Salad Fat

Moving over to my other deskbox, the process of tab closing may continue. And in extension of the previous blot on obesity and maths, I come to some work done at Purdue [Link] that indicates that eating a salad with fat-free dressing compromises the nutritional value of the salad.

Despite the common Amerikan bog delusion that humans are carnivore biased omnivores, eating gathered rather than hunted foodstuffs is the more predominate source of nutrients going back to the days when we got down out of the trees and began to eat meat regularly. And yes, meat eating, or at least protein eating, is necessary to keep the big brain stoked even though there seems to be a negative correlation between meat predilection and brain usage.

Of course it is impossible to avoid the fat-free thing in an Amerika that seems to think diet is a transitory, punitive thing instead of a regime indistinguishable from life. Still having raised a daughter and being married it is inescapable that fat-free and salad would be collided at some time in Castellum SCP. I personally have never subscribed to this theory. Even before the tender ministration of cardiologist I was rather careful to balance fat intake and set aside adequate ration share to assure that my salad dressing didn’t taste like repasturized motor oil.

Next, courtesy of the Register, is a rather intriguingly titled article [Link] “Microsoft’s Surface proves software is dead” written by our esteemed colleague Matt Asay. Sadly this is a case of titling as maskarovka. The thesis is anything but. What the argument is, is that revenue from software is deceased, decomposing, evaporating. But software is, if anything, more important than ever. And the model is Mozilla. It’s not the software written by MegaHard that is important (we’ve all known this since Linux came along, haven’t we?) it’s the software written by Joe User and marketed by MegaHard this is important. Or at least that’s the Mozilla add-in model successfully plagiarized by Apple and Android and almost everyone but MegaHard in the form of the ‘app store’.

But the introduction of the Surface raises the question of whether MegaHard is not just a cash cow rapidly decaying with Bovine Encephalitis? Do we care that MegaHard has defecated a slab? At least anyone but the corporate mugwumps who direct what their members can use and think BYOD is some sort of dirty, atheistic, Commie plot. Yes, the thought process that led to a tablet from laptop rather than a tablet from cellular phone is intriguing. But hardly original. All that is apparent that Surface brings to the marketplace is a belated MegaHard presence. If this device going to make a difference in a world dominated by the Apple Evil Empire and the fascism of Android? Isn’t this just an invasion from Mars that will soon succumb to microbial infestation? The World Wonders.

As for me, I have an Android tablet and it is adequate but left in its sleeve most of the time, not worth the burden of even its small carry cost. I have put my name in the pot to purchase a Linux tablet (as distinct from Android) so that I have the potential of using a slab as something other than an ear friend (go look on Wikipedia if you don’t know that one.) The tablet is an over-sized hand axe and we should use it for something other than smashing our own foreheads.

While we’re bashing journalistic practice, one of my colleagues, Total Angular Momentum Magnetic Inductance, sent me a link to an article entitled “Watch the everyday Slinky ‘defy’ the laws of physics and gravity (but try not to go loopy)”. The article is about dropping a slinky and a video of its trajectory. It’s a neat video guaranteed to give bogs a headache. Sadly, the journalist who titled this evidently never finished first semester freshman physics. So the title is utter stercus.

To wax physics and physicist for a moment, what the luvvies at the Mail don’t seem to realize is that there are two pieces of motion to the falling slinky. First of all we have to recall that a slinky is nothing more than a relatively weak spring. So we have to go back to the seventeenth century to understand this, back when Newton and Young were around. The two pieces of motion are the motion of the center of mass – the center of the spring in terms of mass or weight, and the motion about the center of mass. If you watch the video with this in mind the whole defy-the-laws-of-physics thing evaporates like dew in the desert. And if we recall that the part of the slinky above the center of mass gets pulled down, by virtue of being a spring, while the part below the center of mass gets pulled up, then the entirety of the motion is evident and obvious.

Why can’t all journalists be as good as Matt?

Next, and a bit of a new azimuth, I got pointed to an article [Link] in Armed Forces Journal by an academic on how the folks who work for the military services, military, civilian, and contractor, are doing powerpoint briefings wrong. It’s a great article. It explains, based on human psychology how briefing information can be transferred and how not. It’s a three point recipe for better briefings.

