Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The difference of being human: Morality, Foreign Accents Make Speakers Seem Less Truthful to Listeners, People Initially Overestimate Then Later [...]

Finally, the for reals new stuff

Kiwi universities slip in world rankings, The ethics of clinical trials for terminally ill cancer patients, 'Magic' process turns kiwifruit into [...]

Now the posts I nautily posted straight to facebook without mirroring here...



There were probably others, but I couldn't be bothered going further back.

Software unpatentable, $5 to overthrow the government, free range more toxic, mimicing cats, sapir-whorf evidence, cognitive biases vs gender,[...]

It's been so long. Much catch up to be done... I'll start with the post with the stories that I had started editing in July but never completed.

First something close to my heart. Courtesy of Hamish it turns out that a law was been passed in New Zealand that makes software unpatentable. Also in politics, from the Chard, South Carolina proposed a law allowing anyone wishing to overthrow the US government to register and pay a $5 fee.

From episode 258 of the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe's 'Science or Fiction' segment it turns out of the arguments for free range, that free range eggs contain more toxins than regular ones. At least according to the this study from Taiwan. Although I've never heard the argument made myself I don't find it all that surprising that someone might be making it.

A number of links from Sequoia, of course. First the Wildlife Conservation Society and Federal University of the Amazonas have found a wild cat species mimicing the call of its prey (in this case a monkey). An article about how language influences the way we think (incidentally the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is my favourite lingustics hypothesis, and not only because it reminds me of Worf).

An paper that asks if your part time jobs women out earn men. They seemed not to control for the types of jobs but if put together with arguments like Warren Farrell's on the Wage Gap it's a promising sign that society may be more equal than is easily recognisable.

Researchers inplanted false symptoms. Worth reading. Finally, in what will hopefully be an IgNobel nominee growing clothing using bacteria.

From Lynsey it seems that after Hussein's draining of the Mesopotamiam marshes they are starting to recover and finaly from Nick a study that violent videogames reduce hostility.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

extrasolar planets, boozy babies, filesharing helps society, genetic Jew ties, climate skeptics historical parallels, oil spill tracker, [...]

Well it's been a while but I'm out of Palmerston North, through Christchurch, in Hobart and have internet again, so some of these stories are probably a little out of date. Although I have internet and have tried to post the original papers I'm currently unable to read and verify them.

First from slashdot is the news that the Kepler mission has found 752 Extrasolar planet candidates.

It turns out there is a study that apparently finds Booze breeds better babies. I think this is the orginal paper.

From ars technica is a story that argues file sharing has weakened copyright and helped society. Naturally the music industry, by which I mean the RIAA equivalents, are not convinced.

From nature are two interesting links. The first is that it seems Jews share worldwide genetic ties. The original paper may be found here. Also there is an article about defeating the merchants of doubt which discusses parallels between climate change skeptics and other groups in the past. Unfortunately you'll need to find someone with a subscription in order to be able to read it.


I've made a few posts on the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the gulf of mexico. The New York Times have published an applet that tracks the oil spill in the gulf. It's kinda cool... and depressing.

I think from Sequoia comes an article talking about how the pentagon is one step closer to reanimation. I remember once upon a time hearing that a dog was reanimated... I wonder whatever happened with that... anyway this study was on rats and hasn't yet been applied to people. Also a study that finds botox may impair empathy with the original study here. She also sent me a link about a neuroscientist who has found "people with low activity [in a particular area of the brain] are either free-wheeling types or sociopaths".

From Tim is an article about the mineral wealth in Afghanistan and from Gillian a link to the Daily Shows response to this information.

From Marcel comes a link about a group in the Andies who are painting the rocks white in an effort to cool the area and allow glaciers to recover. I have to say I'm skeptical as surely when the glaciers were there the area was white and that seemed not to have helped overly...


From... someone (Edit: Sequoia)... is a story that suggests ravens show consolation and from... someone else... comes an article talking about the genetic secrets of living to 100.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hayabushi Reentry, 5 Higgs Bosons, The Angry Tea Party, God Hates Statues, Chocolate Milk for Postexercise Recovery, ADHD and Single Mothers, Li[...]

Courtesy of Finch we have a video of Hayabushi breaking up in the atmosphere.

An article explaining more can be found here.

So after all the build up on the search of the God particle I find out from Lesley we may actually be looking for five. The in the proposed model the Higgs Bosons would have similar masses but different electrical charges.

From Hamish comes an opinion piece on the very angry tea party. I have to admit I'd only peripherally heard of them before now and still am not quite sure what the agenda is. But based in the description in the article I'm not surprised such a group exists.

From Marcel is an article about a statue of Jesus that was struck by lightening and burnt to the ground. I can only assume God really hated that statue considering some of the people that actually deserve such smiting.


From episode 255 of the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe come two interesting articles. Firstly it turns out that chocolate milk may be better for post exercise recovery than the drinks actually made for it. Second is a somewhat controversial link between ADHD and Low Maternal Education, Lone Parents and Welfare Benefits.

It seems there is possibly signs of life on Titan. I'll believe it when I see it though. So many of these stories just peter out or never go anywhere.
In more space news NASA is warning of a potential space storm in 2013, maybe the 2012 predictions have an off by 1 error.

From Erik comes an aritcle talking about the competitive nature of mothers.

From Sequoia come a report about a study that finds superstitious people do better. Or at least those with positive and uplifting superstitions.

From Episode 16 of skepicpod comes a story talking about how ginger may help pain after excessive exercise. The positive is that experiment was blinded and a placebo was included, the negatives include that the result was small, as was the sample size. A link to the article in the Journal of Pain is here.