Archive for the ‘slashdot’ tag
A study, published today in the journal NeuroReport, measured how long college students could keep their hands immersed in cold water. During the chilly exercise, they could repeat an expletive of their choice or chant a neutral word. When swearing, the 67 student volunteers reported less pain and on average endured about 40 seconds longer.
An interesting bit of cocktail chatter, if nothing else:
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, has filed a lawsuit in Texas demanding Senators John McCain and Barack Obama be removed from the ballot after they missed the official filing deadline.
“The seriousness of this issue is self-evident,” the lawsuit states. “The hubris of the major parties has risen to such a level that they do not believe that the election laws of the State of Texas apply to them.”
If you’re wondering why the world hasn’t ended yet, this may be why. Quoth Slashdot:
“A 30-ton transformer in the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned, requiring complete replacement on the day the LHC came online. No one at CERN reported any problems, and they only released this data once the Associated Press sent people to investigate rumors of problems. I guess it’s hard to just sweep a 30-ton transformer breaking under the rug.”
The other amazing I hadn’t realized was this: an operating temperature of 4.5 Kelvin was too hot for the thing to work properly.
Democrats and the Economy
Two semi-scientific surveys point to the facts that:
- Democratic presidents have been historically better for the economy than Republicans.
- A survey of 500 economists by Scott Adams (he of Dilbert fame) shows them more likely to favor Obama’s economic policies, nearly 2-to-1. (via /., Tyler Cowen comments)
Feel free to read as much and as little bias into these items as you wish.
I suppose this was only a matter of time. Quoth Slashdot:
Students studying computing in the UK and US are outsourcing their university coursework to graduates in India and Romania. Work is being contracted out for as little as £5 on contract coding websites usually used by businesses. Students are outsourcing everything from simple coursework to full blown final year dissertations. It’s causing a major headache for lecturers who say it is almost impossible to detect.”
The irony, of course, is that if they actually get jobs in the sector, this will be how they actually work anyway.
Essentially, The Independent cited (probably) false information from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Wikipedia page, and them became the cited source for that very information. A truly impressive thing to fathom.
I’m not sure an online poll cuts the statistical mustard (actually, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t), but I was surprised:
While only a fifth of the poll’s 1,400 respondents admitted to drug use to improve concentration, nearly two-thirds said they knew of a colleague who did. And if there were “a normal risk of mild side effects,” nearly 70% of the scientists said they’d boost their brain power by taking a “cognitive-enhancing drug.”
For The New Republic, Eve Fairbanks may or may not be reading too much into the effectiveness of Wikipedia editors:
To test the air, I undertook my own little, highly unscientific experiment. I made a professional-looking but somewhat negative edit on each of the candidate’s pages. For Hillary, I wrote a line on the hopelessness of her chances even when you count superdelegates; for Obama, I added a phrase about his loss of some white support. My Obama edit was fully scrubbed within three minutes, by an editor I’d never even seen before. My Hillary edit languished untouched for four hours until Schilling finally got around to deleting it. But, even then, he carefully preserved my skeptical text and pasted it onto the separate history-ofHillary’s-campaign page, a gesture of acceptance. It has remained there, a little wart on Hillary’s Wikipedia face, untouched, ever since.
A cool new prize:
The purse will be split between two categories: mainstream and alternative cars. Mainstream cars must carry four or more passengers and have climate control, an audio system and 10 cubic feet of cargo space.
They also must have four or more wheels, hit 60 miles per hour in less than 12 seconds and have a minimum top speed of 100 miles per hour and a range of 200 miles.
Alternative vehicles will be required to carry two or more passengers and five cubic feet of cargo, have a top speed of at least 80 miles per hour and have a range of at least 100 miles.
Bonus note: I still think the foundation should do something more like this.
This is probably moderately more interesting to me a (fraternal) twin, but it’s still unexpected.
“The presumption has always been that identical twins are identical down to their DNA,” said Carl Bruder, Ph.D. and Jan Dumanski, Ph.D., of UAB’s Department of Genetics and the study’s lead authors. “That’s mostly true, but our findings suggest that there are small, subtle differences due to [copy number variation]. Those differences may point the way to better understanding of genetic diseases when we study so-called discordant monozygotic twins….a pair of twins where one twin has a disorder and the other does not.”