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Entries Tagged as 'science'

Can a Game Save the World?

March 9th, 2010 · 29 Comments

On December 9th 2007, a curious event took place at the University of South Carolina football stadium. As 29,000 people filed inside, each was given a piece of paper bearing four names and phone numbers. During the event, each person called those names and asked them to vote for Obama in the coming primary election.

Those [...]

Tags: future · games · philosophy · politics · science

Can the Science Museum be up-to-date?

February 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I visit the Science Museum in London at least twice a year, so I was interested to read an interview with their new Director, talking about how he’s going to change the place:
A month into his job, Professor Rapley is sitting in his South Kensington office, telling me that broadly the museum’s collection celebrates “the [...]

Tags: museum · science

Great Success = Some Talent + A Lot of Luck

February 18th, 2008 · 7 Comments

Spotted this wonderful, and very accurate, ‘equation’ by Daniel Kahneman:
The Secret of Regression to Mediocrity
Success = Some Talent + Luck
Great Success = Some Talent + A Lot of Luck
The term ‘regression to mediocrity’ (also known as ‘regression to the mean’) was first coined by Francis Galton in 1886. Galton showed that, on average, the children [...]

Tags: bio · philosophy · psych · science


October 8th, 2007 · No Comments

After six weeks of silence, I’ve finally updated my After Our Time weblog with a post about Antimatter. It’s the sort of thing that would otherwise have gone here, so if you’re missing my posts about science, check it out.

Tags: adrian · science

The Strength of Weak Ties

August 9th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Anyone who’s read about social networks and the ‘tipping point’ will know how important the connections between people are. It’s not enough to look at just the number and the individuals in the connections though – you have to look at their strength. While reading an article (I forget which) about social networks, I spotted [...]

Tags: science · web

Food Miles

August 8th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Sometimes, when I come across a particularly interesting article, I try to find the research paper that it’s based on. I don’t always read the entire paper (in fact, I normally skip over huge chunks) but it’s always instructive to see the results and analysis as the original author wrote them; it’s not rare for [...]

Tags: adrian · bio · politics · science

Bits and Pieces: Left Turns

July 12th, 2007 · No Comments

The research at U.P.S. is paying off. Last year, it cut 28 million miles from truck routes — saving roughly three million gallons of fuel — in good part by mapping routes that minimize left turns.
Incredible – something that seems obvious in retrospect, but in practice hard to implement. Interestingly, it wouldn’t work in the [...]

Tags: science · weather

Beating the Hive Mind

March 19th, 2007 · 3 Comments

“What’s this?” I asked, toying with a white cylinder with letters printed across it.
“It’s a cryptex,” explained Eric Harshbarger, one of Mind Candy’s in-house puzzle designers. “Like the one from the Da Vinci Code.”
In The Da Vinci Code, a cryptex is a cylinder with five wheels that can be rotated independently; each wheel has letters [...]

Tags: arg · science · spec

Cars off the road

February 21st, 2007 · 1 Comment

M&S unveils carbon-neutral target (BBC News):
M&S said the carbon savings it aimed to achieve under its plan would be like taking 100,000 cars off the road each year.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of environmental plans being measured in the number of cars taken off the road. I did a search on Google News and [...]

Tags: politics · science · writing

On Religion

November 22nd, 2006 · 5 Comments

When I was 16, I was a member of my school’s debating society. As with all school debating societies, it wasn’t long before we landed on the topic of ‘Science vs. Religion’. It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that, at the time, I strongly self-identified as a scientist and atheist, and so I naturally [...]

Tags: adrian · philosophy · science