# Quick Picks on ScienceBlogs, December 29th, 2006

There’s a high probability you’ll learn something.

From Evolution Blog, not to be mistaken for evolgen, A Probability Puzzle.
“A shopkeeper says she has two new baby beagles to show you, but she doesn’t know whether they’re both male, both female, or one of each. You tell her that you want only a male, and she telephones the fellow who’s giving them a bath. ‘Is at least one a male?’ she asks him. She receives a reply. ‘Yes!’ she informs you with a smile. What is the probability that the other one is a male?”

From evolgen, not to be mistaken for Evolution Blog, Chance, Stochasticity, Probability, and Evolution.
“Oftentimes, people conflate randomness with a uniform distribution — equal probabilities of all possible outcomes. But when we model a random process, we assume some distribution that approximates the randomness of the natural event we’d like to simulate.”

From Developing Intelligence, A Benefit of Ignorance.
“If subjects are asked to name the ink color of a color word, they are slower to do so for incongruent than congruent and neutral stimuli (e.g., GREEN is slower than GREEN and HOUSE). This is known as the Stroop interference effect. However, this difference disappears if these stimuli are presented at locations subject to IOR (i.e., they were cued more than 300 ms ago). Why should this be the case?”

From Effect Measure, Dead Bodies Don’t Cause Disease.
“The horrific oil pipeline explosion in Nigeria that took over 260 lives is now being treated as a possible focus of epidemic disease because of the decaying bodies. I don’t know why I’m bothering to say this– again–but it always seems necessary. Dead bodies in mass casualties do not cause disease.”

From OmniBrain, Glass Half Empty Overfilled.
“According to glassware elongation research, the tendency to pour more into a short glass leads to a 32-43% increase in consumption. Hosting a party? Use champagne flutes. “