And it’s largely irrelevant.

What the author misses is that he being an academic he is a member of a permissive organization. That means he can structure and give briefings as he wants subject only to effectiveness. The military services are directive organizations, and they have both formal and informal standards of how briefings are given. And these standards almost completely overwhelm any individual initiative.

The author seems to be laboring under the illusion that the way military service folks structure and give briefings is a matter of society. It isn’t, except in small part. It’s almost entirely legal (as in rules) and cultural (survival). Every organization I dealt with when I worked for the Yankee army had strict rules on how briefings were structured and how slides looked. I recall one general officer I had to brief who insisted that baseball metaphors were to be used exclusively. If you got to slide three without baseball clip art or some similar similie, then that was the end of your briefing. Simply put, if you don’t follow the formal and informal standards of structure and composition, you are not just ineffective, you are negated.

Nice try. Good advice. Sound information. Totally irrelevant.

Now, lastly, we have this cartoon [Link]

that strikes me as being the beginning of a wonderful opportunity. I suspect that the number of times “I’m not telling you again” is said before punishment is applied is a pseudo-random variable. It’s pseudo-random, as opposed to random, because there are factors that can’t be measured. And because the little girl is slender, she’ll probably find this out and learn from it.

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Fat Don’t Count

We come to the tag end of week out and confront our usual problem of closing persisting tabs. Today the process is complicated by being spread over two boxes as I try to balance the demands of reading news with the demands of email and real work. As a result, we end up with multiple blots.

The first, and only, article [Link] on this box is one about work at U Missouri about a strong correlation and implied causality between obesity and maths ability. Simply put the study indicates that being overweight reduces your ability to do maths and perhaps critically the obese are simply acalculate.

This is not really surprising. As I recall from my college days, most mathematicians are rather slender folks, fat mathematicians were in the minority, and the fat ones were usually considered second raters, at least based on the courses they had to teach. I recall my sophomore differential equations course, essentially a service course for science and engineering majors, was taught by a tuboid who was a poor teacher and a prattling mathematician. Of course he can hardly be blamed for a bad showing stuck wanting to do proofs, the essence of being of real mathematicians, in a course dedicated to methods of solution and problems thereof.

But since no good practitioner of any discipline really wants to teach a service course, it stands to reason that the stuckee will get selected at least partly on a social basis and hence we might expect the septic tank cleaning duties of service courses to be visited on the lower status members of the community.

This is, of course, a simplistic view. We all tend to put on a few pounds as we age. That’s built into us genetically. And the study dealt with children. And one of the problems of assessing the maths skills of children is that we tend to teach stercus maths to children. I taught myself algebra and trigonometry out of my father’s correspondence course textbooks when I was almost a teenager but until then I had to put up with a bunch of garbage about arithmetic which is to maths what MacDougals is to food. So the whole study has to be viewed rather skeptically.

If anything, the wonder is that after our early childhood exposure to stercus maths it seems a wonder that any of us, fat or slim, do anything with maths at all. But on the other hand, this does seem to give us some insight into the social prejudice that algebra is useless after high shule. I have heard this said many times, but never by anyone who was not overweight. So maybe there is something to this and those acalculate adults who tell children they should forget maths after high shule are just obese and not terminally stupid. Or are the two related?

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In Contemplation of Heaven

Inti the week out and I snuck off this morning to the Greater Metropolitan Arab city (?) park for a bit of as brisk a walk as I could muster given the depths of summer heat-steam soak that has already descended like the wrath of an irate deity. I use the term city advisably. With the population of GMA what it is, the status is at most village and probably cluster-of-huts-in-the-jungle. I have noticed of late a bit of resistance and acomfort in the corpus on week out and given that the gym at Scant City is blatantly prejudiced towards sundae shabat observing christianists I needed to find somewhere else to obtain some waste of energy. Anyway, datum point gathered.

