Francis Vierboom's Blog

A blog about things. Mostly news, ideas, and Sydney

Archive for October 2010

Tuesday linkage

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It’s about time:

The winners of the 2010 IgNobel prizes for ‘improbable research’, including:

MEDICINE PRIZE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.

PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

Hipster dinosaurs.

– A recent psychology study finds that while, as might be expected, selfishness is considered annoying, the same also applies to selflessness:

After the game was over, the participants were asked which of the other players they would be willing to have another round with. As the researchers expected, they were unwilling to play again with the selfish. Dr Parks and Dr Stone did not, however, expect the other result—that participants were equally unwilling to carry on with the selfless.

…people were valuing their own reputations in the eyes of the other players as much as the practical gain from the game, and felt that in comparison with the selfless individual they were being found wanting.

Two rocks converse.

– Heartbreaking letter from a Japanese kamikaze pilot to his two children in May 1945.

– An oldie but a goodie: the classic PDQ Bach version of the first movement of Beethoven’s fifth symphony, with baseball commentary:



Written by Francis

October 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized