Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Russian Hackers, Trump, And All That Jazz; End Of The Line -- January 3, 2017

January 3, 2017: that didn't take long, our first nominee for the 2017 Geico Rock Award. Prince Harry: "Saving endangered animals is God's test for humanity." I guess he missed the Aleppo story, the 2016 equivalent of the 1940s Holocaust.  

January 3, 2017: Construction spending hits 10-year high, only days after Trump elected

January 3, 2017, song #3 of 20 as we count down the days:

End of the Line, Traveling Wilburys

January 3, 2017: I tuned into CNBC this morning about 8:00 a.m. but had to turn it off at about 8:10; the discussion among Cramer and two others about the president's tweets were inane. Cramer said that these individual tweets don't amount to a "hill of beans" (my words, not his). Now we have this breaking news over at AP, via Twitter (yes, Twitter:  Ford cancels plan for new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico; to add 700 jobs in Michigan to build electric, autonomous vehicles. I think one can safely argue that Ford would have continued with its plans for the Mexican plant had Trump not tweeted. This is a huge "thank you" to the people of Michigan who voted for Trump. Trump is creating more jobs for Americans BEFORE he becomes president than Obama did with a trillion dollars in stimulus.

January 3, 2017: Washington Post  completely changes story; in-line with Trump -- Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility say people close to investigation. This is the newspaper's mea culpa, buried fairly deeply in the article:
The Post initially reported incorrectly that the country’s electric grid had been penetrated through a Vermont utility. After Burlington Electric released its statement saying that the potentially compromised laptop had not been connected to the grid, The Post immediately corrected its article and later added an editor’s note explaining the change.
For all the grief PEOTUS Trump gets for "shooting from the hip," well, what can I say .... ?

January 3, 2017: speaking of fake news, Arctic ice is as thick as it was in 1940; there is no evidence that Arctic ice is thinning.

Non-Bakken News And Comments

Some months ago I started beating the drum that Trump's tweets will knock network news shows off balance. I saw that this morning, a clear-cut example. An individual scheduled some days ago to be interviewed on CNBC this morning was cut off abruptly and the interview was much shorter than planned because the show was "off-schedule" due to Trump's tweet on the GM Cruze that's being made in Mexico and then sold here in the states. And then GM tweeted back with their side of the story. The CNBC talking ahead specifically stated they had to end the conversation early because the GM tweet conversation had taken up time earlier.

The Market

  • new highs, 125: MPC (Marathon Petroleum), HAL, Statoil (STO),
  • new lows,9
Opening: up 142 points. Oil right at $55.00.  

Futures: Dow 30 futures up about 125 points. Oil up over $55. Despite what Gartman said four months ago.

Say What?

A "bitter" Larry Summers expresses his concern for Trump policies:
“The vast majority of the companies who have large overseas cash also have substantial amounts of domestic cash,” he said.
“The reality is that cash that is brought home will be used to pay dividends, to buy back shares, to engage in mergers and acquisitions, to rearrange the financial chessboard, not to invest in large amounts of new capital. It is a chimera to suppose that there will be large increases in capital investment as a consequence of that repatriation.”
I'm trying to see the downside. Larry seems to be describing a win-win situation for long-term investors.

The Biology Page

Endless Forms Most Beautiful: 
The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom
Sean B. Carroll
c. 2005
DDS: 571.85 CAR

This is pretty much a book on Hox genes.

Preface: Revolution # 3
Introduction: Butterflies, Zebras, and Embryos

Part I: The Making of Animals
Chapter 1: Animal Architecture: Modern Forms, Ancient Designs
Chapter 2: Monsters, Mutants, and Master Genes
Chapter 3: From E. coli to Elephants
Chapter 4: Making Babies: 25,000 Genes, Some Assembly Required
Chapter 5: The Dark Matter of the Genome: Operating Instructions for the Tool Kit

Part II:  Fossils, Genes, and the Making of Animal Diversity
Chapter 6: The Big Bang of Animal Evolution
Chapter 7: Little Bangs: Wings and Other Revolutionary Inventions
Chapter 8: How the Butterfly Got Its Spots
Chapter 9: Paint It Black
Chapter 10: A Beautiful Mind: The Making of Homo sapiens
Chapter 11: Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Revolution #1: natural selection
Revoution #2: DNA
Revolution #3: Evo Devo -- evolutionary developmental biology

Samuel Williston, paleontologist, 1914: "It is also a law in evolution that the parts in an organism tend toward reduction in number, with the fewer parts greatly specialized in function."

Chapter 1: Animal Architecture: Modern Forms, Ancient Designs
  • modular parts
  • repetitive
  • William Bateson: noted the nature of repetitive parts making up animals
  • page 26, author writes "these two groups of animals" but he appears to have failed to mention of the two groups; the only group he mentions at that point was arthropods; was something edited out? Maybe the first group was tetrapods.
  • homologs: example -- forelimbs of salamanders, sauropods, mice, and arms of humans
  • serial homologs: with respect to each other, forelimbs and hindlimbs are serial homologs
  • mouthparts, antennae, and walking legs of arthropods are serial homologs
  • changes in the number and kind of serial homologs are a principal theme in animal evolution
  • Williston's Law: page 55
  • to modular and repetitive, add:
  • symmetry
  • polarity
  • Williston / Bateson: key - modular, symmetry, and polarity
Chapter 2: Monsters, Mutants, and Master Genes
  • 5 - 7% of newborn sheep, at one time in Utah: cyclopia -- one eye
  • due to ewe ingesting a toxin / teratogen around the 14th day of gestation
  • teratogen: cyclopamine produced by the corn lily Veratrum californicum (teras, Greek, monster; tyranno); from wiki:
cyclpamine prevents the fetal brain from dividing into two lobes (holoprosencephaly) and cause the development of a single eye (cyclopia). It does so by inhibiting the hedgehog signaling pathway (Hh). Cyclopamine is useful in studying the role of Hh in normal development, and as a potential treatment for certain cancers in which Hh is overexpressed. 
Note: wiki says the farm was in Idaho; Sean Carroll said this originated in Utah
Chapter 3: From E. coli to Elephants: homeotic genes with homeoboxes are called Hox genes for short. See this article, from 2012 regarding animals, Hox genes, and sponges. Animals, by definition, contain Hox genes; sponges do not, apparently contain Hox genes, but sponges are considered animals. The author's suggest at the linked story: "At some point in the murky depths of their ancestry, sponges lost bona fide Hox and ParaHox genes!"

Chapter 6: The Big Bang of Animal Evolution: Evo Devo and Williston's Law allows us to speculate on animal history prior to the "Big Bang in Biology": the Cambrian Explosion.

Chapter 7: Little Bangs: Wings and Other Revolutionary Inventions
evolution of the paper clip: Philadelphia, Wright, Reeve, and Gem (current common paper clip)

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