• posted a message on Which scientific area do you think should be researched more?
    Scientific education and communication. You rectify people's and their representatives' ignorance and lack of foresight, you have unlimited moneys to play around with on whatever projects.

    You dump a ton of money into any one project, there may not necessarily be results due to lack of leadership, or even resistance, from powers that be, among other factors relating to the lay and their attitudes.
    Posted in: Water Cooler Talk
  • posted a message on What to do With a Windfall?
    Dude, he only said girlfriend, not wife.

    I was jokingly going to suggest buy her a rock and make an honest woman of your girlfriend, then go travelling.

    More seriously, if you can't travel with your girlfriend or do something that benefits you and your loved ones, just be sensible and save to something - a house, a car, or whatever you might want. Money comes and money goes, but you could always do with a little more rainy-day savings.
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
  • posted a message on 1 in 4 Americans Doesn't Know Earth Circles Sun
    So, what I really would like to know and maybe it has been made available here, but who was sampled? How many were sampled? How many of you could describe how this 'study' was conducted? (How about them apples now?)

    Rather than discuss the implications or make speculations, I would really, really like to know the above and why this even matters. It's great general knowledge that the third planet orbiting the star of the Milky Way, the Sun, is Earth, but it really doesn't do anything for me or anyone; anyone who would be seriously interested in this would surely have a more intricate and indeed beautiful understanding of astronomy.

    Even if it were useful to know this, the inferences that some people are drawing aren't simply spurious but are ridiculous, not unlike those who draw and suggest them.
    Posted in: Water Cooler Talk
  • posted a message on Which scientific area do you think should be researched more?
    Neuroscience and psychiatry. The appreciation of both are abysmal but have profound implications.

    There are other things, but I don't really care about them quite as much, even if neither neuroscience nor psychiatry are specifically my work.
    Posted in: Water Cooler Talk
  • posted a message on Good Sources to School Myself Free Online?
    Khan Academy videos for biochemistry or for statistics are good, but you should buy a good book and work through it and do problems.

    WRT statistics, what's your background and what do you want to get out of it? What amount of rigour and how much probability theory do you want to deal with? What disciplines will you apply statistics to (e.g., legal, medical, scientific, engineering, business; each discipline has its own gold standard, best practices, etc., etc.)?
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
  • posted a message on Becoming epically good with basic arithmetic
    Thanks for your replies, people.

    Quote from TheEndIsNear
    I'm a bit late, but I tend to do some pretty big math for "normal people" in my head which tends to impress them.

    I find "simplifying the multiplication" makes things harder.

    For example, yesterday, I was doing 7^7 (which I got wrong, I got 831343 or something, instead of hold on... 823543 (someone check that for me, it litterally took me like 10 seconds, but I'm unsure (I remember being wrong and what I said, not the real answer)) and I ended up with 343*2401 (which should give you the number above. I feel like the way people tell you to do it would be (((((7*7)*7)*7)*7)*7)*7). I tend to try to make the two sides as close as possible, to get the more manageable numbers. 6^6 for example, I'd do 216^2. (real fast, ummm, 46656?)

    But that's just me :/
    The issue is probably retaining all of those numbers faithfully. I know what is holding me back from doing insane (properly insane) mental arithmetic is that; I'm okay with clever little algorithm or tricks.
    Quote from gelf
    Mental math also lets you have a rough idea what answer the calculator should give you. If you see 312 x 41, you should be able to estimate that the answer will be around 12000ish. That way when you use the calculator, if you make a mistake and it puts out the answer 1200, well you don't just take it at face value.

    Being able to estimate a correct answer, then confirm it with a calculator is a good skill to have, rather than simply taking whatever answer the calculator gives you.
    Very, very good post. Thank you very much for such a helpful and thought-out post.
    Quote from Blake
    I think if you want to be REALLY good, you need to practice thinking of numbers spatially (like Daniel Tammet) or train on an abacus until you don't need an abacus. An abacus is probably more likely for 'normal' folk as Daniel is a synesthete, but I think it's possible if you trained really hard. That would make numbers so beautiful, in a direct and sensory way. Would be pretty cool Smile
    I don't believe you can become a synesthete. If you could, the likelihood of becoming or learning to become is likely to be inversely correlated with age. Though I know Jed Fonner (from the MIT Media Lab) are trying to develop toys to simulate an experience of synesthesia.

    The abacus part is interesting. I might look into this.
    Quote from Sterling Angel
    Quote from Nai

    But the biggest thing here is 'simplify'. Make it as simple as possible so you're not juggling 5 digit numbers in your head.
    I even simplify when adding and subtracting. Take 300 - 257 = 43, I turn the problem into (300 - 260) + 3 = 40 + 3 = 43. I have been doing math problems this way in my head for so long now that simplifying is automatic for me. I find it's a much faster way for me to do problems in my head.
    Okay, I guess the most key question here is, "but can you guys do these questions, unassisted, without pencil or paper (and certainly without any calculating apparatus), within a maximum of three seconds?". That, my friends, is the speed we're aiming for.
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
  • posted a message on Is this a joke or a satire?
    I was watching a repeat episode of a TV programme with Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell. It was on religion, and the episode explored Bibleman. (If you have to Goopedia/Wikigle it, perhaps it's not worth replying or please preface your answer with that fact.)

    So, as the title says, is it a joke or a satire? If not, do you believe that it delivers a very Christian message or is it appropriate? I have watched a few episodes (:stupid: time is ... something? something is something else?) on double-speed, and it seems awfully un-Christian, violent and hateful, for example.

    What of other religious TV programming too? Seriously, who the heck watches them?

    Honestly, is there any religious (any faith) TV programming that you could suggest?
    Posted in: Water Cooler Talk
  • posted a message on Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead.
    Quote from brasswire
    One of few the actors today whose performances I truly looked forward to and could make me enjoy a film just by being a part of it.
    Wow, really?

    Hoffman is a guy who had much promise in his early days and talent in his latter days, but it seems that he is very polarising; there are two main camps, those that fanboy him who claim that he is the best thing since sliced bread and there are those that dismiss his acting chops, claiming that he is over-rated. Shrugs
    RIP, a tragic way to go, he will be missed.
    It is undeniable that ODing is not a very classy way to call it in, but tragic? I don't think so; the silver lining is that Hoffman has now moved on and is no longer struggling and suffering from his addictions. He is, as the cliche goes, 'in a better place'.

    Those of us who are still alive, this might sound a little strange: don't dwell on mourning his passing; celebrate his life.
    Posted in: Water Cooler Talk
  • posted a message on Guy three doors down from my house scratched my car, how can I prove it?
    Quote from Vergage
    So I drive to my parents house today after parking my car in a different place for once (few cars further down than normal) and notice multiple scratch marks on the back right bumper.

    So my house mate knocks on a few doors, asking if anyone had seen anything and they all said no. I then get back and have a look at the cars parked down the road, and notice matching scratch marks on the front of the car who parked behind me that night, with a tiny amount of blue (my cars colour) paint on it.

    Now the owner of this car is one of the people my housemate talked to, and he denied it and said he hadn't seen anything.

    Now I've took a picture close up of the scratch on the guys bumper where you can clearly see a bit of blue paint, what else should I do going forwards considering he's denying it?

    • File a matter w/ police, showing them 'evidence' in support of the possibility that your parents' neighbour's car hit yours.
    • Let police do their job. Get over it; keep calm and carry on with whatever you do. It is only stuff. (How zen of me.)
    • Inform your insurance co. as appropriate.
    Remember it's not your place to accost this guy in a dark alley, play detective/dominator and obtain a confession from him using duress/torture. It could very well not be that guy, of course.

    Best of luck with sorting this out.
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
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