📺 Ivanka & Jared: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | YouTube

Watched Ivanka & Jared: Last Week Tonight from HBO
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner hold an incredible amount of political power. That's troubling considering their incredibly small amount of political experience.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD8AwgO0AQI

📺 French Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | YouTube

Watched French Elections: Last Week Tonight from HBO
The presidential election in France could determine the political future of Europe. John Oliver visits an excessively French bistro to deliver an urgent message to voters.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkZir1L7fSY

📺 Gerrymandering: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | YouTube

Watched Gerrymandering: Last Week Tonight from HBO
Lawmakers often reshape voting districts to shift the balance of political power. That's unfair to voters, even those of us with questionable judgment.

Gerrymandering has become a very precise science, and interestingly it’s one of the few remaining types of science in which the republican party currently believes.

–John Oliver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-4dIImaodQ

📺 Dialysis: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dialysis by John Oliver from HBO/YouTube

For-profit dialysis companies often maximize their profits at the expense of their patients. John Oliver explores why a medical clinic is nothing like a Taco Bell.

The lack of humanity showed by these corporations is simply horrific. Certainly a market failure which is causing some painful externalities. We need something more significant to fix the inequities that are happening here.

Also, what a terrifically hilarious episode!

👓 Introducing Susan’s Book Club | Susan Fowler

Read Introducing Susan's Book Club by Susan Fowler (Susan Fowler)
I've been searching for the perfect monthly book club for years, one that could send me new science, math, philosophy, and technology books every month. I contacted several publishers, reached out to various existing companies, and nobody seemed to be interested. Finally, earlier this year, after he...

👓 Life Without a Destiny | Susan J. Fowler

Read Life Without a Destiny by Susan J. Fowler
I have no singular destiny, no one true passion, no goal. I flutter from one thing to the next. I want to be a physicist and a mathematician and a novelist and write a sitcom and write a symphony and design buildings and be a mother. I want to run a magazine and understand the lives of ants and be a philosopher and be a computer scientist and write an epic poem and understand every ancient language. I don't just want one thing. I want it all.

👓 Five Things Tech Companies Can Do Better | Susan J. Fowler

Read Five Things Tech Companies Can Do Better by Susan J. Fowler
I believe that tech companies should make a commitment to their employees, a commitment that they will act ethically, legally, responsibly, and transparently with regard to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other unlawful behavior. In my opinion, this commitment requires five things: ending forced arbitration, ending the practice of buying employees' silence, ending unnecessarily strict confidentiality agreements, instituting helpful harassment and discrimination training, and enforcing zero-tolerance policies toward unlawful and/or inappropriate behavior. Without further ado, here is a list of those five things, the reasons they're important, and how companies can implement them.
This sounds like for solid advice for all companies, not just those in the tech sector.

👓 We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. | Vox

Read We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. by Alvin Chang (Vox)
We’re experiencing these historical events very differently.

👓 I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. | Vox

Read I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. by Dennis Perkins (Vox)
Some interesting analysis of what we’re loosing with the death of video stores. In particular, we’re losing some of the same type of recommendations and serendipity we’re loosing with the rise of e-books and less use of libraries/librarians. In particular, loosing well-curated collections is a big issue as we replace them with streaming services which don’t seem to have the same curatorial business models.

I particularly enjoyed this quote:

A great video store’s library of films is like a little bubble outside the march of technology or economics, preserving the fringes, the forgotten, the noncommercial, or the straight-up weird. Championed by a store’s small army of film geeks, such movies get more traffic than they did in their first life in the theater, or any time since. Not everything that was on VHS made the transition to DVD, and not every movie on DVD is available to stream. The decision to leave a movie behind on the next technological leap is market-driven, which makes video stores the last safety net for things our corporate overlords discard.

8th Annual North American School of Information Theory (NASIT)

Bookmarked 8th Annual North American School of Information Theory (NASIT) (nasit15.ucsd.edu)
August 10-13, 2015 – UC San Diego, La Jolla, California
Application deadline: June 7, 2015

The School of Information Theory will bring together over 100 graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and leading researchers for four action-packed days of learning, stimulating discussions, professional networking and fun activities, all on the beautiful campus of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and in the nearby beach town of La Jolla.

