Science News of the Day

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Dardedar
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:56 pm

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby kwlyon » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:15 am

You do realize, of course, that it will be the porn industry that forges the way for this new technology....

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby L.Wood » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:21 am

.

Blood type, meet bug type.

"...a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied
....
The microbes alter the gut so that only certain species can follow them.

Whatever the cause of the different enterotypes, they may end up having discrete effects on people’s health. Gut microbes aid in food digestion and synthesize vitamins, using enzymes our own cells cannot make."

New York Times

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more detailed information see:

Human Gut Bacteria May Come in Three Flavors

at Geek O System
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:10 pm

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun May 01, 2011 7:13 pm

Evolution in two minutes, from an evangelical group led by evangelist Francis Collins. Not bad:

http://biologos.org/resources/the-theor ... 2-minutes/

"Collins is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and in November 2007 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the president, for revolutionizing genetic research.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed May 04, 2011 9:30 pm

Intel announces 3-D transistors, saving power
By Jordan Robertson/AP
Posted: May 4, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel Corp. said Wednesday that it has redesigned the electronic switches on its chips so that computers can keep getting cheaper and more powerful.

The switches, known as transistors, have typically been flat. By adding a third dimension — "fins" that jut up from the base — Intel will be able to make the transistors and chips smaller. Think of how skyscrapers address the need for more office space when land is scarce.

The company said the new structure will let chips run on less power. That gives Intel its best shot yet at cracking the growing markets for chips used in smartphones and tablet computers. Intel has been weak there because its current chips use too much power.

Chips with the 3-D transistors will be in full production this year and appear in computers in 2012."

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon May 09, 2011 10:28 pm

Why didn't anyone tell me about this?

Dunning–Kruger effect

"The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to appreciate their mistakes.[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others" (p. 1127).[2]
The effect is about paradoxical defects in cognitive ability, in oneself and others."

Historical references

The Dunning–Kruger effect was put forward in 1999 by Justin Kruger and David Dunning. Dunning and Kruger quote Charles Darwin ("Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge")[3] and Bertrand Russell ("One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision").[4]

--ibid
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sat May 21, 2011 11:51 am

We all know some people that could score very high on this scale:

The Crackpot Index.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:09 pm

Buyer Beware. Quackropractors in our midst. Hat tip to Larry...

Efforts To Curb Chiropractors' 'Runners' Fail
By Mark Friedman
6/6/2011

Arkansas House Bill 2211 died in the House Public Transportation Committee during the 2011 legislative session, allowing the continuation of what the bill’s authorside called the “deceitful and profit-driven practice” of steering auto accident victims to chiropractors for treatment.

The bill, which the state Attorney General’s Office labeled an infringement of free speech, was the latest unsuccessful effort to curb chiropractors’ use of “runners.” Runners are individuals or companies that troll through police reports for names and addresses of people involved in wrecks and then use a variety of tactics, some of them blatantly dishonest, to lure them to a chiropractor who pays a bounty for each new patient.

Those tactics allegedly include claiming to represent the victim’s insurance company, telling accident victims that their claims will only be paid if they see the designated chiropractor, even warning that failing to see the chiropractor will cost the victim an insurance windfall.

The Arkansas Chiropractic Association labels the use of runners “unethical,” and the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners forbids deceptive marketing. But complaints filed with the board and the Arkansas Insurance Department (see After Auto Accidents 'Runners' Pressure Potential Chiropractic Clients and Unauthorized Advice: Runner Disciplined for Allegedly Practicing Law) suggest that the practice is used extensively by a small number of chiropractors in Arkansas.

The board’s executive director, Rebecca Wright, says the board has no authority to regulate runners and has a hard time proving that a runner has been paid by a particular chiropractor."

Ark Business
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:36 pm

A field guide to bullshit

13 June 2011 by Alison George
New Scientists, issue 2816.

Excerpt:

How do people defend their beliefs in bizarre conspiracy theories or the power of crystals?
Philosopher Stephen Law has tips for spotting their strategies


Q) You describe your new book, Believing Bullshit, as a guide to avoid getting sucked into "intellectual black holes". What are they?

Intellectual black holes are belief systems that draw people in and hold them captive so they become willing slaves of claptrap. Belief in homeopathy, psychic powers, alien abductions - these are examples of intellectual black holes. As you approach them, you need to be on your guard because if you get sucked in, it can be extremely difficult to think your way clear again.

Q) But isn't one person's claptrap another's truth?

There's a belief system about water to which we all sign up: it freezes at 0 °C and boils at 100 °C. We are powerfully wedded to this but that doesn't make it an intellectual black hole. That's because these beliefs are genuinely reasonable. Beliefs at the core of intellectual black holes, however, aren't reasonable. They merely appear so to those trapped inside.

Q) You identify some strategies people use to defend black hole beliefs. Tell me about one of them - "playing the mystery card"?

This involves appealing to mystery to get out of intellectual hot water when someone is, say, propounding paranormal beliefs. They might say something like: "Ah, but this is beyond the ability of science and reason to decide. You, Mr Clever Dick Scientist, are guilty of scientism, of assuming science can answer every question." This is often followed by that quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". When you hear that, alarm bells should go off."

