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13th-Sep-2009 02:14 am(no subject)
AWESOME thiourea
Mitch at chemistry-blog.com has a post about carbon-free sugar. Why couldn't they just say carbon-neutral?
20th-Aug-2009 11:21 am - Moonshine
fail
A club in Geelong, Australia has been closed by police after it was discovered the bartenders were serving moonshine, not Smirnoff vodka as advertised.

Link.

But what was wrong with the moonshine, according to the article? It contained ethanol. And we're to assume that Smirnoff vodka contains... what exactly?

I'm assuming this was the journalist's fault for confusing methanol and ethanol. Methanol is the blindness-inducing alcohol that is produced from poor distillation. Ethanol is drinking alcohol that everyone knows and loves. Huge difference.
19th-Jun-2009 06:35 pm - non-fungal yeast?
AWESOME thiourea
So despite the fact that autopsies have found kidneys literally clogged with yeast cells most doctors have not had any training in fungal yeast and often disavow that it even exists. source

What kind of yeast do they believe in, then?
23rd-Mar-2009 10:42 pm - Cooking
AWESOME thiourea
…chemistry is only applicable to people who are mixing chemicals. I don't care if The Magic School Bus said that chemistry is used in cooking, it's totally not.

Ugh. In fairness this isn't from a product description or news article, so my expectations are pretty low. It's part of an answer to a question on Yahoo! Answers.
1st-Mar-2009 02:51 pm - Facebook I.Q. test
AWESOME thiourea
If I there was any doubt in my mind that a Facebook I.Q. test would be a poor predictor of intelligence, it was put to rest when I got to this question:

chemical equation…Collapse )

Sorry, Facebook, but not a single one of the choices is a chemical equation. Whoops.
5th-Dec-2008 12:57 am - Fail
I'm watching HowStuffWorks on the Discovery channel and tonight's topic is wood. They just described cellulose as "a carbon-based sugar." Good grief.
23rd-Nov-2008 02:16 pm - 20% Lower Chance of Dying!
fail
According to the British rag OK!, if you start going to church you have a 20% lower chance of dying!

Considering that currently your chance of dying at some point in your life is 100%, that means that regular churchgoing has a 20% chance of making you immortal!

Not that I expect any degree of statistical reality from a tabloid like OK!, but the least they could have done was say over what time period the churchgoers have a lower mortality rate. Some studies done on the effects of prayer for persons dying of terminal illness have shown that prayer has either no effect or a slightly deleterious effect on the afflicted's health.

A little research turned up the paper itself: The relationship between religion and cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality in the women's health initiative observational study. I haven't read it, nor do I have the medical or statistical knowledge to make good judgments on their methodology. (Nor do I really want to start a flamewar on the value of prayer in medicine.)

That it comes from Yeshiva University, a religiously-affiliated university, is a little bit suspect. But then again, Yeshiva is a much more respected university than a place like, say, Bob Jones University.

But, let's not shift the blame for the tabloid article itself here. Come on OK!... do you actually read what you write?
20th-Sep-2008 03:56 pm(no subject)
muppinator
A year and a half? Well, somebody has to post something sooner or later.

After the news of the LHC problems, I've been polling google for news, and I came upon these words of insight from the "online newspaper of the year", The Australian.

"The sector that was damaged will need to be warmed up well above absolute zero for repairs to be made, Associated Press has reported."


Seriously? I guess you could interpret it as correct, with a little necker-cubing, but I mean, if someone said you needed to heat something to over 30 degrees, you'd assume it was below 30 degrees to start with, right? What does that quote say, or imply to readers who already seem to have trouble with terms like absolute zero or light-year etc.

Thought I'd prod the community, really.
12th-Apr-2007 07:33 pm - On the obesity gene
As you may be aware, a gene significantly linked to obesity has been discovered. The BBC just did a report on it for News 24. I was kind of annoyed when the science correspondent responded to the presenter's question of "Isn't this just common sense?" by going on about how accurate and sure the results were. Surely it's important that we actually know what the gene in question is, rather than simply having a hunch that there's something there? This wasn't even mentioned. Anyway, it's not too important.

Anyway, the real killer was when they decided to go into the study's results... by introducing us the fattest test subject with both copies of the suspect gene, and the thinnest subject with neither copy! This is completely the opposite of how the actual science of the discovery works - they've just gone and picked a couple of extreme cases and used them as evidence for some conclusion, and it goes against what the science correspondent just said - that the results are a big deal because of the number of people, generally ordinary, everyday individuals with near-average body weights. involved in the study. Bah.
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