Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lazy Linking

Some more lazy linking...

  • Dolphin safe tuna, it turns out, is really bad for the environment. For every dolphin saved, 382 mahi-mahi, 188 wahoo, 82 yellowtail and other large fish, 27 sharks, and almost 1,200 small fish die needlessly. And dolphins aren't even endangered.
  • Extracts from Richard Dawkins' upcoming book, The Greatest Show on Earth.
  • A piece arguing forensics is actually not particularly scientific. Rather scary. C.f. Gladwell's article on how criminal profiling is pseudoscience. Two quotes:
  • "The scientific method is instrumental to our understanding of the physical world. To scientists, the process is sacrosanct: Research your topic, generate a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, analyze your data and then publish the results for peer review. Forensic science, however, was not developed by scientists. It was created by cops—often guided by little more than common sense—looking for reliable ways to match patterns from clues with evidence tied to suspects."
  • "Fingerprints are believed to be unique, but the process of matching prints has no statistically valid model... [but as] Jennifer Mnookin has written, “fingerprint examiners typically testify in the language of absolute certainty.”" (Via Skepchick)
  • Pretty good (and certainly funny). However, the author overstates the case a number of times, especially on #4 & #3. Obviously, you shouldn't rely on Cracked for scientific information, so take with a pinch or two of salt.
  • Good advice on how to get writing done, based on interviews with several professional non-fiction authors. (Via Michael Nielsen).
  • Chris French on why it's a good idea to teach anomalistic psychology (which is like parapsychology minus the credulity) to teenagers.
Holding heavy objects makes us see things as more important Not Exactly Rocket Science
  • The glories of the human mind! Among other things, people holding heavier clipboards think foreign (read: non-American) currencies are worth more than do control subjects with lighter clipboards.
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