The rest at New Scientist
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:48 am

Plants survive animal attacks by creating lots of new DNA

Most of us wouldn't welcome getting partially eaten by a wild animal — but it could be the best thing that can happen to a plant. Half-eaten plants grow back bigger and faster than they would have if they'd never been attacked —

http://io9.com/5826450/plants-survive-a ... of-new-dna
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:35 pm

Dawkins on politicians and Darwin:

"The population of the United States is more than 300 million and it includes some of the best and brightest that the human species has to offer, probably more so than any other country in the world. There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

Darwin’s idea is arguably the most powerful ever to occur to a human mind. The power of a scientific theory may be measured as a ratio: the number of facts that it explains divided by the number of assumptions it needs to postulate in order to do the explaining. A theory that assumes most of what it is trying to explain is a bad theory. That is why the creationist or ‘intelligent design’ theory is such a rotten theory."

Richard Dawkins, Skeptic Money
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:38 pm

Geologists Sharply Cut Estimate of Shale Gas

By IAN URBINA
Published: August 24, 2011

WASHINGTON — Federal geologists published new estimates this week for the amount of natural gas that exists in a giant rock formation known as the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from New York to Virginia.

The shale formation has about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to the report from the United States Geological Survey. This is drastically lower than the 410 trillion cubic feet that was published earlier this year by the federal Energy Information Administration.

As a result, the Energy Information Administration, which is responsible for quantifying oil and gas supplies, has said it will slash its official estimate for the Marcellus Shale by nearly 80 percent,..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/us/25 ... d=fb-share
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:28 am

Image

See it here:

http://www.crispian.net/PTIR/Nonsense.html

Hat tip to David Franks.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:09 pm

Scientific American

Penis Spines, Pearly Papules, and Pope Benedict’s Balls

There is very little known about the reign of Pope Benedict III except that clerics were generally satisfied with his testicles. Upon his coronation in 855 AD God’s chosen messenger on Earth sat in a special chair resembling an ancient commode while the Holy See checked to make sure that the papacy was indeed infallible.

Two reliable clerics touched his testicles; witnesses who presented legal evidence of his maleness. . . At this the priest and the people responded, “Deo gratias” [Thanks be to God].


After all, you couldn’t be too careful. The Bible was very clear that, “He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the LORD.” Healthy genitalia was a sign of spiritual purity and the Church made a point to check beneath the mantum of every Pope until up through the fifteenth century.

Of course, Christianity wasn’t alone in this respect. The ancient Greeks saw the penis as a gauge to their proximity with the Gods, the Hindu god Shiva is worshipped primarily by paying homage to his penis, or linga, and the Sumerian god Enki was thought to have brought life to the Tigris Valley when he “lifted (his) penis [and] brought the bridal gift.” The Pope seems to have merely been the latest in a long line of devout men who were dropping their pants for the Lord.

Now, scientists have gotten in on the act and have sought to understand human origins by studying our own little Bishop. From the standpoint of evolutionary biology this male obsession with their own genitalia makes perfect sense. Every animal alive today is able to stand and be counted because of a long line of ancestors who successfully reproduced. The natural world is a living erotic museum filled with variations in male genitalia, illustrating how natural selection has paid nearly as much attention to the male member as Catholic priests have.

But there’s a sinister side to this obsession, by which of course I mean penis spines."

The rest...
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Doug » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:04 pm

Darrel wrote:Scientific American
After all, you couldn’t be too careful. The Bible was very clear that, “He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the LORD.” Healthy genitalia was a sign of spiritual purity and the Church made a point to check beneath the mantum of every Pope until up through the fifteenth century.


DOUG
Actually, some scholars believe that the ritual of testicle-checking was the result of a woman disguising herself and being crowned pope, Pope Joan, in 855 or so. Most scholars now dismiss this story as a legend, but it is a fact that the chair the pope is crowned in is a elaborate, purple marble chair with a hole in it. Perhaps a birthing chair? Surely no one would make an expensive marble toilet(?). Probably the real origin of the ritual and chair are lost to antiquity.
"We could have done something important Max. We could have fought child abuse or Republicans!" --Oona Hart (played by Victoria Foyt), in the 1995 movie "Last Summer in the Hamptons."

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby L.Wood » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:38 am

.
.............ENDLESS FUEL SUPPLY FOR THIS MACHINE

"Japanese Toilet Company Creates Poop-Powered Bike
By Spooky on October 3rd, 2011 Category: Auto, News

flush your curiosity here

.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:47 pm

What a load of shit!

"Photos of the Toilet Bike Neo have recently been published along with information about a 600-mile tour across Japan. The innovative poop-fueled vehicle will start its journey on October 6th, from the TOTO headquarters in Kitakyushu, stop in...">>

In the doorway of the shop.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:46 pm

I like this:

What are the Odds?

http://visual.ly/what-are-odds
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:42 pm

The Debunking Handbook

Six page article, PDF
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer


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