NOIBN

Category archives for NOIBN

Penetration and Statistical Normality

A thought about normal sexual behaviour. “Normal”, in the statistical sense, has nothing to do with “healthy” or “morally sound”. It simply means “the most common range of values in a variable”. Now, across all of child-bearing age humanity, what is the normal attitude to getting sexually penetrated? Is it yes please or no thanks?…

Inhabilitated

Universities in many European and Asian countries offer an upgrade to your PhD that turns the owner into a “habilitated doctor“, that is, someone who is allowed to teach PhD students. In Sweden, the recipient of the upgrade is called a docent, which is funny because “docent” means “museum guide” in US English. It’s not…

In February of 2007 I wrote about a giant sinkhole that had opened in Guatemala City. “The pit was emitting foul odors, loud noises and tremors, and a rush of water could be heard from its depths.” These sinkholes are the same kind of geological feature as similar to the cenotes into which the Maya…

A Likeness of Mohammed

Get this. Perennial provocateur artist Lars Vilks lectures about free speech at the University of Uppsala just an hour’s ride from my home — and is attacked by audience members chanting about Islam! It’s time for a re-run of my own likeness of Mohammed from February ’06. This is a picture I just drew of…

Gingerly Trying Out Twitter

I’ve been staying away from Twitter for fear that it would eat my life. But I guess I have at least to try it. So, Dear Reader, feel free to follow my tweets! And tell me who I should follow. Ideally, I want people who tweet something really witty like every second day and who…

Dear Reader, you need to listen to the Drabblecast. I just listened to the latest episode and was completely blown away by the vast amount of work, wit and musical talent that goes into each episode. Norm Sherman is like this uncapped oil well that’s constantly shooting a big fat unstoppable wad of creativity into…

I Don’t Like My Philips Shaver

After about twelve years of regular use my Braun 5515 sounded like a chainsaw, so I decided to buy a new electric shaver. Mind you, I had repeatedly replaced all the bits I could: the mesh, often; the knife, several times; once even the accumulator pack. But I figured that having someone replace the worn-out…

Some time around 20 March each year, my part-time employers in The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters celebrate the 1753 foundation of the Academy. This gives me a rare reason to dress in tails. And I now look forward to performing for the first time that ultimate ritual of 20th century masculinity, leaving shirts to…

Is Peer Review 100%?

Here’s a question for all of you journal editors and editorial board members out there. Does every single manuscript that your journal receives get the same peer-review treatment? Is there no pre-screening before stuff gets sent to reviewers, where patently kooky or ignorant contributions are killed on arrival? Is peer review 100%? Should it be?…

Fun with a Big Drill

A scary but pretty funny accident happened in central Stockholm the other day. A work crew was drilling for a geothermal heat pump when suddenly the drill went into an open subterranean cavity. There wasn’t supposed to be one there according to the plans they had been given for the job. When they tried to…