Monday, August 31, 2015

Hsieh Forbes Column: The Positive Value of Negative Drug Trials

My latest Forbes piece is now out: "The Positive Value of Negative Drug Trials".

I discuss the unfortunate bias against publishing "negative" scientific results that show a drug doesn't have much clinical benefit, and why it's in the self-interest of drug companies to still report these.

In particular, I highlighted two interesting facts:
1) Most drug trial results are still not being reported to a central registry.

2) Negative results funded by private industry (e.g., pharmaceutical companies) are more likely to be reported than from government-funded research.
Fortunately, free market incentives are driving more drug companies towards full disclosure of both positive and negative study results -- which will benefit patients.

For more details, read the full text of "The Positive Value of Negative Drug Trials".

Supercut of Improbable Weapons

"Supercut of Improbable Weapons":

Quest Across A Hyperbolic Surface

"Take an Epic Quest across a Hyperbolic Surface"

Lembas For Mordor

"Simply Walking into Mordor: How Much Lembas Would The Fellowship Need?"

The full analysis is in the paper (PDF).  Their conclusion:
Using hourly metabolic rates for the species, this is approximately 304 pieces for the hobbits, 214 for the ‘men’, 99 for Gimli and 60 for Legolas, assuming that they only eat their daily required amounts.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How El Nino Shifts Energy Around

The Economist: "How El Nino shifts so much energy around, with such big consequences"

Bosses Vs. Subordinates Emails

"The Linguistics of Writing an Email Like a Boss".

Includes an interesting list of "Top 40 phrases bosses use with subordinates" and "Top 40 phrases in emails people send to their bosses".

Interleaved Phone Books

"Physicists Solve the Mystery of Interleaved Phone Books":
A famous demonstration of the counterintuitive power of friction involves two telephone directories with their pages alternately interleaved. People are then invited to pull the directories apart, a futile task since the force required to do the job is mind-bogglingly huge.

Indeed, experimenters have variously tried to separate the directories with trucks and military tanks. They’ve even used them to lift a car off the ground...


Matrix Of Startup Ideas

"Is Your Startup Idea Already Taken?" (Click on image to see full size).

Monday, August 24, 2015

Beloit 2019 Mindset List

Beloit College has published its 2019 student mindset list. You should feel very old now.

How Rats End Up In Toilet Bowls

"Here's How Rats End Up In Toilet Bowls".  Not for the faint of heart.

Space Elevator Update

"Going up? Space elevator could zoom astronauts into Earth's stratosphere"

Wait For It...

I'm probably going to hell for posting this comic.  (Click on the image or the hyperlink to see full-sized version.)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Goldberg Of The Day

"Science and Post-It notes power this Rube Goldberg machine". (Via H.R.)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Suitcase Cam At The Airport

"Suitcase Cam Shows What It's Like To Be Luggage At The Airport".

I, for one, welcome our luggage-handling robotic overlords.

"Right To Be Forgotten" Expands

This is the natural next consequence of the so-called "right to be forgotten": "Google ordered to remove links to ‘right to be forgotten’ removal stories"

Spiral Trains

Endlessly spiralling model train set. Goes in both directions!  (Via Boing Boing.)

Spirograph Simulator

Neat simulation of the classic Spirograph toy.