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Articles to 2016-09-15

September 15th, 2016

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I’m still convinced that early Neolithic people did not have the means to transport and exchange staple foodstuffs in bulk. So if grain becomes visible as food, as Cristiani et al. seem to demonstrate, something else must be going on.

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Articles to 2016-09-09

September 9th, 2016

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Contrary to what Bagnoli claims, the landing point of a vertically shot projectile can be estimated quite easily and intuitively without employing the mathematics for an accelerated reference frame. He is wrong where he says “On its way down the opposite happens”. That would only be true for a falling object starting off with the stationary angular velocity for its height. Our bullet doesn’t, Read the rest of this entry »

Articles to 2016-09-01

September 1st, 2016

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The main result in Isley et al. that I can see, is that you can’t expect uneducated people to make educated choices. They react far more strongly to the way numbers are presented than to the numbers themselves. The evaluation of comparable alternatives relies on subtle quantitative differences. Presenting them as stark black vs. white contrasts is the way to run an efficient dictatorship or ochlocracy, not an enlightened democracy.

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Articles to 2016-08-28

August 28th, 2016

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Pavlicev & Wagner may be interesting, but is irrelevant IMHO. That tonsils and ossicles have their ultimate origins in gills may be so but tells us nearly nothing about their evolution and what they were selected for. The female orgasm seems to be a singular human trait, so tracing it back to something shared by all animals is no relevant explanation at all for its existence.

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Articles to 2016-08-22

August 22nd, 2016

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Marie Curie, Clara Immerwahr, and Lise Meitner had to fight misogynic prejudice in university and even my own mother still faced it in industry. Of course all the less successful female students still claim the same, but the pendulum has swung and any discrimination left now clearly points in the opposite direction as Breda & Hillion demonstrate in one more current example.

Articles to 2016-08-11

August 11th, 2016

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When I looked into it more than thirty years ago, storing 1 kWh of electricity in lead acid batteries cost at least 1 DM (due to the limited number of cycles). According to de Oliveira e Silva & Hendrick it has become slightly cheaper but only at the rate of inflation so the price now is a nominally identical 0.5 €/kWh. Regardless of the price and value of electricity this only makes sense Read the rest of this entry »

Articles to 2016-08-05

August 5th, 2016

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There are many studies on signalling and costly signalling is, of course, costly and thus hard to fake. But this one by Jordan et al. has to be one of the first to inquire whether the signaler is indeed more trustworthy. I’m gratified to find this bias confirmed by fact.

Articles to 2016-07-28

July 28th, 2016

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I have to endure enough junk as it is and I’d never want to read non peer reviewed publications if I can avoid it. That said Balietti et al. point out one of the downsides of the current review process and add one more voice to the choir looking for improvements.

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Articles to 2016-07-24

July 24th, 2016

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That perceived time can influence consciously observable effects like tiredness after a several minutes jog or ability to hold one’s breath is unsurprising. Park et al. show it to influence a purely physiological process of which we’re unaware and for which we have no sensation. To me at least this comes as a surprise, even more so as the effect seems to be large and consistent.

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Articles to 2016-07-17

July 17th, 2016

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The main studies on heritability and inheritance were done before the discovery of DNA and genes and they still stand. They are not invalidated by the search for a genetic base of most traits so far drawing up blanks. So Beauchamp’s non-result of statistical significance born from huge numbers alone does not Read the rest of this entry »