The Democrats’ New Normal. It's looking real bad. On the other hand, the Dems passed Health Care Reform. What's the point of being in power if nothing is achieved? I'm sure the Republicans would have lost bigger if they'd passed Social Security Reform, but they would have achieved a big goal of their party. Guardian science blogs: We aim to entertain, enrage and inform. They don't have many science blogs. Yet. But I'm sure they'll add more, and other "big media" outfits will be adding/expanding in the near future. Wolves Are Smart, but Dogs Look Back. Makes me think of the empathizing–systemizing theory. Dogs empathize, wolves systemize. Scientists Square Off on Evolutionary Value of Helping Relatives. Carl Zimmer has a good overview of the controversy which emerged out of the Nowak et al. paper, which seems to take a maximalist position against the utility of kin selection in explaining euosociality. Apparently some "big names" are going to be writing a response, so I'll be curious. I haven't bothered going through Nowak et al.'s supplements, so I really can't say much more than that. Outlines Emerge of Future State in the West Bank. The thing that stood out was the relative quiescence engendered by economic growth. Idle hands and all.