Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mentorships, Climate Change, Lumpectomies, Finding Liars with Drawings, Solar Sail, Equality in Sweden, PNG environmental legislature, oiled birds, BP

A paper published this week explores the role of mentorship in future success. Using the mathematics genealogy project they compared a person's success and who their PhD supervisor(s) were. Basically the results suggest that having a successful supervisor is good for the student, provided it's in the first third of the supervisor's career, if it's in the last third the student will actually do much worse.

From Greg Laden's blog It seems the National Academy of Sciences has published a book titled Advancing the Science of Climate Change (purchasing through Greg's blog entry will get you a discount).

From the New York Times is an article that finds lumpectomies do not actually affect survival rate. The premise is that one removes underarm lymph nodes next to a cancerous breast. Interestingly Micheal Baum, the person who conducted the study in the New York Times, seems to be the person who originally pioneered the stratedy.

From Sequoia I got an article about how drawing can reveal you as a liar. The were able to be detected based upon which view they drew from and what was omitted with about an 80% success rate.

A Japanese spacecraft has successfully unfurled the first ever space sail. A cool hypothetical idea for propulsion in space but has yet to be actually tested.

From Gynn and again the New York Times is an article talking about how gender-equal Sweden in. In addition to other things in place of 'maternity leave' is 'parental leave'.

From Lynsey Papua New Guinea has passed laws to protect industy from indigenous law suits. In particula

The Papua New Guinea legislature on May 28 amended sections of the country's Environment and Conservation Act to shield corporations from any responsibility for environmental damage caused by their operations, whether intentional or accidental.
. Under the new legislation industry would pay once, prior to the project, based on how much damage they estimate they'd do and then basically get free reign.
From Tania BP has been accused of lack of integrity, reports at BP over years find a history of problems and news on efforts to limit the flow of the spill. In particular it seems the current leak estimates is that a quatity equivalent to the Exxon Valdez oil spill was being leaked every 8-10 days! From Sequoia comes an article asking the depressing question is it worth rescuing the oil coated birds in the spill?. According to a German researcher Sylvia Gaus the survival rate of cleaned birds is lower than 1%. Thus in a position such as this when a certain level of triage is needed the cleaning shouldn't be engaged in.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of interesting things :) On the note of the solar sail, I found it particularly interesting that they can control the sail with large thing LCDs embedded in the sail fabric. The LCDs change the reflectivity of certain sail sections reducing thrust in those areas, allowing the sail to steer. I think it is damn cool. Plus it is called IKAROS: Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun :P