Weekly Roundup

What should a first-semester, first-year, part-time, mature psychology MA student do upon discovering faulty math in an extremely popular paper in American Psychologist claiming that complex fluid dynamics proves that a ratio of 2.9013 positive to negative emotions is the tipping point for human flourishing? Well, if you’re Nick Brown, you team up with Alan Sokal and psychologist Harris Friedman and publish a takedown in the same journal.

GoldieBlox, the engineering toy designed for girls that we’ve written about before, won Intuit’s Small Business, Big Game contest, beating thousands of competitors. Here‘s their prize: a professionally-produced commercial.

It’s been a bad week for the organic food movement: a PLOS One study sponsored by the organic milk industry claiming that the fat profile of organic milk is better for your heart has been debunked, and Slate published an analysis of the pesticide risks of feeding children regular produce, concluding that they are not significant.

After the passage of a comprehensive Child Rights Law in the United Arab Emirates, it is now illegal to not breastfeed your baby. [via Jezebel]

Much has been written about Stephen Hawking’s black hole U-turn, prompted by his submission of a paper to arXiv claiming that “there are no black holes.” But as PopMech points out, Hawking’s quote continues with “—in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity. There are, however, apparent horizons which persist for a period of time”: Hawking is weighing in on a debate about event horizons. And to top it off, the Borowitz Report posted a satirical column wherein Michelle Bachman claims that Hawking’s reversal means we shouldn’t believe climate or evolutionary science, which quickly went viral. [via Gizmodo]

Children’s “weight fate” may be set as early as kindergarten: according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, overweight 5-year-olds are much more likely to be overweight as teenagers.

Fighting a straw snowman: in a curious piece at Scientific American, The truth about “wind chill”: Does it even really exist? Mark Fischetti argues that “wind chill is not real” because skin temperature would never fall to reported wind chill levels, then goes into the details of the perceivable phenomenon. [via Salon]

One Comment

  • Greg Reply

    “And yet, the idea that any aspect of human behavior or experience should be universally and reproducibly constant to five significant digits would, if proven, constitute a unique moment in the history of the social sciences.” [From the Bown/Sokal Paper]

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