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Tim Donaghy
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The cover story this week in Science is about the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) epidemic that has hit Central America in the past decade or so. It's a tragic story and a bit of a scientific mystery, and the article gives a nice rundown on the situation ($ub required, unfortunately).

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The ranking of U.S. cities by population, over time. It can be seriously misleading to graph stuff by rank number, but it sure does make a pretty picture.

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Science Magazine isn't quite sure if their 2013 Breakthrough of the Year is just hype, or if it marks a true turning point in cancer treatment.

"Ultimately, we concluded, cancer immunotherapy passes the test. It does so because this year, clinical trials have cemented its potential in patients and swayed even the skeptics. The field hums with stories of lives extended: the woman with a grapefruit-size tumor in her lung from melanoma, alive and healthy 13 years later; the 6-year-old near death from leukemia, now in third grade and in remission; the man with metastatic kidney cancer whose disease continued fading away even after treatment stopped."
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6165/1432.full

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Happy 2014 everyone! (or, Happy 5605 as we say in base 7). Here's a lovely, inspiring video to start your new year off right. "Level Up" by Vienna Teng.

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A good reminder that theoretically unbreakable* encryption is available to everyone for free. It's not something I would use on a regular basis, but it's nice to know it's there if you need it. (*Although if anyone has cracked RSA it would have to be the NSA, I guess.)

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A nifty (and well-designed) flowchart showing where greenhouse gases come from, sorted by source and sector of the economy. (via Grist).

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Kevin Drum on the economics of future artificial intelligence. I think he's probably right about the AI part, but I'm skeptical we can predict how the economy will react to it. I expect the future will probably be weirder than we think.

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[new blog post] In which it is recounted our overnight bus trip to the Atlantic coast, and in which Tim is seen to have riden a horse.

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Obama shoulda stuck to his guns... "The nation’s unemployment rate would probably be nearly a point lower, roughly 6.5 percent, and economic growth almost two points higher this year if Washington had not cut spending and raised taxes as it has since 2011, according to private-sector and government economists."

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[new blog post] City of Trees
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