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.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why are pop songs popular, low IQ - suicide risk link, NZ police to be permitted to work in local government

Sequoia sends me a link about a study (I think this is the one the article talks about, although googling the authors names yields a number of other possibilities) that asked under what conditions do pop songs become pop song? It seems that although there are a few songs that everybody hates, or a few that everybody likes that if a song is mediocre it will become popular as a self-fulling prophecy.

From Scientific American: 60 Second Psych comes a report on a study that seems to link lower IQ and suicide rates. Although it comes with a few caveats and a number of possible explanations.

On a political bend a bill has been introduced by the fascistPolice Minister Judith Collins that would allow police to serve on local government, which is currently not permitted under present NZ law. At present to take up a governmental position a policeman cannot be a member of the force at the same time, there are no restrictions to doing one after the other.

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.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Power from rat hearts, modern art, internet makes you smarter, wine tasting, lots of links related to the deep horizon oil spill

So it's been a while. But I've been dutifully taking note of interesting links I find. First, another economy based youtube video from Simon. If nothing else the animation is cool.


From Sequoia comes an article on how to use rat heart beats to generate electricity and a cool piece of art which is a recreation of the sun. She also sent an article that argues the internet makes you smarter and draws parallels to other things in history. It also turn out yet another study has been done on whether pros can tell different wines apart. The results not looking so good.

Finally you can't seem to go anywhere and not hear about the Deep Horizon oil spill at the moment. Sophie posted a collection of photos from the spill. Simon posted a link that suggests BP made some bad decisions leading up to the disaster. Richard posted a link that points out Nigeria has similarly sized oil spills relatively often. A story from slashdot that BP bought the oil spill oil search term suggesting they may be trying to improve public relations. Someone else posted about someone who created a cloth that successfully separates water from Gulf water. Finally on a more amusing note an Auckland store has launched a BP flavour gelato, with $1 from each one sold going to charity, thanks Sarah.