100 years ago today, perhaps the most amazing display of the Christmas spirit in history, in the midst of WWI: http://t.co/Fg7IiyVJJi

Nothing drives me crazier than authors—or patrons at Renaissance Faires—addressing everyone and everything as “mi’loooooooord.” Firstly, no one outside of possibly a few British comedians in the 1970s has ever pronounced the word “my” that way. Secondly, not everyone is a lord; that notion defies the most basic grasp of economics. Thirdly, there are different kinds of lords, especially in different periods—the system was constantly evolving. Finally, there are specific ways to address each type depending on who you are.

An important part of the scientific process involves recognising human bias and preventing it from affecting results. For that reason, scientists use double-blind studies. When evaluating a drug for clinical trials, neither the doctors nor the patient knows who has been given the experimental drug and who the placebo. It is only after the experiment has been concluded that the scientists are unblinded. That way their wishful thinking can’t influence their findings.

Not so with the legal profession, which accumulates biases every step of the way. Most police, when they show a line-up to a witness, know which face belongs to the suspect. Studies have shown that that simple knowledge can lead an officer to unconsciously influence the witness who, in turn, can pick the favoured suspect, who might not be the perpetrator.

Very often, new palm oil plantations result in the clearing of rainforest. Researchers at Princeton University have shown that more than half of the palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia are located in areas where there used to be rainforest. So by choosing a specific product, the consumer unwittingly has an impact on deforestation of rainforest and the fate of endangered species like orangutans or tigers.

Son having spent two months in Japan => his toy cars now driving on the left side of the road.

So who's to blame for all these bad stories and the sorry state of health journalism? One new study, published in the British Medical Journal, assigns a large fraction of blame to the press shops at various research universities. The study found that releases from these offices often overhype the findings of their scientists — while journalists play along uncritically, parroting whatever showed up in their inbox that day. Hype, they suggest, was manufactured in the ivory tower, not the newsroom.

The Whigs were once the UK’s most powerful political group, establishing the principle of parliamentary rule and constitutional monarchy during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and giving the nation its first, and longest-serving, prime minister. Established in 1678, the Whigs officially ceased to exist in 1868 as many of their members went on to form the Liberal Party (which later merged with others to form today’s Liberal Democrats).

After more than a century, Whigs will once again run for election to parliament next year.

The widespread assertion that the world would be better off without religion is a reasonable hypothesis. Yet data suggest that skeptics should attach no more than a modest level of probability to it.

In certain places in the world, the tide can leave the sea bottom dry for hours and then come roaring back. In fact, in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte and a small group of soldiers on horseback were crossing the Gulf of Suez, the northern end of the Red Sea, roughly where Moses and the Israelites are said to have crossed. On a mile-long expanse of dry sea bottom exposed at low water, the tide suddenly rushed in, almost drowning them.

Det ser ut til at problemet med å velge mellom konjunksjonen og og infinitivsmerket å blir stadig større, og det går ikke an å skylde bare på oggianerne.

Så även norskan har detta problem...

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