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Eric Nicolas
Not in it for the money
Not in it for the money

Eric's posts

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It's really nice to be able to share good news for once. A new study in JAMA Pediatrics studied the effect of same-sex marriage laws on teen suicide rates. They looked at 32 different US states which changed their laws at different times, as a way of disentangling this effect from other effects.

The net result? Legalizing same-sex marriage leads to a 7% overall drop in teen suicide attempts, and a 14% drop among LGBT teens.

It turns out that being publicly told that you're an accepted member of society and not a pariah does make a difference in people's lives, especially teenagers. Who woulda thunk?

But the upshot of this is: All of you who worked on this, in one way or another? You just saved some lives. Well done.

The article itself is available online:

(NB: For clarity, that's a 7% drop in the rate, not a seven percentage point drop drop. We should be so lucky as to have any one thing eliminate seven percentage points. As a baseline, a weighted 8.6% of all high school students, and 28.5% of LGBT high school students, attempted suicide in the year before same-sex marriage legalization. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among people aged 15-24 in the US.

For those who want technical notes: The paper seems to have done a very careful job on statistics, testing a wide variety of alternate hypotheses and ruling them out from the data. One test worth calling out: the two-year leading indicator (suicide rates two years prior to law changes) was not correlated to suicide rates, indicating that this was not triggered by general changes in the state which were also leading to this; the two-year trailing indicator (two years after), however, was correlated, with the same correlation as the immediate future, indicating a lasting effect rather than a one-off.)

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The buyer called himself "Herr Drumpf".

Trump plays the media like a violin. He makes-up some story about Sweden, and all they are talking about is a non-existent terrorist attack in Sweden - not about the terrorism of Trump's appointees, his new attempt at a ban on Muslim immigration, or his assault on programs for the poor and elderly.

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"And of course much Armani!"
Still one of my all-time faves

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I still have burn scars from the Creepy Crawlies - my parents couldn't afford the whole kit, so they let me put the molds on the electric burners on the stove - unsupervised. Turns-out the cheap aluminum mold would melt. Can you say molten metal on an eight-year-old? I can scream it.

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He was just trying to pick up a few ideas for immigration policy.

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If you accept global climate change as a reality, then this is informative and unsettling. If you deny the existence of human-caused global climate change, here is a link to a picture of Jesus riding a dinosaur.

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Leela: Uh, professor, are we even allowed in the Forbidden Zone?
Farnsworth: Why, of course. It's just a name. Like "The Death Zone" of "The Zone of No Return". All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror.

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