Fresh-O-Matic!

Just read this delightful article about steamed hoagies, and recalled using a Fresh-O-Matic steamer.  Right out of high school, starting in University, I started a  weekend gig as a prep guy in a Mom and Pop hamburger stand in Big Bear, California.  The owners patiently showed me the ropes, and over two years built meContinue reading “Fresh-O-Matic!”

Dust Yourself Off

Phylagen, a San Francisco biotech company, has developed a technique for tracking previous locations of objects based on the composition of dust the object has collected. In another experiment, the sampling technology allowed researchers to determine where a person had walked within 1 kilometer in San Francisco, because of the microbes picked up by theirContinue reading “Dust Yourself Off”

The Fourier Transform, explained beautifully

At the Better Explained blog, Kalid Azad hits another home run with An Interactive Guide to the Fourier Transform. Here’s a plain-English metaphor: What does the Fourier Transform do? Given a smoothie, it finds the recipe. How? Run the smoothie through filters to extract each ingredient. Why? Recipes are easier to analyze, compare, and modifyContinue reading “The Fourier Transform, explained beautifully”

Stanford Invents AI Gaydar, Flubs Write-Up

Yilun Wang and Michal Kosinsksi, researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, have developed a neural-net classifier that purportedly detects sexual orientation (in caucasians). The authors report an avalanche of experimental results, and claim the classifier can “correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women.”  OK, that’s theContinue reading “Stanford Invents AI Gaydar, Flubs Write-Up”

The Examined Life is Worth Living

Scurrilous Commentator Fred Reed demonstrates how a grown-up examines his prejudices on the way to wisdom Most Latinos of the south are either a mixture of Spanish and Indian, or sometimes pure Indian….Are they, as nativists insist, of very low IQ–83–and have they enstupidated the Spanish? Horrendously primitive? Without thinking about it, I had the entrenchedContinue reading “The Examined Life is Worth Living”

Blinded Me with “Science”

Writing in The New Atlantis, Daniel Sarewitz says “Science, pride of modernity, our one source of objective knowledge, is in deep trouble.”  The public has swallowed the myth of scientism and Vannevar Bush’s self-serving rationalization for federally-funded Big Science: Scientific progress on a broad front results from the free play of free intellects, working onContinue reading “Blinded Me with “Science””