Skepchick Quickies, 1.26

By Jen
Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.


  1. That reminds me of my standard technique I used at school to take exams, half a bag of m&m’s and nodoze. You had to titrate the dose appropriately or you could get buzzed enough to start writing nonsense.

  2. My junior thesis was written with two pounds of peanuts and a cube of Dr. Pepper. I simply woke up about noon the next morning with twenty-so pages written.

  3. I’ll have to show this to my students in the 8am stat class I’m teaching.

    They’ll either avoid the caffeine and sugar to alter the curve. Or take more in to improve their grades. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  4. @Siveambrai: You know that, even if most of them try to alter the curve, there’s gonna be one who goes for the gusto.

    Relying on curves is dangerous. It’s tempting to make a further comment on that, but I’ll forebear. ;-)

  5. I object! That raptor article had nothing to do with dinosaurs!

  6. @jtradke: Aren’t birds just younger dinosaurs?

  7. @scribe999:

    Before clicking the link, I was picturing two velociraptors with chained monocles, holding teacups, chatting about squat thrusts. REALITY IS SO BORING

  8. Being selective about what information you give to clients is the basis of marketing. I am surprised that anyone is shocked about AOL’s practices. This is standard procedure for every business, not just AOL.

  9. Okay, the first title would get me to check out the article just because, raptors doing leg lifts.
    The second, I agree with everyone who’s posted. I teach Chemistry, midterms coming – maybe it will help. And I do distinctly remember sitting around a table with study buddies drinking coffee and eating any candy we could get our hands on.

  10. @jtradke: Hoity toity snobbish therapods…grumble

  11. @Mark Hall:

    I don’t understand why people have a such a problem with curves. If it’s done correctly, then one or two outliers at the top won’t have a significant impact on the other students’ grades. If it’s this crap I encountered in high school where the teacher gives the top student a 100% and adds the same extra onto every student’s grade, then I wouldn’t really call that a “curve” anyway.

  12. AOL keyword: shhhhhhh

  13. @scribe999: Bwah ahahaha! COTW

  14. In the raptor story; am I the only one who is amazed that these birds have adapted to using a specific human-made object as their signaler?

    I’m sure that animals use man-made object all the time, but there seems to be a preference for white plastic in this case, or was I reading that wrong?

    To quote a certain pointy-eared fellow, “Fascinating!”

  15. @Mark Hall: We were discussing their first exam today and they said they would do exactly that, until one of them realized that someone would probably do well anywway. Also I said if it was obvious to me that they just didn’t make and effort I’d be happy to give them all zeros.

  16. @jtradke: I took your comment completely out of context and sent it to a friend who really has a thing for raptors (the dino kind). He sent me back a message saying, “Oh you mean Chaptor?” and this link

    Enjoy. There’s not squat trusts but he does have a top hat.

  17. @Siveambrai:

    Oh man, I think I’ve seen that before. The raptor story probably just made me subconsciously recall that image.

  18. I linked to the story about caffein and glucose on my FB page and one of my mates summed up my feelings well in the comments: “Ah… the convenience of science.”

  19. I consume most of my caffeine at work. Coffee is free after all.

    I’ve noticed that sometimes, in the afternoon, particularly after a heavy lunch, my brain becomes so efficient I’ll actually fall asleep.

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