The walking path – which is evidently not considered a track since right handedness is not enforced, which rather gives one an idea of the organizational contradictions in GMA – is a bit of a refugee camp with all too many resting places used as either shrines to the corporations who sponsor the trail or the discorporate of individuals who sponsor. Except for the Mal Wart shrine most of the corporate ones are discrete whereas most of the individual shrines are masterpieces of kitsch, with a couple of dignified exceptions. The contrast is edifying although the bawdy house environment is a bit grating on the nerves early in the day. As the park fills with screaming children and frayed parents they are undoubtedly a welcome diversion from the cacophony.

This puts me in mind of a Scientific American article [Link] about 2012 KT43, an asteroid that came within three Tellus radii of striking. The size of the beast – 7 m diameter (~) – was not enough to cause an extinction event but it does serve to remind us to look about at out lives and assess whether we are living them as we should and are we taking adequate precautions? The answer to the latter is a resounding NO! but given our current political morass nothing will be done. Undoubtedly this was the demise of the dinosaurs – live for today and don’t pay for tomorrow until the day after. As to whether we are living as we should, that also has a resounding NO! as an answer. Sadly, the dimensionality of the NO is so diverse that no agreement is possible, so we are stuck with whatever we can achieve as a personal good in an environment increasing hostile to humans as individuals, as members of organization, and as animals.

There is however some nice video of the fly-by that will undoubtedly be deeply boring to bogs.

On a more pleasant note, researchers at U Oregon have discovered that the crime rate (?) in a country depends most strongly on the degree of religionist belief in a punitive deity. [Link] This would seem to explain why we have such a high crime instance in the Yankee republic. Not only are the prisons stercus but we have lost belief in old testament deity. Even the baptists seem to be all love and light these days with everyone issued an entry pass to paradise along with their towel. The question is, have we actually become more rational, or just mentally lazy and pain averse?

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Constipated Science

We come to the boundary of week in and week out and things are a bit slow this morning. One more piece of evidence that the human body (and mind?) is a dissipative system where all sorts of things, including energy, are not conserved. So since I am a bit lethargic this morning, it is, after all, sleep in morning for the week, I suspect this blot will be a bit lethargic as well.

Starting off, the Higgs boson has still not officially been discovered. [Link] I wouldn’t mention this except for getting sucked into this article yesterday. Its title “Don’t Believe The Rumors – The Higgs Boson Has NOT Been Discovered! Really!” was the (very) strange attractor. And so I found myself having to read the article. I have to reproduce a quote,

“Why Is It Still Not A Discovery?
However, the data collected is not enough to guarantee a discovery, not even when integrated with the 7 TeV data. The 7 TeV data had yielded a confidence level of 1.9 sigma from the CMS detector and a confidence level of 2.3 sigma from the ATLAS detector. Both numbers are far from the 5 sigma confidence level needed to guarantee a discovery. However, the coincidence of the mass range for the fluctuation in the two detectors is heartening.”

to make my explanation. This is the face of modern science and it is the face of bureaucracy and shmuckness. In addition to the rise of BIG science in the days since the Great Patriotic War, we have had a rise in regulation and administration and general absence of initiative. The utter faith in statistics is one of the symptoms and well as one of the consequences. Simply put statistics is a nice tool if it is applicable. It is not that I am saying that statistics is not applicable, just that almost all scientists aren’t asking the question.

As a ‘fer instence’, the five sigma selection is completely arbitrary, arising out of the bureaucracy, caution, and demand for mindless public stewardship that has come to characterize science since the middle twentieth century. If you go back and look at significant historical discoveries, none were made with five (or even three) sigma confidence, and most were made with zero sigma confidence. Consider Galileo and the swinging chandelier in the cathedral. That was a zero sigma discovery. Discoveries are supposed to be the instant of perception, of insight, of epiphany. Not the moment when we get overwhelming amounts of data according to a possibly appropriate statistical model.

Discoveries are supposed to be verified. That’s where statistics sorta belongs, not in the discovery.  You can discover lots of things, but the ones that aren’t verifiable, aren’t reproducible, don;t count. And you don’t shout too many of them before you get considered for a rubber room. Which is why modern scientists have lost the distinction. They’re so insecure – itself a form of unsanity – that they can’t say discovery without verification.

