“Worse, those reaction times are for an undistracted driver. Consider that it takes about four seconds to unlock an iPhone, which at just 30mph equates to almost the entire length of that football field.” Joe Lindsey suggests that you grab as much attention as early as you can.
“On most roads, and especially on rough ones, a 32 mm Compass tire will be faster than a 26 mm Compass tire. But a 42 mm Schwalbe Marathon will be slower than both, even though it’s wider—because it’s so stiff that its casing absorbs way more energy.” Jan Heine concludes that higher tire pressures do not result in faster speeds.
“I want it all banned. I want to ban power meters, heart rate monitors, the lot of it. Chuck it all in the bin.” Simon Warren would like riders to return to racing without the availability of real-time performance data such as that released by Team Sky.
“Just be a little bit more human.”
“In contrast to the easy cross-border flow of capital, commodities and profits, the Commission notes the lack of freedom for ordinary people to migrate in pursuit of a safe and secure life, and it deplores the plight of undocumented migrants who are denied essential health care in spite of international treaties that are supposed to guarantee universal rights and entitlements.” After correctly identifying the undemocratic and unequal distribution of power as an underlying cause of health inequities, David McCoy sees The Lancet-UiO Commission on Global Governance For Health Commissioners falling disappointingly short in its recommendations.
“Paradoxically, it was God who created Hell as a place to store evil. He didn’t do a good job of keeping it there, though.”
“So that’s what we’re all getting at when we say the Tour is getting slower. It is, and it’s a good sign, because it brings everything back into the realm of expected physiology.” Ross Tucker puts forward an interesting analysis of rider data from the Tour de France.
“It needs to be a finite number, for to set an infinite value on the life of an astronaut is to set both the goals of the space exploration effort and the needs of the rest of humanity at naught.” Robert Zubrin explains how NASA’s approach to risk undermines its mission and costs thousands of lives.
“Fiction is dangerous because it has the power to modify the principles of individuals and whole societies.” Jonathan Gottschall tells the story of an emerging science suggesting that fiction might be good for more than just kicks.
“When people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. These shortcuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether.” Jonah Lehrer contemplates the size of your bias blind spot.
“Nothing will corrode public trust more than a creeping awareness that scientists are unable to live up to the standards that they have set for themselves.” Daniel Sarewitz worries that over-selection and over-reporting of false positive results will increasingly put the value of science into question.
“‘We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure,’ said Begley. ‘I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they’d done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It’s very disillusioning.’” Sharon Begley talks to former head of global cancer research at Amgen, Glenn Begley.
“Ever since the tightening of security after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, scientists have worried that a scientific development would pit the need for safety against the need to share information. Now, it seems, that day has come.” Denise Grady and William Broad report on moves by the US government to effectively censor influenza research.
“We are going to have to come up with really clever ways to throw away data so we can see new stuff.” Andrew Pollack reports on how the recent plunge in the cost of DNA sequencing is presenting scientist with new, as yet unresolved, challenges of a different kind.
“Evidence based cycling is not high on the bicycle salesman’s agenda. No one will tell you how much more efficient one bicycle is over another; they just say it is better.” Steel or carbon? Jeremy Groves buys a new bike in the hope of saving up to five minutes on his daily commute…
With thanks to Lutz Meißner
“I’m not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes.” David Freedman reports on John Ioannidis and his quest to improve the quality of medical research.
“Video games don’t make the hole; they fill it,” says Sean, a student at Woodside High School. Matt Richtel highlights the ways in which technology causes young, developing brains to become habituated to distraction and to switching tasks, not to focus.
“Tom Dolphin, a member of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, backed the motion. He said he had previously described homeopathy as witchcraft, but now wanted to apologise to witches for making that link.” The British Medical Association calls for an effective end to the funding of homeopathic remedies by the NHS.
“25 years ago I read a newspaper article which said that one day syringes would be one of the major causes for the transmission of AIDS. I thought this was unacceptable so I decided to do something about it.” Marc Koska’s K1 syringe improves on an old design.
“When we look at the pattern, one thing comes out very clearly. People say HIV is very high in Africa. I would say, HIV is very different in Africa.” Using Gapminder World, Hans Rosling empowers you to think more clearly about the the ways in which HIV impacts on Africa and the wider world.