A convienient method of censorship

It appears the government shutdown has hit even the mighty NSA, but not in the way one would think (or perhaps exactly in the way one would think, depending on how one thinks): the agency is able to continue its spying activities, but the committee looking into its actions is on hold. This according to Politico, via the Washington Post.



Another reason to love the Olympics

As if one needs another reason to love the Olympics…the Olympic Truce:

Members of Syria’s delegation signed the Truce Wall, a glass structure in the Olympic Village in London. While this is only a symbolic gesture — they have no direct say in what their government and the rebels fighting to overthrow it does — it brings a tear to one’s eye.

Aside from the sports — which are exciting, glamorous, and just plain fun to watch — this is what the Olympic spirit is all about, and has been since ancient Greece. From the International Olympic Truce Centre:

Every two years humanity watches in awe as the people of the world unite in friendly competition at the Olympic Games. It’s a truly inspiring spectacle leaving us all thinking … why can’t it always be like this? Imagine peace …

And this is the reason why the Games were first held in 776 BC in ancient Olympia. 
To allow warring Greek city states to set aside conflict, to celebrate togetherness, to experience peace inspired by sport, to imagine peace …

This is the Olympic Truce. An ancient tradition. A peace accord which lasted through more than 1,200 years of ancient history. A truce which has now been revived to offer hope and an opportunity for dialogue. Encouraging and inspiring all humanity to … imagine peace.

For a few weeks at least, we can all unite under one flag:





My daughter wants to be a doctor — a primary care physician. She decided this when she was quite young (not that she’s all that old now) and has even contemplated joining the Army or Navy to get medical training and an entree into the promised land of med school.

Now, it’s entirely possible she’ll change her mind at the first whiff of Organic Chemistry (I certainly would), but what am I supposed to do with the article below? “Go ahead and go to med school, honey, but know that you’ll never earn enough money to pay back all your loans?” Data like this a dream-crusher.

It’s not entirely bleak: the author explains that women tend to work less hours, ostensibly because they take on the majority of child-care duties (usually) and of course we’re the ones who actually have the babies, so there’s maternity leave, and that those fewer hours worked accounts for a good deal of the lower pay. But that’s a problem and in and of itself: women are constantly faced with the choice between their professional lives and their family lives. And while it should be clear which is the priority, the fact that we have to choose at all — and earn less because of it — needs to change.


We found that, for over half of woman doctors in our data, the NPV of becoming a primary-care physician was less than the NPV of becoming a physician assistant. In contrast, the vast majority of male primary-care physicians earned an NPV greater than the NPV earned by a male PA. That is, while the vast majority of male doctors are financially better off for having become a doctor, the median female primary care physician would have been financially better off becoming a PA.

via Is Medical School a Worthwhile Investment for Women? – Keith Chen & Judith Chevalier – The Atlantic.


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