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Science

July 08, 2014

"This Company Can Predict Athlete Injuries With Unbelievable Accuracy — Here's How"

If this company were publicly held I'd think seriously about investing in it. This has got to be a gold mine. (But success will almost surely draw entry and fierce competition.)

July 01, 2014

"How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution"

The optimal stopping rule, summarized. (Link via Metafilter.)

June 25, 2014

"5 Scientific Explanations for Your Sexual Perversions"

To paraphrase Fox News: I link, you decide.

June 23, 2014

"The Math Formula That Explains All Those Strange Coincidences"

I knew about--and taught--the Birthday Problem. But the three other examples, especially the one with the roulette wheel, are interesting and useful, too. (Though the "math formula" is left as an exercise for the reader.)

June 06, 2014

"Will we ever . . . travel faster than the speed of light?"

Apparently, no.

Bet on Big Al and give the points.

May 30, 2014

"These Stunning Photos Of The Milky Way Will Give You Chills"

Beautiful, yes, but tell me where did all this stuff come from?

May 28, 2014

Two fine pieces on the politics of climate change

Ross Kaminsky, "Brass Balls and Climate Change: The Regime's Final Pivot Into Permanent Cynicism".

Greenland is a favorite subject for climate alarmists because its ice sheet has been losing mass for a couple of decades. (They seem to forget that the Vikings settled on a verdant Greenland beginning a millennium ago, leaving about 500 years later just before the Little Ice Age.) Antarctica, pace the report’s distortions, has been gaining mass for at least as long. The dirty little secret: Antarctica’s ice mass is 9 times that of Greenland. And Antarctica by itself holds roughly 90 percent of the world’s sea ice.

To disguise the fact that the huge ice sheet is gaining mass while the (relatively) small one is losing mass, the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), demonstrating the many grains of salt with which to swallow the current Assessment, says, “Together, the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets contain more than 99 percent of the freshwater ice on Earth.” Right. And together, blacks and Asians make up 79 percent of players in the NBA.

Salena Zito, "Climate Gravest Threat Only in D.C.".

One thing Dutton already has won is the sentiment of a country dumbfounded that President Barack Obama last week defined climate change as the most pressing issue facing the country. Obama did so as part of a huge public relations campaign — yes, campaign — that included asking people to pressure Washington to act on the issue.

Not jobs. Not the economy. Not rebuilding our aging infrastructure. Not gang violence, or education.

Climate change.

And he and his party ridiculed anyone who disagrees.

A couple of things about all of this smack the sensibilities of regular folks.

 

May 22, 2014

"Firstborn Girls Are Statistically More Likely To Run The World"

How about this:

New research from scientists at the University of Essex, though, uses multilevel modeling techniques to overcome these hurdles, and the results suggest that birth-order effects are more than just a methodological illusion. At least when it comes to academic achievement, the mythical yeti of family psych has been bagged and examined—call your older sister!

May 19, 2014

"A Wicked Orthodoxy: Global-warming alarmism is not merely irrational"

A very nice summary of the "denier" brief by the U.K.'s Nigel Lawson

However, the greatest immorality of all concerns the masses in the developing world. It is excellent that, in so many parts of the developing world — the so-called emerging economies — economic growth is now firmly on the march, as they belatedly put in place the sort of economic-policy framework that brought prosperity to the Western world. Inevitably, they already account for, and will increasingly account for, the lion’s share of global carbon emissions.

But, despite their success, there are still hundreds of millions of people in these countries in dire poverty, suffering all the ills that this brings, in terms of malnutrition, preventable disease, and premature death. Asking these countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable disease, and to increase the numbers of premature deaths.

Global-warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.

May 15, 2014

"20 Things You Didn't Know About . . . Gravity"

Samples:

8. A dime-size magnet has enough electromagnetic force to overcome all of Earth’s gravity and stick to the fridge. . . . 

11. Gravity’s inverse square law also means the reach of gravitational attraction is technically infinite. Whoa.

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