My pal and IFTF colleague Alex Pang
just turned me on to NCBI ROFL, a hilarious blog written by two molecular and cell biology grad students at UC Berkeley in which they point out funny, bizarre, and questionable biomedical research articles. NCBI stands for the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a national research organization that also houses databases of published scientific papers. Alex says, "The case studies on accidental condom inhalation, the article on the dangers of beards in microbiology labs, and the study of canned cat food evaluation techniques are all must-reads. However, I think the article title 'Inappropriate use of a titanium penile ring: An interdisciplinary challenge for urologists, jewelers, and locksmiths' may be the best thing ever written." From a post today excerpting a paper on "the nature of navel fluff:"
Hard facts on a soft matter! ... The hypothesis presented herein says that abdominal hair is mainly responsible for the accumulation of navel lint, which, therefore, this is a typically male phenomenon. The abdominal hair collects fibers from cotton shirts and directs them into the navel where they are compacted to a felt-like matter. The most abundant individual mass of a piece of lint was found to be between 1.20 and 1.29 mg (n=503). However, due to several much larger pieces, the average mass was 1.82 mg in this three year study. When the abdominal hair is shaved, no more lint is collected. "
From the materials and methods: "The author first observed the accumulation of navel fluff in his early 20s. Despite thorough body hygiene including a daily morning shower, the navel filled with lint over the day. The author collected 503 pieces of navel fluff since approximately March 2005 with a total weight of almost 1 g... ...In order to investigate the role of the abdominal hair, the author also shaved his belly for this study."
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]