Skepchick Quickies, 12.29


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

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  1. I wonder how much money is put into suing people who point out flaws in voting machines compared to how much is spent actually fixing the flaws.

    BTW, I’m having some serious deja vu this morning. :-)

  2. From the Crack article,

    “While Wagner repeatedly pointed out that he’s a scientist, he failed to mention that he’s a botanist, also known as a “plant scientist,” in the public circle (and “gay scientist” in the scientific one). ”

    As a lover of plants and plant genetics I have to ask why is botany “gay”.

  3. @Steve DeGroof: the skeptic is still going on? That is just sad.

    I remeber cracked from the 80’s as a sad imitation of Mad magazine but slightly better than crazy. This website version is hilarous and seemingly in love with science. It’s great.

  4. Bee/Fly problems aside, thank you SO much for linking to that Cracked article. The whole article was great, but the one about legislation to redefine pi was a thing of beauty.

    My favorite line, I think:

    “Because nothing simplifies things like offering three different values for a fundamental constant.”

    Bug Girl DOES rock, as do you all. Thanks again, Jen!

  5. Stephen Jay Gould tells a story I think is funny in “The Flamingo’s Smile”:

    Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, was known for measuring and quantifying everything. He wanted to take measurements of the “Hottentot Venus” (Saartjie Baartman), but didn’t speak her language, so he couldn’t explain what he would be doing with his ruler.

    Galton ended up taking measurements from a distance as Saartje stood under a tree.

    Once this was done, he says:

    “this being done, I boldly pulled out my measuring-tape, and measured the distance from where I was to the place she stood, and having thus obtained both base and angles, I worked out the results by trigonometry and logarithms.”

    Now THAT’s a geek! As shy as I was in high school, I never went to such lengths to study a woman from afar. I might have done better in geometry class if I’d thought of it.

  6. @Steve DeGroof: “I can’t decide which was worse: the never-ending Tw*l*ght fan thread or the never-ending “I’ve got a bigger skepticism than you” thread.

    So far, both still fall short of the almost 300 replies in the discussion with urblind about the various problems with biblical litteralism. Although that’s been over a year ago, and longer reply-threads may have popped up since then.

  7. I don’t know if this will be missed or not, but did anyone else see this on Live Science:

    What the hell?

    I guess they aren’t up to a scientific standard. I never read them until I saw your missing children article, and now I don’t think I will rely on them for any news.

  8. Ken Hahn: Some years ago in the comic strip Luann, the teacher was demonstrating a Biltmore stick, which is used to measure the diameter of tress. One of the boys picked it up and pointed it at a female classmates chest. She wasn’t amused.

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