1. Al Gore comes out in favor of access to better health care, family planning services, and education, especially targeted towards women, as a strategy towards improving well-being in the developing world. All sensible stuff. Unfortunately, echoing the vitriol of family planning debates over the last half century or more, he was mistakenly, hilariously, and sadly criticized for being a eugenicist and/or Malthusian by some conservatives.
2. Chris Blattman on a great new paper linking weather disturbances/changes faced early in life to long-run outcomes. He makes some great points about the mechanisms underlying these relationships as well as appropriate practices for statistical work when researchers have abundant data points but little theory guiding exactly what the relationship between two variables might be.
3. Some time ago, I wrote about tennis rackets, lamenting the disappearance of one model in particular as if it were a lost love. Apparently, that tone was appropriate since the racket a pro tennis player chooses seems to say a lot about their personality and preferences - at least as it relates to the tennis court . (Hat tip: MG)
4. I just found out that Sanjay Basu, an MD/PhD epidemiologist doing an internal medicine residency at UCSF, has a great thing going with his new(-ish) blog, epianalysis. Sanjay has got to be one of the most talented, insightful and prolific researchers around. His work spans the mathematical modeling of infectious diseases that incorporate insights from fields as diverse as economics and epidemiology, all the way to deep political economy issues related to global health. He's produced a body of work while in residency that I would be proud of if it formed the entirety of my research career. Seriously. His blog is phenomenal and highly recommended. (Hat tip: PC)