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Comment The answer is here (Score 1) 174


If you use p=0.05 to suggest that you have made a discovery, you will be wrong at least 30% of the time. If, as is often the case, experiments are underpowered, you will be wrong most of the time.

And given the low power of most psychology experiments I am not surprised by this result.

Comment Re:Idiots and lasers = bad combo (Score 1) 687

Unfortunately, lasers have become so cheap, and super powerful laser-pointers (which has no real world use whatsoever)

I have my physical chemistry students build a Raman spectrometer using a 300 mW green laser pointer. So they absolutely do have a real-world use. The cheapness and power is what makes it a worthwhile and feasible experiment to do.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 1) 648

I was going to watch season 4 of Breaking Bad on Amazon Prime but it was $4 an episode. Way too much who does Amazon think will pay that?

The one guy who strips off the DRM and then puts it up as a torrent.

Huh? It is $3 an episode, or $31 for the whole season ($2.40/episode). Seems reasonable to me....

Comment Re:Ehrlich was right, just a little early. (Score 2) 522

Most resources are recyclable, but simply end up in trash heaps because (for now) the energy and sorting costs of recycling makes it inefficient.

Personally, I like the idea of 21st century miners working in old landfills to get metals instead of chopping off mountaintops.

Exactly.. Every time I throw a "recyclable" tidbit into the regular trash I like to think of some descendant in the far future having his day made when he unearths my piece of valuable trash.

Comment Re:what's really going on? (Score 1) 694

That was certainly the experience I witnessed in both undergraduate and graduate school.

Again I'm calling BS on this, at least in science. Where I work, almost the entire graduate department seems to be Chinese. But these are smart guys, and gals. They have a lot to learn, but they earned their way here.

It is a mixed bag, honestly. And seems a lot of the best and brightest stay here while the dregs return home.

Comment I am officially not a Republican anymore (Score 3, Insightful) 760

This makes me want to throw-up.

Having "the people" review NSF grants, the same people of whom half believe that antibiotics kill viruses (imperiling all of us when they strong arm their spineless doctors into prescribing antibiotics for colds) and think that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time, is a freaking ridiculous idea. Furthermore, the idea that targeting grants individually in NSF, whose budget, at $7 billion is 0.2% of the total budget is an effective way of cutting the deficit is asinine. And to top it all off, that measly $7 billion is one of the major reasons the United States is still a power in science and technology at all, especially as private R&D collapses in the face of the recession (in the short term) and Wall Street's fetish for quarterly results.

Fuck you, Eric Cantor. Fuck you, ignorant Republican douche-bags. I am D-O-N-E done. We are going to Hell in a handbasket, and instead of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (which would be bad enough), you are stealing life jackets from children and setting them ablaze because the water is cold and we need to keep warm.


The Placebo Effect Not Just On Drugs 824

dvdme writes "It seems the placebo effect isn't just valid on drugs. It's also a fact on elevators, offices and traffic lights. An article by Greg Ross says: 'In most elevators installed since the early 1990s, the 'close door' button has no effect. Otis Elevator engineers confirmed the fact to the Wall Street Journal in 2003. Similarly, many office thermostats are dummies, designed to give workers the illusion of control. "You just get tired of dealing with them and you screw in a cheap thermostat," said Illinois HVAC specialist Richard Dawson. "Guess what? They quit calling you." In 2004 the New York Times reported that more than 2,500 of the 3,250 "walk" buttons in New York intersections do nothing. "The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on."'"

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