Other People's Work

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Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science has an excellent piece on using chess to explain the differences between men and women in the hard sciences. Turns out, participation not biology is key: Every serious player has an objective rating – the Elo rating – that measures their skill based on their results against other…

Elsewhere on the Interweb (8/27/08)

I have been meaning to update about this, but Presh at Mind Your Decisions blog discusses another example of Game Theory in the movie the Dark Knight. He talks about the first scene where the robbers are let us say vigorously arguing about the division of the spoils from a bank heist: The robbers don’t…

We were discussing game theory and the Dark Knight. Mike at The Quantitative Peace has an excellent post that discusses all the possible iterations: I think this calls for a new villian in the third movie of the trilogy: The Game Theorist. Much like the riddler, but deadlier and requiring Batman to use mathematics to…

Presh has a great post on game theory and voting power using nominations to the Israeli Supreme Court as an example. Take homes: Here is what you can take away when creating your own voting structures: 1. Vote size does not equate to voting power 2. Smaller voters can still hold great power 3. Voters…

Not Exactly Rocket Science has a great post showing that sloths in the wild may be slow, but aren’t actually that sleepy: Rattenborg captured three female brown-throated three-toed sloths in the Panamanian rainforest and fitted them with the recording cap, a radio-telemetry collar to reveal their locations and an accelerometer to record their movements. After…

In honor of Mother’s Day, NPR has a great piece on the difficulties of being a modern Mom and delaying having children: Fertility seems to peak at about age 22, says Marcel Cedars, director of reproductive endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. After that, it gradually declines, and past the age of 35,…

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Down with that imperialist aggressor Napoleon III! (The painting to the right is Manet’s Execution of Maximillian. Supposedly, the chap on the right looks like Napoleon III, in a zinger to his administration which Manet viewed as responsible for Maximillian’s death.) Cosmic Variance has a great post on the physics…

Eddie Izzard eyes entering European Union politics. Well that would at least make things more interesting. So much excellence on NPR lately. Robert Krulwich explains why — though radio and television communications have long been projected into space — it is unlikely that aliens are listening. Short answer: the inverse square law causes the power…

On my books to read list, Bonk by Mary Roach explores the cross-overs between science and sex. She is interviewed by NPR here. (Hat-tip: Daily Zeitgeist) Also on NPR, does teeth whitening using light actually work? Not better than at-home gels say some researchers:

Encephalon is up at Of Two Minds, Paris Hilton-style. Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) do not improve mortality at home. This contrasts AEDs in public places. The authors of the paper, in NEJM, attribute the difference to a much larger population who can use them in public spaces and greater training in their use. Covered in…