Random links

Our Use Of Little Words Can, Uh, Reveal Hidden Interests
At speed dating events: "'We can predict by analyzing their language, who will go on a date — who will match — at rates better than the people themselves,' he says." Also: "some of his most interesting work has to do with power dynamics. He says that by analyzing language you can easily tell who among two people has power in a relationship, and their relative social status. ... What you find is completely different from what most people would think. The person with the higher status uses the word 'I' less."
Is reheated pasta less fattening?
If they're correct the answer would seem to be "yes" ... which is rather unfortunate. I'll hope that this is another instance of a nutrition study that's later proved wrong.
Did you Know that A man survived for 40 years without sleeping.
"a Hungarian soldier named M. Paul Kern, who was wounded on the Eastern Front in 1915 by a Russian bullet to the frontal lobe, returned home from World War I unable to fall asleep. ... the man never saw a wink of sleep again."
Cardboard Bank Robber Holds Off SWAT for Hours
"what happened after the alarm went off around 8:40 p.m. is known. Authorities saw a figure inside the building, which had the blinds drawn. They used bullhorns and telephone calls to try to make contact. When a SWAT team finally entered more than an hour later, it turned out that the only "person" inside was a cardboard cutout figure."

Shoddy statistics don't come from just one side

To quote Rodney Stark, a sociologist at Baylor University, in an interview in Christianity Today:

Much of what has been written about terrorism and the Middle East simply isn't true. There was the recent, widely publicized claim of 100,000 Christians a year dying for their faith. That's pretty stunning. When I found out how that 100,000 number was calculated, I realized it was absurd. More likely, the number was less than 7,000 a year.

Of course, here's another quote from that same interview - this time regarding evangelicals:

They have been very misrepresented by the press, which basically doesn't like religious people, particularly if they go to church and aren't lukewarm about it.

Random links

What should we be worried about? Unknown Unknowns
An interesting response to one of Edge's questions: "There are known knowns and known unknowns, but what we should be worried about most is the unknown unknowns. Not because they are the most serious risks we face, but because psychology tells us that unclear risks that are in the distant future are the risks we are less likely to take seriously enough."
The return of Africa's strongmen
"spreading democracy isn’t as simple as dangling aid and applauding elections, democratization experts say. Even hopeful cases like Ghana and Benin must confront long histories of military rule woven into their political evolution. ... Despite rapid economic growth, Africa’s civic institutions remain weak, struggling to provide basic services. ... Against this backdrop of weak state capacity, African armies stand out for the manpower and funding they enjoy."
Put your clothes back on: Oversharing online isn't wise
A quote from Roxanne Stone in the article: "There is power in sharing one’s life online, but there is even more power in sharing it with those you love. It is possible to be authentic online and inauthentic in your real life. I didn’t want to enable that."
New amazing metal is so hydrophobic it makes water bounce like magic
"Instead of using chemical coatings they used lasers to etch a nanostructure on the metal itself. It will not wear off, like current less effective methods." Interesting if it really works.

"Parents Sue Doctors Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’"

I think I've seen a case or two like this get a rather snarky response from the pro-life crowd before, but there's an element in this one that seems to me to be worth further reflection, as some views common amongst those who'd consider themselves pro-life might here be part of the problem:

The baby was fine in terms of chromosomal defects, but the test showed that the baby was a boy, not a girl as Colleen had been told. A follow-up ultrasound brought more upsetting information: The baby, while genetically male, had genitals that were “ambiguous.” He might have a deformed scrotum, or fused labia. He either had a small penis, or an enlarged clitoris.
It wasn’t just abnormal genitalia that Colleen had to worry about—there were a number of disorders associated with such a diagnosis, which could cause hormonal abnormalities and organ dysfunction. They scheduled an immediate meeting with the genetic counselor.
What happened at that visit depends on whom you ask. According to Colleen, the counselor told them their baby—not really a girl or a boy as they understood it—would have a tough road ahead. Along with social trauma, the child could suffer from liver and kidney failure, or even an early death.

As I've mentioned before, there seems to be a reasonable biological basis for a class of individuals called intersex and I seems to me that the social trauma affecting members of that group may be worsened by those who'd generally consider themselves pro-life.

(The counselor they talked with has a different tale as to what transpired in that session, but I think my point here is still one worth making).

Syndicate content