The crude analogy is that a woman cannot be pronounced pregnant until the child has been successfully born.

And this is one of the big reasons that science, and society, are failing.

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Darwin Hiccups

Last day of the week at gym and relatively quiet and tame. The podcast episode this morning started out as one of the Techie Geek [Link] and quite frankly, it was no better than medicore. Usually there are 2-3 grabbers in the podcast but today the score was zero. This leads to the speculation that this is a stochastic process and zero hits is not highly unlikely. This is not a frequent podcast so it may take some time to figure out if it has “turned to cheese”. [1] I sincerely hope not, the merit of the grabbers is quite high.

On which azimuth, I ran across an article [Link] talking about how Antartica used to be warmer and support a coastal environment that included tall bushes or short trees.[2] Of course this was 15-20 MYA when the temperature was 20 degF higher than today. And no, we can’t all go live in Antarctica, even if we kill off all the climate change denialists.

And lastly, I note an article [Link] on work done at U College London on “the science of computational advertising.” As long as we are dealing the the science in computational advertising I have no problem with this, but if the authors are serious that computational advertising is a science then they need to be detenured and sent home to work in the more fitting field of septic tank pumping. Then they will at least be disposing of stercus instead of making it.

The difficulty here is that advertising, as has been advised previously, is a contradiction of the first water. It quite simply is a statement that claims to be the opposite of what it actually is. The vernacular for this is a patent lie. In effect if an advertisement claims something, the opposite is accurate. And associating this as a science is tenuous and specious, to say nothing of odious.

What is not talked about is the horror-humor science of the bogs who actually credit advertising as what it claims to be. This gives us new insights into the mind subjugation that is modern human slavery.

[1]  The phrase “turned to cheese” was taught me by a colleague I acquainted while serving on the Army sponsored, National Academy Science and Technology for the Army study. His claim to fame was having served as a deputy undersecretary of the army although this was back when you could attain that rank for technical competence. Today you can only get such jobs via political connections. The origin of the turned to cheese phrase, I discovered, after which it was obvious, is based on the Latin idiom for cheese which is literally ‘milk that has been permitted to rot’. I was taught the latter by my freshman Latin professor.
[2]  Yes, I did take botany – one semester – as an undergraduate. My professor was a molecular biologist and it was a service course. The class was full of education majors desperately seeking the easiest science course they could find and figured biology – the second semester was zoology – was easier than chemistry or physics or geology since it only involved memorization. What they didn’t know was that the labs were much harder than the freshman chemistry or physics labs, but also didn’t require quite as much gymnasitcs (the subject of another blot.) Anyway, the professor mostly wanted to talk about chemistry and I was almost the only person in the class who knew any chemistry so I did well in the class gradewise. From a knowledge standpoint my taxonomy of plants is based on height: grasses; bushes; and trees. And no, I can’t explain bamboo.

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To blog, perhaps to gripe?

I do not like summer! It is nasty discomfortable and reinforces the contemporary Southron predilection to stay indoors. It has always been horrible how we get wet, almost freezing weather in winter – now rarer than ever – and Southrons seem to think they need to bunker up and pretend they’re in Maine during a storm. Since the invention, development, and proliferation of air conditioning this siege mentality seems to have spread to summer.

If you hadn’t figured it out, today is officially the first day of summer. I am not sure who the official is but I am convinced they are a tool of the climate change denialists. Indeed with the rise in temperature the meanings of the seasons have changed and their duration needs to be adjusted to reflect reality and abandon the equality of time previous used?

On the subject of discomfort, I note [Link] that MegaHard seems to be committed – a hopefully prophetic turn of phrase – to rolling out its own “Unity” – they call it Metro and with the usual MegaHard arrogance are quite ignoring they plagiarized it from elsewhere – despite alienating their user base. So the question is how many will defer upgrading from whatever they are running, and how many will vote by transporting to another OS. These are unsure but we can be relatively sure that if the don’t want to use Metro they surely will not adopt Ubuntu with Unity. For one thing Winders users don’t, in the modality, have the neuronage to load another GUI and hence Canonical has placed themselves in the position of the little engine that failed.

