Oleg Zabluda's blog
Friday, November 09, 2012
Very funny and timely, but, uncharacteristically, a bit sloppy.
Very funny and timely, but, uncharacteristically, a bit sloppy.

First of all the Sun can't go Nova. The question should have been - "Did WR104 just explode"?

Second of all, if the Sun has gone Nova, for them not to know from optical observations, it's not enough for it to be night. They also shouldn't be able to see the Moon or NEAs. Could be because the neutrino detector is deep underground, but then it doesn't matter if it's night or day.

As an illustration, the Sun's magnitude is -27 and the Moon's magnitude is -12.6. The brightness difference of 400,000x. A Nova is 400,000,000x brighter then the Sun, so the Moon would become 1000x brighter then Sun is now. They'd know. In fact, they'd clearly know from just looking at the nigh-sky atmosphere.

Randall Munroe's response to criticism:
I seem to have stepped on a hornet’s nest, though, by adding “Frequentist” and “Bayesian” titles to the panels. [...] I genuinely didn’t realize Frequentists and Bayesians were actual camps of people—all of whom are now emailing me.


Also see

Originally shared by Alexey Goldin


- Doctor, my wife cheats on me, but I don't grow horns.
- Doctor, my wife cheats on me, but I don't grow horns.
- It's just a figure of speech.
- Good. I was worried I have calcium deficiency.

This anecdote is factually correct, horns, antlers, bones are calcium carbonate (CaCO2, same as chalk), rigid but brittle, on collagen, flexible but bendable. Combination is a composite material, light and strong.

However, many people think that one needs calcium for nails and hair. That is a total myth. Hair and nails are made entirely of protein keratin (similar to collagen), as well as hooves, outer layers of skin, hedgehog quills, bird feathers and beaks, and scales, all of the above ultimately evolved from, and have no calcium whatsoever.

Another tough biological substance is Chitin, but unlike protein keratin, it's a polysaccaride cellulose. It is the main component of the cell walls of fungi, the exoskeletons of arthropods such as insects and crustaceans, the radulas of mollusks, and the beaks of cephalopods, such as squid and octopus.

Mollusk shells consists of mainly chitin and conchiolin (a protein) hardened with calcium carbonate.

In 2011, scientists were successful in sequencing 11 fragments of collagen recovered from the fossilized bones of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex and an 80-million-year-old Brachylophosaurus canadensis. That was the first definitive proof that birds evolved from dinosaurs.



Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up about 25-35% to 35% of the whole-body protein content,...
Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up about 25-35% to 35% of the whole-body protein content, present in bones, hoofs, horns/antlers, cartilage, intervertebral discs, ligaments/tendons, skin, blood vessels, connective tissues, cornea, gut, etc. Collagen is 6% of muscles by weight. The fibroblast is the most common cell which creates collagen. 

Gelatin is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen. Vegans don't eat it, and some people are allergic to non-human gelatin. This is a problem, because gelatin is used in vaccine preparation and in the gel caps. 300,000 tons/year is produced.

The solution was production of small quantity of recombinant human collagen, i.e. insert human collagen genes into some microorganism, etc...

In 2011, scientists in Beijing reported on a method of creating such large amounts of gelatin by inserting human DNA fragments into yeast, that it would be practical to use it for food, like candy and baking supplies.

Jury is still out if it's cannibalism or if vegans will eat it. Next - recombinant human meat.



Favourite-longshot bias is an observed phenomenon where on average, bettors tend to overvalue "long shots" and...
Favourite-longshot bias is an observed phenomenon where on average, bettors tend to overvalue "long shots" and undervalue favourites.


"Forecasting Elections Comparing Prediction Markets, Polls, and Their Biases" D Rothschild - Public Opinion Quarterly, 2009 - AAPOR

claims that in in 2008 presidential elections, intrade.com was slightly less accurate then 538.com, but slightly more accurate when debiased, removing favourite-longshot bias, parameters of which have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.


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