Latest Posts

  • The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science | Mother Jones

    Details of why people who believe things that go against the majority of proof cannot be persuaded by arguments based on facts.

    That undercuts the standard notion that the way to persuade people is via evidence and argument. In fact, head-on attempts to persuade can sometimes trigger a backfire effect, where people not only fail to change their minds when confronted with the facts—they may hold their wrong views more tenaciously than ever.

  • BBC - Future - The strange world inside cheese

    A really interesting short read, with all too tempting links for more information about what exactly cheese is and how it is made.

    In fact, talking about cheese is right up there with talking about wine – there’s a whole lexicon for professionals. In this 2001 paper, researchers tasted a panel of 240 Cheddars and devised a set of 27 words for describing Cheddar, including: catty, for describing a smell like tom-cat urine, and cowy, for a barnyard tang, along with nutty, brothy, and fruity.

    Would be nice to have the time and space to experiment how to make milk become cheese. Maybe in 20 years when I retire….

  • Book Review : The Son

    I have just finished reading The Son by Jo Nesbo and I wanted to publish a review mostly just to spread the word and get others to read it.

    I have read a lot of Jo Nesbo’s books before, mostly from the Harry Hole series, and have throughly enjoyed all of them.

    To give you the blurb from the book:

    Sonny is a model prisoner He listens to the confessions of other inmates at Oslo jail, and absolves them of their sins. Some people even whisper that Sonny is serving time for someone else: that he doesn’t just listen, he confesses to their crimes.
    Inspector Simon Kefas is a dedicated police officer Simon has worked for the Oslo police force for years. He’s just been assigned a new murder investigation and a new partner, all on the same day.
    Both of them knew Sonny’s father To Sonny he was the man he idolised, to Simon he was his best friend. Both were left devastated when his corruption was revealed.
    But neither of them knew the truth

    I was skeptical of a plot without my favourite Oslo detective, but as the book unfolded it was clear the plot would not have worked so well with Harry Hole. After so many journeys with Harry, the reader knows his flaws and guiding values well. So It was refreshing to follow a different, yet equally flawed detective, around the streets of Oslo instead, and be on edge about how he would push the investigation forward.

    Another thing that I noticed was that the translator for this book (Charlotte Barslund) was not the same one who translated the Harry Hole series (Don Bartlett). I have often wondered if Don’s translating might be an important part of why I enjoy Jo Nesbo books, and was interested to see if I would miss his work. I can say that I did not miss Don’s voice, and I was equally as gripped by this book, and at times even more so than with the Harry Hole books. The last 3rd of the book was completed in a 4.5 hour session as I could not put down the book and get the sleep I really needed yesterday.

    So please do get a copy you will not regret it.

    If you do, please get in contact and tell me your thoughts.

    Amazon Link

  • The disabled children locked up in cages - BBC News

    It was after these incidents that management of the centre decided that the staffing levels made it impossible to protect the children from harm. Their solution was to have the cages custom built for the residents. However the ombudsman’s report concluded that the cages and any practices employing long-term restraints “are clearly illegal and are in direct contradiction with the obligation for respect and protection of the human rights of the residents,” and he urged the Greek government to take immediate steps to rectify the situation. But after almost five years the only changes are superficial.

  • What Do You Do When You Think You Have a Murderer in the Family? | VICE | United Kingdom

    Bizarre story, that I can’t say I fully understand.

    But here’s the thing: You don’t want to believe your grandmother is poisoning you. You know that she loves you—there’s no doubt of that—and she’s so marvelously grandmotherly and charming. And you know that she would never want to poison you. So despite your better judgment, you eat the food until you’ve passed out so many times that you can’t keep doubting yourself. Eventually, we would arrive for holidays at Grandma’s with groceries and takeout, and she’d seem relieved that we wouldn’t let her touch our plates. By then, her eyesight was starting to go, so she wouldn’t notice the layer of crystalline powder atop that fancy lox she was giving you.

  • A Birth Story | Longreads Blog

    Put some time aside and have a good read of this long, funny and eye opening yet brutally honest account of one woman’s child birth experience.

    If there’s anything I’d take back from labor it would have been the fact that I let two people fish around in my vagina for their own benefit.

    I’d been “checked” before. This is what they call it. They want to “check you.” You means your cervix. You are your cervix. “Check” means stick a hand inside of “you”—your vagina—and measure how open your cervix is. They do this with their fingertips, because that is where we’re at with science in 2014: We use fingertips as a unit of measurement. Then you are pronounced whatever number of fingertips wide the gap in your cervix is. You are your cervix.

    “I’m a three,” means your cervix is dilated three fingertips. You get checked, typically, at your last few OB appointments. “I” had been found to be closed. Or “soft and closed” or “high and tight.” “Low and soft and closed.” It’s all fucking subjective, obviously, and also means almost nothing. You feel as if you are failing some made-up game you don’t want to be playing in the first place.

  • NextDraft: Double Stuff

    Ok, I’ll be honest, I am only linking to this because the joke about Sushi really tickled me.

    Talk about bouncing back. Since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires in the world has doubled. According to OxFam, it would take Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, 220 years to spend his fortune. (Unless he really liked Sushi, in which case it would take about fourteen months.)

  • Crash Test Dummies Gain Weight to Save Lives - ABC News

    In the US even the crash test dummies have an obesity problem…

    Crash-test dummies are undergoing a makeover to reflect the thicker waistlines and larger rear ends of Americans.

    “Studies show that obese drivers are 78 percent more likely to die in a car crash,” said Chris O’ Connor, CEO of Humanetics, the only U.S. producer of the dummies.

  • 20 Awesome Ideas For Your Jack-O-Lantern | MAKE

    Apart from the fact they call them Jack-O-Lantern for some crazy American reason, this post has some wonderful ideas. My favourite is the death star.

    Tonight is my personal favorite night of the Halloween season: the night I carve the pumpkins! Ever since I was a little kid, I couldn’t wait for the night I got to carve pumpkins with my family. Picking out your perfect pumpkin, deciding upon your perfect design, and then drawing it on before you start carving in is just such great fun. Not to mention all the fun of pulling out the guts! Then baking pumpkin seeds, (yum!) and finally, the delightful satisfaction of seeing it perfectly candlelit under a night sky. If you’re still looking for ideas for your perfect carving, here’s a collection of some awesome jack-o’-lanterns to inspire you!

  • What we give away when we log on to a public Wi-Fi network

    Frightening read, but really essential to understand if you ever use public wifi.

    We took a hacker to a café and, in 20 minutes, he knew where everyone else was born, what schools they attended, and the last five things they googled.

    There are many private VPN solutions that can help eliminate some of these risks, but best practice seems to be just don’t use public free wifi.