The good news, of course, in Canonical pruning the base of Ubuntu severely is that it has expanded the base of the alternatives, especially Xubuntu and Kubuntu which it has been trying for some years to kill off. Instead, it’s de facto role as a middle provider between kernel and OS may actually be an improvement given its showing of abysmal stupidity with Unity. Meanwhile, I suspect more of those MegaHard users are going to migrate to Apple thus strengthening the position of the new fascism.

On a more pleasant azimuth, I note [Link] that the Australians have gotten into the act with cave craft. They have discovered art dating back 28 KYA.

I have to admit that this is rather more striking than the negative hand prints dating back almost 41 KYA that have been so noted of in recent days. I think I have heard no less than three podcast episodes this week that either mentioned or were occupied with. This is a sad event. The boffins are having to spend a lot of time doing repeated interviews that end up doing little other than alienating their listeners with the interviewers nonsense and inaccuracies.

I was listening to a podcast episode of the CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks” this morning and swearing under my breath as some biologist/paleontologist made a hash of a discussion of the optics of moth wings. This is why I consider outreach to be terminally flawed. We do greater evil and damage telling the bogs inaccuracies than not telling at all.

Still, I was taken with the beauty of the Australian site as well as the art. At least this comes a lot closer to being art than that kindergarten hand turkey thing.

Lots of Arts

The podcast episodes this morning were all about either cave “art” or the microbial life forms living on humans. Since I have already had a bit of blot on the former topic I can dispose of it rather rapidly.

I heard surprisingly little questioning the validity of the dating method, which dates the formation of calcium compound deposition after the paining was laid down. This rather surprised me. I should have expected some noise there as well as a discussion of how they can be assured that the calcites really are later than the painting. I have to assume that the calcites are removed from atop the painting rather than beside as reported by our unerring journalists.

But the thing that rather roasted my sensibilities was hearing some haggis-head [1] say that neandertals were not humans! Someone needs to explain to the chappie that the human designation derives from the genus, not the species. Of course they may not have adequate processing capability to appreciate that in which case a repast of haggis is indicated. Long pig is optional.

The stupidity was at least as bad with the questions from the audience. I have to admire Abe Flato’s patience with bogs and their questions. I was especially taken with the questions about internal microbes after the statement was made that all samples, except feces, were collected using swabs. Evidently the understanding of human anatomy is another in the category of algebra disciplines not used after high shule by the boggerate.

On that note I am happy to note, in the Register, of course [Link] the event of the NASA ‘Planetary Exploration Car Wash & Bake Sale’ to raise money for planetary exploration in these times of government self-destruction and political haggis heading. Given the state of things I should say more money rather than less needs be spent on this since those of us with actual cognition should like to emigrate to a planet with fewer bogs – and politicians!

Similarly, and also in the Register, [Link] – how is it that England has so much more competent journalists than the Yankee republic? Is it the flavor of tyranny? – is an article about how the IT boffins are criticizing the government for spending too much money on protective measures and not enough on shock and awe. I am not at all sure that putting the heads of cybercriminals on pikes would be successful in alleviating the problem but it certainly would have enlivened the pageantry the other week of the diamond anniversary of the current tyrant-monarch.  In fact, given our superficial knowledge of English history, cybercrime certainly seems to fit the bill as treason, at least as much as for unproducing wives and errant brothers-in-law. Or even real criminals? Perhaps a return to the protectorate could help with the problem?

At least it’s not an absurd and illegal amnesty program of selectively instructing sworn officers to ignore certain aspects of the United States Code. Such, of course, is purely an Amerikan tyranny.

[1]  For those who are unfamiliar with the term, haggis is a form of unsalted oatmeal, usually with meat added, that is aged in the stomach of a sheep. A haggis head is someone whose brains have been scooped out and replaced by haggis. In effect, their skull serves in the office of the sheep’s stomach. The quality of cerebration can be inferred easily and directly.

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