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Comment: I was in your shoes last year (Score 1) 265

by caranha (#40434575) Attached to: Teaching Natural Sciences To Social Science Students?

Dear Anonymous Poster,

Last year I was responsible for a class on elementary statistics for physical therapy students.

The first thing you have to keep in mind is: your students will be asking themselves from the get go: "Why is this useful to me?". Many of them may have enrolled in "soft" sciences to get away from maths in the first place. You have to provide these answers to your students - if not directly, then indirectly, by providing plenty of examples on where the subject will be useful in their work - this is quite easy with statistics. Also, whenever possible, skip too elaborate proofs, and go instead for more intuitive or example based explanations of why these concepts work.

If you provide me with some sort of contact details, I can give you my lecture notes. Cheers!

Comment: Re:An episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit says (Score 1) 668

by caranha (#37266912) Attached to: Measles Resurgent Due To Fear of Vaccination

It can be even worse.

Not exactly the same thing, but related, I have recently done the research to tell my Work's mailing list that a hoax someone had forwarded was a hoax. I was called "prepotent", because the person who spread the hoax was obviously a well meaning person, who sent the message because "he cares for us", and "it is not totally implausible, even if not true".

So people not only don't care about doing the research. They resent those who do.


Google Lobbies Nevada To Allow Self-Driving Cars 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the to-drive-or-not-to-drive dept.
b0bby writes "The NY Times reports that Google is quietly lobbying for legislation that would make Nevada the first state in which self-driving cars could be legally operated on public roads. 'The two bills, which have received little attention outside Nevada's capitol, are being introduced less than a year after the giant search engine company acknowledged that it was developing cars that could be safely driven without human intervention.'"

Comment: Re:A Twitter feed? (Score 1) 313

by caranha (#35745916) Attached to: 7.4-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Japan; Tsunami Alert Issued

Seriously. I have been following many reporters in Japan on Twitter, and some "serious" news outlet. The twitter feeds have been doing a much better job in posting up-to-date news and commentaries, and fighting the spread of rumors. I used not to take twitter seriously either, until it became my main source of info for this disaster.

It is all about who you follow.

Comment: Wrong (Score 1) 103

by caranha (#32610538) Attached to: Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV

The linked article does not actually refers to the Scientific article (why not?), so I went and did some digging.

Nothing like "monkeys like to watch TV". The experiment only measure the activity of the monkey's brain when it is watching the movie, but not when it is NOT watching the movie or when it is watching something else. Actually the paper is more about this new brain wave sensor that they are developing than about monkeys and TVs. Like a previous commenter said - if you have a monkey stuck into a chair, with a bunch of probes dug into its brain, in a dark room, it will get interested in a movie shown in front of him. Duh! (and, according to the article, at least 60% of the trials where thrown away because the monkey did not actually look at the movie).

Real Time Strategy (Games)

StarCraft II Closed Beta Begins 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the rush-starts-now dept.
Blizzard announced today that the multiplayer beta test for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now underway. The client downloader is available through for people who have received invites, and the system requirements have been posted as well. A list of known issues is up on the official forums. StarCraft II and the revamped are planned for release "in the first half of 2010."

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson