This is a fascinating problem that affects a lot of scientific modeling (in fact, I'll be talking about this in the second part of my series on gun violence research) — the more specific and accurate your predictions, the less reliable they sometimes become. Think about climate science. When you read the IPCC reports, what you see are predictions about what is likely to happen on a global basis, and those predictions come in the form of a range of possible outcomes. Results like that are reliable — i.e, they've matched up with observed changes. But they aren't super accurate — i.e., they don't tell you exactly what will happen, and they generally don't tell you much about what might happen in your city or your state. We have tools that can increase the specificity and accuracy, but those same tools also seem to reduce the reliability of the outcomes. At The Curious Wavefunction, Ashutosh Jogalekar explains the problem in more detail and talks about how it affects scientist's ability to give politicians and the public the kind of absolute, detailed, specific answers they really want.
Having trouble breathing through your mouth? Hang on in there! Anal oxygen administration may soon be a reality. "Researchers are planning oxygen enemas," writes The Economist. As far as is known, no land vertebrate can perform this trick. But, in a paper just published in Cell, Takebe Takanori of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, in Ohio,… READ THE REST
The bouba-kiki effect (aka the maluma-takete effect) is the name of a phenomenon in which people map certain verbal sounds to shapes, no matter the language. For example, b, m, l and o sounds are associated with rounded shapes while k, t, p and i sounds map to jagged or spiky shapes. Now researchers have… READ THE REST
During Sunday's third flight of the fantastic Mars helicopter Ingenuity, it snapped the image below in which you can see the Perseverance rover that delivered the chopper to the Red Planet and acts as its base station for communications to Earth. "The helicopter was flying at an altitude of 16 feet (5 meters) and roughly… READ THE REST
Considering how easy it is to do most things in our technologically advanced world, it's still fairly shocking how difficult it can still be at times to do something relatively simple — like present an idea. Say you saw a photo online with a piece of art in the background that you'd like to feature… READ THE REST
Do you have a team in place? Have you scoped out your competition? Do you know the right level of funding you need? And most importantly, why should I give you money when so many others are looking for the same thing? Those are all questions an investor will often ask a startup entrepreneur —… READ THE REST
One of the few silver linings of America's pandemic era was seeing an overall decline in one of the biggest nuisances of life in our modern age: spam phone calls and texts. In April 2020, Americans were only beset by 3 billion robocalls, a number that sounds huge — and is — but still was… READ THE REST