been employed by Harvard. He is a part-time employee of the Smithsonian Institution with a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering.

Though he has little formal training in climatology, Dr. Soon has for years published papers trying to show that variations in the sun’s energy can explain most recent global warming. His thesis is that human activity has played a relatively small role in causing climate change.

You can make a lot more money being a climate denier than being a climate scientist. You don’t even have to be a climate scientist. Just someone who can be described as credible.

Impossible’s Instant Lab printer now works with almost any smartphone:

To bridge the growing analog-digital divide, Polaroid experts The Impossible Project (TIP) crowdfunded an instant photo printing kit back in 2012. The idea was simple: you took your smartphone, opened a photo and placed it face down at the top of the machine. The light from the display would then shine through the Instant Lab’s underlying lens and down the tower to expose the Polaroid film, creating a new print.

I really love the idea of this. Turning a cell phone snap into a physical instant print via chemistry. The $250 price is way to high for me.

Fast-Evolving Human DNA Leads to Bigger-Brained Mice – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science:

Boyd’s team introduced the human and chimp versions of HARE5 into two separate groups of mice. They also put these enhancers in charge of a gene that makes a blue chemical. As the team watched the embryos of their mice, they would see different body parts turning blue. Those were the bits where HARE5 was active—the areas where the enhancer was enhancing. Embryonic mice start building their brains on their ninth day of life, and HARE5 becomes active shortly after. The team saw that the human version is more strongly active than the chimp one, over a larger swath of the brain, and from a slightly earlier start.

They’re Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, NARF!

Naked Came The Class Warriors:

If you look for an overarching theme for overall conservative policy these past four decades, it definitely isn’t liberty — by and large the GOP has been enthusiastic about expanding the security and surveillance state. Nor is it in a consistent fashion smaller government, unless you define military and homeland security as not government. Instead, it has been about making the tax-and-transfer system harsher on the poor and easier on the rich. In short, class warfare.

Giving housing to the homeless is three times cheaper than leaving them on the streets:

The most recent report along these lines was a May Central Florida Commission on Homelessness study indicating that the region spends $31,000 a year per homeless person on “the salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues.” Between 2005 and 2012 the rate of homelessness in America declined 17 percent By contrast, getting each homeless person a house and a caseworker to supervise their needs would cost about $10,000 per person.

Something economists thought was impossible is happening in Europe:

Something really weird is happening in Europe. Interest rates on a range of debt — mostly government bonds from countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany but also corporate bonds from Nestlé and, briefly, Shell — have gone negative. And not just negative in fancy inflation-adjusted terms like US government debt. It’s just negative. As in you give the owner of a Nestlé bond 100 euros, and four years later Nestlé gives you back less than that.* In my experience, ordinary people are not especially excited about this. But among finance and economic types, I promise you that it’s a huge deal — the economics equivalent of stumbling into a huge scientific discovery entirely by accident.

This the exact opposite of a the sovereign debt crisis that the austerity crowd has been warning about. The demand for debt is so high that people are willing to lose money to purchase it.

Rand Paul has a victim complex:

Paul’s problem is that he doesn’t really see anything wrong with what he said — or at least he won’t admit it. In the tweet showing his booster shot, he commented, “Wonder how the liberal media will misreport this?” It’s the same victim complex he displayed the last time he jousted with the media. In late 2013, multiple reports pretty clearly showed plagiarism in Paul’s speeches and book. Paul’s response? Play it off, blame the “haters,” and issue a non-apology apology.

The people who quoted him correctly and in context are haters.