  • Tutorials by some of the best known researchers in information theory and related fields
  • Poster presentations by student participants with feedback and discussion
  • Panel discussion on “IT: Academia vs. Industry Perspectives”
  • Social events and fun activities

BIRS Workshop: Advances and Challenges in Protein-RNA: Recognition, Regulation and Prediction (15w5063)

Bookmarked 15w5063: Advances and Challenges in Protein-RNA: Recognition, Regulation and Prediction (Banff International Research Station | birs.ca)
BIRS 5 day worksop, arriving in Banff, Alberta Sunday, June 7 and departing Friday, June 12, 2015

In the years since the first assembly of the human genome, the complex and vital role of RNA and RNA binding proteins in regulation of the genome expression has expanded through the discovery of RNA-binding proteins and large classes of non-coding RNA that control many developmental decisions as part of protein- RNA complexes. Our molecular level understanding of RNA regulation has dramatically improved as many new structures of RNA–protein complexes have been determined and new sophisticated experimental technologies and dedicated computational modeling have emerged to investigate these interactions at the whole-genome level. Further deep insight on the molecular mechanisms that underline genome expression regulation is critical for understanding fundamental biology and disease progression towards the discovery of new approaches to interfere with disease progression.

The proposed workshop will bring together experts in RNA biology with structural biologists that focus on RNA-protein complexes, as well as computational biologists who seek to model and develop predictive tools based on the confluence of these experimental advances. The workshop intends to foster new collaborations between experimental and computational biologists and catalyze the development of new and improved technologies (such as single cell binding methods) that merge experimental analysis with novel mathematical and computational techniques to better understand the rules of protein-RNA recognition and RNA-based biological regulation.

The organizers of the workshop are both leaders in the field of protein-RNA recognition and interactions: Yael Mandel-Gutfreund has been working in the field of protein-Nucleic Acids interactions since 1994. Her main research interest is protein-RNA recognition and regulation. She has developed several tools and web servers for predicting RNA binding proteins and RNA binding motifs. Yael is the head to the computational molecular laboratory at the Technion and the president of the Israeli society of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Gabriele Varani has been working in the field of RNA structure and protein-RNA interactions since 1987. His main research interest is the structural basis for protein-RNA recognition and the prediction and design of RNA-binding proteins. He determined some of the first few structures of protein-RNA complexes and developed computational tools to analyze and predict the specificity of RNA -binding proteins. His group applies these tools to design RNA-binding proteins with new specificity to control gene expression. Our invitation to participate in the workshop has been met with great enthusiasm by the researchers. More than 20 principle investigators have already confirmed their interest in attending. Six of the confirmed participants are female scientists including the organizer Yael Mandel-Gutfreund as well as Traci Hall, Lynne Maquat, Elena Conti, Susan Jones, Drena Dobbs. We also have invited and confirmed the participation of young and promising researchers including Markus Landthaler, Gene Yeo, Jernej Ule, Uwe Ohler and others. Our confirmed participants come from many different countries: US, Canada, UK, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and Israel. Two confirmed participants as well as the organizer have attended the BIRS workshops in the past.

A key objective of the workshop is to bring together researchers with experimental, mathematical and computational background to share results and discuss the main advances and challenges in the prediction, analysis and control of RNA-protein recognition and RNA-based regulation of gene expression. Towards this aim, we plan to adopt the format of previous BIRS meetings in which invited participants (including selected students) will present relatively short presentations of 20 minutes plus 10 minutes of active discussions. This format will leave aside ample time for informal discussions to foster exchanges between participants. To stress the collaborative, multidisciplinary nature of the workshop, we plan to dedicate each of the workshop sessions to a specific topic that will comprise presentations of structural, experimental and computational approaches, rather than create session focused on a particular approach. Each session we will include at least one lecture from a young scientist/postdoctoral fellow/student to be chosen among attendees by the organizers.

Suggested preliminary schedule:

  • Day 1: Modeling and high throughput approaches to genome-wide analysis of protein-RNA interactions
  • Day 2: Predicting and designing new RNA binding proteins
  • Day 3: Generating and modeling RNA-based regulatory networks
  • Day 4: Principles of RNA regulation by RNA binding proteins
  • Day 5: Conclusion round table discussion on the present and future challenges of the field